Christine Elisabeth (Peterjohann) Fiegenbaum
1797 — 1871
Jane (Lichte) Denny provided a copy of Christine's obituary from the US-based, German language newspaper, Der Christliche Apologete, 16 October 1871, from which the following has been prepared.
Starb den 17. September 1871 in Giard, Clayton Co., Iowa, Mutter Christine Fiegenbaum, [eine?] geb. Peterjohann. Sie wurde geboren in Ladbergen, Regierungsbezirk Münster, Preußen, im Frühjahr 1796. Sie trat in den Stand der heiligen Ehe mit Vater Adolph Fiegenbaum den 15. Oktober 1820. In ihrer Ehe gebar sie 6 Kinder, 4 Söhne und 2 Töchter, welche allesammt am Leben sind. Die Mutter hatte die Freude, ihre Kinder alle zu Gott bekehrt zu sehen und ihre 4 Söhne als Prediger des Evangeliums im Dienste des Herrn, während ihre jüngste Tochter die Gattin eines unserer Reiseprediger ist.
Vater und Mutter Fiegenbaum verließen ihre alte Heimath in Deutschland in 1834 und siedelten sich zuerst in St. Charles County, Mo., an, von wo sie später nach Warren County übersiedelten. Als Br. J. Zwahlen im Anfang der 40er Jahre zuerst das Panier des Kreuzes in jener Gegend entfaltete, und da man ihm den Gebrauch vorhandener Kirchen verweigerte, war Vater F. der Erste, der dem Boten unserer Kirche sein Haus öffnete, und aus dem Munde Br. Zwahlens vernahm Mutter Fiegenbaum zuerst den unaussprechlichen Reichstum der Gnade Gottes. Der Herr segnete sein Wort an den Herzen der Eltern sowohl als den Kindern dieser Familie, so daß sie zur Erweckung kamen, doch erst später unter der Arbeit des längst selig entschlafenen F. Horstmann wurden ihre Seelen in die Freiheit der Kinder Gottes versetzt, und auch die Mutter der Vergebung der Sünden gewiß.
Seit jener Zeit war Mutter Fiegenbaum stets ein leuchtend Licht in der Gemeinde, gerne gab sie ihre Söhne zum Dienst am Evangelium hin, immer war sie bereit durch liebevolle Aufnahme, dem Reiseprediger seine Strapazen zu erleichtern. Ihre Gemeinschaft mit dem Heilande war stets eine innige, ihre Liebe zu Ihm brünstig und opferwillig. Im Gebet besaß sie eine wunderbare Salbung und Kraft, das besonders in jüngeren Jahren den Heilsuchenden oft zum Segen wurde. Nie bekannte Mutter Fiegenbaum den Segen der völligen Liebe erlangt zu haben, sie war zu vorsichtig, dieser Stand ihr zu erhaben, als daß sie, eine arme Sünderln - sollte so etwas beanspruchen -, und doch lebte sie ein mit Christ[s?] verborgenes Leben mit Gott, und erfreute sich eines Genusses in der Religion wie Wenige. In früheren Jahren, als die Kirche den Einen ihrer Söhne um den Anderen in's Predigtamt berief, äußerte sie sich einmal, "wenn der Herr endlich den Jüngsten rufen würde, so wolle sie mitgehen." Ihr Wunsche ist insoweit in Erfüllung gegangen, daß sie im Kreise der Familie ihres jüngsten Sohnes Sonntag Nachts ½ 10 Uhr den 17. Sept. ihre im Blute des Lammes gewaschene Seele aushanchte. Bis zum letzten Augenblicke war sie im vollen Besitz ihres Verstandes, an Altersschwäche seit beinahe Neujahr leidend, war sie seit jener Zeit fast beständig bettlägerig. Doch die Erlösung kam endlich, ihre Seufzer sind verstummt, ihre Schmerzen gestillt, ihre Arbeit gethan, ihr Lauf vollendet, der Sieg erlangt; Hallelujah!
Da ich mich auf dem Weg zur Conferenz gerade hier befand, so ersuchte mich Br. Fiegenbaum, die Leichenpredigt zu halten. Die zahlreiche Versammlung, die innige Theilnahme, zeigte, wie groß in der Achtung der Leute die gute alte Mutter stand.
Giard, Iowa.F. Schuler.
