Go Find the West, Young Man

We have a birthday boy coming from Farrar, Missouri today.  His name was Gerth August Stueve.  He was born on July 27, 1884.  His parents were Claus Henry and Margaretha (von Glahn) Stueve.  You have to be really careful with the name Claus Stueve.  First of all, there are numerous Claus Stueves to be found in our German Family Tree, and you have to make sure you are looking at the correct one.  Secondly, Claus Henry had a brother named Johann Claus Stueve, and that brother married Rebekah von Glahn, Margaretha’s sister.  Here is the baptism record for Gerth August Stueve which is found in the books of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri.

Gerth August Stueve baptism record Salem Farrar MO
Gerth August Stueve baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

As much as I would like to call him Gerth because that is such an unusual name, I found a place on Ancestry.com where an ancestor of his stated that he never went by that name.  He was always called August.  So I will go with that.  August was the baby in this family.  No other children were born after him, and he is the seventh one listed in our German Family Tree.  Here is a photo of August’s parents taken when they were quite old.

Claus and Margaretta Stueve
Claus and Margaretha Stueve

The first census in which we find August is the one taken in 1900.  Here is an image of that record.

August Stueve 1900 census Farrar MO
1900 census – Farrar, MO

August (who here is called Gerd A.) was 15 years old and working as a laborer on his father’s farm.

I never did find August in the 1910 census.  I do know he is not found in Perry County.  I did discover that he found his wife in Nebraska, so I looked especially in censuses from that state.  Let me tell you a little bit about August’s future bride before we go on.

Ethel Cleo Lucy West was born in Wisner, Nebraska on December 3, 1899, making her about 15 years younger than August.  Her parents were Charles and Laura (Kratz) West.  We find her family living in Wisner, Nebraska in 1900, not long after Ethel was born.

Ethel West 1900 census Wisner NE
1900 census – Wisner, NE

Ethel had several stepsisters and a stepbrother with the last name of McRoberts.  Those children were all born in Iowa.  Ethel’s father was born in Illinois, and her mother was born in Montana.

Ten years later, the West family was living in Wayne County, the next county north of Cuming County, where Wisner was located.  They lived in Plum Creek Township in that county which is near the small town of Altona.  Here is the information we find about this family in the 1910 census.

Ethel West 1910 census Plum Creek Township NE
1910 census – Plum Creek Township, Wayne County, NE

Knowing that his wife was from Plum Creek Township, I decided to look in that 1910 census for that township to see if I could find August.  He would have been in his twenties by then, so I thought he might be working as a farmhand somewhere in that neighborhood.  I did not find him, but I did find a clue that I think is very helpful.  Here is another record from that Plum Creek Township in the 1910 census.

Emmanuel Stueve 1910 census Plum Creek Township NE
1910 census – Plum Creek Township, Wayne County, NE

The name highlighted at the top is Emanuel Stueve.  He was August Stueve’s older brother.  So August had a brother living very near his future wife, Ethel West.  Not only that, we find two other names of interest here.  A few names below Emmanuel you see Gottfried Lorenz.  That is another Perry County native.  He also happened to be from Farrar.  He can be found in this photograph taken in 1913 in Farrar.

Emmanuel Lorenz family

Gottfried is the second man from the right who is standing.  Gottfried only lived in Nebraska for a short time before returning to Missouri.

Also, at the bottom of the above census record, you see the name J.G. Bergt.  He was the son of Rev. Adolph Bergt, who at one time had served Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown and for a while also served Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar.  Later in his career he served a congregation in Nebraska.  One of his sons ended up operating a store in Plum Creek Township.  Therefore we see two other connections to Farrar in addition to August’s brother, Emanuel Stueve.  All of these connections may have had something to do with August being in that area long enough to find a bride.

Here are photos of August and Ethel which were probably taken around the time of their marriage.


I could not find a marriage record, but they must have gotten married sometime around 1917.  By 1918, when August filled out his World War I draft registration form, they were living in Lodgepole, Nebraska.

August Stueve – WWI draft registration

Lodgepole is located in the Nebraska Panhandle near several other towns that Perry County natives had settled during those days (boxed in red).  We know several of them ended up around Potter, Nebraska.

Lodgepole Potter NE map

August was a farmer all his life.  In the 1920 census, we see the Stueves living in Lodgepole and having two young children.

August Stueve 1920 census Lodgepole NE
1920 census – Lodgepole, NE

However, by the time of the 1930 census, we no longer find them in western Nebraska.  They are back in Ethel’s birthplace, Wisner, Nebraska.  Now they have 5 children.

August Stueve 1930 census Wisner NE
1930 census – Wisner, NE

One of the children was named Golden.  There must be a story behind naming a son Golden, but I do not know it.  I wish I did.

In the 1940 census, they are living in Stanton, Nebraska.  Even though Stanton is in another county, it was not really that far from Wisner.  They have had more children, but their oldest two sons have already moved away from their parents.

August Stueve 1940 census Stanton NE
1940 census – Stanton, NE

When August filled out his World War II draft card, he was still living in Stanton.

August Stanton – WWII draft card

We cannot look at any later census records, but in this case, we can find the Stueves in a Norfolk, Nebraska city directory.

August Stueve 1950 city directory Norfolk NE
August and Ethel Stueve – Norfolk, NE city directory

This record says they were living in the area known as Warnerville.  The map below highlights several of the places where the Stueve family had spent some time during their lives.

Stanton Wisner Warnerville Altona NE map

Even though these locations are not that far away from each other, they are in four different Nebraska counties.

Ethel died in 1960; August died in 1964.  They are buried together in the Prospect Hill Cemetery in Norfolk, Nebraska.  Here is their gravestone.

August and Ethel Stueve gravestone Prospect Hill, Norfolk, NE
August and Ethel Stueve gravestone – Prospect Hill, Norfolk, NE

Today’s birthday boy is just one of many young men that left Perry County and found their way to Nebraska.  Many of them, like August, not only found a livelihood in that state, but also found a bride.







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