Mary and Joseph of the Oehlert Clan

Mary and Joseph of Biblical fame were married over 2000 years ago in Nazareth.  Today, we will take a look at another Mary and Joseph who were married 125 years ago on this date.  They were married on September 2, 1894 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  The groom was Joseph Oehlert; the bride was Mary Gruenwald.

Let’s start with Joseph.  He was the son of Gottlieb and Wilhelmine (Krause) Oehlert.  Here is a photo of Joseph’s parents.  Forgive me if you have heard this before, but I want to remind folks that around here this surname is pronounced, “Ay-lert”.

Johann Gottlieb Oehlert & wife
Gottlieb and Wilhelmine Oehlert

Joseph was born on January 16, 1867.  He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Below is his baptism record.

Joseph Oehlert baptism record Immanuel Altenburg MO
Joseph Oehlert baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

The first census in which we find Joseph was the one taken in 1870.  I don’t think Joseph’s age was given correctly.  It should have been 3 years old.

Joseph Oehlert 1870 census Brazeau Township MO
1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We find him in one more census before he gets married.  That was the 1880 census.  He was living in the Gottlieb Buck household as a 13 year-old farm laborer.  Gottlieb’s wife, Pauline, was Joseph’s sister.

Joseph Oehlert 1880 census Brazeau Township MO
1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Mary Gruenwald was the daughter of Charles (Carl) and Johanna (Schmidt) Gruenwald.  I was unable to find photographs of Mary’s parents.  Mary was born on December 26, 1875 and baptized at Trinity, Altenburg.  Her baptism record is shown below.

Mary Gruenwald baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Mary Gruenwald baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We find Mary for this first time in the 1880 census where she was 4 years old.

Mary Gruenwald 1880 census Brazeau Township MO
1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We later find the Charles Gruenwald farm on the 1915 land maps.  This is likely where Mary grew up.

Charles Gruenwald land map 1915
Charles Gruenwald land map – 1915

That gets us to the marriage that occurred 125 years ago.  Here is the marriage license for the wedding of Joseph Oehlert and Mary Gruenwald.

Oehlert Gruenwald marriage license
Oehlert/Gruenwald marriage license

We also have the church record from the Trinity books.

Oehlert Gruenwald marriage record Trinity Altenburg MO
Oehlert/Gruenwald marriage record

The 1900 census shows this married couple with their first two children.

Joseph Oehlert 1900 census Brazeau Township MO
1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Mary and Joseph would have 7 children.  There was a set of twins born in 1900, and one of those twins died already in 1903.  The 1910 census shows 5 children.  Their last child was born during that year.

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


We find some land owned by Joseph Oehlert on the maps produced in 1915.  He owned land in the area once known as Seelitz.

Joseph Oehlert land map 1915
Joseph Oehlert land map – 1915

In 1906, Joseph’s parents celebrated their 50th anniversary and had this photo taken.  Mary and Joseph are indicated by red arrows.  Joseph’s mother, Wilhelmine, is wearing a headdress and the rest of the family are wearing the pins that were popular for anniversary celebrations in those days.

Gottlieb Oehlert children & spouses Joseph and Maria
Gottlieb and Wilhelmine Oehlert – 50th wedding anniversary

Next, we see Mary and Joseph in the 1920 census.




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

The last census in which we find Joseph was the one taken in 1930.  This census shows his brother, Gustav Oehlert, living nearby.

Joseph Oehlert 1930 census Brazeau Township MO
1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

An interesting photo showing several Oehlert men, including Joseph, was taken when they had a successful day fishing for carp in a family pond.  Joseph is indicated by the red arrow.

Oehlert fishing Joseph

On another occasion, Joseph is pictured with his siblings.  It was possibly taken when they gathered for their mother’s funeral in 1923.

children of Johann Gottlieb Oehlert Joseph

Joseph died in 1937 at the age of 70.  His death certificate states that he was found dead in a field.  He had been having heart problems.

Joseph Oehlert death certificate
Joseph Oehlert death certificate

Here is where we find an intriguing story.  Even though the death certificate seems to imply that he was buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg, he is not buried there.  We find him buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.

Joseph Oehler gravestone Immanuel Perryville MO
Joseph Oehlert gravestone – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

A story is told that when he died, Joseph was buried somewhere on the Oehlert land.  I do not know the reason for that.  There is no death record for Joseph in the Trinity, Altenburg books.  Later, when the Oehlert land was sold to another family, it is said that Joseph’s body was exhumed and buried in Perryville.  Maybe someone in the Oehlert family knows more details about that story.

Mary was found in the 1940 census as a widow living in the household of her son, Paul Oehlert.

Mary Oehlert 1940 census Brazeau Township MO
1940 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Mary died in 1958 at the age of 82.  We have her death certificate.

Mary Oehlert death certificate
Mary Oehlert death certificate

Mary is buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

Mary Oehlert gravestone Trinity Altenburg MO
Mary Oehlert gravestone – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

If you look back to previous posts written on Labor Day, I have usually chosen to write about something that applied to the Loeber family.  Loeber, or Löber, is pronounced much like the word labor.  So I like to have fun calling this holiday, Loeber Day.  However, today, I just couldn’t resist telling the story of a wedding taking place 125 years ago.

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