Among all the records that we have from the church books of congregations in East Perry County, I think I may have located the Lutheran Cinderella. Her name was Bertha Schlichting, and her birthday would have been today. She was born on December 6, 1889 and baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri. Bertha was the daughter of John and Mary Schlichting. There will be several characteristics which will be contrary to the Cinderella story in Bertha’s life. One of them is the fact that she never had a stepmother, much less an evil one. She did have two older sisters, but I don’t know if they were evil or not.
The first census in which Bertha shows up was the 1900 census from Salem Township in Perry County. It is so illegible that I am not going to show it here. I can tell you that she was the seventh child out of the ten children shown in that census.
Heinrich Joseph Leo Bachmann was born on May 29, 1887. Although he does not have the name or title of “Prince” in his name, I think Henry may have been Cinderella’s prince. Henry was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. He was the son of Joseph and Emily (Schmidt) Bachmann. He was the second child and oldest son in the family. So if Henry was the Prince, Joseph and Emily would have been King and Queen, and Henry would be the next in line to be the King.
The first census for Henry was the 1900 census, and he and his parents and family lived in the Apple Creek Township in northern Cape Girardeau County, which is actually quite near Uniontown.
Henry and Bertha were married in 1910, but before their wedding, they were recorded in the 1910 census as being single and still living with their families. First, here is Henry.
And here is Bertha. Her family’s listing starts on the previous page of this census. She was living in the Salem Township of Perry County.
On June 5, 1910, Henry and Bertha were married. This would be another contrast with the Cinderella story. I don’t think Bertha, at this point in her life, realized that she was marrying a Prince. That would come much later. Here is this couple’s marriage license.
These two were married at Bertha’s church, Salem Lutheran in Farrar. The 1920 census is the first one where we find Henry and Bertha being married.
Although this map comes from a plat map made ten years later, I think the property pointed out by the red arrow may have been where Henry had been a farmer in 1920.
Sometime between 1920 and 1930, the Bachmanns moved to Festus, Missouri. We find them there in the 1930 census, and Henry was working at a glass factory. The Bachmanns had five children, and all of them were living in this household in 1930.
The glass factory was almost certainly the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (PPG) that was located in Crystal City.
Ten years later, we find the Bachmanns still living in Festus, but Henry’s occupation had changed. He was now working as a carpenter.
However, please also note that two of Henry and Bertha’s sons are working at a shoe factory. That was likely the Peters Shoe Company shown in the photo below which was found in nearby De Soto, Missouri.
Now we see the Cinderella story at its climax. Bertha had a husband with experience making glass and two sons with experience making shoes. I would think they could put their skills together to make Bertha a nice pair of glass slippers. Don’t you agree?
Henry died in Festus in 1956; Bertha died in 1979. They are both buried in the Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens.
And just where is Rose Lawn Memorial Gardens? Why, it’s in Crystal City, of course. Where else would you bury Cinderella and her Prince?