A few of today’s characters arrived in America about a year before the Stephanites arrived in 1839. Two of the family names that were part of what we call the “St. Louis Additions” were Holschen and Grother. The arrival of Johann Holschen and Margaretha Grother present us with a mystery right away in this post. The question is, “Did this couple get married in Germany or in America?” First, let’s take a look at a passenger list from the ship, Sophie, that arrived in America in November of 1837. It shows a Grother family that includes a woman by the name of Margaret, but it also shows the name, John Holschen. It appears that they were all traveling together. John and Margaret were both in their 20’s, and the whole group had an intended destination of St. Louis. There was also a Frederick Holschen in the group.
The mystery enters when we take a look at a marriage record from Worpswede, Germany documenting a wedding that occurred on April 21, 1837. The groom’s name was Johann Holschen and the bride’s name was Margarethe Grother. There are also several records indicating both the Holschen and Grother’s that ended up in Perry County were from Worpswede.
If John and Margaret were married in Germany, why would Margaret be still listed as a Grother on the passenger list. I do not know the answer.
John and Margaret Holschen had several children. The one we will focus on in today’s post was Anna Sophia Maria Holschen. She was born on July 11, 1846 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri. Here is an image of her baptism record. If Anna was baptized in the church, that event would have taken place in the 1845 Trinity church which is now part of our museum.
Anna can be found in the 1850 census at the age of 4. Her father was a farmer. Anna’s grandfather, Luetje Grother, was also included in the household. His wife had died in 1843.
Next, we find the Holschen family in the 1860 census when Anna was a teenager.
Anna’s first husband was going to be Georg Heinrich Beckmann. Let’s take a look at him. He was born on August 13, 1837 in Lamstedt, Germany. His parents were Herman and Margaret (Jungclaus) Beckmann. His baptism record from Germany is available for us to view.
Sometime before 1860, the Beckmann’s arrived in Perry County. We find them in the 1860 census, in which Georg Heinrich (Henry) was 22 years old.
Before I move on to the Beckmann/Holschen marriage, let’s take a look at the list of charter members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. When the split between Trinity and Immanuel took place in 1857, these are the families that went with Rev. Schieferdecker to Immanuel.
On this list, you will see both the Holschen, Grother, and Beckmann families. Not too much later, you would also find the Jungclaus family as part of the Immanuel congregation.
Georg Beckmann married Anna Holschen at Immanuel on August 1, 1861. I am amazed because, not only was Anna just 15 when she was married, she had turned 15 just a matter of weeks before her marriage. Below is the marriage record from the Immanuel books.
According to our German Family Tree, Georg and Anna had 4 children. Evidence indicates that the first two died at an early age. The only two that I know lived to adulthood were Martin and Anna Margaretha Beckmann. Georg Beckmann died on Valentine’s Day in 1870, and was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. His gravestone says he was born in 1838, but his baptism record does not agree with that.
When the 1870 census was taken later that year, we find Anna Beckmann and 3 of her children living in a rather large Holschen household. This document is the last one in which I found Herman Beckmann.
Ann Beckmann would marry again. Her second husband would be Claus Heinrich Luehrs. Claus was born on June 12, 1843, the son of Claus and Anna Catharina (Rosenbock) Luehrs. He was born in Lamstedt, Germany, and we can also view his baptism record.
Claus arrived in America in 1862, and when the 1870 census was taken, we find him as a 27 year-old farm laborer for a man whose name appears to be John Ludwick. I think his surname could have been Ludwig.
Claus Luehrs married Anna (Holschen) Beckmann on April 18, 1872, so today would have been their 149th anniversary. There is no church marriage record for this couple. The civil marriage record shown below gives the reason. The pastor who married them was Rev. J.F. Koestering, who was responsible for the lack of some death and marriage records in the books of Trinity, Altenburg and Concordia, Frohna. Since we know this couple would have their children baptized at Concordia, that is likely where they were married.
Our German Family Tree lists 8 children born to Anna and Claus, but hardly any of them lived long enough to get married. Many died as infants, and two others died as teenagers. We find the Luehrs household in the 1880 census with one Luehrs child and two Beckmann children.
We have to miss 20 years before we find the Luehrs couple in the 1900 census. Just one child named Paul Luehrs and another child, Margaretha Beckmann, were included in their household.
Next, we find the Luehrs household in the 1910 census. This time, they were living in the Bois Brule Township. There were two Paul’s living with them, one was a son and the other a nephew with the surname, Beckmann.
The last census in which we find Anna Luehrs was the one taken in 1920. She and her husband had an empty nest, and they were back living in the Brazeau Township.
Anna Luehrs died in 1924 at the age of 77. I had to be really careful in choosing the correct death certificate for Anna Luehrs. I have already written a post about another Anna who married a Luehrs. In fact, that Anna married another Claus Luehrs. I wrote a post about that other couple titled, Yet Another Claus from Farrar.
Claus Luehrs is found in one more census. The 1930 census shows him living with just his 45 year-old single son, Paul Luehrs.
Claus Luehrs died in 1932 at the age of 88. I had to make sure to pick the correct Claus Luehrs death certificate also.
Claus and Anna Luehrs are buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna.
Anna Sophia Maria Holschen Beckmann Luehrs was born and died in Missouri. Her two husbands were born in the Hanover region in Germany. She lived a good long life, but it must have been so discouraging to have given birth to so many children, only to see so many of them die so early.