The following article was published in The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri) on Friday, 18 April 1902.
FOR FIFTY YEARS.
Rev. Frederick Fiegenbaum and Wife, of This City. Celebrate
Their Golden Wedding, Friday. April 11.
In company with his parents and brothers and sisters, there landed at New Orleans, one fine summer day in June, 1834, bright lad of four summers. From there they took a steam boat, landing at St. Louis where the cannon were booming and flags waving in honor [word obscured] the nation's 42nd birthday. Here they rested for a while, after a nine-weeks journey across the ocean. Then the family proceeded to Warren county, Mo., and engaged in farming.
This lad of four is today a gray haired veteran in the service of his Master, and has passed his three-score and ten. He was born in Old Prussia, Germany, April 10th, 1830. He remained upon the farm and became a farmer. When 17 years of age he was converted and united with the M. E. church. He felt he was called to enter the service of his Master; but he liked the farm life and felt that he should continue in this work. In 1850 he went with his parents to Wapello, Ia. The lad; the farmer boy is today our fellow townsman, the Rev. Fred Fiegenbaum, who on Friday of last week, April 11th, celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary.
While living in Warren county, one of his neighbors, named Otto, had a nice little girl, and they became acquainted of course; they left the neighborhood, and the families became separated, but they again met in Iowa; the acquaintance was renewed, which in due time resulted in a wedding, and Frederick Wilhelm Fiegenbaum and Miss Louisa Otto, became husband and wife, the ceremony being performed in the German M. E. stone church in Wapello, Ia., April 11, 1852.
The ceremony uniting these two people was performed by the groom's brother, Rev. Henry Fiegenbaum, who on this 50th anniversary was present to renew those bonds that had united these people for those long fifty years. Who amid all the trials and adversities of life had gone hand in hand; heart to heart; soul to soul along down life's rugged pathway - Loving and serving their Master - Loving and serving each other. Feeling all through these years as the 23 Psalm - 1-4 has taught them:
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me."
One year after his marriage, he still felt that he should enter the field of the ministry - he felt that he could no longer resist the call, and entered for a four years' course of preparation in Brush College in this state, and in the spring of 1853 he entered his Masters's [sic] service and began preaching at Peoria, Ill., where he remained for nearly two years. On September 13, 1857, he was ordained a deacon by Bishop E. S. James at Rock Island, Ill., September 13, 1857, he was ordained an Elder by Bishop E. R. Ames, at Marion, Ia. From 1853 to 1893 he was actively engaged in the work of the ministry excepting two years, 1872-3, which years he rested on account of health, and in 1873-5 he took a two years' course at Mount Pleasant, Ia. Forty years, service in the Master's vineyard - Many of these years were such as try one's zeal and earnestness. When he entered the service, there were but few railroads; traveling from station to station was chiefly by horseback; the exposures were of such character, that only the strong and sturdy could withstand them. Only his advanced years and with feeble health, incident thereto, caused him to surrender his work, which he did here in 1896. During these 40 year [sic] she [sic] has been stationed at the following places:
Cedar Lake, Ind...............1855-56
Chirls [sic] Mount, Ia......1856-58
St. Paul, Minn..................1861-65
Burlington, Ia., Dist.........1865-67
Des Moines, Ia................1869-71
Polk City, Ia....................1871-73
Clay Center, Kan............1885-88
The wife of today and the young bride of 50 years ago, was born in Hanover, Germany, August 13, 1832, and when a mere babe of nine months came to this country with her parents, who settled in Warren county, Mo., thence to Washington county, Ia., then near Wapello, Ia.
There has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Fiegenbaum nine children: three girls and six boys, all of whom are magnificent types of the true, high-minded, honorable, clean citizenship. The children are:
Minnie Sexauer, whose husband is a farmer near Des Moines, Iowa; they have five children.
Adolph is a clerk in the war department at Washington; married and has one child.
Lydia Howard, wife of a farmer, near Sac City, Iowa; they have one child.
Louis, is a druggist at Geneva, Neb.; is married and has one child.
Theodore is a druggist at Lincoln, Neb.; is married.
Emma Miller is the wife of a druggist at Wathena, Kan, they have five children.
Benjaman [sic] is also a druggist, and in business at Western, Neb.; married.
Henry is in the hardware business at Lawton Okla; married.
Edward is the kid of the family and is a jeweler at Geneva, Neb., married.
