Thursday, May 28, 2020

Anna Weinert 1863-1935

Beth Weinert:
"There aren't many records in the family concerning Anna Weinert. She was born in Richardson County, Nebraska and met August Ernst there, whom she married. In the early days of the Evangelical Association it is recorded that in 1865 he 'went out from Zion to preach the Gospel'. There is no mention of him after 1888 in Kansas but picking up history of the Evangelical Church in Oregon it is assumed that during that time they moved to the state as history mentions that in 1889 he was received as a Local Deacon in the Conference.

"For several years they served in the Evangelical Church both in Oregon and Washington. The last record of him in the Conference is when he served as Presiding Elder in the Portland District in 1898. The next year 'A. Ernst sent in his resignation to the General Conference as Presiding Elder of the Portland District. His resignation was accepted and N. Shupp, Presiding Elder of the Salem District, took charge of the Portland District until the next annual conference.'

"It has been reported through the years that August and Anna got caught up in what was called "Dowite" religion, a group founded by John Alexander Dowie, educated in Scotland and ordained in Australia. It was considered very extreme in nature and several have said that because of this family relationships were, for the most part, broken between Anna and her family.

"The only child recorded is an adopted son, Ezra, and he died rather young of cancer. (not correct, see 1940 census) One family member described him as a 'good for nothing!' (Far from it, Ezra had a wife who loved him, a large family and was a chicken farmer, carpenter and painter.)

"Anna died 24 November 1935 of breast cancer and was buried on the 27th in Thurston,  August died in 1937. The place of burial has not been determined but the search is ongoing at this point.

(Source: Fifty Years in the Kansas Conference)
"Went out from Zion to preach the Gospel.
1884.         1884  Licensed to preach / Wilson 
1885.         1885  Offerle 
1886.         1886  Humboldt/Center Ridge Preached in a school house 
1887.         1887  Received Deacon's orders 
1888.         1888  No mention in Kansas Conference

(Source: History of the Evangelical Church in Oregon and Washington)
1889.         1889  Received as Local Deacon / Seattle 
1890.         1890  East Portland / German 
1891.         1891  Oregon City 
1892.         1892  Oregon City / Ordained as Elder 
1893.         1893  Oregon City 
1894.         1894  Seattle 
1895.         1895  Seattle / Whatcom 
1896.         1896  Seattle / Tacoma 
1897.         1897  Seattle / Tacoma 
1898.         1898  Presiding Elder / Portland District Resigned position"
(Source: All of the above: Beth Weinert)

Kent Gardiner:
August Ernst was born 28 August 1856 in Spock, Germany. According to the 1920 census he immigrated to the US in 1865 when he was 9 years old with his parents. August arrived in New York on May 21, 1868 with his parents, Christian and Christine Ernst, two sisters, Magdelena and Louise and a brother, Adolf. The family settled in Arago, Richardson County, NE.  August was naturalized in 1880 when he was 24. His father, Christian Friedrich Ernst, was born 23 December 1818 in Spock, Karlsruhe, Germany and died sometime between 1870 and 1880 in Richardson County, NE. August's mother died in 1900 in King, Washington. August's parents had 11 children.  

Paul Weinert
"Anna was born 25 Aug 1863 Arago, NE. Anna's  parents had an older daughter named Anna who lived from 1857 to 1860 in Arago Precinct, Richardson, NE. Anna's father August was Catholic but rarely attended according to his son Charlie. August was baptized and sent to a convent when he was 13.  That didn't take and after he returned home the family apprenticed him as a carpenter.  Some of his older children were baptized Catholic. Preachers came through the town, at this time, holding camp meeting. A local citizen offered up his land and people camped out so they could listen to the preachers. Aunt Jane was the first to attend these meetings and had a religious experience. She brought Fannie and Minnie and a couple of them believed. They brought Fredericka, who was Dutch Reformed, to a meeting and she fell in with the group. This upset August because the meetings had some shouting and carrying on. Sure enough, they got August to come and he had a religious experience." (Source: Paul Weinert, see August Weinert's videos)

Kent Gardiner
Religion was important to the Weinert family. Anna had a brother, August Weinert, who preached in Washington and Oregon. As things turned out Anna's life revolved around religion. In 1862 the Evangelical's established a church in Arago. At first the family attended church there but when they built the Zion Evangelical Church further south the family decided this was for them. Even after Anna' brothers Charlie and John moved south into Jefferson Township, they continued attending the Zion Evangelical Church with their families. That is where Anna got her early religious training.

