First Baptism in New Church

Our story for today has its beginnings outside of East Perry County and never does get to East Perry County, but the tale certainly has connections here. It involves a couple that would be celebrating their 126th wedding anniversary if they were still alive today. If you want some background on this story, especially for the information that connects this story to East Perry County, you can read the post, A Budding Romance Behind the Barn.

Rev. Franz Julius Biltz had started his ministerial career at Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim. He then spent some time as pastor in Cumberland, Maryland. In 1860, as the Civil War was about to begin, he took a call to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Freedom Township in Lafayette County, Missouri. After getting there and also becoming a postmaster, Rev. Biltz named their little community, Concordia, after the seminary he had attended in Altenburg.

It seems that St. Paul’s either was building or had just finished building a new church when Pastor Biltz and his family arrived in Missouri in 1860. I think it also likely that Rev. Biltz’s wife, Marie (von Wurmb), was pregnant when they traveled to Missouri. On July 22, 1860, Julius Friedrich Biltz was born. He was baptized on August 12th of that year, and the church records state that his baptism was the first one to take place in their new church.

Julius Biltz baptism record – St. Paul’s, Concordia, MO

Here is an early photograph of that church which was used until 1905 by that congregation. I think it looks a lot like Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg which was built in 1867.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Concordia, MO

Not long after his birth, Rev. Biltz was kidnapped by Confederate bushwhackers and almost lost his life. However, his life was spared, and he went on to a long and celebrated ministry at that church. The child, Julius, is found in his first census in 1870 at the age of 9.

1870 census – Freedom Township, MO

There was another Biltz brother, Theodore Biltz, who had gone off to Concordia Seminary to study for the ministry. When the 1880 census was taken, we find Julius living with his brother, who was a pastor in Morris, Illinois. Julius was working in a furniture factory.

1880 census – Morris, IL

Theodore Biltz married Christiane Fritze later during 1880. Then, a tragic story took place. In January of 1881, while Theodore was making a call on one of his parishoners, he fell off his horse and died. His wife would escort her husband’s body back to Concordia, Missouri where he was buried. Sometime after his death, Christiane discovered she was pregnant, and a daughter named Theodora (no doubt named after her father) was born in August of 1881 and baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Concordia.

I am thinking that Julius also followed his brother’s body back to Concordia either at this time or shortly thereafter. We find Julius getting married to a girl from Concordia in 1894. Her name was Paulina Frerking.

Paulina Frerking was born on November 13, 1868, the daughter of Adolph and Anna Marie (Baumeister) Frerking. We find Paulina in her first census in 1870 at the age of 1. Her father was a farmer.

1870 census – Freedom Township, MO

Next, we find Paulina in the 1880 census at the age of 11.

1880 census – Freedom Township, MO

Here are some rather early photos of Julius and Paulina.

On September 16, 1894, Julius Biltz married Paulina Frerking at St. Paul’s, Concordia. The marriage ceremony was performed by Julius’s father, Rev. F.J. Biltz. I found two different marriage licenses for this couple. First, here is the standard form I usually display on this blog.

Biltz/Frerking marriage license

Here is another, more decorative, license for this couple.

Biltz/Frerking marriage license


This couple must have moved to Kansas shortly after this marriage. In an 1895 Kansas state census, we find this couple living in Ludell, Kansas.

1895 Kansas state census – Ludell, KS

There is some evidence that Julius Biltz was involved in the governance of St. John’s Lutheran College in Winfield, Kansas. That school was established in 1893. I am guessing that the photograph below might have been taken at about this time. The photo was taken in Winfield.

Julius Biltz

The 1900 Federal census also shows this couple living in the same township. This entry says Julius was a general merchant.

1900 census – Ludell, KS

Another Kansas state census was taken in 1905. The Biltz family was still in the same location. You can see that their household is filling up with females.

1905 Kansas state census – Ludell, KS

The 1910 census shows that the only son born into this family showed up in 1909. This time, Julius is described as being a banker.

1910 census – Ludell, KS

Julius Biltz died in 1919 at the age of 59. Even though he died in Kansas, he was buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Concordia, Missouri. There is a Biltz family plot in that cemetery.

When the 1920 census was taken, we find Paulina with the Biltz family living in Manhattan, Kansas. I know I have read that one of the children in this Biltz family was deaf. I am not sure which child it was. I know that a friend of our museum, Nancy Abbott, who is a descendant from this family would be able to tell us which child it was. Nancy herself has been and might still be an instructor at a school for the deaf. I am thinking that this move to Manhattan may have been made in order to get close to a school for their deaf child.

1920 census – Manhattan, KS

The Biltz family was still in Manhattan when the Kansas state census was taken in 1925.

1925 Kansas state census – Manhattan, KS

The Biltz family moved to Rochester, Minnesota, where there was a school for the deaf before the 1930 census was taken.

1930 census – Rochester, MN

A 1933 city directory for Rochester, Minnesota displays several members of this Biltz family.

Biltz names – 1933 Rochester city directory

It was during that year, 1933, that Paulina Biltz died at the age of 64. She is said to also be buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Concordia, Missouri, but there is no photo of a gravestone for her on Findagrave.

Although Julius did not follow in his father or his brother’s footsteps to become a Lutheran pastor, there is evidence that he was actively involved in his own way in the establishment and operation of a Lutheran college in Kansas.

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Thanks to Scott Borchardt, who lives in Concordia, I can now display a photo of Paulina Biltz’s gravestone.

Paulina Biltz gravestone – St. Paul’s, Concordia, MO


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