An Engelhart-Kasten Couple

Like yesterday, today you will read a story about a birthday girl who was called “Lena”. Caroline “Lena” Josephine Engelhart was born on March 19, 1879. Before I move on, let me discuss the spelling of this surname. I have seen it spelled either Engelhardt or Engelhart, with the “d” or without. Most go without the “d”, so that is what I will do. Lena was the daughter of Joseph and Theresia (Gumpelmeier) Engelhart. Joseph and Theresia had arrived with their family in America aboard the ship, Oder, in 1875. The family is shown on the passenger list below.

Engelhart family – Oder passenger list 1875

I cannot help it. I love the name of the 4 year-old on this list, Engelbert Engelhart. I am going to have to write his story someday.

Lena was born 4 years after the Engelhart’s arrived in the Shawnee Township of Cape Girardeau County. She was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas, Missouri. Information about Lena is found in the St. John’s binder we have in our research library. It is displayed below.

Caroline Engelhart information – St. John’s, Pocahontas, MO

By the time all was said and done, the Engelhart family had 9 children. We find the Engelhart’s in the 1880 census in which Caroline is just one year old. Her father was a farmer.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Lena would get married during the year of the next census that we can view, the one taken in 1900. However, the marriage took place in November, so we still find Lena living with her family as a single person in that census entry.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Lena’s groom was going to be August Ernst Kasten. In his case, sometimes we see him called August, sometimes Ernst, and sometimes A.E. I will stick with August because that is what we find on his gravestone. August was born on August 3, 1874, the son of Charles and Juliane (Lehner) Kasten. August was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. His baptism record is displayed here.

Ernst August Kasten baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The first census in which we find August is the one taken in 1880, where we find him at 5 years old. Here he is called Ernst. His father was also a farmer. This Kasten family would eventually have 8 children.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

By the time of the 1900 census, August was no longer living with his parents. In fact, his father had died in 1899. We find August as the head of a household, and the only other person living with him was a widower by the name of Joseph Putz. August was a farmer and Joseph was a horse shoer.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

On November 18, 1900, August Kasten married Caroline Engelhart at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. We can take a look at this couple’s marriage license.

Kasten/Engelhart marriage license

The information we find in the St. John’s binder about August says this marriage was conducted in the church parsonage.

August Ernst Kasten information – St. John’s, Pocahontas, MO

Our German Family Tree states that August and Lena had 6 children, but one of them died early. Since I was unable to find this family in the 1910 census, the next census I can display taken in 1920 shows all five living children. August is called a mechanic in this entry.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Not long before the above census was taken, August had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. That document said August was a carpenter.

August Ernst Kasten – WWI draft registration

The 1930 census for the Kasten family had 3 of their children still living in their household. August is back to being called a farmer.

1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The last census we can view for the Kasten’s is the one taken in 1940. August and Lena had an empty nest.

1940 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Caroline Kasten died in 1944 at the age of 64. Her death certificate says she died at St. Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau.

Caroline Kasten death certificate

August Ernst Kasten died in 1960 at the age of 86. His death certificate lists his occupation as carpenter.

August Ernst Kasten death certificate

I found several good family histories for the Engelhart family on That enabled me to find 3 different photographs that were taken when the Engelhart’s had family gatherings. I will display these three in the order that they occurred. The first one was taken in 1904 which was not long after August and Lena were married. They are identified by arrows and you see two small children. The baby had been born in July of 1904.

Next, we see a photograph that was taken on the occasion of Lena’s parents’ 50th anniversary in 1917.

Then, in 1929, the Englehart’s had this photo taken at a famiy reunion.

I also was able to find one photograph that is said to be the family of August and Lena Kasten. I assume that August and Lena are standing on the left.

August Ernst and Caroline “Lena” Kasten are buried in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.

As you can see, there was a time when there were plenty of Engelhart and Kasten descendants from Shawnee Township, Missouri. These names still can be found around here.


I took a few construction photographs at the museum addition this morning. I certainly knew there was work being done there while I was getting some images for today’s post. It was quite loud. They are pounding an opening for the door going from the new addition’s basement to the older basement using a jackhammer. Work is also being done upstairs.

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