Two Succumb to the Flu

Many of the stories on this blog include an event that is especially unusual and interesting.  It may be a double wedding, a death on a Leap Day, a wedding on the day after Easter, etc.  Today, the story has such an unusual occurrence, but it doesn’t show up until the very end.

Adolph Weinrich is one of the main characters in this post.  He was born on July 30, 1867, the son of Henry and Margaret (Bergmann) Weinrich.  It is likely that Adolph was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg.  I am going to take a moment to discuss the arrival of Adolph’s parents to America.  The Weinrich family made the voyage to the United States in 1853 aboard the Minerva.  Here is their family on the passenger list.  Henry was 19 years old at the time.

Weinrich family Minerva passenger list 1853
Weinrich family – Minerva passenger list – 1853

Adolph’s mother, Margaret, arrived with her Bergmann family in 1840 aboard the Plato at the age of 3.  This Bergmann passenger list has been shown previously on this blog.

Bergmann family – Plato passenger list – 1840

The Bergmann’s were another family that we find becoming members of the church in Friedenberg.

Adolph Weinrich can be found in the 1870 census for the Cinque Hommes Township in Perry County.  He was 2 years old.

Adolph Weinrich 1870 census Cinque Hommes Township MO
1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

We next find Adolph in the 1880 census.

Adolph Weinrich 1880 census Cinque Hommes Township MO
1880 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

The other main character for this post is Bertha Grossheider.  Bertha was born on January 5, 1876, the daughter of Frederick and Theresa (Mehner) Grossheider.  I also made an effort to find some immigration records for the Grossheider and Mehner families.   In the case of the Mehner’s, I found not only one passenger list, but two.  Passenger lists can often be found for when they enter an American port of entry, but rarely for a German port of departure.  That is because the primary port of departure was Bremerhaven, and the records for that location were destroyed.  In the case of the Mehner family, we find a passenger list for their departure from the port of Hamburg in 1840.  They sailed aboard the ship, Emma Lincoln.

Mehner family Emma Lincoln passenger list 1840 Hamburg
Mehner family – Emma Lincoln passenger list – Hamburg, 1840

We also have such a list for their arrival in New Orleans.

Mehner family Emma Lincoln passenger list 1840 New Orleans
Mehner family – Emma Lincoln passenger list – New Orleans, 1840

I would not have been able to find the Grossheider family on a passenger list without some valuable information found in a Grossheider family binder that we have in our research library.  There it was said this family arrived aboard the Sophie which landed on November 19, 1839.  Using that information, I eventually found the entry shown below.  Bertha’s father, Frederick, was 5 years old at the time.

Grossheider family Sophie passenger list 1839
Grossheider family – Sophie passenger list – 1839

That family is said to have taken a boat up the Mississippi River to Wittenberg.  Then they were able to acquire some land near the town of Dissen (now called Friedheim).  They were served by Rev. Gruber from Uniontown until they established their own church in 1847 and got their own pastor.  It is even stated in that family book that the Grossheider family may have provided the land for the church.

Here are photos of Bertha’s parents.

Frederick and Theresa Grossheider
Ferdinand and Theresa Grossheider

We find Bertha Grossheider in the 1880 census for Apple Creek Township in Cape Girardeau County.  She was 4 years old.

Bertha Grossheider 1880 census Apple Creek Township MO
1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Prior to her marriage, we find Bertha in two photographs.  First, here is one with Bertha (on the left) with another girl who is identified as Julie Sittner.

Bertha Grossheider Julie Sittner
Bertha Grossheider and Julie Sittner

Next, we find Bertha as being a part of the wedding party for the Fritz Wilke/May Stueve marriage which took place in 1894.  Bertha is in the back row, second person from the left.

Bertha Grossheider Fritz Wilke wedding
Wilke/Stueve wedding party

Now we get to the event that got me looking at this story in the first place.  At this point, I have to confess I made a mistake.  Our German Family Tree says they were married on April 30, 1897, but that is not the case.  I got caught.  April 30th was the date when this couple applied for their marriage license.  Adolph Weinrich married Bertha Grossheider on May 6, 1897. They were married about 123 years ago, but we are going to find out that they would come about 100 years short of celebrating that anniversary.

I do take a certain level of pride in figuring out that the marriage record for this couple might be found in the church books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim.  I came to this conclusion before I located the Grossheider family binder.  I knew from a civil marriage record that the pastor who performed the marriage was Rev. Meyr, and I knew there was such a pastor at Trinity.  I did locate the marriage record which is shown below.

Weinrich Grossheider marriage record Trinity Friedheim MO
Weinrich/Grossheider marriage record – Trinity, Friedheim, MO

That led me to two other records.  First, I also found the marriage record for the Wilke/Stueve wedding shown earlier.  Second, I found Bertha Grossheider’s baptism record which is displayed below.

Bertha Grossheider baptism record Trinity Friedheim MO
Bertha Grossheider baptism record – Trinity, Friedheim, MO

Adolph and Bertha had 3 children who were all baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown, Missouri.  When the 1900 census came out we find them with their first child.

Adolph Weinrich 1900 census Cinque Hommes Township MO
1900 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Next, we find this family in the 1910 census with all three children.

Adolph Weinrich 1910 census Cinque Hommes Township MO
1920 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

I located a few photos of Weinrich children.  As is often the case in families, the oldest child gets photographed most often.  That is the case here.  Here is a photograph of their oldest son, Frederick.

Frederick Weinrich
Frederick Weinrich

Then we can view this picture of Frederick and his little brother, Rudolph.

Frederick and Rudolph Weinrich
Frederick and Rudolph Weinrich

No photo was found of their youngest, Alma.

The 1920 census would be the last one that included Adolph and Bertha Weinrich.

Adolph Weinrich 1920 census Cinque Hommes Township MO
1920 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

The above census was submitted on January 9th of that year.  One month later, on February 13th, both Adolph and Bertha died.  This is the fascinating fact of this post…a double death.  I must also confess that I just had to look.  Yes, these two died on Friday the 13th, not that it matters.  Bertha died at the age of 44; Adolph died at the age of 52.  The death certificates for these two indicate they both died of influenza.  Here are those death certificates.  First, here is Bertha’s.

Bertha Weinrich death certificate
Bertha Weinrich death certificate

Next, here is Adolph’s.

Gustav Adolph Weinrich death certificate
Adolph Weinrich death certificate

One thing puzzled me about these two documents.  Dr. Bowman indicates on Bertha’s death certificate that the last day he saw her alive was on February 12th, but on Adolph’s certificate it says he was last seen alive on February 13th, the day of his death.  Then I noticed the times of death.  Bertha died at 4:45 a.m., and her husband died at 1:30 p.m.  I am thinking that when Dr. Bowman came to care for them on February 13th, he arrived after Bertha had died and before Adolph would die.

Adolph and Bertha Weinhold are buried together in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Longtown.

Adolph and Bertha Weinrich gravestone Zion Longtown MO
Adolph and Bertha Weinrich gravestone – Zion, Longtown, MO

This is one of those stories that turned out to be much more interesting than I anticipated.  I really enjoyed telling it, despite the fact that it tells of some rather short lives.

2 thoughts on “Two Succumb to the Flu

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