Maria Enters New Jerusalem

Today’s story highlights a special birthday to celebrate. Maria Augusta Koenig would have been 150 years old if she was still alive today. She was born on July 25, 1871, the daughter of Zacharias and Mariana (Ackermann) Koenig. Maria’s baptism record is found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. That record is displayed below.

Maria Koenig baptism – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Although it is Maria’s birthdate that initiated this post, it really will end up being primarily the story of her husband. That is because Maria did not have a very long life. In fact, she only shows up in one census, the one taken in 1880. She was 9 years old at the time, and her father was a farmer.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Let’s now turn our attention to her husband. His name was Karl Friedrich Ludwig. Like yesterday’s character, he ended up being called Charles, not Karl. He was the son of Johannes and Sophia (Baunack) Ludwig. He was born on August 20, 1869. I am not sure where Charles was baptized, but when he was confirmed as a teenager, that event took place at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. At a very young age, Charles is found in the 1870 census. His family was living in the Apple Creek Township of Cape Girardeau County.

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Ten years later, we find Charles in the 1880 census. He was 10 years old in this entry, and he was called Charley.

1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

On October 29, 1891, Charles Ludwig married Maria Koenig at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. A short list of church events that took place that involved Charles Ludwig at St. John’s is included in that congregation’s binder that we have in our research library.

Charles Ludwig information – St. John’s, Pocahontas, MO binder

We can take a look at the marriage license for these two, but it is rather difficult to read.

Ludwig/Koenig marriage license

Tragedy struck this couple not long after they were married. On September 24, 1892, a daughter by the name of Rosa Maria Ludwig was born. That child only lived about a month. She died on October 28th. A week later, on November 4th, Maria died, leaving Charles a widower. Maria was buried in the New Jerusalem Cemetery, which is located between Pocahontas and New Wells along Highway C. That cemetery has also been called the Ludwig Cemetery. Several people with that surname are buried in that small cemetery, including Charles’s parents.

Maria Ludwig gravestone – New Jerusalem, Pocahontas, MO

Charles Ludwig married a second time. His second wife was Josephine Isabella Dambach, who was born on November 2, 1876. She was the daughter of Jacob and Mary (Richter) Dambach. We find Josephine in the 1880 census at the age of 3. Her father was a farmer and laborer.

1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The Dambach family was part of the Arnsberg church. In the Arnsberg binder we have in our museum, we find the following information about Josephine.

Josephine Dambach information – Arnsberg binder

Charles Ludwig married Josephine Dambach on November 14, 1894. We can view this couple’s marriage license, but it is another document that is very difficult to decipher.

Ludwig/Dambach marriage license

None of the children of Charles’s second wife have baptisms recorded in our German Family Tree. On Ancestry.com, there is plenty of disagreement about the number of children born to this couple. The information from the Arnsberg binder gives a list of 10 children. The females are given with their married names. I found several baptism records in the books of St. John’s United Church of Christ which is located in a rural area outside of Fruitland. That church started out as a Lutheran church, but transitioned to become a United Church of Christ over time.

We find the Ludwig household in the 1900 census for the Apple Creek Township. They had 3 children by then.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

This Ludwig couple can be found in 4 more census entries. The 1910 census shows 6 children.

1910 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Next, we find the Ludwig’s in the 1920 census. There were 9 children listed. One of their older daughters got married in 1919, so she is not included.

1920 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The 1930 census shows the following Ludwig household, which shows the signs of diminishing in size as chidden got married and moved out.

1930 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940. Each census along the way finds Charles as a farmer.

1940 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Josephine Ludwig died in 1941 at the age of 64. Here death certificate is shown below.

Josephine Ludwig death certificate

Charles Ludwig died in 1955 at the age of 86. Cancer of the colon is given as his cause of death.

Charles Ludwig death certificate

The obituary for Charles was printed in a local newspaper. This article gives his age of death as 80 in the headline, and the first line says he died at the age of 84. Neither of these is correct. He was 86.

Charles Ludwig obituary

Charles and Josephine Ludwig were buried together in the St. John’s United Church of Christ Cemetery near Fruitland.

Josephine and Charles Ludwig gravestone – St. John’s UCC, Fruitland, MO

The obituary for Charles Ludwig says he was born, lived, and died on his farm. Although records for him and his two wives indicate that he was a member of several churches during his life, he always lived at the same place.

I confess. I just cannot seem to resist a story in which someone is buried in the tiny New Jerusalem Cemetery. That cemetery fascinates me. It seems that this was a congregation that had a cemetery, but never built a church.


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