Teacher Sieving and His Perry County Bride

One of the main characters in today’s tale perhaps just spent a day or two in Perry County. As near as I can tell, he came to a church in Perry County to get married and promptly took his new bride elsewhere. His Perry County bride actually grew up in Cape Girardeau County just across the Apple Creek from the village of Uniontown, but the marriage took place in Perry County, so I choose to call her a Perry County bride. Let’s start with this bride because she is today’s birthday girl.

Bertha Josephine Schaefer was born on May 9, 1882, so today would be her 141st birthday. Bertha was the daughter of Christian and Julia (Bruhl) Schaefer. If you’d like to read a post about Bertha’s parents, you can find it here: Another Juliane Bruhl. Bertha was the 9th child in a family of 10. Bertha’s baptism record can be found in the books of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. That record is pictured here.

Bertha Schaefer baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

It took me a while to find Bertha in the first census we have the opportunity to view…the one taken in 1900. I know that she was not found still living with her parents who lived in the Apple Creek Township of Cape Girardeau County. In 1900, Bertha would have been 18 years old. I looked for her in St. Louis, figuring she might have been like a lot of other young ladies who went there to find work back in those days, but I failed to find her. I eventually found Bertha living in Quincy, Illinois in the Henry Hoelter household. Bertha’s sister, Anna, had married Henry Hoelter in 1897. Henry was a Lutheran school teacher.

1900 census – Quincy, IL

Not long after the above census was taken, Bertha got married to another Lutheran school teacher. I do not know the story behind Bertha Schaefer’s romance with a Lutheran teacher, but I suspect that her brother-in-law, Henry Hoelter, had something to do with it. Let’s take a look at this Lutheran teacher’s early life.

Albert Louis Reinhard Sieving was born on December 15, 1879, the son of August and Mary (Querl) Sieving. Albert’s mother was the sister of the main character, Herman Querl, in a post titled, Pastor Q. Albert was born in the Manito, Illinois where his father was the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Manito is not far from Peoria. That is almost certainly where you would find Albert’s baptism record. Albert is found in his first census in 1880 at the age of 5 months. At that time, Albert was one of 4 Sieving children, all boys.

1880 census – Manito, IL

Albert Sieving is one of those rare people that I found in two different census entries for the same year. First of all, in the 1900 census, we find Albert included in his parents’ household. This time we find his father as a pastor in the Plato Township of Kane County, Illinois which is located west of Chicago. In this entry, Albert, at the age of 20, was said to be “at school”.

1900 census – Plato Township, IL

In that same year’s census, we also find Albert in an entry from Addison, Illinois. Albert was attending the Lutheran Teacher’s Seminary in Addison, preparing to become a Lutheran teacher.

1900 census – Addison, IL

I think after he graduated, Albert took a call to St. James Lutheran Church in Reynolds, Indiana, which is not that far from Chicago. That leads us up to Albert taking a trip to Perry County to get married.

Albert Sieving married Bertha Schaefer on August 23, 1903 at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We find this couple’s marriage record in that congregation’s books. This document says that Albert was from Reynolds, Indiana. This record also states that Albert’s father, Rev. E.A. Sieving performed the wedding ceremony.

Sieving/Schaefer marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

We can also take a look at the marriage license for this pair. It says Albert was from Reynolds, but it states that town was in Illinois. There is a Reynolds, Illinois also, but the first child born to this couple was born in Indiana, not in Illinois, and I found evidence that child was born in Reynold, Indiana.

Sieving/Schaefer marriage license

A family tree on Ancestry.com says that Albert and Bertha had 9 children. When the 1910 census was taken, we find a very interesting situation. Not only do we find Albert Sieving as a parochial teacher in the White Township of Benton County, Missouri, but his father was also listed right above his entry, and it says he was the pastor in that location. Albert and Bertha had 2 children at that time.

1910 census – White Township, MO

I found a recent photo taken of the present church of Immanuel in Lincoln, Missouri. This congregation is not far from Cole Camp, Missouri which is the location of several other Lutheran congregations. We recently had a bus tour at our museum from this vicinity.

Immanuel Lutheran Church, Lincoln, MO

In the 1920 census, we find the Sieving’s living in New Minden, Illinois where Albert was teaching at a parochial school. He must have been teaching at St. John’s Lutheran School. St. John’s Lutheran Church in New Minden is one of the charter members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

1920 census – New Minden, IL

Here is a present-day photo of the New Minden church. A story is told around here that this church’s design was used to help design the 1867 church we still use at Trinity, Altenburg.

St. John’s Lutheran Church – New Minden, IL

Here’s an old photo of the early years of Trinity Lutheran Church showing its old church on the right and their 1867 church on the left.

Trinity Lutheran Church, Altenburg, MO

Next, we find the Sieving family in the 1930 census. Once again, Albert had taken a call to another Lutheran school. This time, we find them living near Fairmont, Minnesota. Albert was a teacher at Zion Lutheran School in a rural area outside Fairmont.

1930 census – Fraser Township, MN

Here is a recent photo of Zion Lutheran Church.

Zion Lutheran Church – Fairmont, MN

I am almost certain that Albert and Bertha were still living in the same location when the 1940 census was taken, but I could not locate them. Albert Sieving died in 1941 at the age of 61. I found a transcription of his obituary on Findagrave.com.

Albert Sieving obituary

We find Bertha as a widow in the 1950 census. She was living with a daughter and a son in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her daugther was a parochial school teacher.

1950 census – Indianapolis, IN

Bertha Sieving died in 1960 at the age of 78. A transcription of her obituary is also found on Findagrave.com.

Bertha Sieving obituary

Albert and Bertha Sieving are buried together in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery near Fairmont.

Albert and Bertha Sieving gravestone – Zion, Fairmont, MN

Perhaps Bertha brought her husband back to Perry County to visit Schaefer family members later in her life. However, the only church record we have of Teacher Sieving appearing in Perry County was his 1903 marriage record. On the other hand, it is likely that several letters made their way to Bertha’s residence prior to this couple’s wedding. The way I have it figured this pair must have carried on their courtship mainly by correspondence.

One thought on “Teacher Sieving and His Perry County Bride

  1. Fantastic article!!! I can only imagine how long you worked to find all of this information.
    It is a great read.


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