Nebraska Marriage Records:
August Ernst and Anna went to church together for at least four years. It seems appropriate they would meet, fall in love and decide to marry in church. (See Zion Evangelical Church records below.) August Ernst and Anna Weinert were married 11 Mar 1884 in Richardson County, Nebraska, USA. They were married at the residence of August Weinert by J G Pfeifer, pastor. The witnesses were Edward Voegelin, August Hartmann, Annie Slater and Sadie [his niece Sarah?] Ernst. (Source: Nebraska Marriage Records, 1855-1992; FHL films 2022084-5)  (Note: Edward Voegelein was a witness at his sister-in-law's wedding. He will live another four years and die from a botched appendicitis operation on his kitchen table.) 

Cynthia Holbein Cramer:
"Possibly as early at 1886 August and Anna moved to the West Coast. Both August, age 32 and Anna, age 25, appeared in the King County, Washington Territorial Census, June 1889, along with C. J. Ernst, age 43, and his ten children including a Laura Ernst, age 3. August's occupation was listed as a minister and Anna was listed as a housewife.

"In 1889 August was received as a local deacon in the Oregon Conference of the Evangelical Church in Oregon and Washington. August and Anna spent the next five years in Oregon. August was ordained as an elder in Oregon city in 1892. From 1894 through 1898, reverend August Ernst was listed in the Seattle Polk Directories as the pastor of the Zion Church of the Evangelical Association on Harrison NW. August received his naturalization papers in Seattle during this period. In 1898, after living in Seattle for four years, August Ernst resigned as Presiding Elder of the Portland District of the Evangelical Church. 

"The Christian Catholic Apostolic Church was founded in 1896 by John Alexander Dowie, a charismatic, unorthodox evangelist. Dowie had arrived in California in 1888 as a spiritual healer and spent the next two years traveling the West Coast, from San Diego, California to Oregon, preaching and "healing". It is probable that August and Anna came in contact with Dowie or one of his apostles before Dowie moved to Chicago in 1890. Once Anna and August committed to the Dowie religion, family history reports that Anna's Weinert family relationships were strained.

"From 1901 through 1907, the Seattle Polk Directories first listed August as Reverend August Ernst, Elder of the Christian Catholic Church, later as the pastor of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church with Grand Overseer Reverend John Alexander Dowie and finally the listing was Reverend John Alexander Dowie as the Grand Overseer with Reverend August as the Elder in Charge.

"In 1906 John Alexander Dowie was accused of immoral behavior by his own following and died in disgrace in 1907. August Ernst continued preaching, but not in Dowie's Christian Catholic Church. In 1908 he is listed in the Seattle Polk directory as pastor of the Free Gospel Tabernacle. The Ernst family does not appear again in Seattle Directories until 1912 when the only entry is "Ernst, August (Anna) farmer, home Wallingford Avenue."

"The 1910 Kind County (Seattle) Federal Census recorded on April 28 gives the first comprehensive, although not entirely correct information about the August Ernst family. 

"Laura Eva Ernst, was not the daughter of Anna and August. She was the daughter of Charles J. Ernst and was born in Nebraska on January 28, 1886. Charles J. Ernst and family, including Laura Eva, were listed with August and Anna under the Ernst surname in the 1889 Washington Territory Census. Laura's mother's maiden name was Zimmerman, but the mother does not appear in the 1889 Washington State Census. It is possible that August and Anna raised Laura. Laura was listed as a boarder in their home in the 1907 and 1908 Seattle Polk directories, and as their daughter in the 1910 Census. Laura died of "organic heart failure" on September 24 1910 at age 24. She is buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Seattle, Washington. 

