Stories from a Wedding Photo – Part 3

We have a birthday boy today, and he just so happens to be in the 1905 wedding photograph that has been the focus point of the last two posts.  Not only is he in the photo, but he is the groom.  His name was Johann Dietrich Brueckner.  His bride was Emma Mary Lohmann.  So today, you get the story of the occasion that resulted in this photo.

However, before I proceed, I must make two confessions.  First, I admit that I began working on this story several days ago and was going to publish it on November 16th because that was the day of the wedding.  I ended up getting involved in making a couple of videos for our website and did not have the time to finish it.  I did notice that Dietrich’s birthday was November 19th, so I postponed this story until today.  Now that I’ve gotten around to the story again, I have discovered another mystery, but before I point that out, let me go on to my second confession.

There was a mistake in yesterday’s post.  The mistake is centered around the mystery that was mentioned concerning John Dreyer.  Our museum’s old friend, Edgar Dreyer, gave me a call and explained that John was not the son of Heinrich and Emma (Hesse) Dreyer.  Instead, John was that Heinrich’s younger brother.  The parents of both these brothers were Heinrich and Maria (Lohmann) Dreyer.  Part of the problem for me was the fact that our German Family Tree places John Dreyer as a child of his brother.  Lynn Degenhardt and I will have to talk about correcting this matter.  I must admit that it did not make sense to me that John did not have a baptism record at Salem Lutheran Church, where his so-called parents were members.  Edgar tells me that John was born in Germany.  The good thing is that our mystery has been solved.

Now we will return to today’s story.  I will begin by telling you about the groom whose birthday was today.  Dietrich Brueckner was the son of Heinrich and Maria (Imbush) Brueckner.  He was born on this day in 1875, so he would have been 143 years old today.  Or was he born on this day?  Dietrich was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri.  This is his baptism record.

Dietrich Brueckner baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

It looks like we have another problem. This record has two differences.  First, it says Dietrich was born on November 10th, not the 19th.  Secondly, it gives his birth year as 1876, not 1875.  How can this be?

Next, I need to show you the evidence that Dietrich was born on November 19, 1875.  We looked for his confirmation record in the Salem books because confirmation records will almost always give a birth date.  However, no confirmation record could be found.  The year 1891 was missing from the records.  Possibly, he could have been in that class.  Rev. Albrecht died in January of 1891.  That could have contributed to the missing class.

I decided to look for Dietrich’s World War I draft registration form.  I did manage to find it. 

Dietrich Brueckner – WWI draft registration

This form says he was born on October 19, 1875.  That doesn’t help much, although it does give 1875 as the year of birth, and it also gives the day of his birth as the 19th.  I know I’m jumping the gun quite a bit by mentioning death information for Dietrich, but here is where we especially see evidence for a November 19, 1875 birthday.  First, here is the death record in the Salem church books.

Dietrich Brueckner death record – Salem, Farrar, MO

This document states that Dietrich’s date of birth was November 19, 1875.  Next we take a look at his Missouri death certificate.

Dietrich Brueckner death certificate

Once again, this document indicates a November 19, 1875 birth date.  Finally, we see that date of birth on his gravestone.

Dietrich Brueckner gravestone – Salem, Farrar, MO

It is not often that I state this, but in this case, I think the Salem church record is incorrect.

The first census in which we find Dietrich was the 1880 census from Farrar.  He was 3 years old at the time.

1880 census – Farrar, MO

There was one other census showing Dietrich as a single man.  That was in 1900.  He was listed as John D. Brueckner in this record.  Please also note that the birth date on this form says November of 1875.

1900 census – Farrar, MO

Emma Mary Lohmann was the daughter of Heinrich and Christina (Steffens) Lohmann.  She was born on May 12, 1887 and baptized at Salem Lutheran.  That makes her about 11 or 12 years younger than her husband.  This is her baptism record.

Emma Lohmann baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

 The marriage between Dietrich and Emma took place on November 16, 1905 at Salem.  This is their marriage license.

Brueckner/Lohmann marriage license

The marriage record from Salem is useful is helping to verify several of the individuals in the wedding photo.

Brueckner/Lohmann marriage record – Salem, Farrar, MO

I have enlarged the box that shows the members of the wedding party under Emma’s name.

Brueckner/Lohmann marriage record – wedding party

The list corresponds with the photo with the exception of not having the first name of the Stueve.  It also does not include the “wedding inviters” discussed yesterday.

The 1910 census is the first one to show this married couple.  By then, they had one daughter.  Another child had been born in 1908, but died after living for only 8 hours.   Three more children would be born after this census.

1910 census – Farrar, MO

Next, we will take a look at the 1920 census.

1920 census – Farrar, MO

Their last child was born during the year of that census.  Now we look at 1930.

1930 census – Farrar, MO

The last census we can see was taken in 1940.

1940 census – Farrar, MO

Their youngest daughter, Vera, was married in 1939, one year before this census.  As noted several times earlier, Dietrich died in 1951, and you have already seen his death information and his gravestone.  Emma would not die until 1982 at the age of 94.  She is buried at the same cemetery as her husband, Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.

Emma Brueckner gravestone – Salem, Farrar, MO

I have some new questions after I researched for this story.  It comes from the fact that it appears that the Salem Lutheran church books that record baptisms were recorded by the same person for over 30 years, which stretches over several pastors.  The handwriting seems to be the same.  Who wrote all those records?  A church secretary, perhaps?  And were they recorded as time went by, or was there some time when the records were re-recorded by one person?  Maybe one of my friends who is an expert in the history of Salem Lutheran Church knows the answer.


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