Groh West, Young Man

On November 12, 1889, Ernest Friedrich Karl Groh was born in Altenburg, Missouri.  I have learned that you have to be careful when looking at the Groh family.  There are plenty of men named Ernest and Friedrich and Karl (Carl) in that family.  This one had all those names, but he would later mostly be called Ernest.  This Ernest also had an Uncle Ernest who moved to Jacob, Illinois and raised a Groh family over there.  Today’s Ernest, however, was the son of Carl Ernest August and Louise (Rauh) Groh.  His mother, Louise Rauh, was the daughter of John, Jr. and Maria (Lang) Rauh who were mentioned in yesterday’s blog, Lang-Rauh Connections.  The story of Ernest Groh’s father was told in the post, Groh-klahoma!.

I will repeat a few of the facts about Ernest that were told about his father because they are shared by them.  Ernest was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  When the next child, Wilhelm, was born into this family, he was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.  Sometime between 1889 and 1892, the Grohs moved from Altenburg to Frohna.  This family photo was taken during their time in Frohna.

Carl and Louise Groh family

As noted, Ernest is on the far right.  On Thanksgiving Day in 1907, this Groh family moved to Alva, Oklahoma.  Ernest would have been 18 years old at that time.  It was in Alva that Ernest met his bride, and on October 8, 1913, he married Anna Brehmer.  Here is their marriage license.

Groh Brehmer marriage license Alva OK
Groh/Brehmer marriage license

Let me backtrack to tell Anna’s story.  Anna was born in Sioux Valley, Minnesota.  She was the daughter of Henry and Gretchen (Wiebener) Brehmer.  She was born on September 2, 1890.  Her father, Henry, was a farmer in Minnesota and there were two Brehmer children, Anna and Christian.  We have this photo of Anna and Christian when they were quite young.

Chris and Anna Brehmer
Anna and Christian Brehmer

This photo notes that it was taken at a studio in Iowa, but Sioux Valley is located right along the Minnesota/Iowa border.  Sometime between 1900 and 1910, the Brehmers moved to Alva, Oklahoma.  We have another photo of Anna and Christian, probably taken in Oklahoma prior to Anna’s marriage.

Chris and Anna Brehmer 2
Christian and Anna Brehmer

I think this Brehmer family photo was taken in Oklahoma also.

Henry Brehmer family
Henry Brehmer family

So it was the movement of two families, one from Missouri and one from Minnesota, that brought Ernest and Anna together in Oklahoma.  Here is their wedding photo.

Groh Brehmer wedding
Groh/Brehmer wedding

After they were married, Ernest and Anna had two children, both boys.  When Ernest filled out his World War I draft form, they were still living in Oklahoma and Ernest was farming.

Ernest Groh – WWI draft registration

They were not there long after that, because we find the Grohs, along with Anna’s parents, living in Visalia, California in the 1920 census.  Visalia is in the fertile San Joachin Valley, and both Ernest and his father-in-law, Henry, were farmers there.

Ernst Groh 1920 census Visalia CA
1920 census – Visalia, California

The Grohs would spend the rest of their lives in California.  Evidently, though, Ernest must have gotten back to Alva for a family photo later in his life.  Here we see him with all his Groh siblings.

Carl and Louise Groh children

Another photo we have is one taken around 1941 in California which shows both Ernest and Anna.

Ernest and Anna Groh
Ernest and Anna Groh

Ernest died in 1953 at the age of 63.  Anna would live to be 107 years old.  Here is a photo of her celebrating her 100th birthday.

Anna Groh 100th birthday

Anna died in 1997.  She and Ernest are buried in the Visalia Public Cemetery.  Here are their gravestones.

Ernst Groh moved from Missouri to Oklahoma……Anna Brehmer moved from Minnesota to Oklahoma………and they found each other.  Together, they moved to California.  I have this feeling that sometime during their married life, Ernst and Anna realized that God had brought them together in a wonderful way.

Groh Brehmer US map

I have the same thoughts about my life.  I moved from Missouri to Florida and then to Tennessee……my wife moved from Minnesota to New York and then to Tennessee.  In Tennessee we found each other.  I, too, feel that God took a Missouri boy and a Minnesota girl and guided us to another state to bring us together in a wonderful way.

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