I admit that today’s story is one that is difficult to tell. I almost chose not to write it. It starts with the birth of a boy who was born just one day after the birth of yesterday’s birthday girl, Lydia Lungwitz. Arthur Edwin Rabold was born on August 2, 1882, the son of Gottlieb and Amalie (Petzoldt) Rabold. That makes Arthur another grandson of Friedrich Florian “The Face” Petzoldt. In the baptism record for Arthur found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg, it says this boy was born in New Wells.
When a child is born in the early 1880’s, we do not find them in a Federal census until they are teenagers. That is the case when we find Arthur in the 1900 census. Arthur is the oldest son in this rather large family, and by this time, he was helping his father on his farm.
Now we will take a look at Arthur’s bride, Dixie Ula Wills. Dixie was born on December 22, 1883, the daughter of William and Mary (Coffey) Wills. An Ancestry family history says Dixie was born in Daisy, Missouri. A few confirmation records show up in the books of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna in the early 1900’s, so this Wills family must have moved to that area. It may have even been Dixie’s marriage that precipitated other Wills family members to become members of that congregation. We also see the Wills household living in the Union Township of Perry County when the 1900 census was taken.
The Rabold and Wills farms were located near one another. In the plat maps produced in 1915, we find the properties owned by people in those two families. The Rabold land is in the red box. Some Wills land is shown in blue boxes.
The property owned by William Wills also spilled over into the Union Township, which is shown on a different page of those maps.
Arthur Rabold married Dixie Wills on December 21, 1902, one day before her birthday. This couple did not get married at a Lutheran church. The marriage license shown below indicates that Rev. W.W. Killough performed their wedding ceremony. Rev. Killough was the pastor at Brazeau Presbyterian Church. I found this list of pastors at that congregation in an anniversary history we have at our research library.
This wedding took place during the Advent season. Lutheran churches generally did not approve of weddings during Lent or Advent. Here is this couple’s marriage license.
The baptism records for children born to this Rabold couple are found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. When their first child was born in 1904, that baby, another Arthur Rabold, was born and died on the same day. The record says an emergency baptism was performed by Josephine Hilpert.
The German Family Tree lists 5 children born to the Rabold’s. When the 1910 census was taken, we find this Rabold household. Arthur’s father was the head of the household, and two of Arthur and Dixie’s children are listed.
Arthur had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. It gives him a Frohna address.
Two more children were born to this family before the 1920 census. All 4 children that lived to adulthood were girls. It is not shown here, but right before Arthur’s family in this census, you find the name of his father, Gottlieb Rabold.
Next, we find the Rabold household in the 1930 census. Arthur’s father is included in his household this time. Gottlieb would die later that year.
The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940. At that time Arthur and Dixie had an empty nest.
Arthur Rabold had his World War II draft card completed in 1942.
Dixie Rabold died in 1964 at the age of 80. Her death certificate says she was living in Perryville, and her death took place at Perry County Memorial Hospital.
When it came to looking for a death certificate for Arthur, it was a little more difficult. I knew that he died in 1965, about 6 months after Dixie’s death. I eventually discovered that Arthur died while being a patient at the state hospital in Farmington, Missouri. That was a hospital for patients with mental health issues. Arthur was 82 years old when he died.
My brain tosses a bunch of scenarios around concerning why Arthur entered the state hospital. I choose not to write my thoughts, but the fact is, that since the form above states that Arthur was at that institution for 6 months, displays that he moved there about the time of Dixie’s death.
Mental health is an issue that has been discussed in the news lately. One thing that is not often suggested these days is the option of placing someone in an institution. I think there was a time when that was one of the only options available for families to deal with a family member struggling with their mental health. Placing a loved on into a mental institution must have been a horrible decision to make.
Arthur and Dixie Rabold are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.