Rev. August Affeld, Pastor at Zion Chatt 1896-1899

Rev. August Affeld, Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, 1897.

Rev. August Affeld, Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, 1897.

I recently received an e-mail from Danielle, who was seeking information about her great-grandfather, Rev. August Affeld. He was a Lutheran minister who served at Zion Chatt from late 1896-1899. She contacted me after she saw his picture in a 1897 confirmation photo that I posted here a few weeks ago. That photo is the oldest confirmation photo I have from our church.

I was able to give Danielle a copy of the confirmation photo and some information that I had gathered about Rev. Affeld a few years ago when we celebrated Zion’s 150th anniversary. I wrote a little biography about each of Zion’s pastors for the anniversary booklet in 2005.

I contacted the ELCA Region 6 Archives at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, for information about Zion’s pastors. The Region 6 Archives serves the six synods of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. They were very helpful and provided information about the Lutheran pastors who served at Zion from Lutheran publications such as The Lutheran Standard, biographical directories of pastors, district minutes and other sources. It appeared that they had an index card on each pastor.

From their information and some of my research, I compiled the following about Rev. Affeld:

Carl August Affeld was born 2 March 1868 in Zippnow, West Prussia, Germany, the son of Friedrich and Pauline (Marohm) Affeld, and died 31 October 1944 at Center, North Dakota, at the age of 76. He immigrated to America in 1883 and graduated from Luther Seminary, Afton, Minnesota, in 1893. He served the following congregations: North Washington, 1893-97; Zion, Chattanooga 1897-1900; St. Johns, New Bedford, Ohio, 1900-1902; he organized and served eight congregations in the vicinity of Turtle Lake, Coleharbor, Garrison, and Max, 1902-14; three congregation in Anamoose, North Dakota, 1914-20; New Leipzig 1921-26; Los Angeles, California, 1926-28; and Churchtown-Center, Rosebud, North Dakota, 1928-39. While at Zion Rev. Affeld performed more than 37 baptisms, eight marriages, nine funerals and confirmed two classes of young adults. He retired from the ministry in 1939. He married (1) Maria Baier in 1896 and (2) Ulricke Peske in 1919. Three sons and five daughters were born from his first marriage.

My great-aunt, Maria Regina Müller, and great-uncle, Jacob Müller Jr, were confirmed in each of Rev. Affeld’s two confirmation classes.

August Affeld married Mary Baier on 30 February [sic] 1896 by I. Schutz, pastor of St. John Ev. Lutheran Church in Celina, Mercer County. The marriage license and return was in Hardin County, Ohio. Mary was 16 years old and her father Philip Baier gave his consent. [1] Since there has never been 30 days in February they would not have been married on 30 February. Their license was dated 27 January and their marriage was probably on 30 January.

Affeld/Baier marriage, 1896.

Affeld/Baier marriage, 1896.

Two children were born to August and Mary during the time they lived in Chattanooga. Fredrick Wilhelm Affeld was born 12 January 1897 and Martha Magdalene was born 20 May 1898, both born in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio. Both births are recorded in Mercer County Probate. [2]

Friedrich & Martha Affeld birth record, Mercer County, Ohio, 1897 & 1989.

Friedrich & Martha Affeld birth record, Mercer County, Ohio, 1897 & 1898.

I was also able to furnish Danielle with some information from Zion’s records, one of my favorite sources of information. Both children were baptized at Zion and both baptismal records are below. Friedrich’s sponsors were Wilhelm Baier and Maria Casper. Martha’s sponsors were Sophia Schulz and Paulina Affeld.

Friedrich Wilhelm Affeld, b. 12 Jan 1897, bapt. 31 Jan 1897, Zion Chatt.

Friedrich Wilhelm Affeld, b. 12 Jan 1897, bapt. 31 Jan 1897, Zion Chatt.

I thought perhaps that I could give Danielle a copy of Rev. Affeld’s handwriting, but I can’t be sure he wrote these records himself. The nice handwriting may have been written by his wife or another person. Rev. Affeld was born in Germany and perhaps he would have used an umlaut for Pflüger instead of writing it Pflueger. We may never know, although the handwriting in the records did change after he left Chattanooga.

