Knowing that today is October 10th, which is also sometimes written as 10/10, I decided to look for a 10/10/10 story. I first looked to see if there might be some reference to a special event in our German Family Tree that took place on October 10, 1810. That search was unsuccessful. I then decided to look for an event that took place on this date in 1910. I must admit that I do not often even consider a story about someone born in the 20th century because I cannot find as many records for people that might still be alive. However, in this case, I did find a birthday that occurred on 10/10/1910, and I considered it a story worth telling.
Elda Weinhold was born on October 10, 1910, the daughter of Gustav and Concordia (Kaufmann) Weinhold. That puts Elda in the clan that we refer to as the “Dirt Weinholds”. Elda was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Below is her baptism record.
Elda was born too late in 1910 to be included in the census for that year, so the first one in which she is found is the 1920 census.
Elda was still single when the 1930 census was taken, but I was unable find her. I know she was not living with her parents. I figure the most likely scenario was that she was working in St. Louis, but I could not find her there either.
Let’s take a look at Elda’s first husband. His name was Edward Fischer, Jr., the son of Edward and Katherina (Kuennell) Fischer. He was born on September 17, 1896. Edward was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Here is his baptism record.
Edward is found in the 1900 census at the age of 3. His father was the proprietor of the Fischer Cheap Store in Altenburg.
Below is a photo of the Fischer home (left) and store (right). The home is where Edward would have been raised.
I am going to skip ahead to 1931 when Edward Fischer married Elda Weinhold on August 30th. Below is the marriage license for this couple.
This wedding took place at Trinity, Altenburg. Below is the church record for this marriage.
There were some interesting witnesses for this marriage. First of all, Gerhard Bergt was going to be Elda’s second husband. Also, we will find another connection later with Nelda Mangels.
After a stillborn son in 1933, Elda gave birth to a daughter, Carol Fischer, in 1936. Then in 1939, tragedy struck Elda’s life. Her husband died. Our German Family Tree says “he took his own life by jumping off the Highway C Apple Creek bridge between Perry and Cape Counties”. On the death certificate shown below, a coroner determined that Edward’s death was probably suicide. Edward’s brother, Theodore, who was a doctor in Altenburg, was the informant on this certificate.
We find the gravestones of Edward Fischer, Jr. and his stillborn child in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. As you can tell from the stillborn child’s birth date, he would have been 87 years old tomorrow.
A post has been written on this blog about the many sorrows that must have been experienced by Edward’s mother. It was titled, Fischer Heartbreak. Sorrow must have been experienced by Elda at this time in her life as well.
Elda is found as a 29 year-old widow living in Altenburg in the 1940 census. Along with her daughter, Carol, her sister Gladys was living in her household. Gladys should be shown as Gladys Weinhold.
Next, let’s take a look at the early life of Elda’s second husband, Gerhard Bergt. He was born on November 28, 1914, the son of Gottfried and Emma (Mueller) Bergt. Gerhard was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Below is his baptism record.
Gerhard is found in the 1920 census at the age of 5.
I am going to skip ahead to 1940, where we find Gerhard living in Cheyenne County in Nebraska. It is a place that his uncle, Otto Bergt, along with several other Perry County natives had moved. The page in the 1940 census shown below is full of Perry County surnames…Aurich, Schubarth, Oberndorfer, and Gerhard’s Uncle Otto.
Gerhard was living in the household of Carl Mueller. There was another Mueller household living in that area from Perry County, but Carl was not a Perry County native. However, his wife, Amanda had the maiden name of Mangels, and she was a Perry County native. Amanda was also the cousin of Nelda Mangels who was a witness in Elda’s first wedding. Carl Mueller was the parochial school teacher at a local Lutheran school in Cheyenne County. We find the Otto Bergt farm on this 1913 plat map for that county.
On November 20, 1941, Gerhard Bergt married Elda Fischer. They were married in St. Louis. On the application for a marriage license shown below, it says Gerhard was from Potter, Nebraska and Elda was from Altenburg.
It appears that the Bergt couple was back living in Perry County after they married. Their first son, Gary, was born and baptized in Altenburg in 1942. However, when their second son, Donald, was born, that birth took place back up in Sidney, Nebraska, close to where Gerhard had previously lived. Then, when their last child, a girl named Cathy Bergt, was born, she was baptized in 1951 in Altenburg.
Gerhard’s World War II draft card gives evidence that he had moved back to Nebraska before this form was completed in 1942. This form also states that his father, Gottfried, was working at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, which might explain why Gerhard returned to St. Louis to marry Elda.
The rest of the lives of Gerhard and Elda were spent in Altenburg. In 1976, a pictorial church directory for Trinity, Altenburg included this photo of Gerhard (Gary), Elda, and Donald, who never married.
Gerhard died in 1992 at the age of 77; Elda died in 2000 at the age of 89. These two are buried together in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
One of the reasons I wanted to write this story today was to also tell you a little about Donald (Donnie) Bergt. During his lifetime, he was stuck with the nickname, Hyde. Many folks, including me for a while, did not know his real name. He was just called Hyde. He was quite the well-known character here in Altenburg. He was probably most famous for his efforts to keep the Altenburg community clean and litter-free. One could often witness him either walking or riding his bike through town with a plastic bag in which he would place trash and cans and bottles that were found along Main Street.
Hyde died about three years ago. Below is his obituary.
The photo shown below was attached to his obituary in local papers.
Not long after his death, a new playground was being built behind the Altenburg City Hall. A decision was made to name that playground after Donnie because of his many years of service to this community. It is called Hyde Park now.
The photo below gives an idea about how close this park is to our museum. This picture was taken behind the sign looking toward the museum and Trinity Lutheran Church.
If you stand outside our museum, you can see Hyde Park in the distance.
In closing, let me point out that Hyde not only had a nickname given to him. He gave one to his mother, Elda. Hyde called her “The Hub”. It was his way of saying that she was Old Mother Hubbard.