Adolph Heinrich Fiegenbaum
1793 — 1877
Jane (Lichte) Denny provided digital images of Adolph's obituary published in the US-based, German-language newspaper, Der Christliche Apologete.
Source: Jane (Lichte) Denny provided digital images of the obituary from which this composite was made. She reported that the obituary had been published in Der Christliche Apologete; 29 January 1877; page 39.
Transcription of the Obituary
Am 11. Januar 1877, des Abends um 10 Uhr, starb, alt und lebenssatt, aber selig im Herrn, Vater Adolph Fiegenbaum. Vater F. wurde geboren am 17. December 1792 in Kirchspiel Ladbergen, Regierungs=Bezirk Münster, Königreich Preußen. In 1832 kam er nach Amerika und ließ sich in St. Charles County, Mo., nieder; von dort zog er nach Warren County, Mo., woselbst er mit seiner Gattin nebst drei seiner Kinder unter der Arbeit Br. Zwahlen's erweckt und nach dem unter der Arbeit des selig entschlafenen Br. F. Horstmann gründlich zu Gott bekehrt wurde, und schloß sich auch daselbst der Kirche seiner Wahl an, der er treu blieb bis an's Ende. Die übringen drei seiner Kinder wurden schon früher in St. Louis, Mo., zu Gott bekehrt. Immer war Vater F. opferwillig, nie machte er Einwendungen, als der Herr einen seiner Söhne nach dem andern in's Predigtamt rief. Endlich kam auch die Reihe an den jüngsten Sohn, auf den der alte Vater sich stützen wollte in seinen alten Tagen; auch er sollte nun das elterliche Haus verlassen. Der Vorstehende Aelteste meinte: Nein, das geht nicht, daß ich den alten Leuten auch noch den entreiße! Doch der Vater war willig, auch diesen noch zu geben. O, welche Opferwilligkeit, ihr Väter!
In den letzen drei Jahren hatte Vater F. viel zu leiden, indem er sich durch einen Fall derart verletzte, daß er hülflos war und behegt und gepflegt werden mußte wie ein Kind, welches auch gewissenhaft und mit Liebe geschah. Er trug alles mit Geduld und ergeben in den Willen Gottes, wissend, daß dieser Zeit Leiden der Herrlichkeit nicht werth sei, die an ihm geoffenbart werden sollte. Er sehnte sich, daheim zu sein bei seinem Herrn. "Ja," sagte er, "ich möchte nun gerne heim gehen, dann ich habe schon lange darauf gewartet." "O ja," sagte er dann wieder, "ich gehe auch bald heim." Sein jüngster Sohn sagte mehrere Tage vor seinem Ende zu ihm: "Vater, du gehst nun bald über den Jordan." "O," sagte er, "durch den Jordan bin ich schon dindurch." Wenn die Schmerzen groß waren, rief er dem Herrn um Hülfe an. Er hat auch geholfen und alle Leiden ein Ende gemacht.
Nun ist es überwunden,
Nur durch des Lammes Blut,
Das in den schwersten Stunden
Die größten Thaten thut. Hallelujah!
Ja, er hat nun übermunden, was wir noch zu überwinden haben. Er ist nun daheim bei siener Gattin, die ihm vor etwa 5 Jahren voran ging in einer lebendigen Hoffnung des ewigen Lebens. Er hinterläßt vier Söhne, die alle auf Zions Mauern stehen und schon manche Seele den Weg zum Himmel zeigten. Nebst dem hinterläßt er zwei Töchter, wovon eine die Gattin des Br. Winter, gegenwärtig Preidiger in Springfield, Ill., und die andere, hierselbst wohnend, die Gattin von Br. Wellemeyer ist, in dessen Hause er starb, und die ihn auch hegte und pflegte bis an den Tod. Alle schauen ihm nach im Glauben und in der lebendigen Hoffnung des ewigen Lebens. Mögen sie Alle wieder vereinigt werden als eine "volle Familei," wo sein Scheiden mehr ist. Welche Freude wird das sein, wenn all mit der blutgewaschenen Schaar einstimmen in das: "Heil sei dem, der auf dem Stuhl sitzt, unserm Gott, und dem Lamm! Amen. Lob und Ehre, und Weisheit, und Dank, und Preis, und Kraft, und Stärke sei unserm Gott von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit! Amen."
