I start today with a family photo. It displays the family of Carl and Johanna (Hopfer) Bodenschatz.
One of the main characters in today’s story is the man standing in the back on the left, Henry Bodenschatz. I chose him today because it was on this day that he married his wife, Louise Schmidt. They were married on August 31, 1902, so today would be their 117th anniversary.
Henry was born on February 16, 1875 and baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri. Below is his baptism record.
We find Henry in the 1880 census for Apple Creek Township in Cape Girardeau County.
In 1900, Henry was still living with his parents at age 25.
Now, we turn our attention to Louise Schmidt. She was the daughter of Henry and Wilhelmine (Naeser) Schmidt of Frohna. She was born on September 20, 1878 and baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church. She was the baby in a family with a double-digit number of children. Here is her baptism record.
We find Louise in the 1880 census for Brazeau Township in Perry County.
By the time of the 1900 census, Louise, at age 21, was the only remaining child in the Henry Schmidt household.
As was said earlier, Henry and Louise were married on this day in 1902. They were married at Louise’s church, Concordia, Frohna. Here is the church record for that marriage.
We also have their marriage license.
When I found the above marriage license, I noticed that on the same page in those records was the marriage license for Henry’s brother, Charles Bodenschatz, who married Bertha Hoffmann one week later at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. Charles is standing in the back on the right in the Bodenschatz family photo.
All of the remaining census records we find for this couple have them living across the Apple Creek in Union Township of Perry County. We find a piece of property on a 1915 plat map with Henry’s name on it.
I will now show the censuses for 1910, 1920, and 1930. They show this couple having 3 children, two girls and a boy.
The 1940 census shows a situation which is a little different. Their daughter, Myrta, had married Oscar Haertling. They had several children, and then Myrta died in 1934. Oscar remarried and was living in St. Louis in 1940. Apparently a decision was made for Henry and Louise to help raise those grandchildren because they show up in the 1940 census with their grandparents. Two more grandchildren are listed on the next page of that census which I did not show.
Another document for Henry is his World War I draft registration filled out in 1918. He was already 43 years old at the time.
I found a few other references elsewhere that contain new information about Henry. All of the census records indicate that Henry was a farmer (or doing odd jobs…1930 census). However, in a Bodenschatz family binder we have in our research library, I found another occupation listed. I think this binder was put together by Clinton Wunderlich. He did genealogical work back in the days before the internet. He did the hard work of family research. He had to travel to places to find documents and stories, or he had to write letters (not e-mail) to far-away people to get information. All I have to do these days is sit at a computer in the museum or in my recliner at home. I have it easy.
Here is an image of a page I found giving information about Henry Bodenschatz. It says in the upper right corner that Henry was a veterinarian in Appleton, Missouri.
I also found a fascinating story in Mary Dillon’s book, Altenburg, Missouri and the Surrounding Parishes Plus Old Appleton. Within the story, it indicates that Henry Bodenschatz was a store owner as well as the town constable. He is also credited with the capture of three criminals.
Another interesting item about this Bodenschatz family is the list of spouses of their children. First, the two daughters both married men with the surname Haertling. Those two sons-in-law were cousins. Their only son married a Schmidt, also the maiden name of his mother. However, these two were from different Schmidt clans (neither of which is my Schmidt clan).
Henry died in 1946 at the age of 70. Here is his death certificate.
Louise died in 1956 at the age of 77. We also have her death certificate.
Both Henry and Louise are buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown, Missouri.
I find it unusual that a man like Henry Bodenschatz can be described in census records for most of his life as a farmer, but several other jobs show up in other sources.