Martha Magdalene Affeld, b. 29 May 1898, bapt. 5 Jun 1898, Zion Chatt.

Martha Magdalene Affeld, b. 20 May 1898, bapt. 5 Jun 1898, Zion Chatt.

By 1900 the Affelds were living in Coshocton County, Ohio. They had a third child, August Charley, born 3 Nov 1899 in Coshocton County. [3] Their family in 1900: August Affeld 32; Mary C. 21; Frederick W. 3; Martha M. 2; August C, 6/12. The couple had been married 4 years, 3 children were born to them and all 3 were living. August was born in March 1868 in Germany, he immigrated 17 years before, in 1883, and he was naturalized. His occupation was Preacher and he could read, write and speak English. [4]

I’m glad I could help Danielle with records from Chattanooga.


[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 Mar 2013), August Affeld and Miss Mary Baier, 1896, Hardin County, Ohio, Vol. 10: 187.

[2] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 Mar 2013), August Affelt in entry for Fredrick William Affelt, 1897; August Affeld in entry for Martha M. Affeld, 1898, Mercer County, Ohio, Vol. 3:5.

[3] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 Mar 2013), August Affeldt in entry for August Charley Affeldt, 1899, Coshocton County, Ohio, Vol. 3:78.

[4] 1900 U.S. census, Crawford, Coshocton, Ohio, Enumeration District: 0005, p. 11A, line 35, dwelling 207, family 217, August Affeld; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 14 March 2013); from National Archives microfilm T623, roll 1250.


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  1. Although several pastors had relatively long tenure at Zion, the number of pastors over the long history of this small church in a small village is impressive. While I have only known Waldo Byers,and Arnold Green, my parents often spoke of two before them who were close family friends, particularly the one who used to love coon hunting, but whose name presently escapes me, though I have heard it repeated thousands of times. In his younger days, my father was an avid coon hunter.

    1. That’s interesting. I wonder which pastor that would have liked to coon hunt. The pastors before Rev. Byers were Wolber, Priebe, Yahl and Albrecht. I won’t go back any farther than that now, but do any of those names sound familiar? It would be interesting to know. Thanks!

  2. While I expected to recognize the name immediately if I saw or heard it, the list is less than stimulating. However there is only one name in the four that I recall and that is Yahl (though I remember it pronouced “Yale” which seems unrealistic for this spelling). Therefore I must assume he would be the one, but my certainty level is low. I will check with the “older” family members to get better information.

  3. I stand corrected by those who were there and remember (it was before I was born). The coon hunter was Pastor Wolber. He was report to be about 6 ft. tall and very young. He and his wife left Chatt to do missionary work in New Guinea. The story goes that he wanted to actually shoot a coon out of tree, so he went out hunting several times with Dad and his hunting buddy (Verse Hobblit). The story gets more colorful, but probably not appropriate for public consumption (only mildly off color).

    My confusion with Pastor Yahl apparently resulted from the fact that he and my parents were very close, but not that he every participated in the hunting.

    1. Thanks for the information. I have heard a lot about Pastor Wolber, but didn’t know he was a coon hunter! Interesting.

    • Danielle Davison on March 18, 2013 at 10:20 am
    • Reply

    Enjoyed reading your blog! Thank you for shining the spotlight on my Great Grandfather. I don’t imagine that he would have ever dreamed of being showcased or even researched into the 21st century! Your work is very important, keep it up.

    1. Thank you! I enjoyed writing about him and glad I could be of help with your research.

  4. Had a note from one of my siblings about the Chatt pastor line:

    The first minister I remember mom and dad talking about was Rev. Albrecht. He apparently confirmed dad. There is a picture somewhere. I think Rev. Carl Yale was next. He married mom and dad. Then I think Rev. Wolber and his new wife Daisy came for only a short time. I don’t remember if Rev. (Waldo) Byers came next. I remember we went to visit Rev. Yale one time after he left, but I don’t have any idea where he was. I just remember he was married after he left the Chattanooga church. Today was mom’s birthday. She would have been 103 years old.

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