Christina Wilhelmina Fiegenbaum
Wedding, 18 February 1885
The Nuptials of Tom Curry, of
Oregon, Mo., and Miss Mina
Fiegenbaum, of St. Jo-
"And the twain shall be one flesh" was beautifully illustrated in the marriage of Mr. Tom Curry, junior propietor of this paper, and Miss Mina Fiegenbaum, daughter of the Rev. Henry Fiegenbaum, of St. Joseph, which was performed at the German M. E. Church, St. Joseph, on Wednesday last, February 18th, 1885.
Weddings are generally happy occasions, and yet there is always an under current of sorrow observed in every one of them. Some times sighs escape from the lips of the young men, as they see her who has given them many a heart ache, giving the hand and heart they would have prized above all things else on earth to another; and the thought comes into their minds, "would it have been different had I spoken first?" But the sigh is hidden and the pain put out of sight, and with smiling lips and moist eyes they congratulate the happy pair. Some times the sigh comes from a maiden fair, who has enshrined in her heart a manly image and worshipped it in her secret thoughts. But he has found elsewhere the companion for life's joys and sorrows all unconscious of the pain and sorrow so unwittingly caused. She too has learned to hide beneath a smiling mask the deep wound, and laughingly adds her blessing on the happy pair. Oh, truly, love makes sad havoc in this world. How a wedding changes the current of many lives. The loving daughter is no less a loving daughter, but the mother well knows she can never hold the same place in the heart. New cares and responsibilities will take the place of the old, and in one sense of the word the separation between them is as final as the grave. The son may have as reverential a spirit for father and mother, but his love is divided, and by far the larger part is given to another. New ties are formed, new circles entered and the lines of life diverge more and more. But still there will be marrying and given in marriage, for heart will cling to heart, and love will exert his mighty power over the sons and daughters of men.
A host of friends had gathered, and at two o'clock P. M., the happy pair, accompanied by Mr. Fred Neudorff and George Schatz, were conducted to the altar, as Professor Kost rendered a beautiful wedding march, where the ceremony was performed by Rev. Frederick Fiegenbaum, of Eudora, Kansas, assisted by his brother, Rev. Rudolph Fiegenbaum, of Atchison, Kansas, both being uncles of the bride. The bride's father, Rev. Henry Fiegenbaum, who for a number of years has been in charge of the St. Joseph District of the German M. E. Church, and now pastor of the Third Street, German M. E. Church, was present and occupied a seat at the altar.
The bride was attired in a neat and modest traveling suit of seal-brown ottoman cloth, with hat and gloves to correspond. There seemed to be a hallowed influence over all, and the sharp, crisp air seemed to whisper praises to the queenly bride. There was universal assent by all present in view of the happy future in store for her, in the companionship of the husband of her choice. But in view of the separation which comes, there was a spirit of sadness with some of her more intimate acquaintances. Those who know her best, love her most, and with one voice say, "Blessed is he whose lot is cast with her in companionship. [no closing quotation mark]
Mr. Curry, or Tom, as he is familiarly called, has been steadily engaged in the printing business in our city for a number of years, and in August, 1883, was admitted to junior partnership in the Holt County Sentinel. An excellent printer and a young man of irreproachable character, the editor takes this occasion to express his confidence and high appreciation of his associate, and fully believes that the lady who has taken him into the life partnership will never regret the solomn vow she made on the day that made them husband and wife. The printers throughout the county from "boss to devil" wish him many years of prosperity and hope that his "first impression" will be a good one. We also hope that he will not soon have the misfortune to "pi" his form" and that, as each succeeding year increases his "circulation" and he adds from time to time "small fonts" of the same "series," keeping up with the times by issuing an occasional "supplement," he will not forget to put his "imprint" upon them.
The couple have the prayers of many warm friends who wish them a happy, useful and christian [sic] life.
The following is a list of the tokens of kind remembrances from friends:
- Steel engraving - Charles and Carrie Riemenschneider, St. Joseph.
- Picture frame - Mrs. J. F. Heintz.
- Panel thermometer - Mary Bauer.
- Glass water set - Mrs. Stadler and family.
- Water pitcher - Misses Walker.
- Patent French coffee pot - Dersch Brothers.
- China coffee pot - bride's mother.
- Berry set and vinegar pitcher - Mrs. Frank and family.
- Mustard owl [sic] - Henry Frank.
- Individual pepper and salt - John Michel.
- Silver pickle castor [sic] - Mary Varragut.
- Silver pickle caster - Tena Langrene and Anna Brennen.
