The year 1852 was packed with significant events in the life of Hugo Rauss, except he was not aware that they were happening. He was a baby. First of all, Hugo was born on January 12th of 1852. That birth took place in an area of southwest Germany known as Baden-Wurttemberg. He was the son of Carl and Christina (Kinzler) Rauss. Not long after his birth, his parents made a voyage to America aboard the ship, Liberty. Here is that passenger list. Hugo is described as being a ½ year old. This ship arrived in America on September 18, 1852.
Although I do not have any documentation for this, it appears that Hugo’s parents both died of cholera before the end of 1852 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This information comes from a family history on Ancestry.com. So, in the first year of his life, Hugo was born, made a voyage halfway around the world, and lost both of his parents.
Apparently, this baby then was raised by his aunt. Her name was Gottliebe Rauss, Carl’s sister. She was still single at the time. She must have come to the United States on a different ship.
Now we must go to Perry County to look at the story of Wilhelm Adolph Bergt. Wilhelm was a part of the Gesellschaft and traveled to America along with two brothers aboard the Copernicus. All three brothers were described as weavers.
These three brothers settled in Frohna and lived on the property that is now the home of Saxon Lutheran Memorial. Not long after arriving, Wilhelm married Lina Schubarth on March 1, 1840. Lina was also part of the Gesellschaft, coming aboard the Johann Georg and traveling alone. We have this civil record of that marriage.
This couple had no children, and then Lina died of cholera on July 6, 1849. That is the same month when there was a terrible cholera epidemic in St. Louis. I did find out that there also was a cholera epidemic in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1849, three years before Hugo’s parents died. After his wife died, Wilhelm made the decision to become a Lutheran pastor and headed off to go the seminary in Fort Wayne. It was while there that he met and married Gottliebe Rauss. This is a record of that marriage on January 5, 1854.
Wilhelm was willing to not only marry Gottliebe, but also take in her nephew, who was still a rather young boy. Hugo became like the oldest son in the Bergt family. Other children were born in Ohio where Rev. Bergt was a pastor, and then in 1866, he was called to be the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri. Wilhelm had returned to the county where he had once lived. While he was here, Wilhelm was also involved in the early years of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. This is how Hugo Rauss arrived in Perry County, where he would spend the rest of his life.
We see Hugo in the 1870 census from Cinque Hommes Township in Perry County. If you just look at this census, you would think that he was Hugo Bergt, not Hugo Rauss.
Hugo was a 19 year old farmer living in the same household as the Lutheran minister, who was for all practical purposes his father.
On April 17, 1877, Hugo got married. His bride was Catherine Ruhkopf. Katherine also spent a portion of her early life being raised by a different father. She was the daughter of Conrad and Anna (Beckmann) Ruhkopf of Scheeβel. She was born on September 27, 1851 and baptized in Scheeβel. Here is her baptism record. It is in two images.
Conrad died in 1864, and Anna then married Heinrich Meier. Then in 1867, Henry and Anna brought their family to America. They sailed aboard the ship, Uhland. We have this passenger list which contains a combination of Meier and Rukhopf passengers.
Catherine was not on this list, so I think she may have came to America shortly thereafter. The 1870 census for Brazeau Township shows this Meier family.
Once again, you do not see Catherine, but we know she was part of this family because of the names listed in her baptism record. Then, in 1877, Catherine married Hugo Rauss. Here is a record of that marriage.
If you look closely, you will see that they were married by Hugo’s “father”, Rev. Wilhelm Bergt.
In early 1878, Hugo and Catherine had their first child. She was born on her father’s birthday, January 12th. So today, we not only have a birthday boy, but also a birthday girl. We find the Rauss family in the 1880 census for the Salem Township. Meanwhile, Rev. Bergt had taken a call to Nebraska in 1879.
Our German Family Tree lists 9 children born into this family, the last one being born in 1893. Then Catherine died in 1895 as a result of a bladder disease at the age of 43.
Hugo was a farmer most of his life, but in one census, it says he was the church janitor. I assume that was at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar where his children were baptized. Hugo died in 1936 at the age of 84. Here is his death certificate.
Hugo and Catharine are both buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.
I will also show the gravestone of today’s birthday girl, Anna Rauss Stueve.
Hugo got off to a rough start back in 1852, but by the time it was all over, he was survived by 9 children and many others who called him Grandpa.