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Naming of Concordia

 
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roger.pape
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:52 pm    Post subject: Naming of Concordia Reply with quote

As noted in other postings, the selection of the name Concordia for a small German settlement in the southeast corner of Lafayette County, MO is credited to Rev. F. Julius Biltz when he became the first postmaster for that community. But why did he choose that name?
The name dates back to early Roman times. Concordia was the goddess of Harmony. An extensive description of the goddess and many temples erected for her can be found at the website http://www.thaliatook.com/OGOD/concordia.php. It and its root Concord has been used to name a number of various places throughout the years. Since it was in 1865, at the end of a bitter civil war when Rev. Biltz named the community, many historians feel that he choose Concordia in the hope for harmony for the future of the area and nation. Some claim that he named the post office after his daughter. Julius did have a daughter named Concordia Pauline. She died within two weeks of her birth. So, it might seem reasonable that the name was chosen as a memorial to her. But the problem is St. Paul’s church records show that she was born and died in 1868, three years after the post office was named. She was named after the community. However, Rev. Biltz had an older sister named Concordia who had also died a t a young age before he was born. Therefore, Rev. Biltz obviously would have been fond of the name and had her in mind when he named Concordia.
There is a third possible reason for selecting the name, namely in reference to the Book of Concord (Concordia). This book is a compilation of the Formula of Concord along with the various Lutheran confessions and teachings. It was compiled in an effort to unite the early German Lutheran congregations in a common set of beliefs as they were beginning to split into different factions. For this reason, the name of Concordia is popular with Lutherans, particularly in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. It's two seminaries, ten universities/colleges, and a number of churches, parochial schools and other facilities/organizations chose that name.
So take your pick. Which story do you think is more plausible. No record has been found in Rev. Biltz’s writings as to why he chose that name.
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roger.pape
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2020 8:08 am    Post subject: Other Concordias Reply with quote

There is a surprising number of places around the world with the name of Concordia. It has the distinction of appearing on every continent on earth. Besides the United States, the name can be found in numerous places throughout Latin America and various locations in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and, yes, even one in Antarctica. Concordia Station, a scientific research facility, that was established in 2005 by a team of French and Italian scientists. It is located on Dome C of the polar ice sheet 1,060 feet above sea level and 1,040 miles from the South Pole. (see photo below) It is populated year round with 13 inhabitants during the nine month winter and about 80 during the summer.
Searching for Concordia in Wikipedia brings up an extensive (but not complete) list of places, educational institutions, and other facilities bearing that name.
References are compiled into loosely organized groups. Scrolling down through the group you can find some interesting places most of them have a brief description and links to where you can find more information.
Another web page is cities named Concordia, identifying 67 locations. It includes an interactive map with all of the locations pinned on it. Clicking on a pin reveals the address. It also contains a listing below the map of all of these places organized by country. Their compilation includes 8 cities in the U.S. and its territories, 42 in Latin America, 7 in Europe, 3 in Africa, 6 in the Philippines and 1 in Australia. The listing includes links to other websites with more information.
The following are brief descriptions of places in the US named Concordia.

* Concordia Parish, Louisiana – A parish (county) in eastern central Louisiana along the banks of the Mississippi River. It was first platted in 1805 and established as a parish in 1807 making it the first place named Concordia in the U.S. The Official Website of Louisiana states that “The name of the parish is of uncertain origin and may be from an early land grant called New Concordia, from the "concord" reached by local authorities over a mutual surrender of slaves, or for a mansion called Concord which was owned by Governor de Lemos.”
Being flat bottomland surrounded by the Mississippi and its tributaries, it is excellent farmland. Its thick, rich top soil is a result of the frequent flooding throughout the years before the levees were created.

* Concordia, Mississippi – It’s a ghost town in Bolivar County in western central Mississippi. The area was first settled by 1848 with a Methodist church and cemetery located there. A community was officially formed in 1866 and given the name Concordia. Why they chose the name Concordia is unknown. Note, however, that Concordia Parish, Louisiana is across the Mississippi River and possibly influenced the naming. It was an important point for shipping cotton and reached a population of 250. In 1879 yellow fever struck killing half of the people. The town was quarantined for a while. Later a railroad was built by-passing the town and some of the people moved to the railroad town Gunnison. Finally, in 1939 the Mississippi River changed course moving the river 5 miles to the west. Lacking a river port, the remaining people also moved. The only remaining evidence of the community is the old cemetery. .

