Waterloo Region Generations
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Dr. Johann Friedrich "Frederick" Christ[1]
Male 1823 - 1875


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  • Prefix  Dr. 
    Birth  1823  , Mecklinburg Schwerin, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    Gender  Male 
    Occupation  12 Jan 1854  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Doctor 
    • Business Card in Der Deutsche Canadier
    Crime  1856  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    prisoner 
    • Listed as being a prisoner in 1856 & 1859
    Occupation  1861  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Doctor 
    Occupation  1861  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Doctor of Medicine 
    Religion  1861  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Lutheran 
    Immigration  Aug 1866  Lansing, Ingham, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation  1870  Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Doctor - Physcian 
    Misfortune  21 Jan 1875 
    suicide by morphine 
    • The death led the doctor into heavy drinking and a state of depression. On January 21st 1875, Dr. Christ ended his life with an overdose of morphine.
    Name  Fred Christ 
    Name  Frederick Christ  [7
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-137904 
    Died  21 Jan 1875  , USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I137904  Generations
    Last Modified  15 Mar 2017 

    Family 1  Emilie,   b. 1825, , Prussia, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 May 1866, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Helen C. Christ,   b. 1854, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Dec 1937, , Los Angeles Co., California Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Fritz Christ,   b. 19 Oct 1861, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Nov 1861, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Pauline J. Christ,   b. 1864, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jan 1925, , Los Angeles Co., California Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID  F42819  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Pauline Meyer,   b. 1842, , Prussia, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married  24 Dec 1866  Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 4
    Family ID  F50984  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • A gruesome and particularly unusual case (I have found no parallel to it in the province) comes from Waterloo in 1859. A Dr. Frederick Christ was convicted of having stolen the body of a child of the Eby family from the grave to make a skeleton. Dr. Christ had apparently performed the same operation on a number of bodies and, it appears from the evidence at the trial, freely admitted to enquiring friends and visitors at his house what he was doing. One witness testified that he saw the doctor boiling what the doctor affirmed to be human bones in a kettle, another that he saw human bones in a tub in the doctor's barn. Presumably the accused was in the business of selling mounted skeletons to doctors and medical students. He and an accomplice were each sentenced to three months in the common jail.1a

      1aBody-Snatching in Ontario by Royce MacGillivray (Berlin Telegraph, 2 and 16 September 1859)

      ___________________________

      Dr. Frederick Christ, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, committed suicide last night. He had been married twice, and both of his wives committed suicide.2a

      2aThe Daily Phoenix from Columbia, South Carolina ┬ĚJanuary 24, 1875 Page 3

      ________________________________________

      A distressing investigation was held before the Magistrates of Berlin, on Wednesday, involving the character of one of the medical gentlemen of that town, another residing in Elmira, and a gentleman closely connected with the first-charged offender. It seems that for some time suspicious hints and cirumstances, and smells, had indicated that the resurrection trade was being revived in Berlin, and that the remains of certain bodies had been conveyed to the premises of a medical gentleman, and, after dissection, the flesh had been consumed by boiling. The circumstances were so pointed that the magistrates deemed them sufficient to issue warrants for the arrest of the parties accused, and search warrants were also put into the hands of the officers to examine the Doctor's premises, and there accordingly they found the mutilated re-mains of several human bodies. Among these were the remains of a fine young lad named Eby, the son of Mr. Abraham Eby, of Bridgeport. The youth had been accidently killed at a soiree at Bridgeport a week or two ago, and his body interred, amid the heartfelt sorrow of a multitude of friends. A portion of his body was found on the premises of the accused, and they were sworn to by the afflicted father from certain marks. Portions of two other bodies were found, which the accused stated were those of certain persons; the tale was found to be false. The bodies appear all to have been taken from a graveyard in Berlin.3a

      3aHuntingdon Herald
      _______________

      German Workingmen s Aid Society (Arbeiter Unterslnetzung Verein). '97 Organized August 19, 1869, and incorporated June 16, 1870, with twenty-three charter members. Object: The relief of members and their families in distress. First officers: Pres., Dr. Frederick Christ; Treas. Frank Kuenzel; Sec, Herman Vielkind.4a


      4aHistory of the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan...by Albert Baxter.

