Today’s story begins in Frohna. The birthday girl marries a Lutheran teacher. Agnes Fiehler was born on February 28, 1876 and baptized at the relatively new Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Her parents were Benjamin and Bertha (Doberenz) Fiehler. Benjamin was a farmer, and Agnes was the third of eleven children born into this family. Only one of those eleven children died in infancy.
When Agnes was 18 years old, she married Martin Lueders. This marriage took place on July 25, 1894. The marriage record in the Concordia Lutheran church books state that Martin was a teacher from Fremont, Nebraska. However, this civil record for this marriage says nothing about Martin being from Nebraska.
This record simply says that Martin is from Perry County. That is because Martin was also a native of this county. In fact, he was also from Frohna.
Martin’s parents were rather prominent folks in the village of Frohna. He was the 9th of 12 children born into the family of August and Mary (Roth) Lueders. Martin was born on November 10, 1871 and also baptized at Concordia, Frohna. At that time, however, their new church had not yet been built. Martin’s father was the proprietor of the Lueders Store in downtown Frohna.
It would be nice if the 1890 Federal census would be available to find out where Martin was living during that year. My best guess is that he was attending the Lutheran teachers college in Addison, Illinois where most Lutheran teachers were being trained in those days. He must have taken a teaching position at Trinity Lutheran School in Fremont, Nebraska. This record from the Concordia church books says that Martin was a “Lehrer in Fremont, Nebraska”. Lehrer is the German word for teacher.
Then, during his summer break from school in 1894, he traveled back to his hometown to get a wife. Here is a photo that is said to be the wedding photo of Martin and Agnes.
Another photo attributed to Martin and Agnes shows up on several family histories on Ancenstry.com.
It may just be me, but I have a little doubt in my mind that these two photographs show the same couple. In one other photo we have that includes Martin, which was taken when his parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1905. Martin is said to be the third son from the left in the back row (with the mustache).
In my opinion, this family photo shows Martin with another “look”. Maybe someone from this family can relieve my doubts and tell me if all of these photos do show Martin. (Please look at UPDATE below)
The 1900 census shows the Martin Lueders family living in Logan, Kansas where Martin was a teacher. By this time, they had two young children.
Then, ten years later, we find them where they spent the rest of their lives…..Hanover, Kansas. Martin was a teacher at Trinity Lutheran Church for 30 years. Here is the 1910 census for the Lueders family. A third child had been added to their family.
In a history for Trinity Lutheran Church in Hanover, you can find this description of Martin’s service at that congregation.
I find so many descriptions like this for early Lutheran educators from Perry County. So many of them refer to the contributions made to the congregation and community in the area of music by these multi-talented men.
Martin died in 1939; Agnes died in 1944. They are both buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Hanover, Kansas. Here are their gravestones.
I feel the need to tell one more personal story connected to this one. One of my buddies from my time at Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska was Larry Luedders. His name is pronounced Loo-ders, whereas the Lueders name from Perry County is pronounced Lee-ders. Larry was from a town near Hanover. If you go east from Hanover just five miles, you arrive at Bremen, Kansas. Larry was from Herkimer, which can also be seen on this map.
In the Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery in Bremen, there are 15 gravestones that include the surname Luedders. I am including a photo of one of these stones that also contains the surname Harries.
Recently a pastor by the name of Rev. Tom Harries, brought a tour group from his congregation in Kansas to visit our museum. He was also from this same area, and he also happened to be the organist for my wife’s first marriage.
When I first moved to Perry County, it was not long before I was chastised for pronouncing the name Lueders as Loo-ders. I have now learned my lesson and no longer make that horrible mistake.
I knew I should have consulted Gerard Fiehler before I published this story. We have now looked in a Fiehler binder we have in the museum and found a few other photos. First, here is a wedding photo of Martin and Agnes that we found there.
If you look at this photo side-by-side with the other photo, you see that these must have been two photos taken on the same day.
We also found a photo of the three children in this Lueders family.
I still have questions about that middle photograph.