Trek to the Territory

We will start with the birthday of Maria Holschen on The Ridge just north of Altenburg today, but that is not anywhere close to where this story ends.  Maria was the daughter of Friedrich and Franziske (Stadelmann) Holschen.  She was born on August 18, 1875, and she was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  She was the youngest child in that family.

When she was 19 years old, she somehow became involved with a man in Jacob, Illinois by the name of August Rodewald, and they had a son out of wedlock in 1894.  August was the son of Frederick and Maria (Gruenewald) Rodewald from Perryville.  August was born and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville in 1874.  The Rodewald name had its beginning in Perry County in the Friedenberg congregation.  Frederick and Maria must have moved their family to Jacob, Illinois in the late 1800’s because several of their children were confirmed at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob.  August was one of those.

August was 20 years old when he fathered the illegitimate child of Maria Holschen.  That child, August Heinrich Holschen Rodewald, was born and baptized in Altenburg.  Here is his baptism record in the Immanuel, Altenburg church books.

August Heinrich Holschen Rodewald baptism record Immanuel Altenburg
August Heinrich Holschen baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Two years later, according to an Immanuel, Perryville record, this couple was married.  That same year, their second child was born and baptized at Immanuel, Perryville.  In 1898, they had another son baptized, this time at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar.  In 1900, their fourth son was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest.  Here is the 1900 census showing the Rodewald family.

August Rodewald 1900 census Perry County
1900 census – Perry County, MO

It was in 1904 that tragedy struck the Rodewald family twice.  First, on August 6, Maria had a stillborn child.  Then nine days later, on August 15, Maria died.  The Point Rest church record says she died of dysentery and premature birth.  She is buried in the Point Rest Cemetery.  Here is her gravestone.

Maria Rodewald gravestone Point Rest

Four years later, their second-born son, Rudolph, died on June 21, 1908.  He is also buried in the Point Rest Cemetery.  Here is his gravestone.

Rudolph Rodewald gravestone Point Rest

This loss of his son may have been the event that caused August Rodewald to make a dramatic change in his life.  He decided to move along with his three remaining sons to Logan, New Mexico in 1909.

At this point in American history, New Mexico was still a territory.  It would not become the 47th state in the Union until 1912.  Logan, New Mexico can point to the construction of a railroad bridge across the Canadian River in 1901 as a key event in their history.  Here is a photo of the construction of that bridge.


It may have been that the Rodewalds went across this bridge in 1909 when they moved to New Mexico.  It was before automobile traffic was possible to that territory.  This area is close to what became Route 66 later on in American history.  August became a rancher in Logan.  Here is the 1910 census showing his family.

August Rodewald 1910 census Logan NM
1910 census – Logan, NM

You can see here that there was a young girl by the name of Mary Ermer living in their household as a servant.  All three sons, even with the youngest being just 11 years old, were listed as farm laborers.  One can understand why August may have found it necessary to find a servant to help run that household full of males.

In 1914, August married that young servant and she became the stepmother of those three young boys, one of which was just three or four years younger than she was.  Here is a wedding photo of August and Mary.

August and Mary Ermer Rodewald wedding
August and Mary (Ermer) Rodewald

I found this map image on the internet which is described as the Rodewald Ranch.

Rodewald Ranch Logan NM

August and Mary had two more children, both girls.  We have an interesting photo that was taken of this family.  It is said to have been taken sometime around 1950.  If so, August would have been 76 years old.  He and Mary can be seen in back middle of the photo.

Rodewald Reunion
August Rodewald family

August died in 1961 at the age of 87; Mary died in 1975 at the age of 84.  They are buried in Tucumcari Memorial Park in Tucumcari, New Mexico.  Here is their gravestone.

August and Mary Rodewald gravestone Tucumcark NM

Here is one more photo of August.

August Rodewald

The 1910 census contains several other Perry County names including Versemann, Newberry, Hatch, Barber, and Bronenkant.  There must have been a mini-migration from this area to that territory at that time.  Most of those folks moved back to Perry County not long after going out there.  August Rodewald is one of the exceptions.  We may have to revisit this area again someday.


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