One hundred thirty-three years ago, Bertha Vogel was born in New Wells, Missouri. Her birthday was May 6, 1886. She was the daughter of William and Emma Susanne (Hoehne) Vogel and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Below is her baptism record.
On October 27, 1907, Bertha married Joseph Richter of Wittenberg, Missouri. Here is the church record for that event.
We also have this marriage license.
This marriage is yet another example of what I find to be an interesting connection between the New Wells/Pocahontas area of northern Cape Girardeau County and the river town of Wittenberg. Someday I may be informed why there were so many folks from that area of Cape County that ended up in Wittenberg.
The 1910 census shows the Richter couple living near Wittenberg. Joseph’s father appears to be his neighbor in this census. Joseph and his father, Ehregott, were farmers.
The fact that they were neighbors is supported by the 1915 plat map which shows the area of bottom land just north of the village of Wittenberg.
By the time of the 1920 census, Bertha and Joseph had 4 sons.
Sadly, this was the last census in which we find Joseph Richter. He died in 1921. The record of his death can be found in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church books.
We also have Joseph’s death certificate.
Joseph was buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Wittenberg.
Bertha would marry again. Her second husband would be Otto Lueders, who was the son of William and Theresia (Lehner) Lueders. William and Theresia are two more people with connections to north Cape County. Before I go into details about Bertha’s second marriage, there are some interesting facts to be found in the World War I draft registrations for Joseph Richter and Otto Lueders. First, let’s take a look at Joseph’s form.
If you look on the right side of this form, you will see that Otto Lueders was the registrar for these forms in the Wittenberg vicinity. This form contains the names of Joseph, Bertha, and Otto. Next, we’ll take a look at Otto’s form.
This document states that Otto was the President and Manager of the Wittenberg Milling Company. That company was owned by Joseph Weinhold, the father of Otto’s wife, Lydia. This form also indicates that Otto had some health issues, including being deaf in one ear and having part of his thumb cut off. However, Lydia also had health issues that are not shown here. Before I move on, let me show you the wedding photo of Otto and Lydia. Some of their story was told in the post, Otto’s Oda.
Two things were happening in the 1920’s. First, the business at the mill was not doing well. Second, Lydia was experiencing health problems, and the local doctors were not making any progress in treating her. Therefore, in 1926, Otto moved his family to Fort Wayne, Indiana. He had a new job there, and he was hoping that he could find more successful medical help in that location.
As it turns out, only a matter of months later, Lydia died in Indiana. Below is her death certificate.
The doctor who signed this death certificate was A.G. Lueders, who was Otto’s brother. He was a physician nearby. After Lydia died, her body was taken back to her hometown of Wittenberg and buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery.
Otto must have remembered that there was a widow back in Wittenberg who might make a good second wife. He married Bertha (Vogel) Richter in Fort Wayne on January 2, 1929. We have their Indiana marriage license.
The 1930 census shows the blended family of Lueders and Richter children. They were living in Fort Wayne, Indiana where Otto was a merchant.
I was a little puzzled with the fact that Bertha’s youngest son, Melvin Richter, was not included in this census. That question was answered when I found Melvin living in the Bethesda Lutheran Home in Watertown, Wisconsin in the 1930 census. The Bethesda Lutheran Home was a place for people with special needs.
In 1942, Otto was required to fill out a World War II draft card. It is shown below.
Otto was living in Watseka, Illinois and working as a salesman for Lutheran Mutual Life Insurance Company. I am not sure of the situation for Otto and Bertha for the next several years. I do know that Otto died in 1964 while living in Indiana again. We have his death certificate listing his address as being Auburn, Indiana.
Bertha would not die until 1985 at the age of 99, about six months short of her 100th birthday. She died while living in a nursing home in Auburn, Indiana. Here is her death certificate.
Otto and Bertha were buried together in the Roselawn Cemetery in Auburn, Indiana.
The way I look at it, Bertha’s first husband led her to her second husband. Then she and Otto helped raise two families worth of children. Someday, I may have to write some more about what happened to those children.