We have a birthday girl today.  Her name was Martha Fiehler.  I will not waste any time telling you today that her husband was Ernst Wachter.  One of the nice things about today’s couple is the fact that both of these two characters are included in photos taken of their families including their siblings.  Let’s take a look at those two photos.  If you are a regular follower of this blog, you may have seen each one of these before.  First, here is Martha Fiehler with her siblings.

10 Fiehler children

Benjamin Fiehler children photo

As stated, Martha is standing in the back, the second lady from the left.  In a previous post, I speculated that this photo was taken in 1921 when Martha’s mother died.

In the case of Ernst’s family photo, it includes his parents, William and Ernestine (Bodenschatz) Wachter.

Wilhelm Wachter family

Ernst is standing in the back on the far left.

Martha was born on May 2, 1882, making today her 137th birthday.  She was the daughter of Benjamin and Bertha (Doberenz) Fiehler.  Her baptism took place at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.  Ernst was born on October 20, 1876.  His baptism took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  So when Martha married Ernst, it was a wedding that some folks around here jokingly call a “mixed marriage” between someone from Frohna and someone from Altenburg.

Below are the baptism records for these two.  First is Martha’s from Concordia, Frohna; second is Ernst’s from Trinity, Altenburg.

Martha Fiehler baptism record Concordia Frohna MO
Martha Fiehler baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO
Ernst Wachter baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Ernst Fiehler baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg

The only census in which we find Martha before she was married was the one taken in 1900.  She was living in a Fenwick household in Perryville as a servant.  Joseph Fenwick was a circuit clerk.

Martha Fiehler 1900 census Perryville MO
1900 census – Perryville, MO

Because Ernst was born before 1880, we find him in that census.  He was just 3 years old.

Ernst Wachter 1880 census Brazeau Township MO
1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

When we look at the Wachter household in 1900, we can see that Ernst has quite a few brothers and sisters (and there were two more siblings on the next page that I did not include).

Ernst Wachter 1900 census Brazeau Township MO
1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The wedding for these two took place on November 12, 1905.  They were married at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.  We have their marriage license.

Wachter Fiehler marriage license
Wachter/Fiehler marriage license

We also find this marriage record in the Concordia church records.

Wachter Fiehler marriage record Concordia Frohna MO
Wachter/Fiehler marriage record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Here is the wedding photo of Ernst and Martha.

Wachter Fiehler wedding

By the time of the 1910 census, we find this couple having two of their three children.  We can see their family living near Ernst’s brother, Charles.

Ernst Wachter 1910 census Brazeau Township MO
1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We find some farm land in the name of E. Wachter in the plat maps produced in 1915.  They lived south of Altenburg near what is now Highway C.

Ernst Wachter land map 1915
Ernst Wachter land map – 1915

Ernst had his World War I draft registration filled out in  1918.  It is shown below.

Ernst Wachter – WWI draft registration

I am going to skip to the 1930 census, which happens to be the last one in which we find Martha.

Ernst Wachter 1930 census Brazeau Township MO
1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It must have been about this time in their lives that the family photo shown below was taken.

Ernst Wachter family

Martha died in 1937 at the age of 55.  We have her death certificate.  It looks like she died of a stroke.

Martha Wachter death certificate
Martha Wachter death certificate

The 1940 census shows Ernst as a widow and living with his son’s family.

Ernst Wachter 1940 census Brazeau Township MO

Ernst lived almost 30 years after his wife died.  In the photo below, Ernst is pictured with his brother, Paul, and his family.  Ernst is in the middle holding the pipe and wearing suspenders.

Paul Wachter and family

Ernst died in 1967 at the age of 90.  Here is his death certificate.

Ernst Wachter death certificate
Ernst Wachter death certificate

Both Ernst and Martha are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.


I know that there are at least four generations of Wachter’s to come from Ernst and Martha’s family.  In the 1940 census shown above, you will see Edward Wachter as a son of Leo Wachter.  Edward and a sister, Charlotte, still attend services at Trinity, Altenburg.  Ruben Wachter, also shown in the 1940 census, has a son, Rodney, who is currently the head elder at that congregation, while Rodney’s son will soon participate in the next Wachter wedding to take place in East Perry County.  So the Wachter name lives on.

The name, Fiehler, on the other hand, is down to only one person with that surname living in East Perry County.  That would be our own Gerard Fiehler (or so he says).

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