* Concordia, El Paso, Texas – a ranch/community that existed in the mid 1800s on the outskirts of present day El Paso, Texas. Before the 1840s, Hugh Stephenson the first white settler in the El Paso area had acquired a Mexican grant of about 1000 acres extending out from the Rio Grande River at El Paso. He established the ranch on that land which he named Concordia. Why he chose that name is uncertain but several Texas histories erroneously claimed that he named it “after his boyhood home of Concordia, Missouri.” See details in the posting Concordia, Mo-El Paso, Texas connections? Hugh Stephenson was born in Kentucky in 1798. When he was orphaned as a young child, he went with his cousin John to somewhere in the state of Missouri possibly Lillard County (the earlier name of Lafayette County) where he spent his youth. As a young man, he joined the wagon trains heading down the Santa Fe Trail to Mexico. He remained in the southwest from that time on. Because Concordia, Missouri did not exist in the early 1800s it could not have been his boyhood home. Probably someone was researching Hugh’s life and saw that he spent his youth in Missouri. Noticing that there was a Concordia, Mo., he jumped to the conclusion that it was his boyhood home. During the mid 1800s there are various newspaper references to Hugh as the proprietor of Concordia. The 1860 census includes an enumeration of an area called Concordia with about 250 residents. So it was the equivalent of a census designated place (CDP) although that term did not exist at that time. Over the years the area was absorbed into the current city of El Paso. However, the name still exists as Concordia Cemetery, with over 65,000 burial plots including the resting place of various dignitaries as well as outlaws.
After the Civil War, the U.S. established an Army garrison on the Rio Grande River in the location of current day Ft. Bliss. In 1867 the Rio Grande flooded the area around the garrison. It was moved to higher ground on Hugh’s ranch and was named Camp Concordia. This property had been confiscated by the federal government because of Hugh’s connection with the Confederacy. After several years the camp was moved back to its earlier location which became Ft. Bliss, Texas. See another story about a different Camp Concordia later.

* Concordia, Kansas,- a city in Cloud County in central Kansas. There is an enduring legend that the city was named after Concordia, Missouri. The story can be found in many articles including the Wikipedia posting for Concordia, Kansas. In 1869, a group of promoters decided to build another city in Cloud County . They agreed on the location but could not agree on a name for the city . So they left the decision up to one of the members, a Capt. H. C. Snyder. He chose the name Concordia saying that it represented harmony and unity among them. At no time did he mention any location in Missouri by the same name. Capt. Snyder was from Indiana where he served in the Indiana cavalry during the Civil War. At the end of the war he decided to move to Kansas based on recommendation by one of his friends. So in 1866 he sold his farm and moved west to Kansas. It is possible that on the trip he stopped to stay with a family member in Lafayette County, MO, and may have heard of the formation of a new town named Concordia. However, this is pure conjecture.
Concordia, Kansas has several interesting historic sites. One of them is the orphan train museum built in that location because a number of children were dropped off there on the way west. Another is a site several miles outside of the city. During WWII, a prisoner of war camp was built in 1943 to house German prisoners, mainly from the North African campaign. It was named Camp Concordia and held between 4,000 and 8,000 prisoners during its operation until the end of the war. The prisoners were treated well with only a handful of unsuccessful attempts to escape. Prisoners were trucked to the surrounding area to work on farms. Some farmers struck a friendship with the prisoners and continued to correspond long after the end of the war. The name Camp Concordia continues to live to this day. It is used to name a number of youth/sports camps mostly operated by Lutheran colleges and churches.

* Concordia (Walburg), Texas – a community in Williamson County, Texas, 33 miles northeast of Austin. It was settled by German and Wendish immigrants who named the area Concordia. However, in 1886 a post office was established and the postmaster renamed the community Walburg after his hometown in Germany. In the early 1880s two Lutheran churches, Zion (LCMS) and St. Peter’s (now LCMC), were built and are still quite active. Through the years, the community has maintained its German character. There are two beer gardens operating on weekends with traditional German bands and beer. Another claim to fame is the area has been used as a movie set for various films, including “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.

* Concordia, Kentucky - a community in Meade County, Kentucky along the Ohio River. Lewis Collins History of Kentucky states that it was incorporated in 1869. A post office was established in 1880 and discontinued in 1967.

* Concordia, New Jersey - an unincorporated gated community in Monroe Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey, built in 1967. The area where the development was built had already been named Concordia so the community adopted that name. Although it is not a political subdivision, the population of the community is about 3,000; therefore, it is large enough to be a separate Census Designated Place (CDP). It has an excellent golf course, community center and other facilities which makes it attractive for retirees.



ConcordiaStation.jpg
 Description:
Concordia Scientific Research in the Antarctica near the South Pole

(from the station website)
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ConcordiaStation.jpg



ConcordiaParish.jpg
 Description:
An early platt of the Concordia Parish area, published in 1840.

(from the Library of Congress from where a high resolution copy can be downloaded)
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ConcordiaParish.jpg



ConcordiaCemetary.jpg
 Description:
Concordia Cemetery at El Paso, Texas

(from the cemetery website)
 Filesize:  51.59 KB
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ConcordiaCemetary.jpg



Prisontruck.jpg
 Description:
Truck transporting prisoners from POW Camp Concordia to surrounding farms

(from the Cloud County Historical Society)
 Filesize:  72.77 KB
 Viewed:  1157 Time(s)

Prisontruck.jpg


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