Ben and Frieda

Today would have been the 121st birthday of Frieda Stueve.  She was born on October 28, 1898 and baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois.  Frieda was the daughter of Peter and Mary (Engert) Stueve.  Here is her baptism record.

Frieda Stueve baptism record Christ Jacob IL
Frieda Stueve baptism record – Christ, Jacob, IL

Frieda was the 9th of 11 children in this Stueve family.  We find her in the 1900 census for Degognia, Illinois.  Her name looks like Frederick, and she is listed as a son, but I believe it is Frieda.  The date of birth shown is correct.

Frieda Stueve 1900 census Degognia IL
1900 census – Degognia, IL

We can see the location of Degognia on the map below.  Degognia is located in the hills, but Jacob, Illinois is in the bottoms.

Degognia Illinois map

A number of Frieda’s older children were born in Altenburg, Missouri and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church.  However, this Stueve family moved across the Mississippi River into Jackson County, Illinois in the late 1890’s.

When Frieda was just 6 years old, her mother died.  This left Peter Stueve as a widower with a houseful of children.  In 1910, we see this household which included a servant named Esther Sundgate.

Frieda Stueve 1910 census Degognia IL
1910 census – Degognia, IL

Frieda would get married in 1917.  Her husband would be Benjamin Kranawetter, who was born in Shawnee Township in Missouri.  He was born on August 10, 1889 and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells.  Benjamin’s parents were Joseph and Ernstine (Ruehling) Kranawetter.  He was the baby of the Kranawetter family that had 9 children.  His baptism record is shown below.

Benjamin Kranawetter baptism record Immanuel New Wells MO
Benjamin Kranawetter baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

We can see Benjamin in the 1900 census for Shawnee Township.

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

The 1910 census for the same location once again shows this Kranawetter household which by then had emptied considerably.

Benjamin Kranawetter 1910 census Shawnee Township MO
1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Benjamin had a brother named Herman who had become a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois in 1907.  I think Benjamin also moved to that area after the 1910 census.  In June of 1917, he had his World War I draft registration completed.  That document shows him living in Jacob, Illinois as a farmer.

Benjamin Kranawetter – WWI draft registration

This document also says Benjamin was single, but he would not remain that way for very long.  Benjamin Kranawetter and Frieda Stueve were married at Christ, Jacob on August 30, 1917.  We have the church record for that wedding.

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

For this wedding, we also have a type of record that I have rarely seen.  It is a marriage certificate from Jackson County, Illinois for this wedding.  It’s a beautiful document.

Kranawetter Stueve marriage license Jackson County IL
Kranawetter/Stueve marriage license – Jackson County, IL

The first census to show this couple was the one taken in 1920.  I have included Benjamin’s brother, Herman, and his family in this image.  They apparently were living near one another.  By 1920, Ben and Frieda had two children.

Benjamin Kranawetter 1920 census Fountain Bluff Township IL
1920 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

According to our German Family Tree, Ben and Frieda would have 10 children.  We find this family in Degognia in the 1930 census with a much larger household.  Several children were shown on the next page of the census which I chose not to display.

Benjamin Kranawetter 1930 census Degognia IL
1930 census – Degognia, IL

As usual, the last census we can view is the 1940 census.

Benjamin Kranawetter 1940 census Degognia IL
1940 census – Degognia, IL

When Benjamin was expected to have his World War II draft card completed in 1942, it showed that he was still living in Jackson County, Illinois.


I understand that the 1950 census will be made available to the public in 2022.  I am confident that when that census is released, it will show this Kranawetter family living in Brazeau Township in Missouri (or Frohna).  The Kranawetter’s had a child that was confirmed at Christ, Jacob in 1942, but when their next child was confirmed, that event took place at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.

Ben and Frieda apparently lived the rest of their lives in Frohna.  Ben died in 1970 at the age of 80.  Frieda died in 1978 at the age of 79.  They are both buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna.

Frieda came from a large family.  Benjamin came from a large family.  And Benjamin and Frieda had a large family.  Ben and Frieda’s children must have had a boatload of cousins.  I know that when Gerard Fiehler and I had breakfast this morning and discussed this post, many other surnames were rattled off as being descendants of Ben and Frieda.  Maybe some of them will comment on this post to let us know who they are.  I know one of them is Carol Wunderlich, who is the treasurer of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society.

4 thoughts on “Ben and Frieda

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:

    The Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum is hosting its immigration conference the next three days, so we will be re-blogging some posts that have been published in the past. Today, you have the opportunity to read a post that was published on this day two years ago.


  2. Grandma Freida Stueve Kranawetter also had many brothers and sisters living in the Jacob bottoms. They included Molly (Theodore) Grode, Rosie(Herman) Kranawetter, Mary (Art) Verseman, Walter Stueve, Henry Stueve, and Art Stueve. Grandpa Ben Kranawetter moved his family to Missouri after flooding in Illinois and my dad Roland took over his farming operation and my brother Lloyd still lives on the home place. Thank you!!


  3. Ben and Freida Kranawetter were my grandparents and Peter Stueve my great grandfather. They both lived in the portion of Degognia Township that is located in the Mississippi bottom lands but with a Jacob address


  4. Thank you for this information, my grandfather was Herman Kranawetter, a very fine man, I might add and Carol Wunderlich is my first cousin. I didn’t know she was involved with this. I really enjoy reading all of your posts, especially those about my family.


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