In addition to the immediate children, Mrs. Rosana McDougle [sic], of Gowrie, Ia., was here, she being a daughter of Mrs. Sexauer. She was accompanied by her eldest daughter, Mrs. C. W. Piekenrock [sic] and husband of Ellston, Ia. This completed the circle of four generations represented at the anniversary.
The children are all living and were here to celebrate the anniversary of the wedding of their father and mother. It was just such another glorious April as this - 50 years ago - as brightly prophetic of happiness in their life of activity as Friday last was emblematic of declining years, crowned with peace and honor. That wedding of 50 years ago as other weddings of that time, had little of the pomp and circumstance which grace the nuptials of today. There were no rehearsals, no attendants, no banks of palms and roses, but how much that, solemn service meant, Friday and its memories bear evidence. Father and Mother Fiegenbaum's life here is its own commentary. Its fruitage speaks for it more than eloquence can tell. Their life has been peculiarly blessed. Not a death has broken the circle of their immediate family. Their nine children with their thirteen children enjoyed the 50th anniversary of the wedding of their parents and their grandparents.
Naturally, Friday April 11th, 1902, was one of joy and thankfulness to these two whose lives have meant so much and who have been greatly and so deservedly blessed. Their home is a modest and unpretentious one, and on account of the limited space the children made their order for a sumptuous dinner and luncheon, which was served at the Lawn hotel, and was most elaborate affair in every detail to which some 50 of the more intimate friends and near relatives were invited, and at their home they with numerous friends came to rejoice with them in attaining what so few attain, not only years, but usefulness.
Forty-one guests gues's [sic] gathered in the dining room at the Lawn hotel at 1 o'clock. Louis Fiegenbaum, second son of the haypy [sic] couple, had charge of the affair. Rev. Fiegenbaum, of St. Joseph, was the first speaker. He recalled the time when the couple was married by him half a century ago. Rev. John Siekmann, of Oregon, followed with a short address. A. H. Fiegenbaum, a son, then presented the aged parents with a loving cup. On one side were the names of the nine children, all of whom were in attendance. On the other side were the words: "1852 - Wapello, Iowa, Golden Wedding Anniversary, Oregon, Mo., April 11, 1902.
After the presentation of the cup both the bride and groom made short replies. Robert Montgomery, of Oregon, followed with a few words of congratulation. At the conclusion of the wedding feast the guests repaired to the court house lawn where a photograph of the entire group was taken.
The children with their families in the order of their ages are as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Sexauer and son, Roscoe, Ankeay [sic], Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Fiegenbaum, Washington, D. C.; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Howard and daughter, Genevieve, Sac City, Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. Louis S. Fiegenbaum and daughter, Inez, Geneva, Neb.; Mrs. [sic] and Mrs. Theodore J. Fiegenbaum, Lincoln, Neb.; Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Miller and children Louise, Frieda, Wilma, Kenneth, and Katherine, Wathena, Kas.; Mr. and Mrs. Benjaman [sic] F. Fiegenbaum, Western, Neb.; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Fiegenbaum, Lawton, Okla.; Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Fiegenbaum, Geneva, Neb. Other guests were Mrs. Rosanna [sic] McDougall [sic] and daughter, of Gowrie, Ia., Mr. and Mrs. Clara Piekenbrock, Ellston, Ia.; the women being grandchildren; Mr. John Otto, Wapello, Ia.; Mrs. Mary Wagner, Ankeny, Ia.; brother and sister of the bride; Rev. H. Fiegenbaum, brother of the groom; Miss Anna Fiegenbaum, of St. Joseph; Rev. J. Seikmann, pastor of the German M. E. church, Oregon, Mo.; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Montgomery, Oregon, and Mr. and Mrs. Tom Curry, Willie and Anna Curry, of Oregon.
The Fiegenbaum family is a remarkable one in one particular; the family consisted of four brothers and two sisters, all of whom are still living, the sisters being widows, and the four brothers were ministers of the German M. E. church. The eldest, Henry began his ministerial work in 1847, and on the same day of the month, April 11, 1847, he too, was married, and 1897 celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary.
This is the fourth golden wedding to be celebrated in the family. The first that of Rev. and Mrs. Henry Fiegenbaum took place just five years ago Friday in St. Joseph, an interesting ceremony being performed at the German M. E. church. In August, 1897, Henry and Catherice [sic] Wellemeyer, the latter being a sister of the Fiegenbaum brothers, celebrated their golden wedding at their home in Garner, Ia. In 1900 Rev. and Mrs. William Fiegenbaum celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Edwardsville, Ill.
They were the recipients of handsome presents as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Pieckenbrock berry spoon.
