34 The Perry County Connection for Julius Kirmse

Fred Eggers has researched the history of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri.  And, he has studied the histories of the founding members of the church in 1859 – one of the founders was Julius Kirmse. The following report summarizes his findings of connections that may have influenced Julius Kirmse to migrate to Perry County, Missouri.

The Perry County Connection for Julius Kirmse

by Fred M. Eggers, Farrar, Missouri

We know that Julius Kirmse arrived in New York on 22 April 1853 on the Ship Kosmos and it is believed that he came to Perry County, Missouri in 1855. It is documented that he purchased land near what is now the village of Farrar in 1859 and was a founding member of Salem Lutheran Church that year. The Kirmse family history tells us that he heard of a Lutheran community in southeastern Missouri and decided to seek out this group.

I believe that I have discovered the Perry County connection for Julius Kirmse while searching for the emigration of another of Salem’s founders, Julius Saupe. It is thought that Saupe and his fiancé Justine Dietze were married on 10 May (probably 1853) in New York City soon after they arrived in the United States. I kept editing my search criteria for the immigration of Julius Saupe in and after some time, I found the following information on the passenger list for the Ship Kosmos:

Kosmos Passenger Manifest - Julius Saupe Summary
Kosmos Passenger Manifest – Julius Saupe Summary

I then viewed the image for this passenger list and found the following on the first page (partial) and on page 4 (entire page). On line 5 of page 4 is Julius Sauper, age 23, preceded by Justine Titze, age 24, on line 4 and followed by Julius Kirmse, age 17, on line 6.

Kosmos Passenger Manifest - Heading + page
Kosmos Passenger Manifest – Heading + page

I enlarged the part of page 4 of that passenger list for a clearer view:

Kosmos Passenger Manifest - Section Enlarged
Kosmos Passenger Manifest – Section Enlarged

Is it possible that the three future residents of the Farrar area traveled together when they immigrated to America? Although the passenger list gives the country to which they belong as Bavaria for Julius Sauper and Justine Titze, the ages match and the destinations for them as Missouri as well as Buffalo for Julius Kirmse are accurate. Errors in the place of origin are not uncommon in these records and it is possible that the person writing the list could not understand the location that Julius Saupe and his fiancé were giving so he decided that Bavaria was the likely place of origin. The “T” and the “D” are often interchangeable in German records and the “i” in place of the “ie” is also quite common, so the Titze could easily be Dietze and Sauper is just one letter different from Saupe.

So, what do we know about these people that would make it possible that they knew each other and were traveling together? We do know that Julius Kirmse was from Fichtenhainichen, Saxe-Altenburg and Julius Saupe (See: Julius Theodor Saupe (4 Mar 1830-31 Oct 1907)) and Justine Dietze (See: Justine Dietze (22 Mar 1829-22 Mar 1913)) were from Kriebitzsch, Saxe-Altenburg. 

A Google Map search for directions shows that these two towns are only 3.5 km from each other by road or about 2 miles as the crow flies.

Distance from Rositz to Kriebitzsch - Map
Distance from Rositz to Kriebitzsch – Map

Other passenger lists show that it was very common for several people from an area to travel together from their home towns to the point of departure, in this case from the Altenburg area to Bremen and its port of Bremerhaven. They then would have booked passage from there to New York. Julius Kirmse could have given the Saupes his location in Buffalo before they moved on to Missouri and they may have stayed in touch over the next couple of years until he arrived in Perry County. We also need to wonder how the Saupes chose to come to Perry County; however, one of the sponsors for the baptism of their first child in August 1854 was a Froebel who lived in the Frohna area. That likely was Valentin Froebel. Mrs. Froebel is also listed as a sponsor to another of their children. His home town is listed in the Perry County Historical Society book of Concordia, Frohna records as Borkwitz, which could actually be Bockwitz which is located near the middle of the way from Fichtenhainichen to Kriebitzsch. Other sponsors for the Saupes children included Michael and Magdalena Broel (also spelled Bruhl and Brihl in different records) who lived in the same area as Froebel near Frohna and was from the same area in Saxe-Altenburg. It appears possible that Julius Kirmse and the Saupes knew in person or knew of other people from their area that immigrated to Perry County.

Julius Saupe was the first of the founders of Salem Lutheran Church to purchase land in the Farrar area in October 1854. Five years later Julius Kirmse purchased land just two miles down the road from him. Without further information it would be incorrect to say that Julius Kirmse and Julius Saupe and his fiancé Justina Dietze traveled together from Saxe-Altenburg to America, but there surely is enough evidence to suggest that this was a possibility. This may well have been the Perry County Connection that brought Julius Kirmse to Perry County, Missouri.


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