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Department of Archives and History of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Buenger Family Collection, (1683-1992)

  • Collection Number: M-0024
  • Collection Size: 3.3 linear feet

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Biographical Sketches

Johann Friedrich Buenger

Johann Friedrich Buenger was born on 2 January 1810 in Etzdorf, Saxony, as the oldest of twelve children to Pastor Jacob Friedrich Buenger and his wife Christiane Friederike nee Reiz. His father first educated him, and at the age of ten he attended a private school in his hometown. In 1823 he entered the Gymnasium (Latin School) in Meissen, where he graduated in 1829. In spring of 1829 he enrolled in the University at Leipzig, Germany, where he met and became part of an intimate confessional group of theology students led by Candidate Kuehn. All members of this group ultimately emigrated to America with Martin Stephan in 1838.

J. F. Buenger was one of the founders of the log cabin seminary in Altenburg and taught in Perry County until 1840. Then he was called as the teacher in the first parochial school of Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis and remained in this position until 1844. From 1844 to 1847 he was assistant pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis, and in 1847 he became head pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, St. Louis. Buenger was elected president of the Western District of the Missouri Synod and served in this position from 1863 to 1874.

J.F. Buenger was very well known for his practical mindedness that also exemplified his pastoral work. He was the father of the Negro mission of the Lutheran Synodical Conference, founder of the Lutheran Hospital in St. Louis in December 1853, and of the orphans’ home in Des Peres, Missouri (1865), as well as the Lutheran Altenheim in St. Louis (Old Folks Home).

On 9 January 1844 he married the former Rosa Mueller. They had three children. The St. Louis cholera epidemic in 1849 killed the first Mrs. Buenger as well as all of their children. On 20 November 1850 he married Johanna Reissner. This union produced four children: Johanna Lydia Maria (4 November 1857–1 March 1955), who later married C. Keller; Catherine Colestine (23 January 1852–11 January 1871); Maria Elizabeth (1 October 1854–3 August 1857); Agnes Amalia Dorothea (3 May 1863–2 February 1916), who married H. H. Wind.

Theodor Ernst Buenger

Theodor Ernst Buenger was born on 21 July 1821 in Etzdorf, Saxony, and is the brother of Johann Friedrich. He was educated at the Kreuzschule in Dresden, Germany, and accompanied his mother to America in 1838. On 23 April 1844 he passed his teaching examination and was first a teacher at Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Louis, and later at the school at Immanuel Lutheran Church, St. Louis. Theodor Ernst was often referred to as “Cantor Buenger,” because he led his congregation in singing. He received his American citizenship in April 1845. In March 1854 Buenger accepted a call to become the teacher at Zion Lutheran Church, New Orleans, Louisiana, and served this congregation for approximately one year. On 2 September 1855 Immanuel Lutheran Church, Chicago, Illinois, called Buenger as a teacher, and he remained there until his death on 18 June 1876.

One 23 May 1848 he married Martha Marie Loeber in Altenburg, Missouri. They had six children: Emma Amalie Wilhelmine (30 November 1849–16 December 1925); Clara Maria Clementine (26 October 1852–15 January 1934); Agnes Mathilde Buenger (8 March 1855–27 November 1923); Martha Thekla Renata (5 January 1858–2 June 1842); Theodor Heinrich Carl (29 April 1860–?).

Theodor Heinrich Carl Buenger

Theodor Heinrich Carl Buenger was born on 29 April 1860 in Chicago Illinois. He was the sixth child of Cantor Theodor Ernst Buenger and his wife Martha Loeber. He graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1882 and was a missionary serving twenty-nine mission stations in Northwest Wisconsin between 1882 and 1884. He then accepted a call as pastor at Tinley Park and Orland, Illinois, and served these congregations from 1884 until 1892. In 1893 he was called to become a professor at Concordia College, St. Paul, Minnesota. Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree to Buenger in October 1923. He was elected president of Concordia College, St. Paul, and served in this position from 1893 to 1927. Following his presidency he remained as a professor at the school until his death on 9 September 1943.

T. H. C. Buenger was married on 8 April 1885 to Ottilie Meier. They had five children: Theodor Arthur (18 January 1886–1957), Elsa Ottilie (13 December 1887–1985), Albert Louis (22 March 1893–1969) and Edgar Walter (25 October 1897–1956). A son Clemens died in infancy in 1893.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the papers two major families, namely the Buengers and the Loebers. The Loeber part of this collection should be researched in conjunction with the Institute’s Loeber Family Collection. A great deal of Loeber material is in the Buenger family collection because the two prominent clergy families intermarried (Theodor Ernst Buenger married Martha Loeber on 23 May 1848). Their grandson Theodor Arthur Buenger, a passionate genealogist, gathered the majority of the papers and donated them to Concordia Historical Institute. The collection is organized into the following series: Subject Files, Buenger Family and Loeber Family, Correspondence.

The Subject Files series is organized by topics in an alphabetical order. The series includes numerous genealogies composed by several descendants of both the Buenger and the Fuellkruss families (f. 9-12).

