The Kasten-Ludwig Couple

I found another person who would have been celebrating his 150th birthday today. Theodore Herman Kasten was born on October 11, 1870, the 6th child of Henry and Theresia (Lueders) Kasten. These days, if a couple has their 6th child, people might think they would likely be done having children. Not so with this Kasten couple. When Theodore was born, they weren’t even halfway there. Our German Family Tree lists 15 children born to Henry and Theresia. We have these photos of Theodore’s parents.

Theodore, as well as all of his siblings, was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. Below is Theodore’s baptism record.

Theodore Kasten baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Theodore shows up in the 1880 census at the age of 10. His father was a farmer. This is the only census in which we find Theodore as a single person.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Let’s take a look at Theodore’s future wife. Her name was Wilhelmine Rosine Ludwig, the daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Gratz) Ludwig. She was born on November 28, 1871. Not long ago, I wrote a post highlighting the fact that Wilhelmine’s father, Peter, was born on Leap Day. It was titled, Peter’s 45th Birthday. When Wilhelmine was born, Peter had just had 7 birthdays. There is a little bit of confusion about Wilhelmine’s year of birth. She was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas, and that church’s records give the year of birth as 1871. However, her death certificate that will be displayed later says she was born in 1870. Here is the information about Wilhelmine that is found in a St. John’s Lutheran Church binder we have in our research library.

Wilhelmine Ludwig information – St. John’s, Pocahontas, MO

Wilhelmine, who is often called Minna, is found in the 1880 census at the age of 8. This entry shows that Minna was child #4 out of a total of 6 children in her family. Like her future husband, the 1880 census would be the only one in which she is found as a single person.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Theodore Kasten married Wilhelmine Ludwig on November 11, 1894. The record for this couple’s marriage is found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. It is shown below. It mentions a Rev. Geske from Pocahontas being involved in the wedding. He was the pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas.

Kasten/Ludwig marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

I find it interesting that not long after these two were married, it is recorded that Theodore became a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas in 1896. Before they were married, Theodore was a member of the Missouri Synod congregation in New Wells. Wilhelmine was a member of the Lutheran church in Pocahontas that was not in the Missouri Synod. It seems like this couple made a compromise. They joined a Pocahontas congregation, but it was the relatively new one that was part of the Missouri Synod.

The German Family Tree lists 8 children born to Theodore and Minna. Two of them had been born before the 1900 census. Theodore was a farmer.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we find this Kasten household in the 1910 census in the same township.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

This couple’s last 2 children were born in the 1910’s. We find this family once more in the Shawnee Township in the 1920 census. There was a baby grandson, Oscar, in this entry who was the son of Adela Kasten, who was not married.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Sometime in the 1920’s, a few major changes took place. The Kasten’s moved to Jackson, Missouri, and Theodore had a new occupation. He was the proprietor of a grocery store.

1930 census – Jackson, MO

The last census in which we find Theodore and Minna was the one taken in 1940. Oscar continued to show up in censuses with them. This one calls him a son, not a grandson. Theodore, at the age of 69, was called the owner of the East Side Grocery Company. Other members of the household were the youngest child of the Kasten’s, Helen Beck, and her 5 year-old daughter. It says that Helen was married on this entry.

1940 census – Jackson, MO

Theodore Kasten died in 1942 at the age of 71. Here is the death certificate that says he was a merchant.

Theodore Kasten death certificate

Wilhelmine Kasten died in 1953 at the age of 81. Her death certificate from St. Louis says she died at the age of 82, but that assumes she was born in 1870. The name of the informant was Helen Hagan. If this was their daughter, she must have married again.

Wilhelmine Kasten death certificate

Both Theodore and Minna are said to be buried in the Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson, but Findagrave has no gravestone photos.

I really wish I could have found a photograph of the grocery store run by Theodore Kasten. If any of our readers have access to such a picture, I would love to see it.

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