Acts of God – Part 3

You are about to take a trip back in time, starting in St. Louis, and proceeding to New Wells, Frohna, and Seelitz in Missouri and Horse Prairie in Illinois. The Missouri and Illinois settings have the common thread of Rev. Martin Stephan. All of those places are connected to Diane Guelzow, whose husband’s family roots have been discussed in the past two posts. When Dave and Diane Guelzow visited this past weekend, it was not only Dave looking for his family history, but Diane as well. I would do a disservice to Diane if I did not also discuss her family roots to this area.

I’ll begin with the baptism record of Walter Schuppan, who was born on May 29, 1912. He was the son of Louis and Ida (Mueller) Schuppan and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri.

Walter Schuppan baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

We find Walter in the 1920 census from Shawnee Township. This entry says he was 6 years old, but he was probably 8. His father is said to be a mechanic doing cabinet work.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The 1930 census shows that Walter had moved to St. Louis where he and two brothers were living in the household of his uncle, Arthur Schuppan. At the age of 17, Walter was a clerk in a grocery store.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Ten years later, Walter was still single, living in St. Louis, and had his own sign-painting shop.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

In 1947, Walter married Ida Rowold. Here is the wedding photo for this couple.

Schuppan/Rowold wedding

It was this couple that had a set of twins, Diane and Deb Schuppan. Diane would later marry Dave Guelzow. I am going to trace back the families of Walter’s parents and Ida’s parents. I won’t go into the usual detail on each of them, but I have managed to find several photos to identify many of them. First of all, Walter Schuppan’s roots go back to Adolph and Emilie (Vogel) whose story was written in the post, Vogel and Schuppan Connections. I will let you get most of your information about the Schuppan side of the family by reading that post. I also will point out that the original Vogel’s and Schuppan’s arrived in America before the arrival of the Stephanites in 1839. I do have photos of Walter’s parents, Louis and Ida Schuppan.

Next, we will track back the family of Ida (Mueller) Schuppan. Ida was the oldest child of Heinrich Furchtegott and Katharina (Kieninger) Mueller. Ida was born on December 14, 1880. I have photos of Ida’s parents.

Heinrich was the son of Carl and Amalie (Kuehn) Mueller. Heinrich was born on May 7, 1855. I found a photo of Amalie, but not one for Carl.

Amalie (Kuehn) Mueller

Both Carl and Amalie were part of the German Lutheran immigration in 1839. They both made the voyage to America with their families, each at the age of 19, and each traveling aboard the ship, Copernicus. Their families are shown below on the passenger list of that ship.

After their arrival in Perry County, both of these families first had land in the settlement of Seelitz. A list of the Seelitz landowners is displayed below with the Mueller’s and Kuehn’s highlighted.

Seelitz land owners

In July of 1839, Carl Mueller married Amalie Kuehn. Then, after Amalie’s parents died in 1842 and 1843, the Mueller’s, along with Carl’s parents sold their land in Seelitz and moved to Frohna. These Mueller’s and their descendants are the ones who we often refer to as the “Frohna Mueller’s”.

Now, let’s track back the family of Walter’s wife, Ida Rowold. She was born on May 29, 1915, the daughter of Henry and Ida (Koester) Rowold. Here’s an interesting fact. The Schuppan twins’ mother and both of their grandmothers were named Ida. What are the odds of that happening? Ida Rowold is found in the 1920 census for Red Bud, Illinois at the age of 5. She was part of a rather large Rowold household.

1920 census – Red Bud, IL

Next, we find Ida in the 1930 census.

1930 census – Red Bud, IL

The last census in which we find Ida Rowold as a single woman was the one taken in 1940. She was working as a maid in a Bodenheimer household in St. Louis.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

That would lead up to the marriage of Ida and Walter in 1947. I have photos of Ida’s parents, Henry and Ida Rowold.

Both Henry and Ida were born in Horse Prairie, Illinois, which is located near Red Bud. That is also the location of Trinity Lutheran Church, which is where Rev. Martin Stephan ended up after he was deposed from Perry County. Let’s follow these two branches back. First, let’s track back Ida Koester. She was born on September 18, 1881, the daughter of Fred and Dorothea (Dierks) Koester. I found photos of Fred and Dorothea.

These two were born in 1848, two years after the death of Rev. Martin Stephan. The church at which they worshiped looked like this back in 1883.

Finally, I will track back Henry Rowold. He was born on March 18, 1880, the son of Ernst and Caroline (Hartmann) Rowold. I can also display a photo of Ernst and Caroline.

Ernst and Caroline (Hartmann) Rowold

Both Ernst and Caroline were old enough to be alive when Rev. Stephan was serving the church in Horse Prairie, but likely did not arrive in America until after he died. The above pair were married in 1857, probably shortly after their arrival in this country.

The fact that both the Schuppan and Rowold families both point back to churches that Rev. Martin Stephan was instrumental in establishing teaches us a lesson. Despite Rev. Stephan making significant mistakes in living his life, God was able to use his leadership to promote His Kingdom in America. Despite the scoundrels that may be speaking God’s Word, that Word still manages to make great things happen.

When Dave and Diane Guelzow visited Altenburg this past weekend, we were able to visit several sites that have special connections to the Schuppan family. We not only drove through New Wells and saw the place where the Schuppan house once stood, we also stopped by the Brazeau Presbyterian Church. It just so happened to be open, and once inside, Diane found the name of Adolph Schuppan in a printed history on a table near the entrance. That history pointed out how Adolph was involved in the building of that church sanctuary. Probably the most moving experience was Diane visiting the Schuppan Cabin located at the Saxon Lutheran Memorial in Frohna. I could just sense that Diane was just in awe being able to stand inside a cabin that once had been lived in by her ancestors. We at the museum love to provide opportunities like this to our visitors.

Dave and Diane Guelzow at the Schuppan Cabin – Saxon Lutheran Memorial

The twin Schuppan’s, Diane and Deb, both married Lutheran church workers. Diane’s husband, Rev. Dave Guelzow recently retired from being the pastor at St. Stephans Lutheran Church in Hickory, North Carolina. That area also has a rich history in American Lutheranism. Deb’s husband, Rick Herman, spent much of his career as president of the Wheat Ridge Foundation. The twins have provided some photos from their Schuppan family for me to share with you. Here is a gallery of them. I believe the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Both Diane and Deb are outstanding artists, following in the footsteps of their sign-painting father. Below is an altar parament used at St. Stephens in Hickory that was made by Diane Guelzow.

Parament at St. Stephens Lutheran – Hickory, NC

I have yet to discuss “Acts of God” in this post. I think there are several.

  • During the Guelzow visit, almost everywhere we went, there were unexpected people present to help us, or there were doors that were unlocked, thus allowing our entry.
  • An unexpected source for some photos in this post was Clayton Erdmann, one of our guest bloggers, who also has a connection to the Rowold family in Horse Prairie.
  • The Schuppan twins, Diane and Deb, as well as their husbands, Dave Guelzow and Rick Herman, became good friends of mine in a place far, far away from this area…Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Unknown to me at the time, Dave and Diane Guelzow’s marriage was the uniting of two people with ties to our German immigration. And that connection led to a very special gathering of friends this past weekend. I cannot help but think that it was possible only with Divine guidance.


2 thoughts on “Acts of God – Part 3

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