In a previous post by the above name, the story was told about a childless couple, the Leo Lottes family, who took in several young children who needed a home. Today is another story like that.
If he was still alive today, Otto Palisch would be celebrating his 151st birthday. He was born on October 29, 1866 and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. His parents were Bernhardt and Louise (Seise) Palisch. In the first census where we find Otto, he is called Adolph. Here is that 1870 census.
Later in his life, we mostly see him called Otto or Otto T. The “T” is for Theodore. On November 14, 1888, Otto married Julianna Nennert. They were married in St. Clair County in Illinois, which is located across the river from St. Louis in and around Belleville. Here is a record that can be found on Ancestry.com, but you cannot access the actual image of the record.
We also have this photo of the wedding of Otto and Juliana.
Juliana was the daughter of Friedrich and Amalia (Naeser) Nennert. Juliana was born on October 2, 1867 and baptized at Trinity, Altenburg. She and another baby girl were the last two children to be baptized in the old church before the new one was dedicated on Reformation Day that year. Friedrich and Amalia Nennert ran a hotel in Wittenberg. Here is a photo of the Nennert hotel.
Friedrich Nennert died the same year as the following 1880 census was taken, so you do not see him included in the Nennert family.
This advertisement for what was called the Wittenberg Hotel (misspelled in the ad) was made during the time when Amalia Nennert ran the business. Nennert was first spelled Nünnert, then became Nuennert, and eventually just Nennert.
I do not know the reason that we find Juliana living in St. Clair County in 1888 when she got married. Juliana and Otto did not have any of their own children, but in 1896, a foster child of the Palisches by the name of Hattie Bernhardine Franklin was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Here is that baptism record (in two images).
Hattie had been born in 1890. I have not been able to pin down who this Hattie Franklin was or what became of her. However, I have one theory, but since I cannot come up with any documentation to support it, I will refrain from sharing it.
Hattie shows up in the 1900 census and is called Hattie Palisch. She is also listed as a daughter, but I have my doubts that she was ever adopted by the Palisches.
Otto is referred to as being a farmer in that 1900 census. The 1910 census does not show Hattie as still living with the Palisches. It also indicates that Otto was a laborer at a saw mill. Also, sometime after 1900, Otto and Juliana also took in a young Charles Richard Nennert, who had become an orphan in 1899. The 1900 census says he was living with an August Winter in Wittenberg, but it is said that the Palisches also gave him a home during his early childhood years. Richard would have been Juliana’s nephew. Richard would later become a Lutheran teacher who spent most of his career in Indianapolis, Indiana. A few posts have already been written about him, including the one titled, Indy Educators. After being with Otto and Juliana, Richard also lived with his uncle, Robert Nennert for a while. Robert was featured in the story, Uncle Bob’s River Job.
In the 1920 census, Otto and Juliana are living in Wittenberg and Otto has yet another occupation. At this time, he was a carpenter at the swing factory. That may have been his last job. The 1930 census shows him still living in Wittenberg with no occupation. He had probably retired.
Otto’s life came to a tragic end on June 14, 1936. He drowned in the Mississippi River. His death certificate is found in the Union County, Illinois records. I cannot see the actual document, but Ancestry.com gives these facts, including one which says that Otto was also a mail carrier.
This record does not show the cause of death, but the Immanuel church record states that he died by drowning. Here is a map that indicates the location of Union County with respect to Wittenberg.
Union County is indicated by the outline across the river from Trail of Tears State Park. I cannot state this for sure, but I think Otto may have fallen in the river near Wittenberg and carried downriver before his body was found in Union County. He was not buried until June 16th, two days after he is said to have died. He is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
Juliana did not die until 1944. We have this photo of Juliana standing with several other women who are connected to the Harnagel family. I am guessing that this photo may have been taken after Otto’s death. Juliana is the lady standing on the far left.
I have said this before. Folks in Perry County have always seemed to step up to the plate when there were children who needed a home. In a few cases like that of Otto and Juliana, these were their only children.