One hundred forty-nine years ago, Theodore Ernst Seemann was born. He was the son of Johann and Christiane (Grother) Seemann. His mother was the sister of Johann Grother whose family has been included in several previous posts. One was published recently titled, A Pair of Singles. Today’s birthday boy was sometimes called Theodore, sometimes Ernst, and once he was called John for some reason. I will call him Theodore. He was born on December 7, 1870 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri. Before this story is complete, we will see records from four different area Lutheran churches. Here is Theodore’s baptism record.
Theodore would show up for the first time in the 1880 census, and by that time, his father had already died. A few lines above Christiane Seemann, a widow, you will see another John Seemann. I am thinking that this could have been Theodore’s grandfather (Christiane’s father-in-law). I do think Theodore’s age was recorded incorrectly. He should have been at least 9 years old.
This Seemann family had just two children and both of them were boys. Their mother died in 1881, and according to Theodore’s obituary, the two boys spent some time being raised by the John Grother family. Here is a family photo of that Grother family. Theodore would have been a cousin of the folks standing in the back row in this picture.
By the time the next census can be viewed in 1900, Theodore was married. His bride was Emilie Holschen. She was born on June 1, 1874, the daughter of Louis and Emilie (Thurm) Holschen. Emilie was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.
The first census in which we find Emilie was the one taken in 1880. Theodore would eventually have two wives, and it just so happens that both of them can be seen on this census entry. They are marked with red arrows. You might also note that Emilie was in a houseful of boys.
Theodore Seemann and Emilie Holschen were married on April 20, 1897. For some reason, they were married at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Immanuel, Altenburg got a new pastor in 1897, so maybe that church was between pastors during that time in 1897. Below is the church record for that event.
We also have the marriage license for this wedding.
This couple had just one child, a son by the name of Albert who was born in 1898. We find this family of 3 shown in the 1900 census. They were living in Altenburg where it says Theodore was a day laborer.
Emilie Seemann died in 1901 when little Albert was just 3 years old. The church death record, found in the Immanuel, Altenburg books, says Emilie died of typhus. She was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
The 1910 census presents a little bit of a problem. We find Theodore as a widower living in the Joseph Darnstaedt household, but his son, Albert, is not living with him. I was unable to find Albert living with any of the other extended family that I checked. Where was Albert living? In this census, Theodore is shown as being a flour packer at a flour mill. That must have been the roller mills located in Altenburg run by the Mueller’s.
On October 2, 1910, Theodore would marry again. His second wife was Emma Weber who was seen earlier in the 1880 census. Emma was the daughter of Herman and Paulina (Schroeder) Weber and born on February 27, 1877. She was baptized at Trinity, Altenburg. Here is her baptism record.
In a 1915 land map, we can find a parcel of land owned by Theodore’s brother, Andreas Seemann. His land was located on what we call The Ridge, and if you look at his neighbors, you can see how his location may have had an impact on how Theodore found his wives.
Once again, the marriage location for Theodore’s second wedding is somewhat of a mystery to me. Theodore and Emma Weber were married at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. Here is the church record for that wedding.
We can also view their marriage license.
This couple had no children, and in 1918, Emma died, so these two never showed up in a census together. We have Emma’s death certificate.
Emma was also buried at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
In the 1920 census, we once again find Theodore as a widower living with his son, Albert. For some unknown reason, Theodore is called John.
The last two censuses show Theodore living alone as a widower. Here is the one from 1930.
Next, we find Theodore in the 1940 census at the age of 69.
Theodore Seemann died in 1944 at the age of 73. Here is his death certificate.
We also have this obituary for Theodore.
Like both of his wives, Theodore was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
Let’s take a little look at the life of Theodore’s only son, Albert. In 1918, Albert had his World War I draft registration completed. It said that he was a student at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.
Albert would become a Lutheran pastor. He would serve at quite a few different congregations over the years. His obituary lists them.
This obituary says Albert served in Altenburg and Pocahontas, but I was unable to find any record of his service at Immanuel, Altenburg or St. John’s, Pocahontas. However, there are two baptism records for his children in the Immanuel, Altenburg books in the 1930’s. I have a photograph of Albert, but it is quite small.
Theodore’s brother, Andreas, had 6 children, and all of those were boys. There were certainly a lot of boys in the Seemann families. I may have to write the story of Andreas Seemann and his boys someday.