I did not plan this, but I found another one of those stories today in which a birth date is debatable. The baptism record for Anna Dorothea Schlichting shows that she was born on September 27, 1882, so if that is the case, today would be her 139th birthday. Anna was the daughter of John and Maria (Stueve) Schlichting, whose story was told in the blog post, The Pioneer Schlichting. Anna was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Her baptism record is pictured here. It definitely gives a September 27th birthday.
Anna is found in her first census in the 1900 Salem Township pages that are so difficult to read. Anna was 17 years old, and her father was a farmer. As you can see, this was a rather large family in 1900, with children from ages 3-24. The oldest son was old enough to be the father of the youngest child.
The above census entry would be the only one in which we find Anna as a single person. So, we will turn our attention to her future husband. His name was Johannes Ernst Fiehler, who was born on June 4, 1884. John was the son of Benjamin and Bertha (Doberenz) Fiehler. A post was written about John’s parents titled, Ben and Bertha. John was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Below is an image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books.
John is found in his first census in 1900 where we find him living in the Brazeau Township. At the age of 15, he was not living with his parents. He was living in the Paul Schuessler household, and I figure that farm was close to the Fiehler farm not far from the village of Frohna.
That leads us up to the marriage of John Fiehler and Anna Schlichting which took place on October 11, 1906. This wedding took place at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Here is the church record for this event.
We can also take a look at the marriage license for this couple.
In a Fiehler family binder that we have in our research library, I found the wedding photograph for John and Anna.
Our German Family Tree lists 3 children born to John and Anna. The 1910 census shows this couple with their first child, Paul. There was also a farm laborer named Arthur Oberndorfer living in this household.
I found a few Fiehler farms located on the 1915 plat maps not far from Frohna. Perhaps John was farming the land listed as the property of his mother, Bertha Fiehler. John’s father had died in 1896.
In 1918, John Fiehler had his World War I draft registration completed.
Next, we find the Fiehler family in the 1920 census with two children.
It must have been about this time that the photo shown below of the first two children, Paul and Ruth, was taken.
This couple’s last child, a boy named Walter, was born in 1920. Bertha Fiehler died in 1921, and I suspect that the photo shown below of John Fiehler and his siblings was taken at that time. John is the second from the right sitting in the front.
The 1930 census shows all 3 of the Fiehler children. Anna’s mother, Mary Schlichting, was also living in this household.
Although he was a farmer almost all his life, the caption on his wedding photograph says that John worked at the Altenburg garage with his brother, Joseph Fiehler, for a few years. The last census in which we can view the Fiehler’s is the one taken in 1940.
John Fiehler had his World War II draft card completed in 1942.
John Fiehler died in 1957 at the age of 73. He died at the Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville, but the usual residence on his death certificate gives a St. Louis address.
Anna Fiehler died in 1968 at the age of 86. Her death certificate says she died at the Lutheran Hospital in St. Louis. There is an issue on this form. It says Anna was born on September 28, 1882, not September 27th.
John and Anna Fiehler are both buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna. Anna’s gravestone is another place where we see a birthday of September 28th.
So, what was the correct birthday for Anna? Do you trust the pastor who recorded the baptism record? Or do you trust her son, Paul Fiehler, who was the informant on her death certificate? The death record in the Concordia Lutheran Church books also says she was born on September 28th. As for me, I think she was born on September 28th. How about you? Regardless of which date is right, you got to read this story on the 27th.