A Wachter/Holt Duo

When I researched this story, I intended to write it and publish it on January 5th, but unforeseen circumstances kept me for getting it done. The birthday girl for January 5th was Amalie Agnes Holt. She was born in 1878, the daughter of Joseph and Wilhelmina (Mueller) Holt. Agnes was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. I am once again unable to display church records today. Agnes first shows up in a census in 1880 at the age of 2. Her father was a farmer.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

That census would be the only one in which Agnes shows up as a single person. Let’s now take a look at her future husband. His name was Ernst Christian Gottlieb Wachter, the son of Charles and Catherine Sophia (Dede) Wachter. Ernst was born on August 28, 1862 and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Ernst’s father died when he was quite young. His mother would remarry a man named Friedrich Rupsch and he died in 1866. Sophia married a third time in 1869 to Friedrich Wilhelm Kolbe. I was unable to find Ernst Wachter in the 1870 census. The 1880 census gives evidence that the third husband had died by that time, but Ernst’s mother was still living. A half-sister, Margaret Rupsch, also lived in that household.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

On November 10, 1895, Ernst Wachter married Agnes Holt at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. We can view the marriage license for this couple.

Wachter/Holt marriage license

We have a wedding photograph of this couple. Agnes is wearing what I have often referred to as a black and white wedding dress, which had a white veil and a darker colored dress. Also Ernst was wearing a suit coat that was buttoned just once at the top. Those were somewhat fashionable at the end of the 19th century.

Ernst and Agnes Wachter

Our German Family Tree says this couple had 5 children. One of those children died after only one day. Another one died at the age of 13, about a month after he was confirmed. A third child died before the age of 4. So, only two children lived to adulthood. We find this Wachter couple in the 1900 census with one child. Ernst’s mother was also living with them.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we find this household in the 1910 census. The child named Otto would be the one who only lived a few years longer.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The 1920 show the Wachter’s with the two children that would live to adulthood.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The last census in which we find Ernst Wachter was the one taken in 1930. His son, Carl, was the head of the household.

1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Ernst Wachter died in 1933 at the age of 70. His death certificate is shown below.

Ernst Wachter death certificate

Agnes was still living with her son, Carl’s, family in the 1940 census.

1940 census – Shawnee Township

Agnes Wachter died in 1960 at the age of 82. We can also view her death certificate.

Agnes Wachter death certificate

Ernst and Agnes were both buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

One of our local businesses in Altenburg is the River Hills Grocery. It is operated by Joe Holt, who shares the same name as Agnes’s father. I strongly suspect that Joe is connected to Agnes’s family somehow. The Holt and Wachter surnames are alive and well in this area.


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