A few weeks ago, we published a story about Bertha Militzer from Frohna who married a Lutheran teacher and ended up in Wisconsin. That post was titled, How the Hoeck, He Met the Militzer. Today’s story is about one of Bertha’s sisters who also married a Lutheran church worker and spent most of her life in Wisconsin. That sister is today’s birthday girl. Her name was Martha Militzer, born on August 10, 1868 and baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Here is her Concordia baptism record.
Contrary to her sister, who found a husband outside of Missouri, Martha found her husband in her hometown of Frohna and no doubt went to school with him. On August 23, 1891, Martha married Joseph Fiehler. Joseph was the son of Robert and Magdalene (Naumann) Fiehler, a farmer near Frohna. A story was written about Robert’s family which told about the fact that all the boys in his Fiehler family had the first name of Johann. That post was titled, A Handful of Johanns. In the case of Joseph Fiehler, we have a problem with his baptism record. There isn’t one. I think he was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna just like Martha. I also think the pastor did not record his baptism in the church books. We do know that Joseph was born on December 22, 1866.
The pastor at that time was Rev. J.F. Koestering, who was serving both Trinity in Altenburg and Concordia in Frohna during those years. If you look at a translated list of some baptisms that were recorded in 1866 you will see what is shown in the image below.
These records hop all over the calendar. They are not recorded chronologically. It looks as if whoever did the recording of these baptisms was writing them down as he/she thought of them. If that is the case, it is certainly reasonable that a baptism may have been left off the list because it wasn’t remembered.
It would be contrary to logic to say that Joseph might not have been baptized for a couple reasons. All the other siblings were baptized at Concordia. Also, Joseph went on to become a Lutheran pastor. I cannot imagine a Lutheran pastor that would not be baptized. When Joseph married Martha in 1891, he had to return to his hometown for the wedding. His marriage record states that he was a pastor in Colby, Wisconsin.
The marriage license for this couple also indicates that he was from Wisconsin.
There are two Lutheran churches near Colby, Wisconsin. If Rev. Fiehler was at Zion Lutheran Church, this is a church building from that congregation in years gone by.
Rev. Fiehler spent most of his life serving congregations in northern Wisconsin. I found bits and pieces of information that, in addition to the church in Colby, he was also involved in Lutheran churches in Butternut, Kennan, and Maine. I found evidence that he was also involved in helping to establish a congregation in Withee, Wisconsin.
In the 1900 and the 1910 censuses, the Fiehlers can be found living in Butternut, Wisconsin. I found this photograph of the Lutheran church in that little town with some early automobiles parked in front.
Here is what that church looks like today.
It looks like they added a sizable narthex on the front.
The 1920 census shows the Fiehlers living in Maine, Wisconsin. However, it must not have been long after his time, that he returned to Frohna. On August 2, 1926, he died, and his death certificate indicates he was once again living in his hometown.
His brother, Charles Fiehler is shown on this form as being the informant of the death. After his death, Martha appears to have moved to St. Louis to live with two daughters. The 1940 census shows Martha living with two of her single daughters who were aged 40 and 36. Martha would die on October 11, 1944. Her death certificate shows she died in St. Louis.
Another child, Rudolph Fiehler, is the informant on this certificate. Rudolph was a Lutheran teacher.
Both Martha and Joseph are buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna. Here are their gravestones.
I was unable to find any photos of Martha or Joseph. However, I did find a photograph of their daughter, Gertrude, who was one of the single daughters Martha lived with in St. Louis. In 1940, she was shown as a public school teacher.