The Wiehe Pipe Organ

I am going to use a photograph as the centerpiece of today’s post.  I must admit this one made me chuckle.  The photo shows a South Dakota family’s children standing in a row with the caption, “S.D. Orgelpfeifen”.  Plus, it has a dog photo-bomber.

William Wiehe children

Orgelpfeifen means “pipe organ” or “organ pipes”.  The children do look like a set of organ pipes.  I took a photo of Trinity, Altenburg’s organ pipes this morning to show the similarity between this photo and a pipe organ.

Organ pipes Trinity Altenburg MO

So, let’s tell the story of the couple from which these children originated…the Wiehe family.  William Herman Wiehe was born on March 21, 1881, therefore making him today’s birthday boy.  William was the son of Dietrich and Elizabeth (Brakhage) Wiehe.  He was born in Hoagland, Indiana, a small town near Ft. Wayne.  Below is a map showing William’s birthplace.

Hoagland IN map Wiehe birthplace
Hoagland, IN map

Since 1881 was the year after a census, it is actually that 1880 census that gives us an idea about what the Wiehe family looked like when William was born.  He had quite a few older siblings.  I included the Brakhage couple, Elizabeth’s parents, in this image.

Dietrich Wiehe 1880 census Marion Township IN
1880 census – Marion Township, Allen County, IN

This entry says the Wiehe’s and Brakhage’s were originally from Holland.  I looked at the whole page of names on that census and noticed that it was full of people who were said to be from Holland.  I have my doubts about that.  I think it is possible that the census taker was confused between the words Deutch and Dutch.  Both of William’s parents are buried in the Emmanuel Soest Lutheran Cemetery.  That church was mentioned in a previous post titled, 1890 Census Problem.  In that post, this photo of the rather impressive Emmanuel Soest Lutheran Church was displayed.

Soest Lutheran Church Ft. Wayne IN
Emmanuel Soest Lutheran Church – near Ft. Wayne, IN

However, at the time when William was being raised, that church may have looked like this.  The photo below was taken in 1902.

Soest Lutheran Church Ft. Wayne IN 1902
Emmanuel Soest Lutheran Church – 1902

I was unable to find William in the 1900 census.  Perhaps the fact that his father, Dietrich, had died in that year was a factor in me not finding him.  A later obituary for William says that he attended Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Illinois in 1908.  He then became a Lutheran pastor.

Before I leave the area around Ft. Wayne, Indiana, allow me to show you another census entry which can be found one page away from the Wiehe family.  It is the family of Rev. Carl Zschoche.

Carl Zschoche 1880 census Marion Township, IN
1880 census – Marion Township, Allen County, IN

I believe that Rev. Zschoche was a pastor of Emmanuel Soest Lutheran Church.  Another daughter, Augusta Zschoche, was born into the above family in 1887.  When Augusta’s mother, Louise (Jaebker) Zschoche, died in 1888, she was buried in the Soest Lutheran Cemetery.  It appears that the death of Mrs. Zschoche may have led her husband to move his family to Perry County.  He did not get a call to one of the Perry County churches, but his brother, Rev. William Zschoche, was the pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.  Augusta’s father remarried while in Frohna.

Let’s take a look at the 1910 census records for William Wiehe and Augusta Zschoche.  First, we find Rev. William Wiehe living in Gregory County, South Dakota where he was living with a Seevers family.  He was a single Lutheran preacher.

William Wiehe 1910 census Herrick Township SD
1910 census – Herrick Township, SD

Meanwhile, we find Augusta living with her father and step-mother in Frohna, Missouri.

Augusta Zschoche 1910 census Brazeau Township MO
1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Later during 1910, William traveled to Perry County to marry Augusta Zschoche.  They were married at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.  We can take a look at the church record for this wedding.

Wiehe Zschoche marriage record Concordia Frohna MO
Wiehe/Zschoche marriage record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

One interesting fact here is that in the last column, it is not Rev. William Zschoche who is listed as performing this wedding.  He had died in 1909.  Nor was it Augusta’s father.  The marriage license below shows that it was the pastor at Trinity, Altenburg, Heinrich Schmidt, who was the pastor for this wedding.

Wiehe Zschoche marriage license
Wiehe/Zschoche marriage license

A wedding  photo was taken of this couple.

Wiehe Zschoche wedding
William and Augusta Wiehe wedding

I like to think that this photograph was taken by Frohna’s up-and-coming photographer, Paul Lueders.  Paul himself would be married at the same church a month after this wedding took place.

Rev. Wiehe took his new bride back to South Dakota.  There the two of them began having children, and he served several different South Dakota congregations.  William had a World War I draft registration completed in 1918.

William Wiehe – WWI draft registration

I figure it must have been after 6 of the 8 Wiehe children that the photo of the Wiehe “organ pipes” was taken.  We find the Wiehe family living in Faulk County in South Dakota in the 1920 census.

William Wiehe 1920 census Freedom Township SD
1920 census – Freedom Township, Faulk County, SD

The genders of the 6 children shown in this census correspond with the 6 children in the orgelpfeifen photo.  Sadly, Rev. Wiehe died in 1927 at the age of 45.  He is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Wecota, South Dakota.

William Wiehe gravestone Immanuel Wecota SD
Rev. Wm. H. Wiehe gravestone – Immanuel, Wecota, SD

We have this obituary that was published at the time of William’s death.

William Wiehe obituary
Rev. Wm. Wiehe obituary

Augusta moved her family to St. Louis after her husband’s death.  That is where we find them in the 1930 census with all 8 children.

Augusta Wiehe 1930 census St. Louis MO
1930 census – St. Louis, MO

I cannot help but wonder how a widow with no occupation could afford to raise 8 children.  One son was working in a bank, but that certainly couldn’t maintain a family of this size.  We find the family once more in the 1940 census.  It says they were living at 3641 Nebraska Ave. in St. Louis, which is in walking distance to Holy Cross Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Hospital.  By then, several of the children had jobs.

Augusta Wiehe 1940 census 1 St. Louis MO

Augusta Wiehe 1940 census 2 St. Louis MO
1940 census – St. Louis, MO

Later during the year of that census, Augusta died at the age of 52.  According to her death certificate, she died at Lutheran Hospital.

Augusta Wiehe death certificate
Augusta Wiehe death certificate

I took a look at a map of 3641 Nebraska Ave. as it looks today.  I found a humorous photo of a Google streetside map of that residence in which a man is sitting on the front porch waving at the camera.

3641 Nebraska Ave. St. Louis MO Wiehe residence

Augusta was buried in the Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis.

Augusta Wiehe gravestone Concordia St. Louis MO
Augusta Wiehe gravestone – Concordia, St. Louis, MO

It was not until I had done quite a bit of research into this story that I discovered a very close connection to yesterday’s story about the Elmshauser’s.  In that post, it was said that Rev. Albert Burroughs was a pastor in Ogallala, Nebraska.  Rev. Burroughs was married to Maria Zschoche, Augusta’s sister.  The Perry County connections all over the country continue to amaze me.


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