Ruehling’s in Sylvan Grove

We often call Sylvan Grove, Kansas a suburb of Perry County, Missouri because we find so many folks from here who moved and settled in Sylvan Grove. You will read yet another story about a family that ended up there in today’s post. It all begins with a boy that was born on this day.

Theodore Oswald Ruehling was born on September 22, 1879, the son of Traugott and Martha (Goethe) Ruehling. Theodore was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. An image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books is pictured here.

Theodore Ruehling baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Theodore is found in his first census in 1880 at the age of 8/12, meaning that he was 8 months old. His father was a farmer.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The next time we can view Theodore in a census was in 1900 when he was 20 years old. He was working with his father on his farm. I have to display this entry in two images because it spills over two census pages.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now, we will turn our attention to Theodore’s future wife. Her name was Agnes Johanna Jacob, the daughter of Heinrich and Johanna (Hinkelmann) Jacob. Agnes was born on March 29, 1882. Our German Family Tree lists 5 children born to Heinrich and his first wife, Maria Kramer, followed by 10 more to his second wife, Johanna Hinkelmann. Agnes was the 6th child born to his second wife. So, Agnes had plenty of Jacob siblings, some of them half-siblings. She was also baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Her baptism record is pictured below.

Agnes Jacob baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Because she was born after the 1880 census was taken, we do not see her in a census entry until 1900. At that time, she was 20 years old, and she was living in the household of her older brother, Adolph Jacob, who was a farmer. Several other Jacob siblings were living in the same household.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Theodore Ruehling married Agnes Jacob on February 5, 1905, and as you might expect, they were married at Trinity, Altenburg. The church record for this wedding is displayed below.

Ruehling/Jacob marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We can also view this couple’s marriage license.

Ruehling/Jacob marriage license

I found an article published in the Perry County Republican that told the story of the Ruehling/Jacob marriage.

Ruehling/Jacob marriage article – Perry County Republican

Only one child born to this couple shows up in our German Family Tree, but that is not all the children in this family. Their first child, a daughter named Hedwig, was born in 1906. After that, no more records are found for this family in Perry County. That is because shortly after 1906, this couple moved to Kansas. Apparently, the plans to make a living on Theodore’s parents’ farm did not pan out as stated in the above newspaper article.

I believe the move to Lincoln County, Kansas was made because Agnes’s half-brother, John Jacob was the pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Sylvan Grove, Kansas from 1897-1910. According to several family histories on, the second child born into this family was born in Kansas in 1908. That fact is backed up by census records that say that child was born in Kansas. When the 1910 census was taken, we find the entry shown below. The Ruehling’s were living in the Highland Township in Lincoln County, Kansas, and Theodore was called a farmer. Two children are included in the household, one born in Missouri and the other born in Kansas.

1910 census – Highland Township, KS

Theodore had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. His address was given as Sylvan Grove, Kansas.

Theodore Ruehling – WWI draft registration

The 1920 census shows the Ruehling’s living in the Grant Township in Lincoln County. By this time, there were 6 children in the family. All but one of them were girls.

1920 census – Grant Township, KS

Next, we find the Ruehling household in the 1930 census living in the same location. Their last child, a boy named Wilmer, had been born in 1922.

1930 census – Grant Township, KS

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940. This time, the entry is found in the Drum Creek Township in Montgomery County. That township is located near Independence, Kansas. Just two children remained in their household.

1940 census – Drum Creek Township, KS

Theodore Ruehling died in 1942 at the age of 62; Agnes Ruehling died in 1966 at the age of 84. It appears that they died in Independence, Kansas, but I was unable to find out where they were buried.

This Ruehling/Jacob couple did not end their lives in Sylvan Grove, but they did spend much of their lives there. As I said earlier, quite a few other East Perry County natives spent much of their lives in and around Sylvan Grove, Kansas. Enough of them to qualify it as a Perry County suburb.

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