      _____________________

      QUEEN vs DR CHRIST

      This case, which we noticed in this journal a short time ago, arose out of the fact that the prisoner, Dr. Christ, had been detected in the act of boiling parts of a human body on his premises in the Village of Waterloo. From some remarks he, Dr. Christ had dropped, it was suspected that a son of Mr. Abraham Eby, who was killed at Bridgeport had been taken from his grave; which on examination proved to be correct. The indictment is as follows: The Jurors of our Sovereign Lady the Queen upon their oaths present that Frederick Christ did on the 13th of August last willfully and indecently enter the churchyard of the Mennonites in Berlin, and dig open the grave in which one Edward Eby had been buried, and did then take away the said body.

      The following witnesses were then called on behalf of the Crown:

      JOHN WALTER - Sworn - Was on Christ's premises on the 29th August, and saw him boiling something in a kettle. Christ said those are the bones of a human being, of which I am going to make a skeleton.

      Cross examined - Was not annoyed by the smell. Christ did not say to me he was going to sell the bones.

      Dr. S.S. BOWERS - Is a physician in Waterloo. Was on Christ's premises on the 30th day of August last. Opened a tub in a barn and saw quite a number of human bones. The smell I the barn was that peculiar to a human body in a state of decomposition. Saw also in the house where Christ lived, the whole of the bones belonging to a skeleton. Saw other bones taken from a trunk. The bones so found, belonged to a head. Can't tell what size they were, as they were broken and only a very few of them. Should think they belonged to a child of 7, 8, or 9 years. Can't tell how long since they were dressed. Here the bones were produced and Dr. Bowers described them fully to the Court. A scalp was also produced, which showed evidence of the skull having been fractured.

      Cross ex'd - The bones in the tub were those of a grown person. Have no means of connecting the bones of the head with the scalp shown. The trunk in which the bones were found was not concealed.

      ABRAHAM EBY - Affirmed - Had a son killed on the 23rd of July, aged nearly six years, was buried in the Mennonite Churchyard, Berlin. With the particulars of this child's death our readers are already acquainted. Witness identified the hair as belonging to his son. The scalp produced is that of my son. Swears positively that the bones produced are belonging to his child.

      MR. SPENCER, ESQ. - Sworn - On going to the premised of Dr. Christ, I told him I understood that they were carrying on the business of preparing skeletons. Christ said he did and he made no secret of it. He had a right to do it, and it was nobody's business how he made his money. Corroborated the evidence of Dr. Bowers as to the appearance of the bones in the tub, and of the skeletons in the house. Went and saw the grave of Mr. Eby's child, opened it and found the coffin empty. On returning to Christ's house found the pile of small bones removed. Was present when Mr. Abraham Eby's son was killed. Find the same marks on the scalp produced, and were on the head of the child. Cannot be mistaken as I helped to wash and lay out the child.

      Cross ex'd - I committed Christ for a misdemeanor for cutting up bodies and boiling them. I am not on bad terms with Dr. Christ. Considered it my duty after examining the premises to have Christ and Werthman arrested. Offered to take bail from them on their appearance at court. The did not tender any.

      JOHN W. KOEHLER - Sworn - A few days after the burial of Eby's child, Dr. Christ came into Schnarr's Tavern in Waterloo Village, and made the remark that the bodies of William Rebscher, John Nahrgang, and Zoeger were not in their graves. Afterwards, Dr. Christ offered to bet with witness that Abram Eby's child was not in his grave. Christ said that he would not go and bring the bodies himself, but that he could get plenty at an outlay of ten dollars.

