A Bull from Brazeau

A very isolated record in our German Family Tree is the starting point for today’s post. That record includes two individuals who are only found in our GFT one time. That is because each of these individuals were not Lutherans, nor were they ever Lutherans. The event that manages to sneak into the church records of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna was the marriage of David Bull and Nettie Gibson. This couple was married on December 16, 1880, making today their 140th wedding anniversary. The reason that a non-Lutheran couple was married at Concordia Lutheran Church can be found in the church record. It states that Brazeau Presbyterian Church was vacant, meaning that they were without a pastor at that time.

Even though I knew I would not have church records to include in telling this story, I jumped at the chance to write it. Brazeau Presbyterian Church has a very important place in the history of East Perry County, and in fact, folks from that congregaiton were instrumental in helping the German Lutherans survive during their early years in this area. Brazeau Presbyterian Church was established in 1819, 20 years before the Gesellschaft arrived on the scene. This Presbyterian church recently celebrated their bicentennial anniversary. Since I find most of my stories in the German Family Tree, it is not often that I get to tell stories that come out of this Presbyterian congregation.

I will begin by looking at the early life of the groom, David Anderson Bull, who was born on October 29, 1858. However, his gravestone says he was born in 1857. David was the son of William Anderson and Margaret (Luckey) Bull. The Bull and Luckey families were two of the early settlers that came from North Carolina to settle in Brazeau, Missouri at about the time when the church was established there. We do not have the church record for Brazeau Presbyterian Church, so I cannot display it. I am certain that David was baptized there. Here is a photo of the present day church used by that congregation which was dedicated in 1854.

Brazeau Presbyterian Church

David Bull can be found in his first census in 1860 at the age of 2. His family is found living in the Brazeau Township of Perry County. David’s father was a farmer.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Not long after the above census was taken, David’s father, William, served in the Northern Army during the Civil War. Let me point out that the folks living around Brazeau, having come from North Carolina, were not totally opposed to slavery like the German Lutherans were. We know of some young men from this area went to fight for the Confederates. Not so with William Bull, even though there is evidence that he, too, was a slave owner. Recently, the state of Missouri made the slave schedules available from Federal censuses. We can look at such schedules from the 1850 and 1860 censuses. In those two census records, we find William Bull owning one slave.

William Bull – 1850 slave schedule
William Bull – 1860 slave schedule

Here is the Civil War military record for William Bull.

William Bull – Civil War military record

After the Civil War, we find David Bull in the 1870 census at the age of 13. Please note that David had a brother named Crittenden. I will mention him later.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Sometime in the 1870’s, the Union Township of Perry County was formed, and it is in that township that we find the Bull household in the 1880 census. We have to look in the famous lost records from that township to find this family. It was also later during the year of this census that David got married.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

Now, we will turn our attention to the early years of David’s future wife, Nettie Gibson. Nettie was born on December 4, 1861, the daughter of William and Ann (Luttrell) Gibson. Information found on Ancestry.com indicate Nettie may have been born in Bollinger County, Missouri. Some discussion on the internet suggest that either William died or this couple got divorced. When the 1870 census was taken, we find Anna living with other folks in Perryville, Missouri.

1870 census – Perryville, MO

Anna Gibson married again in 1872. Her second husband was Robert Milster. We find Nettie in the Milster household in the 1880 census right before her marriage. This is another entry that is found in the once-lost Union Township records.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

That leads us up to the wedding that took place on this day back in 1880. David Bull married Nettie Gibson at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Perhaps it was just a case of the pastor from Concordia, Rev. Zanzow, performing the ceremony somewhere else. Here is the church record for this marriage.

Bull/Gibson marriage record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

The translation we have for the last column indicates that the Presbyterian church in Brazeau was vacant. I must admit that it makes me giggle that the record states that the two getting married were Amerikaners. We also can look at a civil record for this marriage.

Bull/Gibson marriage record – Perry County, MO

It appears that this couple had three children. Two of the children had been born before the 1900 census was taken.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

We find this couple in several more census records. Next, we see them in the one enumerated in 1910. Their daughter, Maud, had married Ernest Rhyne in 1907, so she is not found in the Bull household.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

When the 1915 plat maps were produced for Perry County, we find a few parcels of land belonging to D. A. Bull not far from Brazeau.

D.A. Bull land map – 1915

David Bull was a farmer throughout his life. We find the Bull family once again in the 1920 census.

1920 census – Union Township, MO

In 1925, the deadly Tri-State Tornado tore through East Perry County. One of the victims of that tornado was David’s brother, Crittenden. Below is his death certificate.

Crittenden Bull death certificate

The last census in which we find David Bull was the one taken in 1930.

1930 census – Union Township, MO

David Bull died in 1933 at the age of 75. His death certificate says he died of influenza.

David Bull death certificate

We can also view David’s obituary.

David Bull obituary

Nettie Bull can still be found in the 1940 census. Two of her unmarried children were still in her household.

1940 census – Union Township, MO

Nettie died in 1956 at the age of 95. Here is her death certificate.

Nettie Bull death certificate

David and Nettie Bull are buried in the Brazeau Presbyterian Cemetery.

David and Nettie Bull gravestone – Brazeau Presbyterian, Brazeau, MO

I enjoyed looking at the characters from Brazeau today. If I had some way of looking at the church records of Brazeau Presbyterian Church, perhaps I would do more stories from this group of Amerikaners who settled this area before we German Lutherans did.


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