Andris Genealogy (Darquennes)
 Hirsch's Churches
    German-American Community of Lawrence Twp.
    Life of Daniel Hirsch
    The Berg Church and Cemetery
    Highland Ridge Church and Cemeteries
    St. John's Evangelical Church and [German] Cemetery
    Ludwig Cemetery
    St. Jacobs Church and Cemetery
    St. Luke's Lutheran Church
    St. Paul's Evangelical Church
    Sitka Cemetery
    Waxler Church and Cemetery
    German Protestant Evangelical Churches
    Ludwig Church Dispute
 Ludwig Cemetery
 Sitka Cemetery
 Jim's Garrett
 Lorene Andris
 Trip to Germany
 Interactive Map


The Ludwig Church Dispute

One of the documents that Barbara Gearhart Matt translated was the Consitution of the German Protestant Evangelical Church of Lawrence Township (Known as Ludwig Church) and Membership Lists. Upon reading this document, one discovers an incredible and puzzling fact: whoever wrote this document built a scorching feud between families right into it. I have put a copy of portions of this document online, so that readers may draw their own conclusions about this. I think that this dispute is actually significant for understanding these 19th Century German Immigrants. However, it is even more significant for understanding my family history, since it appears that two of my eight great great grandfathers refused to pay certain church fees, and that they and their children were denied entrance into the Ludwig Church.

This much is for sure. Jacob Becker, Adam Buertel, and Abraham Fickeisen "can have no share in the church unless each of them pay $40.00," unless each of their children pay $10.00, and unless "they take their part in the church." Nor can they send their children to the school. It is also fairly certain that Abraham's brother, Jacob, was fully behind this action, since he signed the original document along with 16 other close neighbors of the men in question.

Incidentally, this event still lives in my mother's tales of her grandmother (Abraham Fickeisen's daughter, Eva, b. 1857). She said that her father hardly had two quarters to rub together, let alone $40 and $10 for each of the 12 children. He just couldn't come up with the money. Mom also remembers that Eva's younger sister (Anna, b. 1859), who lived to be just days short of 100 years old, cleaned the Ludwig graveyard well into the Twentieth Century, even in her sixties and seventies.

In order to better understand this dispute, I have included a partial map of Fearing and Lawrence Townships below. Shown on the map are 1) the disbarred farmers in red, 2) several of the signing farmers in blue, and the two churches, Berg and Ludwig, circled in green.The maps are taken from the 1875 Atlas of Washington County, Ohio available from Selby Publishing of Kokomo, IN.