The 1956 Reunion of the Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois) Class of 1916

One hundred years ago this June, on the evening of 21 June 1916 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Springfield, Illinois, twenty young men graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary.[1] The Reverend Frederick Brand addressed the soon-to-be Lutheran ministers to “Go out in the name of the Lord, preach the gospel in the name of the Lord and do it under the protection of the Lord.”[2] My grandfather, Conrad Albert Rook, was a member of this class.

It would be forty years before many of these men would see one another again. On 16 June 1956, thirteen members of their class (which included a classmate who, though an original member of their class, graduated in 1915) held a reunion in St. Paul, Minnesota.[3]

Concordia Springfield Seminary Class of 1916 40th Reunion
“Spes Mea Christus, 1916-1956,” folder cover.

To help commemorate the occasion, the class members each wrote short autobiographies and compiled them into a folder with the Latin title, “Spes Mea Christus” [My hope is Christ].[4] Each pastor wrote his biography differently; many include reminisces of their early, college, and later years, providing what are probably rare glimpses into the lives of these men.

These were the “good ole days” in Springfield, especially the three years I roomed in the third story of the “Kaffee Muehle”. Never will I forget the two years of fellowship in Room 302 with “Dad” Strickert, “Dutch” Heilman, Fritz Wegener, Herman Schleef, and my older brother who considered it his bounded duty always to keep a watchful eye over me.

-Rev. Conrad Albert Rook[5]

The following men contributed autobiographies to the typescript:

  • Rev. J. August Birnbaum
  • Rev. August F. Bobzin
  • Rev. Herman Dubbe
  • Rev. Edward C. Hauer
  • Rev. Gotthilf Hermann Hentschel
  • Rev. Paul R. Jank
  • Rev. Bernard W. Jannsen
  • Rev. Ludwig Karcher
  • Rev. Henry F. Krohn
  • Rev. George E. Nelson
  • Rev. Fredrick W. Parduhn
  • Rev. Herman J. Reinking (graduated 1915)
  • Rev. Conrad Albert Rook
  • Rev. Arthur Schulz
  • Rev. Arthur F. Wegener
  • Rev. Fred A. Wegener
  • Rev. Edward L. Wittkopp

The folder, passed down to my mother, is a family history treasure. A digital copy of the typescript was given to the Concordia Historical Institute in St. Louis, Missouri in 2015. (For more information on the Concordia Historical Institute, see this post.) Copies of the autobiographies should be obtainable through them. I am also able to share them with family members and researchers (see my contact information under the “About” section). I hope this posting finds its way to the descendants of Springfield’s Concordia Theological Seminary Class of 1916.

Reference Notes:

  1. “Young Pastors Given Diplomas,” Illinois State Register (Springfield), 22 June 1916 (Thursday), p. 8, col. 4; digital images, GenealogyBank (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 4 February 2013).
  2. Ibid.
  3. “Lutheran Pastor Completes 40th Year in the Ministery,” clipping dated 1956, from unidentified newspaper (probably from Battle Creek, Michigan); Collier Collection, vol. 65, p. 12, Willard Library, Helen Warner Branch, Battle Creek, Michigan.
  4. Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois), Class of 1916, “Spes Mea Christus, 1916-1956” (typescript, 1956); copy in possession of Mary Bernthal [address for private use], 2016.
  5. Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois), Class of 1916, “Spes Mea Christus, 1916-1956,” upaginated, autobiography of Conrad Albert Rook.

 

Behind-the-Scenes Tours of St. Lorenz

St_Lorenz_Church_video
St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, Frankenmuth, Michigan; still, St. Lorenz Foundation, The Church You May Not Know (Frankenmuth, Michigan: St. Lorenz Foundation, n.d.).

If you’re curious to learn more about the history of Frankenmuth’s St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, check out the videos posted on the St. Lorenz Lutheran Church and School website. The first video shares the history of St. Lorenz Lutheran Church and showcases the stories behind the edifice’s stained-glass windows. The second video, titled The Church You May Not Know, shares some “behind-the-scenes” footage including views from the bell tower and the transept’s dome.

 

Tracking Your [German] Ancestors : Ohio Genealogical Society Conference 2016

OGS2016conference

If you’re looking to hone your German genealogical research skills, it may be worth your while to check out this year’s offerings at the Ohio Genealogical Society’s annual conference. This year’s theme is “Tracking Your Ancestors.” The conference will take place April 28-30 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. The conference includes six simultaneous lecture tracks to choose from, including an all workshop track, as well as an exhibit hall and several banquets and social events. And it’s located at a pretty sweet indoor water park.

