The Other Theodore Engert

When I was a rookie teacher in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in addition to my 4th grade class, I taught a 5th and 6th grade boys’ physical education class. In the 5th grade, there were two boys that had the name, Doug Bell. In order to keep them straight, the teachers called them Doug A. and Doug G. using the initials of their middle names. Those two Doug Bell’s were not related to each other. I will be relating a similar situation to you today in this post.

Back in May of this year, I wrote a post titled, The First Theodore Engert. When I wrote that story, I noted on my calendar that I should write a post on August 9th about the other Theodore Engert. Theodore Benjamin Engert was born on August 9, 1882. I will be referring to this person as Theodore B. or Deutsche (his nickname) in this post. Another baby was born earlier that year in May that was named Theodore Emanuel Engert. These two babies were cousins. To make things more interesting, both of the Engert families were members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg, so it is in that congregation’s books that we find the baptism records for these two Theodore Engert’s on the same page. Those records are displayed below in two images. Theodaore E’s record is on top; Theodore B.’s record is at the bottom.

Two Theodore Engert baptism records – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Only Theodore B.’s mother is named on his baptism record. Her name was Anna Engert. Theodore B. was born out of wedlock. His father was likely Peter Stueve.

In 1896, the confirmation class of Immanuel Lutheran Church included both Theodore Engert’s. Out of 8 confirmands, two of them had the same name. Perhaps Rev. Melzer had to call one of them Theodore E. and the other Theodore B. Those two are highlighted in yellow on this image.

1896 confirmation class – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

It was a challenge to find Theodore B. in the 1900 census. It turns out that he was called Theodore Stueve and was living in the Adolph Engert household. Adolph was Theodore B.’s cousin. Theodore was called a farm laborer.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Theodore B. was still living in the same household when the 1910 census was taken, but this time his name is given as Theodore B. Engert.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Theodore B.’s future wife would be Lydia Carolina Grosse (or Grosze), who was born on January 23, 1891. She was the daughter of John and Linna (Petzoldt) Grosse. Like her future husband, Lydia was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.

Lydia Grosse baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Lydia is found in her first census in 1900 at the age of 9. Her father was a carpenter.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Lydia in the 1910 census. Her mother had died earlier that year. Lydia is called the housekeeper.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It must have been around the time of the above census that a photograph was taken of two Grosze sisters and two Kumpf sisters. Rev. Kumpf served as pastor of Immanuel from 1904-1911. Lydia is standing in front on the left holding the horse.

Grosse and Kumpf sisters

I had some real difficulty finding out when Theodore B. Engert married Lydia Grosse. A marriage record is not found in our German Family Tree. The obvious place to look is in the books of Immanuel, Altenburg, but it is not there. Eventually, I found an article in the Perry County Republican from July 27, 1916 that is displayed below.

Engert/Grosse wedding article – July 27, 1916
Perry County Republican

That led me to search for this marriage record in St. Louis, but I was unsuccessful. I checked the records we have for Holy Cross and Old Trinity Lutheran Churches in St. Louis, but I did not find a record there either. Later this morning, I looked in the Grosse Family Binder that we have in our research library. I found a wedding photo for these two, and on the back it gave the marriage date. In that year, Immanuel was making a transition from one pastor to another, so that may be why they went to St. Louis to be married.

Information on back of Engert/Grosse wedding photo

Here is that wedding photo of Theodore B. and Lydia.

Theodore B. and Lydia Engert wedding

In 1918, Theodore B. had his World War I draft registration completed. This form says that Theodore B. was a saloon keeper in Altenburg.

Theodore B. Engert – WWI draft registration

At some time during his life, Theodore B. was pinned with the nickname “Deutche” Engert. He and his wife would have 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls. When the 1920 census was taken, we find this Engert household. There were two chlildren, along with Lydia’s father, John Grosse. Theodore B. was called a laborer.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, the Engert household was found in the 1930 census. All 5 children are listed.

1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The photo shown below of Theodore B. and all 5 of his children is said to have been taken around 1929. The baby in his arms was born in July of 1928. Every once in a while I run across a photo that is photo-bombed by a dog like this one.

Theodore B. Engert and children

The 1940 census shows that Deutsche was the owner of a gasoline filling station.

1940 census – Altenburg, MO

A photo of the filling station owned by Deutsche Engert is shown below. His son, Milton “Sparky” Engert is standing by the pump.

Engert filling station

It must have been about this time that Theodore and Lydia moved their family to St. Louis. We see some interesting information on his World War II draft card that was completed in 1942. This form gives his residence at an address in St. Louis, but it says his mailing address and place of work as Menfro in Perry County.

Theodore B. Engert – WWII draft card

Theodore “Deutsche” Engert died in 1959 at the age of 76. His death certificate says he was a night watchman for a retail auto sales business. His address on both this form and his draft card is located fairly close to Holy Cross Lutheran Church.

Theodore B. Engert death certificate

Lydia died in 1976 at the age of 85. She and her husband were buried at the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in St. Louis, which is the cemetery for both Old Trinity and Holy Cross Lutheran Churches.

Now you know the stories of two men that are from the Engert clan who carried the same name. “Kermse” and “Deutsche” and “Sparkie” are a few of several men in that clan that were pinned with nichnames. Perhaps I’ll have to tell the stories of Sparkie and his brother “Cut” Engert someday.

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