Rosine Finds Ludwig in the Big City

You are going to get another Hemmann story today.  There are certainly many Hemmann’s in our German Family Tree.  When the original J.G. Hemmann had 21 children via two different wives, most of which survived into adulthood, and several of his boys had a  passel of children also, you can see why there are so many Hemmann’s showing up in the annals of East Perry County history.  As my buddy, Gerard Fiehler, jokingly says, “Every one around here has some Hemmann genes in ’em.”

Today, we will look at the story of Rosine Hemmann who was born on February 16, 1890.  She was the daughter of Martin and Carolina (Thauwald) Hemmann.  Rosine was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.  Today is one of those days here in Altenburg that make me want to stay at home to write this blog.  The parking lot of our museum is no doubt treacherous as a result of yesterday’s snow/sleet/freezing rain.  Therefore, I will not be showing you Rosine’s baptism record today.  The only two records we find in our German Family Tree are her baptism record and her confirmation record.  Rosine might have been recorded in the 1890 census, but that year’s census was lost in a fire.  Therefore, the first census in which we find Rosine was the 1900 census where she was 10 years old and living in Union Township.

Rosina Hemmann 1900 census Union Township MO
1900 census – Union Township, MO

In the next census in 1910, we no longer find Rosine in Perry County.  She was living in St. Louis in the William Franklin household and working as a servant.

Rosina Hemmann 1910 census St. Louis MO
1910 census – St. Louis, MO

Although I cannot find a document to prove it, it is said that Rosine married a man by the name of Ludwig Kirchner on May 20, 1920.  I could not locate Rosine in the 1920 census, but I did find Ludwig.  That census for St. Louis said Ludwig was living in a hotel as a 33 year old widower.  He described himself as a moulder in a foundry.

Ludwig Kirchner 1920 census St. Louis MO
1920 census – St. Louis, MO

Ludwig Kirchner was born on December 30, 1886 in Stuttgart, Germany.  Below is his baptism record from Germany.  This record is from a Lutheran church.

Ludwig Kirchner baptism record Stuttgart Germany
Ludwig Kirchner baptism record – Stuttgart, Germany

According to this record, Ludwig’s father was also named Ludwig, and his mother coincidentally was named Rosine.

The 1930 census shows Rosine and Ludwig living in St. Louis with two young children, a boy and a girl.  Ludwig’s occupation is shown in the image below.

Ludwig Kirchner 1930 census St. Louis MO occupation

Ludwig is described as a stationary engineer.  That was a description once used for a person who operated large machinery, such as boilers, located in business and factories.  It was a way to distinguish the difference between a railroad engineer, who would have been a moving engineer, from an engineer in a building that did not move.

The last census record we can see for this couple was the 1940 census.

Ludwig Kirchner 1940 census St. Louis MO
1940 census – St. Louis, MO

Once again, Ludwig is described as a stationary engineer.  In this census, we see just a son named Wilbur Kirchner.  The daughter in their family was younger than Wilbur, so it is likely that she must have died.  In 1942, Ludwig had his World War II draft card filled out.  He is shown to be an employee of the Johansen Shoe Company which was located at 3642 Laclede.  I am guessing that he was still a stationary engineer for that company.


I found a photo of the Johansen Shoe Company that was located on Laclede.  I understand that this company specialized in making ladies’ shoes.

Johansen Bros. Shoe Company St. Louis

Ludwig died in 1951 at the age of 64.  We have his death certificate.  This death certificate gives Ludwig’s mother’s maiden name as Roessler, but it also gives his father’s name as Theodore, not Ludwig.

Ludwig Kirchner death certificate
Ludwig Kirchner death certificate

Ludwig died at Deaconess Hospital about a year and a half after I was born in that same hospital.

Rosine died in 1989.  That is too recent to be able to look at her death certificate.  Both Ludwig and Rosine were buried together in the St. Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in St. Louis.

Ludwig and Rosine Kirchner gravestone St. Trinity St. Louis MO
Ludwig and Rosine Kirchner gravestone – St. Trinity, St. Louis, MO

This gravestone also indicates that there were three infants who died early.

In the early part of the twentieth century, we see a lot of young men move off to other states to become farmers elsewhere.  At the same time, we also see plenty of young women move to St. Louis to work as servants in the homes of wealthy people.  Rosine is such a person.  She not only moved to St. Louis temporarily but found her husband there.  She would spend the rest of her life in the big city.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s