A Killer Mule

It would have been Herman Carl Koenig’s 155th birthday today. He was born on September 8, 1865 in Korbussen, Germany. He was the son of Zacharias Lorenz and Marianne Louise (Ackermann) Koenig. Below is a map showing the location of Korbussen. It is about 30 miles from Kahla, which was mentioned in yesterday’s post.

Korbussen, Germany map

Herman’s parents were married in Korbussen on July 18th, but I do not know what year. This couple’s first son was reportedly born around 1861, so I think this marriage took place around 1860.

Koenig/Ackermann marriage record – Korbussen, Germany

In 1868, this Koenig family traveled to America aboard the Schiller. There were 3 children in the family at that time. Herman is called Carl on this list, but he would mostly go by the name Herman once in America.

Koenig family – Schiller passenger list 1868

Another boy, Gustav, was born in 1868, but no baptism record can be found for him.

We find this family living in Altenburg when the 1870 census was taken. Herman’s father was working on a farm. I think Paul, Emma, and Herman are wrongly stated on this entry as being born in Missouri.

1870 census – Altenburg, MO

Two children, born in 1871 and 1872, were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg, but then it appears that this family then moved to Shawnee Township in Cape Girardeau County. Here is that Koenig household in the 1880 census. Herman was 14 years old.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Now, we will turn our attention to Herman’s future wife, Emma Gerth. She was born on June 28, 1867, the daughter of Herman and Anna (Baunack) Gerth. Emma was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Here is her baptism record.

Emma Gerth baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Emma shows up in the 1870 census as a 3 year-old living in the Apple Creek Township.

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Next, we find Emma again in the 1880 census when she was 12 years old. Her father is shown on the previous census page that I chose not to display.

1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

On April 19, 1888, Herman Koenig married Emma Gerth at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Here is the church record for that occasion.

Koenig/Gerth marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

We can also view the marriage license for this couple.

Koenig/Gerth marriage license

The first child, born in 1889, was baptized at Immanuel, New Wells. That child died in 1890. Four more children were born into this family, and the rest of them were baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. When the 1900 census came out, we find this couple living in the Apple Creek Township with 3 sons. Emma’s mother was also living in their household. There is a puzzle here. There was a daughter named Bertha who was born in 1894 who is not listed on this entry. She would have been 6 years old. I do not know why.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

In the 1910 census, we find the following household including Bertha.

1910 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

I think it may have been the occasion of this couple’s 25th anniversary that the photo shown below may have been taken. These two have the typical pins, and Emma has a headdress that indicates a special anniversary.

Herman and Emma Koenig

Next, we find the Koenig family in the 1920 census.

1920 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The family photo shown below looks like it was the occasion of someone’s birthday. Perhaps it was Anna Gerth’s 90th birthday in 1922. Can you count 90 candles on that cake? However, I lean toward this being a later birthday. The boy on his father’s lap on the right was born in 1924.

Herman and Emma Koenig family

The last census in which we see Herman Koenig was the one taken in 1930.

1930 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Also during 1930, plat maps were produced for Cape Girardeau County. We find parcels of land in Herman Koenig’s name on two different maps. I figure his land was on the border of both Apple Creek and Shawnee Townships.

A tragic event took place in 1933. Herman was kicked by a mule in his barn, and it would eventually lead to his death. An article was printed in a newspaper which gave an account of this event.

A later newspaper article states that this accident led to his death.

The death certificate also states that Herman was killed by a mule. Herman was 67 years old when he died.

Herman Koenig death certificate
Kicking Mule Muybridge

Emma Koenig is still found in the 1940 census. She was living with her daughter, Bertha Burgfeld (Borgfield) in Byrd Township.

1940 census – Byrd Township, MO

Emma Koenig died in 1952 at the age of 84. Here is her death certificate.

Emma Koenig death certificate

Herman and Emma Koenig are each buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.

This post is not the first to mention a Herman Koenig. It is also not the first to mention an Emma Koenig. However, this is the first where we have a Herman and Emma Koenig that were married to one another.

In closing, let me mention that Missouri is famous for its mules. Also, the annual East Perry Community Fair, which is not happening this September, is famous for its mule jumping competition. This post is evidence that handling a mule should be undertaken with plenty of care.

2 thoughts on “A Killer Mule

  1. The info I have is that was indeed Anna’s 90th birthday. I do not have a picture of her younger, but I do have one of her sister Sophie who is my great grandmother.


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