Clara and Paul

In my upcoming book, Wittenberg ’04, two weddings that occurred in July of 1904 will be highlighted. Another 1904 marriage will be the centerpiece of today’s blog post. That wedding took place in August. In fact, it took place on this day in August making today this couple’s 116th anniversary. Today’s groom was a member of the relatively new congregation, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. However, his bride was from Frohna, so this marriage record is found in the books of Concordia Lutheran Church.

Paul Burroughs was born on February 1, 1880, the son of Frank and Marie (Schmidt) Burroughs. Paul was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Below is his baptism record.

Paul Burroughs baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

A post was written about Paul’s parents and his younger brother, Otto Burroughs, which was titled, A Band of Burroughs…..And Burroughs in the Band.

Paul is found as a baby in the 1880 census. His parents were living in the household of Paul’s grandfather, David Schmidt, not far from the village of Frohna.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It would not be until 1900 before we can search for Paul in the next census we can view. When that year rolled around, Paul was 20 years old and no longer living with his parents. I found it difficult to find him, and even then, I am not totally sure the entry I located is really him. I found a Paul Burroughs from Missouri at about the right age living in Jonesboro, Illinois working as a farm laborer.

1900 census – Jonesboro, IL

This Paul Burroughs was living in the household of David Mees. I found records for the Mees family in the books of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kornthal, Illinois which is located not far from Jonesboro. In a binder we have in our research library describing the history of that church, there is a photo of David Mees.

A plat map for Union County in Illinois shows where the David Mees property was located in 1908. The blue arrow points to the location of the Kornthal church.

David Mees land map – 1908

I located some photos of that church which only has worship services once a month these days. I noticed that the interior of the church looks very similar to several churches we have in our area, including our museum’s neighbor, Trinity, Altenburg.

A family photograph of the Frank Burroughs family is displayed below. Paul is the third person from the right in the back row.

Frank Burroughs family

Now, we will turn our attention to Paul’s bride, Clara Ahrens. She was born on October 30, 1887, the daughter of Frederick and Clara (Burfeind) Ahrens. Clara was baptized at Concordia, Frohna. Here is her baptism record.

Clara Ahrens baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Clara is found in the 1900 census at the age of 12. Her father had died in 1897, so he is not shown in this entry.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

On August 21, 1904, Paul Burroughs married Clara Ahrens. The marriage must have taken place at Concordia, Frohna, but the pastor who is shown on both the marriage license and the Frohna church record is Rev. Frank Albrecht, the pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. Paul Burroughs was a member at St. Paul’s at that time. Here is the marriage license.

Burroughs/Ahrens marriage license

Below is the church record for this wedding.

Burroughs/Ahrens marriage record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

According to our German Family Tree, Paul and Clara had 6 children. The first 3 were baptized at St. Paul’s, Wittenberg. The last 3 were baptized at Trinity, Altenburg. We find the Burroughs household in the 1910 census. At that time, they had 2 children, and Otto Burroughs, Paul’s brother, was living with them.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The 1915 plat maps for Perry County show Paul Burroughs having property near Wittenberg.

Paul Burroughs land map – 1915

Paul Burroughs had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917.

Paul Burroughs – WWI draft registration

A transcription of a Perry County record shows that Paul Burroughs was the Justice of the Peace for Altenburg in 1919-1920.

Next, we can view the Burroughs household in the 1920 census. All 6 of their children are shown in this entry.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The last census in which we find Paul Burroughs was the one taken in 1930.

1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Clara and Paul had the photographs shown below taken.

I found this photo of the Kornthal choir from about 1895. I think there is a chance that the third person from the right in the back row may be Paul. What do you think?

Paul Burroughs died as a result of a very horrific sawmill accident in 1931. That accident occurred at his farm. He was just 51 years old. Below is his death certificate.

Paul Burroughs death certificate

Clara is still found in the 1940 census where it shows her living by herself in the town of Altenburg.

1940 census – Altenburg, MO

Clara Burroughs died in 1963 at the age of 76. Her death certificate says she died at the Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville.

Clara Burroughs death certificate

Paul and Clara Burroughs are both buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

When I began researching for this story, I did not think I would get the opportunity to talk about the church in Kornthal, Illinois which has connections in particular to the church near here in New Wells. Both those congregations were primarily made up of people of Austrian descent. The story of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kornthal is certainly one which may deserve more discussion on this blog in the future.


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