20 April 2013

Rev. Jonathan Conrad Bierbaum

1890 — 1977

Biograpical Material

Rev. J. C. Bierbaum

J. C. Bierbaum, pastor of the California Evangelical Church, is a native of Treloar, Missouri, born July 11, 1891. 1   His father was A. J. H. Bierbaum, born in Marthasville, Missouri, who died in 1914.  Mr. Bierbaum is the youngest of a family of seven children, five boys and two girls.  All of the boys became preachers.  His mother, born at Cecil, Wisconsin now eighty-two years old, lives at Aurora, Illinois. 2 

Mr. Bierbaum was married April 30, 1919, to Miss Marie Hoflander, daughter of John George and Elizabeth Hoflander of Billingsville, Cooper County. 3   They have one child, Dorothy, five years old.

He graduated at Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Illinois, and at Eden Theological Seminary at Webster Groves, Mo.  His first charge was at Berlin, Wisconsin, where he remained two years.  He was then for ten years at Lexington, Missouri, and is now in his twelfth year with the California Evangelical Church.  He has been president and moderator of the West Missouri District of the Evangelical Church for the past eight consecutive years.

The unique record of three pastors, of which Mr. Bierbaum is the last, in building the present organization of the California Evangelical church is discussed in Chapter X.  This church has the largest average attendance at church and Sunday School of any church in the county.  In effective working organization, in attendance and in interest it will compare favorably with most of the stronger churches of large cities.

Source: J. E. Ford, A History of Moniteau County, Missouri (California, Missouri: M. H. Crawford, the press of The California Democrat, 1936) pages 362-363.

Marvin Howard Crawford was the owner and publisher of The California Democrat, of California, Moniteau County, Missouri.


  1. This birth date and place do not seem correct. The church at Holstein, Warren County, Missouri has published its baptism records. In this source, a child identified as Jonathon [sic] Conrad Bierbaum, son of A. J. H. Bierbaum and E. L., nee Fiebig, was born on 11 July 1890 and baptized on 10 August 1890. On the basis of this I believe a birth date in 1891 may be discounted.

    It should be noted that Jonathan's father, Rev. Andreas Johann Heinrich Bierbaum, was a pastor in the die deutsche evangelische Synode des Westens (The German Evangelical Synod of the West). The denomination was known after 1877 as die deutsche evangelische Synode von Nord-Amerika (German Evangelical Synod of North America). He served as pastor of the church in Holstein, Missouri from 1879-1886, during which a new parsonage and a new brick church were built. Rev. Bierbaum returned to serve the church in 1888-1890. From 1890-1897, he was the pastor of Evangelische St. Johannis Gemeinde (St. John's Evangelical Church) at Herman, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.

    I do not know exactly when in 1890 the Bierbaums made the move from Missouri to Wisconsin, but I have not yet encountered a source which states that Jonathan Conrad Bierbaum was born in Wisconsin. It thus seems quite likely, according to his father's employment chronology, that the place of birth must be Missouri. It would be very unusual for his son to be correctly identified as a "native of Treloar, Missouri" while his parents were almost certainly living in the parsonage at Holstein, Missouri.

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  2. J. C. Bierbaum's mother was Ernestine Louise Fiebig, born on 5 February 1854 or 1855; sources differ on the year. She and Andreas Johann Heinrich Bierbaum were married on 18 October 1874 in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. Ernestine died on 30 March 1937 at Aurora, Kane County, Illinois and was buried at Minier, Tazewell County, Illinois, next to her husband.

    According to the 1900 federal enumeration of Lincoln Township, Worth County, Wisconsin, Andrew H. Bierbaum was a 40 year old clergyman and had been married for 25 years. His wife, Fiebig E. L. [sic] Bierbaum, was 45 years old and the mother of 11 children, seven of whom were still living at the time. I have not been able to learn the names and vital dates of these 11 children.

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  3. Information on the Hoflander family is posted elsewhere in the Documents section of this web site.

