The Danz Instructors

A while back a post was written titled, Rudolph and His Danz Partner. It told the story of Rudolph and Lena Reisenbichler. Lena’s maiden name was Danz, and thus the title. I figure if Lena was a “Danz partner”, then her parents would be her “Danz instructors”. Today, you will be told the story of Lena’s parents, Emil and Pauline Danz, who were married on this day. Let’s begin with Lena’s father.

Emil Danz was born on November 13, 1849, the son of Christian and Justine (Hasselbarth) Danz. A transcription of his baptism record is shown here.

Emil Danz (Tanz) baptism record – Mehna, Germany

The church in which Emil was baptized, located in Mehna, is shown below. Mehna is located in Thuringia, not far from Altenburg, Germany.

Mehna Kirche -By Jwaller – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A later census gives 1850 as the date when Emil came to America. If so, he would have been only 1 year old when he and his family made the voyage to this country.

It appears that the Danz family may have spent a short amount of time in the state of Wisconsin. By the time of the 1860 census, the Danz family was living in the Brazeau Township of Perry County. Emil was 10 years old on this entry, but if you look at his younger sister, Alvina, you will see that she is recorded as being born in Wisconsin.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

When Emil was confirmed in 1865, the record for that event can be found in the books of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri. This document displays the fact that the surname Danz and Tanz were sometimes interchangeable back in those days. This record uses the Tanz spelling for Emil.

Emil Danz confirmation record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

It wasn’t easy, but I eventually found Emil and his family in the 1870 census for Apple Creek Township. Emil is the 20 year-old farm hand, although his name’s spelling is not anywhere near the correct spelling of Emil.

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at Lena’s mother, Pauline Martha Koch. Pauline was the daughter of Gottfried and Maria (Haertling) Koch. She was born on December 12, 1855. Pauline’s parents have their marriage record in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Pauline was the oldest child in the Koch family. The first two children, including Pauline, do not have baptism records shown in our German Family Tree. Beginning with the third child, born in 1860, the baptisms are found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Pauline can be found in the 1860 census for Shawnee Township at the age of 4. Their surname is spelled Cook in this entry.

1860 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Pauline was confirmed at Immanuel in 1869. Below is her confirmation record from that congregation’s books.

Pauline Koch confirmation record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Next, we find Pauline in the 1870 census at the age of 14.

1870 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Emil Danz and Pauline Koch were married on February 21, 1878 at Immanuel, New Wells. We can take a look at the church record for this wedding. There were only two marriages that took place during 1878 at that church, and both of the brides were named Pauline. Also, both occurred rather early during that year.

Danz/Koch marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The marriage record from Cape Girardeau County is displayed below. Even though this marriage is said to have taken place in Cape Girardeau County, the pastor listed on the form is Rev. J.F. Koestering from Altenburg in Perry County.

Danz/Koch marriage record – Cape Girardeau County, MO

Our German Family Tree lists 7 children born to this Danz couple. However, 4 of those are described as stillborn, and another one died at the age of three. Only two, a boy named Friedrich and a girl named Lena, lived to adulthood. We find Emil and Pauline living in the Apple Creek Township of Cape Girardeau County when the 1880 census was taken. Their oldest child, Martin, is found in this entry, but he would die in 1883. One of Pauline’s younger brothers was living with them, as well as a “visitor” by the name of Maria Boren. Both of Maria’s parents had died in 1874, so this is likely the case of a family taking in a child that needed a home.

1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The next census we are able to view for the Danz family was the one taken in 1900. The two children that lived to adulthood are included in this entry. Emil was a farmer his entire life.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

In the 1910 census, we find the following entry for the Danz household. You can see the same names as were found in the previous census. Fred was helping his father on the farm.

1910 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The last census in which we find either Emil or Pauline was the one taken in 1920. Lena got married in 1914, and Fred would get married in 1926.

1920 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Pauline Danz died in 1925 at the age of 69. We can view her death certificate.

Martha Pauline Danz death certificate

Pauline’s obituary states that she had been an invalid for four years before she died.

Pauline Danz obituary

Pauline was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

Pauline Danz gravestone – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Emil Danz died in 1928 at the age of 78. Lena Reisenbichler was the informant on this document.

Emil Danz death certificate

I think after Pauline died, Emil ended up being a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Shawneetown. He is buried in that congregation’s cemetery. Since his son, Fred, is also buried there, I think Emil may have been living with his son and his relatively new bride.

Emil Danz gravestone – Trinity, Shawneetown, MO

Some plat maps were produced for Cape Girardeau County in 1930. Even though Emil had already died by then, a parcel of land with his name on it can be found south of the town of Old Appleton (and not far from Shawneetown). I think this land became Fred’s farm after Emil died. The 1930 census shows Fred’s household and some of the other neighbors on this map on the same census page.

Emil Danz land map – 1930

I am thinking that the land shown above may also have been the land farmed by Emil’s father, Christian. Then, after Emil married Pauline, this couple became members of her church in New Wells. The two churches, Grace, Uniontown and Immanuel, New Wells were probably about the same distance away from the Danz property. Then, later in Emil’s life, after his wife’s death, he became a member of Trinity, Shawneetown, a newer congregation that was a little closer to Emil and his son’s farm.

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