"By the 1920 Federal Census Anna, August, Ezra and Ezra's wife Julia had moved to Lynden, Whatcom County Washington. (Lynden is just south of the Canadian border in northwest Washington. Between 1920 and 1930 Anna and August moved again and are listed in the 1930 Federal Census as residents of Grand Mount, Thurston County Washington. Ezra and Julie Ernst are also listed as residents of Thurston, County in 1930. The Grand Mound area is just south of the town of Rochester where Anna and August lived until their deaths.

"Anna died in the neighboring town of Tenino on November 24, 1935; she was 72 years old and had lived in Washington State for 49 years. On her death Certificate, her birthplace was listed as Richardson County, Nebraska, father was August Weinert born in Germany; mother was Friedericka Baumbach, born in Holland. (The Bumbauch name is a puzzle, as the informant was Mrs. Grace Rogers." Cause of death was carcinoma of the left eye and arteriosclerosis. Anna is buried in an unmarked grave in Forest (Grove) Cemetery, Tenino, Thurston County, Washington. August died of chronic heart disease on February 1, 1937 in Rochester, Washington and is buried next to Anna." (Source Cynthia Holbein Cramer, granddaughter of Louise Weinert Wiltse, April 2010)

Kent Gardiner:
In the 1900 US Census Anna and August lived on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. August was listed as an "Inmate." August was 43, his wife Anna was 36. They have two children Laura, born in 1886 in Nebraska who was 14 and Ezra (adopted)  born in 1897 who was 2 years old. The 1900 census says Ezra immigrated in 1885 but this must be a mistake because the 1920 census says he immigrated in 1865 and was naturalized in 1880.

They are living in the Zion Home - Chicago home of the Zion Church founded by John A. Dowie. August Ernst was a follower, and was baptized and ordained as a Zion minister in this home in 1900.  (SOURCE:, see photograph of this large building in Chicago below)

Dowie information on the Ernst family Compiled by Christina Engelbart 
Zion publication Leaves of Healing (1899-1900) - Zion Home, on the finest Boulevard in Chicago, where guests have come in thousands to praise, pray, heal (laying on of hands), and study. It is the private residence of Dr. Dowie, Founder and figurehead of this movement, the headquarters offices of Christian Catholic Church and Divine Healing Mission, and is a Christian Temperance and Divine Healing Home. It also serves Printing literature disseminated to thousands each week around the world. A large number of Elders and Evangelists and their families have their residence in Zion Home.  Another dozen or so Zion buildings are scattered around Chicago and outlying suburbs, and a new Zion City to be built on nearby land is under development.  August Ernst and his family venture from Portland OR in 1900, to live and serve in Zion Home having followed from afar for four years, and are baptized, and he is additionally ordained to serve as an Elder of the Church. His niece is baptized in Seattle in 1899.

Elder August Ernst, Zion Home, said: "We left the Pacific Coast about the middle of February. It was a great change in climate for us, but the Lord kept me and my dear family in health. We have not had any sickness since we have been here, except that I had an attack of grip. An Elder laid hands on me, and I got: up and went down to dinner." (Source: Leaves of Healing)

August Ernst: "I read in Leaves of Healing of the wonderful healings which took place through the General Overseer's ministry, but when I heard he was going to organize a Church, I was a little disappointed. I thought we had too many denominations already. Later on, through prayer, I was healed of sick headaches which I had for ten years. I found out more and more about Zion, and when I read 'Organization of the Christian Catholic Church,' I began to change my views. But I thought I had a good Church where I was, and expected that Church to receive the doctrine of Divine Healing. But I was compelled to get out of that church. God showed me that His people were being called out of the denominations into one true Church." (Leaves of Healing)

In the weekly paper, published by Zion Press in Chicago, a religious order, August Ernest, Church Elder, shares what brought him and his dear family to Chicago, to Zion Home, where the practice of Divine Healing is embraced.

"Elder August Ernst, Portland Oregon said: "I have read Leaves of Healing for about four years, and have watched this Zion Movement very carefully and prayerfully. I believe it is the work of God. The most inspiration I got from Leaves of Healing was when I read about the persecution. That touched me very much. I blame myself for being a coward and staying out so long. I asked the Lord to open the way for me to get to Zion, and I am glad I am here."