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Transcribed below is the "discussion" of the history of the California Evangelical Church, of California, Missouri, mentioned in the last paragraph of Rev. Bierbaum's biographical sketch.

california - This church, organized in 1866, is one of the outstanding churches of the county.  Fifty-five per cent of its membership is from rural territory adjacent to California.  The present building was erected in 1895 and enlarged and remodeled in 1930-31.  During 78 years of its existence the church has had but three pastors, Rev. F. A. Umbeck, who served 47 years, his son, Rev. F. P. Umbeck, eleven years.  The present pastor, Rev. J. C. Bierbaum, succeeded the latter in 1925.

The average Sunday School attendance is more than 300.  The big modern building contains nine separate rooms for class meetings, a kitchen and large assembly room in addition to the main auditorium.  All organizations subsidiary to the church are active parts of a powerful and efficiently conducted organization.

Source: J. E. Ford, A History of Moniteau County, Missouri (California, Missouri: M. H. Crawford, the press of The California Democrat, 1936) page 257. There is a photograph of the church on page 256.


11 July 1890
Birth of Jonathan Conrad Bierbaum, son of Rev. Andreas Johann Heinrich and Ernestine Louise (Fiebig) Bierbaum, in Warren County, Missouri.
10 August 1890
Jonathan's baptism was recorded in the archives of the German Evangelical Immanuels Church at Holstein, Warren County, Missouri. He was identified as the son of A. J. H. Bierbaum and E. L., nee Fiebig. The sponsor at the ceremony was Conrad Koch. Since 1957, with the merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church, the congregation at Holstein has been known as Immanuels United Church of Christ.
25 January 1897
Birth of Marie Magdaline Hoflander, daughter of John George and Elizabeth Hoflander, at Boonville, Cooper County, Missouri.
According to the 1900 U. S. census, the Bierbaum family lived in Lincoln Township, Worth County, Wisconsin. Jonathan C. Bierbaum, born in July 1890 in Missouri and attending school, lived with his parents, Andrew H. Bierbaum, a 40 year old clergyman, married for 25 years, and Fiebig E. L. [sic] Bierbaum, a 45 year old mother of 11 children (7 of whom were still living). Also living in the home were Jonathan's brothers and sisters, all attending school: Paul A. Bierbaum, born October 1879 in Missouri; Annie Bierbaum, born in March 1887 in Missouri; and Emma L. Bierbaum, born in October 1895 in Wisconsin.
According to the 1905 Wisconsin state census, Jonathan R. Bierbaum, age 15, a student, a minister, was living in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, with his parents: Andrew J. Bierbaum, a 52 year old minister and his wife, Ernestina Bierbaum, age 50; and his siblings: Paul A. Bierbaum, age 24, a minister; Theodore F. Bierbaum, age 22, a minister; Anna Bierbaum, age 17; and, Emma L. Bierbaum, age 10.
Jonathan graduated from Elmhurst College, a proseminary of the German Evangelical Synod of North America, located at Elmhurst, Du Page County, Illinois.
about 1912?
J. C. Bierbaum graduated from Eden Theological Seminary at Webster Groves, St. Louis County, Missouri.
about 1913-1915
Rev. J. C. Bierbaum was pastor of a church in Berlin, Wisconsin.
about 1915-1925
Rev. J. C. Bierbaum was pastor of a church in Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri.
30 April 1919
The marriage of Jonathan Conrad Bierbaum and Marie Magdaline Hoflander, of Billingsville, Cooper County, Missouri.
1925- at least 1936
Rev. J. C. Bierbaum was pastor of the California Evangelical Church in California, Moniteau County, Missouri.
about 1930-1931
Birth of Dorothy Bierbaum, daughter of Jonathan Conrad Bierbaum and Marie Magdaline (Hoflander) Bierbaum, in Missouri.
26 January 1977
Death of Rev. Jonathan C. Bierbaum. He was buried in the cemetery of St. John's United Church of Christ (formerly Billingsville Evangelical Church; founded in 1855), at Billingsville, Cooper County, Missouri.
6 November 1985
Death of Marie Magdaline (Hoflander) Bierbaum at Higginsville, Lafayette County, Missouri. She was buried in the cemetery of St. John's United Church of Christ (formerly Billingsville Evangelical Church; founded in 1855), at Billingsville, Cooper County, Missouri.

Brief Genealogy

Jonathan Conrad Bierbaum's family

Marie Magdaline Hoflander's family

Bierbaum - Hoflander family

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