Rudolph Andreas Petzoldt was born on June 25, 1896, so he would have been celebrating his 124th birthday if he was still alive today. Rudolph was the last child born to Charles and Theresia (Leimer) Petzoldt. He was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Below is his baptism record.
When Rudolph was just 5 months old, his mother died. A couple of other significant events had taken place in this family. First of all, Rudolph’s parents were not the first Petzoldt/Leimer couple. Charles’s sister, Pauline Petzoldt, had married Franz Leimer, Theresia’s brother. Franz Leimer had died in 1895. These two deaths left Charles Petzoldt as a widower with a baby son and Pauline Leimer as a widow with 4 children still living in her household. A decision must have been made to have Pauline raise Rudolph Petzoldt in her family because it is in her household that we find Rudy at age 3. Charles continued to raise his older children in Frohna, but Rudy was raised in the Leimer household in Pocahontas. Here is the entry for Rudy in the 1900 census.
Rudy’s father would live until 1920, but Rudy never showed up as living in his household. When the 1910 census rolled around, we still find him living with his Aunt Pauline.
Next, we will spend a little time looking at the early years of Rudy’s future wife, Rosie. Her name was Rosalie Regina Kain, the daughter of Albert and Maria (Schattauer) Kain. Rosie was born on May 9, 1900 and baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. Right about the time she was born, she was recorded in the 1900 census for Hubble Township in Cape Girardeau County.
Rosie’s father died in 1907, so he does not show up in the 1910 census. Rosie’s mother and her children were living with two single Stevenson brothers who were in their 50’s and apparently needed a housekeeper.
Rudy had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. Rudolph was working as a farmhand for Edward Scholl, who was married to a daughter of Franz and Pauline Leimer.
Rudolph, like yesterday’s Kassel character, was inducted into military service, but did not get sent overseas for active duty. He was inducted in Jackson, Missouri so we cannot see him in any of the photos of Perry County Boys taken on the courthouse steps in Perryville.
On October 24, 1920, Rudolph Petzoldt married Rosalie Kain. Their marriage license shown below indicates they were married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas.
I was unable to find Rudy or Rosie in the 1920 census, either as single persons or as a married couple. Before I move on, let me tell you that this was not the only Petzoldt/Kain marriage. Two years later, in 1922, Rosie’s sister, Hilda Kain, married Rudy’s brother, Bernhard Petzoldt. I found a couple of photos that are identified as being Hilda and Rosie Petzoldt. However, I do not know which is which.
According to our German Family Tree, Rudy and Rosie had 8 children. Their first child died when he was less than 3 months old. When the 1930 census was taken, we find this household with 3 children. However, the daughter named Melva, died later that year.
The last census in which we can view this Petzoldt family was the one taken in 1940.
Rudolph died in 1964 at the age of 68. We can take a look at his death certificate.
Rosie Petzoldt died in 1980 at the age of 80. Rudy and Rosie are buried together in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.
There is also a plaque showing Rudolph’s military service on that stone.
This story is full of siblings from one family marrying siblings in other families. We see this situation in the Petzoldt’s, the Leimer’s, and the Kain’s. It seems like I have been writing more stories than normal lately with this characteristic. I daresay that marriages such as those occur more frequently in small, rural communities.