Oscar and Alvina Jahn plus Junior

Oscar and Alvina would have been celebrating their 142nd anniversary on this day if they were still alive. I will attempt to tell their story today. It is a story that has a few similarities to the one told yesterday about the Meyr and Mirly couple. One similarity is that today’s couple is another one that eventually ended up in New Wells.

Oswald Oscar Jahn was born on March 14, 1858, the son of Johann and Johanne (Geyer) Jahn. Our German Family Tree includes two Jahn families, and these two families do not seem to be related to one another. In addition to the Johann Jahn family, there was also a Gottfried Jahn family, and that family arrived in Perry County in 1839 as part of the Gesellschaft. Today’s Jahn family must have arrived at a later time. Oscar was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is an image of his baptism record.

Oscar Jahn baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Oscar was born in March of 1858, and his father died in September of 1858, so Oscar never really knew his dad. In 1862, Oscar’s mother, Johanne married Johann Christian Gottfried Bodenschatz, who lived in Shawnee Township of northern Cape Girardeau County. Oscar should have been found in the 1860 and 1870 census records for either Perry or Cape Girardeau County, but I was unsuccessful at finding him anywhere. I did manage to find him in the 1876 Missouri state census for Shawnee Township where it looks like his name was Oscar Bodenschatz.

1876 Missouri state census – Shawnee Township, MO

We will now take a look at Oscar’s future wife, Minna Alvina Petzoldt. She was born on March 2, 1855, the daughter of Friedrich Florian and Christiane (Maennel) Petzoldt. Her father is the man I have previously nicknamed, “The Face”, because of his unique gravestone that has his face carved on it.

Friedrich Florian Petzold gravestone

Alvina was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is her baptism record.

Alvine Petzoldt baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Alvina’s baptism record is found in the Trinity books only because she was born before 1857. When Rev. Georg Schieferdecker started Immanuel Lutheran Church in 1857, the Petzoldt’s were charter members of that congregation. Alvina can be found in her first census in 1860 when she was 5 years old. I have to display this entry in two images.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Alvina in the 1870 census when she was a teenager.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Oscar Jahn married Alvina Petzoldt on February 23, 1879 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at the church record for this wedding. It states that Oscar was a farmer from Cape Girardeau County.

Jahn/Petzoldt marriage record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Our German Family Tree lists 7 children for Oscar and Alvina. The first 4 were girls, and they were all baptized at Immanuel, Altenburg. The following children were baptized at Immanuel, New Wells. In 1891, a son named Otto was born, but he died 18 days after birth. Then a stillborn child followed in 1892. That led to an interesting, but tragic, set of events that took place in 1893. Alvina was apparently about 8 months pregnant when Oscar died in March of that year. He was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

Oscar Jahn gravestone – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

A boy was born on April 12, 1893, about a month after Oscar’s death. Alvina named that son, Oswald Oscar Jahn, the same name as his father. I cannot help but wonder if Alvina and Oscar had discussed the possible name for a boy child before he died, or whether Alvina decided to name this boy after her recently departed husband after he died. Even though Alvina was still rather young when Oscar died, she never married again. We find the Jahn family in the 1900 census for Shawnee Township. Alvina is called a farmer, and she had 4 daughters and the 7 year-old Oscar, Jr. A farm laborer named George Reisenbichler was living in their household. I was unable to find a George Reisenbichler who was born in January of 1876, but there was a Richard Reisenbicler born then. Perhaps the first name is incorrect on this census entry.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

We find the Jahn household in the 1910 census. This time, Oscar, Jr. was the farm laborer at age 17. Also, Alvina’s daugther, Louise, had married Adolph Thauwald, and he was called the farmer in the household.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Oscar, Jr. married Alma Putz in 1915, so when we view the 1920 census, we find Alvina living in his household. Alvina had a grandchild living with her.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we see a Jahn household in the 1930 census. Now there were two grandchildren. These grandchildren had been baptized at Immanuel, New Wells.

1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Oscar, Jr. was like his father and grandfather. He, too, died at a rather young age in 1935. So, in the 1940 census, we find the following situation.

1940 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Alvina Jahn died in 1944 at the age of 88. Her death certificate is displayed below.

Alvina Jahn death certificate

Alvina was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells. Her gravestone is a much more modern one than that of her husband who died so many years earlier. I missed it on Alvina’s death certificate, but I noticed on her gravestone that she died on her wedding anniversary…also today’s date…February 23rd.

Alvina Jahn gravestone – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The Jahn men in this story all died at quite young ages. At least the next male in the family, Eldor Jahn, died when he was 82 years old.

***Just a heads up: I will be out of commission for blog-writing for the next two days because of a visit from a grandchild. I get to play the part of “Grumps” for a few days.


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