I do not have much time for research today because I will be headed back to Altenburg. So, you are getting another quick post. May 23rd happens to be the anniversary date for two marriages that are special to me personally. They are not new stories. If you do a search on past posts on this blog, you could likely locate much more information about the two couples I recognize today.
First of all, on May 23, 1848, a wedding took place in the relatively new church sanctuary of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The bride was Martha Loeber; the groom was Theodore Ernst Buenger. If you have read my book, Mama Buenger: Mother of a Synod, you might remember that a chapter of that book was dedicated to this event. Martha’s father, Rev. Gotthold Loeber conducted the ceremony, and I like to think that Theodore Ernst’s mother, Christiane Buenger, made the trip from St. Louis to Altenburg to attend this wedding. I have photographs of both Martha and Theodore Ernst.
This marriage is special to me for a couple of reasons other than the fact that they are characters in my book. Both of them spent time on my property in the first few years of the settlement in Perry County. Mama Buenger was the first owner of the land on which I now live, so Theodore Ernst, who was 17 years old at the time of the immigration, once called my property his home. Martha, who was 8 years old when she came to America, was one of the students in the first class of the Log Cabin College when it opened in December of 1839. The Log Cabin College was located on my land also, so Martha spent considerable time on my property in those early years. Because I spent my career as a Lutheran educator, Theodore Ernst Buenger, being one of the first teachers in what became the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, makes him special in that regard also. Here is the marriage document for the Buenger/Loeber couple that can be found in Perry County marriage records.
The second marriage I want to discuss is one that took place 17 years later on May 23rd, and it involved my great grandparents. Gottwerth Schmidt married Wilhelmine Seibel on May 23, 1865. These two were also married in the 1845 church at Trinity Lutheran, Altenburg. In fact, their marriage took place just a matter of days after that congregation would have been celebrating the 20th anniversary of that building’s dedication. Just two years after the Schmidt/Seibel wedding, Trinity would dedicate their new church sanctuary, the one still used to this day. That building was dedicated in 1867. Here is the Perry County marriage record for this couple. They were married by Rev. J.F. Koestering.
I only have a photo of my great grandfather, Gottwerth. I really wish I had a photo of his wife, Wilhelmine. I did run across a photo that I have at home that might be her, but I have not verified it. I’m reluctant to display it because it may not be my great grandmother.
Gottwerth would become a store owner in Altenburg, and if his store still stood today, I think I could see it from my house.
Today, I say “Happy Anniversary” to these two couples. Happy 172nd Anniversary to the Buenger’s and Happy 155th Anniversary to the Schmidt’s.
I am anxious to get back home. I am looking forward to seeing some of the progress that has been made at our museum as we get ready for our upcoming reopening.