Garner, Iowa.C. W. Henke
Translation of the Obituary
On 11 January 1877 at 10 o'clock in the evening, Father Adolph Fiegenbaum died, aged and finished with life, but blessed by the Lord. Father Fiegenbaum was born 17 December 1792 in the parish of Ladbergen, in the administrative district of Münster, Kingdom of Prussia. He came to America in 1832 and settled in St. Charles County, Mo.; from there he moved to Warren County, Mo., where he, with his wife and three of his children, was inspired by the work of Brother Zwahlen and thereafter was thoroughly converted to God by the mission of the blessed, departed Brother F. Horstmann, and embraced the church of his choice to which he was faithful for the rest of his life. The other three of his children had already turned to God in St. Louis, Mo. Father F. was always self-sacrificing and never objected when the Lord called one after another of his sons to the ministry. Eventually it became the turn of the youngest son, on whom the aged father wished to depend in his waning days; he, too, was to leave the parental home. The presiding elder objected: It is not right that I should take him away from the old folks! But the father was willing to surrender this son as well. Oh, what selfless devotion your fathers had!
In the last three years, Father F. suffered much from a fall in which he injured himself in such a way that he was helpless, requiring protection and care as if he were a child, which was done conscientiously and with love. He met it all with forbearance and surrendered to God's will, knowing that the suffering of this time would not be worth the glory that would be revealed to him. He longed to be home with his Lord. "Yes," he said, "I wish to go home; I have waited for it for a long time." "Oh, yes," he repeated, "I am going home soon." Several days before the end, his youngest son said to him: "Father, you are soon going over Jordan." "Oh," he said, "the Jordan is already behind me." When the pain was great, he cried out to the Lord for comfort. He came to his aid and brought the suffering to an end.
Nun ist es überwunden,
Nur durch des Lammes Blut,
Das in den schwersten Stunden
Die größten Thaten thut. Hallelujah!
Yes, he has now conquered what we must still overcome. He is now at home with his wife who 5 years earlier preceded him into the expectation of eternal life. He left four sons, all of whom stand on Zion's walls and have already shown many souls the road to heaven. He also left behind two daughters, one of whom is the wife of Brother Winter, the current pastor in Springfield, Ill., and the other, living here, is the wife of Brother Wellemeyer, in whose house he died and who also protected and nurtured him until his death. Everyone looks to him in faith and the expectation of life everlasting. May they all be reunited as a "complete family," where his parting is. What joy there will be when everyone joins their voices with the blood-washed flock: "Hail to Him, who sits on the Throne, our God, and to the Lamb! Amen. Praise and glory, and psalms, and thanks, and praise, and strength, and power to our God, for ever and ever! Amen."
Garner, Iowa.C. W. Henke
Source: Der Christliche Apologete, 29 January 1877; page 39. Jane (Lichte) Denny, of Illinois, provided digital images of the original obituary. This transcription & translation were prepared from those images by J. Mark Fiegenbaum.
Died: at the residence of H. F. Wellemeyer, Garner, Hancock County, Iowa, in the evening of 11 January 1877, and the evening of his life -- tired of this world but happy in the Lord, Father Adolph Fiegenbaum, aged 84 years and 26 days. Father Fiegenbaum was born in Perish Ladbergen, Circuit of Muenster, Prussia on 17 December 1792. In 1832 he came to America and settled in St. Charles County, Missouri, and from there moved to Warren County in the same state, where with his wife and three of his children he was truly converted, under the ministration of Rev. Frank Horstmann, and at the same time joined the M.E. Church, of which he was a member to the end of his life. The other three children were converted in St. Louis. In 1850 he moved from Missouri to Louisa County, Iowa, where he resided until about a year ago when he came to Hancock County, Iowa, with the family of Mr. H. F. Wellemeyer. During this last three years Father Fiegenbaum had to suffer a great deal, from injuries received in a fall, rendering him helpless, so that he had to be handled like a child. He bore all of this with great patience and gave himself up to the will of God, knowing that the sufferings of the present are not worthy to be compared with the Glory which shall be revealed hereafter. He had a desire to go home, for he often said, "I would like to go home now, for I have waited long," and then would repeat, "I shall go home." He has now gone to meet his wife who went some five years ago to that better land "where sin and sorrow are no more." His four sons are all living, and are in the ministry; Rev. H. R. Fiegenbaum, at present located here in Hancock County, is the youngest of the four. There are two daughters, one the wife of Rev. Winter, Pastor of a church at Springfield, Illinois; where the father, Professor F. W. Winter, is Principal of the Garner School, the other, the wife of H. F. Wellemeyer of this place, at whose house he died. All hope to meet him again where parting is no more. May they all be united in that world to come, as a full family, to praise the Lord forever. F. W. Henke, Pastor.
