The Original Members of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society

Whenever the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society welcomes new members to its organization, the old book shown below is brought out so that they can add their names to the historical list of people who have been members of that organization over the years.

Constitution and Membership book – Perry County Lutheran Historical Society

If you open this book to the beginning, you will find a handwritten copy of the constitution of this organization. The Perry County Lutheran Historical Society was established in 1910. The constitution is written in German. Here is an image showing the beginning of that constitiution.

Constitution of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society

I find it interesting that the official name of that organization when it was first established was Perry County Historischen Gesellschaft. The term Gesellschaft means some sort of society. When the German Lutherans traveled to America in 1839, they called their immigration society a Gesellschaft. We use this term at the museum right now to describe our annual giving program. Another word that is missing from the original name of this organization is Lutheran. Nowadays, there is another local organization known as the Perry County Historical Society, so it is important for us to have included the word Lutheran in the organization’s name, Perry County Lutheran Historical Society.

When the Perry County Historischen Gesellschaft was established in 1910, its main mission was to preserve the Log Cabin College. That structure, which was built in 1839, had been used as a school for several years, but then over the years, after it was no longer used for that purpose, began to fall into disrepair. There were concerns that it would not survive. There were people around at the time that did not want that to happen.

As it turns out, two years after the society was formed, the Log Cabin College was moved to its present location after putting some extra beams of support on it, then placing the building on four rollers and pulling it using two draft horses to the park across from Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg where it has stood since 1912. The photo below shows the cabin being moved in 1912.

Log Cabin College being moved in 1912

It must have been about this time that Rev. G.H. Hilmer painted this picture of the Log Cabin College sitting in its new location.

Rev. Hilmer Log Cabin College painting

It was not long after its move to the park near the church that plans were designed to place the College under a pavilion structure to help preserve this building into the future. We have this postcard that illustrates one of the original plans for that pavilion.

Log Cabin College pavilion plan

The pavilion was built in 1915. It looked very similar to the above illustration, but some changes were made in its design.

Let’s return to the Constitution and Membership book. Below is an image of the first page showing the first signers of the constitution for this organization. I am going to take some time to describe the people on this list. I know that I have written blog posts about most of the people you see here. I will give links to those stories. Also, if I have photos of the people on the list, I will display them so you can get an idea of what they looked like. Here is an image showing the list of the first members of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society.

First page of Perry County Lutheran Historical Society members
  1. The first name on this membership list is that of Joseph G. Weinhold. Joseph was the proprietor of the flour mill located in Wittenberg, Missouri. He was a rather prominent member of the community, having been an elected state representative, a judge, as well as the chairman of the town board in Wittenberg. Several posts have shown up on this blog that have told about Joseph Weinhold. One them was the post titled, Surrounded by Good Lookin’ Women. Below is a photo of Joseph Weinhold.
Joseph Weinhold

I have reason to believe that Joseph’s location at the top of the membership list may indicate that he was the first president of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society.

2. Next, we find the name of Peter Lohmann. A blog post written about Peter Lohmann was titled, Lohmann – The Altenburg Cobbler.

The photo below shows Peter Lohmann.

Peter Lohmann

3. C.G. Mueller is the third name on the membership list. Christian Mueller was another miller in the area. His roller mill was located on the east end of Altenburg. A blog post written about his life was titled, Mueller Millers. Below is a photo of C.G. Mueller.

C.G. Mueller

4. Next, we find the name of F.E. Goehring. He was the proprietor of a general store located on the west end of Frohna. A story about his life was titled, F.E. Goehring & Son Store. F.E. Goehring is likely found in this photo below showing his store.

F.E. Goehring Store

5. The next name on the list was that of Joseph H. Schlimpert. I apparently have not told his story yet on this blog. A quick look shows that Joseph was a 44 year-old single farmer in 1910 at about the time he signed this membership list. I also was not able to find a photograph of Joseph Schlimpert.

6. Albert Hellmuth is next on the above list. He is another local character that has yet to have his story told. I guess you could say that his claim to fame was that he married a daughter of Rev. Roesner, who had been the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg toward the end of the 1800’s.

7. Gottlob Grebing is the next name on the list. Gottlob’s story was told in the post titled, Saddle Shop Still Standing. Below is a photo of Gottlob standing in front of the saddle shop that he operated.

Gottlob Grebing Harness Shop

8. Gottfried P. Noennig is the next person on the membership list. A story about his life was told on this blog titled, Apples and Appliances. A photo of Gottfried and his wife, Emma, is displayed below.

Gottfried and Emma Noennig

9. Julius Kuehnert is next on the list. A post titled, Kuehnert & Schmidt, was written about him. Julius’s family is shown in the photo below.

Julius Kuehnert family

10. Next, we find the name of M.D. Miesner. A blog post that included Martin Dietrich Miesner was titled, Silent Partner. Martin was involved in operating the Miesner Lumber Company in Altenburg. Here is a photo of that business.

Miesner Lumber Company

11. The last name on the first page of the membership list was that of C.G. Seibel. A story about Christian Gotthold Seibel was told in the post, Your Pastor for a Father-in-Law. A photo of C.G. Seibel is shown below.

Christian Gotthold Seibel

We can point back to this group of men who felt it was an important mission to preserve the Log Cabin College for the future. The building still stands. People who visit our museum can still be taken to the college for a tour. About a year ago, a new roof was put on the pavilion. The new roof is made of a material that is not flammable. One of the purposes of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society is still to preserve this building, but we have expanded our purpose to running a museum which includes as magnificent family research library.

I now have the privilege of being the current president of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society. I’m sure there will come a time when I will pass the baton of leadership on to someone else. We pray that we have a successful future in telling the story of the Gesellschaft that took place back in 1839.

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I am just going to take a moment to encourage you to become a participant in our annual giving program that we call the Gesellschaft. Our historical society relies heavily on donors to contribute to our mission. If you click on the link below, it will take you to a page on our website on which you can make donations to our cause.

https://lutheranmuseum.com/support-pclhs/

Also, I will remind our readers who might have investments in Thrivent Financial that it is the time to direct what they call “Choice Dollars”. Perhaps you could direct some of your Choice Dollars to our museum. I know we would appreciate it very much.


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