Martin, the Lake Gerler

In a few other previous posts, I have discussed that there are two groups of Gerler’s, the Ridge Gerler’s and the Lake Gerler’s. Actually, both of these groups of Gerler’s are connected to each other if you go back far enough, and you don’t even have to go back to Germany to find the connection. Today, you will read the story of Martin, the Lake Gerler. First of all, let’s take a look at a plat map showing Gerler properties in the southern end of the Brazeau Township near the Apple Creek. These would be the Lake Gerler’s.

Gerler land map – 1915

The birthday boy today is Martin Gottfried Gerler who was born on August 22, 1885. He was the son of Friedrich and Lena (Lindner) Gerler. A previous post titled, Mayor of Birmingham, was written about Martin’s parents. Martin was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. His baptism record from that congregation’s books is displayed below.

Martin Gerler baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Martin was born during the short period of time when Perry County kept birth records. We can view Martin’s birth record in two images.

Martin Gerler birth record – Perry County, MO

I find it interesting that his mother’s residence is given as Birmingham. For more background on the place by this name, you can read the post, Birmingham, Missouri.

The first census we can view that includes Martin was the one taken in 1900. Martin was already a teenager and working on his father’s farm with several other brothers.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Martin was still living with his parents in 1910, even though he would be married during that year. There were 4 brothers in this entry, and Martin and Robert Gerler were called farmer partners.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Robert’s name was actually Adolph Robert, so the property in the previous land map farmed by Robert and Martin was the land identified as A.R. and M. Gerler.

Now, we will turn our attention to Martin’s bride. Her name was Emma Clara Theresa Mueller who was born on September 30, 1888. She was the daughter of Henry and Katherine (Kieninger) Mueller. Emma was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. An image of her baptism record is shown here.

Emma Mueller baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

We find Emma in her first census in 1900. Her family spills over two census pages. Emma was 11 years old, and her father was a farmer.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

In 1910, Emma was no longer living with her parents. We find her living in St. Louis where she was a servant for a Picker family. A lot of young ladies from this area went to St. Louis to work as servants for families, but this situation was quite unusual. Emma’s sister, Lucy Mueller, was also a servant in the same household.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

On September 18, 1910, Martin Gerler married Emma Mueller. This couple was married at Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. The church record for this wedding is pictured below.

Gerler/Mueller marriage record – Zion, Pocahontas, MO

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

Gerler/Mueller marriage license

Martin had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918.

Martin Gerler – WWI draft registration

The German Family Tree shows 4 children born to Martin and Emma, 3 of them boys. By the time of the 1920 census, 3 of their children had been born. I have included two of Martin’s brothers in this image, Robert and Rudolph Gerler. They were all farmers.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find the Martin Gerler household in the 1930 census in which we find all 4 of the children.

1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Finally, Martin and Emma Gerler can be seen in the last census that is available to the public. That one was taken in 1940. Once again, I have included the household of Rudolph Gerler which is found right below Martin’s family. Also, in both the 1930 and 1940 censuses, you find Martin’s mother living in their household.

1940 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In 1942, Martin had a World War II draft card filled out.

Martin Gerler – WWII draft card

Martin Gerler died in 1960 at the age of 75. His death certificate is shown here.

Martin Gerler death certificate

Emma Gerler died in 1977 at the age of 88. Martin and Emma Gerler are buried together in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

Martin and Emma Gerler gravestone – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

There is another generalization that can be made about the Lake Gerler’s and the Ridge Gerler’s. The Lake Gerler’s over the years have been members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, and the Ridge Gerler’s have been members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The story of Martin the Lake Gerler gives more evidence of that.


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