I have another confession to make today. My main goal in writing posts for this blog is to preserve the stories of people and places that are associated with the history of East Perry County and a few other surrounding areas. However, I also have special interest in preserving stories that are connected to my family. Therefore, you might be reading a higher proportion of stories that come from my family than for those in other families. Today is one of those stories from my family. It starts with a very sad tale. This event was mentioned in a previous post titled, Uncle Ossie – Aunt Lorna. I am especially hoping that people connected to my family who may not know this story will realize that this sad occasion took place, yet the family persisted and went on with a fulfilling life.
The picture below was shared in that previous post.
On this day in 1939, twin sons were stillborn. The date was June 19, 1939…exactly 79 years ago at the time when I am writing this. The parents of these twins were Oscar and Lorna (Schmidt) Schlimpert, my uncle and aunt. This wedding photo of them has been previously posted.
Before I tell you about the twins, let me describe the previous history in this family. The first child born into the family was Marie Schlimpert. She was born on October 17, 1934 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, as did all the siblings in this family. Here is that baptism record.
When Marie was two years old, a boy named Alvin was born into the family on March 20, 1937. Here is that baptism record.
Sadly, when Alvin was just a little over one year old, he got sick and died. Here is his death certificate.
Here is Alvin’s gravestone in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
This gets us to the point in time a year after this death of Alvin when the stillborn twins were buried. Here is the death record for the twins in the Trinity church records.
Also, here is the death certificate for the twins.
I was told by a family member that after these deaths, Lorna lay on her bed with a black sheet over her head. Let me add here that Lorna was a very small woman. For her to carry twins must have been a difficult chore. Now she has seen her last three children die. She must have experienced overwhelming grief.
Another one of my cousins was born in Perry County in 1939. Arnold and Esther (Lohmann) Schmidt had their first child on September 12, 1939. Here is Geraldine Schmidt’s baptism record.
If the weather on June 19, 1939 was anything like it is here today, it was oppressively hot and humid. If so, my Aunt Esther must have been very uncomfortable at the funeral and burial while carrying Geraldine herself.
The good news is that the year after the twins were buried, Lorna became pregnant again and did give birth to a healthy son. I am sure that pregnancy was a stressful one for Lorna, but must also have turned to much joy when Milton was born on November 7, 1940.
There must also have been relief when Milton managed to get well past his first year of life. Then on October 25, 1942, another son was born to Oscar and Lorna. His name was Oliver Schlimpert, and here is his baptism record.
Two more children were born after this, and both of them were girls. Those two girls are still alive, and I am not going to show their baptism records. I think I would be treading on thin ice if I made public any documents that would enable people to calculate how old they are. Their names are Carolyn and Audrey. I was provided with this photo of the five Schlimpert siblings that lived to adulthood.
They are standing in birth order. Left to right: Marie, Milton, Oliver, Carolyn, and Audrey.
I’ll also share two other photos which include the two Schlimpert boys. First is one of Milton and Oliver as youngsters.
The photo below shows Milton and Oliver in their baseball uniforms, although I am sure they are not sporting the appropriate headwear.
Oliver died of cancer in 2004; Marie died in 2017. Milton sat in my men’s Bible class earlier this morning and lives here in Altenburg. Carolyn lives in St. Louis and Audrey in Jackson, Missouri.
I was never told about the deaths of the three Schlimpert sons. I cannot remember exactly when this happened, but there was a time when I was wandering through the Trinity Cemetery on one of my visits to Perry County. As I walked through the section where children’s graves are located, I noticed the Schlimpert twins’ gravestone and was amazed to discover that I had two cousins I never knew. Then I looked and noticed another nearby gravestone that there was yet another unknown cousin. I guess my parents chose not to tell me about this when I was a youngster, and then they may not have realized later that they hadn’t told me.
Despite the tragedies that occurred early on in this Schlimpert family, they endured and remained faithful. One of the best memories of my times visiting this family during my childhood is that they always took time around their dinner table to have family devotions. For them, it was an important habit, and I learned a valuable lesson by observing that tradition.
One more thing. This past week, the baby in this family, Audrey, had some surgery done on her heart. At this point, I have heard that she is doing quite well. I know I am praying for her. I welcome you to join me.