You will read the story today of a young couple that got married in 1897, so they would be celebrating a special 125th anniversary on this day. Both the bride and the groom were born and raised in Farrar, and then they raised their family in Farrar as well.
Martha Marie Katherine Mangels was born on May 24, 1878, the daughter of John and Engel (Mahnken) Mangels. Martha’s baptism record is found in the books of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. That record is pictured here.
Martha is found in just one census entry as a single person. One thing I find amazing is the fact that in the 1880 census, we not only find Martha, but her future husband, Gottlieb Versemann, can be found right under the Mangels household. There is no doubt how these two got to know each other. They were neighbors.
A plat map from 1915 demonstrates how close the Versemann land was to the Mangels land. E. Mangels is Martha’s mother, who was a widow in 1915. Henry Versemann was Gottlieb’s older brother. You can also see how close their farms were to Farrar.
Gottlieb Michael Versemann was born on Reformation Day, October 31, 1872. That means Gottlieb would also be celebrating his 150th birthday in 3 days. There is a bit of a debate about his birthdate. His baptism record says he was born on October 30th, but that is the only document I located that had that date of birth. His military draft record, his death certificate, and his gravestone all say that he was born on October 31st. Gottlieb was the son of John and Engel (Hollmann) Versemann. Both Martha and Gottlieb had mothers named Engel. It is not surprising that when Martha and Gottlieb had their first child and it was a girl, that they named her, Engel. Gottlieb was also baptized at Salem, Farrar. His baptism record is shown below.
As mentioned earlier, Gottlieb Versemann married Martha Mangels on October 28, 1897. This was not the first Versemann/Mangels marriage to take place. Gottlieb’s older brother, John Versemann, had married Anna Maria Mangels, Martha’s older sister, in 1891. As you might expect, this wedding took place at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. We can take a look at the church record for this event.
The marriage license for this pair is also available to view.
It’s not the best image, but I can display a wedding photo of Gottlieb and Martha.
Between 1898 and 1922, Martha gave birth to 10 children. All of them were baptized at Salem, Farrar. Amazingly, 9 out of the 10 babies were girls. The first census in which we find this married couple was the one taken in 1900. I have to display one of those horrible images of their entry from the Salem Township pages of that year’s census. You cannot see it here, but it said that Gottlieb was a farmer. Only one child had been born prior to 1900.
The 1910 census shows 4 children in the Versemann family. One baby girl was born in 1908, but died the same day.
In 1918, Gottlieb had a World War I draft registration completed.
The Versemann’s had 7 daughters and 1 son when the 1920 census was taken.
One more daughter was born in 1922. Next, we find the Versemann household in the 1930 census. The two oldest daughters had gotten married before this census.
The 1940 census shows that the Versemann household was diminishing in size as their children got older, were married, or moved out on their own.
The last census entry we can view for Gottlieb and Martha was the one taken in 1950. These two were living with their only son, Edwin, and his family. Gottlieb, at the age of 77, no longer had an occupation listed.
At sometime later in their lives, Gottlieb and Martha had this photo taken.
Martha Versemann died in 1952 at the age of 74. Her death certificate is pictured here.
Gottlieb Versemann died in 1955 not long before his 83rd birthday. We can also view his death certificate.
Gottlieb and Martha Versemann are each buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar. Each of their gravestones uses the spelling of their surname using only one “n”. Gottlieb’s World War I draft registration already used that spelling. Both death certificates use just one “n”. I have used the double-n spelling in this post, partly because my typing fingers automatically put a double-n at the end of German Lutheran names.
Today’s story is another one of those in which the pair that got married were each born, baptized, confirmed, got married, raised their family, died, and were buried while being members of the same Lutheran congregation. There are quite a few Versemann’s still around this area, but with all the females in this Versemann branch, not many of our present-day Versemann’s came from Gottlieb and Martha. However, if you follow their Female Farrar daughters, you will find plenty of Versemann descendants from Gottlieb and Martha.