Marshal Penny

Robert Cullen Penny was born on this day. His birth and baptism record are not included in our German Family Tree. In the case of Robert Penny, we find his birth documented in a Penny Family Bible. His name is indicated by the white arrow in the image below.

Penny Family Bible

As you can see, Robert Cullen Penny was born on April 17, 1857. He was the son of George and Emily (Drum) Penny. The Penny family originated in North Carolina and were located in Perry County before the German Lutherans arrived in 1839. I found a little evidence that Robert’s grandfather, Charles Penny, was a preacher, and he is buried in the York Chapel Cemetery in Longtown, Missouri. When Robert Penny is found in his first census in 1860, his family was living in the Apple Creek Township of Cape Girardeau County, and his father was a farmer. Robert, who was at that time 3 years old, was the oldest child in his family.

1860 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Robert is found once again in the 1870 census for the same location at the age of 13. I find his brother’s name quite amusing. His name was George Washington Penny. We all know that it is Abraham Lincoln who is on the penny. Haha!

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Robert’s first wife was going to be Missouri Isabell Cotner, the daughter of Alexander and Emaline (Saddler) Cotner. She was born on November 6, 1859. We do have a few Cotner’s in our German Family Tree, but they find themselves there for the same reason we will eventually find Robert Penny in the GFT. They married Lutherans. The Cotner’s were another family that originated in North Carolina and moved to this area before the German Lutherans arrived on the scene.

Robert Penny married Missouri Cotner on July 14, 1878. The Cape Girardeau County marriage record shown here indicates they were married by a justice of the peace.

Penny/Cotner marriage license – Cape Girardeau County, MO

Robert and Missouri had one child in 1879, Cora Isabell Penny. Then in 1880, Missouri died, leaving Robert a widower with a very young daughter. Robert and Cora are found living with Robert’s parents in the 1880 census where he is called a farmer.

1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Robert would marry again in 1883. It was his marriage to Mary Ann Hutopf that would get Robert Penny into our German Family Tree. Mary Ann Hutopf was born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1861, the daughter of Johann and Adelheid (Buck) Hutopf. Several different spellings of this surname can be found on Ancestry.com. Mary Ann was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. Below is an image of her baptism record from that congregation’s books.

Mary Hutopf baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Mary is found in the 1870 census at the age of 8. Her mother had died in 1868, so she is not found in this entry.

1870 census – Shawnee Township, MO

John Hutopf must have found it difficult to raise this family by himself, so when we find Mary in the 1880 census, she is called an adopted daughter in the household of Jeffrey Carmac (sp?). Mary was 18 years old at the time.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

On August 6, 1883, Robert Penny married Mary Ann Hutopf. Once again, this marriage was conducted by a justice of the peace, so there is no church record for this event. Here is the marriage license for this couple.

Penny/Hutopf marriage license

I have to rely on family histories on Ancestry, but it looks as if Robert and Mary Ann had 4 children, all girls. We find the Penny couple in the 1900 census with 3 daughters. It’s difficult to read, but I think it says that Robert was a teamster.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

When the 1910 census was taken, we find that the Penny family had moved to Perryville. Robert was called a night watchman.

1910 census – Perryville, MO

A photograph was taken of part of Robert and Mary’s family that shows 3 of the daughters. My guess is that this photo was taken about the time of the above 1910 census because the ages of the 3 daughters seem to correspond with how old they look in this picture.

Robert Penny family

Robert died rather suddenly in 1914 at the age of 56. A newspaper article was published describing his death. It is shown in two images below.

Robert Penny newspaper article – 1914

We can also view Robert’s death certificate. His brother, George Washington Penny was the informant on this document. Robert is called a city marshal.

Robert Penny death certificate

When the 1920 census was taken, we find Mary Penny living in Detroit, Michigan with her daughter, Nola, and her husband, Basfield Barks. The youngest daughter, Augusta Penny, was also living there.

1920 census – Detroit, MI

I was unable to find Mary in the 1930 census. Mary was back in Cape Girardeau County at the time of her death in 1940. Her death certificate says she was living at the County Farm at the time of her death. She died at the age of 78.

Mary Penny death certificate

We can view Mary’s obituary.

Mary Penny obituary

Robert and Mary Penny are buried in the New Salem Cemetery in Daisy, Missouri.

I’m reasonably sure that you have heard of Penny Marshall of Laverne & Shirley fame. Now you know the tale of Marshal Penny of Perryville, Missouri fame.


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