I have attended the OGS conference twice, and both times found there to be an impressive variety lectures and nationally recognized speakers. There is no such equivalent conference offered in Michigan, so it’s a great opportunity for those of you who live in that state to attend a large genealogical conference nearby. Presumably, most of my readers are interested in German and German-American research. This year’s conference is rich in these offerings. The following lectures and workshop have a German research focus:

  • Elizabeth L. Plummer: German Resources at the Ohio History Connection.
    Find out what the Ohio History Connection’s archives/libraries have to offer that will help you with your German family history research.
  • Teresa McMillin: So, You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin, Now What?
    If you’ve found the name of your ancestor’s German town of origin but are new to researching in German records, this will get you started.
  • Teresa McMillin: He Took Her Name: Understanding German Farm Names.
    In certain areas of Germany, a man had to change his surname to inherit a farm. Learn about this custom and its impact on research.
  • Michael Lacopo: German Genealogy on the Internet: Beyond the Basics.
    Learn about online sites that all German-American genealogists should be aware of. There will be a strong concentration on lesser-used German sites.
  • Sharon MacInnes: Desperation, Displacement, Determination, and Deuteronomy: Colonial Germans.
    Leaving one’s home behind was a momentous decision. Why did they leave? Why did they come here? How? What records did they leave?
  • Jenni Salamon: From Deutschland to Ohio: German Newspapers at the Ohio History Connection.
    Learn about the German-language newspapers at the Ohio History Connection and how you can access the vast amounts of family history information they hold.
  • Teresa McMillin: Read the Tabloids: German Church Records.
    German church records sometimes deliver extra information, like modern tabloids. This talk is an entertaining learning experience, providing insights into our ancestors societies.
  • James M. Beidler: German Handwritten Script and Fraktur Font. (Workshop/3 hours/additional fee).
    This skills workshop teaches vocabulary and formats so participants can read tombstones and church records of German-speaking people. Included is practice writing and deciphering.    
  • Robert Rau: Reading German Church and Civil Records.
    This presentation will discuss some of the aspects of old German handwriting, and give many examples of church and civil records used in studying German ancestry.
  • James M. Beidler: Online German Church Registers, Duplicates and Substitutes.
    Many German church records are coming online. Learn whether you’re looking at originals, duplicates or extracts from these records and why you should know the differences.
  • Robert Rau: Eissfeller Vorfahren – Searching for Gertrud Eissfeller and her Ancestors.
    This presentation is a case study of the search for a distant ancestor and extending her lines back three more generations in a small village in Hessen.
  • Teresa McMillin: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Hanover Military Records.
    Learn about the Kingdom of Hanover’s military records available to researchers in this country. This collection spans 1514-1866 and includes nineteenth century conscription lists.

All session descriptions are taken from the conference brochure. More information is available on the OGS Conference website, including the full conference brochure.

FrankenGen’s 2nd Year (2015) in Review

Happy New Year!

Following are FrankenGen’s most popular posts from 2015:

1. Field Trip Friday: Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum, Cincinnati, Ohio

2. Getting a Genealogical Education : NGS & IGHR

3. Review : Evie Finds Her Family Tree

4. Military Monday : 29th Michigan Infantry. Rally, Boys!

5. Frankenmuth & The Great Thumb Fire of 1881

The post I wish more people had viewed is:

Connecting the Hufnagels of Bay and Saginaw Counties

Probably my favorite posts of the year are:

The Lovira Hart Letters : Frankenmuth Noted

and

A Living Father’s Day Memory

Thanks for reading FrankenGen. Please share this blog with your friends and family. More content is planned for 2016. I look forward to reading your comments and listening to your suggestions!

Tombstone Tuesday : Johann Georg Veitengruber

In honor of tomorrow’s Veterans Day commemoration, this posting remembers a Frankenmuth veteran.

Johann Georg Veitengruber grave marker, St Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan; 2012.
Johann Georg Veitengruber grave marker, St Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan; 2012.

Johann Georg Veitengruber was born at Gräfensteinberg, Mittelfranken, Bayern (Bavaria) on 11 August 1836, the son of Johann Michael Veitengruber and Anna Maria (Auernhaimer/Auernhammer).[1] He died at the Eastern Michigan Asylum, Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan on 12 December 1894.[2] He was buried at St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Saginaw, Michigan on 16 December 1894.[3]

Johann Georg immigrated to the United States accompanied by his parents and siblings with the second group of settlers that came to Frankenmuth. They sailed from Bremen aboard the Brig Georg Duckwitz which arrived at New York on 9 May 1846.[4]

At 25 year old, “George” enlisted with the U.S. Army on 23 September 1861 in Company M, 3rd Regiment Michigan Calvary, during the American Civil War. He served the company as a farrier/blacksmith. While serving he became sick and was discharged for disability on 26 August 1862. He suffered from chronic rheumatism.[5]

Following the Civil War, George farmed at Frankenmuth Township.[6] By June 1890 he was housed at the Eastern Michigan Asylum at Pontiac where he died.[7] George did not marry.

How we are related: George is my second great grand uncle.

Reference Notes:

[1] Elaine Huber, translator, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book I: (1847-1857),” (typescript, 1990, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Offices, Frankenmuth), no. 27.

