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.
Post edited 1 March 2016 to correct name of birth mother.
In honor of tomorrow’s Veterans Day commemoration, this posting remembers a Frankenmuth veteran.
Johann Georg Veitengruber was born at Gräfensteinberg, Mittelfranken, Bayern (Bavaria) on 11 August 1836, the son of Johann Michael Veitengruber and Anna Margaretha (Bartel). He died at the Eastern Michigan Asylum, Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan on 12 December 1894. He was buried at St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Saginaw, Michigan on 16 December 1894.
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.
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.
Following the Civil War, George farmed at Frankenmuth Township. By June 1890 he was housed at the Eastern Michigan Asylum at Pontiac where he died. George did not marry.
How we are related: George is my second great grand uncle.
 St. Martinskirche von Gräfensteinberg (Gräfensteinberg, Bayern, Germany), Taufen [Baptisms] 1753-1836, p. 66, no. 17, Johann Georg Veitengruber (1836); browsable images, Archion (https://www.archion.de : 10 February 2016).
 “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan) Burials 1858-1916” (typescript, 1993-, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Offices, Frankenmuth), 1894: 4, Joh. Geo. Veitengruber.
 “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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
Yustine was born at Karwenbruch, Kreis Putzig, Westpreußen, Prussia, 28 November 1838, the daughter of Martin and Luise (Juni) Schmandt. She was baptized at the Evangelisch church at nearby Krockow on 9 December 1838. Under the auspice of the same parish she married Gottlieb Johann Treptow on 28 November 1867. On 20 July 1870, Yustine departed Hamburg with her husband and three children, including twin infants, aboard the S.S. Hammonia. Less than two weeks later they arrived at New York on 1 August. They settled at Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, Michigan where Yustine gave birth to three daughters.
Following the death of her husband in 1877, Yustine married Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Block at Frankenmuth at St. Lorenz Lutheran Church on 1 September 1880. They farmed at Birch Run Township, Saginaw County. She had one more daughter with this husband. Yustine died at Saginaw, Saginaw County on 16 November 1931, less than two weeks shy of her ninety-third birthday. She is buried with her second husband at St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth.
How we are related: Yustine is my second great-grandmother.
 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.
 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.
 “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.
 “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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 Huber, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book II: Baptisms (1857-1885), pp. 32-34, Block, no. 31.
 “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.
 St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery (Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, Michigan), C. F. William & Yustine Block marker, section 03; personally read, 2012.
“…I think I can say without exaggeration that there are not many other churches in our Synod that could be compared with Frankenmuth in this respect. I remember that President Schwan and others who, when I was pastor there, came to Frankenmuth from Saginaw on synodical Sunday were deeply impressed by the service, especially the powerful singing of the Lutheran chorales. Everybody joined in singing, men and women, old and young, and the congregation was really a ‘singende Kirche.’”
-Ludwig Ernest Fuerbringer, Pastor of St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan) from 1885-1893
 Ludwig Ernest Fuerbringer, 80 Eventful Years: Reminiscences of Ludwig Ernest Fuerbringer (St Louis, Missouri: Concordia Publishing House, 1944), 156; digital images, Hathi Trust (https://www.hathitrust.org : accessed 8 October 2015).
Frankenmuth, known for its Bavarian-style architecture and family-style chicken dinners, has been a tourist attraction for decades. When did it begin to gain its popularity as a great place to visit? I had heard it began during the Prohibition era when it earned some fame as a place to get a good meal and possibly some bootleg beer. But it seems it was gaining a reputation long before then as asserted in the following 1898 article, transcribed below, from The Saginaw Evening News.
A Modern Arcadia.
Such Might Frankenmuth be Regarded by a Poet.
If the Pen of Longfellow could be provoked from its long and silent rest, a fruitfield would be offered for its inspired mission in the peaceful and prosperous village of Frankenmuth. This place has become famous throughout the state because of its peculiarities of customs and the uniform contentedness of its people. Settled in 1845 by sturdy and industrious settlers, it has ever preserved an individuality and worked out its own destiny regardless of the changes which take place in the outside world.
The village has always been cut off from railroads and being compelled at first to depend entirely upon themselves, the inhabitants grew to be almost entirely self-supporting. Almost everything that they need is manufactured right in their own village, and besides supplying their own wants they export many articles of commerce to the outside world. The German arts of brewing, wine-making, cheese-making, flour milling and weaving are all brought to perfection there.
Perhaps the most striking feature of Frankenmuth life is the religious side of its existance [sic]. When the earliest settlers were yet on their way to the country they organized a church and called it St. Lorenz Lutheran church. A building was erected as soon as possible after settling the village and that later gave place to the splendid edifice, capable of seating 2,000 people which now stands as a monument to the religious spirit of the people. On each anniversary of the dedication of the church a festival is held which attracts thousands of people from miles around. This occurs the last Sunday in August.
 “A Modern Arcadia,” The Saginaw (Michigan) Evening News, 29 June 1898, p. 5, col. 3; digital images, GenealogyBank (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 14 January 2014).
 E. A. Mayer, Geschichte der Evangelisch-Lutherischen St. Lorenz-Gemeinde U. A. C. zu Frankenmuth, Mich. (St. Louis, Missouri: Concordia Publishing House Print., 1895), n. p. (placed prior to title page); digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 8 January 2015).
While recently vacationing on Prince Edward Island, Canada, I waded in Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Gulf of St. Lawrence is named for the same saint as St. Lorenz Lutheran Church in Frankenmuth. Interestingly, I’ve observed that Frankenmuth locals tend pronounce the name of the church in the English fashion, while visitors use the German pronunciation.
St. Lawrence of Rome was a third century Christian martyr. When asked to turn over the treasures of the church to the government, he brought forward the poor, crippled, and widowed as the church’s treasures. More can be read about the life St. Lawrence at AmericanCatholic.org and Wikipedia.