A Kuntze Chronicle

Wilhelm Carl August Kuntze was born on August 9, 1883 in Altenburg, Missouri, making him today’s birthday boy.  He is called August on some documents and Charles on others.  I will use Charles.  His parents were Wilhelm and Susanna (Grosse) Kuntze.  His father was married previously, so Charles had some siblings and half-siblings.  Charles was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Here is his baptism record.

Charles Kuntze baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Charles Kuntze baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

There are a few unanswered questions that arise as you look at the life of Charles Kuntze.  The first one is “Why is he not included with his family in the first census in which he could have been recorded in 1900?”  Note: The father of this family, Wilhelm, can be found on the previous census page which I did not include here.

Wilhelm Kuntze 1900 census Altenburg MO
1900 census – Altenburg, MO

Charles would have been 17 years old in 1900, so he could have been working somewhere else, but I was unable to find him in a census anywhere.  The other question is, “Where was he?”

On June 2, 1907, Charles married Johanne Grother at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Johanne was the daughter of John and Emilie (Palisch) Grother.  She was born on the last day of 1883, December 31st.  She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Below is her baptism record in two images.

Johanne Grother baptism record 1 Immanuel Altenburg MO

Johanne Grother baptism record 2 Immanuel Altenburg MO
Johanne Grother baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

We can take a look at the marriage license for Charles and Johanne.

Kuntze Grother marriage license
Kuntze/Grother marriage license

We also have the marriage record found in the Immanuel, Altenburg books (in two images).

Kuntze Grother marriage record Immanuel Altenburg MO

Kuntze Grother marriage record 2 Immanuel Altenburg MO
Kuntze/Grother marriage record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

The 1910 census shows this married couple without any children.  Charles was a traveling agent for a collection agency.

Charles Kuntze 1910 census Altenburg MO
1910 census – Altenburg, MO

There are no baptism records to be found in our German Family Tree for children in this family.  A few Ancestry.com family histories say there were two children, both born in St. Louis and both girls.  The first of these was born in 1913, so it is likely that this couple moved to St. Louis before that year.  However, you can find a residence for August Kuntze in the 1915 plat book for the city of Altenburg.

August Carl Kuntze land map 1915
August Kuntze land map – 1915

That Aug. Kuntze residence was right next to Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Some other names, Grosse and Grother, which are connected to this story can also be seen in that neighborhood.  A G. Kuntze can be found on the other side of Immanuel.  That was Charles’s half-brother.

I have been told that the home shown in the above map for Aug. Kuntze was destroyed to make room for a parking lot for Immanuel Lutheran Church.  A Fritsche was a later owner of that house.

The World War I draft registration for Charles that was filled out in 1918 says he was living and working in St. Louis.  He was then a tool maker for a plumbing tool company.

Charles Kuntze – WWI draft registration

The 1920 census lists Charles as a shoemaker, which happened to be the occupation of his father.  The census is from St. Louis.

Charles Kuntze 1920 census St. Louis MO
1920 census – St. Louis, MO

It is the time period between 1920 and 1930 in which we confront another question.  “When did Charles die?”  And a similar question, “Where is he buried?”  I do not know the answer to any of these questions.  Apparently, Charles died before 1930 because the census for that year shows Johanne as a widow.

Johanne Kuntze 1930 census St. Louis MO
1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Charles, if he died somewhere in Missouri, should have a death certificate that is available to view, but I was unable to find such a document.  I tried all sorts of different spellings for the Kuntze surname, but to no avail.  Maybe someone else could try.  I also could not locate a cemetery that contains a Kuntze born in 1883 that fits the life story of Charles.

The last census in which we can see Johanne Kuntze was the 1940 census.

Johanne Kuntze 1940 census St. Louis MO
1940 census – St. Louis, MO

The Gertrude Kuntze shown in the above census married a Lutheran pastor by the name of Rev. Reginald Arnold Brammer.  He appears to have served churches in Minnesota, Arkansas, and Texas.

Johanne died in 1971 which is too recent to view her death certificate.  She is buried in St. Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in St. Louis.  She is buried with her other daughter, Viola, and her husband, Clyde Curd.

Johanna Kuntze gravestone St. Trinity St. Louis MO
Johanna Kuntze gravestone – St. Trinity, St. Louis, MO

A story like the one today is one which begs some answers to questions.  If any of our readers can provide some more information, we would love to have it.  I know that our friend, Wayne Schuessler, took the gravestone photo shown above.  Maybe he has something to add.

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