I have been looking for an occasion to use the church records we now have in our research library from Zion Lutheran Church in Alva, Oklahoma. Thanks to Dale Kirmse, a good friend of our museum who has also been a guest blogger, we have these records now. Zion, Alva is one of those places that we like to call a Perry County suburb. Many Perry County natives migrated to that area to live out their lives.
Even though today’s story ends up in Alva, it will not start there. It actually starts in another Zion Lutheran Church. That church is located in Independence, Kansas, and today’s birthday girl was baptized at that congregation. In fact, I just so happened to find the church record for her baptism. Her name was Anna Engelken, the daughter of Henry and Katharina (Ehlen) Engelken. She was born on November 5, 1895. I found a place on the internet that says the name Engelken possibly means “child of an angel”. My buddy, Lutz Backmann says he thinks it sounds like engelchen, which means “little angel”. Here is Anna’s baptism record.
We also have a photograph of Anna’s parents, Henry and Katharina Engelken.
Anna can be found in several censuses taken in Kansas. First, here is the one taken in 1910.
There was a state census taken in Kansas in 1915 on which we find Anna.
In 1916, a set of plat maps was produced for Montgomery County, Kansas, where we find the city of Independence. On that map, we find the farm owned by the Henry Engelken family.
In the 1920 census, you find Anna living with a Humphrey family in Independence and working as a servant.
In 1921, we find one of Anna’s sisters getting married at Zion Lutheran Church in Alva, Oklahoma to a man that is shown in the records as being from Independence, Kansas. After that, we find numerous entries for Engelken’s in the Alva church records. It appears that the Engelken’s moved to Oklahoma around this time. We will find out that Anna Engelken will be the 3rd wife of Henry Lohmann, but before we get to that marriage, we have a lot to fill in with Henry.
Henry Lohmann was born on August 15, 1883, the first child of Peter and Margaretha (Versemann) Lohmann. He was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri. Below is his baptism record.
On November 22, 1906, Henry Lohmann married Maria Cordes at Salem, Farrar. The church record for this wedding indicates that Henry was already living in Oklahoma.
We have the wedding photo for this marriage.
Henry took his new wife to Oklahoma, and we find them living in the Ohio Township of Ellis County, Oklahoma in the 1910 census.
Henry and Maria had two children while living in Ellis County. However, when Maria died at a rather early age in 1915, her death record is found in the Zion, Alva records.
On November 18, 1919 Henry married again. His second wife was Lillie Dubben. Here is the record from Zion Lutheran Church in Alva for that occasion.
Lillie Dubben had been born in Sheboygen, Wisconsin, the daughter of August and Emilie (Schlenten) Dubben. It was not until the 1910 census when we find this Dubben family living near Alva, Oklahoma. Henry and Lillie had two children who were baptized at Zion. Here are those baptism records.
The 1920 census shows Henry and Lillie.
Then in 1927, Lillie died. We have her death record from Zion.
That finally leads us back to Anna Engelken. She married Henry Lohmann on January 20, 1929 at Zion. We have that marriage record.
Yet another child was born to Henry and Anna. Here is that baptism record.
This story has certainly led me to some interesting sources for information. First of all, I had the opportunity to look through the Zion, Alva church records. Secondly, it was Dale Kirmse’s family history on Ancestry.com that contains a lot of good information especially about the Lohmann family. Yet another family history on Ancestry.com put there by someone in the Engelken family gives much information about that part of this story. In fact, it is from that history that I found some photographs of the Engelken family.
Here is a photo taken of the Engelkin family in 1936. Since they were living in Alva, I assume that is where this was taken. Anna (Engelken) Lohmann is the woman standing in the back row on the far left. By the way, the woman standing in the middle of the back row was Auguste (Engelken) Lohmann, who married Henry’s brother, Theodore.
Another photo was taken in 1943 of the grandchildren of Henry and Katharina Engelken. It is likely that some of the children in this photo were part of the Henry Lohmann family.
Henry Lohmann died in 1957 at the age of 73; Anna died in 1981 at the age of 85. Henry is buried with Anna in the Lutheran Cemetery in Alva, Oklahoma. His first two wives are buried there also.
There are 35 burial sites in the Lutheran Cemetery in Alva that include the surname Lohmann. We also have an exhibit on display in our museum right now that is a tribute to the out-migration in Alva, Oklahoma.