Bertha and Paul

Bertha Agnes Thauwald was born on this day 140 years ago, making her today’s birthday girl. She was born on August 8, 1881, the daughter of Carl and Caroline (Schneider) Thauwald. Bertha was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri. An image of her baptism record from that congregation’s books is shown below.

Bertha Thauwald baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Even though Bertha was likely born in Perry County, she is never found in a census from that county. She was already almost 20 years old when we find her in her first census living in St. Louis as a servant in the Hawkins household. There was a boarder in that household by the name of Mary Vogel.. I did not take the time to figure out if Mary was connected to the Vogel’s from this area.

1900 census – St. Louis, MO

Another fact on the above entry that is interesting is that Frank Hawkins is called a car painter. I know what a car painter would do today, but what would a car painter be in 1900 when automobiles were in their infant stage. I think perhaps he painted street cars.

Bertha would go on to marry a man by the name of Leopold Paul Reisenbichler, who was born on January 25, 1879. Paul was the son of George and Anna Marie (Schupfer) Reisenbichler. He was child #6 of 8 children in this family. I have these photos of Paul’s parents, who were also characters in a previous post titled, Reisenbichler Roots.

Paul was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. His baptism record is displayed below.

Paul Reisenbichler baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Since Paul was born before 1880, he is found in the census taken during that year. His family was living in the Shawnee Township of Cape Girardeau County. Paul was just 1 year old, and his father was a farmer.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

We don’t find Paul in another census until 1900, and when that enumeration was compiled, Paul was living in the Henry Lindner family in the Brazeau Township of Perry County. He was a farm laborer.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Paul Reisenbichler married Bertha Thauwald on September 1, 1907 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. The church record for that wedding is shown here.

Reisenbichler/Thauwald marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

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

Reisenbichler/Thauwald marriage license

The wedding photograph of this couple and their pair of witnesses is shown below. The church marriage record says the two witnesses were Theo. Thauwald and Marie Reisenbichler..

Paul and Bertha Reisenbichler wedding

A portrait was taken of Paul Reisenbichler when he was a young man.

Paul Reisenbichler

Paul and Bertha had two children, both of them girls. We see the Reisenbichler family in the 1910 census. Right above their household is that of Caroline Thauwald, Bertha’s mother. Theodore Thauwald, one of the wedding witnesses, was still living with his mother.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

It must not have been long after the above census that this photograph of their daughter, Viola, was taken. It is said that Viola was 3 years old at the time. I love it when I find such a delightful photo like this one.

Viola Reisenbichler

Viola’s sister, Edna, was born later in 1910. We don’t see her in a census until 1920. Sometime, before that census was taken, another photo was taken of both Viola and Edna.

Edna and Viola Reisenbichler

In 1918, Paul had his World War I draft registration completed. Paul had an Altenburg mailing address, but that is because some mail was delivered in New Wells out of the Altenburg post office. His business (his farm) is said to be in New Wells.

Paul Reisenbichler – WWI draft registration

Another photo was taken that includes Paul and Bertha along with their two young daughters.

Paul Reisenbichler family

Below is the entry for the Reisenbichler household in the 1920 census.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Next, we find the Reisenbichler’s in the 1930 census. Bertha’s mother is included in their household. Edna’s name is misspelled as Erna.

1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

During the same year as the above census, a set of plat maps were produced for Cape Girardeau County. Paul Reisenbichler’s land is found not far from the town of New Wells.

Paul Reisenbichler land map – 1930

The photograph below shows the Reisenbichler homestead.

Reisenbichler homestead

The last census in which we find Paul and Bertha was the one taken in 1940. Paul was a farmer all his life. A farm laborer named Edgar Koeberl was living with them.

1940 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Paul had to complete a World War II draft card in 1942.

Paul Reisenbichler – WWII draft card

The same year the World War II draft cards were completed was the year in which Paul died. His death certificate says he died at the age of 63 as a result of stomach cancer.

Paul Reisenbichler death certificate

Bertha did not die until 1964 at the age of 82. Her death certificate was filed in Perry County.

Bertha Reisenbichler death certificate

Paul and Bertha Reisenbichler were each buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

I must admit that I was happy to find this story that provided me with so many photographs that I could share. I especially love to see photos of children when they are young. Perhaps that comes from my years of experience working with children as a teacher. In the future, maybe school photos with show up in the stories written about people like me who had such photos taken while we were in school.


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