Matchmaking at a Wedding

Before I proceed on to today’s tale, I want to tell you a big reason why I am writing this story today. Back in the early days of doing research for my books, Wittenberg ’03 and Wittenberg ’04, I ran across a church record with some interesting information. First of all, let me state that one of the key events taking place in those books is the romance and wedding of the Wittenberg couple made up of Otto Lueders and Lydia Weinhold. Their marriage record, which is the very first marriage to be included in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church books, is shown below.

Lueders/Weinhold marriage record – St. Paul’s, Wittenberg, MO

I don’t know exactly when I noticed it, but the witnesses for this wedding make up an interesting list. I have enlarged it in the image below. As it turns out, the two pairs of individuals that I have indicated with red boxes would later become husband and wife.

This situation caused me to include a few new story lines in the upcoming Wittenberg ’04 book which tell of some budding romances that resulted from Otto and Lydia’s wedding in 1904. I cannot help but think that their being involved in this wedding may have been the event that sparked a romantic interest among the participants in that wedding party.

That leads me to today’s tale. I must first confess that it is not often that I base a story on a baptism date, but that is the case for this post. The reason for me to do so is the fact that a baptism date leads to a wedding that took place in 1915 that just might explain how yesterday’s couple, Arthur Koch and Dora Grossheider, may have first gotten to know one another, leading to their own wedding a year later.

Bertha Ida Koch was born on November 30, 1888, the daughter of Jacob and Mina (Hellwege) Koch. That makes her the older sister of yesterday’s character, Arthur Koch, who was the next-born child in that family when he was born in 1890. Bertha was baptized on today’s date, December 8, 1888, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Here is Bertha’s baptism record.

Bertha Koch baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Since she was part of the same Koch family from yesterday’s post, I will be re-displaying a census record that was included in that post. Here is the 1900 census for Apple Creek Township showing Bertha at the age of 11. It spilled over two census pages.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

When the 1910 census was taken, Arthur was living in the Hellwege household in Brazeau Township, but Bertha was still living in her parents’ household at the age of 20.

1910 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Bertha’s husband was going to be Martin Grossheider. Yesterday’s character, Dora Grossheider, was not Martin’s sister, but she was his cousin. Martin was born on May 7, 1890, the son of Friedrich (Fritz) and Emma (Luecke) Grossheider. Here is a photograph of Martin’s parents.

Friedrich and Emma Grossheider

Yesterday, I showed a photo of Dora Grossheider’s father, Henry, at a rather young age. There is also such a photo of a young Friedrich. Here are those photos of these brothers side-by-side.

Martin Grossheider’s baptism record is not included in our German Family Tree. That is because we do not have the baptism records of Zion Lutheran Church in Gordonville. That church is shown below.

A Zion, Gordonville binder we have in our research library shows a list of 1890 baptisms that includes Martin.

1890 baptisms – Zion, Gordonville, MO

Martin is found at the age of 10 in the 1900 census for Hubble Township, which is where Gordonville is found. Martin was the oldest child in his family.

1900 census – Hubble Township, MO

Next, we find Martin in the 1910 census. He was still living with his parents.

1910 census – Hubble Township, MO

I do not know how a young man from Zion, Gordonville and a young girl from Immanuel, New Wells got together, but we know they did. Martin Grossheider married Bertha Koch on January 24, 1915 in New Wells. We can take a look at this couple’s marriage license.

Grossheider/Koch marriage license

Here is the church record for this marriage from the Immanuel, New Wells books.

Grossheider/Koch marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The list of witnesses for this wedding are shown in an enlarged image below.

Grossheider/Koch marriage witnesses

As mentioned earlier, Arthur Koch would marry Dora Grossheider a year after this wedding took place. I found this photo of Martin and Bertha’s wedding.

The next document we can view is the World War I draft registration for Martin.

Martin Grossheider – WWI draft registration

Martin and Bertha would have 3 children. Two of them can be seen in the census taken in 1920.

1920 census – Hubble Township, MO

By the time of the 1930 census, all three of their children had been born.

1930 census – Hubble Township, MO

The last census which we can view is the one that was taken in 1940.

1940 census – Hubble Township, MO

A photograph was taken of the Martin and Bertha Grossheider family.

Bertha Grossheider died in 1959 at the age of 70. Her death certificate is displayed below.

Bertha Grossheider death certificate

We can also see the obituary from a local newspaper.

Bertha Grossheider obituary

Martin Grossheider died in 1974 at the age of 84. He died too recently for us to view his death certificate, but we can view his obituary.

Martin Grossheider obituary

Martin and Bertha are each buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Gordonville.

I have no way of telling whether the Martin Grossheider/Bertha Koch wedding was the matchmaking event that I have in my imagination. However, I think it is indeed possible. I know I am enjoying composing some budding romances in the book I am working on.

In the process of researching this story today, I ran across the wedding photo for yesterday’s couple, Arthur and Dora Koch.


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