Generations of Gerhardt Builders

Today, I am going to start the story with a death certificate.  The individual who died was Julius Gerhardt.  He was 83 years old at the time of his death.  His death took place in Kennett, Missouri in 1943.  The death was a result of a automobile accident.

Julius Gerhardt death certificate Dunklin County MO
Julius Gerhardt death certificate

This form says that Julius was “struck by auto” about 1/2 mile east of the intersection of Highways 25 and 84 in Kennett.  Here is a map of that general vicinity as you would find it today.

Kennett MO 84 25 intersection
Kennett, Missouri

I am telling the story of Julius Gerhardt today because he was married on July 13, 1885 in Perry County.  Julius and his family also have plenty of records which can be found in our German Family Tree.  The first of these records is the baptism record of a girl by the name of Delaware Selma Gerhardt which took place in November of 1854 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Here is an image of that record.

Delaware Selma Gerhardt baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Delaware Selma Gerhardt baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

The parents of this girl were Johann Franz Julius and Amalie (Leine) Gerhardt.  We find the marriage record for this couple in Loitzschutz, Germany.  That wedding took place on June 29, 1852.  Here is an image of that marriage record.

Gerhardt Leine marriage record Germany 1852
Gerhardt/Leine marriage record – Loitzschutz, Germany

After another child was born into this family in 1858, it was on June 26, 1860 that Johann Franz Julius Gerhardt, Jr. was born.  He was also baptized at Trinity, but he would be the last of the Gerhardt children to be baptized there.  Here is the baptism record for Julius, Jr.

Julius Gerhardt baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Julius Gerhardt baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

There were four more children born into this family, but they were all baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Two of those last four died at an early age.

In this 1870 census for Brazeau Township in Perry County, we see that Julius, Jr. was 10 years old (only his name was given on this form as Frank).  His father was a shoemaker.

Julius Gerhardt 1870 census Brazeau Township MO
1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Sometime before the 1880 census, Julius, Sr. died, and we find this family now living in Union Township.  Julius, Jr. is shown to be a farmer.

Julius Gerhardt 1880 census Union Township MO
1880 census – Union Township, MO

With the family living in Union Township, we now start seeing church records for them showing up in the Grace Lutheran Church books in Uniontown, Missouri.  That gets us to the wedding that took place on this day in 1885.  Julius Gerhardt and Anna Heins were married by a Justice of the Peace.  Here is their marriage record.

Gerhardt Heintz marriage license
Gerhardt/Heins marriage record

When Julius and Anna started having children, they were all baptized at Grace Lutheran Church.  The first of these children was Julius Wilhelm.  Here is his baptism record from Grace.

Julius Wilhelm Gerhardt baptism record Grace Uniontown MO
Julius Wilhelm Gerhardt baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

The 1900 census from Apple Creek Township in Cape Girardeau County (just across the Apple Creek from Uniontown) is the first census that shows Julius having the occupation of carpenter.

Julius Gerhardt 1900 census Apple Creek Township MO
1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

A city directory for Cape Girardeau from 1928 shows several Gerhardt families, including that of Julius and Anna, living in that city and involved in the construction business.

Julius Gerhardt city directory Cape Girardeau MO 1928
Julius Gerhardt – city directory – Cape Girardeau, MO

Anna died in 1931.  In a 1930 census, we find G.W. Gerhardt, another son of Julius, living in Kennett, Missouri.

Gottfried Walter Gerhardt 1940 census Kennett MO
1930 census – Kennett, MO

I am thinking that at the time of his death, Julius was living with his son in Kennett.  After his death, his body was taken to Fairmount Cemetery in Cape Girardeau where he was buried with his wife, Anna.  Here is their gravestone.

Julius and Anna Gerhardt gravestone – Fairmount, Cape Girardeau, MO

Julius’s son, Julius Wilhelm, built quite a large construction company in Cape Girardeau.  Here is an advertisement for the Gerhardt Construction Company as it appeared in a directory in 1930.

Gerhardt Construction 1930 city directory Cape Girardeau MO

Here is a photo of him.

Julius Wilhelm Gerhardt
Julius Wilhelm Gerhardt

In 2015, the Southeast Missourian re-published an article first written in 1967 which highlighted the long career of J.W. Gerhardt and his construction business.  You can read that article at this link:

The article mentions the fact that several of J.W.’s sons were also involved in the construction business.  There were indeed many Gerhardts involved in constructing buildings in southeast Missouri, beginning with the son of a shoemaker from Altenburg.




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