Bertha’s Joe and Otto

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.

Bertha Vogel baptism record Immanuel New Wells MO
Bertha Vogel baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

On October 27, 1907, Bertha married Joseph Richter of Wittenberg, Missouri.  Here is the church record for that event.

Richter Vogel marriage record Immanuel New Wells MO
Richter/Vogel marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

We also have this marriage license.

Richter Vogel marriage license Cape Girardeau County
Richter/Vogel 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.

Joseph Richter 1910 census Brazeau Township MO
1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

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.

Joseph Richter land map 1915
Richter land map – 1915

By the time of the 1920 census, Bertha and Joseph had 4 sons.

Joseph Richter 1920 census Brazeau Township MO
1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

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.

Joseph Richter death record St. Paul's Wittenberg MO
Joseph Richter death record – St. Paul’s, Wittenberg, MO

We also have Joseph’s death certificate.

Joseph Richter death certificate
Joseph Richter death certificate

Joseph was buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Wittenberg.

Joseph Richter gravestone St. Paul's Wittenberg MO
Joseph Richter gravestone – St. Paul’s, Wittenberg, MO

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.

Joseph Richter – WWI draft registration

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.

Otto Lueders – WWI draft registration

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.

Lueders Weinhold wedding
Otto and Lydia Lueders

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.

Lydia Lueders death certificate
Lydia Lueders Indiana 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.

Lydia Lueders gravestone St. Paul's Wittenberg MO
Lydia Lueders gravesite – St. Paul’s, Wittenberg, MO

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.

Lueders Richter Indiana marriage license
Lueders/Richter 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.

Otto Lueders 1930 census Ft. Wayne IN
1930 census – Ft. Wayne, IN

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.

Melvin Richter 1930 census Watertown WI
1930 census – Watertown, WI

In 1942, Otto was required to fill out a World War II draft card.  It is shown below.

Otto Lueders – WWII draft card

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.

Otto Lueders Indiana death certificate
Otto Lueders death certificate

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.

Bertha Lueders death certificate
Bertha Lueders death certificate

Otto and Bertha were buried together in the Roselawn Cemetery in Auburn, Indiana.

Otto and Bertha Lueders gravestone Roselawn Auburn IN
Otto and Bertha Lueders gravestone – Roselawn, Auburn, IN

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.




One thought on “Bertha’s Joe and Otto

  1. Thank you for your research about the early life of Bertha Vogel – Richter – Lueders. She was my Great Grand Mother whom I knew in Auburn, IN. I knew Arnold, met Erwin, and knew about Melvin. This article answered the question of why they moved to Ft Wayne.
    My mother may be the last living person who knew Otto Lueders. She spoke fondly of him and how he made her feel like she was his favorite. I’ll share your book with her.
    I just finished your book “Wittenberg ’03” and really enjoyed it. It answered a lot of questions about my Great Grand Parents, Otto and Lydia, and about my Great Great Grand Parents.
    Thank you for putting these things on line. My research started when my son-in-law told me we were related to Frederick Lueders who fought in the battle of San Jacinto. I’m still looking into that.


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