Linda Secretly Marries the Judge’s Son

Linda Clara Bergmann is today’s birthday girl. She was born on August 15, 1895, the daughter of George Emanuel and Emelia (Thieret) Bergmann. Linda was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg so we cannot view her baptism record that was destroyed in a fire. The first document I found for her was the 1900 census in which we find her family living in the Union Township. Her father was a carpenter.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

Before the 1910 census was taken, Linda’s family must have moved to Perryville. Her father was still a carpenter. Linda was a teenager.

1910 census – Perryville, MO

Linda was still single in the 1920 census and living with her parents at the age of 24. She was working in a general store.

1920 census – Perryville, MO

Linda was working at the Union Store Company in Perryville. I found an ad for that store that was published in the Perry County Repulican in 1922.

Union Store Company ad – 1922

Now, we will turn our attention to the man Linda would marry. His name was Edgar Killian who was born on August 19, 1894. Edgar was the son of Charles and Matilda (McAtee) Killian. His father was a rather notable Perryville citizen because of his role as a judge. Edgar is found in the 1900 census at the age of 5. At this point in his life, his father was called a lawyer.

1900 census – Perryville, MO

An early photograph was taken of Edgar along with his older brother, Alfred, holding the horse, and his younger sister, Matilda, on the horse with him.

Killian children with horse

Edgar was a teenager in the 1910 census. This time, his father was called a circuit court judge. His sister, Emma Killian, was a public school teacher, and another public school teacher, Susie Osborn, was a boarder in the Killian house.

1910 census – Perryville, MO

When Edgar had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917, it said Edgar was farming for his father.

Edgar Killian – WWI draft registration

Edgar was still unmarried when the 1920 census was taken. This entry said that Edgar was a laborer who was working out.

1920 census – Perryville, MO

A short biography for Linda (Bergmann) Killian is found in the Friedenberg Remembrances book. This bio says that she married Edgar Killian, but no date is given for that occasion.

Linda Killian info – Friedenberg book

I was also unable to find a marriage record for this couple on Ancestry.com. It wasn’t until I discovered this article that was printed in the Perry County Republican in April of 1925 that I found there was an interesting tale that went with this couple’s marriage. They were secretly married in St. Louis on September 27, 1924, but did not make this fact known to the public until April of 1925. This was a front page article. You can click on each image to enlarge it.

How Edgar and Linda were able to keep this wedding a secret for 6 months is way beyond my understanding. It is likely that this couple decided they had better make this marriage public because they knew Linda was pregnant. Their first son was born in November of 1925. That child was named Edgar Killian, Jr. We find the Killian family in the 1930 census. Linda’s father, Emanuel Bergmann, was living in their household. It said that Edgar was a truck driver for an oil company.

1930 census – Perryville, MO

Another son, Paul Killian, was born toward the end of 1931, but in April of 1932, the following article showed up in the newspaper.

Paul Killian’s death – newspaper article

An ad was placed in a 1939 issue of the Perry County Republican for the Killian Brothers, who dealt in the distribution of Phillips 66 oil and gas. I spoke with Gerard Fiehler this morning, whose dad once ran the Phillips 66 gasoline station in Altenburg. Gerard remembers Edgar Killion.

Killian Brothers ad – 1939

The last census we can view for Edgar and Linda was the one taken in 1940. This entry said Edgar was a truck driver for a company that distributed oil.

1940 census – Perryville, MO

Edgar Killian died in 1954 at the age of 60. His death certificate says he died at the Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville.

Edgar Killian death certificate

Linda Killian died in 1979 at the age of 84. Edgar and Linda are buried together in the Home Cemetery in Perryville.

Edgar and Linda Killian gravestone – Home, Perryville, MO

It isn’t every day that I discover that the featured couple was secretly married and kept that secret of 6 months. There just never seems to be a dull day when I write a story for this blog.


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