A Pair of Singles

Lutje and Anna Grother and three of their children arrived in St. Louis, Missouri shortly before the Gesellschaft did.  They sailed to America aboard the Sophie which arrived in New Orleans in November of 1838, about two months before the ships carrying the Gesellschaft members.  We find them on this passenger list.  Included on this passenger list are two other people who would end up settling in Perry County.  They were Johann and Frederick Holschen.  A family binder we have in our museum says Margaretha Grother had married Johann Holschen in Germany but for some reason used her maiden name on this passenger list.

Grother family passenger list Sophie 1838
Grother and Holschen names – Sophie passenger list – 1838

When the German Lutherans arrived in St. Louis in early 1839, the Grother’s and Johann Holschen decided to join them.  They traveled with the Stephanites later that spring to settle in Perry County.  They were part of what we call the “St. Louis Additions”.

Once they arrived in Perry County, they were assigned a piece of land noted on this map by the Roman numeral, IV.  You can see that this parcel of land was located just northwest of Altenburg.

Grother land map 1839
Grother land map

When the split occurred at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg in 1857, the Grother’s became members of the new congregation, Immanuel Lutheran Church.  The Grother men are included in the list of Immanuel’s charter members.

Immanuel Lutheran charter members

In 1871, Johann Grother married Emilie Palisch, and that couple would have 8 children.  Six out of those eight children were girls.  I have already written a few posts about some of those children, but today I am going to focus on the second and third children born into this family.  Their names were Heinrich (Henry), born on June 22, 1874, and Sarah, born on December 1, 1876.  That makes Sarah today’s birthday girl.  These two children remained single for their entire lives.

Below are the two baptism records for Henry and Sarah.  First, here is Henry’s.

Henry Grother baptism record Immanuel Altenburg MO
Henry Grother baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Next we see Sarah’s baptism record.

Sarah Grother baptism record Immanuel Altenburg MO
Sarah Grother baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

The first census in which we find Henry and Sarah was the one taken in 1880.  The head of this household was their grandmother, Christiane Grother.  Their grandfather had died in 1868.

Henry Grother 1880 census Brazeau Township MO
1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It would not be until 1900 when we would find these two in a census, and that was the only year in which we found this pair in different locations.  Henry was still living with his parents in Altenburg.  He was 25 years old.

Esther Grother 1900 census Brazeau Township MO
1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Sarah was living with an Idler family in St. Louis in 1900.  Louis Idler was a grocer, and Sarah was one of two servants in that household.

Sarah Grother 1900 census St. Louis MO
1900 census – St. Louis, MO

I am guessing that it must have been around 1900 that the photo below was taken.  It shows the two boys that were part of the Grother family,  Henry and Carl.

Carl and Henry Grother
Carl and Henry Grother

By the time of the 1910 census, we find that Sarah had returned to the household of her parents.

Henry Grother 1910 census Brazeau Township MO
1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

At the age of 44, Henry was required to have a World War I draft registration completed.

Henry Grother – WWI draft registration

About the only thing that changed on the 1920 census was that the people on it were 10 years older.

Henry Grother 1920 census Brazeau Township MO
1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In 1921, the Grother family gathered to celebrated the 50th anniversary of Johann and Emilie.  I have identified Henry and Sarah with arrows.

Grother family photo Henry and Sarah
Grother family

The family members are wearing pins and Emilie is wearing a headdress that were popular for occasions such as this in those days.

Henry and Sarah’s father died in 1923, and their mother died in 1927, so the 1930 census shows just Henry and Sarah.

Henry Grother 1930 census Brazeau Township MO
1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I guess you could say that Henry was the typical “breadwinner” for this couple, and Sarah was the housekeeper.  The last census we can view is the 1940 census in which we find Henry and Sarah in their 60’s.

Henry Grother 1940 census Brazeau Township MO
1940 census – Brazeau  Township, MO

Henry died in 1948 at the age of 73.  Below is his death certificate.  Sarah was listed as the informant on this form.

Henry Grother death certificate
Henry Grother death certificate

After Henry’s death, Sarah must have gone to St. Louis where she was living with her sister, Esther and her family.  Sarah died in 1953 at the age of 76.  Esther Buholzer was the informant.

Sarah Grother death certificate
Sarah Grother death certificate

Henry and Sarah are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

Henry’s gravestone is entirely in German; Sarah’s gravestone is in English.  I noticed some similarities between these two.  They each were born and died on the same day of the month.  Henry was born and died on the 22nd of the month.  Sarah was born and died on the 1st of the month.  Also, each of them died exactly one month before their upcoming birthday.

Henry’s only brother, Carl, moved to Kansas.  He married and raised his family there.  Since Henry never married, the Grother surname disappeared in Perry County.

I have discovered that when I am writing stories about single people, there are not many church records to find.  It’s pretty much just baptism and death records that get entered into the church books for these folks.


2 thoughts on “A Pair of Singles

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