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’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.
In 1901, Otto was confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Here is his confirmation record.
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.
On October 22, 1908, Otto Bodenschatz married Josephine Frenger. I found this marriage license for this couple which is from Cape Girardeau County.
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 had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917.
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.
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’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.
When the 1940 census was taken we find this group of Bodenschatz’s.
Otto had his World War II draft card filled out in 1942.
Otto died in 1950 at the age of 63. He died on his wife’s birthday. We also have his 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.
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.