Much of today’s story will take place in Germany. It is the tale of a Stueve woman who married a Wichern man. In earlier posts, I have told of a Wichern woman who marries a Stueve man, but today you will read one that results in some more Wichern’s living in Perry County. I will begin with the Wichern who ends up as the groom in a German Lutheran wedding.
Johann Christoph Hinrich Wichern was born on December 13, 1827 in Rotenburg, Germany. Christoph was the son of another Johann Christoph Hinrich and Anna Catherine Marie Gesche Meier (or Meyer). We are able to view the baptism record for Christoph which took place at the Rotenburg parish in the Hanover region of Germany.
Apparently, our museum’s friend, Lori Adams, has done a lot of research on the Stueve and Wichern families. She has located quite a few baptism records from Hanover churches. On her Ancestry family tree, she includes 7 children in this Wichern family, 3 of them boys. All of the boys have the first name of Johann, so that is not going to be the name that the child would be called. Two of them also had the name Hinrich, one of them today’s character, so that is not likely what either of them was called. Therefore, as you’ve already seen, I call this person Christoph. The death record for him calls him Christian, which I consider close enough to Christoph.
Before Christoph married a Stueve, he had previously gotten married to a woman by the name, Gesche Wiese, who was born on May 17, 1825 in Lamstedt, Germany. Gesche was the daughter of Gerd Christopher and Margaretha (Kampen) Wiese. Her baptism record from the Lamstedt parish is displayed below.
Although I have no documentation for it, Ancestry family trees report that Christoph Wichern married Gesche Wiese on May 29, 1855. I found no evidence that this couple had any children. Then in July of 1871, Gesche died, leaving Christoph as a widower. He was not a widower very long. He married again in October. Let’s take a look at his Stueve bride.
Anna Elizabeth Stueve was born on March 25, 1848 in Lamstedt, Germany. That makes her about 23 years younger than Christoph. Anna was the daughter of Dietrich and Adelheid Stueve. The marriage record shown below indicates that Anna’s parents’ wedding was a Stueve marrying a Stueve. That is an indication that the Stueve surname was a common one in that region of Germany.
We can also view the baptism record for Anna E. Stueve.
We now discover the reason why I am writing this story today. Christoph Wichern married Anna Stueve on October 17, 1871, making today their 151st wedding anniversary. I do not have a document to display for this wedding. Anna Stueve was relatively young when she got married (age 23) while Christoph was already 43 years old when he remarried. Two children were born to this couple while they still lived in Germany, both of them boys.
According to a later census entry for Anna, it says she came to America in 1881. That means the Wichern’s missed the 1880 census, and since the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire, we cannot see any of the Wichern’s in an American census until 1900. As it turns out, Christoph died in 1895 at the age of 67, so he would never be seen in a census. Christoph’s death record in the books of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar states that he died of malaria. Christoph has an entry on Findagrave.com, but there is no gravestone photo for him.
Anna Wichern is found in the 1900 census living in the Salem Township. She is found on those pages of that township’s census that are often difficult to read. She was living with her 25 year-old son, Dietrich, who was a farmer.
Anna is found in the 1910 census, still living with Dietrich, although for some reason, she is called Emma.
Anna Wichern died in 1918 at the age of 70. We can view her death certificate.
Anna Wichern, like her husband, was buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery, but Findagrave.com does have a photo of her gravestone.
Only one of the Wichern children got married, but that one was the other son, Henry, who, along with his wife, Martha Cornehlsen, have 13 children listed in our German Family Tree. So, there are plenty of Wichern descendants that came from today’s couple.
I do not often do this, but let me tell you about a little local news (if you haven’t already heard it). The Mississippi River is very low these days. It is low enough so that people are now able to walk on dry ground to reach it. The last time this occurred was 10 years ago. Whenever this happens, it draws a crowd. This year may be the largest crowd to show up for this event. Traffic has been made even worse because some road work is being done between Altenburg and Tower Rock that results in one-lane traffic. The back-up this weekend was a sight I have never seen here before. Parking at Tower Rock is also almost non-existent. Yesterday, there was even an incident where a train passing along the road to Tower Rock struck a few vehicles that were parked too close to the track. There were no injuries, except to the vehicles. I don’t have copyrights to photos that are appearing in the media, so I won’t put them here, but a friend sent me this aerial photo that was taken yesterday and has given me permission to use it.
It certainly hasn’t been dull around here lately, and the weather forecast indicates we may still have a few weeks to deal with extra people around here. If you happen to decide to check this out, don’t forget to visit our museum which is open from 10 am to 4 pm with free admission 7 days a week.