We have another 150th birthday to celebrate today. Jacob Martin Darnstaedt was born on December 8, 1869, the son of Johann and Christiane (Mueller) Darnstaedt. The story of Martin’s parents was told in the post, Seelitz Sweethearts. Martin was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Here is his baptism record.
Martin can be found as a youngster in the 1870 census.
Ten years later, we find Martin again in the 1880 census. In each of these first two censuses, Martin was living in the Seelitz area. He was raised in the historic Darnstaedt Cabin.
Martin would find his first bride in Chester, Illinois. Her name was Bertha Haacke. When I discovered that Bertha was from Chester, it made me wonder if this might help me solve a mystery that shows up in my family. I have wondered how Jacob Schlimpert managed to find his bride, Caroline Boeger (Bogir) who was also from Chester. Also, Jacob Schlimpert and Martin Darnstaedt were neighbors in Seelitz. However, since Jacob Schlimpert was married in 1891 and Martin Darnstaedt wasn’t married until 1895, it may be that Jacob’s wife may have been an influence in Martin finding his wife, not the other way around.
Bertha Haacke was the daughter of Rudolph and Caroline (Schrifer) Haacke. She was born on April 22, 1864. Let’s take a look at Bertha in the 1880 census.
A Darnstaedt family binder that we have in our research library states that Bertha was born in Dayton, Ohio. The above census shows a different daughter, Hannah, as being born in Ohio and all of the other Haacke children were born in Illinois, including Bertha.
That same binder says that Martin Darnstaedt and Bertha Haacke were married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Chester, Illinois. Our museum does not have those church records, although we wish we did. They were married on September 19, 1895. We have the wedding photo of this couple.
I giggle every time I look at this wedding photo. It looks as if these two don’t dare touch one another. It is a black and white wedding dress for the bride, and a one-button-at-the-top coat for the groom, even though it is unbuttoned.
The 1900 census shows this couple living in Perry County. Based on who their neighbors were, it looks as if they lived in or near Wittenberg, Missouri. Already by 1900, this couple had all three of their children, and all of them were girls.
When St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg started in 1903, Martin Darnstaedt was a member of that congregation. Then, in May of 1910, he became a voting member of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. He must have moved his family across the river. The records of Christ Lutheran show him beginning to take Holy Communion there in 1910. We also find his family in the 1910 census as living in Fountain Bluff Township in Jackson County, Illinois. He was a farmer.
The 1920 and 1930 census records show this family still located in Fountain Bluff Township.
In 1934, Bertha Darnstaedt died at the age of 70. Below is the death record for Bertha from the Christ Lutheran Church books.
Bertha was buried in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob.
On September 15, 1935, Martin married again. His second wife was a widow, Agnes (Mueller) Moeckel. Martin’s mother was a Mueller, but Agnes was from a different Mueller clan. A previous post was written about Paul Moeckel, Agnes’s first husband, which was titled, Tin Man. When the 1940 census was taken, we find Martin and Agnes living in Altenburg.
Agnes died in 1948 at the age of 76. We do not know much about her death because there is no death record in any local church books, and Findagrave.com does not have a grave site for her.
Martin’s death certificate indicates that he had moved to a nursing home in Friedheim. He was there in 1950 when he died. Here is that death certificate.
Martin was buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg, Missouri.
Three out of four Darnstaedt brothers ended up spending part of their lives living in Jackson County, Illinois. Martin’s story is one in which he spent quite a bit of time in Illinois, but returned to his hometown in Missouri later in his life. He left his three daughters behind in Illinois where each married men with surnames that are often found in Jackson County…..Amschler, Zerbst, and Luedemann. Happy 150th Birthday, Martin.