Sylvan Grove Etzold

Yesterday’s story contained several Petzoldt’s. Today you get the story of an Etzold. The birthday boy for today is Martin Gottfried Etzold, who was born on December 9, 1874. Before I move on with his story, I will take a detour to another one. December 9th will always be a special day here in Altenburg. That’s because it was on this day that the Log Cabin College opened its door to welcome its first group of students. Concordia Seminary in St. Louis continues to use the date of December 9, 1839 as the day when that educational institution began. Since I now own the property on which the Log Cabin College was built, I have made it a tradition to go out to my pasture each year on December 9th where a monument has been placed to welcome in this special day, and also to remind me what the conditions might have been in order to have a first day of school in December in a building that had no heat. This morning the temperature was in the low 40’s Today is the 182nd birthday of Concordia Seminary.

That means Martin Etzold was born on the 35th birthday of that institution. He was the son of Herman and Ernestine (Jacob) Etzold and baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. I find it interesting that he was not baptized until the day after Christmas that year. Below is an image of his baptism record.

Martin Etzold baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Martin was child #2 in a family with just 2 children, one boy and one girl. The name of his older sister was Martha Etzold, so that makes this another combination of a Martin and Martha. I have written several posts about a Martin marrying a Martha, but this one is a case of a pair of siblings with those names. We find the Etzold family in the 1880 census living in the Salem Township. Martin’s father was a farmer.

1880 census – Salem Township, MO

That would be the only census we can view in which Martin was a single man. We will now take a look at his bride. Her name was Selma Bertha Stueve, who was born on May 18, 1877. Selma was the daughter of Peter and Margaret (Crum) Stueve. She was child #5 in a family of 8. Selma was also baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Below is an image of her baptism record found in that congregation’s books.

Selma Stueve baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Like her future husband, Selma is only found in one census before she was married, the one taken in 1880.

1880 census – Salem Township, MO

Martin Etzold married Selma Stueve on May 3, 1898 at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. We can take a look at the marriage record for this couple from that church’s books.

Etzold/Stueve marriage record – Salem, Farrar, MO

The marriage license for this couple can also be viewed.

Etzold/Stueve marriage license

I think when you look at this entry from the 1900 Salem Township census pages, you will realize why it was hard to find this record. It is almost impossible to read. The puzzling thing about this entry is that I cannot find Martin Etzold on the list of household members, even thought Selma is there. The Etzold’s at the top are Martin’s parents, Herman and Ernestine. One of Martin and Selma’s children had been born by this time. There were also two boarders living there, one of them being Herman Stueve, who I think was a cousin of Selma.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Next, we find the Etzold’s in the 1910 census, still living in the Salem Township. Martin was a farmer with 3 children. A hired hand named Otto Rauss was living in this household.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

When the 1915 plat maps were produced, there was a parcel of land owned by Ernestine Etzold near Farrar. Martin’s father had died in 1904, leaving Ernestine a widow. I figure this was likely the land farmed by Martin.

Ernestine Etzold land map – 1915

In 1918, Martin complete a World War I draft registration.

Martin Etzold – WWI draft registration

The next census in 1920 shows the following Etzold household. All 7 of Martin and Selma’s children are found in this entry. Also, Martin’s mother was included in the household.

1920 census – Salem Township, MO

Sometime before 1925, Martin moved most of his family to Kansas. A Kansas state census taken in 1925 shows the Etzold’s living in Vesper, Kansas, which is about 8 miles from Sylvan Grove, a place that has been mentioned often in this blog as a location where quite a few Perry County natives ended up. The only child not included in this entry was this couple’s oldest child, Alfred, who was the only one to remain in Perry County. Even Martin’s mother, Ernestine, moved to Kansas.

1925 Kansas state census – Vesper, KS

We find the Etzold’s in the next Federal census taken in 1930, still living in Vesper, Kansas.

1930 census – Vesper, KS

The last census we can view for the Etzold’s was the one taken in 1940. Martin and Selma were in their 60’s.

1940 census – Vesper, KS

Selma Etzold died in 1942 at the age of 64; Martin Etzold died in 1952 at the age of 77. These two were buried together in the Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery in Sylvan Grove, Kansas. There are more Etzold’s buried in that cemetery in Kansas than in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.

Martin and Selma Etzold gravestone – Bethlehem, Sylvan Grove, KS

Herman Etzold, one of Martin and Selma’s sons, became a Lutheran pastor who ended up serving at a few of our Synodical schools, Ft. Wayne and Seward. The photo below shows him during his time at Concordia, Ft. Wayne. He is buried in a cemetery in Seward, Nebraska.

I think you could make the argument that most of the Perry County natives that were later found in or near Sylvan Grove, Kansas originated from Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. There was a Rev. Jacob who served that congregation in Sylvan Grove who was related to Martin’s mother. Several Stueve’s related to Selma also ended up in Kansas. I would love to have the opportunity to wander through the Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery to look for Perry County surnames.


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