Another One of the Altenburg Giants

Before I begin today’s story, I want you to know that Altenburg is in the midst of a winter storm, complete with ice, sleet, and snow. As a result, I choose to stay hunkered down in my home rather than attempt to get to the museum for further research and documents. Today’s story would not require much from our library anyway, but there are a few items that I would likely find there that I will not be able to include in this post.

Last year, I wrote a post titled, One of the Altenburg Giants. That post told the amazing story about a Dietrich couple that had 9 children, and all of them were boys. That story focused on just one of those boys. Today, you will get the story of another one. Thus, the title for this post.

Heinrich Gotthilf Dietrich was born on March 2, 1861, the son of Gottlob and Louise (Vogel) Dietrich. Henry was the 4th son in that unusual family of 9 boys. Henry was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. I am not able to display an image of his baptism record today. The Dietrich’s can be found living in the Brazeau Township in the 1870 census. At that time, Henry was 9 years old, and his father was a farmer.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

A photo was taken of the 9 boys in the Dietrich family. I’ll let you guess which one is Henry, the 4th oldest. If the back row is made up of the 3 oldest, then Henry must be in the middle row.

9 Dietrich sons

Accompanying this photo in a Dietrich family binder that we have in our research library is a note that says this family moved to Junction City, Kansas around 1877.

This note also points out the amazing fact that all these sons were over 6 feet tall, qualifying them to be called the “Dietrich Giants”. Since they had enough boys to provide a complete baseball team, I have renamed them the Altenburg Giants. I suppose they could also be pinned with the name, “Junction City Giants”.

It is also noted in the Dietrich family binder that this family may have moved to Junction City because Rev. Friedrich Mueller was the pastor there at this time. He was the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Clark’s Creek, Kansas. Here are a few photos of that church, one shows the interior, one shows the present church, and one shows the church in years past.

Rev. Mueller’s wife was from the extended Vogel family, so she was some sort of cousin to Henry’s mother. In the previous post about this family, I stated that I was unable to find the Dietrich’s in the 1880 census. This time I succeeded. In that year’s census, we find them living in the Jefferson Township of Geary County, Kansas. Henry was 19 years old in the 1880 census. You can see 7 of the Dietrich boys in this entry.

1880 census – Jefferson Township, KS

Sometime between 1880 and 1900, the Dietrich’s found themselves in the Davis Township. That township would later be renamed the Liberty Township. The map below shows where St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is located near Junction City.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Clark’s Creek, KS map

Now, we will turn our attention to the woman that would become Henry’s bride. Her name was Alvina Maria Sophia Fredriche Heidel, who was born on February 3, 1868, making today her 154th birthday. Alvina was the daughter of William and Dorothea (Settgast) Heidel. We first find Alvina living in the Davis Township at the age of 2. Her father was a farmer.

1870 census – Davis Township, KS

In the 1880 census, we find Alvina living in the Jefferson Township at the age of 12. We find the Heidel family right above the Dietrich family that was shown earlier. I have highlighted the pair that would later get married. It’s not hard to imagine how they got to know one another.

1880 census – Jefferson Township, KS

Henry Dietrich married Alvina Heidel on December 15, 1893. This marriage took place at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. A Kansas marriage license for this couple is shown below.

Dietrich/Heidel Kansas marriage license

I find it interesting that the pastor on this form was Rev. Stemmermann. There were also Stemmermann’s in Perry County at one time, but those Stemmermann’s had only daughters.

Based on census records and family trees, this couple likely had 5 children. We find the Dietrich household in the 1900 census for the Liberty Township. At that time, they had 3 sons.

1900 census – Liberty Township, KS

In 1910, we finally find evidence of a Dietrich daughter after so many male children in this Dietrich story. Henry was a farmer.

1910 census – Liberty Township, KS

Next, we can see the Dietrich family in the 1920 census. I included two Settgast households under the Dietrich’s. Since Alvina’s mother was a Settgast, these two families were probably related to her.

1920 census – Liberty Township, KS

The 1930 census would be the last one that included Alvina.

1930 census – Liberty Township, KS

Alvina Dietrich died in 1935 at the age of 67. After her death, we find Henry living with his son, Arthur, in Alta Vista, Kansas in 1940. Alta Vista is only one county away from where Henry spent most of his life.

1940 census – Alta Vista, KS

Henry Dietrich died in 1944 at the age of 82. Henry and Alvina are buried together in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Clark’s Creek.

Henry and Alvina Dietrich gravestone – St. Paul’s, Clark’s Creek, KS

Now two of the Altenburg Giants have had their stories told on this blog. Perhaps, you will have the opportunity to read about more of them in the future.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s