September 1, 1878 was both an exciting and a sad day in the life story of Diedrich Blancken, only to be followed several days later by more sadness. It is not often that I highlight a death date on my posts, but today is one of them.
First of all, let me backtrack just a little. On October 24, 1877, Diedrich married Magdalena Eggers at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri. Magdalena was the oldest child of Heinrich and Anna (Resen) Eggers. In 1878, Magdalena became pregnant, and on September 1st, gave birth to a set of female twins who were named Anna Margaretha and Magdalena Cathrina. However, tragically, the mother, Magdalena, died that same day as a result of childbirth. So in the course of one day, Diedrich experienced two new lives and one death. To add to this scene, Anna Margaretha died on September 11th, and Magdalena Cathrina died on September 15th. Diedrich was now alone again and a widower.
The 1880 census shows Diedrich living with his parents as a 26 year old widower and no occupation is given. You can also notice that Magdalena’s parents are the next entry in this census, indicating that they likely lived very close to one another.
A brother by the name of Henry is also listed. He will later be a key character in Diedrich’s story. Later that same year, on July 29, 1880, Diedrich married Marie Louise Eisenberg at Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim, Missouri. Here is the record in their church books.
According to our German Family Tree, this Blancken couple would have ten children, one of which died right away. Here is the 1900 census from Perry County that is the last one to record this family living here.
You can see a lot of daughters in that family, and only one son. One other son would be born after 1900. The last record of activity we have in our German Family Tree from this family was a confirmation that took place in 1903. Their next child in line for confirmation would have been due to be confirmed around 1907, but that record is not here. It must have been around this time that Diedrich decided to move away from Perry County.
The next census record I could find for Diedrich was in the 1920 census. He was living in Flagler, Colorado which is located in Kit Carson County. I looked for him in the 1910 census, but could not locate him, but I did locate Henry Blancken, his brother, and he was already living in Flagler, Colorado. This leads me to think that Diedrich followed his brother out to Colorado. I also found a record which shows Henry buying some government land outside Flagler in 1902. Here is a map showing this parcel of land which can now be seen as you travel along Interstate 70 just west of Flagler. It is the darker orange quarter section of land you see divided into three segments here.
I was also able to find a record showing Diedrich buying some government land nearby in 1912. Here is a map of that parcel of land. Again, it is in the darker orange color.
There was only one section of land between these two brothers’ properties. Here is a photo of Diedrich and Marie’s family taken much later in their lives when their children were grown.
Here is a photo of Marie holding her granddaughter Helen, the daughter of George Blancken.
Here is a photo of the Blancken farmstead in Colorado.
The Blanckens were members of Zion Lutheran Church in Flagler. In fact, when the Colorado District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod was formed and had its first convention in 1921, Diedrich was a lay delegate from Zion. He is one of the men in this photo.
There are two men in this photo with the long beard that Diedrich seems to always be sporting. I’ll let you decide if one of them or someone else in the photo is Diedrich. Here is a list of many of the attendees of that convention.
At the top of the second column, you will see Rev. Martin Mueller, who was the son of Rev. Heinrich Mueller. These Muellers were highlighted in the blog post titled Rocky Mountain Muellers. There are several other names listed here who have what I would describe as “Perry County names”, but I cannot verify a connection. Maybe you can.
Marie died in 1939 at the age of 77. When she died and the family gathered for her funeral, this photo was taken. It shows that by that time, there were plenty of folks who came from the Blancken Brood.
Diedrich died in 1948 at the age of 94. Here is a photo taken when Diedrich was in his advanced age.
I found that four of his children also lived to be over 90 years of age. His first two twin daughters did not live long, but later, it certainly was true that he and several of his children were know to have very long, fulfilling lives.