Otto and Josephine

Otto Bodenschatz is our birthday boy today.  He was born on February 10, 1887, the son of Frederick and Rosalie (Mueller) Bodenschatz.  This Bodenschatz family originally lived in Altenburg but would later relocate in Shawnee Township in Cape Girardeau County.  Otto was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Here is his baptism record.

Otto Bodenschatz baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Otto Bodenschatz baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Otto’s mother died in 1890, and his father married again.  His second wife was Martha von Roenn.  All indications are that the time of this second marriage, which took place at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri, was when the Bodenschatz family moved to Shawnee Township.  We find this household in the 1900 census where Otto was 13 years old.  The Anton Bodenschatz shown below Otto’s household is his older brother.   Anton’s wife was Anna (Wunderlich) Bodenschatz.

Otto Bodenschatz 1900 census Shawnee Township MO
1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

In 1901, Otto was confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells.  Here is his confirmation record.

Otto Bodenschatz confirmation record Immanuel New Wells MO
Otto Bodenschatz confirmation record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Otto’s future wife would be Josephine Frenger.  I know when I saw this surname, it was a new one to me.  As it turns out, Josephine was from St. Louis.  However, I quickly discovered that Josephine was the daughter of William and Amelia (Wunderlich) Frenger.  Amelia Wunderlich was the sister of Anna Wunderlich who married Otto’s brother, Anton.  Josephine was born on September 23, 1887.  We find Josephine in the 1900 census for St. Louis when she was 12 years old.  There are more Frenger children on the next page of the census which I chose not to display.

Josephine Frenger 1900 census St. Louis MO
1900 census – St. Louis, MO

On October 22, 1908, Otto Bodenschatz married Josephine Frenger.  I found this marriage license for this couple which is from Cape Girardeau County.

Bodenschatz Frenger marriage license
Bodenschatz/Frenger marriage license

On this license, it says the marriage ceremony did not take place in Cape Girardeau County, but in St. Louis.  I have a reasonable amount of confidence that this marriage took place at a Lutheran church in St. Louis that no longer exists.  In 1908, there was a Rev. L.B. Buchheimer serving at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in St. Louis.  The signature of the pastor on the above license looks like Buchheimer to me.  There is a present-day congregation in Overland named Our Redeemer, but that is not the same church.  Our Redeemer was a congregation, formed in 1894, that was located not far from Holy Cross Lutheran Church in St. Louis.

After getting married in 1908, Otto brought his new wife to live in New Wells.  We find these two in the 1910 census for Shawnee Township.  It appears that they may have been living on the same farmland with his father and older brother.  Josephine would have called Anna Bodenschatz her Aunt Anna.

Otto Bodenschatz 1910 census Shawnee Township MO
1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Otto had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917.

Otto Bodenschatz – WWI draft registration

Two children were born into this family before the 1920 census was taken.  Here we once again see the Otto Bodenschatz household near a few other Bodenschatz names.  His brother, Anton, had died in 1911, so Anne Bodenschatz was a widow.

Otto Bodenschatz 1920 census Shawnee Township MO
1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

One more child was born to Otto and Josephine in 1920 for a total of 3 children.  When the 1930 census was taken, we see the following situation.

Otto Bodenschatz 1930 census Shawnee Township MO
1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Otto’s stepmother was living in their household in 1930.  Also, the Oscar Bodenschatz shown below his household was one of Anton’s children, so he would have been one of Otto’s nephews.  I have to point out here that our buddy, Rudy Bodenschatz, who until recently was a docent at our museum, is shown here as one of Oscar’s sons.

Josephine Bodenschatz died in 1940 before the census was taken.  She died at the age of 52.  Her death took place at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau.  Here is her death certificate.

Josephine Bodenschatz death certificate
Josephine Bodenschatz death certificate

When the 1940 census was taken we find this group of Bodenschatz’s.

Otto Bodenschatz 1940 census Shawnee Township MO
1940 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Otto had his World War II draft card filled out in 1942.

Otto Bodenschatz – WWII draft card

Otto died in 1950 at the age of 63.  He died on his wife’s birthday.  We also have his death certificate.

Otto Bodenschatz death certificate
Otto Bodenschatz death certificate

Both Otto and Josephine are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells, Missouri.


I am guessing that sometime in the 1930’s the photograph below of the Otto Bodenschatz family was taken.

Friedrich Otto Bodenschatz family
Otto Bodenschatz family

I wish I was able to show a photograph like the one above for every family that I include on this blog.  I know that our museum would love to have photographs like this, even if it is only in digital form, in our archive of photos.  It would be one of the ways that we can accomplish our mission of preserving the history of this area.


One thought on “Otto and Josephine

  1. Warren, thanks for Blog. It caused me to revisit the Christoph Mueller Caroline Franke photo (assume 50th anniversary about 1907). Photo with names list Charlie Bodenschatz (abt 54 yo) as the beer waiter. Since he married Rosalie Mueller it makes sense he was there (although Rosalie passed away 17 years earlier). He is kneeling holding a tray of beers. His children would be 20-30 yo, don’t know if any are in photo. Many Muellers are identified in photo It would be great to identify more. I left copies of these photos for Gerard to store in the appropriate Mueller book at the library.


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