Leo and Lena

We have a birthday boy today by the name of August Leo Saupe, who went by the name of Leo. He was born on June 29, 1863, the son of Julius and Justine (Dietze) Saupe. Today would have been Leo’s 158th birthday. He was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri. His baptism record from that congregation’s books is displayed below.

Leo Saupe baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Let’s backtrack a little. Leo’s father, Julius, came to America in 1853 aboard the ship, Kosmos, which landed in New York City. Right next to his name on the passenger list was the name of Julius Kirmse, another man who ended up settling in Perry County near Farrar. I understand that these two men were some of the first members of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar when it was established.

Julius Saupe – Kosmos passenger list – 1853

There is a story saying that Julius Saupe got married in New York City before moving to Missouri, but I have no documentation for that. When the Civil War occurred, Julius Saupe participated in that conflict for the Union Army. Below is a record of his military service. According to this form, Julius enrolled for in the military just two months after Leo was born, and he went to serve later in 1864.

Julius Saupe – Civil War military record

The last child in this Saupe family was baptized in Farrar in 1868, but it must have been soon after that when this family moved to the Apple Creek Township in Cape Girardeau County. That is where we find them in the 1870 census. Leo was 7 years old, and his father was a farmer.

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Leo was a teenager when the 1880 census was taken. This time, the household was living in the Shawnee Township. I don’t think that necessarily means that this family moved again. Their land, if I have it figured correctly, was right on the border between the Apple Creek and Shawnee Townships. Leo was working on his father’s farm.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Before we see Leo in another census, he got married, so we will now look at his future wife, Maria Magdalena Kutscher. She was born on December 1, 1873, so she was about 10 years younger than Leo. She went by the name of Lena. Lena was the daughter of John and Henrietta (Krause) Kutscher, whose story was told in the post, The Kutscher-Krause Couple. Lena was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, Missouri. Her baptism record is shown here.

Lena Kutscher baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The only census in which we find Lena as a single person was the one taken in 1880. She was 6 years old, and her father was a farmer. You may note that there were more daughters in this Kutscher family than there were sons.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Leo Saupe married Lena Kutscher on December 26, 1894 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. An image of the church record is displayed below. I have included the next church record under theirs for a reason I will explain soon.

Saupe/Kutsche marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

We can also take a look at an application for a marriage license for this couple.

Saupe/Kutscher marriage license application

Back in those days, and to a certain extent today, it was inappropriate in many Christian churches to get married during the penitential seasons of Lent and Advent. As a result, quite a few couples would get married as soon as those seasons came to an end. Since Easter happens on different dates each year, it is more difficult to determine if a couple got married on Easter Monday when the season of Lent was finished. However, since the day after Christmas is always December 26th, one can easily determine if a couple got married as soon as the Advent Season was over. I did a little experiment. I did a search on our German Family Tree for the term, “married 26 dec” and got 135 “hits”. When I put in “married 27 dec”, there were 80 hits. Then when I put in “married 28 dec” I got only 31 hits. I also decided to try a date that I figured would be a more popular one since we often think there are plenty of June marriages. I put in “married 15 jun” and got only 32 hits. I think one can conclude that December 26th was a marriage date that shows up much more than average in our German Family Tree. I might add that the fact that Leo and Lena got married on December 26th in 1894, might have been the reason that the Niederstadt/Holt marriage took place on December 27th. They might have wanted to get married the day before, but Leo and Lena beat them to that date.

Our German Family Tree lists 5 children born to this couple. All of their children were baptized at Immanuel, New Wells. The first 3 children died before getting married, two of which died as infants. When the 1900 census was taken, we find Leo and Lena living in the household of his parents.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

In 1910, we find the Saupe household with 3 sons. Leo was a farmer all his life.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The oldest son, Ervin, died not long before his 20th birthday in 1915. His death certificate states that he was in the Lutheran Hospital in St. Louis undergoing an operation when he died.

Ervin Saupe death certificate

Next, we find Leo and Lena in the 1920 census. A niece named Anita Saupe was living in their household.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The last census in which we find Leo was the one taken in 1930. He was 66 years old at the time.

1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Plat maps were made in 1930 for Cape Girardeau County. We find a piece of property with Leo Saupe’s name located not far from Shawneetown, Missouri. Sometime in their lives, Leo and Lena became members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Shawneetown.

Leo Saupe land map – 1930

Leo Saupe died in 1936 at the age of 73. His death certificate says he died of typhoid fever.

Leo Saupe death certificate

Lena Saupe died in 1942 at the age of 69. Her cause of death is listed as cardiac failure on her death certificate.

Lena Saupe death certificate

Leo and Lena Saupe are each buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Shawneetown.

According to a search I made on past posts on this blog, I found no results for the name, Saupe. That means this is the first one that addresses this surname. One other Saupe name, however is found in the list of passengers who were part of the Gesellschaft in 1839. Her name was Johanne Rosine Saupe, a 35 year-old seamstress. She died in Seelitz in August of 1839. It would be interesting to know if these Saupe’s were related to one another somehow back in Germany.


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