GOTTLIEB FREDERICK BEHNER (b. 1 Sep 1818)
Gottlieb F. Behner
was an Evangelical clergyman and farmer who ultimately became the
fourth husband of Anna Marie Roth. He was born in Grafenhauser,
and came to the USA in 1833 with his widowed mother and several brothers
and sisters. They came by ship in what must have been a difficult
voyage of 96
an Evangelical clergyman in 1845 and was instrumental in organizing
the Liverpool class, Medina Co. of the Evangelical
faith. He probably preached
a log church that was noted by Bishop Seybert who visited Liverpool on September
1841. He served in various circuits of the church as follows:
Gottlieb and Anna Marie Roth apparently knew each other for many years because they lived only a mile or so apart in 1850, according to the census correlation with the 1857 plat map of the area. Anna Marie joined the Evangelical faith in 1849 when Gottlieb was an active clergyman. In 1861, after the death of her first husband John Gottlieb Wirth in 1857, Anna Marie married Jacob Vetter. The marriage was performed by Gottlieb Behner on September 1, 1861. Note above that Behner was active in the Sandusky Ckt. in this time frame and would have been aware that Vetter, a member of the Evangelical Church in Black River Twp., Loraine Co., OH, near the town of Loraine, was widowed (See excerpt from a history of the Loraine Co. area at the end of this document). He would have been in a position to be a match-maker. Also, it is possible that he married Anna to John Gottlieb Wirth in 1851 but that cannot be proven either at the time of this writing.
fluctuations in and out of the ministry were apparently caused
by health problems. Being a circuit rider for the Evangelical ministry,
he was faced with great physical hardship. These ministers traveled
to different locations every day, staying with local people, preaching
about six days a week, rain or shine. It was particularly difficult
in the winter and spring, when the weather was bad. There were essentially
no roads, only paths and they had to cross streams without the convenience
a bridge in many cases. He appears to have dropped out of the active
ministry in 1854-5 and then again in 1858. He retired permanently
1862 due to health problems of
Gottlieb's wife Catharine died on April 10, 1884 at an age of either 64 yrs., 9 months and 24 days or 63 yrs, 10 months (conflicting data). Then, after the subsequent deaths of Anna Marie's third and fourth husbands, Jacob Vetter and August H. Peldewitz, Anna Marie returned to Ohio and married Behner in 1887.
The above summary
is based upon church history, obituary and census information. The 1850
census information of Liverpool Twp., Medina Co., Ohio is as follows:
1860 census information is similar with a few additions:
also became a clergyman and left as a memorial to the Liverpool Class
a photograph of Gottlieb and his wife Catharine. The following is
the text surrounding the photo in Leedy's history which is referenced
in the text several paragraphs below:
The Evangelical Church was introduced into this community by thelabors
of Henry Bucks when he served Wooster
Circuit, 1835-1836. By revivals which he held at that time and which
A. B. Shaefer held in 1838, the family of Gottlieb Friedrich Behner,
his wife, this two brothers, and two sisters were all won for the
church. Also among these converts was the John G. Wollpert family.
John G. Wollpert, Jr., became an esteemed minister in the
Ohio Conference and missionary to Germany. Two preachers also came
the Behner family, G. F. Behner and E. W. Behner. Mrs. John
The early preachers were attracted by this community. A. B. Shaefer added forty three members to the class in 1838-1839. Stroh and Hall said there were 250 German families living here who were like sheep without a shepherd. "The house were we are preaching," he wrote "is too small to hold all who press in to hear the Word so people have decided to build a meeting house."
visited Liverpool on September 15, 1841 and made record of the "society
of earnest Europeans who were serving God in spirit and truth.
The have already built a new church in which I preached from Revelations
3:17:18…" This was a
log church two and one half miles east and a half mile
south of Valley City. A frame church was built two and one half
miles northeast of Valley City and dedicated November 23,
1862. Liverpool was with West 65th St. Church in 1903.
Their relationship to Gottlieb Behner is not known but there are several other Behner families shown on adjacent farms in a plat map dated 1857. They are probably related in some way. It is possible that Frederick Behner is the son referred to in the census.
Another source of information used in writing the above is a document entitled "The Evangelical Church in Ohio", published in 1959 by the Ohio Conference of Evangelical United Brethren Church and authored by Roy B. Leedy, A.B., B.D., the Ohio Conference Historian. An obituary of Gottlieb F. Behner is believed to be the ultimate source of this information and it is included in the Evangelical Messenger of 1905 on page 283 and is shown below.
The death record
in the Evangelical Messenger, May 3, 1905
In his 20th year
Father Behner became thoroughly awakened by a sermon of Absolom Schaefer,
and in the following year he was converted when Aaron Yampert and
John Stahl served on the circuit. Then Father Behner
became a class leader and after a hard struggle
he gave himself up to join the ranks of the Evangelical ministers
in his 27th year and came to the Ohio Conference in 1845. He
was stationed successively at Sandusky, Wayne,
Marion and Lake Circuit, then again at Sandusky and Greensburg from
1845 to 1853. Later, he was sent to Dayton, but owing
to illness he was compelled to locate
In 1939 he was united in marriage with Miss K. B. Bowman; they lived happily together for 45 years and were bless with 8 children, four of whom died in early childhood and one son in later years. He was also bereft of his wife. In 1887 he married Mary Pelterwitz, nee Roth.
Father Behner leaves a widow, 3 children, 22 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, one sister and may other relatives and friends.
On the 9th
of April, he walked with me about a quarter of a mile to church
was very much interested in the service
and took part in the singing. When we parted, after
having spoken of the possibility of a
change of pastors at the next conference, he said: ‘I
hoped you would preach my funeral service," to
which I replied: "I
might do so anyhow."
On the following Sunday morning the weary traveler reached his Father's house in heaven. The undersigned preached in German, and Rev. D. P. Fulmer, of the M. E. Church, preached in English. Rev. J. D. Seip also took part in the service.
FROM THE HISTORY OF LORAIN CO., OH 1879
The above passage was e-mailed by Jack Wirth of New Mexico on 04/11/03. Most of the information has been tallied from census records, obituaries, and family stories passed down. Any additions or comments are most happily accepted.
© 2003 Behner Marine, Inc. All rights reserved.