The first pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg was Rev. G.H. Loeber. The second pastor of that congregation was Rev. Georg Schieferdecker. Today, I will compose a post about Pastor #3, who also happens to be our birthday boy.
Johann Paul Beyer was born on June 26, 1832 in Reinwarzhofen, Germany, which is a Bavarian city.
According to some Ancestry.com family histories, John’s parents were John Paul and Anna Marie (Kohlmeier) Beyer. When John was 17 years old, he came to America aboard the ship, Emma. That ship arrived in this country in 1849. I’m not quite sure what the first word in the occupation column says, but the word right behind it looks very much like “teacher”.
John would go on to become a Lutheran pastor. He first attended Concordia College in Fort Wayne and then graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 1855. His first call was to Trinity Lutheran Church in Memphis, Tennessee.
Let’s take a look at the woman who would become John’s wife. Her name was Juliana Hochmuth, who was born on June 19, 1837 in Germany. She was the daughter of Michael and Catharina (Reuster) Hochmuth. In 1839, the Hochmuth’s made the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the ship, Havre. Juliana is listed as being one year old.
When the 1850 census was taken, Juliana and her family were living in Fountain, Illinois, a small unincorporated area in Monroe County, located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Her father was a farmer.
On April 20, 1856, Rev. John P. Beyer married Juliana Hochmuth in St. Louis. They were married at Trinity Lutheran Church. A civil record of this marriage is displayed below.
One child was born to this couple in John’s short stint at Trinity Lutheran Church in Memphis. Meanwhile, in Altenburg, a rift took place at Trinity Lutheran Church when Rev. Georg Schieferdecker, after being removed as pastor of that church, took several members across town to establish Immanuel Lutheran Church. That left Trinity without a pastor. Rev. John Beyer was called, and he was installed as the pastor of Trinity in April of 1858. These were troubling times in Altenburg, and the first years of Pastor Beyer’s service here were difficult. He even had to act as a lawyer for the congregation in a dispute about the church’s property.
Rev. Beyer served as pastor of Trinity, Altenburg until 1863. During his time in Perry County, John and Juliana had 5 children, all baptized at Trinity. One of those children died before the age of 2. The baptism record of the child that died, George Heinrich Beyer, is pictured below.
Pastor Beyer must have been so thrilled to include this baptism record into the Trinity books. However, the cross to the left is what was done back in those days to indicate that the child had died. It must have been Rev. Beyer that drew that little cross to indicate his own son had died. It looks like the cross on which God’s own son died.
The Beyer household is found living in Altenburg when the 1860 census was taken. Two children were part of their family by then.
Toward the end of his time in Altenburg, Trinity was in need of another teacher, and they decided to call George Beyer, John’s brother, who had been teaching in Cape Girardeau. Teacher Beyer’s story was told in the post, Sarah Kramer Marries the Teacher. Teacher Beyer taught at Trinity for over 40 years, but not long after he arrived, his brother, John, took a call to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Chicago in 1863. An 1865 directory for the city of Chicago lists Rev. John P. Beyer.
The 1870 census displays this family living in Chicago. Four children are included in this household, the last 2 being born in Illinois.
Although I have no documentation, it is said that Juliana Beyer died in 1870 at around the age of 33. Then, around 1872, Pastor Beyer married again. His second wife was Emilie Noee (sp?). Emilie was born in 1846. Her parents were Michael and Jacobina (Hochmuth) Noee. Michael and Jacobina were also married at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis, and Jacobina was Juliana’s older sister. You can find her on the passenger list for the Hochmuth’s shown earlier. That means John Beyer married his first wife’s niece.
Based on later census data and family histories on Ancestry.com, there were 4 more children born to John and Emilie. Pastor Beyer’s next congregation was Trinity Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He and his family did not appear in a census while there, but in 1875, we find them in a Pittsburgh city directory.
The last move for Rev. Beyer was to Brooklyn, New York prior to 1880. We find the Beyer’s in the census for that year living in Brooklyn.
Pastor Beyer remained in Brooklyn for the rest of his life. According to a biography of him shown here, Rev. Beyer also held elected positions in the Missouri Synod during his later years. He also edited several materials used in the education of young people.
The last census in which we find Rev. Beyer was the one taken in 1900. At the age of 67, he was still a minister.
Later in his life, Rev. John P. Beyer had this photograph taken.
John Beyer died in 1905 at the age of 72. A New York record of his death is pictured here.
In the same year as her husband’s death, Emilie is included in a New York state census.
Emilie Beyer is still found in the 1910 census living in Brooklyn. She was living with 2 daughters and a boarder.
Emilie Beyer died in 1913 at the age of 66. For some reason, instead of New York, we find a death record for her from the state of Massachusetts.
Rev. John and Emilie Beyer are said to be buried in the All Faiths Cemetery in Queens, New York, but Findagrave.com has no gravestone photos.
I find it impressive that so many early leaders in what eventually came to be called the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod passed through Altenburg. Rev. Beyer is yet another one of those men who was instrumental in the early history of our synod.