Today is the anniversary of a couple that was married in Farrar, but then became members of Zion Lutheran Church in Crosstown for most of their lives. The husband, after his first wife died, would marry again at the Crosstown church. I will begin with that husband and discuss his early life.
Johann Berthold Steffens was born on November 5, 1874, the son of Michael and Hedwig (Katt) Steffens. This boy would be called the more Americanized version of his name, John, during his lifetime. John was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. An image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books is shown below.
John is found in the 1880 census living in the Salem Township at the age of 5. For some unknown reason, he is incorrectly called a daughter named Joanna. His father was a farmer. This would be the only census entry showing John as a single person.
Now, we will take a look at the early life of John’s first wife. Her name was Katherine Marie Lohmann, who was born on November 13, 1876. She was the daughter of Joachim and Gesche (Soehl) Lohmann. Katherine was also baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Her baptism record is pictured here.
The 1880 census shows Katherine’s Lohmann family when she was 3 years old. Included in this household was an orphan named William Saddler.
John Steffens married Katherine Lohmann on October 27, 1898 at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. We can view the church record for that wedding.
This couple’s marriage license is also available to view.
According to our German Family Tree, this couple had two children. Not long after their marriage, a new congregation called Zion Lutheran Church was established in Crosstown, Missouri. John was one of the charter members of that congregation.
Both of the Steffens’ children were baptized at that Zion, Crosstown.
We find this Steffens couple in the infamous 1900 census pages for the Salem Township that are so difficult to read. Their children were not born until after this census was taken. This image does not show it, but John was a farmer.
Next, we find the Steffens household in the 1910 census. Their two young children are now included in their household.
The 1915 plat maps for Perry County show land owned by John Steffens located right outside Crosstown.
John Steffens had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917. His address was given as Crosstown.
The 1920 census shows the Steffens household. Their son, Walter, was old enough to be working on his father’s farm.
Even though the above census entry was submitted in June of 1920, Katherine was included. She actually died before June. Katherine died in February at the age of 43. I was unable to find her death certificate. However, there was an obituary for her published in the Perry County Republican. It says she had influenza followed by pneumonia.
John would marry again in 1921. His second wife was Elizabeth Margaretha Weibrecht, who was born on March 27, 1899, making her about 25 years younger than John. Margaretha was the daughter of Henry and Katherine (Ermer) Weibrecht. She was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Here is her baptism record from that congregation’s books.
Margaretha is found as a youngster in the 1900 census. She was the oldest child in her family, and the only child at this time.
We find Margaretha in the 1910 census next. She was 11 years old and her father was a farmer.
There is one more census entry in which we find Margaretha as a single woman. She was still living with her parents.
John Steffens married Margaretha Weibrecht on May 20, 1921 at Zion Lutheran Church in Crosstown. A transcription of that marriage record is found in a Zion, Crosstown binder that we have in our research library.
We can also view this pair’s marriage license.
There was also an article published in the Perry County Republican about this wedding.
The 1930 census shows this Steffens/Weibrecht couple with an empty nest. John is still a farmer.
The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940. A grandson by the name of Alfred was living in their household.
John Steffens died in 1946 at the age of 83. Below is his death certificate.
Margaretha Steffens died in 1978 at the age of 79. John Steffens and both of his wives are all buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Crosstown.
In the course of researching this tale, I ran across the fact that one of John’s brothers, Henry Steffens, married a Lohmann and a Weibrecht. I guess I might have another story like this one to tell on another day.