Today I will start with the birthday of a girl in New Wells, Missouri. Her father was named Joseph, and she would later marry a Joseph. Here is that story with several side trips to other people.
Bertha Perr was born on April 9, 1898. Just like Jesus, her parents were Mary and Joseph. Her father was Joseph Perr and her mother was Mary (Kraml) Perr. Joseph was a farmer in northern Cape Girardeau County, and he and his family were members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Bertha was baptized there. She was the 12th of 13 children born into this family according to our German Family Tree. We have this photo of the Joseph Perr family which shows ten children.
I am of the opinion that Bertha is not in this picture. The last three children in this family were girls…Ida born in 1894, Bertha born in 1898, and Elenora born in 1902. I am thinking that the young girl on her mother’s lap was Ida, and Bertha and Elenora were born later. If that is the case, this photo must have been taken around 1895.
I found several Perr families owning farms near New Wells in a Cape Girardeau County plat map book produced in 1930.
When Bertha was 22 years old, she married Joseph Schroeder from Perry County. They were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg on March 28, 1921. Here is their marriage license.
Joseph was the son of Friedrich (Fritz) and Maria (Luedemann) Schroeder. Fritz was a farmer on The Ridge. Here are photos of Joseph’s parents.
These two have shown up in two previous blog posts about two of their other children. Those posts were titled, Molly and Manuel and From the Hills of Perry County to the Fields of Tripoli. We can see the land that was farmed by the Schroeders on this map from 1915.
Please note that there is a school right on the east edge of a piece of their property. That was the Ridge School.
We do not have a photo of Bertha, but we do have this one of Joseph Schroeder.
Joseph and Bertha had five children…three girls followed by two boys. Their second child, Elsie, was born on March 20, 1925. Two days before she was born, the deadly Tri-State Tornado went through The Ridge. Several Perry County residents died as a result. A blog post was written about that tragic event titled, The Deadliest Tornado. This photo shows what happened to the Ridge School during that tornado (with students inside at the time).
I find it hard to imagine what it must have been like for Bertha to have endured this disaster while being considerably pregnant with Elsie, who was born two days later.
In this photo taken about 7 years later, we see Elsie with a bunch of other girls who were attending the rebuilt Ridge School in 1933-1934. Elsie is in the front row on the left.
I notice two things about this photo.
- There is a similarity in hair style among almost all the girls in this photo.
- When I saw the two wearing the similar dresses in the front row, I figured they were sisters, maybe even twins. They are not. The one on the left is Elda Schirmer; the one on the right is Nadine Edwards.
The two boys in the Schroeder family did not marry, so the Schroeder name from this branch died out.
Joseph died in 1959; Bertha died in 1978. Here are their gravestones found in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
Even though I have done several stories on this Schroeder family, I think there may be a few still left to do.