      Cross ex'd - But for Dr. Christ having offered to bet with me as to the child being out of his grave, I had no reason to suppose that he had taken the body. Thinks it was about a week after the funeral, when defendant offered to bet with him. have always been on good terms with defendant.

      Abram Eby - Recalled by Crown Attorney - Said he examined the grave where his child was buried, and found the same empty. D.S. Shoemaker and Moses Springer, Esqs. were present.

      WM. LOEFFLER - Sworn - On two occasions saw a team leave Christ's premises about 10 pm and return about 2 am. Saw the parties unload bags from the wagon. Christ owns a team.

      Cross ex'd - Has known Dr. Christ to be called to attend patients after night. I am on good terms with Dr. Christ.

      M. SPRINGER - Recalled - Saw a large bag on the premises. I recognize the hook now shown to me as the one found in the cellar of Christ's home. Is ignorant of its uses.

      CONRAD SMITH - Sworn - the hook produced was made in my shop, by order of one of Werthman's boys.

      This closed the case for the prosecution. [Mr. Palmer, Barrister, of Guelph, did all he could for the prisoner, but the evidence was too strong against him. - Ed. Ch.]

      His Honor read the indictment, and the evidence in full to the Jury, and stated at some length the different Statutes connected with such cases. The jury retired, and after a very short absence returned into Court with a verdict of Guilty.

      The trial of the QUEEN vs WERTHMAN, was then gone into. The evidence was in every respect similar to that adduced in the case of Dr. Christ. Verdict Guilty.

      Christ and Werthman were sentenced to 3 months in Common Gaol.1a

      1aBerlin Chronicle And Gazette - Tuesday Morning, Sep. 20, 1859 - County Court and Quarter Sessions

  • Sources 
    1. [S1786] Wisconsin, Marriages, 1836-1930.
      Johann Friedrich Christ
      Spouse's NamePauline Meyer
      Event Date24 Dec 1866
      Event PlaceMilwaukee, Wisconsin

    2. [S1885] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo City - 1861, Waterloo 1861 Dist. 2 Page 18.

    3. [S2374] Census - U.S. Census Population Schedule, 1870 9th Census, Grand Rapids Ward 2, Kent, Michigan; Roll: M593_681; Page: 266B; Image: 525; Family History Library Film: 552180.
      Frederick Christ aged 45 Physician, b. Mickelenburg
      Pauline 27 Keeping House b. Prussia
      Amelia at school - b Michigan
      Pauline 5 b. Ontario

    4. [S1786] Wisconsin, Marriages, 1836-1930.
      Friedrick Christ Name Note Dr. Event Type Marriage Event Date 24 Dec 1866 Event Place Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States Gender Male Race White Birthplace Alt Strelitz, Meklembury Stralis Father's Name Friedrick Christ Mother's Name Magdalena Christ Spouse's Name Paulina Meyer Spouse's Gender Female Spouse's RaceWhite Spouse's Father's Name Carl Meyer Spouse's Mother's Name Paulina Meyer

    5. [S244] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Deutsche Canadier (1841-1865), January 12, 1854.

    6. [S20] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berlin Telegraph (title varies: Berlin Telegraph, Berlin Daily Telegraph) (1853-1922), 25 Oct 1861.
      Christ: At Waterloo, on the 19th inst., the wife of Dr. Christ of a son.

    7. [S7] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berliner Journal (1859-1917), 10 May 1866.
      Emilie Christ died 4 May 1866 in Waterloo, wife of Dr. Christ, 40 yrs.

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 1823 - , Mecklinburg Schwerin, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Doctor - 12 Jan 1854 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCrime - prisoner - 1856 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Doctor - 1861 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Doctor of Medicine - 1861 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Lutheran - 1861 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - Aug 1866 - Lansing, Ingham, Michigan, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 24 Dec 1866 - Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Doctor - Physcian - 1870 - Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 21 Jan 1875 - , USA Link to Google Earth
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