Sylvan Grove Gerhardt’s

Today’s tale with be the third out of the last four posts in which the main characters are buried in another state. This time the story begins in Perry County, Missouri and ends up in Lincoln County, Kansas. It all begins with the birthday of Edmer Hugo Gerhardt, who was born on October 17, 1891. Edmer was the son of Edward and Hulda (Palisch) Gerhardt. A previous post touched on another member of this Gerhardt family, and that post documented that Edmer was not the only Gerhardt to end up in Kansas. You can read that post at the following link: Rudy and Dora. Edmer Gerhardt was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is his baptism record.

Edmer Gerhardt baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Edmer was born during those years when Perry County kept birth records. We can display the one for Edmer in two images. This document says Edmer was born in Wittenberg.

Edmer Gerhardt birth record – Perry County, MO

Edmer can be found in the 1900 census at the age of 8. His father was a farmer.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

When Edmer was confirmed in 1905, that event took place at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. This indicates that the Gerhardt family had moved closer to that church. The 1910 census has the Gerhardt household living in the Union Township. Edmer was working on his father’s farm.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

Edmer had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917. His address is given as Seventy-Six, Missouri.

Edmer Gerhardt – WWI draft registration

From a census standpoint, the one taken in 1920 is a mystery. I was not able to find any of the Gerhardt’s in that year’s enumeration, either in Perry County or in Kansas where many of them would live not much later. However, from a marriage standpoint, we find them getting married at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown toward the end of 1920. Let’s turn our attention to Edmer’s bride.

Lydia Franke baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Anna Lydia Franke was born on February 16, 1895. I thought we might be looking at someone whose name was quite similar to the famous Ann Frank, but this girl would go by the name of Lydia during her lifetime. Lydia was the daughter of Edward and Anna (Eggers) Franke (so her mother was actually the one who had a name similar to Ann Frank). Lydia was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. Her baptism record is displayed here.

Lydia is found in the 1900 census at the age of 5. Her father was a farmer.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

Next, we find Lydia in the 1910 census as a teenager. At the age of 15, she was a servant in the Martin Bronenkant family.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

Both of Lydia’s parents died before the 1920 census was taken, and, like Edmer, her absence from that year’s enumeration is a mystery. I did manage to find a household made up of several of her siblings living in the Union Township in 1920, but Lydia was not included.

On November 25, 1920, Edmer Gerhardt married Lydia Franke at Grace, Uniontown. The church record for that event is shown here. We have a hint on this record why we don’t find Edmer living in Perry County. It says the Edmer was from Sylvan Grove.

Gerhardt/Franke marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

We can also take a look at the marriage license for this couple. This document also says Edmer was from Kansas.

Gerhardt/Franke marriage license

I have to rely on family trees on Ancestry.com to determine how many children were born to this pair because none of the baptisms are included in our German Family Tree. It appears that they had 3 children, a boy that was born and died in the same year, followed by two girls. The next census record I found for the Gerhardt’s was a Kansas state census taken in 1925. They were living in the Pleasant Township of Lincoln County, Kansas, which is where you find the town of Sylvan Grove.

1925 Kansas state census – Pleasant Township, KS

The 1930 census entry from the Gerhardt’s is pictured next. Edmer was called a farmer, and there were two daughters in the household.

1930 census – Pleasant Township, KS

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940.

1940 census – Pleasant Township, KS

Edmer had his World War II draft card completed in 1942. This is another document that says Edmer was born in Wittenberg.

Edmer Gerhardt – WWII draft card

Lydia Gerhardt died in 1967 at the age of 72; Edmer Gerhardt died in 1971 at the age of 79. These two were buried in the Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery in Sylvan Grove, Kansas.

Now our blog has included yet another story adding an additional couple of Perry County natives living in Sylvan Grove, Kansas, giving more credence to calling it a Perry County suburb.


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