Rudy’s Grandma

Anna Josephine Wunderlich was born on December 12, 1876, so today would have been her 142nd birthday.  She was the daughter of John and Josephine (Bendel) Wunderlich.  Anna was the youngest child in the family.  We have this photograph of Anna’s parents.

Anna was baptized on Christmas Eve in 1876, which was a Sunday.  This is her baptism record.

Anna Wunderlich baptism record –  Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Earlier in 1876, a boy was born in Altenburg.  His name was Anton Bodenschatz.  He was the oldest child in that family.  He was the son of Friedrich and Rosalie (Mueller) Bodenschatz.  Here is a photo of Anton’s parents.

Friedrich and Rosalie Bodenschatz

Anton was born on February 11, 1876 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  This is his baptism record.

Anton Bodenschatz baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We find both Anna and Anton in the 1880 census as youngsters.  Anna was living in Shawnee Township of Cape Girardeau County.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Anton was living in the Brazeau Township….probably in Altenburg, where his father was a wagon maker.  Anton was also living in the same household with his grandparents, where his grandfather was blacksmith.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, M

On February 21, 1897, Anton married Anna at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri.  Below is their marriage record in the church books.

Bodenschatz/Wunderlich marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

By this time, Anton’s family must have moved to the Shawnee Township because the record says Anton is from Cape Girardeau County.  Below is their marriage license.

Bodenschatz/Wunderlich marriage license

We also have this wedding photo of Anton and Anna.

This couple had five children, but the first one only lived a short time.  Another one born later also died early.  The 1900 census was the first one in which we see this married couple. Their child’s name is misspelled.  It should read Norma.  She was still a baby in 1900.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Anton and Anna can be found in the 1910 census, but sadly, this would be the last census for Anton.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Anton’s father (with a second wife) and his brother, Otto, were living near them.  Their two sons, Oscar and Walter, had been born in the 1900’s.  Anton was a farmer.

Anton died on April 1, 1911.  Below is his death certificate.

Anton Bodenschatz death certificate

The cause of death is shown as Phthisis Pulmonia.  I had to look that one up.  I found this.

So it appears that Anton died of tuberculosis.  His death record says the cause of death was schwindsucht.  That is the German term for that disease.  The death certificate says Anton was buried in New Wells.  He is listed in the Immanuel, New Wells, Cemetery on, but there is no photo of a gravestone.

I find it interesting that in December of 1910, Anton was having his will written.  He was only 34 years old, so he must have already known that he was seriously sick.  Below is the portion of that will which shows that it was written at the end of 1910.

Anna would never remarry.  She is found in subsequent censuses living with her son, Oscar.  Oscar married Paula Schuessler, and one of their sons is Rudy Bodenschatz.  Rudy is a dear friend of our museum.  He was a docent here for several years, and I have fond memories of his smile and his numerous stories.  Here is a fairly recent photograph of Rudy.

Rudy Bodenschatz

Our museum director, Carla Jordan, had a visit from Rudy one day and she put a nice summary of Rudy’s life on her Facebook page.  I will share it here.

Rudy is no longer able to work here at the museum.  We miss him.  He always brightened our days when he was around.  Rudy now resides at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau.

Anna Bodenschatz died in 1969 and is buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Shawneetown, Missouri.

Anna Bodenshatz gravestone – Trinity, Shawneetown, MO

Rudy never got to meet his grandfather, Anton, who died before he was born.  However, he must have known his grandma very well because she was living in his home during his childhood.  I am sure Rudy has fond memories of Grandma Anna. 

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