Is it possible that another connection between a Perry County native and a famous American has been found? While I was looking for an August 6th event that took place in the German Family Tree, I ran across Edna Luella Gerhardt, who was born on that day in 1906. The only thing that is found in Perry County church records is her birth and baptism at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri. However, on Kathy Birkbigler’s ZionRootsGenealogy.org website, Edna is listed as being married to Daniel Boone. I decided to find out more about her, so off to Ancestry.com I went.
I did find one family tree there that said there was a Daniel Boone that married an Edna L., but it did not show a last name. However, it did not take long to discover that this was the right family. Here is a 1940 census which includes Daniel and Edna living in Geary County, Kansas. Daniel is a soldier, and Edna is a hairdresser.
Fort Riley is located in Geary County, Kansas, and this is where Daniel Boone was stationed in 1940.
Let’s backtrack. Edna was the daughter of Edward and Hulda (Palisch) Gerhardt. Edward and Hulda were members of Trinity Lutheran Church all the way through nine out of ten of their children. Edna was the tenth child, and she was baptized at Salem in Farrar. The first record of a Gerhardt in Farrar was a confirmation in 1905. Then Edna was born in 1906. The last Gerhardt record we find in Farrar is a confirmation in 1917. Sometime after 1917, the Gerhardt family moved away from Perry County.
The best guess is that the Gerhardts moved to Kansas. I could not find a 1920 census for them, but a 1925 Kansas state census shows them living in Lincoln County. That is in the same county as Sylvan Grove, which became the home for many migrating people from Perry County, especially from the Farrar area. It is also not that far from Fort Riley where Daniel Boone was later stationed. This is probably how Edna may have come into contact with her future husband.
Daniel Boone’s marriage to Edna Gerhardt was not his first. He was the son of a farmer in Cass County, Texas, and it was there that he married Velma Barnett. However, she died in childbirth when she was just 22 years old in 1932. Daniel’s military record says that he enlisted in 1933, shortly after his wife’s death. This is how he ended up at Fort Riley in Kansas. It was sometime between 1933 and 1940 that Daniel and Edna were married.
Fort Riley has a rich history of its own. During World War II, over 125,000 soldiers received their training there. You can find a nice article on Wikipedia about this important military post at this link.
I just had to see if I could trace this Daniel Boone to the famous frontiersman, Daniel Boone. A simple internet search gave me some information about the famous Boone. He was born to a Quaker family in Pennsylvania and lived from 1734-1820.
Edna’s husband was Daniel H. Boone, and his father was John B.F. Boone who was born in Alabama. Here we find him in the 1880 census in Cass County, Texas.
The B.F. were initials for Benjamin Franklin. He had a brother, Jeff D., whose name was Jefferson Davis Boone. John B.F. is listed as John on this 1860 census from Tallapoosa County, Alabama.
He was the son of another Daniel Boone (or Boon) who had a wife named Delilah. That Daniel M. Boone was born in Georgia, and his parents were Jacob Martin Boon and Martha Ray. This is where things get a little shaky. It gets difficult to confirm information you find on Ancestry.com. Several family histories say that this Jacob Martin Boon is the one found in an 1800 census from Salisbury, North Carolina. There is also another Daniel Boon on the top of this form.
This is where I ran into a dead end, but at least it’s an interesting dead end. Salisbury, North Carolina is in the area of that state where the Presbyterians who ended up in Brazeau, Missouri originated. There is also an old Lutheran cemetery there called Friedens Lutheran Cemetery near there which contains 71 interments which have the surname Boon or Boone. I could not find a matching Jacob or Martin Boon there however. Interestingly, there is another Daniel Boon in that cemetery.
So I did not find a connection to the famous Daniel Boone. I did try to work the other direction to find a connection from the original Daniel Boone to the more recent one, but failed in that effort too. In the whole process, I certainly found many Daniel Boones.
So we return to Daniel Boone, Edna’s husband. He served in the military from 1933 until 1956. He was a captain who fought during World War II and the Korean Conflict. In 1947, we find an interesting record of Edna and her son, Daniel Boone, Jr. returning from Germany aboard the ship Henry Gibbins.
I am thinking that Daniel may have been performing some occupational duties in Germany after their defeat in World War II, and Edna and her son went to live with him for a short time. We find these two once again traveling back to Europe in 1953 aboard the USNS Geiger. They returned to America in 1955.
Daniel died in 1969; Edna died in 1994. They are both buried in the Wilamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.
So, Daniel Boone did serve his country for over 20 years while Edna was a faithful military wife for the same number of years. It may not get his name in history books, but I, for one, am thankful for his service, and once again, Perry County can also be proud.