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.
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.
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.
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.
Because Ernst was born before 1880, we find him in that census. He was just 3 years old.
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).
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.
We also find this marriage record in the Concordia church records.
Here is the wedding photo of Ernst and Martha.
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.
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 had his World War I draft registration filled out in 1918. It is shown below.
I am going to skip to the 1930 census, which happens to be the last one in which we find Martha.
It must have been about this time in their lives that the family photo shown below was taken.
Martha died in 1937 at the age of 55. We have her death certificate. It looks like she died of a stroke.
The 1940 census shows Ernst as a widow and living with his son’s family.
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.
Ernst died in 1967 at the age of 90. Here is his 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).