This post will be packed with “Farrar names”. The focus will be on Gotthilf Koenig, who was born on this day in 1898. So today would have been his 120th birthday. Gotthilf was the son of Benjamin and Anna (Brueckner) Koenig and was born on September 29, 1898. He was baptized and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. First, here is his baptism record.
And here is his confirmation record.
I do not have any photographs of people involved in this story today, so I will attempt to use mostly census records as documentation. The first census in which we find Gotthilf is the 1900 census from Farrar.
Gotthilf is listed as a grandson because his parents, Benjamin and Anna, were living with Benjamin’s parents, Friedrich and Mary (Hecht) Koenig. Gotthilf was also the oldest child in his family.
In 1907, Gotthilf’s future wife was also born near Farrar, Missouri. Her name was Esther Miesner. She was born on March 29, 1907 and was the daughter of Friedrich and Christiane (Schlichting) Miesner. Unlike Gotthilf, she was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Crosstown.
The first census in which we find Esther is the 1910 census from Farrar.
This happens to be the only census prior to their marriage where I find both Gotthilf and Esther, and they were both living in or near Farrar. Here is the 1910 census when Gotthilf was 11 years old.
I’m going to jump back to Gotthilf for a moment. In 1918, when he filled out his World War I draft registration at age 19, he was still living and farming in Farrar.
Back to the Miesners. Sometime before 1920, the Miesner family must have moved across the river to Fountain Bluff Township, Illinois. We see this in the 1920 census. Esther was 12 years old.
One year later, Esther was confirmed at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. She can be found in the right hand column of this list of confirmands.
Unfortunately, I could not find Gotthilf Koenig in any census record for 1920. He cannot be found in places where I thought he might be: Perry County, St. Louis, or Jackson County, Illinois. I found no military record for him. I really do not know where he was in 1920. I wish I knew. It might help me answer the one question I have in this story. Even though they were born rather near each other, how did Gotthilf and Esther manage to find each other and get married in St. Louis?
On May 6, 1926, these two got married. They were married in St. Louis, as is indicated in this application form for a marriage license.
Both Gotthilf and Esther are noted on this form as being from St. Louis.
In 1930, we find Gotthilf and Esther in an interesting location. They were living in Thebes, Illinois, which is not far from either Perry County or Jacob, Illinois.
Thebes is one of many cities found in the Mississippi River Valley that have names connected to places along the Nile River in Egypt. Thebes and Egypt Mills are two of these places nearby, and Memphis in Tennessee is probably the most well-known one.
By the time of the 1940 census, the Koenigs are back in Perry County. They were living in the Bois Brule Township.
This census shows three children, which is almost certainly all they had. In all the census records during Gotthilf’s life, he was a farmer or a farm laborer.
Gotthilf died in 1981; Esther died in 2010. They are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville, Missouri. Even though they are buried together, I have two photos of their gravestone. One must have been taken before Esther’s death; the other afterward. These two photos can both be found on Findagrave.com.
The “Farrar names” found in this story….Koenig, Miesner, Schlichting, Brueckner….take up plenty of pages in our German Family Tree. If you go back another generation, you find a Stueve, and that would probably double the amount of pages.