Source: A transcription of an obituary for Adolph Heinrich Fiegenbaum provided by Frances Gretchen (Klein) Leenerts in 2002. Gretchen stated that the obituary had been published in the Hancock Signal (Garner, Iowa) on Thursday, 18 January 1877.
- 19 December 1793
- Adolph Heinrich Fiegenbaum was born at Ladbergen, Grafschaft Tecklenburg (in northwestern Germany).
- 26 December 1793
- Adolph was baptized in the evangelical church at Ladbergen.
- 5 March 1797
- Christine Elisabeth Peterjohann was born. The year of birth may also have been 1795 or 1796. The exact place is not known; either Ladbergen or Lengerich, Grafschaft Tecklenburg, (in northwestern Germany).
- 1808 – 1815
From 1809 to 1810, the village of Ladbergen, Grafschaft Tecklenburg, was part of the Grand Duchy of Berg (Großherzogtum Berg). The Grand Duchy, under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte "in personal union," was a client state of the First French Empire.
From 1811 to 1813, Ladbergen was part of the First French Empire in Arrondissement (Distrikt) Osnabrück in the Département de l’Ems-Supérieur (Departement der Ober-Ems).
Following the end of the Napoleonic period, Grafschaft Tecklenburg was returned to the Kingdom of Prussia and became part of the Province of Westphalia (Provinz Westfalen).
- 25 October 1820
- Adolph Heinrich Fiegenbaum and Christine Elisabeth Peterjohann were married at Ladbergen, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia. It appears that they settled in the Hohne section of nearby Lengerich, Christine's home town.
- 15 October 1821
- A son, Heinrich Hermann, was born at Lengerich, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia. As an adult, he was most often known as Heinrich or Henry.
- 17 September 1824
- A son, Hermann Wilhelm, was born at Lengerich, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia. As an adult, he was most often known as Wilhelm or William.
- 25 October 1827
- A daughter, Christine Elisabeth, was born at Lengerich, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia. In many sources she is often identified as Catherine.
- 10 April 1830
- A son, Friedrich Wilhelm, was born at Lengerich, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia. As an adult, he was most often known as Friedrich or Frederick.
- 27 July 1833
- A daughter, Maria Wilhelmine, was born at Lengerich, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia. Her nickname was Minnie.
- Adolph was 40 years old when he emigrated from Lengerich, Kingdom of Prussia with his wife, Christine (age 37), and their children (ages 13 years to about 9 months). "When our mother and father and their five children - Rudolph had not been born then - landed at New Orleans, we were penniless. Henry, the oldest, was 12 years old, and Minnie, the youngest, was only a baby," recalled his son, Hermann Wilhelm in 1898. The family is reported to have disembarked at New Orleans, Louisiana in late June 1834 and to have traveled up the Mississippi by steamboat in nine days, arriving at St. Louis, Missouri about 3 or 4 July. They appear to have settled initially in Femme Osage Township, St. Charles County, Missouri. 1
- 2 January 1837
- A son, Heinrich Rudolph, was born in St. Charles County, Missouri. The birth and his baptism on 5 February 1837 were recorded in the baptismal register of the German evangelical church at Femme Osage, Missouri (founded in 1833 as the Deutsche Evangelische Kirchegemeinde and known since 1957 as Femme Osage United Church of Christ). As an adult, he was most often known as H. R. or Rudolph.
- 2 April 1838
- In St. Charles County Circuit Court, Adolph Fiegenbaum declared his intention to become a citizen of the USA.
- June 1840
The federal census of 1840 illustrates the difficulty of establishing where the Fiegenbaum-Peterjohann family resided during their early years in Missouri. The census provides the name of only the head of each household and then a count of the number of people of each sex in the household who fall into a range of ages. For example, the number of males less than 5 years of age; the number of males 5 years to less than 10 years of age; the number of males 10 years to less than 15 years of age; etc.
The census enumerated eight people living in the "A. Frigenbottom" household in Femme Osage Township, St. Charles County, Missouri.
The census also enumerated eight people living in the "Rudolph Feigenbaum" household in Charrette Township, Warren County, Missouri (in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article in 1898, Herman Wilhelm Fiegenbaum referred to his father as Rudolph).
In each enumeration, the total number of male and female members of the households was what would be expected based on information provided by other genealogical sources, but the distribution among age groups raises questions which have not yet been answered.
- 1 October 1840
- Adolph obtained a federal land patent in St. Louis, Missouri for 40 acres of land in St. Charles County, east of the village of Femme Osage.
