Theodore and Hulda Schuessler would be celebrating their 125th wedding anniversary if they were still alive today. Their story is one in which both the bride and groom had roots in East Perry County, Missouri but spent most of their lives across the river in Jackson County, Illinois. I am still out of town, so I am once again unable to post images of church records. In fact, believe it or not, a volcano in the Caribbean is going to keep me away for an extra day.
I will begin with the groom. Paul Theodore Schuessler was born on August 27, 1872, the son of Henry and Katharine (Baum) Schuessler. The story of his parents, The Youngest Schuessler, was posted on this blog not long ago. Theodore was the oldest of the 13 children in his family. He was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Theodore is found in his first census in 1880 at the age of 8. His father was a farmer.
That census would be the only one we can view in which Theodore was a single person. Next, we will look at his bride. Her name was Hulda Christiane Roth who was born on March 2, 1876. Her parents were George and Margaret (Burkhardt) Roth. Like Theodore, Hulda was baptized at Concordia, Frohna. She was a little harder to find in the 1880 census because her family was included in the pages from the Union Township that were lost for so many years and have not made it onto the Ancestry.com site yet. Hulda was 4 years old in that entry, and her father was a farmer.
Several events took place with this couple before we can view the next census in 1900. First of all, Theodore Schuessler married Hulda Roth on April 12, 1896 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. I cannot display their church record, but I can show this couple’s marriage license.
This couple’s first child, a girl named Ella, was born in 1897 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. There has to be a story behind that child being baptized there instead of Frohna, but I do not know what it is. I do know that the rest of this couple’s 7 children were baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. Our German Family Tree shows that Theodore Schuessler became a voting member of Christ, Jacob in 1898. A pair of twin boys was born in early 1900, and these two managed to get into the census for that year, but each of those babies died in July of that year. Theodore, like his father, was a farmer.
The next census entry including this family was the one taken in 1910. Two more children had been born before this census, but one of them died as an infant. So, now we see 2 children in this household.
Two more children were born in 1910 and 1912. The one born in 1912 also died as an infant. Their oldest child, Ella, married Martin Miesner in 1915, so she is not included in the Schuessler household in the 1920 census. A hired hand named Ira Vaughn is part of this entry because Theodore likely needed help on his farm.
At this point, let me point out that a previous story was written about Ella and Martin Miesner titled, Martin and Ella Miesner. Also, the tragic story of one of their grandsons who died in World War II, Norman Miesner, was told in the post, The Last Full Measure.
The Schuessler household can next be found in the 1930 census. Only their youngest son, Leo, remained in their home.
The last census entry we can view is the one taken in 1940. Despite the fact that they had an empty nest, their census entry spills over two pages with Theodore on one page and Hulda on the next.
Another one of their children, Edna, died in 1950 at a rather young age. Theodore Schuessler died in 1954 at the age of 81. His obituary can be found on the Findagrave website.
Hulda Schuessler died in 1963 at the age of 87. We can also view her obituary.
Theodore and Hulda Schuessler are buried together in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob, Illinois.
The story of Theodore and Hulda Schuessler is one that contains several infant deaths, another death of a daughter while they were still alive, and the tragic loss of a grandson in a war that they had to experience. Of the 7 children born into this family, there were only two still living when their parents died. Theodore and Hulda had so many more funerals to attend of members of their own family than most parents. Their faith must have helped them withstand so many losses.