The surnames, Lochner and Loeber, have found their place in several posts on this blog in the past. Notably, a recent post told the story of a painting done by Rev. Friedrich Lochner on the occasion of the marriage of Theodore Ernst Buenger and Martha Loeber. That post was titled, Stories in a Painting. Today, I will share the story of a Lochner who married a Loeber. That marriage took place on this day 167 years ago.
One interesting fact concerning this marriage is that it took place in St. Louis, yet it is also recorded in the books of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Here is the civil marriage record from St. Louis. We know it is also recorded in the Immanuel Lutheran Church, St. Louis books, but I cannot show you an image of that. That was the congregation where Rev. J.F. Buenger was the pastor.
This document credits Rev. Johannes F. Buenger as being the pastor who performed this wedding.
Before I show you the church record from Frohna, let me say a few things about the bride and groom. First of all, Christoph Heinrich Loeber was the groom. He was the son of Rev. Gotthold and Wilhelmine (Zahn) Loeber. Rev. Loeber was the first pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We have two Gustav Pfau drawings of his parents.
All of these Loebers came to America aboard the Republik as part of the Gesellschaft in 1839. There were quite a few documents where he was called Henry, but I still have the habit of calling him Christoph, so I think I will continue to do that for this post.
Christoph was born on October 11, 1828 in Eichenberg, Germany, so he was still 10 years old when he arrived in the United States. He would be 11 years old when he began attending the newly-built Log Cabin College on December 9, 1839. He and his sister, Martha Loeber were part of the first class of that institution. Christoph’s teachers at that school were Johann Friedrich Buenger, Theodore Brohm, and Ottomar Fuehrbringer. Rev. C.F.W. Walther taught a few classes also. Christoph was one of five graduates of Concordia Seminary in Altenburg. He graduated right when the seminary was being moved from Altenburg to St. Louis at the end of 1849.
Rev. Christoph’s first call was to Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. The first pastor of that congregation was Rev. E.G. Keyl. He had taken a call in 1847, and Christoph’s father had filled the vacancy there until his death in 1849. Rev. Christoph then took over at Concordia after he was ordained. We find Christoph living in the Bergt household in the 1850 census.
The bride for the 1852 marriage was Anna Marie Lochner. She was born on May 4, 1834 in Nürnberg, Germany, so she was about 6 years younger than Christoph. She was the daughter of Friedrich Gottlieb and Barbara (Gauger) Lochner. Anna Marie’s older brother was the Rev. Friedrich Lochner who painted the picture of the Loeber parsonage that was the centerpiece of the previous blog post mentioned before. Rev. Friedrich Lochner arrived in Amreica in 1845 according to a naturalization document.
Anna Marie Lochner arrived 3 years later in 1848. There is a simply fascinating story about why she came and what happened after she arrived, but I am not going to retell it today. It can be found in the post titled, Mama Lochner. I will pique your interest by telling you that Christoph Loeber was not the first man to ask for Anna Marie’s hand in marriage. In 1850, we find her living in the same household as Rev. C.F.W. Walther and a whole bunch of young men attending Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. In fact, you can see Christoph’s younger brother, Gotthilf Loeber, on this document (although he is called Gottfried).
After his father’s death in 1849, Christoph’s mother, Wilhelmine, went to live in St. Louis. Somehow, someway, Christoph and Anna Marie struck up a romance, and on April 25, 1852, they were married in St. Louis. So now let’s take a look at the marriage record in the Concordia, Frohna books.
This document brings new questions to my inquiring mind. Did Christoph write this in his church’s books? I think he did. This document also shows “Prof. Walther” in the lower right corner, but I cannot find any reference to Rev. J.F. Buenger in here. Remember the St. Louis document has Rev. Buenger on it and not Rev. Walther. Why is that? Lastly, look at the translation that accompanies the Concordia church records that we have in our museum for this entry.
There is no doubt that the phrase, “now pastor at Altenburg” is incorrect. Rev. Gotthold Loeber, as said before, died in 1849, three years before this wedding took place. Certainly, Christoph would not have written it that way. I think this is a mis-translation.
I like to imagine who may have attended this wedding in St. Louis. I figure there is a possibility that all of Christoph’s teachers from his Log Cabin College days may have been there. Obviously, Rev. J.F. Buenger and Rev. C.F.W. Walther were in St. Louis. By that time, Rev. Theodore Brohm had become the pastor at Holy Cross in St. Louis, so he may have attended, and if he did, his wife Johanna, was the school cook in the early days of the Log Cabin College. Even Rev. Ottomar Fuerbringer was in nearby Venedy, Illinois and may have come to town for the wedding. Theodore Ernst Buenger and his wife, Martha (who was Christoph’s sister) were in St. Louis also, and most certainly would have attended this marriage. It must have been quite the occasion. I would love to be able to go back in time and wander among that group of people.
We have this photo that is said to be Anna Marie Loeber hanging in our museum. It states that the child in her arms is a boy that was born in 1853, their oldest child. If that is the case, then this photo was taken in the time period when Christoph was the pastor at Concordia. My personal guess is, though, that the Loebers may have had to go to St. Louis back in the 1850’s to have a photo like this taken. This is the only photograph that I have ever seen of Anna Marie.
Rev. Loeber served the congregation in Frohna until 1862, when he took a call to a congregation in the Chicago area. That move was made in the midst of the Civil War. He remained in Chicago until 1869, when he took a call to St. Martini Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. Here we run into another connection between the Lochner’s and the Loeber’s. St. Martini was a daughter congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church in Milwaukee where Rev. Friedrich Lochner, Anna Marie’s brother, was the pastor.
Trinity Lutheran Church is the church that burned about a year ago and made the national news.
It wasn’t long after Rev. Christoph Loeber was in Milwaukee that he became the first president of what became Concordia Teacher’s College, Milwaukee. That school is now in Mequon and is called Concordia, Wisconsin. We find the Loeber household in the 1880 census for Milwaukee.
The photograph of Christoph Loeber shown below was taken during his time as a professor at the college.
Toward the end of his life, Rev. Loeber went to New York City where he was a chaplain of a Lutheran hospital and also served at Wartburg Old Folks Home in Brooklyn. He died in 1897. After his death, Anna Marie moved back to Milwaukee where she lived with family. A Milwaukee city directory from 1915 shows plenty of people with the surname of Loeber in that city.
The last census in which we find her was the one taken in 1920. She was 85 years old at the time.
Anna Marie died in 1922. She and her husband are buried in the Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee.
The child in Anna Marie’s arms in the photo shown before went on to become a Lutheran pastor. He then had two more generations of pastors come from him, making a string of 5 generations of Lutheran pastors that came from the Loeber family. The Lochner family has a similar history of producing pastors. Between the Loeber’s and Lochner’s, there is quite a legacy of leadership in the early years of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.