- Adolph's elder brother, Johann Heinrich Fiegenbaum, and his extended family, numbering a group of at least 13 people, emigrated from Ladbergen, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia. They landed at Baltimore, Maryland on 28 June 1841 and settled in the area of Hopewell and Holstein, in neighboring Warren County, Missouri (see the passenger list of the bark, Leontine).
- 1 August 1844
- Adolph obtained a federal land patent in St. Louis, Missouri for 81.47 acres of land in the area of Hopewell and Holstein, in neighboring Warren County, where his brother's family had settled.
- According to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1898 which quoted Rev. Hermann Wilhelm Fiegenbaum: Mother had in former years admonished us against the doctrine of the Methodists, but this preacher changed her mind. She embraced the creed, as did all of us, in brief time. That was in 1844….
- 11 April 1847
- Son Heinrich Hermann Fiegenbaum married Clara Catherine Kastenbudt at St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri. He became a minister in the German Methodist Episcopal Church and they traveled widely throughout the middle western states.
- 22 August 1847
- Daughter Christine Elisabeth Fiegenbaum married Frank Henry Wellemeyer at St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri. He became a minister in the German Methodist Episcopal Church and they were active in church affairs in Iowa.
- 27 September 1849
- Son Hermann Wilhelm Fiegenbaum married Sophia Gusewelle at St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri. He became a minister in the German Methodist Episcopal Church and they traveled widely throughout the middle western states.
- 18 February 1850
- Daughter Maria Wilhelmine Fiegenbaum married Wilhelm Winter at Warrenton, Warren County, Missouri. He became a minister in the German Methodist Episcopal Church and they were active in church affairs in Iowa.
- The 1850 U.S. Census found the Fiegenbaum-Peterjohann family living in Wapello Township, Louisa County, Iowa. According to the enumeration, the household was composed of Adolph, age 57, a farmer; Christine, age 54; Frederick, age 21, a day laborer; and, Rudolph, age 14.
- 11 April 1852
- Son Friedrich Wilhelm Fiegenbaum married Louisa Otto at Wapello, Louisa County, Iowa. He became a minister in the German Methodist Episcopal Church and they traveled widely throughout the middle western states.
- 28 January 1860
- Son Heinrich Rudolph Fiegenbaum married his first wife, Elizabeth Ann Krümpel, at Colesburg, Delaware County, Iowa. His second marriage, on 27 January 1878 at Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa, was to Mary Elizabeth Hellweg (daughter of Methodist pastor Peter Hellwig and Martha Danker). H. R. became a minister in the German Methodist Episcopal Church and traveled widely throughout the middle western states, venturing as far as Idaho and Washington.
- July 1860
- According to the 1860 U.S. census, the Fiegenbaum-Peterjohann household in Wapello Township, Louisa County, Iowa, consisted of "Adolph Feigenbaum," age 67, born in Germany, a farmer; "Christina Feigenbaum," age 63, born in Germany; also, "Rudolph Feigenbaum," age 23, born in Missouri and "Elisabeth Feigenbaum," age 23 or 26, born in Germany, both of whom had been married within the year.
- In the 1870 U.S. census, the Fiegenbaum-Peterjohann household in Wapello Township, Louisa County, Iowa was considerably smaller: Adolph Fiegenbaum, age 76, born in Prussia, unemployed, a U.S. citizen; and Christena [sic] Fiegenbaum, age 73, keeping house.
- 17 September 1871
- Christine Elisabeth (Peterjohann) Fiegenbaum died and was buried at Colesburg, Delaware County, Iowa.
- 11 Jan 1877
- Adolph Heinrich Fiegenbaum died at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Henry Frank & Christine Elisabeth (Fiegenbaum) Wellemeyer, in Garner, Hancock County, Iowa, where he had been living for about the last year of his life (see his obituary). He was buried in Concord Cemetery at Garner. Christine Elisabeth (Peterjohann) Fiegenbaum's body was moved from Colesburg, Iowa and re-interred in Concord Cemetery at Garner.
Notes to Chronology
A definitive answer to the question of when the family emigrated from the Kingdom of Prussia and where they first lived after arriving in Missouri is hard to come by. Secondary sources are not in agreement. Even family accounts are sometimes contradictory.
See the More Resources section, below, for some of the documentation. Of particular note: Adolph's Declaration of Intention; an autobiographical sketch by Heinrich Hermann Fiegenbaum; Friedrich W. Fiegenbaum's autobiographical statement; an autobiographical sketch by Maria Wilhelmine (Fiegenbaum) Winter; and recollections from Hermann Wilhelm Fiegenbaum in an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1898.
A special essay on this subject attempts to gather together all the fragments of information and achieve a sound and acceptable solution until definitive documentary evidence settles the matter once and for all.