Barkeep’s Boy

August Arensburg is today’s birthday boy.  He was born on March 26, 1843 in  Kassel, Germany.  His father’s name was Frederick, but his mother’s name is not in any records that we have.  August had an older brother named Christoph, and his first two children died in 1857, and their death records can be found in the Trinity, Altenburg records.  Christoph’s next child was born in December of 1857 and that child was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  The first church record we find for August Arensburg was his confirmation at Immanuel in 1859.  These facts all contribute to the idea that the Arensburg family moved with Rev. Georg Schieferdecker when he was kicked out of Trinity and started Immanuel in the latter part of 1857.  However, in a list of charter members of Immanuel that we have here at our museum, we do not find the Arensburg name.  By the way, sometimes we see this name spelled Arnsberg, Arnsburg, or Ahrensburg.

The first civil record I could find of August was the 1860 census which shows him living with his father (who is listed as a miller), and August is simply described as a laborer.

August Arensburg 1860 census Altenburg
1860 census – Altenburg, MO

On September 21, 1865, August married Margarethe Stautenberg.  Here is their Perry County civil marriage record.

Arensburg Stautenberg marriage license
Arensburg/Stautenberg marriage record

These two were married by a Justice of the Peace by the name of Emanuel Estel.  Emanuel was a storekeeper in Wittenberg at that time.  This indicates to me that the Arensburg family had moved to the Wittenberg village by 1865.  The 1870 census shows both August and his father living in Wittenberg with their families.

August Arensburg 1870 census Wittenberg MO
1870 census – Wittenberg, MO

August is a 26 year old cooper with two children.  His father, Frederick was a 63 year old saloon keeper living with a 40 year old, Elizabeth, who quite possibly was a second wife, and 3 relatively young children, who may be children of a second marriage.  It does not appear that Frederick had a second wife in 1860, and at least one of these children would have also appeared in the 1860 census shown earlier.  We have no church records indicating a second marriage or baptisms for any of these children if they had the name Arensburg.

August’s older brother, Christopher, was working in a flour mill.  This is evidence that such a mill was already present in Wittenberg in 1870.  That mill may have been the Hesse Mill which burned in 1872.  It is also possible that August was doing his barrel-making for the mill, but there were other businesses in Wittenberg that may have used his skills.

August and Margaret have five children who show up in our German Family Tree.  The first child does not have a baptism record at any of the local Lutheran churches.  The next three children were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran in Altenburg.  The baptism of the final one, who was born in 1878, can be found in the Trinity, Altenburg books.  I think that indicates that this baptism took place in Wittenberg, where in those days, a pastor from Trinity conducted services.

The 1880 census still shows August and Frederick living in Wittenberg.

August Arensburg 1880 census Wittenberg MO
1880 census – Wittenberg, MO

August was an engineer, and his father was a 72 year old who kept a beer saloon.  The fact that the occupation specifically mentions beer may indicate that he ran the saloon associated with the Brenner Brewery that was located in Wittenberg.  They also had four children listed for August.  I suspect the oldest one was no longer living with them.  She would have been about 15 years old.

Sometime before 1897, August’s wife, Margaret, must have died.  On December 2, 1897, August was married a second time.  His second wife was Anna (Jungclaus) Thurm, who had previously been married to Herman Thurm.  Herman died from a lightning strike in 1889 while Anna was pregnant.  Here is a photo of Anna.

Anna Thurm Arensburg
Anna (Jungclaus) Thurm

In the 1900 census, August is shown as a farmer on The Ridge, probably where the Thurm farm was located.  He would die five years after his second marriage in 1902 of tuberculosis.  Anna would go on to marry two more times.  Two of her husbands were Thurm brothers.  Her last husband was Robert Fritsche.  She married him when she was 73 years old.

August’s death record is found in the Immanuel Lutheran Church books in Altenburg, but has no record of him being buried in their cemetery.

August lived in Wittenberg during the time when it was a thriving little river town before the railroad arrived on the scene.  He must have seen countless steamboats on the river.  His father’s job as a saloon keeper probably added even a little more adventure to his life.


One thought on “Barkeep’s Boy

  1. My husband was a Thurm. Your article was interesting. So, was your Anna Arnsburg the same as our Johanne Christine Kutscher? She was married to Gerhardt Paul Thurm.
    Gerhard Paul had Paul Gerhard Thurm which was my husband, Gerald’s, grandpa.
    It’s confusing but interesting.


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