For location, Bavaria Inn of Frankenmuth Guest Room Family Histories, “Veitengruber Family”; Web, “Guest Room Family Histories,” Bavarian Inn of Frankenmuth (http://www.bavarianinn.com : accessed 9 November 2015).

[2] “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan) Burials 1858-1916” (typescript, 1993-, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Offices, Frankenmuth), 1894: 4, Joh. Geo. Veitengruber.

[3] ibid.

[4] “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 November 2015), manifest image, Brig Georg Duckwitz, Bremen to New York, arriving 9 May 1846, p. 2, Joh. Mich Veitengruber family; citing National Archives microfilm publication M237, roll 61, list no. 280.

[5] Compiled service record, George Veitengruber, Co. M, 3 Michigan Calvary; Carded Records, Volunteer Organizations, Civil War; Record Group 94; Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780s-1917; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[6] 1870 U.S. Census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Frankenmuth Township, p. 19, line no. 28, dwelling 119, family 120, J. Georg Veitengruber; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 November 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 702.

1880 U.S. Census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Frankenmuth [Township], enumeration district (ED) 308, p. 13, line no. 21, dwelling 108, family 109, Johann George Veitengruber; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 November 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 602.

[7] 1890 U.S. Census, Oakland County, Michigan, “Special Schedule: Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, and Widows,” Eastern Michigan Asylum, ED Special, p. 1, no. 11, John G. Veitengruber; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 November 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication M123, roll 18.

Tombstone Tuesday : Auguste Yustine (Schmandt) (Treptow) Block

C. F. William & Yustine Block grave marker, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan; 2012.
C. F. William & Yustine Block grave marker, St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan; 2012.

Yustine was born at Karwenbruch, Kreis Putzig, Westpreußen, Prussia, 28 November 1838, the daughter of Martin and Luise (Juni) Schmandt.[1] She was baptized at the Evangelisch church at nearby Krockow on 9 December 1838.[2] Under the auspice of the same parish she married Gottlieb Johann Treptow on 28 November 1867.[3] On 20 July 1870, Yustine departed Hamburg with her husband and three children, including twin infants, aboard the S.S. Hammonia.[4] Less than two weeks later they arrived at New York on 1 August.[5] They settled at Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, Michigan where Yustine gave birth to three daughters.[6]

Following the death of her husband in 1877[7], Yustine married Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Block at Frankenmuth at St. Lorenz Lutheran Church on 1 September 1880.[8] They farmed at Birch Run Township, Saginaw County.[9] She had one more daughter with this husband.[10] Yustine died at Saginaw, Saginaw County on 16 November 1931, less than two weeks shy of her ninety-third birthday.[11] She is buried with her second husband at St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth.[12]

How we are related: Yustine is my second great-grandmother.

Reference Notes:

[1] Evangelische Kirche Krockow (Kreis Putzig, Westpreußen, Prussia), Kirchenbuch 1824-1846, births and baptisms, unpaginated, 1838, no. 100, Yustine Schmandt; Family History Library (FHL) microfilm 245,382.

[2] ibid.

[3] Evangelische Kirche Krockow (Kreis Putzig, Westpreußen, Prussia), Heiratsregister 1847-1944, unpaginated, 1867, no. 20, Gottlieb Joh Treptow & Auguste Eva Schmandt; FHL microfilm 245,381, item 4.

[4] “Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934,” database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 October 2015), manifest image, Hammonia, Hamburg to New York, leaving 20 July 1870, p. 642, line nos. 335-39, Johann Treptow family; citing Bestand [inventory no.] 373-7I, VIII (Auswanderungsamt I), Direkt Band [vol.] 024; Staatsarchiv Hamburg microfilm no. K_1715.

[5] “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 October 2015), manifest image, Harmonia [S.S. Hammonia], Hamburg to New York, arriving 1 August 1870, unpaginated, line nos. 333-37, Joh. Treptow family; citing National Archives microfilm publication M237, roll 332.

[6] Elaine Huber, translator, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book II: Baptisms (1857-1885),” (typescript, 1995, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Office, Frankenmuth), pp. 32-34, Block, no. 31.

[7] Huber, Elaine, translator, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book II: Burials (1858-1885).” (typescript, 1993, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Office, Frankenmuth), 1877, p. 1, Gottlieb Johann Treptow.

[8] Elaine Huber, translator, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book II: Baptisms (1857-1885),” (typescript, 1995, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Office, Frankenmuth), p. 32, Block, no. 31.

[9] 1900 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Birch Run Township, enumeration district 22, sheet 9-B, dwelling 204, family 204, William C. Block household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 October 2015); citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 739.

[10] Huber, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book II: Baptisms (1857-1885), pp. 32-34, Block, no. 31.

[11] “Death Records, 1921-1947,” database and images, Michigan History Foundation, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org : accessed 24 October 2015), death certificate image, Saginaw County, no. 17310466 (state office no.), Yustina Block, 16 November 1931.

[12] St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery (Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, Michigan), C. F. William & Yustine Block marker, section 03; personally read, 2012.