The Cornehlsen Chronicles: Part I

The next set of stories is going to be written in two parts. The ultimate inspiration for writing these stories came from an afternoon road trip to the Bois Brule bottoms in Northeastern Perry County on August 8, 2020. My goal was to find the former location of Trinity Lutheran Church, Point Rest. Thanks to Fred Eggers and his directions in The Bottoms Church: Part II, I was able to find the location pretty easily. In that same post, Fred stated that if one were to take the time to find the church location, one ought to take a trip to the cemetery. The cemetery for Trinity, Point Rest is a couple miles south of the church on a hill overlooking Menfro. There was a certain headstone in that cemetery that caught my attention. That headstone belongs to Pvt. Theodore Cornehlsen, a soldier from World War I who died on May 15, 1919, in Germany. My original intentions were to write a story about him, but in order to fully explain his life, I had to research and ultimately end up writing a story about his mother, Martha Holschen. That story is the one being delivered to you today. 

Martha Holschen was born on July 30, 1849 to Johann Holschen and Margaretha (Grother) Holschen. A story about Martha’s parents was written in Holschen in Motion. Martha was baptized August 2, 1849, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.

Martha Holschen Baptism Record – Trinity, Altenburg

Martha was confirmed March 14, 1863 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. She married Heinrich Stelling on April 14, 1868 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.

Heinrich Stelling and Martha Holschen Marriage Record – Immanuel, Altenburg

Heinrich Stelling was born on March 14, 1837 in Nindorf, Hanover, Germany to Hans Stelling and Gesche (Stueve) Stelling. He was a twin with Johann Christian Stelling. I cannot find a passenger list for when the brothers immigrated to the United States, but our German Family Tree states they likely immigrated in 1864.

The only census in which I can find the family of Heinrich and Martha Stelling is the 1880 Census. That census shows the family living in Brazeau Township with four children. Henry is listed as a farm laborer and Martha is listed as “keeping house.” Their oldest daughter, Margaretha, who was 11 at the time, is listed as “going to school.”

Henry Stelling Household – 1880 Census – Brazeau Township, Perry County, MO

Henry and Martha had a total of six children. I’ll give a small account of the main events in each child’s life. Their oldest child was Gesche “Margaretha” Stelling. She was born on October 25, 1868, and baptized on November 1, 1868, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. She Married John Wahler on April 11, 1887.

Margaretha Stelling Baptism Record – Immanuel, Altenburg
Margaretha Stelling and John Wahler Marriage License

Margaretha died on April 20, 1946, and is buried at Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Crosstown.

Margaret Wahlers Headstone – Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Crosstown

The second child born to Heinrich and Martha was Anna “Maria” Stelling. Maria was born on July 1, 1870, and baptized July 17, 1870, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Maria lived only a few years as she died on August 13, 1874. She is buried at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. 

Anna Maria Stelling Baptism Record – Immanuel, Altenburg
Anna Maria Stelling Headstone – Salem Lutheran Cemetery, Farrar

Heinrich and Martha’s third child was Martha “Emilie” Stelling. Emilie was born on July 4, 1872, and was baptized on July 14, 1872, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.

Martha Emilie Stelling Baptism Record – Immanuel, Altenburg

She married Julius Magwitz on September 21, 1890 at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Emilie died on October 24, 1902, and is buried at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Point Rest.

Emilie Magwitz Headstone – Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Point Rest

The fourth child was “Anna” Marie Stelling. She was born on November 29, 1874, and was baptized on December 5, 1874, at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar.

Anna Marie Stelling Baptism Record – Salem, Farrar

 She married Martin Magwitz on August 15, 1897 at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Anna and Martin are another one of the many families from Perry County who moved west to Nebraska. I do not know exactly when they moved. Part of their story was written in the post The Ida Kennard Saga. Anna died on March 27, 1935 and is buried in Vernon Cemetery in York, NE.

The next child born to Heinrich and Martha was Marie Katharine Stelling, who was born on December 15, 1876. I cannot find a baptism record for Marie, but her confirmation record at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna on March 30, 1890, states that she was from Salem, MO, which means Salem Township, which would mean Farrar. She married Heinrich Hadler on April 6, 1896 at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Another detailed story about Heinrich Hadler was written in Tracking the Elusive Hadlers. Marie died on May 16, 1950, and is buried at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar.

Marie Hadler Headstone – Salem Lutheran Cemetery, Farrar

The final child born to Heinrich and Martha also lived a very short life. Johann “Heinrich” Stelling was born on February 26, 1880, and baptized March 3, 1880, at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. He died on March 29, 1881 and is buried at Concordia Lutheran Cemetery. His grave is only marked by a temporary marker.

Johann Heinrich Stelling Baptism Record – Concordia, Frohna
Johann Heinrich Stelling Grave Marker – Concordia Lutheran Cemetery, Frohna

Two of the children, Emilie Stelling Magwitz and Marie Stelling Hadler, will be very important in telling tomorrow’s story about Theodore Cornehlsen.

Heinrich Stelling died on April 5, 1881 from pneumonia. He is buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna.

Heinrich Stelling Funeral Record – Concordia, Frohna
Heinrich Stelling Grave Marker – Concordia Lutheran Cemetery, Frohna

At this time, I will have to leave you on a little bit of a cliff hanger. The rest of Martha’s story will have to wait until tomorrow when I discuss her second marriage and her son, Theodore Cornehlsen.


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