Henry and Hedwig – A Crosstown Couple

A famous Bach man was born on March 21st. I’m sure you have all heard of Johann Sebastian Bach, who was born on March 21, 1685. A not-so-famous Bachmann was born on today’s date in Perry County. That baby boy would be celebrating his 125th birthday today.

Heinrich Michael Bachmann was born on March 21, 1898, the son of Martin and Martha (Steffens) Bachmann. Henry was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. We can view an image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books.

Henry M. Bachmann baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Henry is found in his first census in 1900, but you may not be able to read it. It is found in the Salem Township pages that are often difficult to decipher. Henry was 2 years old, and his father was a farmer.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

In the 1910 census, we find Henry at the age of 12. The Bachmann family had gotten larger, with Henry as the oldest son.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

Some of Henry’s siblings were baptized at Zion Lutheran in Crosstown. Some of his siblings were confirmed at either Salem, Farrar or Zion, Crosstown. However, Henry was the only one who was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest. That confirmation took place in 1912. When the 1915 plat maps were produced, we find the Martin Bachmann farm located not far from Crosstown.

M Bachmann land map – 1915

In 1917, Henry had a World War I draft registration completed. On that form, Henry had a Crosstown address.

Henry Bachmann – WWI draft registration

Henry’s father died in 1918, so when the 1920 census was taken, we find his mother called the farmer in the family, with Henry and another brother were called farm laborers.

1920 census – Salem Township, MO

Now, we will turn our attention to the woman who would become Henry’s bride. Her name was Hedwig Caroline Oster, who was born on September 23, 1901. Hedwig was the daughter of Willis and Louisa (Muench) Oster. Hedwig was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Crosstown. Her transcribed baptism record is found in a binder that we have for Zion Lutheran Church in Crosstown.

Hedwig Oster baptism record – Zion, Crosstown, MO

This is an interesting baptism record based on information that can also be found in that same binder about the history of that congregation.

Zion Lutheran Church, Crosstown history

This paragraph says that the first meeting to establish this congregation took place in 1901. The official starting date for this church was 1902. Hedwig’s baptism must have been one of the first ones to be recorded in this congregation’s books because she was baptized before the congregation had been officially established. In the list of first signers of that church’s constitution, you do not find the Oster name, but you do find Martin Bachmann, Henry’s father. Also Peter Muench was Hedwig’s grandfather.

Hedwig is found in her first census entry in 1910 at the age of 8. She was part of a rather large Oster household. Her father was a farmer in the Salem Township.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

The last census in which we find Hedwig as a single woman was the one taken in 1920.

1920 census – Salem Township, MO

Henry Bachmann married Hedwig Oster on April 3, 1921 at Zion Lutheran Church in Crosstown. A transcription of this couple’s church marriage record is pictured below.

Bachmann/Oster marriage record – Zion, Crosstown, MO

We can also take a look at the marriage license for this couple.

Bachmann/Oster marriage license

Our German Family Tree lists 5 children born to this Henry and Hedwig, but I think 2 more were born to them after those 5. Their first child was stillborn. When the 1930 census was taken, we find this pair with 3 daughters. Henry was a farmer who was working on his father’s land near Crosstown.

1930 census – Salem Township, MO

Next, we find the Bachmann’s in the 1940 census. All 6 of their children who survived childhood were found in this household.

1940 census – Salem Township, MO

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1950. Included in their household this time were Hedwig’s parents.

1950 census – Salem Township, MO

Henry Bachmann died in 1976 at the age of 78; Hedwig Bachmann died in 1989 at the age of 87. Both died too recently to be able to view their death certificates at this time. Henry and Hedwig are buried together in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Crosstown.

Henry and Hedwig Bachmann gravestone – Zion, Crosstown, MO

I confess that when I discovered this Bachmann couple that lived and worshiped in Crosstown, I thought this might be the Bachmann family connected to our museum’s friend, Wayne Schuessler. However, when I looked into the Bachmann binder that we have which was compiled by Wayne, I did not find this particular Bachmann couple. I am sure Wayne will make sure I am not mistaken about this.

I do not think that today’s tale will make this Bachmann as famous as the other Bach man who was born on today’s date, but at least now a group of readers who are interested in East Perry County history know Henry’s story.


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