30 June 2012

Frederic Wilhelm Fiegenbaum

1902 — 1903

Geneva Cemetery

Geneva, Fillmore County, Nebraska, USA

Grave marker of Frederic W. Fiegenbaum
Geneva, Nebraska; May 2009.
Permission of Jane Michel; all rights reserved.

Frederic W.
Fiegenbaum
1902 - 1903

The dates engraved on this stone would indicate that it marks the grave of the first child born to Wilhelm Edward Fiegenbaum and Maude Mary (Montgomery) Fiegenbaum, who were also buried in this cemetery (in lot 408).

"Uncle Robert Montgomery informs us that Fredrick Wilhelm, a fine boy arrived at the home of W. E. Fiegenbaum and wife, in Geneva, Neb, Sunday, December 14, 1902. Their friends extend congratulations."

Source: The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri); Friday, 19 December 1902; Page 5, Column 3.

Digital copies accessed through Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (The Library of Congress) in December 2011 at:
(http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90061417/1902-12-19/ed-1/seq-5/)

"The many friends of W. Ed and Maude Fiegenbaum in Oregon and vicinity, were indeed sorry to learn of the death of their little baby boy, aged five months, Friday evening of last week, May 8, 1903, at their home in Geneva, Neb., and extend their heartfelt sympathy. Mr. Robert Montgomery and wife left Saturday to be in attendance at the funeral."

Source: The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri); Friday, 15 May 1903; Page 5, Column 2.

Digital copies accessed through Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (The Library of Congress) in December 2011 at:
(http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90061417/1903-05-15/ed-1/seq-5/)

It should be noted that in the obituaries for the child and for both of his parents (Maude in 1953 and Wilhelm in 1955) published in Geneva, Nebraska, the boy's name was reported as Frederick Robert Fiegenbaum.

DIED: At 6:00 p.m. Friday 8 May 1903, Frederick Robert, only child of Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Fiegenbaum, aged four months and twenty-four days. The little one had been sick but a day or two. Its death was very unexpected and was a great blow to the parents. The cause of death was not fully established. The funeral service was private and was conducted at the family residence at four o'clock Sunday afternoon by Rev. E. M. Evans. On account of the downpour of rain the interment of the body was deferred until two o'clock Monday afternoon. The Methodist choir sang at the funeral service. Friends sent many beautiful flowers.

Source: This transcription was provided by Frances Gretchen (Klein) Leenerts. She reported that the obituary had been published in the The Nebraska Signal, of Geneva, Fillmore County, Nebraska, on 15 May 1903.

The question of the child's "real" name is clearly a matter requiring further research. Until an authoritative answer can be discovered, I have chosen to identify him as it would seem the parents themselves did, assuming the gravestone is an accurate reflection of their intention.

Over the course of a number of years, The Holt County Sentinel, of Oregon, Missouri, often mentioned Mr. and Mrs. Robert Montgomery at the same time it was reporting news on Mary Maude Montgomery (married to Wilhelm Edward Fiegenbaum), Nellie Blanche Montgomery (who married Heinrich F. Fiegenbaum, a brother to Wilhelm Edward) and Grace Montgomery (married to Harry M. Dungan). Robert & Frances S. (White) Montgomery were uncle and aunt to the three girls, daughters of David and Hannah (Davis) Montgomery, but often appear to be acting in the capacity of parents. I currently have too little information about the Montgomery family to explain why the birth parents do not play a more prominent role in the adult lives of their daughters.

The Robert Montgomeries were long-time residents of Oregon, Missouri. Wilhelm Edward Fiegenbaum's father, Rev. Friedrich Wilhelm Fiegenbaum, had been the pastor of the German Methodist Episcopal Church at Oregon from 1892 to 1896. He and his wife, Louisa Otto, appear to have remained in Oregon until October 1902, when they moved to Wathena, Doniphan County, Kansas. And during a good part of that time, Wilhelm Edward run a jewelry business in Oregon before relocating to Geneva, Nebraska sometime prior to his marriage.

Brief Genealogy

Frederic Wilhelm Fiegenbaum - his father's family

Frederic Wilhelm Fiegenbaum - his mother's family

Fiegenbaum - Montgomery family

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