Some Fleischer’s Flee

A baptism record is all we have in our local records for today’s main character. That is because it was not long after his birth and baptism that his family moved elsewhere. However, the place where his family settled is one that attracted several Perry County immigrants and natives. That place was in Bates County, Missouri and more particularly, Prairie City. The migration of several locals folks to Prairie City is probably the earliest example of such a movement from here…if you do not count movement to St. Louis. The movement to Prairie City happened in the late 1860’s, right after the Civil War. Fred Eggers has published a post on this blog that gives the reasons for this migration. That post was titled, An Early Out-Migration of Original Immigrants. It is a fascinating story.

Carl Ludwig “Lewis” Fleischer was born on February 28, 1855, the son of Theodore and Christiane Henrietta (Braeuner) Fleischer. There are some confusing facts concerning the year of Lewis’s birth. His death certificate says he was born in 1854. His gravestone says he was born in 1856. However, his baptism record from the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri clearly has him born in 1855. There is never any doubt that he was born on February 28th. Below is an image of his baptism record.

Ludwig Fleischer baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Ludwig is found in the 1860 census for Brazeau Township in Perry County at the age of 4. He was the firstborn child in this Fleischer family. His father was a farmer.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

As described in Fred’s blog post, the out-migration to Prairie City happened not long after the Civil War came to an end when property in that area could be purchased for a very low cost. The Fleischer family can be found in the 1870 census living in the Prairie Township in Bates County, Missouri. Lewis was 15 years old.

1870 census – Prairie Township, MO

I was unable to find any of the Fleischer’s in the 1880 census. I suspect they were still living in Bates County, but I was unsuccessful at finding them there. I do know that Lewis’s father had died in 1875, so his mother would probably have been the head of the household in 1880. Also, Lewis would have been about 25 years old in 1880, so he might have found work outside his family. Now, we must turn our attention to Lewis’s future bride.

Caroline Hinz (Hintz) was born on July 28, 1859, the daughter of Gottfried and Anna Louise (Hoffmann) Hinz. An Ancestry family history states that she was born in Watertown, Wisconsin and baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in that city. The fact that this family history also gives names of some sponsors is evidence that the person authoring this history has researched this person rather carefully.

Caroline Hinz baptism information – Ancestry

The Hinz family moved to Bates County, Missouri by the time the 1870 census was taken. Her father was a farmer in the Prairie Township, which was the same township in which the Fleischer family was living. In fact, the Fleischer and Hinz families were on the same page of that census.

1870 census – Prairie Township, MO

We find Caroline in the 1880 census at the age of 20.

1880 census – Prairie Township, MO

That leads us up to the marriage of Lewis Fleischer and Caroline Hinz. Their wedding took place on July 24, 1883 at Zion Lutheran Church in Prairie City, Missouri. We can take a look at their marriage license.

Fleischer/Hinz marriage license

A set of plat maps was made for Bates County in 1895. We find a farm with Lewis’s name on it in the Rockville Township. Also, I have placed a blue arrow on the map to show where Caroline’s father had a farm.

Lewis Fleischer land map – Bates County 1895

I cannot view the Zion Lutheran church records, so I have to rely on Ancestry family histories to determine how many children were born into this family. That leads me to conclude that they had 8 children. We find this family in the 1900 census with 6 children. There was a set of twins born in 1896, and one of those twins must have died. Also, we find Lewis’s mother, Hattie, living in this household.

1900 census – Rockville Township, MO

Their last child was born in 1901, so when the 1910 census was taken, we find this Fleischer household.

1910 census – Rockville Township, MO

Next, we find the Fleischer’s in the 1920 census. I have included the household of their son, Joseph, who had married Elizabeth Fischer in 1911.

1920 census – Rockville Township, MO

The above census would be the last one in which we find Lewis Fleischer. He died in 1926 at the age of 71. His death certificate says he died at the age of 72, but that is based on his birthday being February 28, 1854, not 1855.

Lewis Fleischer death certificate

Caroline Fleischer can still be found in the 1930 census where she is living with her son, Paul, and his family.

1930 census – Rockville Township, MO

Caroline Fleischer died in 1938 at the age of 79. Below is her death certificate.

Caroline Fleischer death certificate

Lewis and Caroline Fleischer are buried together in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Prairie City, Missouri. Please note that Lewis is said to have been born in 1856 on his gravestone.

Ludwig and Caroline Fleischer gravestone – Zion, Prairie City, MO

Although there is not much of this story that takes place in Perry County, it is still an interesting Perry County story because of so many folks from here ended up at Zion Lutheran Church in Prairie City, a church which celebrated its 150th anniversary not long ago. I figure that there may have been some Perry County folks who were instrumental in the establishment of that congregation in 1868.

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