Rev. August Ernst, Portland, Oregon said: "I have been healed of nervous headache. I praise God that I am in Zion. My family has been healed in many cases." (Source: Leaves of Healing)

Mrs. August Ernst, Portland, Oregon said; "I praise God that He has brought us to Zion. I can say that the Lord has richly blessed us since coming here. I have a determination to learn more of this good work."

Mrs. August Ernst, Portland, Oregon said: 
"My husband used to say when we read Leaves of Healing, 'Wife, if we keep on reading Leaves of Healing and following up this doctrine, we will have to leave the church.' I would say, 'If we stay in our church we can work among our friends and bring this truth to them and be a blessing to them. As quickly as we are out of the Church they will not listen to us any more.'

"We tried it quite awhile. We found out they would not accept it whether we were in the Church or out of it. I praise God the time came when we were willing to come out of the Church. We have not used medicine for about four years. We have had different diseases and the Lord has healed and kept us, and we praise Him for keeping us since we are here, although we came from a warmer climate, Portland, Oregon" (Source: Leaves of Healing)

John Alexander Dowie (25 May 1847 – 9 March 1907) was a Scottish-Australian minister known as an evangelist and faith healer. He began his career as a conventional minister in South Australia. After becoming an evangelist and faith healer, he immigrated with his family to the United States in 1888, first settling in San Francisco, where he expanded his faith healing into a mail order business. He moved to Chicago in time to take advantage of the crowds attracted to the 1893 World's Fair. After developing a huge faith healing business in Chicago, with multiple homes and businesses, including a publishing house, to keep his thousands of followers, he bought an expansive amount of land north of the city to set up a private community.

Dowie founded the city of Zion, Illinois, where he personally owned all the land and established many businesses. The operations of the city have been characterized as "a carefully-devised large-scale platform for securities fraud..." His lieutenant initiated an investigation of business practices and deposed him from leadership in 1905. Dowie was given an allowance until his death.

What is the Dowite religion?
All members were expected to tithe. Those who did were eligible to request Dowie's aid in healing their ills. They made such requests by mail or telegram (or later, by telephone). Dowie prayed in response to requests by paid-up members. Although Dowie funded his lifestyle largely through tithes, he also liked to buy up securities of bankrupt companies and sell them to his members. Two women whom he had defrauded in this way sued him and won their cases.

Dowie moved to Chicago in 1890. After a few unsuccessful years, he gained fame by his activities on property rented adjacent to the World's Fair in 1893. There he staged elaborate "Divine Healings" in front of large audiences drawn from attendees to the fair. Many of these "healings" were staged: Dowie used audience plants and other dubious methods. For instance, he arranged for carefully screened individuals to be brought on stage to be healed. Dowie appeared to cure a range of psychosomatic illnesses with his stagecraft.

With the growth in numbers of Dowie's following in Chicago, in 1894 he established the Zion Tabernacle downtown. He held regular services for large crowds at Chicago's Central Music Hall. He launched his own publishing house, Zion Publishing, and started a weekly newsletter titled Leaves of Healing.

He also established a range of businesses, healing homes, and a large Tabernacle. Followers from across the world descended on Zion. Zion has been characterized as "a carefully-devised large-scale platform for securities fraud requiring significant organizational, legal, and propagandistic preparation to carry out."

To this end Dowie forced his followers to deposit their funds in Zion Bank. It appeared to be a registered entity but was, in fact, an unincorporated entity under his control. He also sold worthless stock in an array of Zion's businesses. The entire structure of Zion was continually in debt, and eventually crashed as Dowie became increasingly senile and unable to handle his affairs.

Because of his questionable practices, his wife and children left him. In 1904, he revisited Adelaide, Australia, but his efforts to conduct services were met with hostility.

On 5 Mar 1904, Zion City, Lake, Illinois, USA  Rev. Anna Ernst, 2611 4th Av N, Seattle, evangelist & Rev. August Ernst, elder (Directory of the Ordained Officers of the Christian Catholic Church of Zion)

It isn't known when or if the Ernst's left this church but they did move back to King, Washington where they are found in the 1910 census. August is 54, Anna 46 and Ezra 13. August is a "gospel minister."

In 1920 August is farming in Whatcom, Washington. He is 63, Anna 56. Ezra, 22 and his wife Julia 21 lived with them. Ezra is a poultry farmer. Julia is from New Mexico.

