Bergmann’s in DuQuoin – From Perry County to Perry County

The surname, Bergmann, has shown up on this blog many times. I think if you look at other stories about Bergmann’s you will find that most of them are centered around Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. You will read another Bergmann story today that indeed has its beginning in Friedenberg, but it will describe a Bergmann who moved elsewhere later in his life.

Christian Bergmann was born on June 14, 1871, the son of Valentine and Catherine (Lang) Bergmann. I located this photo of Christian’s parents.

Valentine and Catherine Bergmann

Christian was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, so I cannot display his baptism record. He shows up in the 1880 census at the age of 9. It was quite a large Bergmann household. His father was a farmer in the Union Township.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

Christian’s father died in 1885 when he was about 14 years old. Then his mother married again. Her second husband was Henry Sonnenberg. Here is a photo of Henry.

Henry Sonnenberg

The Bergmann/Sonnenberg wedding took place at Peace, Friedenberg, but since Henry was from Chester, Catherine moved her children across the river into Illinois. A photo of a young Christian Bergmann is displayed here.

Christian Bergmann

At this point, I am going to refer to an autobiography of Christian that you can read by clicking on the link below. It is somewhat lengthy, but it tells the story of how this young man from Perry County became quite a prominent businessman in DuQuoin, Illinois, which is located in Perry County, Illinois. I encourage you to read it.

One thing I find interesting is that Christian never mentions in his autobiography that he got married and had a family. Let’s take a little time to look at the woman who would become his wife. Her name was Mary Weinberg, who was born on March 19, 1867. Her parents were Charles and Anna (Trescher) Weinberg. The Weinberg family shows up in the 1870 census in which Mary is 3 years old. Her father was a coal miner.

1870 census – DuQuoin, IL

Next, we find Mary in the 1880 census at the age of 12.

1880 census – DuQuoin, IL

On June 1, 1893, Christian Bergmann married Mary Weinberg in DuQuoin. That makes today this couple’s 129th wedding anniversary. We can take a look at a transcription of their Illinois marriage record.

Bergmann/Weinberg Illinois marriage record

A photograph was taken when Christian and Mary were quite young.

Christian and Mary Bergmann

It was about the time of this wedding that Christian was working in the Brookings Store in DuQuoin. In the photo below, we see Christian standing in front of that store.

Brookings Store – DuQuoin, IL

Christian and Mary had two children, a girl named Judith, and a boy named Gale. Only Judith was born before the 1900 census was taken. I think this entry says that Christian’s occupation was “Dept. of Gen. Merchandise”.

1900 census – DuQuoin, IL

Their son, Gale, was born in 1901. It was that year that Christian no longer worked as a clerk in someone else’s store, but had his own place of business. I figure sometime not long before the next census was enumerated, the photo below was taken of Judith and Gale. I must say it is quite a unique picture. My wife and I had the same reaction when we saw it. We both said, “Poor guy.”

Judith and Gale Bergmann

Next, we find the Bergmann’s in the 1910 census. Christian is called a merchant of dry goods.

1910 census – DuQuoin, IL

When the 1920 census was taken, not only is Christian a merchant, but Judith is called a bookkeeper for a store. I think it is likely that she was working for her father.

1920 census – DuQuoin, IL

A photo was taken of this Bergmann family.

Christian and Mary Bergmann family

The photo below shows the interior of Christian’s store. I figure the two folks shown in the photo are Christian and his daughter, Judith, who never married.

Christian Bergmann’s store interior

The Bergmann household is next found in the 1930 census. Only Judith was still living with Christian and Mary. Gale would become an insurance salesman in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

1930 census – DuQuoin, IL

Sometime later in their lives, Christian and Mary had these photos taken.

The last census in which we find Christian was the one taken in 1940. He had sold his store in 1930, so he has no occupation listed in this entry. Even Judith has no job listed.

1940 census – DuQuoin, IL

Christian Bergmann died in 1945 at the age of 74. Even though he died in DuQuoin, an obituary for him was published in the Perry County Republican in Perryville, Missouri.

Christian Bergmann obituary

Mary Bergmann is still found in the 1950 census, living with Judith.

1950 census – DuQuoin, IL

Later in 1950, Mary Bergmann died at the age of 83. Christian, Mary, and Judith are buried in a family plot in the IOOF Cemetery in DuQuoin.

Christian Bergmann became quite a prominent businessman in DuQuoin. In addition to his business efforts, he was also very involved in other charitable and civic activities.

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