Windy City Wife

Rosina (Kluegel) Krahmer came to the United States as a divorced woman with a young baby along with the Gruber Group in the 1839 immigration to Perry County.  She divorced her husband in Germany because he refused to make the trip to America.  In 1843, she married again, this time to Julius Nitzschke, a merchant in Wittenberg, Missouri, who also came to the United States in that same immigration on a different ship.  Then on August 28, 1845, this Nitzschke couple had a child.  Her name was Magdalena Nitzschke, and she would become the woman mentioned in today’s title, the Windy City Wife.  Her baptism is recorded in the Concordia Lutheran, Frohna, books.

I will mention a little bit about Magdalena’s father for a moment.  He had an interesting history.  He started out as a merchant, but he would later change occupations.  In the mid-1840’s, he took on the task of doing some teaching at the Log Cabin College in Altenburg.  It has been reported that he taught mathematics and English to the students.  Then in 1857, he joined many other people who followed Rev. Georg Schieferdecker as he left Trinity Lutheran in Altenburg to form Immanuel Lutheran on the other side of town.  Julius was one of the charter members of Immanuel.  As it turns out, he also became the first teacher at the school that Immanuel began.  Julius would die in 1862, one year before Magdalena was married, and he is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery.

That bring us to the occasion that took place on this day, August 5th, in 1863.  Magdalena Nitzschke married Rev. Ferdinand Doederlein.  It is a little bit of a puzzle to me where Pastor Doederlein was a minister.  The first two children born into this family were born in Missouri, and some information on says they were born in Jackson, Missouri. The church that is now in Jackson had not started yet.  By the late 1860’s, Rev. Doederlein had taken a call to a church in Chicago, Illinois.  Here is the 1870 census showing this family.

Ferdinand Doederlein 1870 census Chicago IL
1870 census – Chicago, IL

Ferdinand would spend the rest of his career in the Chicago area.  He died in 1915, and his obituary gives you an idea of his contributions to the Lutheran churches in Chicago.

Ferdinand Doederlein obituary
Rev. Ferdinand Doederlein obituary

If you look at the what took place in the lives of the Doederlein children, you will see there was plenty of influence they made in the Lutheran community as well.  The Doederleins had ten children.  Let me start with the eldest, Otto Doederlein.  He became a lawyer.  Here is a photo of him.

Otto Doederlein lawyer
Otto Doederlein

I find it interesting that Otto managed to find a wife in St. Louis, Missouri.  Her name was Pauline Lange.  I found this 1870 census record from St. Louis very interesting.

Pauline Lange 1870 census St. Louis MO
1870 census – St. Louis, MO

If you look right below the Lange family, you will see the family of Dr. C.F.W. Walther, shown as a professor of Concordia College.  Pauline’s father is shown as a printer.  He was one of the original founders of Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis, which was located right next to Concordia Seminary.  Here are photos of Pauline’s parents.


Here is a photo of Pauline and one of her children.

Pauline Lange Doederlein (Otto)
Pauline Doederlein and son

Before he became a lawyer, Otto attended another Concordia College, the one in Ft. Wayne that was also training church workers.  We find him there in the 1880 census.

Otto Doederlein 1880 census Ft. Wayne, IN
1880 census – Ft. Wayne, IN

Otto must have changed his career choice somewhere along the line and instead became a lawyer in Chicago.

Here is a summary of what happened to other members of this Doederlein family:

  • Louise Doederlein married Rev. Carl Dietz, another Lutheran pastor who served a church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Paul Doederlein became a Lutheran pastor, serving a church in Dundee, Illinois, not far from Chicago.
Rev. Paul Doederlein
Rev. Paul Doederlein
  • Theodore Doederlein became a doctor in Chicago.
  • Rudolph Doederlein became a druggist in Chicago.
  • Richard Doederlein worked as a furniture manufacturer.
  • Hugo Doederlein worked as a furniture salesman and ended up in Los Angeles.
  • Clara Doederlein married Rev. Albert Wangerin, a Lutheran pastor in Chicago.
  • Emma Doederlein married Arthur Bauermeister, who ran a hotel in Chicago.
  • Matilda Doederlein never married.

Rev. Ferdinand Doederlein died in 1915; Magdalena died in 1919.  Here is Magdalena’s obituary.

Magdalena Doederlein obituary
Magdalena Doederlein obituary

Ferdinand and Magdalena are buried in the St. Luke Cemetery in Chicago.  In fact, there are 17 grave sites in that cemetery that contain the name Doederlein.  Only two of them have photographs on, and they are not Ferdinand and Magdalena.  However, here are photos of these two individuals.


I will close this post with a photograph and a question.  In 1884, St. Luke Lutheran Church dedicated a pipe organ in their sanctuary.  A photograph was taken for that occasion.  Here is that photograph.  The question is this:  Do you think Rev. Doederlein is one of the gentlemen in this photo?  If so, which one?

St. Luke Chicago first organ (2)

11 thoughts on “Windy City Wife

  1. I am very interested. I have several pictures of Ferdinand. They seem like the same person through the years. My father was Walter and his father was Paul. Otto was my fathers uncle.


    1. Katherine, yes I did find you in Rudolph Wangerin’s book. So we are cousins. That’s exciting. At First Trinity in Chicago August Lange was an assistant pastor, but that was after Ferdinand had left for St. John’s in Homewood. I would love to share pictures. How do you want me to send my picture of Paul?


      1. We can try to send pictures by e-mail but I am not very adept on the computer and my computer is pretty old. If that doesn’t work then I guess “snail mail”. Have you a copy of “Windy city wife”? Is it worth getting?

        I believe that I have a copy of Rudy Wangerin’s family album. Have you got the book “The Lutheran Trail”? Both Ferdinand and Paul are noted in it as are several others we are related to.. Louis J. Schwartzkopf. Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis, Mo.


      1. Yes, I do live in Houston. I did move about five years ago to a different address but in Houston.


  2. I am Louise Jean Scholl Furber. Ferdinand Doederlein was my great great grandfather. His son Otto was my great grandfather. After 30 years of research, I am currently writing a family history of the Doederlein family. When I am done perhaps you will want a copy? I will tell you that your picture of Paul Doederlein is incorrect. It is a picture of Rev August Lange, brother of Otto’s wife Pauline. He had a church in Fort Wayne. I do have a picture of Paul from his great great grandson.


  3. I am the great granddaughter of Ferdinand. How do I get in touch with Warren Schmidt? Exchange information.


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