I have written several stories now which include a marriage that takes place involving a bride and groom in which one participant grew up on this side of the Mississippi River, and the other was born and raised on the other side of the river in Illinois. Today will be another example of one of those marriages.
It all starts with today’s birthday boy, Rudolph Kuntze, who was born on January 21, 1891. Rudolph was the son of William and Susanna (Grosse) Kuntze and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri. Below is his baptism record.
The first census in which we find Rudolph was the one taken in 1900. His father and older brother, Herman, were shoemakers.
By the time of the 1910 census, Rudolph was hired out as a farmhand in the Charles Wachter household.
Rudolph’s future wife was Maria Weseloh who was born and raised across the river in Jackson County, Illinois. Maria was born on April 20, 1895, the daughter of John and Anna (Luedemann) Weseloh. She was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. Here is her baptism record.
We find Maria in the 1900 census for Fountain Bluff Township in Illinois. Her father was a farmer.
Like her future husband, the 1910 census shows Maria as being farmed out as a hired girl. She was living in the Emanuel Weber household.
It may have been the fact that Maria was living with the Weber’s that led to her meeting Rudolph Kuntze in Altenburg. Emanuel and Anna (Preusser) Weber were married at Trinity, Altenburg before moving across the river to Jackson County, Illinois in the 1890’s.
This leads up to the marriage of Rudolph Kuntze and Maria Weseloh which took place on July 19, 1914. The wedding took place at Christ Lutheran in Jacob. We have the church record for that marriage.
We have the wedding photo of Rudolph and Maria.
Rudy had a World War I draft registration completed in 1917. This form says that Rudy was a stone mason.
When the 1920 census was taken, Rudy and Maria had two daughters. This time, Rudy was an engineer at the swing factory which was located in Wittenberg.
Rudy was one of those men who had a variety of occupations over the years. He apparently was a man who was able to pick up quite a few trades as he went through life. One more child, a son, was born in 1921, but that child died in 1922, so he never shows up in a census. The next census we see is the one taken in 1930 where it says Rudy was a stone mason, but also shown as working at odd jobs.
The last census we can view was the 1940 census. At that point, the household was down to just Rudy and Maria. They had an empty nest. This time, Rudy was said to be a carpenter.
The Kuntze’s lived across the street from Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg, but attended Trinity on the other side of town. I took a photo of what used to be the Rudy Kuntze house this morning.
Later in his life, Rudy and Maria had this photo taken.
Rudy died in 1972 at the age of 80. He and Maria died too recently for us to look at their death certificates. Maria lived to be over 100 years old. She died in 1995, about three months after her 100th birthday. Both Rudy and Maria are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
One mystery has probably been solved by looking into the story of the Kuntze’s. In a previous post titled, She Gets the Hecht Out in Perry County, I wondered how it was that Clara (Weseloh) Fritsche managed to find her second husband, Martin Hecht, in Perry County. Now I know that Clara had a sister living in Altenburg at the time, and that might have led to the widow Clara finding her second husband here in Altenburg.