Gustav Adolph Schaefer is the birthday boy for June 29th. He was born on this day in 1878. It is his story that I will tell today. Before I go on, let me state that he went by the name Adolph on most of the documents I found, so that will be the name that I will use for him. Adolph was the son of Heinrich and Maria (Hopfer) Schaefer. He was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri, but it appears his residence from the very start was across the Apple Creek in Appleton. We have this photo of the Heinrich Schaefer family which has been published on this blog before because I have already done some stories on other members of this family. Adolph is standing in front next to his mother. He was one of the younger members of this family.
We have another photo of Adolph when he was rather young. In fact, it may have been taken at the same time as the above photograph.
The first census in which Adolph was included was the one taken in 1880. He was just 1 year old. His father, Heinrich, is called both a farmer and a merchant.
Because we do not have an 1890 census, the next one in which we find Adolph was in 1900. He was living in the household of his mother, Maria Schaefer, because his father had died in 1893. At the age of 21, it says Adolph was “at school”. I have to think that he must have been attending some sort of college.
I did find this record in a 1911 listing of alumni from Westminster College, which was located in Fulton, Missouri. I will let you determine if this is the Adolph highlighted in this post. I happen to think it is.
The future bride for Adolph was a girl from Uniontown by the name of Pauline Bock. She was the daughter of Joseph and Emma (Thomas) Bock. She was born on July 27, 1881, so she would not be found in the 1880 census. Pauline was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We also have a photo of Pauline that was taken when she was relatively young.
We find Pauline in this entry from the 1900 census for Union Township, Missouri. She was 18 years old.
There is a Benjamin Weber included in the above entry who was said to be adopted. Later, when Pauline was married, Benjamin was a witness for that ceremony.
There seems to be some confusion as to what was the date of the marriage of Adolph Schaefer and Pauline Bock. Below is their marriage license.
This document indicates that the marriage took place on January 4, 1903. However, according to our German Family Tree, there is a record in the Grace, Uniontown books that states that they were married on October 19, 1903. That is not just a matter of a day or two’s difference. Unfortunately, I am not in Altenburg today. I would really like to look at the exact image from the church records to see if this could be a matter of misreading.
The 1910 census shows this couple for the first time. They had two children, and Adolph’s mother, Maria, was living in their household. Adolph was a farmer.
By the time of the 1920 census, Adolph and Pauline had finished having children. They had 6 children according to our German Family Tree. One died on the same day as its birth, and another died at the age of 4. The remaining children were all girls except for one boy. That boy was another Gustav Adolph Schaefer, except he was almost always referred to as Gustav or Gus.
Next, we take a look at the 1930 census. It appears as if their youngest daughter, Lillian, is not included, but she can be found on the next page of the census which I chose not to display.
A plat map was produced for Cape Girardeau County in the same year as the 1930 census. We can find the property owned by G.A. Schaefer located very near the town of Appleton (which is now called Old Appleton). The et al indicates there were others, probably family members, who were involved in owning or living on that property.
The last census in which we can see Adolph and Pauline was the one taken in 1940. We are patiently waiting for the 1950 census to be made public, probably in 2022. Two of their married daughters including their husbands and children were living in the Schaefer household.
I find the death dates for Adolph and Pauline to be quite interesting. Adolph died on January 2, 1954; Pauline died on January 3, 1955. One day after the first year anniversary of her husband’s death, Pauline died. Also, if their wedding anniversary was January 4, they both died a day or two before that date. Below is the death certificate for Adolph. He died at the age of 75.
We also have Pauline’s death certificate. She died in St. Francis Hospital at the age of 73.
Both Adolph and Pauline were buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown.
Appleton and Uniontown are located right along Highway 61 that runs through Perry and Cape Girardeau Counties. I have often heard some of our local folks say that Highway 61 was more or less the dividing line between the German Lutherans to the east of this road and German Catholics to the west. There is a Catholic parish, St. Joseph Catholic Church, located not far west of Appleton. Over the years, there were not always been good relationships between these Lutherans and Catholics. The towns of Uniontown and Appleton, being located right on that dividing line, must have had businesses that were patronized by both the Lutherans and Catholics. There seems to even be some evidence that some businesses in these communities were operated by Lutherans and Catholics in partnership. I do know that the situation in this area these days is that there is no longer antagonism between these two Christian groups, which I say is a good thing.