Shawneetown Scholl

I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have mis-typed the word “school” over the years and ended up with “scholl”.  However, that is not what happened when I wrote the title to this post.  It really is spelled Scholl, and it a rather well-known surname in these here parts.  I hear most people pronounce it “shawl”.  We will eventually get around to an event that occurred on today’s date, but for the time being, let’s begin by talking about the arrival of the Scholl family into this area.

According to a later census, Tobias Scholl arrived in America in 1855.  I was unable to find a passenger list for his arrival.  In 1867, he married Wilhelmine Ruehling.  Here is a civil record for that marriage.  They were married in Perry County.

Scholl Ruehling marriage record Perry County MO
Scholl/Ruehling marriage record – Perry County, MO

The above record shows that this marriage was conducted by Rev. J.F. Koestering.  That fact, and the fact that the Ruehling family belonged to Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg leads me to the conclusion that that is where the wedding took place.  As it is, I am out of town and cannot get to church records today, however, this marriage would be in the notorious “Koestering Hole” anyway.  If this marriage took place at Trinity, it must have been one of the last marriages to take place in the 1845 church building which is now part of our museum.

According to our German Family Tree, this Scholl family had 8 children.  The main character for today’s post was child #6.  His name was Benjamin Scholl.  He was born on March 16, 1879 and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri.  Almost all of the early Scholl records can be found in churches in Shawnee Township in northern Cape Girardeau County.  We find Benjamin in his first census in 1880 at the age of 1.  Every census in which we find Benjamin during his lifetime, he was living in Shawnee Township.

Benjamin Scholl 1880 census Shawnee Township MO
1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Benjamin was found in one more census before he was married.  That one was taken in 1900.

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

Benjamin Scholl’s future wife was Anna Gerler.  She was the daughter of Frederick (Fritz) and Lena (Lindner) Gerler.  That would make her the sister of the character described in a previous post as Mayor of Birmingham.  This was the part of the Gerler clan we describe as the “Lake Gerlers”.  Anna was born on April 3, 1880 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  She barely snuck into the 1880 census for Brazeau Township, being listed as 2/12 years old.  That is the census-taker’s way of indicating she was 2 months old.

Christian Gerler 1880 census Brazeau Township MO
1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Anna was part of a very full household of Gerler’s in the 1900 census.

Anna Gerler 1900 census Brazeau Township MO
1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It was on this date, November 29, 1903, that Benjamin Scholl married Anna Gerler.  The only mystery I found in today’s story has to do with the place of this marriage.  These two were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville, Missouri.  I cannot figure out why they were married there.  Here is their marriage license.

Scholl Gerler marriage license
Scholl/Gerler marriage license

Two children were born into this Scholl family by the time of the 1910 census.  I have included Benjamin’s older brother Wilhelm, and his family in this image, indicating they were living near one another.

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

Benjamin had his World War I draft registration filled out in 1918.

Benjamin Scholl – WWI draft registration

In the 1920 census, we see that a girl, Edna, was added to the family.

Benjamin Scholl 1920 census Shawnee Township MO
1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

One more child, Arthur, was born later in 1920.  In fact, he was born one day before his parents’ 17th  anniversary, November 28, 1920.  We see Arthur in the 1930 census.

Benjamin Scholl 1930 census Shawnee Township MO
1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

It was in 1930 that a series of plat maps were produced for Cape Girardeau County.  We find a piece of property owned by Ben Scholl on those maps.  You cannot tell it from this portion of the map, but his property was located not far west of Shawneetown, Missouri.

Benjamin Scholl land map 1930 Cape Girardeau County MO
Ben Scholl land map – 1930

Ben and Anna’s first two children were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri.  Then, starting with Edna, born in 1915, the last two were baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Shawneetown, Missouri.  I have this sneaking suspicion that sometime between the 1910 and 1920 censuses, Benjamin acquired the property near Shawneetown.  Wilhelm’s property was farther east toward the Mississippi River.  The  last census we can look at for this family was the one taken in 1940.

Benjamin Scholl 1940 census Shawnee Township MO
1940 census – Shawnee Township, MO

In this census, we find their son, Edwin, who had married Eula McLard, living in their household.  Benjamin would have his World War II draft card filled out in 1942 even though he was already in his 60’s.  People born after 1877 were required to have this form filled out, so Benjamin barely made it into that category.

Benjamin Scholl – WWII draft card

Anna died in 1949 at the age of 69.  We have this image of her death certificate.

Anna Scholl death certificate
Anna Scholl death certificate

If you look at the address given on this form, it indicates they lived in rural Shawneetown, but also part of the Altenburg Star Route.  This indicates that they got their mail delivered from the Altenburg Post Office.  It is my understanding that there are still folks living around Shawneetown that get their mail delivered out of Altenburg.

Benjamin died in 1967 at the age of 88.  His death certificate indicates he died at the Perry County Memorial Hospital.

Benjamin Scholl death certificate
Benjamin Scholl death certificate

Both Anna and Benjamin are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Shawneetown.

The story of Benjamin Scholl and Anna Gerler is yet another story where a man and a woman find each other on different sides of the Apple Creek.  Sometime, the married couples end up in Cape Girardeau County, and sometimes they end up in Perry County.  This one ended up in Cape County, but a number of descendants have crept back up into Perry County and live there to this day.

Just one quick not to end this post.  Tomorrow will be another travel day for me.  There will likely be no new post.  I anticipate that I will be back in business on Sunday.


2 thoughts on “Shawneetown Scholl

  1. First owners of the farm whom Ben Scholl purchased it from was the Whitledge family. It was deeded to them in a land grant from President Buchanan according to the deed/abstract. Ben purchased it from them in 1908, he first built the barn then in 1911-12 he built the house, they both still stand. In 1948 Edwin “Pete” and Eula Scholl purchased it from Ben. In 1972 due to health issues Pete & Eula sold the farm to my parents Charles F. & Mary A. Eifert. It remains in the Eifert family and is a wonderful place to live! Thank You for the article!


    1. A couple days ago, I was speaking German responding to something quietly under my breath. I have heard the Deutsch land sprache since ich was a young fraulein. Mich grandparents carried the line. I studied music and learned much thru Mozart, Bach, and heritage in their welts. Till later bin abend.

      Liked by 1 person

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