Wife of Soldier and Saloon Keeper

Mina Markwort’s name can be seen on this gravestone in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville, Missouri.

Mina Behrens gravestone Immanuel Perryville MO
Mina Markwort gravestone – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

You can see that she was born on today’s date in 1843, making her today’s birthday girl.  Some quick math will tell you that today would have also been her 175th birthday.  I will attempt to tell her family’s story in this post.

Her maiden name was Wilhelmina Behrens, and the first records I could find for her were in the church records for Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  She was listed as a sponsor for a few baptisms at that congregation in the early 1860’s. I found some other records in that congregation for a Henry Behrens, who was likely her father.  She was born in Sudheim, Germany, and she reportedly came to America in 1859.

On January 11, 1863, Wilhelmina married Henry Markwort.  Here is the civil marriage record for that wedding.

Markwort Behrens marriage record Cape Girardeau County
Markwort/Behrens marriage record

This image is not very clear and is very difficult to read.  However, the pastor’s name on this record is Rev. E. Riedel.  I was able to determine that, not by reading this record, but by reading all the records surrounding this one.  All of them were signed by the same pastor.  Other ones nearby were very easy to read.

For a while, I was having trouble finding which church Rev. Riedel was serving in 1863.  I suspected it might have been at Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim.  However, I discovered that even though Rev. Riedel was at that congregation,  he left in 1862.  I also found that Rev. Riedel had served the Lutheran congregation at Illmo (Scott City).  However, looking through the records we have at our museum for that congregation, I was unable to find this marriage.  Then I discovered that for a time, Rev. Riedel was serving both Illmo and Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau.  That is where I hit paydirt.  I not only found the Markwort marriage record, but also found Wilhelmina serving as a baptismal sponsor on several occasions.

Pastor Riedel had quite an interesting biography which intersected with several Lutheran churches in the Perry/Cape Girardeau County area.  Here is a listing of the places he served during his ministry.

Rev. Ehrhardt Riedel biography
Rev. Ehrhardt Riedel biography

This listing of pastors at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau shows where he fit in there.

Pastors of Trinity Cape Girardeau 1854-1904

Henry Markwort was born in Germany in 1837, and he is said to have come to America in 1858.  The first church record I could find of him was his marriage record.  However, there were also some Civil War records for him.  Here is a form which indicates Henry was part of the Fremont Rangers.  Apparently, even his horse enlisted to serve.

Henry Markwort Civil War service record

Another document which shows his Civil War service with Fremont’s Rangers is this pension record.

Henry Markwort Civil War pension record

By looking into the Fremont Rangers, I discovered that this unit was under the leadership of General John C. Fremont, who was well-known for exploring routes to California in earlier years.  Early in the Civil War, some of the Fremont Rangers were involved in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in Missouri near Springfield.

Battle of Wilson’s Creek

This battle was a Confederate victory, and a Union general, Gen. Nathaniel Lyons was killed.  It is possible that Henry Markwort saw action in that battle.

Back to the Markwort couple.  Henry and Mina were married not long after Henry’s service in the Civil War.  I was unable to find a baptism record for the first child born to this couple after their marriage.  The next six children were baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.  The final three were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville, Missouri.

The 1880 census shows that Henry and Mina were living with their family in Perryville, MIssouri, where Henry was a grocer.

Henry Markwort 1880 census Perryville, MO
1880 census – Perryville, MO

There is a Missouri birth record for one of their children that was born in Perryville in 1886.  This record is shown in two images.

Louis Markwort birth record 1 Perryville MO

Louis Markwort birth record 2 Perryville MO
Louis Markwort birth record – Perryville, MO

In this document, Henry is recorded as being a saloon keeper.  By the time of the 1900 census, this family can be found living in Apple Creek Township in Cape Girardeau County.

Henry Markwort 1900 census Apple Creek MO
1900 census – Apple Creek, MO

I cannot decipher what Henry’s occupation was on this form.  At the age of 72, Henry was back in Perryville in 1910 along with his wife, Mina, but he lists no occupation.  That would be the last census in which we find Henry.  He died in 1914 and was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.  Here is his gravestone.

Henry Markwort gravestone Immanuel Perryville MO
Henry Markwort gravestone – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Mina would make it into one more census in 1920, and then she died in 1927 at the age of 83.  You saw her gravestone at the beginning of this post, and you can also see it on the left in the above image.  They were buried next to each other with separate gravestones.

Many of the Markwort children ended up living in the St. Louis area.  One of them was a physician.

I have now seen quite a few stories like that of Henry Markwort.  After just a few years in America, he was willing to go to war as one of its soldiers.  When he came to this country, he, like so many who still enter it, have a desire to do all that is required of good citizens, including the possibility of military service.






3 thoughts on “Wife of Soldier and Saloon Keeper

  1. Henry Marwort had a full and busy life! Also, I believe there is a building in Perryville with MARKWORT boldly inscribed in stone. In the previously posted photo of Henry there is also a soldier named Lange who may have been a step-brother to Henry (Henry’s step-father was Ferdinand Lange)….Here is a bio as found in History of SE Missouri dated 1888.

    “Henry Markwort was born in the Province of Hanover, Germany, in 1837, and is the only child born to the marriage of Ferdinand Markwort and Wilhelmina Preusse. Ferdinand Markwort died while on duty as a soldier, in 1837, after which his widow married Ferdinand Lange, who immigrated to America in 1858, and settled on a farm in Cape Girardeau County, Mo. He (Lange) was a weaver by trade, and died in 1863. His wife was born in 1818 and died in 1886. She was the mother of five children by her second marriage, four of whom are living, viz.: Ferdinand, of Cape Girardeau County; Wilhelmina, wife of William Bartels; Caroline, wife of Henry Aufdenberg, and August. In early life Henry Markwort learned the weaver’s trade, at which he worked during the winter seasons, working on the farm during the summers, while he remained in Germany. At the age of twenty-one years he came to the United States. In 1861 he enlisted in the Union army, joining Col. L. Murdock’s regiment of Fremont Rangers. After about five months he re-enlisted in Company D, Twelfth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, to serve three years or during the war, and served in Missouri and Arkansas. On February 2, 1863, the regiment was broken up, and Company D was attached to the Fifth Missouri Cavalry as Company K. During his service Mr. Markwort traveled 15,876 miles. On January 11, 1863, he married Minnie Behrens, who was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1844. To them have been born eight children, who are living: Matilda (wife of Louis Lueders), Minnie, Arthur, Herbert, Gustaf, Bertha, Ida and Louis. In 1865 Mr. Markwort established a retail liquor store and hotel, at Appleton, Mo., which he managed until 1879, when he sold out and removed to Perryville, and in the spring of 1880 resumed the same line of business. In politics he is a Republican, and is a charter member of Difani’s Post 273 G.A.R. Department Missouri, at Perryville. His wife and children are members of the Lutheran Church. His son-in-law, Louis E. Lueders, was educated at Frohna, Mo., and St. Louis. At the age of thirteen years he began learning the jeweler’s trade with Charles A. Retter, of St. Louis, serving three and one-half years as an apprentice, and six months as a journeyman. In September, 1884, he engaged in the jeweler’s business at Frohna, but six months later went to Jackson, Mo., and in November, 1885, removed to Perryville, and established a jewelry store. He is a skillful workman, and is meeting with deserved success. He and wife are members of the Lutheran Church”
    Source: History of Southeast Missouri (1888). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.

    Liked by 1 person

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