As we proceed through the year 2022, I find it difficult to ignore a birthday that occurred in 1822. Since that year was well before the Gesellschaft arrived in Perry County, such a birth had to take place back in the German homeland. I discovered such a story for today’s post.
Margaretha Buck was born on September 8, 1822, so today is her bicentennial birthday. Margaretha was the daughter of Johann Peter and Elizabeth Christina Catherina (Dohrmanns) Buck. Writing a bicentennial birthday story becomes irresistible when you are able to locate an image of the actual baptism record from Germany for the birthday baby, and that is the case with Margaretha. She was born and baptized in Lamstedt, Hannover, Germany. The image of her baptism record is displayed below.
Margaretha Buck would get married to a man by the name of Claus John W. Stüve, who was born on July 26, 1813. Claus was the son of Johann and Dorothea (Stelling) Stüve. We can also view his baptism record from the same parish in Germany.
Claus J.W. Stueve married Margaretha Buck on April 8, 1844, also at the church in Lamstedt. I am not able to display an actual image of their marriage record, but I did locate a transcription of it.
As near as I can tell, Claus and Margaretha came to America sometime between 1848 and 1851. Two children were born in Germany in 1845 and 1848. Their next child, born in 1851, was baptized in this country. Since I cannot find the Stueve’s in the 1850 census, it leads me to believe they came after that census was taken. Our German Family Tree lists 4 children born in Perry County, making a total of 6 Stueve children. Children born in 1851 and 1853 were baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Then, in 1857, the split took place at Trinity, and Immanuel Lutheran Church was established. Claus J.W. Stueve was a charter member of that congregation.
A girl born in October of 1857 was baptized at Immanuel, Altenburg. Maria Stueve’s baptism record is the first one found in the new books of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
The last child born to Claus and Margaretha Stueve was baptized at Trinity, Altenburg. There must be a story explaining why this family moved back to Trinity, but I do not know it. The Stueve family is found in the 1860 census. They had 5 children at that time, and Claus was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.
We do not have a death record to pinpoint the exact time, but Margaretha died sometime around 1865. She would have been in her 40’s when she died. Finding no death record is likely because of the “Koestering Hole”. Claus would marry again. His second wife was Maria (Miesner) Mahnken. I will not go into much detail about her life, but I can tell you that she has been mentioned in a previous post written by Fred Eggers titled, The Johann Miesner Family in Scheeßel Church Records. In that post, an image of Maria’s baptism record was pictured. She was baptized in Scheeβel, Germany.
Maria Miesner had married Peter Mahnken, but he had died at about this time also, so she was a widow when she married the widower, Claus Stueve. There is no church marriage to view because it also took place during the “Koestering Hole”. We can, however, view a Perry County civil record for this wedding. I almost missed finding this record because the surnames were butchered on Ancestry.com, and Ancestry says the wedding took place on November 20th, not the 2nd.
Next, we find the Stueve’s in the 1870 census. Claus is called Claus, Sr. because their last child was named Claus. The two Mahnke children in this entry were ones from Maria’s previous marriage.
The last census in which we find Claus and Mary Stueve was the one taken in 1880. Claus, at the age of 67, was still a farmer.
Mary Stueve died later during 1880 at the age of 61. Her death record is found in the books of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Findagrave.com has an entry for her, but it has no gravestone photo.
Then, Claus died on August 4, 1881 at the age of 68. A Stueve family binder that we have in our research library says that he died of suicide by hanging himself. This might explain why there is no church death record for Claus, nor is there any other information about his burial. Claus had a last will and testament written and signed in March of 1881 saying he was of sound mind and memory.
There is not one grave site that we can definitively say is a place of burial for any of the main characters in this story, Claus, Margaretha, or Mary. However, they all played their important parts in the early history of this community.
While driving through town this morning, I stopped to take a photo of a new building project just getting started today. The Town of Altenburg is constructing a new pavilion not far from the City Hall and the place where the the old Ladies Aid Hall once stood. It will be a pavilion, complete with bathrooms, to serve the needs of our community. I love to see old, historic buildings around here, but I also enjoy seeing new ones being built.