In a previous blog post titled, Pocahontas Undertaker, the main character was Christian Reisenbichler. The “Pocahontas Undertaker” was Christian Ernst Reisenbichler, the son of Gottlieb and Anna Marie (Pilz) Reisenbichler who was born in 1874. Today, you will read the story of Christian E. Reisenbichler’s older cousin, Christian Johann Reisenbichler, who is today’s birthday boy. I will be careful to call today’s character, Christian J. Reisenbichler or C.J. Reisenbichler.
Christian J. Reisenbichler was born on February 15, 1871, the son of George and Marie (Schupfer) Reisenbichler. That makes today a very special birthday for him. He would be celebrating his 150th birthday today. His father had been married to Anna Marie (Schilger) Reisenbichler, but she died in 1869. Christian J. was the first child of George’s second marriage. We have photos of George and Marie (Schupfer) Reisenbichler.
Christian J. was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. We are experiencing a snowstorm today in Altenburg, so I am not venturing forth to the museum to get photos of church records. So, I will not be displaying his baptism record from that congregation.
The first census record in which we find Christian J. was the one taken in 1880, where we see his family living in the Shawnee Township. Christian J. was 9 years old at that time. The two older siblings in this entry were children born to George and his first wife. George was a farmer.
That 1880 census would be the only census in which Christian J. was a single person. I will now take a quick look at the early life of Christian J.’s future wife. Her name was Mary Hitt, who was born on October 22, 1872. Mary’s parents were William and Nancy (Ross) Hitt. Because Mary’s mother was said to be born in North Carolina and both her parents were buried in the Apple Creek Cemetery, I do not think their family was Lutheran. Mary can be found in the 1880 census for Shawnee Township. Like Christian J., this would be the only census in which we find her as single. Mary was 7 years old at the time, and her father was a farmer.
Christian J. Reisenbichler married Mary Hitt on January 19, 1898 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. I will not be displaying this couple’s church record, but I do have this civil record of their marriage license from Cape Girardeau County. On a form such as this, the dates given are the one for which the license was applied and the one when it was recorded. Our German Family Tree gives the January 19th date for this wedding.
Only one child is listed in our German Family Tree for this couple. That child, a daughter named Esther, was born in 1899. Another child, a son named George, was born in 1904. I suspect that George was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The 1900 census shows this couple still living in the Shawnee Township where Christian J. was a farmer. Mary’s mother was living in their household, as well as Chritian J.’s younger brother, Martin Reisenbichler.
In the early 1900’s, this Reisenbichler family moved to Cape Girardeau, and C.J. changed occupations. In future census records, we find him described as a carpenter or building contractor. Here is the entry for the Reisenbichler household in the 1910 census, and we see both of their children.
When the 1920 census was taken, we find only one child living with Christian J. and Mary. The name of the child is almost impossible to read. The entry calls the child a daughter, but it also has an “M” in the “Sex” column.
This couple’s daughter, Esther, can be found in a 1920 census from Franklin County, Missouri where she is called a 20 year-old high school teacher. So, the child still living with his parents is definitely George.
By 1929, Chistian J. had established a lumber and milling company in Cape Girardeau. If you click on the link below, you will see a photograph of North Main Street in Cape Girardeau taken in 1929. You can see a building labeled as C.J. Reisenbichler & Co. Lumber and Mill Work.
An advertisement for this company is displayed below.
The 1930 census shows the Reisenbichler household which includes his son, George, and his family. George is incorrectly called Christian J.’s son-in-law and his wife, Bernice, is incorrectly called his daughter.
The last census we can view for this couple is the one taken in 1940. George and his family are once again included in this entry which must be shown in two images. It looks like George was working for his father’s lumber business. A maid by the name of Elise (sp?) Palisch was also in this household.
I found two photographs that were taken sometime during the lives of Christian J. and Mary Reisenbichler. The one on the left was obviously taken at an earlier time.
Mary Reisenbichler died in 1947 at the age of 75. Her death certificate states that she died at the Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau.
We can also read her obituary.
Christian J. Reisenbichler died in 1951 at the age of 80. He died at the same hospital as his wife.
We can also read Christian J.’s obituary. Both Christian J. and Mary’s obituaries state that their funerals took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau.
Christian J. and Mary Reisenbichler are each buried in the Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.
One has to be very careful when looking at the two Christian Reisenbichler cousins. Not only were they about the same age, but they married a Marie and a Mary, and you could say each one was involved in the carpentry business. In the case of Christian J. Reisenbichler, since he had just one son, George, and all of George’s children were daughters, the surname, Reisenbichler, did not get passed on after George.