- Collection Number: M-0029
- Collection Size: 0.15 linear feet
Friedrich Wilhelm Richmann was born on 9 November 1820 in Hartum, Westphalia, Germany. His parents were J. F. W. Richmann (1782-1843), a master carpenter, and Maria von Behren (1781-1855).
F. W. landed in New York on 27 June 1839 and settled in Lancaster, Ohio. In May 1842 he enrolled in Capitol University at Columbus, Ohio, graduating in August 1843. Richmann was licensed to preach the following year on 13 June 1844 and accepted a call to serve several German parishes near Lancaster.
He married Miss Christine Krietemeyer in September 1844 and had eleven children, six sons and five daughters.
Richmann was present at the organization of the Missouri Synod in Chicago in April 1847. At this time he had the largest parish in the synod, numbering 900 souls.
From April 1856 to June 1858 he served the newly organized congregation of Immanuel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the early fall of 1858 he was installed in Schaumburg, Illinois. The records of this congregation tell us that “in March 1862, Pastor Richmann received a call as chaplain to the 58th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteers of the U.S. Army.” A leave of absence was granted by the congregation at Schaumburg, Illinois, with the understanding that they would be free to call another pastor in his place if conditions should necessitate it and he could not be released from his duties as a chaplain to come back.
After three months, at the beginning of August 1862, Pastor Richmann, worn out by the hardship of war and sickness, returned to his congregation. He accepted a call to St. John, Elgin, Illinois, where he served from 1869 to 1879. From 1879 to 1883 he served the congregations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On 9 September 1883 he became the chaplain of the Lutheran Hospital and of the Wartburg Old Folks’ Home in Brooklyn, New York, where he died on 7 November 1885.
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains material from and about Friedrich Wilhelm Richmann, the first chaplain of the LCMS. There are two correspondence folders (f.3-4). The first one contains several letters to and from Richmann, and the second contains correspondence of various people doing research on Richmann.
Furthermore, there is a diary (f.5) that was handwritten by Richmann in 1862 during the Civil War. It appears that the first page of this diary is missing.
Alice Hustman donated a family tree in May 1996, and Mrs. Esther Richmann Bacon donated the other material.
f.3 Correspondence, 11 Dec 1851 – 11 Oct 1877
f.4 Correspondence, 17 July 1944 – 9 August 1945
f.6 Donor Information/Genealogy