Mr. and Mrs. Sexauer and family, a half dozen solid silver spoons.
Mr. and Mrs. Fiegenbaum, three souvenir spoons of Washington, D. C.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Howard, a gold handled hat brush and two souvenir spoons of Sac City, Ia.
Inez Fiegenbaum, a bon bon spoon.
Anna Fiegenbaum, a linen table cover with fancy yellow border.
John Otto and Mary Waggoner, a fine clock.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Montgomery, a silver, gold lined cake basket.
Mrs. Sophia Good, St. Paul, Minn., a bon bon spoon.
They also received several pieces of gold money, amounting in all to several dollars.
The family moved to Minnesota in the autumn of 1859. They lived for about one year in Salem, Dakota County while Friedrich served a large circuit of five charges. A son was born here. The family was then in Saint Paul for about 2 years, associated with First Church there; another son was born. From about 1862 to 1864 the family lived in Woodbury, Washington County; a daughter was born here. Friedrich served a circuit consisting of six appointments, some of whom appear to have been in nearby Wisconsin.
It seems very likely that the family of Friedrich and Louisa Fiegenbaum lived in Polk County, Iowa from 1869 to at least 1880. A brief biography of Friedrich and Louisa's son, Adolph Heinrich, was published in 1880 as part of a selection of biographical sketches of residents of Crocker Township, Polk County, Iowa. The biography reported that Adolph had been a resident of the county since 1869. At the time, he would have been about 14 years old and it seems probable that he would have been living with his parents and siblings. This was certainly the case one year later when the family was enumerated in Ward 3 of Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1870 U.S census. The biography also reported that in 1880, Adolph was teaching in the local schools in addition to supervising the work on his father's farm near Ankeny, where Adolph lived.
- According to the 1870 enumeration, the household in Ward 3 consisted of Frederick Fiegenbaum, age 39, born in Prussia, a U. S. citizen; Louisa Fiegenbaum, age 37, born in Prussia; Minnie Fiegenbaum, age 17, born in Illinois, attending school; Adolph Fiegenbaum, age 15, born in Indiana, attending school; Lydia Fiegenbaum, age 12, born in Illinois, attending school; Louis Fiegenbaum, age 10, born in Minnesota, attending school; Theodore Fiegenbaum, age 8, born in Minnesota, attending school; Emma Fiegenbaum, age 6, born in Minnesota, attending school; Benjamin Fiegenbaum, age 4, born in Iowa; Henry Fiegenbaum, age 2, born in Iowa; and William Fiegenbaum, age 6 months, born in Iowa in January 1870.
The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri) reported that among the new appointments announced at a session of the West German Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church held at Higginsville, Missouri from 1-5 September 1892, Rev. Fred Fiegenbaum, of Lawrence, Kansas was to become the pastor of the church at Oregon, Missouri. The newspaper noted that he was the brother of "Revs. Henry and William Fiegenbaum, former pastors of the German church in this city."
On 11 November of the same year, the newspaper reported that Rev. and Mrs. Fiegenbaum were playing host to a week long family reunion. For the first time in eight years all of their children were home at the same time.
In September 1893, the Holt County Sentinel reported that Rev. F. Fiegenbaum had returned from the German M. E. conference, held at Enterprise, Kansas. He had been reappointed to the church at Oregon, Missouri. And, the church had been moved from the Lincoln, Nebraska, conference district to the Missouri conference district.
A year later, the same newspaper reported that Rev. F. W. Fiegenbaum would remain at the Oregon, Missouri church for another year. It seems that the pastoral charge included the church at Nodaway, Andrew County, Missouri.
- According to the 1900 U.S. census, the household in the West Ward consisted of Fred Fiegenbaum, head of household, born April 1830 in Germany, age 70, emigrated to USA in 1834 (resident of USA for 66 years), a naturalized citizen, married for 48 years; and Louisa Fiegenbaum, wife, born August 1833 in Germany, age 66, married for 48 years, mother of 10 children (9 of whom were still living).
According to an obituary for his brother, "Rev. William Fiegenbaum," published on 30 November 1906 in the Edwardsville Intelligencer, of Edwardsville, Illinois, the deceased was survived by his brother, "Rev. Fred W. Fiegenbaum of Wathena, Kansas...."
- According to the 1910 enumeration, the household consisted of Frederich W. Fiegenbaum, head of household, age 80, born in Germany, immigrated to USA in 1834, married for 58 years, retired; and Louisa Fiegenbaum, wife, age 77, born in Germany, immigrated to USA in 1834, married for 58 years.