Canadian Pastor in Perry County

I discovered today’s story in one small church record found in our German Family Tree. However, even though there is not much in the way of local records tied to today’s couple, there turns out to be plenty of ties to Perry County. I will start by giving you a sneak peak into what is coming. Several years ago, I wrote a post titled, Tracking the Elusive¬†Hadlers. In that story, a pastor by the name of Rev. Fuhr was mentioned. (There are several comments made at the end of that post that add extra details to this story.) He is one of the main characters in today’s post, but we will begin with his wife.

Anna Emma Beckmann was born on July 12, 1892, so today would be her 130th birthday. She was the daughter of Martin and Emma (Leimbach) Beckmann. Later documentation shows that she was born in St. Louis, but before that time, her parents have plenty of previous history in Perry County. Her parents were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg the year before she was born. Her mother was also baptized at that church, and her father was confirmed there. However, on her parents’ marriage license, it says Martin was from St. Louis. In the 1900 census, we find the Beckmann’s living in St. Louis. Anna was 8 years old, and her father was a day laborer.

1900 census – St. Louis, MO

Things get a little interesting at this point. Later in 1900, Anna’s mother died and was buried in St. Louis. Then, in 1901, her father died in Frohna and was buried there. Perhaps at that time, Anna, still at a rather young age, may have been farmed out to someone in Perry County. She probably had more relatives living here than in St. Louis. Anna was confirmed at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Below is an image showing part of the 1905 confirmation class from that congregation. This is a document that confirms the date of Anna’s birth as July 12, 1892.

Anna Beckmann – 1905 confirmation class – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Then, when the 1910 census was taken, we find Anna once again living in St. Louis and working as a servant in a Heidbreder household. She was listed as being 17 years old.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

Now, we need to discuss the early life of her husband, Rev. Fuhr. Arthur Henry Fuhr was born on July 21, 1891 in Tavistock, Ontario, Canada. He was the son of August and Adelheid (Hadler) Fuhr. Here is yet another tie to Perry County. Adelheid, nee Hadler, was the sister of Herman Hadler who was the patriarch of plenty of Hadler’s in Perry County. I found this Canadian birth record for Arthur Fuhr. I will display it in two images.

Arthur Fuhr – Canada birth record

In 1901, we find Albert Fuhr in a Canadian census from Ontario at the age of 9. His Hadler grandfather, Diedrich, was included in this household.

1901 Canada census – Ontario

In 1911, we find a document showing that Arthur entered the United States through Detroit. He was on his way to study for the ministry at Concordia College in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Arthur Fuhr – border crossing – 1911

Apparently, after studying at Fort Wayne, Arthur went on to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. It is said that Anna met Arthur in St. Louis while Arthur was a seminarian. Arthur must have gotten his first call to a congregation in Saskatchewan, Canada. Arthur Fuhr married Anna Beckmann in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on September 1, 1915. I believe that this couple would have 3 children, two boys and a girl. A Canadian census taken in 1916 shows the Fuhr family living in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Apparently, Arthur’s parents and their family were also living in Moose Jaw. Arthur is called a preacher.

1916 Canada census – Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Five years later, another Canadian census was taken, and we find the Fuhr’s in the same location. By then, they had 2 children.

1921 Canada census – Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Next, we find Rev. and Anna Fuhr with another Perry County connection. Rev. Fuhr became the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Crosstown and Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest. He was the pastor of those two congregations from 1924 until 1927. Since he was here during the years between censuses, we do not find his family in a Perry County census entry.

I was not able to find any census records for Arthur and Anna for quite a few years, but a later biography of Arthur says he was the vice president of the Manitoba and Saskatchewan District of the LCMS from 1935 till 1951. These two must have spent several more years in Canada.

Rev. Arthur Fuhr bio

Although the above bio does not say Rev. Fuhr served in the state of Kansas, several Kansas state census documents show Rev. Arthur Fuhr in Bremen, Kansas.

1952 Kansas state census – Herkimer, KS

Later in their lives, this photo was taken of Rev. Arthur and Anna Fuhr.

The Fuhr’s must have spent some time in Beatrice, Nebraska also. That is where Albert died in 1963 at the age of 71. Anna Fuhr almost made it to her 100th birthday. She died in June of 1992 in Saskatchewan, Canada at the age of 99. Even though neither one of these two died in Kansas, they were buried together in the Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery in Bremen, Kansas.

Rev. Arthur and Anna Fuhr – Bethlehem, Bremen, KS

Before I end this story, I want to also relate the story of Harold Fuhr, one of the the sons of Arthur and Anna. Harold was a flying officer navigator in the Canadian Air Force during World War II. His photo is shown here.

Harold Fuhr

The notice pictured below indicates that Harold was missing in action during that war.

Harold had died in 1944 during a mission over France, as described in the article here.

Harold Fuhr information about death

It must have been such tragic news for Albert and Anna to hear about their son being killed while fighting for his country.

One thought on “Canadian Pastor in Perry County

  1. In the post you mention Anna was probably “farmed” out to someone in Perry County. That someone was her grandmother Anna Sophia Maria (Holschen) Luehrs. My grandmother was Eleanore Beckman the younger sister of Anna. There was also a younger brother Paul. Emma (Leimbach) Beckmann and Martin both died of tuberculosis. Martin’s last will and testament awards custody of the children to his mother Anna Luehrs.

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