Lena Starzinger Joins the Neighborhood

A few days ago, in a post titled, Ed and Julie Koenig, it was pointed out that a passenger list included the surnames Koenig, Koch, and Haertling, and several folks with those surnames ended up forming a “neighborhood” of farms in the Shawnee Township. That neighborhood remained intact over at least 3 census records…30 years. Today, we will look at one of those characters who invited a Starzinger to join the neighborhood. Perhaps Paul Haertling was the person who inspired Fred Rogers to sing, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…Would you be mine?” Could these words have been the ones used by Paul to propose to his wife, Lena?

Julius Paul Haertling was born on April 27, 1874, making today his 147th birthday. Paul was the son of Herman and Sophia (Koenig) Haertling…an example of two of the neighborhood surnames that became a married couple. Paul was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. Below is an image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books.

Paul Haertling baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

We find Paul in the 1880 census as a 6 year-old. His family would eventually have 9 children who lived to adulthood, and 7 of them, including the first 6, were boys. His father was a farmer.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The 1880 census turned out to be the only one in which he was single. A photograph was taken of the Herman Haertling family and is reported to have been taken at a family reunion. Paul is shown without a spouse, so this picture must have been taken before he was married. Otto Haertling, sitting on his mother’s lap in the front row on the left was born in 1894.

Herman Haertling family

Let’s take a look at Paul’s future bride. Magdalene Lina Starzinger was born on June 11, 1877, the daughter of Gottlieb and Therese (Brand) Starzinger. According to our German Family Tree, Lena, as she was often called, was the last of 11 children born into this Starzinger family. She, like Paul, was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Here is her baptism record.

Magdalene Starzinger baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

I had a real hard time finding the Starzinger family in the 1880 census. A search on Ancestry.com proved unsuccessful. My next “go-to” strategy is to look in the printed indexes for the censuses that we have in our research library. We have an index for just about every available one for both Perry and Cape Girardeau Counties except for the one for Cape County in 1880, so that wasn’t going to work. My last resort was to find the Shawnee Township records on Ancestry and simply scroll through them all looking for the Starzinger family. I went through 20 of the 24 pages before I finally found the Starzinger household. Ancestry transcribes the surname as Statchener, and it looks like that is what the census taker had written. It is no wonder I didn’t find it by looking for a Starzinger. Here is that entry where we find Lena at the age of 3. Her father was also a farmer.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Paul Haertling married Lena Starzinger on the day after Christmas, December 26th, in 1897. First, we can take a look at the church marriage record from the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells.

Haertling/Starzinger marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Next, we can view the marriage record for this couple.

Haertling/Starzinger marriage license

We also can take a look at the wedding photo of Paul and Lena. Lena was what I have called a “black and white” bride, wearing a dark dress with a white veil.

Paul and Lena Haertling wedding

The German Family Tree states that Paul and Lena had 7 children. The first census in which we find these two as a married couple was the one taken in 1900. Their first child was a son who became a Paul Haertling, Jr. I included the Edward Koening household that was listed just above the Haertling’s. Edward was one of the main characters in the post written a few days ago. Lena had joined the Koenig-Koch-Haertling neighborhood.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The Haertling household got bigger by the time of the 1910 census. Here is that entry. Paul was a farmer at this point in his life. I assure you that this page in the census was populated by Koenig, Koch, and Haertling surnames.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Paul had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. The registrar who signed this form was Lena’s brother, Charles Starzinger. I find it interesting that Paul’s address is given as Altenburg. For a long time, even to this day, some residents of Shawnee Township get their mail delivered out of the Altenburg post office and are given Altenburg addresses, even though they live in Cape Girardeau County.

Paul Haertling – WWI draft registration

Next, we will take a look at the Haertling’s in the 1920 census. All seven children are displayed in this entry.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The 1930 census shows a much smaller family as many of their children had gotten married and had their own families.

1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940. Here is the entry for Paul and Lena’s household for that year. There were two grandchildren with the surname Naelder living with them. I am not sure which one of their daughters was the mother of these children.

1940 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Lena Haertling died in 1951 at the age of 74. We can take a look at her death certificate.

Lena Haertling death certificate

Paul Haertling died in 1966 at the age of 92. His death certificate is from Perry County and says he died at the Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville.

Paul Haertling death certificate

Apparently, later in their lives, Paul and Lena became members of Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas because they are each buried in that congregation’s cemetery.

About a week ago, I began noticing how many stories I was finding that had their settings in the Fountain Bluff Township in Illinois. Now, it seems like quite a few stories are showing up that take place in the Shawnee Township in Missouri. These stories often have connections to one another. It’s almost like I’m being led to these stories by a Divine Being. I suspect that is the case.

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