Yesterday, I wrote the story of Emma Moldenhauer. As promised, today you will be told the story of her twin brother, Henry. Heinrich Christian Moldenhauer, also born on December 26, 1884, is listed on a Perry County birth record as being the 8th child in his family. Our German Family Tree lists him and his sister as only numbers 5 and 6.
I will once again display the baptism records found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville.
Henry and his twin, Emma, are found in the 1900 census living in the Bois Brule Township. This is the only census in which we find these twins together. They were each 15 years old at the time.
I found photos of both Henry and Emma that appear to have been taken fairly early in their lives, and probably before they were married. I’m thinking that maybe these were taken at the same time.
Henry was married by the time of the 1910 census, so let’s take a look at the woman that he would marry. Her name was Bertha Berdella Ragsdale, who was born on May 27, 1889. She was the daughter of David and Florence (Franklin) Ragsdale. Bertha only shows up in our German Family Tree as a wife of Henry Moldenhauer, so it is almost certain that she was not born into a Lutheran church. By the time of the 1900 census, Bertha’s father had died, and her mother had remarried. Bertha was living in the Henderson Holybee household and called a grandchild.
Henry Moldenhauer married Bertha Ragsdale on January 26, 1910. These two were not married in a church. That may have had to do with the fact that they were not of the same religion. They were married by a probate judge. We can view their marriage license below.
This couple was living with Henry’s father in the 1910 census. Henry was a farmer.
In 1918, Henry had his World War I draft registration completed. This document shows Henry’s middle name as Hooss. Several family trees on Ancestry.com use this middle name for Henry. If you look at his baptism record, it says his middle name was Christian, but one of his sponsors was Heinrich Hooss.
The first child born to Henry and Bertha was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest, but that was the only one baptized there. It appears that this couple may have had 6 or 7 children. We see this Moldenhauer family in the 1920 census with 4 children. Henry’s single brother, Charles, was also part of their household.
Even though Henry was always called a farmer in census entries, we know that his father and some of his brothers operated a sawmill in the Menfro vicinity. Below is a photo of that sawmill. Henry and a few brothers are said to be in the photo.
I was unable to find the Henry Moldenhauer household in the 1930 census, so the next one I can display is the one taken in 1940. Only one daughter was still living with Henry and Bertha.
Bertha Moldenhauer died in 1952 at the age of 63. I was unable to locate a death certificate for her. Henry Moldenhauer died in 1959 at the age of 74. We can take a look at his death certificate.
Henry and Bertha Moldenhauer are buried together in the Bethlehem Baptist Cemetery in Crosstown.
The Moldenhauer twins almost had a Christmas birthday. They were born one day later. These two lived lives that were quite different from one another. One remained in Perry County his whole life. The other lived most of her life in East St. Louis. One was a farmer; the other married a machinist. Even though these two were baptized as Lutherans, neither one, nor their spouses, were buried in a Lutheran cemetery.
Today, I will be spending time with some twins in our family. They are both girls, but they are not identical. I wonder what kind of future lies ahead for each of them. I don’t plan to write their stories on this blog.