In 1930 they were in Thurston, WA where they will spend the rest of their lives. August was a local minister. Next door to August and Anna is Ezra Noah Ernst, a berry farmer, with Julia and their children Louisa, Gertrude, Grace, Julia, August and Marion. They lived in Sections 31 and 32.

Anna died on the 24th November 1935 from cancer of the left eye and arteriosclerosis. She was buried in Forrest Grove Cemetery in  Rochester, Thurston, Washington on 27 Nov 1935.

August lived to be 81 years 6 months 3 days dying  on 1 Feb 1937 in  Rochester, Thurston County, Washington of chronic valvular heart disease which he had for a year.

What happened to the children they cared for?
Laura E. Ernst was born Jan 1886 in Nebraska. Her parents are Charles J Ernst 1844-1907 and Ernestine Zimmermann 1847-1889. They had 10 children and, their mother, Ernestine died in 1889 in King County, Seattle, Washington. At the time of her mother's death Laura was 3 years 1 month old. Charles J is one of August's older brothers. It makes sense that August and Anna who were without children took in Laura because August was her uncle. Charles and family lived in Ohio Precinct which is north of Falls City and west of Arago Township when Laura was born. That location is very close to the Weinert's home. In 1900 Charles J. Ernst, tinsmith, and farmer was living in King Co Seattle, WA with five children. In 1900 Laura is 14 living in the Zion Home complex in Chicago with August and Anna and their adopted son Ezra. In 1910 she was a student in Seattle. Anna and August lived at E Wallingford and 95th Street in Rural, Seattle. Laura was 24 when she died of "organic disease" on 24 Sep 2010.  She was buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. "B and Sons" Seattle did the undertaking. 

Ezra Noah Ernst The 1900 census says he was born in Nov 1897 in Salem Oregon and is two years old. His WWI draft registration says his date of birth is Nov 27 1897 and that he was born in Salem Oregon. It also says his Mother (foster) was Annie Ernst of Wallingford and 93rd in Seattle, Washington or 493rd Street in Seattle. Ezra was working for the Pacific Steamship Company. The Seattle directory for 1915 lists Rev. August and Anna on 9220 Wallingford Ave.  In 1920 Ezra is 22 living and working in Lynden working on a poultry farm.  In 1930 Ezra 32 was living with his wife Julie, 31 from New Mexico and Louise 9, Gertrude 8, Grace 6, Julia 4+ August 4+ and Marion almost 2. Ezra was working on a berry farm and is living next door to his parents. In 1940 he they lived in Thurston Washington with his wife and children. Ezra is a carpenter on a farm. Ezra's death certificate says he was born in 1896 which is different than his WWI draft registration. He died on December 1966 of a heart attack in Tenino, Washington and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Centralia, Washington. He was painting contractor who lived in in Rochester, WA, about 15 miles west of Tenino. He was survived by his wife, Julia Margaret Torkelson, one son, August, and four daughters, Louise, Gertrude, Grace and Julie. 

Julia's maiden name was Torkelson. She was born in 1898 in New Mexico. In 1900 she and her brother Arthur T. lived with her grandmother Margaret Evans and her mother Grace Torkelson in Colorado. No father is mentioned. By 1910 Grace married a Samuel Rogers and they are living in King, Washington. 

Documents related to Anna Weinert:  

1856 August Ernst birth Spock, Germany
film 102550715 page 663

August Ernst passenger list
21 May 1868, August is 7

August Ernst
Naturalization papers
This is the church John's family attended.

1880-1881 Anna Weinert's name in the Zion
church rolls next to her mother Fredericka 
aka Barbara and father August. On the
same page is the Ernst family. Anna is 17.
The "S" and "M" stand for single
or married. (Source: Zion Evangelical records
found at Zion Bethel church by Paul
Weinert and Kent Gardiner. 2010)
Note: August's brother Adolph Ernst
married Pauline Rose 20 Dec 1877. They 
7 children. He died in 1907 and she died
in 1947 in Alameda, CA. That is a record 
for time living on your own.

