Gottfried’s Travels and Trials

Ernst Gottfried Weber would be celebrating his 150th birthday today because he was born on October 11, 1869.  As it turns out, Gottfried had quite the trip through life, spending time in several locations and experiencing some difficulties in the process.

Gottfried (sometimes called Fred) was the son of Herman and Pauline (Braeutigam-Schroeder) Weber.  Gottfried’s mother may have been born with the surname Braeutigam but raised in a Schroeder family.  It appears that she took the surname Schroeder.  Gottfried’s father had arrived in America in 1852 aboard the Bremerhaven.  Here is the passenger list where we find his Weber family.

Herman Weber Bremerhaven passenger list 1852
Weber family passenger list – Bremerhaven – 1852

Gottfried Weber was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Below is his baptism record.

Gottfried Weber baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Gottfried Weber baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

In 1870, we find Gottfried in his first census.

Gottfried Weber 1870 census Brazeau Township MO
1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Ten years later, we still find Gottfried living in the Brazeau Township in the 1880 census.

Gottfried Weber 1880 census Brazeau Township, MO
1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

A few notable events took place before we see Gottfried in another census.  First of all, at the end of 1880, his father died. leaving Pauline as a widow with the houseful of children shown in the above census record.  In 1886, she married again.  Her second husband was George Gentil.  Then in 1887, when Gottfried was 18 years old, his mother died as a result of falling off a buggy.  However, this death was suspicious enough for George Gentil to be charged with murder, but he was later acquitted.  It must have been a very traumatic time for those in this Weber family.  I guess you could say Gottfried’s mother could describe her life as the “Perils of Pauline”.

A record from Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois says that Gottfried became a voting member of that congregation in 1892, so he must have moved across the river into Fountain Bluff Township.  It was while he was there that he was married for the first time.  His bride was Ida Belle Thomas.  There is no record for this marriage in the Christ Lutheran Church books.  We do find this Illinois record for this wedding which took place on August 11, 1895.

Weber Thomas marriage record Illinois
Weber/Thomas Illinois marriage record

I may be wrong, but I suspect this marriage might not have taken place at Christ Lutheran because Ida Belle was just 15 years old when this wedding took place and Gottfried was about ten years older.

Two children, Bertha and Mary, were born to this couple.  We see this family in the 1900 census for Fountain Bluff Township.

Gottfried Weber 1900 census Fountain Bluff IL
1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

This marriage must not have lasted long.  Although I do not have documentation, this marriage probably ended in divorce.  There is a marriage record for Ida Weber marrying Albert Hindman in Jackson County, Illinois which took place in 1902.  Also, by the time of the 1910 census, we find Ida listed as Ida Murray, so it is probable that she had a third husband by then.

Ida Murray 1910 census Grand Tower IL
1910 census – Grand Tower, IL

The Weber children were not living with their mother in 1910.  I was unable to find Gottfried in that census.  The Christ Lutheran records state that Gottfried moved to Blue Point, Illinois in 1904.  Blue Point is located in Effingham County.  I did find Bertha Weber in a 1910 census for Summit Township in Effingham County where she was listed as a foster daughter in a Dammerman family.

Bertha Weber 1910 census Summit Township Effingham County IL
1910 census – Summit Township, Effingham County, IL

Somewhere during his lifetime, this photograph was taken of Gottfried Weber.

Gottfried Weber
Gottfried Weber

On August 10, 1919, Gottfried Weber married Lina (Kranawetter) Bogenpohl.  That means Gottfried’s two wedding anniversaries were one day apart.  Below is the marriage license for this couple.  They were married at Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas, Missouri.

Weber Bogenpohl marriage license
Weber/Bogenpohl marriage license

We also have this church record for this wedding.

Weber Bogenpohl marriage record Zion Pocahontas MO
Weber/Bogenpohl marriage record – Zion, Pocahontas, MO

Lina Kranawetter had been born and baptized in Pocahontas.  Her birthday was March 12, 1885.  She was the daughter of Joseph and Ernestine (Ruehling) Kranawetter and baptized at Zion Lutheran Church.  Here is her baptism record.

Lina Kranawetter baptism record Immanuel New Wells MO
Lina Kranawetter baptism record – Zion, Pocahontas, MO

We find Lina living in the Shawnee Township with a houseful of Kranawetter’s in the 1900 census.

Lina Kranawetter 1900 census Shawnee Township MO
1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

On August 29, 1908, Lina married Paul Bogenpohl in Jacob, Illinois.  That church record can be found in the Christ Lutheran Church books.

Bogenpohl Kranawetter marriage record Christ Jacob IL
Bogenpohl/Kranawetter marriage record – Christ, Jacob, IL

This couple had 3 children while living in Jackson County, Illinois.  Then in 1913, Paul died at the age of 31.  After his death, I believe that Lina brought her family back to her hometown of Pocahontas.  Meanwhile, while living near Jacob, Illinois, she must have had the occasion to know Gottlieb Weber.  That leads us back to the Weber/Bogenpohl wedding in 1919.  We find the Weber household in the 1920 census.

Gottfried Weber 1920 census Shawnee Township MO
1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

One more son, Evert Weber, was born to this couple, so we find this household in the 1930 census.

Gottfried Weber 1930 census Shawnee Township MO
1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

In 1932, Lina Weber died at the age of 46.  We have her death certificate which says she died of breast cancer.

Magdalena Weber death certificate
Lina Weber death certificate

In 1937, Gottfried Weber had a rather tragic death at the age of 67.  Apparently, he had gangrene in one of his feet, and in the course of amputating part of his leg, he did not survive the surgery.  We have his death certificate.

Gottfried Weber death certificate
Gottfried Weber death certificate

The death record from Zion, Pocahontas also adds that Gottfried had “hardening of the arteries”.

Gottfried Weber death record Zion Pocahontas MO
Gottfried Weber death record – Zion, Pocahontas

Both Gottfried and Lina Weber are buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas, Missouri.

I am a little surprised that Gottfried’s gravestone has his birth year incorrect.  His death certificate has the correct date, but not his gravestone.

Gottfried’s life certainly had its share of setbacks.  Even his death was quite gruesome.  However, I like to think that there is enough evidence that he was faithful to his church and therefore faithful to his Lord and Savior, who would have been a comfort to him through all his hardships.  And as his gravestone states, heaven is now his home.

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