Yesterday’s post was about Henry Oetjen’s life story. As Paul Harvey often said, “This is the rest of the story.” Today, you get the story of Henry’s Oetjen cousins. I am going to start with Friedrich (Fred) Oetjen today.
Friedrich Oetjen was born on April 7, 1887, one year after the birth of Henry. Fred was the son of Johann and Maria (Luedemann) Oetjen. As said yesterday, Fred’s father was one of three Oetjen siblings who came to America in the 1870’s and settled in the area near Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. One of the unusual things is the fact that Johann Oetjen’s mother, Margaretha, was also a Luedemann. Friedrich was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church. We have his baptism record.
Fred’s parents sold some land to Christ Lutheran Church for their sanctuary.
Not long after Fred was born, his father went into a retail merchandise business with Charles Nennert. Their store was located near the Mississippi River. I have this plat map for Fountain Bluff Township from the late 1800’s. The map below shows property owned by Johann Oetjen and Johann Heeszel (who will show up later in this story). I believe the Nennert Store may have been found in this vicinity of that township.
We find Friedrich Oetjen in the 1900 census for Fountain Bluff Township. This entry can be found two households above the one for Henry Oetjen’s household in that census.
Although Henry Oetjen had moved to Oregon before the 1910 census, we still find Fred in that census living in Illinois. In this entry, it says Johann was a salesman for a general store, and Fred was a house carpenter.
It was between the 1910 and 1920 censuses that Fred moved to Oregon. We know he was there by 1914, because we have an Oregon marriage record for him. He married Emma Lulu Schwanke on November 26, 1914. Emma Lulu Schwanke was born on February 9, 1889 in Martin County, Minnesota. She was the daughter of William and Minnie (Heers) Schwanke. The marriage record shown below gives Fred’s name as Fritz.
Fred had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917. He was living in Corvallis, Oregon and working for the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Fred and Emma had just one child, a daughter named Marie born in 1918. We find the Fred Oetjen household in the 1920 census for Corvallis, Oregon.
Yesterday, the 1920 census record showed Fred’s cousin, Henry, was also working for the railroad in that year. We have this photo of Fred Oetjen which must have been taken at about this time in his life.
We see Fred and his small family in the 1930 census. This time he was a sawyer at a sawmill. Yesterday, we saw that his cousin, Henry, was a fireman for a sawmill in 1930.
The 1940 census shows a similar situation. Their daughter, Marie, was found on the next page of the census which I did not display. Fred and Henry seemed to follow each other in their occupations.
The daughter, Marie, would marry Leeds Bailey. Based on the photo below, Leeds was part of the Coast Guard at some point in his life.
Emma Oetjen died in 1970 at the age of 81; Fred Oetjen died in 1975 at the age of 88. Like Fred’s cousin, these two were buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Corvallis.
That’s not the end of the story. Now we switch to a branch of the Oetjen family that took on the surname, Heeszel. The sister of Johann and Friedrich (Henry’s father) Oetjen was Maria, who married Johann Heeszel. It was the Johann Heeszel property that was shown in the earlier plat map of Fountain Bluff Township. We have a photograph of that family.
The oldest son, Johann Heeszel, Jr., spent some time in Corvallis, Oregon, although he is not buried there. His story has already shown up on this blog. His story was titled, The Miesner-Heeszel Partners. John is probably the one standing in the back on the left in the above photo.
The two youngest girls in this family, Martha and Emma Heeszel, were two more Oetjen cousins that ended up in Corvallis, Oregon. Take a look at some records of communion attendance from the Christ Lutheran Church books from the year 1906. It looks like John Heeszel left for Oregon in July of 1906. His younger sister, Martha, looks to have left earlier than that. Maybe Martha was the first cousin to move west.
Martha would later marry Ludwig Maschek in Oregon, but she would die at a very young age as a result of tuberculosis. Here is her death certificate.
Martha was buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Corvallis.
Emma Heeszel, the youngest daughter, also moved to Oregon and was married to Fritz Beck in 1912. She died in 1957. I can also show her death certificate.
Emma is also buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery.
All together, I found 5 Oetjen cousins that spent some time in Corvallis, Oregon. Four of them are buried in the same cemetery.