- Silver pickle caster - Carrie Paul, Emma and Addie Ashford.
- Silver and glass toilet set - Lydia Mumm.
- Silver butter dish and knife - Mrs. and Anna Bauman and Albert Schoen.
- Silver caster - W. E. Sullivan and wife.
- Cake stand - Mary Schroer.
- Table cloth - Mrs. Jesberg.
- Bed-spread - Mrs. Riemenschneider.
- Ink stand - Henry and John Riemenschneider.
- Bread plate - Mr Steinel.
- Fruit stand - Mrs. Ochse.
- Bread plate - Mrs. Zimmerman.
- Pair Vaves [sic] - Mrs. Hope.
- Spice Box - Rose Kurz.
- Spice box - Mrs. Voss.
- Individual butter plates - Mrs. Aisquith.
- Set silver tespoons - Mrs. Priebe.
- Set silver tespoons - Mrs. Vosteen.
- Set silver tespoons - Mrs. Allie Kunz.
- Crumb pan - Nettie Steinmetz.
- Knife box - Clara Steinmetz.
- Gem pans - Dolphie Steimetz.
- Pair towels - Mrs. James Limbird.
- Mrs. Henry Blum. $5.00.
- One dozen silver table-spoons - Bride's mother.
- Clothes wringer and set of knives - Fred Neudorff.
- Hash bowl, hash knife, egg beater, potato masher, and coffee grinder - Mrs. Schatz and family.
- Rug - Mrs. Schuler and Bush.
- Table cloth - Mrs. Henry Pinger.
- China toilet set - Mrs. Charles Steinmetz and Anna Fiegenbaum.
- China dinner set - Uncle Billy Brodbeck and family, Oregon, Mo.
- Set of "Potts" irons - R. C. Frederick and wife.
- Pair of panel picture frames - J. C. Philbrick and wife.
- Pair of Turkish towels - Clark Philbrick and wife.
- Wash tub, board, clothes line and clothes pins - Cyrus Philbrick and family.
- Comfort, mattress and counterpane - groom's mother.
- Set of table mats - J. H. Nies and family.
- Silver cake basket - Dr. Thatcher and wife and Phil J. Zilles.
- Crystal pitcher and silver butter knife - Mrs. Howell and daughter Blanche.
- Peoria heating stove - Charles Marsh and P. M. Zook.
- Silver sugar spoon and butter knife - H. T. Alkire and wife.
- Bracket lamp - D. S. Alkire and wife.
- Silver syrup pitcher - Robert Lyons.
- Crystal pitcher - Suda Collins.
- Granite tea pot - Lewis and Emma Moore.
- Crystal fruit stand - Emma Kaltenbach.
- Set of silver teaspoons - J. B. Pyne and family.
- Tablecloth - E. Van Buskirk and family.
- One dozen napkins - Mrs. Gemecker.
- Half-dozen towels - Mrs. S. Q. Goslin and F. S. Montgomery.
- Fruit dish - E. P. Hostetter and wife.
- Toy - Emma Hostetter.
- Large rocking chair - May and Mont Curry.
- Camp rocking chair - W. R. Hoffmann and Emma Schulte.
- Tidy - Mrs. Bell Watson.
- Hand-painted plaque - Bonnie Brodbeck.
- George Meyer $5.00.
- Set silver fruit knives - D. P. Dobyns.
- Combination kitchen safe - Mrs. [sic] C. D. Zook and wife, Mound City, Mo.
- Individual salt and pepper set - Charles Brodbeck, Odell, Nebraska.
- Silver water set - Mumboldt, Nebraska, friends.
- Set silver knives and forks - Ernst and Emma Kaltenback, Maitland, Mo.
- Table cloth - Aunt Minnie Winter, Wymore, Nebraska.
- Silver syrup pitcher - W. McRoberts, Mound City.
- Easel, elephant and Chinese napkins - Emma Fiegenbaum, Eudora, Kansas.
- Flower set - W. F. Waller, Council Grove, Kansas.
Source: "Happy Hearts," in the Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri); Friday, 27 February 1885; page 1, columns 4-5.
Digital copy accessed through Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (The Library of Congress) in November 2011.
I am able to identify some of the guests of the wedding celebration who are mentioned by name in this article. More complete information may be found in the genealogical database.
Bride and Groom
More bibliographic information and photos for Thomas Curry and Christina Wilhelmina Fiegenbaum are available in the list of More Resources at the bottom of ths page.
