Richard and His Two Wives

Richard is not a name that is found very often in our German Family Tree. My father was named Richard, and my middle name is Richard, but it is not considered a common name given to children of German descent. However, one of today’s main characters was given that name. We will begin with discussing the early life of Richard’s first wife, who happens to be today’s birthday girl.

Lina Marie Pilz was born on November 8, 1869, the daughter of Johann and Adelheid (Kreide) Pilz. Lina was the 3rd in line of 5 children in this family. She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at her baptism record from that congregation’s books.

Lina Pilz baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Lina is found in the 1870 census at the age of 8 months. Her father was a farmer.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Lina in the 1880 census at the age of 11.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now, we will turn our attention to Richard. Richard Johann Kutscher was born on October 8, 1865, the son of John and Henriette (Krause) Kutscher. He was child #3 out of 9 born into this Kutscher family. Richard was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. His baptism record is displayed below.

Richard Kutscher baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The first census in which I could find Richard was the one taken in 1880. He was working on his father’s farm at the age of 14.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Richard Kutscher married Lina Pilz on April 12, 1894 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church’s marriage record for this pair is shown here in two images.

Kutscher/Pilz marriage record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

We can also view their marriage license application for Cape Girardeau County.

Kutscher/Pilz marriage license application

According to our German Family Tree, this couple had 4 children, 3 boys followed by 1 girl. We can see this couple in the 1900 census with two sons.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

On May 8, 1903, Lina Kutcher not only gave birth to her only baby girl, but she also died in the process. About two months later, that baby girl died. Lina was only 33 years old when she died. She was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

Lina Kutscher gravestone – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

That left Richard as a widower with 3 young boys. He would get married again at the end of 1905. Let’s take a look at his second wife. Her name was Martha Emilie Holschen who was born on February 9, 1872. Her parents were Friedrich and Franziska (Stadelmann) Holschen. Like Richard’s first wife, Martha was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is her baptism record.

Martha Holschen baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

I am going to skip ahead to Martha’s first marriage, which is a bit of a mystery. When a child named Johann Heinrich Holschen was born and baptized in 1890, the parents are recorded as being Henry Holschen and Martha Holschen. As near as I can tell, these two were cousins. I was unable to find a marriage record for these two, but it appears they were married. A second child was born to this couple in 1894. Both of the children born to this couple were baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. However, when we find Martha Holschen in the 1900 census, she was listed as “divorced”. There is evidence that Henry Holschen was still living after this census entry, giving credence to this notation about divorce.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Richard Kutscher would marry Martha Holschen on December 28, 1905 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. The church record for this wedding states that both Richard and Martha were widowed. For Martha, that may not have been the case.

Kutscher/Holschen marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

No additional children were born to this couple. We find them in the 1910 census living in the Shawnee Township. Two of Richard’s sons as well as Martha’s daughter, Lydia Holschen, were living in this household.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The last census in which we find Martha Kutscher was the one taken in 1920. It spills over two census pages. Just 2 sons remained in their household.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Martha Kutscher died in 1928 at the age of 56. Her death certificate mentions cancer of the uterus along with surgical shock when recording the cause of death.

Martha Kutscher death certificate

Martha was also buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

Martha Kutscher gravestone – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Richard Kutscher is found living in Jackson, Missouri in the 1930 census. He was living with his son, Richard, Jr. and his wife. He no longer had an occupation.

1930 census – Jackson, MO

That 1930 census was submitted in April. Richard died in May of 1930 at the age of 64. We can also take a look at his death certificate.

Richard Kutscher death certificate

Richard Kutscher was buried in the Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson.

Richard Kutscher gravestone – Russell Heights, Jackson, MO

So, both of Richard Kutscher’s wives were buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells, but Richard was not.


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