The series contains an index list (f. 4) of all books that are part of the Buenger Family Collection. Several of these books were placed in the library of Concordia Historical Institute after their source was clearly identified. The books with personal inscriptions and/or marginalia remained as part of the collection.

This collection contains close to 100 photographs that are catalogued and in most cases identified. The identification of the person shown in the picture is listed on the envelope in which the photo is placed.

In 1938/39 the centennial of the Saxon Immigration took place. Rev. Paul Burgdorf and Dr. Ludwig Fuerbringer, as well as Prof. Theodor Heinrich Carl Buenger, were heavily involved the planning of this anniversary. The correspondence between these three men pertaining to the planning phase of this event remained separate from the correspondence file (f.26). There are also centennial programs, bulletins and a historical sketch in this file.

The sermons (f.29-30) are organized by the Latin name of the church festivals. Various members of the Buenger and/or Loeber family wrote them. The researcher will have to identify the authorship of each by means of handwriting.

The Stephan material (f.33) includes several original sermons of Rev. Martin Stephan senior, an address about Stephan and a transcribed copy of a letter dated 9 February 1878 written by Martin Stephan Jr. There are also some transcriptions available such as Stephan’s Chiliasm, Stephan’s Verzicht, the Absetzungsurkunde Martin Stephan, etc. This material seems to have come from correspondence between Prof. Theodor Buenger and Rev. Paul Burgdorf, who did extensive research on the Saxon Immigration and ultimately published a chronology of the Saxon Immigration in the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly 12:33ff.

The Walther material (f.34) includes six transcribed and translated Walther letters (edited and translated by Theodor Arthur Buenger). There is no indication of where the originals of those letters are located. This file also includes correspondence generated by Rev. Paul Walther and Emil Walther.

The Buenger Series contains information and papers generated by various members of the family. This series is organized in alphabetical order by first name of the individual (the first name is underlined). More prominent members of the family, such as Johann Friedrich Buenger, have several folders in a subseries, again topically arranged. In order not to confuse the various family units, the wives’ material is filed under the husband’s subseries, i.e., Mrs. J. F. Buenger (nee Martha Loeber).

The Loeber Series is arranged as a subject file with the individual files as subseries in alphabetical order by first name. All identifiable material belonging to the same person was placed into consecutive folders and filed in alphabetical order. The series includes lecture notes (f.86-97) taken by Gotthold Heinrich Loeber during his student time in Jena, Germany, during 1816-1820. It also includes a Photostat copy (f.103) of an original Luther manuscript. There is no evidence as to its source or where the original is located.

The Correspondence Series spans from 1747 to 1957 and is arranged chronologically without regard for the name of the sender or recipient. A small portion of correspondence between Rev. Paul Burgdorf, Prof. Theodor Buenger and Dr. Ludwig Fuerbringer remains separate from the main correspondence and can be found in the Saxon Immigration Centennial file. A database of the entire correspondence file is available. It shows the date the letter was written, the sender, thd recipient and the number under with the letter was originally accessioned.

Donor Information

Professor Theodor Arthur Buenger donated the majority of the material in this collection in February and March 1956. He made a further donation in March 1958. The remaining material was donated by A.O. Fuerbringer, December 1955; Mrs. Erica Sieck, October 1957; A.G. Merkens, June 1958; A.C. Repp, January 1959; William Girke, June 1960; and Lydia (Buenger) Keller, June 1982.

Folder List

Subject Files

  • f.1 Beiträge zur Spezialgeschichte Jeverlands
  • f.2 Biographical General
  • f.3 Books: Gesammelte Nachrichten und Urkunden zur Kirchengeschichte
  • f.4 Books: Index of Books in the collection
  • f.5 Catechization (various)
  • f.6 Congratulations
  • f.7 Donor Research Information
  • f.8 Fragments
  • f.9 Genealogy (1)
  • f.10 Genealogy (2)
  • f.11 Genealogy (3)
  • f.12 Genealogy (4)
  • f.13 Greek Gammar Book
  • f.14 Legal Matters
  • f.15 Log Cabin Information
  • f.16 Lot Plan
  • f.17 Miscellaneous
  • f.18 Negative Copies of Correspondence
  • f.19 Photos (1)
  • f.20 Photos (2)
  • f.21 Photos (3)
  • f.22 Photos (4)
  • f.23 Poetry
  • f.24 Postcards
  • f.25 Printed Matters
  • f.26 Saxon Immigration Centennial
  • f.27 Sermon Fragments
  • f.28 Sermons (Advent–Easter)
  • f.29 Sermons (Quasimodogeniti–Pentecost)
  • f.30 Sermons (Trinity)
  • f.31 Sermons (Special)
  • f.32 Speeches (various)
  • f.33 Stephan Material
  • f.34 Walther Material
  • f.35 Wedding Proposals of Buenger Family