Family of the Groom
Tom Curry's parents, James Barnes and Mary Ellen (Philbrick) Curry, are not mentioned by name in this account of his wedding, although the "groom's mother" did give a "Comfort [sic], mattress and counterpane" to the newlyweds. Their names do appear in a biographical sketch of Tom published in 1925 and in two of their son's obituaries from 1925. Those documents, along with brief biographical material about them, are available elsewhere in the Documents section of this web site.
"J. C. Philbrick and wife," "Clark Philbrick and wife," and "Cyrus Philbrick and family" are listed among those who gave gifts to the wedding couple. I assume these must be related to Tom through his mother, but I know so very little about the Philbrick family that I am not able to provide any further information.
May and Mont Curry gave a large rocking chair. May, was Tom's sister, who married Daniel Belden on 25 December 1897 in Oregon, Missouri. Montz was Tom's brother.
Tom's sister Emma married Charles D. Zook on 19 February 1884. They are no doubt the "Mrs. [sic] C. D. Zook and wife" of Mound City, Missouri, who gave a "Combination kitchen safe."
Family of the Bride
Christina Wilhelmine Fiegenbaum was the sixth child born to Rev. Heinrich Hermann and Clara Catherine (Kastenbudt) Fiegenbaum. Brief biolographical material about the parents of the bride is available with the documents connected with Thomas Curry. More extensive treatment of the parents and of the uncles mentioned in the article, Rev. Friedrich Wilhelm Fiegenbaum and Rev. Heinrich Rudolph Fiegenbaum, can be found among the additional resources listed at the bottom of this page.
The bride's father, Rev. Heinrich Hermann Fiegenbaum, was often identified in documents by his first given name - Heinrich or Henry. The same was true for his brother, Rev. Friedrich Wilhelm Fiegenbaum - Friedrich or Frederick. Another brother, Rev. Heinrich Rudolph Fiegenbaum, was often identified by both initials- H. R. - or by his second given name - Rudolph. The fourth brother in the family - Rev. Hermann Wilhelm Fiegenbaum - was frequently identified by his second given name - Wilhelm or William. He is not mentioned in this article, so presumably he and his family did not attend the wedding. I believe at the time of the celebration, he, his wife and a number of his grown children would have been living in or near Madison County, Illinois.
Mrs. Charles Steinmetz is mentioned as joining with Anna Fiegenbaum to give a china toilet set. Anna is no doubt one of the bride's sisters, probably Anna Julia Fiegenbaum, who tended to use her first given name, and not Anna Maria Fiegenbaum, who often used her second given name. Mrs. Charles Steinmetz is probably also a sister - Caroline Katherine "Carrie" Fiegenbaum, who married Johann Carl Conrad Steinmetz. Their daughters, Clara, Nettie and Dolphie (i.e., Emma?), ages 7 years to 1 year, 6 months, also gave gifts.
Emma Fiegenbaum, of Eudora, Kansas, gave an "Easel, elephant and Chinese napkins." An elephant is a unusal gift in the middle-western states of the U.S.A., no matter what the occasion, but there it is. Given her place of residence, I assume that this was Emma Maria Fiegenbaum (1864-1951), a daughter of the Rev. Friedrich Wilhelm Fiegenbaum who officiated at the marriage and a cousin of the bride. Emma would marry Jacob Miller on 15 September 1886 at Eudora, Kansas and perhaps she was particularly sensitive to the need for large wild life at a wedding.
"Aunt Minnie Winter, Wymore, Nebraska" gave a table cloth. This must have been Maria Wilhelmine Fiegenbaum (1833-1917), a younger sister of the father of the bride and wife of Rev. Wilhelm Winter (1825-1882).
Aunt Maria Wilhelmine "Minnie" (Fiegenbaum) Winter, like her siblings, was very active in the life and mission of the German Methodist Episcopal Church. She and her sister, Christine Elisabeth (Fiegenbaum) Wellemeyer, were married to men who were pastors in the church and their four brothers, mentioned earlier, were themselves active ministers. Over the course of their careers in the church, all six siblings moved frequently and widely across the country.
This guest gave the newly married couple a "Clothes wringer and set of knives." I do not think I am too far off base in assuming that this is Frederick Franklin Neudorff (1859-1940), a hardware merchant from St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri. In 1881, he married Lizette Clara Fiegenbaum (1862-1892), the bride's sister, and together they had three children before Lizette died in 1892.
In 1894, Fred married Mary Bauer and they had four children. A Mary Bauer is listed as a guest at the Curry-Fiegenbaum wedding.