The Richter/Dambach’s from Arnsberg

I found another story that sent me into the binder we have in our research library that describes the history of a Lutheran church that once existed in Arnsberg.

Arnsberg binder

Today’s story begins with a girl being born 170 years ago. Maria Richter was born on September 28, 1850. She was the daughter of Henry and Katharina (Fischbach) Richter. The church in Arnsberg had not yet been started, so we know Maria was not baptized there. There was a relatively new Lutheran church down the road in Friedheim, and their pastor was one of the first graduates of Concordia Seminary in Altenburg, Rev. Franz Julius Biltz. However, I was unable to find a baptism record for Maria in the church records from that congregation.

When Maria was about 6 years old, her father, who was a stone mason, was involved in building the new church building for Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim. It is a church building that is still used to this day, and I think you would agree that it has very unique and diverse stone walls.

Trinity Lutheran Church – Friedheim, MO

An article has been written describing some of the accomplishments of Maria’s father.

Henry Richter biography

At about the same time as this church was being constructed, Maria’s mother must have died. I could not find a death date or record, but we do know that in early 1857, Henry Richter married again, and his second wife was Mary Ludwig. On a list of early marriages in the Arnsberg area, we see both of the Henry Richter marriages. Quite a few of those early marriages in the Arnsberg area were conducted by justices of the peace.

Henry Richter marriage records

The first census in which I found Maria was the one taken in 1860 in Apple Creek Township of Cape Girardeau County. Maria was 10 years old, and her step-mother is shown with the same name, Mary.

1860 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Next, we will turn our attention to Maria’s future husband, Jacob Dambach. He was actually a Jacob, Jr. because he was the son of Jacob and Magdalena (Pope) Dambach. Jacob, Jr. was born on September 20, 1846, and I also do not know where he was baptized. There is some evidence on Ancestry.com that the Dambach family was living in Oak Ridge when Jacob was born in 1846. His parents are buried in a cemetery near Oak Ridge called the Erly-Dumbach Cemetery. I was not able to find Jacob in the 1850 census, but I did find him in the 1860 census living in the Apple Creek Township. Jacob was 14 years old.

1860 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Jacob Dambach served in the military during the Civil War as a teenager. Here is an image of his military record.

Jacob Dambach – Civil War military record

On August 24, 1869, Jacob Dambach married Maria Richter. Like so many others in the Arnsberg area, they were married by a justice of the peace. A document can be found on Ancestry.com showing the civil marriage record for this couple, but it is so hard to read that I could not even pick out the right record from other records on the same page. This couple is included in the same list shown earlier of Arnsberg area marriages.

Dambach/Richter marriage record – Arnsberg binder

Not long after their wedding, we find this couple in the 1870 census.

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

According to a page found in the Arnsberg binder about this Jacob Dambach family, this couple had 7 children.

Jacob Dambach family information – Arnsberg binder

When the 1880 census rolls around, we find this Dambach household.

1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

An Ancestry.com entry says Jacob was a saloon owner in 1881, but I found no documentation for that. The next census we can view for this family was the one taken in 1900.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The last census in which we find Jacob and Maria was the one taken in 1910. Their surname was spelled Tambach, and the edge of the page is rather damaged with age.

1910 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Maria Dambach died in 1918 at the age of 67. Her death certificate says she died of acute gastritis.

Maria Dambach death certificate

Jacob Dambach died a year later in 1919 at the age of 72. Here is his death certificate.

Jacob Dambach death certificate

Jacob and Maria Dambach are buried together in the Arnsberg Cemetery.

Jacob and Maria Dambach gravestone – Arnsberg Cemetery, MO

In the early years of the Arnsberg/Friedheim area, Rev. Carl Gruber, the pastor of the Lutheran church in Uniontown, traveled this vicinity to do some preaching and some baptizing and marrying. Perhaps he ran into the Dambach and Richter families.


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