Buenger Family

  • Adolph Johannes Buenger
  • f.36 Pastoral Conference Apr 1896
  • Andreas Christoph Buenger
  • f.37 Das Leben des … 1793
  • f.38 Diary 1715-1793 – original
  • f.39 Die frohe Botschaft…1768
  • Ernst Eduard Buenger
  • f.40 Congratulations – 8 November 1892
  • Johannes Andreas Buenger
  • f.41 Autograph Book
  • f.42 Sermon Book
  • Vol. I 1776-1800
  • Vol. II 1790-1793
  • Vol. III 1801-1821
  • Johannes Friedrich Buenger
  • f.43 Baptismal Certificate – 9 June 1832
  • f.44 Biographical
  • f.45 Congratulations
  • f.46 Diary 1838-1839 – original
  • f.47 Diary 1838-1839 – transcription
  • f.48 Diary 1855-1860 – original
  • f.49 Diary 1861-1870 – original
  • f.50 Diary 1863-1870 – original
  • f.51 Diary 1871 written by Mrs. J. F. Buenger – original
  • f.52 House Material
  • f.53 Legal Papers – 1 Nov 1845
  • f.54 Lecture Notes Dogmatics
  • f.55 Licensing Exam – 20 January 1837
  • f.56 Report Card 5 May 1837
  • Lydia Buenger (Lochner)
  • f.57 Baptismal Certificate – 26 July 1867
  • f.58 Autograph Book
  • Nathaniel Christlieb Buenger
  • f.59 Lebensumstaende 4 April 1787
  • Theodor Ernst Buenger
  • f.60 Abriss des Neuen Testaments
  • f.61 Biographical
  • f.62 Call Document 12 August 1844
  • f.63 Congratulations
  • f.64 Engagement Speech 29 July 1847
  • f.65 Exam 23 April 1844
  • f.66 Funeral Sermon of Mrs. Martha Buenger (nee Loeber)
  • f.67 German Composition by Mrs. T. E. Buenger (Martha)
  • f.68 Wedding Speech- 23 May 1848
  • Theodor Heinrich Carl Buenger
  • f.69 Autograph Book by Mrs. T. H. Buenger
  • f.70 Autograph Book by T. H. Buenger
  • f.71 Biographical
  • f.72 Guest Book- 29 April 1943
  • f.73 Marriage Law of Wisconsin – 1881

Loeber Family

  • f.74 DeVita Guber 1573
  • f.75 Genealogy
  • Individual Files:
  • Christian Loeber
  • f.76 Congratulation 18 Mar 1731
  • Christian Heinrich Loeber
  • f.77 Obituary 18 March 1897
  • Christiane Magdalene Loeber
  • f.78 Estate Settlement Record 1 March 1842
  • Christoph Heinrich Loeber
  • f.79 Ehrendenkmal
  • Gotthilf Friedemann Loeber –
  • f.80 Ordination Anniversary 1793
  • f.81 50th Anniversary in Ministry
  • f.82 Sermon Book 10 October 1793
  • Gotthilf Simeon Loeber
  • f.83 Explicatio evang. Lic Matthaeu
  • Gotthold Heinrich Loeber –
  • f.84 General 1840-1849
  • Ehrengedächtnis 19 August 1849
  • Passport
  • Lossagung vom Stephanismus 21 October 1840
  • f.85 Lecture Notes: 1&2 John 1817
  • f.86 Lecture Notes: Fragments
  • f.87 Lecture Notes: General
  • f.88 Lecture Notes: Gospels
  • f.89 Lecture Notes: Hebrew 1817
  • f.90 Lecture Notes: Old Testament
  • f.91 Lecture Notes: Philosophy (1)
  • f.92 Lecture Notes: Philosophy (2)
  • f.93 Lecture Notes: Philosophy (3)
  • f.94 Lecture Notes: Philosophy (4)
  • f.95 Lecture Notes: Philosophy incomplete
  • f.96 Lecture Notes: Theology 1824
  • Gottwerthe Dorothea Louyse Loeber
  • f.97 Obituary 17 July 1722
  • Margarethe Loeber
  • f.98 Obituary 16 June 1666
  • Richard Loeber
  • f.99 Funeral Prayer d.: 6 December 1907
  • Sophie Henriette Wilhelmine Loeber nee Zahn
  • f.100 Eulogy d.:16 July 1852
  • f.101 Adolph Zahn – Mein Leben
  • f.102 Martin Luther Handwriting 1539
  • f.103 Miscellaneous
  • f.104 Photos
  • f.105 Poetry
  • f.106 Sermons

Correspondence

  • f.107 1747-1821
  • f.108 1831-1841
  • f.109 1842-1845
  • f.110 1846-1849
  • f.111 1850-1854
  • f.112 1855
  • f.113 1856-1861
  • f.114 1862-1870
  • f.115 1871-1876
  • f.116 1877-1884
  • f.117 1885
  • f.118 1886
  • f.119 1187
  • f.120 1888
  • f.121 1889
  • f.122 1890-1891
  • f.123 1892
  • f.124 1893-1896
  • f.125 1897-1899
  • f.126 1900-1920
  • f.127 1921-1930
  • f.128 1931-1937
  • f.129 1938-1944
  • f.130 1945
  • f.131 1946
  • f.132 1947
  • f.133 1948-1949
  • f.134 1950-1957
  • f.135 undated
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