I have already written two posts about men named Robert Fiehler. The one that is most remembered by local residents is Gerard Fiehler’s dad. The post telling his story was titled, Born on Mom and Dad’s Anniversary. Another Robert Fiehler originated here in Perry County but ended up living in Potter, Nebraska. The post about him was titled, Not the One You May Be Thinking, But….. You will be reading the story of yet another Robert Fiehler today, and I will call him the first Robert Fiehler. Even this Robert Fiehler was included in one of my early, very short blog posts that told of this Robert Fiehler and his other brothers who all had the first name of Johann. That post was called A Handful of Johanns.
I did not choose this story because it was Robert Fiehler’s birthday. I chose it because it would be his wife’s birthday. I will start with Robert. Johann Robert Fiehler was born on December 3, 1841, the son of Johann Gottlob and Justine Ernestine (Bock) Fiehler. The Fiehler family was part of the Gesellschaft and came to America aboard the Copernicus. We see not only the Fiehler’s, but the Michael Bock on this passenger list was Justine’s brother.
Robert was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. Here is an image of his baptism record. I have to display it in two images.
Although he went by the name Robert most of the time, he is called John R. in the 1850 census. He was 9 years old and his father was a blacksmith.
Next, we find Robert in the 1860 census when Robert was in his teens and working on his father’s farm. This requires two images.
When the Civil War broke out, Robert went to serve in the Union Army. In fact, we find evidence that Robert’s brothers, Benjamin and Traugott, also joined the military. Below we see two images of Robert’s Civil War service, the first as part of the 64th Regiment E.M.M, and the second for the 8th Regiment Provisional E.M.M.
Later, we see that his wife would receive a pension after his death which also documents his service.
Now, we must turn our attention to Robert’s bride, also today’s birthday girl, Johanna Marie Magdalene Naumann. She was born on April 1, 1845, the daughter of Traugott and Christiana (Miehsler) Naumann. Both of Magdalene’s parents were original immigrants, Traugott coming to America aboard the Johann Georg, and Christiana coming aboard the Republik. Below is Traugott’s name on the Johann Georg passenger list.
For some reason, the Zion on the Mississippi list of members says that Christiana Miehsler was a passenger on the Republik, but I could not find her on the passenger list for that ship.
Magdalene Naumann was the second child born to Traugott and Christiana after they were married in 1841. All 9 children in this family were baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Below is Magdalene’s baptism record.
Magdalene is found in the 1850 census at the age of 5. Her father was a farmer.
Next, we find Magdalene as a teenager in the 1860 census.
On December 7, 1865, Robert Fiehler married Magdalene Naumann, almost certainly at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. A marriage record for this couple is not found in the books of that congregation. There was a span of about 10 years when no marriage records are found. It is another example of a “Koestering Hole”, this time in the Concordia books. We can view a civil record for this marriage, but Robert is called Phillip for some unknown reason.
The German Family Tree says there were 5 children born to this couple. When the 1870 census was taken, we find them living near Frohna and with their first 2 children. A young man named Henry Mahnke was also in their household. Robert was a farmer.
I suppose you could say that this couple could have had more children, but Robert died in 1877 at the age of 35. That left Magdalene as a widow with several small children. We find her household in the 1880 census.
This must have been a difficult time for this widow to raise her children. Yet, we know that their oldest son, Joseph, was also able to attend Concordia Seminary in order to become a Lutheran pastor shortly after this census was taken. It would not be until 1900 before we can take a look at another census. By that time, we see this Fiehler household. Only the youngest daughter, Lina, was living with Magdalene, but her son Charles and his family are listed right next to them in this census record.
We find Magdalene again in the 1910 census. She is called the head of her household which only contains her name. Yet, we once again find her listed next to the Charles Fiehler family which has gotten larger. You will see another Robert Fiehler in Charles’s family. That was the Robert Fiehler that ended up in Potter, Nebraska.
The last census in which we find Magdalene was the one taken in 1920. This time, she was considered part of Charles’s household.
Magdalene Fiehler died in 1929 at the age of 84. We can take a look at her death certificate.
Robert and Magdalene Fiehler are each buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna. Magdalene outlived her husband by over 50 years, so the two gravestones are drastically different in style. You can see also that one is entirely in German and the other in English, indicating another change in the culture that had taken place during this 50 year period.
Another Fiehler child will be baptized this weekend at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, but, no, that child is not another Robert Fiehler, although it would have been a great grandchild of one of the Robert’s.