Ernst Koenig is today’s birthday boy. His date of birth was January 2, 1868, so today would have been his 153rd birthday. His parents were Friedrich and Maria (Hecht) Koenig. His father had arrived in America in 1853 and then bought some farmland near Farrar, Missouri. After marrying Maria Hecht in 1861, Friedrich served in the Union Army during the Civil War. When Ernst was born in 1868, he was not the first Ernst Koenig born into this family. An Ernst Koenig was born in 1865, but he died right away. The parents chose to use the same name on their next baby born in 1868. Ernst was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar on Epiphany Day which was on a Monday that year. He may have been baptized as part of a special Epiphany Day worship service. His baptism record from that congregation is displayed below.
Ernst is found in the 1870 census at the age of 2. His father was a farmer.
Next, we find Ernst in the 1880 census living in the Salem Township. He was then 12 years of age. A previous post has been written about Ernst’s younger brother, Benjamin. That article was titled, B.J. and Anna – A Koenig/Brueckner Pair.
Now, we will focus on the early life of Ernst’s future bride, Martha Magdalena Roth. Magdalena was born on March 3, 1871, the daughter of Christian and Magdalena (Landgraf) Roth. She was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Here is her baptism record.
Magdalena’s family lived in the Union Township, and we have to look in the once-lost 1880 census records to find the Roth’s. It just so happens that the Roth family is the very first family listed in that group of census pages. Magdalena was 9 years old at the time. This is the only census entry in which we find her as a single person.
I am assuming that the photo shown below is Magdalena’s confirmation picture.
Ernst Koenig married Magdalena Roth on May 22, 1896 at Concordia, Frohna. We can first look at a civil record of their marriage license.
We can also view the church record for this couple’s wedding.
I do not have a wedding photo for this couple, but I have individual photos that may have been taken at about this time in Ernst and Magdalena’s lives.
Our German Family Tree lists 9 children born to this couple, but not all of them lived to adulthood. When the 1900 census was taken, we see this household with 2 children.
Next, we find the Koenig family in the 1910 census. Ernst’s parents were living with them.
It wasn’t long after the above census that the photograph shown below was taken. The youngest child, Alma, was born in February of 1913, and she is seen being held on her mother’s lap as a youngster. I love the dog photo-bombing on the right.
Here is an enlarged portion of this photo showing the people on the porch.
The Perry County plat maps produced in 1915 show a parcel of land owned by Ernst Koenig near Schalls.
When the 1920 census rolled around, we find this Koenig household.
We get a little taste of Ernst and Magdalena’s farm activities as we view these two photos.
The 1930 census still shows a considerably large family. A daughter, Clara, had married Claus Steffens, and that family was living with Ernst and Magdalena.
In 1936, this couple celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and they had some photographs taken.
The next one shows Ernst and Magdalena with their grandchildren when they gathered for that event.
The last census we can view for the Koenig’s is the one taken in 1940. This time, their son, Alfred, and his family were in the household.
I think the photo below was taken on the occasion of this couple’s 50th wedding anniversary in 1946.
Here is another photo with just Ernst and Magdalena.
Magdalena Koenig died in 1947 at the age of 75. Below is her death certificate.
Ernst Koenig died in 1954 at the age of 86. We can also view his death certificate.
Ernst and Magdalena Koenig are each buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar, Missouri.
Many of the photos used in this post came from a family binder we have in our research library that focuses its attention on this Ernst Koenig family. If you have connections to this family, you really ought to visit our museum someday to look at it.
In that family binder, you can find this description of Ernst and Magdalena’s family legacy.
There are still plenty of descendants around here who come from this Koenig/Roth couple. The ones I know are the kind of folks who regularly gather with their families to carry forth their traditions. They continue to be a fun-loving and faithful group of people.
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