Hopfer-Kasten Wedding

A wedding occurred on this date in 1865 at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri.  This marriage united two very prolific Uniontown names, Hopfer and Kasten.  The groom was Gotthold Hopfer; the bride was Amalia Kasten.  There is a little debate about the date of this marriage.  Here is the Perry County record of this event.

Hopfer Kasten marriage record Perry County
Hopfer/Kasten marriage record – Perry County

On this record, it definitely appears to say this marriage took place on the 3rd day of October.  By the way, there are places on Ancestry.com that say this marriage took place on November 4th.  That probably comes from this record where it says this item was recorded on that date.  That does not mean they were married on that date.

We also have this marriage record which is found in the Grace Lutheran church books.

Hopfer Kasten marriage record Grace Uniontown MO (2)
Hopfer/Kasten marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

The red arrow points at the portion of the record that indicates the date.  It definitely shows 5 Oct 1865.  Add to this the fact the information we find on the zionrootsgenealogy.org website.  That website shows October 5th as the marriage date, and it credits the sources to Wayne Schuessler and Carolyn Schirmer.  Both of these individuals are incredible researchers, and I have faith in their results.  Therefore, I am siding with the October 5th date.

Gotthold Hopfer was an original immigrant, having arrived as part of the Gruber Group in late 1839.  Here we find him as a 9 month old child on the ship Johann Georg.

Gotthold Hopfer Johann Georg passenger list
Gotthold Hopfer passenger list – Johann Georg

Grace Lutheran Church records indicate that Gotthold was born in November of 1838.  First, I would point out that if that was the case, this passenger list should have indicated 11 months old, not 9.  Secondly, if this is correct, then Gotthold was born at approximately the same time as when the first ships left Germany in November of 1838.  It appears that, in the case of the Hopfers, it was probably a good thing that the Gruber Group was delayed in leaving Germany.  Here are photos of Gotthold’s parents, Michael and Justine (Quaas) Hopfer.

The Kasten family did not arrive in America until 1843.  Amalia’s parents came aboard the ship, Diana.  Here is the passenger list showing their arrival.

Kasten family passenger list Diana 1843
Kasten family passenger list – Diana

Amalia was not born until January 19, 1848.  She was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.  This is her baptism record.

Amelia Kasten baptism record Grace Uniontown MO
Amalia Kasten baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Here is a photo showing Amalia’s parents, Christian and Wilhelmina (Graefel) Kasten.

Heinrich Christoph and Wilhelmine Kasten
Christoph and Wilhelmina Kasten

We find both Gotthold and Amalia in the 1850 census from Brazeau Township in Perry County.  First, here is Gotthold’s census record.

Gotthold Hopfer 1850 census Brazeau Township MO
1850 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, here is Amalia’s census record from 1850.

Amelia Hopfer 1850 census Brazeau Township MO
1850 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I learned something new today.  I was puzzled by the fact that these two individuals were listed in the Brazeau Township because I figured these two lived in the Uniontown area, which is in Union Township.  Upon further study, I discovered that there was no Union Township until after 1870.  The village that is now named Uniontown was once called Paitzdorf.  The exact time when the name was changed is questionable.  I have heard the legend that Uniontown got its name after the Civil War because Union soldiers had trouble pronouncing and spelling the name Paitzdorf, so the name was changed to Uniontown.  That may or may not be true.  I found this little history of the Uniontown village on a webpage called the BÜRCKBÜCHLER Genealogy.

Uniontown village: A small village in the south-central part of Union Township, on the site of the old Indian settlement known as “Le Grand Village Sauvage” by the French. The Shawnees were removed from the county shortly after the defeat and death of their chieftain Tecumseh in 1813. The first white settlement here was made in 1839 by a group of German Lutherans who were a part of the “Saxon Migration,” and named their new settlement Paitzdorf after their German home. Being so distant from the other Saxon settlements, however, it was exposed to early amalgamation with the Native Americans; and this gradual process of fusion was doubtless symbolized by the change to the ideal name of Uniontown, which probably took place at about the same time as the formation of the new Union Township in or shortly after 1870.

This entry supports more of a “unifying” effect being the cause of the new name.  I suppose it is possible that both of these theories could be partially true.  Regardless, it appears that the name Uniontown began to show up in records at about the same time that a township was organized which was named the Union Township sometime after 1870.

Back to the Hopfers.  Even before his marriage in 1865, Gotthold served as a Union soldier during the Civil War.  We have several documents showing his service.  The first one is this record showing his enlistment in Col. Meyer’s 64th regiment in 1862.

Gotthold Hopfer Civil War record 1
Gotthold Hopfer Civil War record

Next, we have another record showing that he became part of the 8th Provisional Regiment in 1863 led by Col. Brewer.

Gotthold Hopfer Civil War record 2
Gotthold Hopfer Civil War record

Later in time, there is this pension record for him.

Gotthold Hopfer Civil War pension record
Gotthold Hopfer Civil War pension record

It was not long after the Civil War came to an end that Gotthold married Amalia.  This couple then went on to have ten children.  Two of these children died fairly young.  One girl died at the age of three, and a boy died at the age of eighteen.  The 1870 census shows Gotthold’s family in the Brazeau Township with two children.  Gotthold was a farmer.

Gotthold Hopfer 1870 census Brazeau Township MO
1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Gotthold died in 1893.  This is his death record found in the Grace Lutheran books.

Gotthold Hopfer death record Grace Uniontown MO
Gotthold Hopfer death record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Amalia died in 1919.  This is her death record from Grace Lutheran.

Amelia Hopfer death record Grace Uniontown MO
Amalia Hopfer death record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

We also have a death certificate for Amalia.

Amelia Hopfer death certificate
Amalia Hopfer death certificate

There is a puzzling fact about Gotthold and Amalia.  The above documents would seem to indicate that these two would have been buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown, and I think they are.  However, Findagrave.com does not show either one as being there.  Maybe someone from this family has some sort of other evidence that these two are buried in that church’s cemetery.

I do know that there are plenty of Hopfer descendants that can be still found in the Perry County vicinity.  If you are interested in other Hopfer and Kasten stories on this blog, feel free to do a search on their names.


One thought on “Hopfer-Kasten Wedding

  1. According to the burial records of Grace Uniontown published by the Perry County Historical Society, Gotthold and Amalia are buried in the “Middle” cemetery. Gotthold in Row 2i and Amalia in 2j.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s