Nebraska Art

One hundred twenty-five years ago, the 13th child in the household of Henry and Katherine (Baum) Schuessler was born in Frohna, Missouri. That boy’s name was Arthur Moritz Schuessler. He was born on August 17, 1895 and baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Below is his baptism record.

Arthur Schuessler baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Arthur shows up in the 1900 census at the age of 4. It is in two images.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The 1910 census is the last one in which we find Arthur living in Perry County. He was the only child left in his parents’ household.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

There is a marriage record for another Arthur that is connected with today’s story. On May 10, 1914, Arthur Schubarth married Lydia Steffens at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Lydia Steffens was the daughter of Claus and Bertha (Thurm) Steffens. Here is the church record for that Schubarth/Steffens wedding.

Schubarth/Steffens marriage record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

The connection to the story today comes a few years later. Arthur Schuessler married Ottilie Steffens, the sister of Lydia Steffens. Ottilie was born on August 11, 1898 and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. For some reason, her baptism record looks like it was written on another piece of paper that was inserted into the Immanuel baptism records.

Ottilie Steffens baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Ottilie can be found in the 1900 census at the age of 1. Like Arthur, she had plenty of older siblings.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We find Ottilie once again in the 1910 census in Perry County.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Arthur Schuessler and Ottilie Steffens were married on June 3, 1917 in St. Louis. I am not aware of the reason they were not married in Perry County. Perhaps Ottilie was working for a family as a maid in St. Louis at the time. I could not find a record for this wedding, but it is stated in a Steffens family binder we have in our research library.

Arthur also had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917.

Arthur Schuessler – WWI draft registration

I find it fascinating that Arthur had this form completed on June 5, 1917, just two days after his wedding in St. Louis. It also says on this document that Arthur was a farm laborer, and his employer was Rudolph Steffens, Ottilie’s brother.

It must not have been long after this draft registration was completed that Arthur and Ottilie moved to Cheyenne County in Nebraska. In a history of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Potter, Nebraska, we find the following paragraph.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Potter, NE history

As you can see, this paragraph is packed full of names that originated in Perry County, Missouri. It includes not only Arthur Schuessler, but also Arthur Schubarth. Another Schubarth, Adolph Schubarth, had his story told in the post titled, Cheyenne Schubarths. We find an interesting entry for the Arthur Schuessler family in the 1920 census for Potter. By then, Arthur and Ottilie had two children.

1920 census – Potter, NE

Right under the Schuessler household you will find the Arthur Schubarth household. So, the two Steffens sisters were apparently very near one another. When the 1930 census rolls around, we find the following entry for the Arthur Schuessler family. By then, they had all five of their children, three girls, followed by two boys.

1930 census – Potter, NE

In 1936, Claus and Bertha Steffens celebrated their 50th anniversary and had this photograph taken. Apparently both the Schubarth and Schuessler families from Potter made the trip to Missouri for this event. Both Lydia and Ottilia can be found in the photo.

A photograph of this Arthur Schuessler family was found in that Steffens family binder in our research library. The photo was taken in 1939.

Arthur Schuessler family

In 1940, we see this Arthur Schuessler household. Right under their household, you find that of Benjamin Hilpert, another Perry Country native. Benjamin’s story was told in the post, A Pair of Perry Pioneers in Potter.

1940 census – Potter, NE

In a set of plat maps for Cheyenne County produced in 1945, we find a piece of property owned by Art Schuessler. His land was section #28, not far from the town of Potter.

Cheyenne County, Nebraska plat map – 1945

A different map below shows how close section 28 was to the town of Potter. It was almost directly north of town.

Arthur Schuessler died in 1960 at the age of 64. Ottilie died in 1981 at the age of 82. These two are buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Sidney, Nebraska.

Arthur and Ottilie Schuessler gravestone – Greenwood, Sidney, NE

This is yet another story in which Perry County personalities settled in and near Potter, Nebraska. It is one of a few locations around the Midwest that I refer to as Perry County suburbs. I’m sure this will not be the last story about folks who migrated to Potter. One thing I do know. Wherever these people settled, if there was not one there already, they would work to establish a Lutheran church. Their Lutheran faith was precious to them.

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