Today will be one of those rare days when I write the story of a woman who never married. I also find her story to be an amazing one. Emilie Weinhold is today’s birthday girl. She was born on October 17, 1878. She was the oldest child of Paul and Louisa (Hermann) Weinhold. Her full name was Susanna Louise Emilie Weinhold. Emilie was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Below is her baptism record.
Emilie can be found in the 1880 census at the age of 1.
Because we have no 1890 census to view, the next census in which we find Emilie is the one that was taken in 1900, and in that entry we find an interesting situation. Emilie, at 21 years old, was a servant in the household of Gotthilf Weinhold in Frohna. Gotthilf was one of what we call the “Miller Weinhold’s” who were the operators of the Frohna Mill. Emilie was one of what we call the “Dirt Weinhold’s” who were farmers. As far as I know, we have yet to determine definitely a family relationship between the Miller Weinhold’s and the Dirt Weinhold’s. The fact that Emilie was a domestic servant in a Miller Weinhold’s household gives just a little credence to some sort of family connection.
I have written the story of the two Weinhold brothers who lived in Frohna and ran the flour mill. Both those Weinhold’s had plenty of children. When Emilie served the Gotthilf Weinhold family, she got plenty of experience helping to raise those children.
Sometime between 1900 and 1910, Emily changed families, but basically continued in the same profession. First of all, it was the case that Gotthilf Weinhold and his wife only had a few older children left in their household, so Emilie’s services were no longer necessary. She was asked to run the household and help raise the children of Friedrich (Fred or Fritz) Koestering, whose wife had died in 1905 leaving him a widower. Fred ran a store in Altenburg. He was also a son of Rev. J.F. Koestering who had once been the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church. We find Emilie in the Koestering household in the 1910 census. Since this entry starts on one page in the census and continues on the next, I have to show it in two images.
Fred Koestering had 6 children in his household at that time ranging in ages from 19 down to 5. In the English language we might call Emilie a nanny. The German language has the term, Kindermädchen, to describe a woman who helps raise someone else’s children. What I find amazing is the fact that Emilie must have already begun serving this Koestering family as soon as Fred’s wife died in 1905 because Emilie’s obituary states that she served this family for 55 years, and she died in 1960.
We find Emilie in the 1920 census. The father, Fred, can be found on the previous page which I chose not to display.
I will just backtrack a little to mention that the oldest son in this family, Arthur Koestering, was inducted in the U.S. Army during World War I. Here is a form showing his military record.
He must have been in this same photo that I posted recently of Perry County Boys who went off to Camp Dodge on May 29, 1918.
Arthur did not go overseas, but he did serve his country. Then we can look at the 1930 census which just shows Fred, Arthur, and Emilie.
Fred Koestering died in 1934 at the age of 72. So when the 1940 census rolls around we find just Emilie Weinhold and Arthur Koestering living in this household made up of two people who never married.
Emilie died in 1960 at the age of 81. We have her death certificate. I find it interesting that Dr. Theodore Fischer, who signed this death certificate, had also been married to Eleanore Koestering, one of the children that Emilie helped raise.
We also have this obituary for Emilie Weinhold.
The obituary states that Emilie was a member of the Ladies Aid. When the Ladies Aid building was completed in the early 1920’s, this photo was taken in front of that structure. I am thinking that Emilie might be in this photo.
Emilie is buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
I have gotten to know quite a few women over the years who have never married but have an incredible maternal instinct. Possibly to compensate for not having children of their own, they want to care for other people’s children. I have seen them become teachers, both in a regular school or in a Sunday School. I have also run across several situations similar to Emilie’s showing up as I research stories for this blog. Women like Emilie have provided some very necessary services to families around here for many years.
I did find one photograph that shows several of the children from the Fred Koestering family along with their father as well as Emilie Weinhold, who is shown by the red arrow.