Today and tomorrow, you will be treated to posts authored by Fred Eggers. I sometimes refer to my style of research as “drive-by” genealogy. That is not what Fred does. When Fred digs into a story, it takes him time. He digs so much deeper than I ever do. He finds documents in places that I don’t even know where to find. He gets on a mission and does not quit till he exhausts every source he knows. I think you are going to enjoy Fred’s efforts to tell the story of a teacher who once had his classroom in this area many years ago.
David Edwin Könemann was born on December 11, 1880 which would make today his one hundred fortieth birthday. His baptism on March 26, 1883, is documented in the church records of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Many of the later records give the year of his birth as 1881 so this may be either an error in the church record or in later family records.
This record shows that he was the adopted son of Lehrer (Teacher) Dietrich Könemann. He was baptized by Pastor W. G. Polack who served at the Paitzdorf congregation (now, Grace, Uniontown) from 1880 to 1886 and also Salem from 1880 to 1883. The sponsors included my Grandfather, Heinrich Eggers, and Hermann Mangels, Clara Newberry, and Mathilde Lorenz, who all lived only a short distance from the Salem church.
In the past this was the only record that I had found for David Edwin and I had assumed that he had likely died at a young age. This all changed in September of this year when the Museum received an email from a woman that was trying to track down the original family of her Great Grandfather, who her family knew as Edward D. Kennamann. She had a lot of questions about Teacher Könemann and his family and this led me to a renewed search to learn more about this family and its travels. Part of the problem is that the surname is given at various times as Könemann, Konemann, Koenmann, Kinnamann, Kennemann, Kennamann, and likely some other variations. To make it easier on myself, I will use Konemann (without the umlaut) in this blog until I get to the later records for David Edwin or Edward D. Konemann.
First I will study the life and journeys of Teacher Diedrich Konemann and later discuss what I was able to find on his adopted son. I have found what appears to be his baptism record in the records of the church in Lesum, Hanover, Germany giving his birth date as March 5, 1838 and his baptism date as March 11, 1838. Lesum is shown in Kreis (District) Blumenthal, which is now the northernmost section of the city-state of Bremen.
The next record that I have for Teacher Konemann is a list of the 1864 graduates of the Lutheran Proseminary in Steeden.
This list was found in the Winter 1957 edition of the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly. This is the introduction to the article which included the list that gives a brief description of the proseminary.
The August 1864 edition of Der Lutheraner included a three page report from Pastor Brunn that reported on his graduates that departed Bremen in July to attend the St. Louis Seminary and the Teachers Seminary in Fort Wayne. On the second page he remarks on the large number of “Sendlinge” that are traveling to America. “Sendlinge” is usually interpreted as sendlings which is what these men sent from Germany to the Lutheran Church in America were commonly called.
The passenger list of the Ship Stella which arrived in New York on August 17, 1864 includes the names of 17 men, who all have “Teacher” recorded as their occupation, including “Heinrich” Konemann, age 26. The transcription on Ancestry.com reports this name as “Heinrich Krishenmann” but I am fairly certain that this was Diedrich Konemann since 14 of the 17 passengers can be matched to the 1864 Steeden graduates list.
Konemann’s stay in Fort Wayne would have been quite short because the Teachers Seminary was moved to Addison, Illinois in the fall of 1864. He is found in the list of graduates of that school from 1864 to 1869 in the 1869 edition of the Lutherisches Schulblatt (Lutheran School Journal) with an asterisk by his name indicating that he was a “Sendlinge”. Many of the graduates had a location listed but the question mark for him probably means that the writer did not know where he was teaching.
Following his graduation from Addison, Konemann taught at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Antonia in Jefferson County, Missouri. The congregation’s website states, “Through the years, many things have changed, including the area’s names — Antonia, then Glaise Creek, Head’s Creek, Otto, and now Imperial.” I believe I have read that the location of the church has been unchanged since 1856. Apparently, he was the only teacher that served at that congregation based on this record in the book The Heart of Missouri.
On December 9, 1867 Dietrich Konemann was married to Louise Biester in Jefferson County, Missouri by Pastor C. R. Riedel who served at St. Paul’s from 1865 to 1870. This is a copy of the civil marriage record. She was likely born in St. Louis because she appears there in the 1850 census with her parents.
The person that made the inquiry stated that another researcher had mentioned that Pastor C. R. Riedel had served in Altenburg and then asked where he had served. Pastor Charles Richard Riedel from Schwartzburg-Rudolstadt attended the Practical Seminary in Fort Wayne from 1850 to 1853 and served at Oswego, Kendall County, Illinois and in Washington County, Illinois before becoming Pastor at St. Paul’s, Antonia and Zion, Jarvis or Sandy Creek (now Hillsboro) about 10 miles away in 1865. He later served congregations in Iowa. There was a Pastor Erhardt Riedel from Franconia, who graduated from the Fort Wayne Seminary in 1850 that served at the Dissen (now, Trinity, Friedheim) Congregation in Cape Girardeau County from 1854 to 1859 and at Trinity, Cape Girardeau from 1859 to 1868. He was married to Caroline Theresie Gruber, a daughter of Pastor Karl Friedrich Gruber of the Paitzdorf Congregation, and served the Paitzdorf congregation in addition to Dissen for some time following his father in law’s resignation. Based on where they originated in Germany, it is unlikely that the two Riedels were related.
