The Good Doctors from Pocahontas

I rely pretty heavily upon Google Translate to help me with my German.  Today, I had to look up the translation for the word schoen or schön.  Google Translate gave me many options.  The main one was the word “beautiful”.  There were quite a few others.  One of the others was “good”.  That’s the one I’m going with in my title today.  There was a Schoen family living in the Pocahontas area, and they happened to have two sons who became medical doctors.  I will tell their stories today.

First of all, I stumbled upon this family today because one of the Schoen sons was married on December 26, 1899.  That son was Wilhelm Aaron Schoen.  He was born on February 24, 1877 (although our German Family Tree says February 20) and baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas.  I will just remind you that there are two Lutheran churches in Pocahontas.  St. John’s is now a member of the AALC (American Association of Lutheran Churches), while Zion Lutheran Church just down the road is a member of the LCMS (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod).  William (who most often went by W.A.) was the fourth of five children, all of whom were boys, born into the family of Gustav and Anna (Lehner) Schoen.

At the age of 22, W.A. married Bertha Ludwig of Old Appleton, Missouri.  Bertha was the daughter of Casper and Catherina (Schreiner) Ludwig.  In fact, she was the youngest child in that family.  She was born on November 11, 1872, making her five years older than her future husband.  The Casper Ludwig family had 13 children, but only 6 of them lived to adulthood.  Here is a photo of Bertha’s parents.

Casper and Catherine Ludwig

Casper was the owner of a brewery and saloon in Old Appleton.  Here we see a photo of his saloon.

Casper Ludwig Saloon Appleton
Casper Ludwig Saloon

His brewery produced a beer called Kulenbacher, which was quite popular in those days.  Google Translate was not helpful in translating Kulenbacher.  I did look this up in a German-English dictionary we have in our research library.  Kulen may come from the word kuhle which means “cool”.  Bacher may come from the word bach which means brook or creek.  The brewery happened to be located near Apple Creek.

Casper Ludwig Brewery advertisement

As mentioned earlier, W.A. married Bertha on December 26, 1899, not long before the turn of the 20th century.  Here is their marriage license.

Schoen Ludwig marriage license

The pastor listed on this form is Rev. E.R. Melchert.  Pastor Melchert was the pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg from 1900-1903.  I think he may have arrived on the scene before 1900 to perform this ceremony.  The pastor at St. John’s had experienced an injury that kept him from serving his congregation at that time.

You will also see that on this form, it shows W.A. as being a doctor.  He apparently had a practice in the Old Appleton area.  That may have been how he met Bertha Ludwig.  I ran across this story which was published not too long ago in the Southeast Missourian in a column called Out of the Past.  It refers to some events that took place in 1914.

Out of the Past Dr. A.W. Schoen Cape


Dr. Schoen did indeed move, and the rest of his life was spent in Cape Girardeau.  The couple had no children.

Bertha died in 1952.  This is her death certificate.

Bertha Ludwig Schoen death certificate

W.A. died in 1953.  This is his death certificate.

Dr. William A Schoen death certificate
Dr. W.A. Schoen death certificate

W.A. and Bertha are both buried in the Cape County Memorial Park in Cape Girardeau.  Here are their gravestones.



In the process of researching for this story, I discovered that W.A. had a brother who was also a medical doctor.  His name was Ernst Rudolph Schoen, and he was born on September 7, 1873, so he was the older brother.  E.R. married Maria Louise Gratz.  Like his brother, Dr. E.R. Schoen had his practice not far away from his birthplace.  He was a doctor in Gordonville, Missouri.  When E.R. and Louise died, they were buried in the same cemetery as the other Schoens.

It is probably pretty rare for a farmer from a small village like Pocahontas to produce one medical doctor, much less two.  Gustave and Anna must have been very proud of these two sons……the Schoen Doctors.



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