The Ladreiter/Gerharter Boomerangs

We begin with a birthday girl today. Hedwig Amalie Gerharter was born on December 13, 1884, making today her 137th birthday. Like many other German girls with the name Hedwig, she was often called Hattie during her life. Hattie was child #3 in a family of 11. She was the daughter of Charles and Amalie (Landgraf) Gerharter and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. An image of her baptism record from that congregation’s books is shown here.

Hedwig Gerharter baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Hattie would be a teenager by the time we can view her in a census entry. The 1900 census shows a rather large Gerharter family. Hattie’s father was a farmer.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at the young man who would become her husband. His name was Johann Ernst Ladreiter, who was born on January 7, 1878. Ernst was the son of Joseph and Pauline (Pechmueller) Ladreiter. He was child #3 in a family of 5 children. Like Hattie, Ernst was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. We can also take a look at an image of his baptism record.

Ernst Ladreiter baptism – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Since Ernst was born in the 1870’s, we find him in the 1880 census. His family was living in the Shawnee Township. Ernst was 2 years old at the time, and his father was a farmer.

Twenty years later, we find Ernst in the 1900 census. At the age of 22, Ernst was called a day laborer.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Perhaps you noticed that Ernst’s older brother, Martin Ladreiter, is not found in the above entry. The location where we find Martin in the 1900 census will explain what happens to Ernst later. Martin was living in the Nez Perce County in Idaho and working as a farmer in 1900.

1900 census – Nez Perce County, ID

For the time being, let’s return to Missouri. Ernst Ladreiter married Hedwig Gerharter on April 26, 1908 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. The church record for this wedding is displayed below. I have included several other records after the Ladreiter/Gerharter one. The first 4 weddings in 1908 at that church, all within 4 months of each other, included at least one Ladreiter or Gerharter.

Ladreiter/Gerharter marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The marriage license for this couple can also be viewed.

Ladreiter/Gerharter marriage license

Our German Family Tree does not list any children for this pair, but that was not the case. After their marriage, Ernst took his wife to Idaho where his big brother was living. Already in a 1908, we find Ernst, as well as his brother, Martin, in a city directory for Lewiston, Idaho. They were each working for the Ramey Lumber Company.

Ernst and Martin Ladreiter – 1908 Lewiston, Idaho city directory

I located this old photograph of the Ramey Lumber company back in the horse and buggy days.

Ramey Lumber Company – Lewiston, ID

We find Ernst and Hattie in the 1910 census living in the Nez Perce County. Ernst is called a foreman at a lumber mill.

1910 census – Cold Springs Township, Nez Perce County, ID

There was a baby girl in the above entry by the name of Mildred. Her birth certificate shown here says she was born on October 5, 1909.

Mildred Ladreiter Idaho birth certificate

I found it interesting that there was a Lutheran pastor named J.A.A.C. Leimer who baptized Mildred. Rev. Leimer descends from some Leimer’s that settled in Bates County, Missouri, and in a previous blog, I speculated that those Leimer’s were related to the ones in the Shawnee Township of Cape Girardeau County. I located a photo of Rev. J.A.A.C. Leimer.

Rev. J.A.A.C. Leimer

Another child, Vernon Ladreiter, was born in 1913, and that child was also born in Idaho. We can also view a birth certificate for him.

Vernon Ladreiter – Idaho birth certificate

Ernst Ladreiter had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. This document shows that Ernst and Hattie were back living in Missouri. Their residence was in Jackson, Missouri where Ernst was called a farmer.

Ernst Ladreiter – WWI draft registration

I have heard some people referred to as boomerangs. They are the ones who moved away from this area, only to come back again later. Ernst and Hattie could be called boomerangs. Martin Ladreiter was still living in Idaho when his World War I draft registration was completed, but he, too, later returned to Missouri. Martin never married, and he is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.

The 1920 census shows Ernst and Hattie’s family living in Jackson. The terms, mechanic and engineer, are used to describe Ernst’s occupation. Both of their children were included in this entry.

1920 census – Jackson, MO

Next, we find the Ladreiter household in the 1930 census. This time, Ernst is called a house painter.

1930 census – Jackson, MO

The final census we can view (at least not until maybe next year) is the one taken in 1940. Ernst was still a painter. Their son, Vernon, had gotten married, and his family was living with Ernst and Hattie.

1940 census – Jackson, MO

That 1940 census was submitted in April of that year. Ernst Ladreiter died in September of 1940. We can take a look at his death certificate which says he died at the age of 62.

Ernst Ladreiter death certificate

Hattie Ladreiter died in 1973 at the age of 88, too recently to view her death certificate. Ernst and Hedwig are buried together in the Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson.

Ernst and Hedwig Ladreiter gravestone – Russell Heights, Jackson, MO

Several other stories I have told on this blog could have referred to people who were boomerangs. I first heard this term used for some young men who moved to Nebraska back in those days and returned to Perry County later. I suspect I will get to use that term in future posts because I think there are other such stories that have yet to be told. I also wonder if the Ramey Lumber Company made boomerangs.


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