LtR Anna and Louise Weinert
Falls City, NE

Anna Weinert marriage certificate

1893 Seattle Polk directory. The Ernst
family owned a plumbing business where
many family members took employment.

1889 Nebraska Territory Census
with August 32, a minister, Anna 25,  a housewife
living with August's brother CJ a 43 year old
tinner and his family. CJ's wife Ernestina has
died previously this year. The household
includes 14 people  including little Laura age 3. 

1900, 22 Aug, Spokane, WA, Marriage Certificate: Paul L Buchholz of Spokane and Miss Wilhelmine C. Ernst of Spokane / Witnesses:: L F Buchholz and Mrs. L.F. Buchholz / MINISTER: Rev. August Ernst, Seattle, WA (the Bride's uncle), Minister of the Gospel

1900 Cook County, Chicago, Census

    Zion Home aka Dowie Institute, Dowie Building
    Zion House at 1201 Michigan Ave
    (at Michigan and 12th) Chicago This is
      the building where August and Anna lived in 1900-

    John Alexander Dowie,
    "First Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ"
    in his robes 

    as Elijah the Restorer, c. 1904

    John Dowie demonstrating
    his healing power.
    T.P. O'Connor, an Irish M.P. and journalist, wrote of Dowie:
    "the one incomprehensible element in the man's gigantic success is the personal luxury in which he lives, and his superb refusal at the same time to account for any of the sums of money entrusted to him. His horses are worth a fortune in themselves; his carriages are emblazoned with armorial bearings; his wife is said to dress with the gorgeous extravagance of an empress. When he travels, hemmed round with a little army of servants, the prophet of humility and self-denial has a special train chartered, and whenever the spiritual burdens become too great a tax there is a delightful country residence belonging to him in which to retreat from the clamour and importunate appeals of the faithful." (Source: Wikipedia)

    Dowie leaves for Australia where
    he was "met with hostility". He tried
    New York and Mexico with
    similar results. He died in 1907.

    Laura Ernst death certificate
    The informant was Laura's older brother
    Charles C Ernst

    1910 Oak Lake Washington Census

    LtR, Minnie and Anna Weinert

    Anna Weinert is listed as a foster mother
    in Ezra's WWI draft registration

    Page 2 of Ezra Weinert's
    WWI draft registration

    1919 Anna Weinert Ernst
    (Source Cynthia Holbein Cramer)

    1919 LtR Anna and John Weinert, Anna
    and August Ernst
    (Source Cynthia Holbein Cramer)

    1919 August Ernst and Anna Weinert
    (Source Cynthia Holbein Cramer)

    Ezra marriage certificate

    1920 Census Whatcom, Washington

    1930 Census Thurston, Washington

    1935 Obituary for Anna Ernst

    Anna Weinert Ernst
    death certificate

    1935 Newspaper obituary
    for August Ernst

    August Ernst death

    Anna died 24 Dec 1935 and is buried
    here in the Forest Grove Cemetery,
    Tenino, Thurston Co., WA
    August died 1 Feb 1937 and was buried
    6 Feb 1937, same location.
    No markers in 2020.
    (Source Cynthia Holbein Cramer)

    Forest Grove Cemetery, where August and Anna are buried. No Find-A-Grave entry for either of them as of 2020. 
    The cemetery is located midway between the coaling towns of Tenino (formerly known as Skookumchuck) and Bucoda, railroad/mining stations founded in southern Thurston County early in the territorial period. First interments date from the 1860s. Bucoda, the former site of the first territorial prison, was the larger of the two towns throughout the 19th century and contributed the majority of burials. Since about 1920 interments have come from several small Thurston County communities. In addition to the marked graves of several thousand residents it is believed an unmarked mass grave for territorial prison inmate burial relocations may be on the property. The cemetery expanded from the oldest sections on the north side with upright markers (many New England style slate stones imported from Eastern marker firms) to the newest sections on the south side with flat and pillow markers. Many of the markers are now considered historic. The cemetery was canvassed by the Olympia Genealogical Society in 1990 and cemetery records were made available from the local sexton.

    1966 Dec 10 Daily Chronicle,
    Centralia, WA
    1966 Ezra Noah Ernst
    death certificate

    Ezra died 9 Dec 1966 and is buried in Greenwood Memorial
    Park, Centralia, Lewis County,
    Washington, USA