Militzer the Millwright

A boy was born on this day in 1829 in Germany.  His name was John Militzer.  His birthday was December 19, 1829, the son of Johann Christoph and Maria Justine (Lambern) Militzer.  Before I go on, let me say that in this case, our German Family Tree does not indicate who John’s mother was.  Also, with only the GFT as a source, I would not be able to tell you that John Militzer and another man by the name of Christoph Militzer who also shows up in local church records, were related to each other.  However, we have a binder in our research library titled, Militzer & Hoeck, which was donated to our museum by Louise Frost.  It is a well-documented family history, and it tells us that these two Militzer’s were brothers.  In addition, it says there was also a sister by the name of Sophia Militzer who ended up in Jacob, Illinois married to a Moeckel.  Here is a portion of that binder that is significant for today’s story.

Militzer family history Louise Frost binder
Militzer family history

This segment has a mistake, however.  It says Johann Christoph Militzer, John’s father, died in Frohna, Missouri in 1815, which is impossible.

It appears that John was the first of the Militzer siblings to come to America.  In the 1900 census, it says he came in 1859, but the Militzer binder says he came between 1850 and 1855.  I found a passenger list showing a Joh. Militzer who arrived in 1854 aboard the Anna Delius who was about the right age to correspond with John.

Johann Militzer Anna Delius passenger list 1854
Joh. Militzer – Anna Delius passenger list 1854

On February 5, 1856, John Militzer married Caroline Wachter at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri.  Here is the civil record from Perry County for that marriage.

Militzer Wachter marriage record Perry County MO
Militzer/Wachter marriage license

We also have the church record for this wedding from the Concordia books.

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

Caroline Wachter was born on February 2, 1829 in Germany, so she was just a little older than John.  She was the daughter of Johann Christoph Erdmann and Catherine (Grosskopf) Wachter.  Caroline came to America in 1853 aboard the Minerva.  She is the 24 year-old shown on this passenger list.

Wilhelm Wachter passenger list Minerva
Wachter family members – Minerva – 1853

John and Caroline had 8 children.  The first 6 were girls; the last two were boys.  We find this family in the 1860 census where John was called a carpenter.  By then, they had their first two girls.

John Militzer 1860 census Brazeau Township MO
1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In 1862, John spent some time serving in the Union Army during the Civil War.  Here is a record of his service.

John Militzer Civil War record
John Militzer Civil War record

The 1870 census is the only one that states that John was a millwright, but I couldn’t resist using that fact to come up with today’s post title.  This census shows those first 6 daughters in this family.

John Militzer 1870 census Brazeau Township MO
1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I am guessing that John was a millwright at the flour mill run by the Weinhold brothers in Frohna.  His neighbors in that census were people that I know were residents of Frohna.  All of the children in this family were also baptized at Concordia in Frohna.  Next, we will look at the 1880 census.  In the later census entries, John was called a carpenter and cabinet maker.  This was the last census in which we see Caroline.

John Militzer 1880 census Brazeau Township MO
1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Caroline Militzer died in 1898 at the age of 69.  The church death record says she died of  stomach and liver troubles.  In the 1900 census we find John living with two of his daughters who never married, Ernestine and Lina.

John Militzer 1900 census Brazeau Township MO
1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In my next book, Wittenberg ’04, which is not anywhere close to being finished, I chose to have Lina Militzer as the woman who was going to make the wedding dress for Lydia Weinhold.  I have no proof that she did, but I knew she was called a dress maker in this 1900 census.  Otto Lueders (who was going to marry Lydia) had a sister who married a Militzer who lived in Wittenberg.  Don’t conclude that Lina made the dress.  The book is a piece of fiction.

John died in 1909 at the age of 80.  Since Missouri death certificates began being used in 1910, John died a little too early for us to view such a document.  Both John and Caroline are buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna.

The youngest of the Militzer sons became a Lutheran teacher.  Also, their daughter, Martha, married Joseph Fiehler, who became a Lutheran pastor.  In addition, a grandson from this family, Rudolph Fiehler, became a German professor at the University of Texas.

I am going to have to look into the story of the Militzer girl who married a Moeckel.  I have this sneaking suspicion, since that couple was married in Germany, they may have been the original Moeckel’s to settle in this area.  But that’s some research for another day.



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