Gertrude Emma Mathilde Bellmann was born on January 13, 1903, making her today’s birthday girl. Her parents were Martin and Martha (Lohmann) Bellmann of Altenburg. I do not have a photo of Martha, but I do have one of Martin.
In fact, another post told Martin’s story. It was titled, Pound the Hammer, Ring the Bell, Bang the Drum. Gertrude was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.
The photo below is supposed to have been taken in 1911 (but I have my doubts). It shows the students that were part of Teacher Benjamin Hemmann’s class. I have placed an arrow that points at the girl who has been identified as Gertrude Bellmann. She is shown with the red arrow.
This photo was taken in front of the Kleine Schule (Little School) which was once located to the north of the church. Here is an enlargement of that photo, just showing Gertrude (Gertie).
When she was 24 years old, Gertie married Adolph Gotthilf Kuehnert. That marriage took place on April 18, 1927. Here is their marriage license. They were married at Trinity Lutheran Church by Rev. Adolph Vogel. Our German Family Tree indicates that my uncle, Oscar Schlimpert, was part of his wedding party. I wish I had a photo of that wedding party.
Adolph Kuehnert was born on November 26, 1896 and was the son of Julius and Emma (Schmidt) Kuehnert. He was also baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church. We have shown this Kuehnert family photo before. Adolph is the young boy standing between his mother and his grandfather.
Adolph eventually took on the nickname Audie. He was the youngest in that family of all boys. We also have this photo taken when Audie was a student at Trinity Lutheran School. The teacher was Heinrich Fiehler. Audie is shown by the red arrow.
This photo was taken in front of the Grosse Schule (Big School), and it is said to have been taken around 1908. Here is an enlarged picture showing just Adolph.
By the time that Audie and Gertie were married, Audie had already served his country in World War I. Here is his World War I draft registration form.
It shows that he was working for his father on his farm. Audie did serve in the U.S. Army, but did not appear to have been sent overseas. Adolph was one of the characters discussed in the previous post titled, Seelitz Soldiers. Here is his military record.
This document states that Adolph spent time training at Camp McArthur in Texas. I found this old postcard that shows this camp.
His form also states that he was part of a school for cooks and bakers. I found this recruitment poster for World War I which was trying to attract young men to come and become bakers or cooks in the Army.
For some unknown reason, Adolph was discharged from the Army with a 25% disability. I have no further knowledge about that condition. It was about 8 years after serving in the Army that Audie married Gertie.
You might wonder whether Audie ever used any of those cooking or baking skills after the war. We do know that he became a farmer. Also, I have been told by some old-timers around here that Gertie did the baking and cooking in that family. She also is said to always have more food on the table than could be eaten. She was constantly urging her guests to “Essen, essen mehr.”
Audie was reportedly a short man. A story is told about him carrying a pair of buckets used to slop his hogs, and it is said that when he hit the slightest bump, the buckets would drag on the ground.
Gertrude died in 1970; Adolph died in 1983. They are both buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. Here are their grave markers.
Audie and Gertie had two sons, Leonard and Norbert. Here are photos of these two.
Leonard (on the left) was one of my predecessors. He was the president of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society for several years. We have part of his antique toy collection on display in our museum.
Sometime, you ought to come by and take a look at it. If you do, maybe now you’ll know that his father was once taught to be a cook and baker by the United States military.