If he was still alive, Max Fritsche would be celebrating a very special birthday today. He was born on July 6, 1871, so today he would be turning 150 years old. Max was born in Germany, the son of Heinrich and Bertha (Boehme) Fritsche. Max’s parents immigrated to America in 1890 with several of their children. A previously published post told the story of that immigration. That story was titled, First and Second Coming of Farrar Fritsche’s. As that story documented, later, in 1893, two other Fritsche brothers, Max and Richard, came to America aboard the ship, Stuttgart. The passenger list for that ship showing Max and Richard is displayed again below.
His brother, Richard, got married in 1899, but Max was still single when the 1900 census was taken, and he is found living with his mother. His father, Heinrich, died in 1896, so he is not found in this entry. This comes from the Salem Township census that is so difficult to decipher. Max was 28 years old on this list.
Next, we will look at the early life of Max’s future bride. Her name was Gertrude Muench, who was born on May 3, 1883. She was the daughter of Conrad and Anna (Lindner) Muench. The children in the Muench family over the years were baptized at either Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, or Cross Congregation near Longtown. In the case of Gertrude, she was baptized at Cross Congregation. A transcription of her baptism record is shown here.
Gertrude is found in only one census before she was married. As was the case with Max, she was found in the Salem Township in the 1900 census which is displayed below. She was 17 years old at the time.
Max Fritsche married Gertrude Muench on November 1, 1906 at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. The church record for this wedding is shown here.
We can also view this couple’s marriage license.
I was also able to locate the wedding photo for this pair, although it mistakenly says their marriage date was November 11th, not November 1st.
The German Family Tree indicates that 7 children were born to this couple. We find this Fritsche family in the 1910 census living in the Salem Township with two young children. Living in his household was his sister Alma Fritsche. I wrote a post not too long ago about Alma’s marriage to Herman Voss titled, Herman’s Haircuts. We also see Max living near his younger brother, Bruno, and his family in this census entry.
The 1915 plat maps for Perry County show a parcel of land owned by M. Fritsche. Nearby, you will also see land owned by Bruno Fritsche and a W. Muench, who was Gertrude’s brother, Wilhelm. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will also see plenty of what we would call “Farrar names” on this map.
In 1920, we find this census entry for the Fritsche family. I have included the households of Bruno Fritsche and Wilhelm Muench to once again illustrate how they lived near one another.
Using the archives of some local newspapers recently made available on the Missouri Secretary of State website, I found an article that tells the tale of Max Fritsche’s barn being struck by lightning in 1922 and burning to the ground. Another article I located said this barn was just one year old, and Max was able to rescue his livestock from the barn, but lost his grain.
We find the Fritsche household in the 1930 census. We see 6 children living with them.
The last census we can view with Max and Gertrude is the one taken in 1940. Right above their entry, you find the household of Walter Fritsche, who was the son of Bruno Fritsche, making him Max’s nephew.
Max Fritsche died in 1943 at the age of 71. Here is his death certificate.
I was also able to find Max’s obituary in the newspaper archives. You should be able to click on the images to make them easier to read.
Gertrude Fritsche would not die until 1968 at the age of 85. Her death certificate indicates that when she died, she was blind and invalid. She was living in the Rowald Nursing Home in Perryville when she passed.
Max and Gertrude Fritsche are each buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.
One of Max and Gertrude’s children, Eugene Fritsche, married Frieda Miesner. I have already written two posts on this blog about a Fritsche marrying a MIesner. Perhaps, I may have to write another one some day.