I quickly discovered when researching the surnames for today’s post that I had to be careful. The main man in the story is Henry Rauh, and he was not the only Henry Rauh in this area’s history. The main woman in the story is Mary Meyer, and she, too, was not the only Mary Meyer. Then, to add to the potential confusion, this marriage was not the only one that involved a Rauh marrying a Meyer. You will also discover, as I did, that Henry Rauh’s mother had married two Rauh brothers during her lifetime.
Let’s begin with today’s birthday child, Mary Meyer, who was born on November 1, 1884. She was the daughter of Andrew and Mary Jane (Bloom) Meyer. Mary was born during those years when Perry County kept birth records. Her birth record does not include her first name, but it must have been her record.
Mary’s mother, who was a member of York Chapel, a Methodist congregation near Longtown, died in 1885 when she was just one year old. Her father, Andrew Meyer, then married Augusta, whose maiden name was Wessendorf. That marriage took place in Chester, Illinois, and Rev. J.A.F.W. (Alphabet) Mueller performed the wedding. The only census record in which we find Mary as a single woman was the one taken in 1900. The family was living in the Central Township, and her father was a farmer.
It would be a year later that Mary would get married at the young age of 16. We will now take a look at her future husband. His name was Henry John Rauh, who was born on November 28, 1878. Henry was the son of Adam and Margaret (Lang) Rauh. His mother had been married to Adam’s brother, John Rauh, but he died in 1877. Margaret then married Adam Rauh early in 1878, and then Henry was born as the first child of this marriage later that year. We find Henry in the 1880 census for the Central Township of Perry County. This is one of those rare situations where Margaret’s children by her first marriage still had the same surname as her second husband, so all the children were Rauh’s.
Although Henry’s father was a farmer, that would not be Henry’s lot in life. In an article published by the Perry County Republican in 1897, it states that Henry was attending the Cape Normal School, indicating he was getting a college education.
The 1900 census shows Henry at the age of 21. He was working on his father’s farm.
Henry Rauh married Mary Meyer on April 25, 1901 at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. We can take a look at the marriage license for this couple. It includes a statement that Mary’s father had given his consent for his daughter’s marriage at such a young age.
An article published in the Perry County Republican in 1905 states that Henry took over running the Doerr Store in Perryville.
We see Henry called a merchant in the 1910 census. It says he had his own store. Two sons are included in his household. For some unknown reason, their oldest son, Elmer, is not included in our German Family Tree. This couple had 3 sons, and two have their baptism records in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville.
A 1916 article in the Perry County Republican states that Henry was a candidate for county treasurer during that year. I guess you could call this an endorsement by this newspaper.
Henry Rauh had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. It says he was a general merchant, but also a county treasurer, indicating he had won the election in 1916.
The 1920 census shows the following Rauh household. Henry is called a proprietor of a store.
By the time of the 1930 census, there was only one son still living in the household, along with a maid by the name of Irene Ochs.
The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940. Henry was no longer called a store owner. This time, it says he was selling insurance.
At the age of 63, Henry still had to complete a World War II draft card in 1942. It does not give an occupation, but I find it interesting that the name of Judge Eggers is given as the person who would always know his address. I think this indicates Henry’s continued connection to politics.
The Friedenberg Remembrances book gives summaries for the lives of Henry and Mary Ruah. It is almost certain that each of them was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg.
Henry Rauh died in 1956 at the age of 77. His death certificate says his occupation was a retired insurance salesman.
Mary Rauh died in 1958 at the age of 73. Her death certificate says she died at the Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville.
Henry and Mary Rauh were buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
Henry Rauh became a rather prominent resident of Perryville, working in the areas of both commerce and politics. I would say he used his more advanced education to find success in both of those pursuits.