In the past, I have told the story of a marriage between a Schaefer and a Hopfer. That tale was recounted in the post, Maria’s Soldier and Merchant from Old Appleton. In that episode, Heinrich Schaefer married Maria Hopfer. We see these two below.
Today, I will attempt to tell the story of Maria’s cousin, Gottfried Hopfer. He is today’s birthday boy. He was born in Ronneburg, Germany on March 11, 1832. We have a transcription of his baptism record. His surname is not spelled correctly. I suppose an “H” in German script might look similar to an “St”.
Another Hopfer who came to America as part of the Gesellschaft in 1839 was Michael Hopfer. Michael would have been Gottfried’s uncle. In another previous post about one of Gottfried’s children, I stated that I was not sure if Gottfried was related to Michael, but our German Family Tree has been updated with more information about the Hopfer family. That information says that Gottfried’s father, another Gottfried, was Michael’s younger brother. It is reported that Gottfried’s parents came to this country in 1850. We don’t find him in a census until 1860, and by then he was married.
Gottfried’s wife would be Katharine Schaefer, which makes this another Hopfer/Schaefer marriage. The Maria Hopfer that married Heinrich Schaefer was a daughter of Michael Hopfer, so Maria and today’s Gottfried were cousins. The question then becomes whether Gottfried’s wife, Katharine Schaefer was related to Heinrich Schaefer. Our German Family Tree does not make a connection, at least not yet. I think I will be providing evidence today that Katharine and Heinrich were sister and brother. Katharine was born on March 24, 1841 in Rodheim, Germany. I found a transcription of her baptism record.
In the previous post about Heinrich Schaefer, a transcript of his baptism was displayed. I will display it again.
The fact that these two Schaefer’s had parents with the same names and were baptized at the same church gives me enough evidence that these two were siblings. I have found some other evidence that the Schaefer family came to America in 1851, about the same time as Gottfried Hopfer’s family.
On May 12, 1859, Gottfried Hopfer married Katharine Schaefer. We have a Perry County marriage record for this couple.
The above record says that Rev. C. Th. Gruber performed the marriage. He was pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, Missouri at that time. However, the reconstructed church records from that congregation do not contain an entry for this wedding.
We find Gottfried and Katharine living in the Cinque Hommes Township when the 1860 census was conducted. Gottfried was a carpenter.
I was unable to find this household in the 1870 census. I know when the 1880 census rolled around, they were living in the Apple Creek Township of Cape Girardeau County. I looked in both the Perry County and Cape Girardeau County listings of the 1870 census, but no Gottfried Hopfer could be found. Below is the 1880 census in which Gottfried was a farmer.
In 1889, Gottfried moved his family to Kansas. The state of Kansas made a census in 1895, and we find Gottfried and his family living in Washington County when that document was produced. Once again, Gottfried was called a carpenter at the age of 62.
Somewhere along the line, this photo of Gottfried Hopfer was produced. I do not have a photo for Katherine.
Three years after that census was taken, Gottfried died in 1898. His obituary was placed in a Linn, Kansas newspaper.
Katharine Hopfer died in 1900. The same newspaper carried her obituary. The author of obituaries for that newspaper had an interesting writing style in describing people’s deaths.
Both Gottfried and Katherine Hopfer are buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Linn, Kansas.Martin Hopfer D.D.S. Here are photos of those two sons. William Hopfer is on the left; Martin Hopfer is on the right.