Arnold Krekel

On this date in 1815, Arnold Krekel was born near Langefeld on the Rhine in Prussia. He moved to the United States with his Catholic parents in 1832 and settled in St. Charles County, Missouri. Krekel studied law, was appointed to the bar in 1844 and in 1852 entered the Missouri Legislature. He was one of the original 36 members of the Friends of Religious Enlightenment in 1838. He was also a member of the Association of Rational Christians, also known as the Frei Denkers (Free Thinkers) in 1845.

He married German-born Ida Krug in 1845. They had six children, four of whom survived to adulthood. Krekel became a colonel in the Civil War and presided at the constitutional convention of 1865 in Missouri. President Lincoln appointed him a federal judge. Krekel’s name was one of the last nominations sent to the Senate before Lincoln’s assassination.

A decade after Ida died, Krekel married Mattie Perry in 1880, a well-known “Liberal” (meaning freethinking) lecturer in her own right. He died of Bright’s disease, a kidney ailment, in 1888.

Freedom From Religion Foundation