Acts of God – Part 2

Miriam Brauer married Rev. Roy Guelzow on April 12, 1942. As described in yesterday’s post, Rev. Guelzow was an associate pastor at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Columbus, Indiana. The senior pastor at that congregation was Miriam’s father, August Ernst Brauer. A transcription of an Indiana marriage record for Roy and Miriam is shown here.

Guelzow/Brauer Indiana marriage record

This marriage record gives the names of Roy’s parents, but not Miriam’s. Miriam Brauer was born on February 23, 1918, the daughter of Rev. August Ernst and Martina (Schmidt) Brauer. I found no evidence that Martina’s family could be traced to any of the Schmidt’s in Perry County. Miriam can be found in three different census records. The 1920 census gives us evidence that she was born in Pueblo, Colorado, where her father was a Lutheran pastor. Based on the ages and birthplaces of the children, Rev. Brauer probably began his ministry in Pueblo around 1914.

1920 census – Pueblo, CO

Before the 1930 census was taken, the Brauer family had moved to Columbus, Indiana where Rev. E.A. Brauer was pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Miriam was 12 years old in this entry.

1930 census – Columbus, IN

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940. Miriam was 22 years old. This census was taken in the year that Roy Guelzow became the associate pastor at that congregation.

1940 census – Columbus, IN

I must admit that I am having trouble calling her Miriam. I always knew her as Mim. Mim was such a dear, sweet woman who would often welcome me into her family gatherings back in my bachelor days in Florida.

I am going to track Miriam’s family back through the Brauer branch of her family. Rev. August Ernst Brauer was born on June 16, 1882 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the son of August George and Emilie (Schuricht) Brauer. His parents were members of Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis, so we find August Ernst’s baptism record in that congregation’s books. We have those records in Microsoft Excel format. I have to display two images.

August Ernst Brauer baptism record – Old Trinity, St. Louis, MO

It is not until 1900 before we find A.E. Brauer in a census. His father is called a stove repairer in this entry. At the age of 17, August was said to be in college. He would at that time have been studying to become a Lutheran pastor.

1900 census – St. Louis, MO

I was unable to find August in the 1910 census, but when he had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918, he was living in Pueblo, Colorado and pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church.

August Ernst Brauer – WWiI draft registration

I am going to describe both of August Ernst’s parents, but first, we will turn our attention to the mother of August Ernst, Emilie Schuricht. Emilie was born on November 12, 1860, the daughter of Johann Fuerchtegott and Anna Susanna (Tirmenstein) Schuricht. Emilie was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis. Here is a portion of her baptism record.

Emilie Schuricht baptism record – Old Trinity, St. Louis, MO

In the 1870 census, we find Emilie at the age of 10, and her father was a miller. Johann Fuerchtegott Schurict operated the Saxony Mills in St. Louis that was discussed in the post, Saxony Mills. If you haven’t read that post, you really should in order to understand the folks in this article. Here is the 1870 census entry for the Schuricht’s.

1870 census – St. Louis, MO

When we get to Emilie’s parents, Johann Fuerchtegott Schurict and Anna Susanna Tirmenstein, we find these two as passengers on the ship, Olbers, as part of the Gesellschaft. This gives us the evidence that both of Dave Guelzow’s parents can be traced back to the German immigration that took place in 1839.

That is not the end of the story. Let’s now go back into the family of August George Brauer, the father of August Ernst. Before we go back though, I must point out that August George Brauer has quite a story himself. He established a business which became known as the Brauer Supply Company. It became a well-known business that still exists today. You can read about that company’s history by clicking on the link below.

Here is a photo of August G. Brauer.

August George Brauer

August George Brauer was born on May 20, 1857 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents were Ernst August and Beata (Reinmann) Brauer. In the 1870 census, the Brauer family was living in St. Louis. Since E.A. Brauer was a Lutheran pastor, he had several stops in different locations over the years. August is 13 years old in this entry. This record says August was born in Illinois, but all of his other census records say he was born in Pennsylvania. In 1870, E.A. Brauer was a professor of mathematics. We know he taught at Concordia Seminary.

1870 census – St. Louis, MO

Dr. E.A. Brauer also spent some time as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis. He was there from 1872-1879.

Pastors of Trinity, St. Louis, MO

Dr. E.A. Brauer was another important figure in the early history of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Rather than me go through all the details, you can read a few biographies of him by clicking on the following articles.

Here is a photograph of Dr. E.A. Brauer.

Dr. E.A. Brauer

I cannot resist showing another photograph. A family history on says E.A. Brauer was a twin, and this photo shows the father, Friedrich, and his twin sons, one of which would be E.A. Brauer.

Friedrich Brauer with his twin sons

Here is another brief biography of Dr. Brauer.

Dr. E.A. Brauer bio

So far, I don’t think any of the facts in this story qualify as an “Act of God”. I believe an “Act of God” occurred in 1847. It was in that year that Ernst August Brauer made the voyage to America aboard the ship, Florian. His destination is shown as St. Louis on this passenger list.

Ernst Brauer – Florian passenger list 1847

If you look not far above Ernst Brauer’s name, you will find the name of F. Sievers. His destination was Michigan. That person was Ferdinand Sievers, Sr., who went on to become a pastor at Frankenlust, Michigan and also could qualify as a missionary. He made trips throughout Michigan and Minnesota and was instrumental in establishing quite a few Lutheran churches in those states. You also learned yesterday that Roy Guelzow’s mother was Meta Sievers, who was a descendant of Ferdinand Sievers.

In the words of a famous St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, Dizzy Dean, who had lousy grammar, “Who woulda thunk it?” Two men who arrived on the same ship in 1847 would both have descendants who would get married in Indiana almost 100 years later. That later couple, Roy and Mim Guelzow would be yet another pastor’s family who would produce a bumper crop of church workers. I call this an “Act of God”.

2 thoughts on “Acts of God – Part 2

  1. The Rev. Ferdinand Sievers, Sr., also started St. John’s Lutheran, Amelith, Michigan, where my father, Louis Theiss, a Perry County boy, served from 1968 – 1979. In 1977 the congregation celebrated its 125th anniversary. My dad had been there ten years; the pastor before him five. They were the fourth and fifth pastors. The first three served for 110 years. This area was also a mission field among local Native Americans. (See “Church Bells in the Forest”).


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