Pastor’s Pancake

Today, I start with the beginning of a pancake. I must point out that, in German, the word for pancake is pfannkucken. Clara Martha Pfannkucken was born on October 3, 1879. Martha was the daughter of Wilhelm and Magdalene (Schuessler) Pfannkuchen. Martha was the 6th child of 7 born into this family, but she was the only one who ended up with a spouse and family. That is because the other 6 died at very young ages. Four of those children died in 1878, the year before Martha was born. Three of those death records are found consecutively in the books of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.

Pfannkuchen 1878 death records – Concordia, Frohna, MO

The story of so many deaths in this Pfannkuchen family was told in the post, The Pancakes Disappear. All of the children in this family, including Martha, were baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Her baptism record is displayed below.

Martha Pfannkuchen baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Martha is included in the 1880 census as a baby. Her father was a farmer. Her only sibling in this entry was her older brother, Charles, who would die in 1894 at the age of 22. One more child was born in 1881, but that child died as an infant.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I was not able to find Martha in the 1900 census. I do know that both of her parents died before that census was taken. Also, that is the year that she would get married, so she may have missed being included in the enumeration for that year. Let’s now take a look at her future husband.

Herman Theodore Arndt was born on November 8, 1874. I do not know for sure the names of his parents. The first census in which I think I may have found Herman was the one taken in 1900. If this is the correct Herman Arndt, he was living in the Mercer County in North Dakota. He was living in the Breen household as a boarder. Johann Breen was a teacher, but there is no occupation listed for Herman. I suspect that he may have been a minister. I think the information that says his parents were born in Ireland is incorrect.

1900 census – Mercer County, ND

Herman Arndt married Martha Pfannkuchen on July 1, 1900. For some reason, Martha was married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for this wedding is pictured below. I find it interesting that the previous record on this page was also a marriage involving a pastor marrying an Asche girl. Martha Asche was the daughter of Teacher Werner Asche who had been at Trinity, Altenburg. Also, the entry below the Arndt/Pfannkuchen marriage was another Asche wedding.

We can also view the marriage license for this couple which says Herman was from Chicago.

Arndt/Pfannkuchen marriage license

Although I found plenty of evidence that Herman Arndt was a pastor, I did not find conclusive evidence that he was ever a Lutheran pastor. Based on census records, it looks as if this couple had just one child, a boy named Earl, who was born in 1897. Since Herman and Martha were not married until 1900, perhaps Herman was previously married.

When the 1910 census was taken, I could not find the Arndt family. However, I found a homestead record for Herman that indicates he was living in Saskatchewan, Canada. It says he was a minister of religion. What’s interesting is that it says his last place of residence was in Florida.

Herman Arndt – 1909 homestead record Saskatchewan, Canada

I found a 1913 Cincinnati city directory that included a Rev. Herman Arndt. This document says he was the pastor of First German Evangelical Protestant Church.

When Herman Arndt had his World War I draft registration completed, we find him living in an unincorporated area of Ripley County, Indiana called Spades, where he was serving two local churches as pastor.

Herman Arndt – WWI draft registration

The Arndt household is found living in the Adams Township of Ripley County, Indiana in the 1920 census. This entry says Herman was a pastor of an evangelical protestant church.

1920 census – Adams Township, IN

We find the Arndt’s living in Montgomery, Ohio when the 1930 census was taken where Herman is called a minister of a church.

1930 census – Montgomery, OH

A newspaper article from Miami, Florida tells about Rev. Herman Arndt becoming the pastor of a new church, Miami Community Church, which started in 1937. This article states that Pastor Arndt was an ordained Presbyterian minister. It also gives us a view of what Pastor Arndt looked like.

Herman Arndt – Miami newspaper article

The last census we can view finds Herman and Martha living in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

1940 census – Miami-Dade County, FL

I found a 1942 Miami city directory that included Herman Arndt.

Herman Arndt – 1942 Miami city directory

I found an obituary transcription that says Martha Arndt died about 1942 in Miami. I could not locate any information about when Rev. Herman Arndt died, nor where either one of them is buried.

Before I quit, I want you to see two military documents for this couple’s son, Earl Arndt. First, here is his World War I draft registration form. It gives his birth date as July 1, 1895, and says he was born in St. Louis.

Earl Arndt – WWI draft registration

Next, here is Earl’s World War II draft card. This form gives his birthday as July 1, 1897, and agrees that he was born in St. Louis. Depending on which year he was born, Rev. Herman and Martha Arndt were married on either his 3rd or 5th birthday.

Earl Arndt – WWII draft card

Despite the fact that there were 7 Pfannkuchen children born in Frohna at one time, there were no subsequent people carrying this surname to the next generation.


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