We next find Dietrich and his wife Louise in the 1870 census for Rock Township in Jefferson County, Missouri listed immediately before his wife’s parents, Henry Conrad and Louisa Biester. Note that both of the surnames are not spelled correctly.
On November 25, 1870 their first daughter Anna Wilhelmine Karoline Henrietta Konemann was born. We do not have a record of her birth and baptism, which was almost certainly in Jefferson County, but we do have two records of her confirmation In May 1883, which give her date of birth. Before Salem had its own resident Pastor in 1883, the children were confirmed at other area congregations including Frankenberg, Paitzdorf, and Frohna. Some people make the error of using the confirmation location as the place of birth. In the Salem confirmation records these locations are entered in the column headed “Confirmations tag und Amt” which translates to Confirmation Date and Place. The Paitzdorf record for Anna does not indicate that she was from Salem. Warren Schmidt posted a blog on November 25, 2017 on her life entitled “Going Down the Side Roads”.
In 1872 Konemann accepted a call to teach at Salem Lutheran School in Perry County, Missouri, where he would serve until 1888. Like many other congregations of that time the church building also served as a school. This is a photo of the original church and school building which was dedicated in 1860.
When he arrived at Salem, Pastor William Adolph Bergt of the Paitzdorf Congregation was serving the small parish which was founded in 1859. The history of the Paitzdorf (Grace, Uniontown) congregation published in 1939 as part of the 100th anniversary of the Saxon Immigration tells us that “It was very likely at Bergt’s time that Uniontown and Salem had a teacher in common. Teacher Weck changed off teaching one week in Uniontown and the next in Salem and so on.” Koeneman followed Weck as the teacher at Salem so he would likely taught at Uniontown in its first school building.
In 1878 Uniontown had a teacher of their own and in 1883 Salem called its first resident Pastor, Heinrich Georg Albrecht. However, by that time, the Salem congregation had grown significantly after many new immigrants from the areas of Lamstedt and Scheeßel in northern Germany settled around Salem beginning in 1866. Based on the size of the confirmation classes from that period, it appears that when Konemann first came to Salem he would have had less than 15 students in the six grades, but would have had from thirty to nearly fifty in his later years at Salem. The 75th anniversary history of Salem published in 1934 tells us that since Pastor Albrecht was sickly, Teacher Konemann also served as director, leader, song leader (“Vorsarnger”), etc. for the church services. The 1959 centennial history says that “advanced age and an ever increasing burden of responsibilities moved him to recommend that his charge be placed into the hands of a younger, stronger person”.
One thing that I found unique concerning Teacher Konemann, was that he owned his own home and property for much of the time that he served at Salem. In 1874 he purchased 40 acres along what is now Highway U a little over 2 miles west of the Salem church (1 on the land plat). He sold that property in 1875 and purchased 40 acres a short distance north of the church and added another 40 adjoining acres in 1881. He sold those 80 acres (2) to Henry Luehrs in 1884. The Salem church property from its founding until 1882 consisted of only two acres where its original cemetery is now located. In 1882 the congregation purchased 13.67 acres from my Great Grandfather Hermann Eggers that makes up the majority of what is now the congregation grounds (3). It is likely that Salem constructed its first teacherage soon after that and Konemann lived in that house in his last years there. The church histories do not give a date that it was built, only in 1934 it was stated that in 1919 the old log part of the teacherage was torn away and an addition was added to the south and a basement was put underneath.
Now, back to Dietrich Konemann’s family history. On March 24, 1873 his second daughter, Christiana Therese Louise, was born. We have her birth and baptism record and her confirmation record in 1887 from the Salem church records. Once again, all of her sponsors lived only a short distance from the church.
In the 1876 Missouri State Census we find the Konemann family in Salem Township of Perry County, Missouri. The township had only been established in 1872 and named after the congregation and settlement there.
The next record is for the death on October 10, 1879 and burial of Gustav Konemann. Since we do not have a baptism record it is likely that he was stillborn.
The family again appears in the 1880 Census in Salem Township. At this time Teacher Konemann’s father in law, Henry Biester, was living with the family. He died on November 29, 1887 and is buried in the Salem cemetery.
The next event in the lives of the Konemann family was the baptism of their adopted son in 1883 which was discussed in the opening of this blog. Another question that was raised by the inquiry that we received was whether Dietrich’s wife Louise was still living when the family left Salem, because there does not appear to be any further records anywhere to be found. I was able to find her in the 1888 communicant records of Salem on several occasions, including the fourth Sunday after Trinity on April 27. Also, she is not in the burial records for Salem which appear to be very complete after the arrival of Pastor Albrecht, so I believe that she was still living when the family left Salem.
Here is an image of the communicant record for Dietrich and Frau (Wife) Konemann for “Grünen Donnerstag” or Green Thursday, which we now know as Maundy or Holy Thursday. I did not previously know of this German name for that day.
This is where the history of Diedrich Konemann ends in Perry County, Missouri. Tomorrow I will be following his journey to Nebraska, Colorado, and Oregon and also write about what I could find on his adopted son.