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”.
Joseph was born on January 16, 1867. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is his baptism record.
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.
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.
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.
We find Mary for this first time in the 1880 census where she was 4 years old.
We later find the Charles Gruenwald farm on the 1915 land maps. This is likely where Mary grew up.
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.
We also have the church record from the Trinity books.
The 1900 census shows this married couple with their first two children.
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.
We find some land owned by Joseph Oehlert on the maps produced in 1915. He owned land in the area once known as Seelitz.
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.
Next, we see Mary and Joseph in the 1920 census.
The last census in which we find Joseph was the one taken in 1930. This census shows his brother, Gustav Oehlert, living nearby.
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.
On another occasion, Joseph is pictured with his siblings. It was possibly taken when they gathered for their mother’s funeral in 1923.
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.
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.
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 died in 1958 at the age of 82. We have her death certificate.
Mary is buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
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.