Today’s birthday girl begins her life in Germany, comes to America and settles for a while in Perry County, but ends up spending most of her life in Prairie City, Missouri. Before I get to the actual story, let me tell you that, if you want some great background information about how and why Perry County natives moved to Prairie City, I would urge you read an excellent post written by Fred Eggers titled, An Early Out-Migration of Original Immigrants.
Christine Elizabeth Stueve was born on January 1, 1845 in Lamstedt, Germany. That makes today her 178th birthday. Elizabeth was the daughter of Claus and Margaretha (Buck) Stueve. This past September, I published a post about Elizabeth’s mother that was titled, 200 Years for a Buck. Elizabeth was baptized at the church in Lamstedt, Germany. I am able to show the baptism record for her.
A younger sister of Elizabeth was born in Germany in 1848, and then the next Stueve child was born and baptized in Altenburg in 1851. Therefore, the Stueve’s must have immigrated sometime between those two years. And since I was unable to find the Stueve family in the 1850 census, I assume they came after that year. I was not able to find a ship’s passenger list showing the Stueve’s. Elizabeth’s father was a charter member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg in 1857, and then Elizabeth was confirmed at that congregation in 1858. We find Elizabeth in the 1860 census at the age of 15. Her father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.
Several events took place in Elizabeth’s life in the 1860’s, so let’s take a look at the man who would become her husband. His name was Johann Gottlieb Friedrich Bracher who was born on February 14, 1838. That means the couple highlighted today was one in which the husband was born on Valentine’s Day and the wife was born on New Year’s Day. Fred, as he was called, was the son of Johann and Maria (Krause) Bracher. Fred was born in Germany and when he was just a infant, his parents, as part of the Gruber Group, traveled to America aboard the Johann Georg which arrived in New Orleans in November of 1839. The passenger list for that ship shown below says that Fred was one year old.
Fred is found in the 1850 census at the age of 12. His father was a weaver
Next, we find Fred in the 1860 census. He was not living with his parents. We find him in the household of Andrew Delta. At the age of 22, Fred was probably working on Andrew Delta’s farm, but the census gives Fred no occupation.
Fred Bracher served in the Union Army during the Civil War. First, he was part of the Simpson’s Regiment, followed by serving in the 64th Regiment. Below are two documents showing his military service. He served under 2 captains who were also from East Perry County, Capt. Charles Weber and Capt. Charles Boehme. Fred rose in rank from private to corporal.
Fred Bracher married Elizabeth Stueve on January 28, 1864. This couple was married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for that wedding is shown below.
A civil record for this event can also be viewed, although it is not that easy to read. I almost did not find this record because Ancestry.com transposed their surnames as Procker and Stone.
This marriage raises a few questions in my mind. First, why would this marriage take place at Trinity and not Immanuel? Marriages usually take place at the congregation of the bride. Secondly, who would have performed this marriage? Rev. Breyer left Trinity in 1863, and Rev. J.F. Koestering did not accept his call to Trinity until the spring of 1864. On the civil record shown above, I cannot decipher the name of the pastor.
Three Bracher children were born in the 1860’s, and each of those 3 were baptized at Trinity, Altenburg. All of them were girls. The 3rd and last was born in October of 1869. However, when the 1870 census was taken, we find this family living in Prairie City, Missouri, where Fred was a farmer. His brother, Traugott, and his family were listed right above Fred’s family. Not only was Traugott Fred’s brother, but he had already married Catherine Stueve, Elizabeth’s sister. So, there were two Bracher/Stueve couples living in Prairie City. Another Bracher brother, Charles, who had married Johanne Braeuner, was also living there by the time of the 1870 census. It appears that one of Fred and Elizabeth’s daughters had died prior to this entry.
It appears that 4 more children were born to Fred and Elizabeth in Prairie City. When the 1880 census was taken, we find the following Bracher household.
On some plat maps from Bates County, we find several pieces of farmland belonging to families that moved there from Perry County. We see several Bracher farms, along with some Braeuner and Fleischer farms.
The next census we can view is the one taken in 1900. We still see his brother and his wife, the other Bracher/Stueve pair, living nearby.
The 1910 census is the last one in which we find either Fred or Elizabeth. These two were living with their son, Henry, who had gotten married and was referred to as the head of the household.
Elizabeth died in 1916 at the age of 72. We can take a look at her death certificate.
Fred died in 1919 at the age of 81. His death certificate says he died from pneumonia.
Friedrich and Elizabeth Bracher are buried together in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Prairie City.
There are 34 entries on Findagrave.com that contain the surname Bracher. There are probably additional grave sites in that cemetery that are markers for people who can trace their lineage back to the Bracher’s who moved there around 1870. These Bracher’s, along with a few others that arrived in that area from Perry County, were involved in establishing Zion Lutheran Church, which recently celebrated their 150th anniversary.