Frank and Barb – A Catholic-Lutheran Couple

A main character in today’s post is mentioned in our German Family Tree but has no documents attached to his name. That is because he was a Roman Catholic and remained so his entire life. His name is Francis Xavier Sutterer. The names Francis and Xavier even imply that he was Catholic. Frank, as he would be called, was born on November 30, 1852, the son of Ferdinand and Barbara (Huber) Sutterer. I have this photo of Barbara Huber that I can display.

Barbara Huber

Huber is another one of those names that I immediately categorize as a “Catholic name” around here. When Frank was just 3 years old, his father died, so he probably had little memory of this father. His mother would then marry a man named Henry Huber, so that would have been a Huber/Huber wedding. When the 1860 census was taken, we find this Huber household that included Frank Sutterer at the age of 5 (which I think is incorrect). This household was made up of Huber children from Henry’s first marriage and his second marriage. Henry had been married to Ellen Helen Sutterer. I know I am already confused. How about you?

1860 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

When the 1870 census was taken, and Frank would have been around 18 years old, he was no longer living with his mother in the Henry Huber household. I was unable to locate him in that census. Here is the census entry for Henry Huber’s household in 1870. Do you think any of these children would be Frank Sutterer?

1870 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

I did find a photograph of Henry and Barbara Huber.

Henry and Barbara Huber

Now, let’s take a look at the woman who would become Frank Sutterer’s bride. Her name was also Barbara. Barbara Hornberger was born on March 23, 1857, making today her 165th birthday. Barbara was the daughter of Adam and Elizabeth (Baer) Hornberger. Barbara was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. The Friedenberg Remembrances book would have some information about Barbara, but I am once again not in Altenburg to get an image of it. Barbara is a bit of a puzzle in the 1860 census. By all rights, at the age of 3, she should be still living with her parents, but we find the census entry for the Hornberger’s below with no female child about 3 years old. There is a 3 year-old, but it’s listed as a boy named Albert. Could that be Barbara?

1860 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Barbara is found in the 1870 census at the age of 13. Her father was a farmer.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Before I move on to the marriage, let me display this photo showing 3 Hornberger sisters. This photo was taken later in their lives after they were married and raised families. Barbara is the one in the middle.

3 Hornberger sisters

I was unable to find a marriage document, but almost every family tree on Ancestry.com says that Frank Sutterer married Barbara Hornberger in 1876. It was during 1876 that we find Frank Sutterer in the Missouri state census that was taken during that year. He was also living with Barbara. However, that Barbara was 65 years old, and that would have been his mother, Barbara Huber.

1876 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

The most detailed family tree I found on Ancestry.com says this couple had 9 children between 1877 and 1901. The last one died in infancy. When the 1880 census was taken, we find this pair with 2 sons. Frank was a farmer.

1880 census – Central Township, MO

None of the children born to Frank and Barbara are found in our German Family Tree, so they almost certainly were baptized as Catholics. We have to wait until 1900 to view another census. By then, they had quite a houseful of children.

1900 census – Central Township, MO

It must have been around this time that this family had a photograph taken. Eight children are found in the photo, and Edwin, listed as 4 years old in the 1900 census, is the youngest one standing in front.

Frank and Barbara Sutterer family

Next, we find the Sutterer household in the 1910 census. By then, several of the children had begun their own households.

1910 census – Central Township, MO

The 1915 plat maps show the Frank Sutterer farm located not far from Perryville.

Frank Sutterer land map – 1915

The last census in which we find Frank Sutterer is the one taken in 1920. Frank, at the age of 67, was called a retired farmer. It looks like this family was then living in Perryville with just one daughter, Isabella.

1920 census – Central Township, MO

Another photo of the Sutterer family was taken later in their lives.

Frank and Barbara Sutterer family

Frank Sutterer died in 1924 at the age of 71. We can take a look at his death certificate.

Frank Sutterer death certificate

Barbara would be found in two more census entries. First, here is the one for 1930. She and Isabella were living in Perryville.

1930 census – Perryville, MO

The last census in which we find Barbara was the one taken in 1940.

1940 census – Perryville, MO

When I first looked at this census, I figured Isabella must have been one of those unmarried daughters that took on the task of caring for her elderly mother. However, in this case, I think it was the other way around. After her mother’s death, we find Isabella at the state hospital in Farmington as a patient.

Barbara Sutterer died in 1957 at the age of 84. We can also view her death certificate.

Barbara Sutterer death certificate

The Friedenberg Remembrances book states that Barbara remained a Lutheran throughout her life, and she requested to be buried with her husband in the Mt. Hope Catholic Cemetery in Perryville. It is said that she was the first Lutheran to be buried there.

Frank and Barbara Sutterer gravestone – Mt. Hope, Perryville, MO

The fact that I was unable to find a marriage record for this couple may have to do with the fact that it was a Catholic/Lutheran wedding. I suspect the marriage was conducted by a civil official. It is also one of those rare cases of a husband and wife retaining the faith in which they were baptized and raised.


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