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Rev. F.W. & Catherine Seifert


Posted By: Judy Moyna (email)
Date: 1/4/2011 at 16:50:16


(By Judy Bender Moyna)

Rev. Frederick W. Seifert served the Zion Lutheran Church in Clayton Center for 42 years, performing approximately 2,230 baptisms, 857 confirmations, 543 marriages, and 636 funerals. During his pastorate the parish school flourished, reaching an enrollment of 96 students during the winter months. He also served as pastor in Elkader for 24 years and in Farmersburg for 17 years. (See Clayton County History, 1882, pp. 1073, and 1077-1078.)

Rev. Seifert, whose parents Trangott (aka Charles) and Rebecka (Rekau) Seifert were natives of Druesen (This town does not appear on any German map and perhaps should be Dresden.), Germany, was born in the Kingdom of Brunswick 16 March 1831. He served in the German army participating in the war in Baden and in the uprising in 1848. He worked as an overseer in a sugar refinery, a brakeman, and a building contractor until he came to the United States in 1858. He settled in Elkport, Iowa, where he taught district school for a few terms and then found employment in a sawmill. He had the misfortune, while hauling a load of logs to Elkport, to have his legs frozen resulting in their amputation.

At the age of 30 he became acquainted with Rev. Stockfield, the minister at Garnavillo and Ceres. Under his guidance, Frederick Seifert prepared for the ministry. He was ordained in Illinois by the Illinois Synod which later dissolved membership. On the 18th of May 1862, the congregation at Clayton Center asked him first to be their instructor and then pastor of their church. (See Portrait and Biographical Record, Dubuque, Jones, and Clayton Counties, 1894)

Thus he spent his life in the service of those around him until 1 Oct. 1903 when he retired as an active minister of the gospel. His wife, Catherine Ruckdaeschel, the daughter of Johann Ernst And Catherine (Hosch) Ruckdaeschel, (See Johann Ernst Ruckdaeschel) preceded him in death on the 22 Seat 1899. Rev. Seifert died 28 Aug. 1910; Rev. and Mrs. Seifert are buried in the cemetery in Clayton Center.

Their children (all born at Clayton Center) were Ernst b. 28 Oct. 1866 d. 15 Jan. 1868, buried. Clayton Center; Anna Marie b. 22 Feb. 1868 d. 22 May 1943; Louisa b. 1 Feb. 1870 d. 14 Oct. 1941; Marie b. 25 Feb. 1872 d. 24 Dec 1912, buried. Clayton Center; Emilie (Amelia) b. 8 Apr. 1874 d. 28 July 1845; Sophia b. 7 Dec 1876 d. 27 Seat 1947; Frederick W. b. 29 Jan. 1878 d. 3 Jan. 1958; Otto J. b. 15 Seat 1881 d. 3 Apr. 1966; Lenore (Laura) b. 7 Dec 1884 d. 9 July 1963; Catherine b. 3 Aug. 1887 d. 12 Feb. 1955; Ernest F. W. R. b. 20 Oct. 1889 d. 4 May 1977; and Carl J. b. 26 Oct. 1895 d. 28 Dec 1895, buried. Clayton Center.

Ernst and Carl died young; Marie was never well and died at age 30. Anna married Reynold Seeman 18 Dec 1888; Louisa married William Fuelling 19 Jan. 1889. Amelia was married twice, first to Karl Vullgraf on the 20 Aug. 1895, and after his death to Fred W. Vogt 10 Oct. 1902.

Sophia married Fred Zarndt 18 May 1899; Fred W. married Bertha Elfert 30 May 1900. Otto married Amelia Theodore 20 Nov. 1902 and Laura married George Glawe 10 Dec 1903. Catherine became the wife of John Buchheim on 17 Nov. 1904 and Ernest married Alvina Steen 16 May 1922

~This information has been collected by Judy and Jerry Moyna from family members, especially Karl Seifert, Garnavillo, Iowa, Bernadine Seifert Peterson, Elkader, Iowa, several histories of Clayton County including 1882 and 1912 and 1984, church records from Zion Lutheran Church, Clayton Center, Iowa, from various Iowa and Federal census records, several newspapers from the county including the Clayton County Journal, The Elkader Register, and the Clayton County Register, etc.

Plans include scanning available photographs, post cards, plat maps, and other appropriate printed material and the continuation of the excerpts from the local newspapers. Copies on a computer disk of the Family Tree Maker information and the text shown here are available to anyone who wants to add information to that now on file. Also, any additions and corrections, text or pictures, or contributions are more than welcome. Facilities exist to copy and return photographs. Contact Judy Bender Moyna, the contributor

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