Another One of Those Stories

Yesterday, I mentioned that there have already been several stories in which people begin their lives in Perry County, Missouri, spend part of their lives in Jackson County, Illinois, just across the Mississippi from here, and end their lives in the big city of St. Louis. I didn’t expect to run across another one so soon, but you will read another one of those stories today.

The birthday boy in this post is Joseph Georg Friedrich Amschler, who was born on July 14, 1893. He was the son of John and Margaretha (Rathjen) Amschler. I have a photo of Joseph’s parents that was taken on the occasion of their 24th wedding anniversary (which would have been in 1914).

John and Margaretha Amschler – 24th anniversary

A previous post was written about Joseph’s parents titled, Finding a Bride Across the River.

Joseph was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. His baptism record is displayed below in two images.

Joseph Amschler baptism record – Christ, Jacob, IL

Joseph is found in the 1900 census for Fountain Bluff Township in Jackson County, Illinois. He was listed as being 6 years old on this entry. He was the oldest son in his family. Only one daughter was older than he was. His father was a farmer.

1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

When he was fairly young, Joseph was included in an Amschler family photo. Joseph is the boy standing in the back on the right.

John Amschler family

Joseph’s family is next seen in the 1910 census, still living in Jacob, Illinois. He was working on his father’s farm at the age of 16.

1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

In 1917, Joseph Amschler had his World War I draft registration completed. He was shown as living in Jacob, Illinois and he was still single.

Joseph Amschler – WWI draft registration

About one year after the above form was filled out, Joseph got married. However, before I discuss Joseph’s wife, let me display Joseph’s military record from that war.

Joseph Amschler – WWI military record

Since he got married in 1918, that event took place when he was in active service to his country.

Joseph’s future bride was Caroline Friederike Darnstaedt, who was born on October 1, 1896 in Wittenberg, Missouri. She was the daughter of Martin and Bertha (Haake) Darnstaedt. I can display the wedding photograph of Caroline’s parents.

Martin and Bertha Darnstaedt wedding

A post was written about Caroline’s parents titled, Martin and His Girls. Caroline’s baptism record can be found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, but there is a good chance that she was baptized in Wittenberg. A later confirmation record states that Caroline was born in Wittenberg. An image of Caroline’s baptism record is shown below.

Caroline Darnstaedt baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Caroline is found in the 1900 census at the age of 3. Her family was living among other families that I know lived and worked in Wittenberg.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Caroline’s parents were charter members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg when it was established in 1903. She must have been a student at that church’s school when Teacher Kalbfleisch and Teacher Schaaf taught there. Those two teachers are characters that show up in my Wittenberg ’03 book. Caroline escaped being a character in that book, however.

In 1910, Caroline’s father became a voting member of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois, so that family must have moved across the river at about that time. We see the Darnstaedt family in the 1910 census living in the Fountain Bluff Township.

1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Joseph Amschler married Caroline Darnstaedt on June 2, 1918 at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. The church record for that wedding is displayed below.

Amschler/Darnstaedt marriage record – Christ, Jacob, IL

Not long after they were married, we find this couple living in St. Louis. It is a rather unusual census record in which these two are called “roomers” in the household headed by a policeman. Both Joseph and Caroline had jobs in factories. Joseph worked for an electric company, and Caroline worked in a shoe factory.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

I was unable to find this Amschler couple in the 1930 census. They are likely there, but their surname was probably transcribed in such a way that a searcher such as me cannot come up with the proper misspelling of their name. The St. Louis census is way too big to page through it. Next, we find this Amschler couple in the 1940 census. Joseph’s job is described as “metal polish” in a “range factory”.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

As you see in all these census records, this couple had no children. In 1942, Joseph was required to complete a World War II draft card. Joseph stated that he was working for the Wrought Iron Range Company located on Natural Bridge Boulevard.

Joseph Amschler – WWII draft card

The Wrought Iron Range Company’s chief product was the Home Comfort Range displayed below.

Home Comfort Range

Caroline Amschler died in 1985 at the age of 88; Joseph died a year later in 1986 at the age of 93. These two are buried together in the Our Redeemer Cemetery in Afton, Missouri.

The Darnstaedt and Amschler families are both examples of ones in which we find members who moved from their Perry County roots to settle in the Jacob, Illinois area. This story which involved a couple made up of one person from each of these two families is yet another one where the story ends in St. Louis. There are quite a few Amschler and Darnstaedt descendants out there, but none of them came from this couple because they remained childless.


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