I often “troll” our German Family Tree looking for a special birthday or anniversary. I search for such things as 200th birthdays or 150th anniversaries. Today, I located a 150th birthday. The tale of Benjamin Joseph Koenig is what I will attempt to share with you today.
Benjamin Joseph (B.J.) Koenig was born on August 28, 1870, the son of Friedrich and Maria (Hecht) Koenig. Benjamin was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri. There is a little debate about whether he was born on August 28th or August 30th because his baptism record shows an August 30th date of birth.
I displayed other surrounding records to illustrate the fact that other baptism records included both a birth date and a baptism date. Benjamin has just one date followed by a blank box. I think the August 30th date might be that of his baptism, not his birth.
Benjamin was born too late in the year to be included in the 1870 census, so the first census in which we find him was the one taken in 1880.
Benjamin was confirmed at Salem, Farrar, in 1884. This document, along with other later documents, show him being born on August 28th.
I was not able to locate any photos of Benjamin Koenig, but we can take a look at this photo which includes his parents. The are seated on the left of the picture. Also on the porch, you will see the family of Benjamin’s older brother, Ernst Koenig and his family. The house is likely the one in which Benjamin was raised.
Now we will turn our attention to Benjamin’s future wife, Anna Marie Brueckner. She was born on January 10, 1877, the daughter of Johann and Catherine (Hesse) Brueckner. She was the firstborn child in this family, and for some reason, Anna does not have a baptism record at any local churches. Anna’s parents were married at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, and the rest of Anna’s siblings were all baptized at that church. Why her baptism record is not in Salem’s church books is puzzling. Anna is found in the 1880 census at the age of 3.
On November 11, 1897, Benjamin Koenig married Anna Brueckner at Salem, Farrar. The church record for this wedding is shown below.
We can also view the marriage license for this couple.
According to our German Family Tree, this couple had 6 children, 5 of which lived to adulthood. The first of these was born before the 1900 census was taken. Benjamin and Anna were living in the household of Benjamin’s parents.
The 1915 atlas of plat maps for Perry County shows a piece of property belonging to B. Koenig just north of Farrar.
Three more Koenig children were born before the 1920 census. In that year’s entry, Anna’s mother was living in their household. Her father had died in 1901.
I was unable to find an entry for this family in the 1920 census, which would was the last one in which we would have found Anna. Benjamin’s father died in 1921, and his obituary states he was living with Benjamin when he died. Friedrich died the day before Benjamin’s 51st birthday.
Anna died in 1924 at the age of 47. I could find no Missouri death certificate for her. However, a death record for her can be found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest, Missouri. I am thinking that the Koenig family had moved to a different location closer to Point Rest after the 1910 census.
Benjamin is found in the 1930 census as a widower.
Benjamin died in 1952 at the age of 82. We can view his death certificate which, by the way, states that his birthday was on August 28, 1870.
Benjamin and Anna are both buried in the Trinity Lutheran, Point Rest, Cemetery. Benjamin’s gravestone also gives the August 28th birthday.
A previous blog post was published telling the story of one of Benjamin and Anna’s sons, Gotthilf Koenig. That post was titled, Koenig-Miesner — Gotthilf & Esther.
The Koenig and Brueckner surnames are quite prominent in this area’s past and present. When I see these two names together, I immediately think about them being Farrar names. And, indeed in this case, they were. I trust that the folks around here tied to these surnames will share this post with their friends and relatives. I know that’s what usually happens.