I put today’s mystery question in today’s title. Rosa Landgraf is today’s birthday girl….or is she? One birth date we have for Rosa was August 21, 1885. As we work our way through this story, we will find two other alternatives. Rosa was the daughter of Bernhard and Mary (Litzelfelner) Landgraf. She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. Below is her baptism record. Please note that this entry definitely says that her birth date was 21 Aug.
The first census in which we find Rosa was the one taken in 1900. She was 14 years old.
Just two years later and just a few months after her 17th birthday, Rosa got married. Her husband was Herman Bodenschatz. Herman was the son of Frederich and Rosalie (Mueller) Bodenschatz. He was born on March 15, 1881 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Here is his baptism record.
Although he was baptized at Trinity, Altenburg, Herman was confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, so that is where he likely met Rosa Landgraf. Also, Herman’s mother, Rosalie, died in 1890 when he was just 9 years old. His father then married Martha Roen. We find Herman in the Shawnee Township in the 1900 census living with his father and stepmother and other siblings.
November 9, 1902 was the marriage date for Herman Bodenschatz and Rosa Landgraf. They were married at Immanuel, New Wells. Here is the church record for that marriage.
The marriage license for this couple contains a memo that states a form is on file from Rosa’s father that he has consented to this marriage of his 17 year-old daughter.
We have the wedding photo of this couple.
The first census in which we find this couple was the one from 1910. They were living in the Apple Creek Township and had three children.
More children were born before the 1920 census. This census shows them back in Shawnee Township once again. I also included the Ben Landgraf household which was listed right below the Bodenschatz household. Ben was Rosa’s father.
Two more children were born in the 1920’s. Our German Family Tree lists 11 total children. Only the first one died right away. A plat map for Cape Girardeau County was produced in 1930. We find a piece of property with Herman’s name near New Wells on the map below.
It must have been right about 1930 that Herman moved his family across the Apple Creek into Perry County. We find them living in the Brazeau Township in the 1930 census. Rosa’s mother had died in 1927, so in this census, we see her father, Bernhard, living in the Bodenschatz household as a widower.
The 1940 census shows this family still living in Perry County. Herman was a farmer all his life.
Herman died in 1947 at the age of 66. We have his death certificate. It indicates that Herman was living in Shawneetown when he died.
Herman was buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Shawneetown.
It was at this point in my research of this family that I hit a roadblock. Findagrave.com says that Rosa (Landgraf) Bodenschatz is buried in the same cemetery as Herman, but it has no photo for the grave site. I also could not find a death certificate for Rosa Bodenschatz. This puzzled me. I did not solve this problem until I found a family history on Ancestry.com that said Rosa had a second husband by the name of Henry Boren. Once I discovered that, I found a grave site for Rosa Boren in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells. I will show that gravestone later.
The next puzzle was that I could not find a marriage record for Rosa Bodenschatz and Henry Boren anywhere in Missouri. I did find their marriage record, but it was not found in this state. I found it in Alva, Oklahoma. They were married on June 17, 1950.
This document says both the bride and the groom are from Missouri. They are both said to be residing in New Wells. You might ask why they were getting married in Oklahoma. I happened to already know the answer. I wrote a post several years ago about how one of the Bodenschatz sons, Newton, had moved to Alva, Oklahoma. That story was titled, Oklahoma Ground Sweethearts. You can see Newton Bodenschatz’s name on the above form. Even though they were both from New Wells, the decision must have been made to get married in Newton’s congregation in Alva.
Henry brought Rosa back to Shawnee Township, Missouri. Rosa died in 1954 at the age of 69. Once I found out she was a Boren, I was able to find her death certificate. This document gives us one of those other different birth dates. It states Rosa was born on August 15, 1885.
Rosa, as stated before, was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.
And there you have it. A third different birth date for Rosa. Her gravestone says she was born on August 25, 1885. Which one is correct? August 15? August 21? August 25? I don’t know for sure. One document I have displayed was recorded at the beginning of her life. The other two that have been displayed were recorded at the end of her life. I will now show one more document. It is a civil birth record from Cape Girardeau County for Rosa Landgraf. It is almost impossible to read, but I have cropped out the part that matters to this discussion.
In the upper right, I think there is no doubt that it shows Rosa was born on August 21st. That is the date I think is correct. Maybe you think differently. I just happen to think that today is her birthday.