Mother Christine Fiegenbaum, born Peterjohann, died 17 September 1871 in Giard, Clayton Co., Iowa. She was born in Ladbergen, administrative district of Münster, Prussia, in the Spring of 1796. She entered into holy matrimony with Father Adolph Fiegenbaum on 15 October 1820. In her marriage she gave birth to 6 children, 4 sons and 2 daughters, all of whom are still living. The mother had the joy of seeing all of her children converted to God and see her 4 sons serve the Lord as preachers of the Gospel, while her youngest daughter is the wife of one of our circuit preachers.
Father and Mother Fiegenbaum left their old home in Germany in 1834 and settled first in St. Charles County, Mo., from where they later removed to Warren County. Brother J. Zwahlen first unfurled the banner of the cross in that region in the decade of the 40s, and because the use of existing churches was denied him, Father F. was the first to open his house to the apostle of our church, and Mother Fiegenbaum first perceived the reign of God's mercy from the mouth of Brother Zwahlen. The Lord blessed his word in the hearts of the parents as well as the children of this family so that they came to an awakening, but only later under the work of the long since blessed and deceased F. Horstmann were their souls advanced to the freedom of God's children, and also the mother knew the remission of sins.
From that moment, Mother Fiegenbaum was a steady bright light in the community, happily she offered up her sons to the service of the Gospel, she was ever ready with a loving reception for the circuit preacher, to ease his toil. Her communion with the Savior was always intimate, her love for Him ardent and self-sacrificing. In prayer she possessed a wonderful unction and strength, which those seeking salvation, especially in the early years, are blessed with. Never did Mother Fiegenbaum know the blessing of the complete love she longed for, she was guarded about elevating herself to this condition, because she was a poor, little sinner - such a thing should be claimed - and she lived a with-Christ-inconspicuous life with God, and enjoyed a pleasure in religion as few do. In earlier days, as the church called one after the other of her sons into the ministry, she once expressed the opinion, "if the Lord were to finally call the youngest, she wants to accompany him." Her wish was fulfilled to the extend that on the night of Sunday, 17 September, at 9:30, in the circle of her youngest son's family, she gave up her redeemed soul. Up until the last moment, she was in full possession of her mind, suffering from senility since nearly the New Year, she was from that time nearly constantly bed-ridden. Release came finally, her groans became silent, her pain was allayed, her work completed, her race ended, the victory won. Hallelujah!
Because I found myself on the way here to conference, Brother Fiegenbaum asked me to give the funeral sermon. The large gathering, the heartfelt participation, demonstrated how highly the good old mother stood in the esteem of the people.
Giard, Iowa.F. Schuler.
Source: Der Christliche Apologete, 16 October 1871. Digital copy of the original obituary courtesy of Jane (Lichte) Denny. Transcription of the German & translation by J. Mark Fiegenbaum.
- 19 December 1793
- Adolph Heinrich Fiegenbaum born at Ladbergen, Grafschaft Tecklenburg (in northwestern Germany).
- 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).
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.
- 17 September 1824
- A son, Hermann Wilhelm, was born at Lengerich, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia.
- 25 October 1827
- A daughter, Christine Elisabeth, was born at Lengerich, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia.
- 10 April 1830
- A son, Friedrich Wilhelm, was born at Lengerich, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia.
- 27 July 1833
- A daughter, Maria Wilhelmine, was born at Lengerich, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia.
- Christine was 37 years old when she emigrated from Lengerich, Kingdom of Prussia with her husband, Adolph (age 40), 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).
- 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. Heinrich 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 Henry Frederick Wellemeyer (1822-1899) at St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri. He became a minister in the German Methodist Episcopal Church and both of them 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 (1825-1882) at Warrenton, Warren County, Missouri. He became a minister in the German Methodist Episcopal Church and both of them 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 both of them 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 Frederick & 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. The body of his wife, Christine Elisabeth (Peterjohann) Fiegenbaum, was moved from Colesburg, Iowa and re-interred next to his.
Notes to Chronology
See More Resources, below, for documentation. Of particular note: Adolph's Declaration of Intention, an autobiographical sketch by Heinrich Hermann Fiegenbaum, Friedrich W. Fiegenbaum's autobiographical statement, and recollections from Hermann Wilhelm Fiegenbaum in an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1898.