Oscar and Bertha – The Koenig’s

You will read the story of Oscar Koenig today. He was a twin. However, his twin brother, Joseph, died after just one month of life. That Koenig family was a large one. The twins were children #4 and #5 in a list of 11 in our German Family Tree. There is a rather unusual listing in that document for the last 2 children…or is it the last 3 children. Let’s take a quick look at the last children listed in the GFT.

Koenig children – #10 and @11

Emma Koenig, who went on to live a full life, was born on February 22, 1885, but if you look at C11, it describes a set of stillborn twins who were also born and died on that same date. Would you call them a set of twins, or, if you include Emma, would they be a set of triplets? But for now, let’s move on to Oscar.

Herman Oscar Koenig was born on June 20, 1869, along with his twin brother, Joseph Benjamin. These twin boys were the sons of Herman and Mary (Jacob) Koenig. I can display this photo of Oscar’s father, Herman.

Herman Koenig

Oscar and Joseph were baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. We can take a look at the baptism records from that congregation’s books.

Oscar and Joseph Koenig baptism records – Salem, Farrar, MO

Oscar should have been found in the 1870 census, but there’s a bit of a puzzle there. His parents, along with their two oldest children, Emanuel and Martha, are listed, but not the next 2 children, Theodore and Oscar. I do not know why.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We do find Oscar in the 1880 census at the age of 10. The Koenig family was living in the Salem Township, where Oscar’s father was a farmer.

1880 census – Salem Township, MO

Oscar would get married before the next census we can view that was taken in 1900, so we will turn our attention to the woman who would become his wife. Her name was Bertha Christina Buettner, who was born on March 14, 1875. She was the first child of Charles and Johanna (Reuter) Buettner. However, Johanna had previously been married to Simon Popp and had 3 children by that marriage. Simon died in 1873, and Johanna then married Charles Buettner. There is information about Bertha in the Friedenberg Remembrances book, so that is likely where she was baptized. The only census in which we find Bertha as a single person was the one taken in 1880 when she was 5 years old. You can see that this household includes 3 Popp children from Johanna’s first marriage. Betha’s father was a farmer.

1880 census – Salem Township, MO

Oscar Koenig married Bertha Buettner on May 22, 1898. There is some question about where this marriage took place. Below is the information found in Friedenberg Remembrances about Bertha.

Bertha Koenig information – Friedenberg book

Often, that book will mention which pastor married a couple, and there is not one mentioned for Bertha. Let’s take a look at the marriage license for this couple.

Koenig/Buettner marriage license

The pastor listed on this license is Rev. Hamm, who was never a pastor at Friedenberg. However, he was the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown, a church that was established in 1897. Pastor Hamm was that congregation’s first pastor. However, there is not a marriage record in that church’s books. The first marriage record in Zion’s books was included in a story written recently about a Funke/Hacker couple.

Funke/Hacker marriage record – Zion, Longtown, MO

You can see that this Funke/Hacker marriage took place on May 30, 1898, about a week after Oscar and Bertha were married. Perhaps it was actually this Koenig/Buettner couple that was the first marriage for this congregation, but for some reason, it was not included in their books.

Our German Family Tree lists 5 children born to this couple, but one of them died early. All of these children were baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. We find this Koenig family in the 1900 census with just their first child, Ella. They were living in the Salem Township, and compared to other entries from that year’s census from that township, this one is pretty readable. Oscar was a farmer.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Next, we find the Koenig’s in the 1910 census which included all their children.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

The last census in which we find Oscar was the one taken in 1920.

1920 census – Salem Township, MO

Oscar Koenig died two days before Christmas in 1926 at the age of 57. We can take a look at his death certificate.

Oscar Koenig death certificate

An obituary was published for Oscar in the Perry County Republican.

Oscar Koenig – PCR obituary

Bertha Koenig is found in the 1930 census as a widow. She was living in the household of her son, Otto.

1930 census – Salem Township, MO

The last census in which we find Bertha Koenig was the one taken in 1940. Once again, she was living with Otto and his family.

1940 census – Salem Township, MO

Bertha Koenig died in 1946 at the age of 71. We can also view her death certificate.

Bertha Koenig death certificate

Oscar and Bertha Koenig are each buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.

There are quite a few Koenig’s living around here now who have their roots at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Since only one of the children of Oscar and Bertha was a boy, any descendants carrying the Koenig surname from this branch of Koenig’s must have come from him. I’m sure there are several other local folks who can trace back to Oscar and Bertha but do not carry the Koenig surname.


I have mentioned it before, but I will once again point out that Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown is celebrating their 125th anniversary this year. They have several events already planned. One of those special events will occur this coming Sunday, June 26th. They will be remembering the cornerstone laying of their present church. You can find more information about their special events by visiting their Facebook page.


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