9 June 2018

Heinrich F. Fiegenbaum


Nellie Blanche Montgomery


3 October 1900

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Source: "Merry Marriage Bells," in The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri); Friday, 5 October 1900 (volume 36, number 20); page 4, column 3.

Digital copies accessed through Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (The Library of Congress) in November 2011.

The original article in the newspaper appeared in a single column. The digital image presented here has been altered to conserve space.

A Transcription

Merry Marriage Bells.

Decidedly one of the leading and pleasant society events this season was the marriage Wednesday forenoon, October 3, 1900, of Miss Nellie Blanche, niece of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Montgomery, and Mr. Henry Fiegenbaum, of St. Joseph, Mo.

The ceremony took place at the Presbyterian church, and was performed by the pastor, Rev. H. A. Sawyers, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, Mrs. R. C. Kunkel, of St. Joseph, presided at the piano, and, in time with Mendelssohn's wedding march, the bridal party, preceded by the ushers, Messrs. Charles Bunker and Sol Zachman, passed up the aisle and stood under a floral monogram in red and gray. Miss Gertrude Stock sang "Oh, Promise Me," and Miss Leona Schulte sang "I Promise Thee."

Rev. Sawyers spoke the words that made these two most excellent young people, husband and wife.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the bridal party and relatives in attendance, repaired to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery, where an elegant luncheon was served, after which the bride and groom left for Colorado points. After a short stay, they will return to St. Joseph, where the groom has arranged for their going to housekeeping, and hence will be at home to friends.

Miss Maud, sister of the bride, was the maid of honor, and the groom's best man was his brother, W. E., of Geneva, Nebraska.

The bride never appeared to better advantage, Her gown was of apple green silk, with white tucked silk front and appliguie [sic] trimming, picture hat of panne velvet. She carried bride's roses. Her maid of honor wore a tailor made suit of brown cloth with pink trimmings, with hat to match and carried pink roses.

The church was elaborately and beautifully decorated for the occasion, in ferns, potted plants, festoons of green and monogram, "F. M.," in gray and red flowers.

On Tuesday evening a reception was tendered by the prospective bride to her most intimate young friends, and following musical numbers by Mrs. Roy Kunkel, Misses Maud Crampton, Effie Proud, Leona Schulte, and Gertrude Stock; elegant refreshments were served. The occasion was one of the happiest occuring [sic] in our little city for a long time.

Mrs. Fiegenbaum was raised in our community, and has ever been one of our most popular young ladies, possessing many accomplishments, fully equipped to fill in the highest degree every obligation that comes to her by reason of her new relatives.

The groom is a gentleman of excellent standing and holds a position of much responsibility in one of the general offices of the Burlington route in St. Joseph.

The presents received by her were of the rarest and most costly description, which was additional evidence of the high esteem in which she was held by a large circle of friends.

Those present from abroad in attendance were: Mrs. M. Sexauer, of Des Moines, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. Miller and family, of Wathena, Kansas; Mr. W. E. Fiegenbaum, Geneva, Nebraska; Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Montgomery, of Skidmore, Mo.; Mr. and Mrs. Niel [sic] Hoblitzell, of Rock Port, Mo.; Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Montgomery, Mr. and Mrs. Will McRoberts, Miss Ethel Bordeaux, of Mound City; Miss Anna Fiegenbaum, of St. Joseph.

The Sentinel joins with the many friends of the happy contracting parties in extending congratulations and well wishes for their future happiness.


The Bride

The bride was Nellie Blanche Montgomery, daughter of David and Hannah (Davis) Montgomery. She and her sister, Maude Mary Montgomery married Fiegenbaum brothers, in Oregon, Missouri, within a year of each other. The sisters were nieces of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Montgomery and appear to have grown up in the Montgomery household, to the point where the Montgomeries were occasionally identified as the parents rather than the uncle and aunt they were. I currently have very little information about the Montgomery family and cannot explain why the birth parents do not play a more prominent role in the adult lives of Maude Mary and Nellie Blanche.

The Groom

The groom was Heinrich F. Fiegenbaum, often identified as Henry. He was the nineth of the ten children born to Rev. Friedrich Wilhelm and Louisa (Otto) Fiegenbaum. His younger brother Wilhelm Edward Fiegenbaum married Maude Mary Montgomery, Nellie Blanche's sister. Their wedding also took place in Oregon, Missouri, on 8 October 1901. Perhaps serving as the maid of honor and groom's best man for their siblings' marriage ceremony gave them an idea.

After graduating from the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, Heinrich F. Fiegenbaum moved to Americas, Georgia to accept a position in the general office of a railroad company. A short time later he was the principal of public schools in Norton, Kansas. As you can read in the newspaper article above, at the time of his marriage he was again working for a railroad, this time in Oregon, Missouri. In the summer of 1901, Henry was off with his partner to build and run a hardware business in Lawton, Indian Territory, Cherokee Nation (land that later became the state of Oklahoma). In 1902 he sold his interest in Dyche & Fiegenbaum, and a short time later was a druggist in Springfield, Nebraska. He died at his daughter's home at Omaha, Nebraska at the end of 1954.

Attendees from "Abroad"

A number of guests at the marriage ceremony were identified in the newspaper article. I am able to provide additional information for some of those named.

Mrs. M. Sexauer, of Des Moines, Iowa, is no doubt Wilhelmine Christine Elizabeth Fiegenbaum, the eldest child of Rev. Friedrich Wilhelm and Louisa (Otto) Fiegenbaum and the groom's "big sister." She had married Matthew Sexauer and at the time of the wedding ceremony was living at Ankeny, Polk County, Iowa.

Mr. and Mrs. Miller and family, of Wathena, Kansas, was another of the groom's sisters, Emma Maria Fiegenbaum and her husband, Jacob Miller. The full family consisted of five children, ages 12 to just under 2 years. In January 1901, a pair of twins would expand the family.

Mr. W. E. Fiegenbaum, Geneva, Nebraska, was the groom's best man and younger brother, Wilhelm Edward Fiegenbaum. Edward, as he appears to have called, was a jeweler and optician. He would return to Oregon, Missouri for his own marriage one year later. It would be another Fiegenbaum-Mongomery union.

Miss Anna Fiegenbaum, of St. Joseph was Anna Julia Fiegenbaum, one of eight children born to Rev. Heinrich Hermann and Clara Catherine (Kastenbudt) Fiegenbaum. She was one of the groom's cousins. Their fathers were brothers and both had served German Methodist Episcopal churches in nearby St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri. Anna's parents had retired in St. Joseph and she still lived with her elderly father and her blind sister. Another sister had married one of the owners of The Holt County Sentinel and Anna's name appeared frequently in its pages. She was active in church affairs in northwesten Missouri and often visited family members in the area, which The Sentinel often took note of.

I do not know how the other attendees listed at the end of the newspaper article are related to the bride and groom.

Brief Genealogy

Heinrich F. Fiegenbaum's family

Nellie Blanche Montgomery's family

Fiegenbaum - Montgomery family

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