Maid from Michigan

My last post highlighted a brother and sister who both remained unmarried during their lives.  Another story materialized for today which will highlight another unmarried person.  The story will also take us from Mecklenburg to Minnesota to Michigan to Missouri.

We will begin this story by looking at the passenger list of the ship, Gessner, which arrived in New York on August 27, 1870.  On this list, you will find the name of an 18 year old young man by the name of Johann Krueger.

Johann Krueger passenger list 1870
Passenger list – Gessner

I am not 100% sure that this is the passenger list for one of today’s characters, but here is why I think it is.  First of all, there is a later census record which indicates that Johann Krueger arrived in America in 1870. Another census record states that Johann was from Mecklenburg.   Johann Krueger also became a Lutheran pastor.  I have put a blue box around the word describing the occupation of the passengers.  I am thinking that word might be “missionary”.  I think this is the case for a few reasons.  There are eight fairly young men, all traveling alone, who are heading to St. Louis, Indiana, Illinois, or Chicago.  Those are all locations where you could have found Lutheran colleges and seminaries in the business of training church workers.  I think Johann Krueger came to the United States to study for the ministry in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I also think that Johann may have received his first call in the ministry to a church in Elizabeth, a city in Otter Tail County in Minnesota.  On July 26. 1878, Johann married Gabriele Plass in Adrian, Michigan.  Here is an interesting Michigan marriage record for this couple (shown in two images).

Krueger Plass marriage record 1 MI

Krueger Plass marriage record 2 MI
Krueger/Plass marriage record – Adrian, MI

John Krueger is said to be from Elizabeth City, Minnesota.  He is also said to be a “plasterer”.  I have to think that the person recording this document may have been told that John was a pastor, but may have heard it as plasterer.  Now here is what I find even more interesting.  We have another passenger list that may be the one showing Gabriele Caroline Plass coming to America.  This passenger list is for the ship named Lessing which arrived in New York on July 17, 1878.

Gabriele Plass passenger list Lessing
Passenger list – Lessing

There is a future census record that says she arrived in 1878.  If this is indeed her on this passenger list, she arrived in America 9 days before she was married in Michigan.  There has to be a story here, but I don’t know what it is.  It has all the looks of a marriage that was arranged by mail.  When Johann arrived in 1870, Gabriele would have been only 11 years old.  One also has to question why this couple would get married in Adrian, Michigan.  Here are photos of John and Gabriele.

The 1880 census shows this couple living in Otter Tail County, Minnesota with John being a Minister of the Gospel.

Rev. John Krueger 1880 census Ottertail MN
1880 census – Otter Tail County, MN

This is the first record where we see John’s wife being referred to as Ella.  This couple would have two children while they were in Minnesota.  One of those died as an infant.  Then sometime around 1884, Rev. Krueger became a pastor in Petersburg, Michigan which is located in Monroe County.  Another child was born in that location in 1884.  John and Ella would have four children that lived to adulthood.  The last of their children is today’s birthday girl.

Ella Krueger was born on June 3, 1894.  I do not have access to her baptism record, but I suspect it could be that her given name may have been Gabriele.  However, all the records I could find indicate that she was called Ella, just like her mother.  The 1900 census shows this family still living in Michigan.

Ella Krueger 1900 census Monroe Co MI
1900 census – Petersburg, MI

Later in 1900, this family moved to Farrar, Missouri.  From 1900-1924, Rev. Krueger was the pastor at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar.  Ella would have been about 6 years old when she moved to Missouri.  Here is the 1910 census for this family.

Ella Krueger 1910 census Farrar MO
1910 census – Farrar, MO

Ella would never get married.  In this 1920 census, Ella was the only remaining child living with her parents, who by that time were both in their 60’s.

Ella Krueger 1920 census Farrar MO
1920 census – Farrar, MO

Both of Ella’s parents died in the 1920’s.  Her father died in 1924.  Here is his death certificate.

John Krueger death certificate
Rev. John Krueger death certificate

His cause of death is shown to be accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.   Gabriele died in 1926 of typhoid fever.  Here is her death certificate.

Gabriele Krueger death certificate
Gabriele Krueger death certificate

Both Rev. John and Ella Krueger were buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.  Here are their gravestones.

Gabriele’s death certificate says she was living in Jackson, Missouri when she died.  I have this sneaking suspicion that after her husband’s death, she and Ella went to live with another daughter, Hedwig, and her husband Arthur Kasten, who lived in Jackson.  That is because we find Ella living with her sister in the 1930 census.

Ella Krueger 1930 census Jackson MO
1930 census – Jackson, MO

Arthur Kasten’s story was told in the post, The Kasten Ziegelbrenners.

Ella was living in St. Louis in 1940 and working as a maid for the manager of a furniture store.

Ella Krueger 1940 census St. Louis MO
1940 census – St. Louis, MO

Ella died at Lutheran Hospital in St. Louis in 1954.  Here is her death certificate. She was suffering from cancer.  It says her residence was in Jackson, Missouri at the time of her death.

Ella Krueger death certificate
Ella Krueger death certificate

Ella is buried in the Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson.  Here is her gravestone.

Ella Krueger gravestone Russell Heights Jackson MO
Ella Krueger gravestone – Russell Heights, Jackson, MO

One could argue that, for at least part of her life, Ella served the role of a typical German Tante.  So many families back in the day had a female member of the family who took on the task of caring for other  members of the family, especially aged parents.  That person was called a Tante.  Ella seemed to spend most of her life serving others, possibly at the expense of herself not getting married.  Here is a photograph of Ella.

Ella Krueger
Ella Krueger

One more quick note.  Right now, there is another pastor in Perry County who came from Monroe County, Michigan.  He is Rev. Frank Lucas, and he is the pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.


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