Not long ago, Charles Rauh authored the book, One Furrow at a Time, a book that tells the tale of the 1839 Gesellschaft. It is what we might call a best-seller at our museum’s gift shop. He is a special friend of our historical society. Today, I will tell the tale of another Charles Rauh, one who was married 126 years ago on this day.
Charles Friedrich Rauh was born on March 3, 1873, the son of John and Mary (Lang) Rauh. Charles was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. I am not in Altenburg today, so I wouldn’t be able to get any images of church records, but we are not able to view the original records from this congregation anyway because they were destroyed in a fire. The first census in which we find Charles was the one taken in 1880. He was 7 years old.
Since he would be married by the time we can see Charles in another census, we will now take a look at the early life of his first wife. Louisa Elizabeth Bergmann was born on May 10, 1874, the daughter of John and Salome (Hoehn) Bergmann. She was also baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. The first census in which we find Louisa was the one taken in 1880. Louisa was 6 years old.
On November 27, 1894, Charles Rauh married Louisa Bergmann at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. We can view this couple’s marriage license.
We have a photograph of Louisa Rauh at a relatively young age. We also have a photo of Charles when he was considerably older. I will show the photo of Louisa here, but the one of Charles will be displayed later.
According to our German Family Tree, there were 13 children in this Rauh family. By the time of the 1900 census, there were 3 born, but one of them died right away. This couple had also adopted a son named Ludwig Vogel.
The first of this couple’s children were baptized at Peace, Friedenberg, but when a daughter was born in 1901, she was baptized at the relatively new congregation, Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. The 1910 census shows this family still living in the Union Township of Perry County.
In 1916, Charles moved his family to Pocahontas, Missouri in Cape Girardeau County. The church records of Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas say that Charles and Louisa became members of that congregation on May 20, 1916. Then in 1918, Charles had his World War I draft registration completed which also states that he was farming in Pocahontas.
The Rauh family can be found in Shawnee Township in the 1920 census. Their oldest son, Oscar, was shown to be a mechanic in a garage.
Louisa Rauh died in 1923 at the age of 48. Her death certificate says she died of tuberculosis.
The church records of Zion, Pocahontas say that Charles moved to Cape Girardeau in 1924, but by the time of the 1930 census, we find him living in St. Louis with his daughter, Lilah, who had married Charles Burton. Charles Rauh was called a watchman for a boiler company.
In 1932, Charles found another bride. His second wife was Caroline Plieseis, who was a widow. Her maiden name was Caroline Best, and she was a cousin of the William Best that was discussed in a post about a week ago on this blog. Here is a marriage record for Charles’s second wedding.
In the 1940 census, we find Charles back living in Shawnee Township. It was just Charles and Caroline in the household, and Charles is back to farming.
Caroline died in 1964 at the age of 79. Her death certificate says she was to be buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Tilsett, but Findagrave does not list her there.
Sometime later in his life, there was a get-together which included Charles and many of his children. A photograph was taken on that occasion. Charles is standing in the front middle.
Charles Rauh died in 1968 at the age of 95. His death certificate says he died at the Wilson Nursing Home in Cape Girardeau.
Both Charles and his first wife, Louisa, are buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.
The name, Charles Rauh, is one of those names that has seemed to get plenty of use around these parts over the years. I know the two Charles Rauh’s mentioned today are not the only Charles Rauh’s in our German Family Tree. As I keep writing these posts, I suspect I will have an opportunity to write about another Charles Rauh someday.