Martin and Emma – The Kaufmann’s

I seem to be running across quite a few men named Martin lately. Today, you will read about another Martin who is today’s birthday boy. Johann Martin Kaufmann was born on December 31, 1861, making today his 160th birthday. Martin was the son of George and Regina (Goethe) Kaufmann. His mother was one of the original immigrants, arriving in America with the Gruber Group in November of 1839. His father was also included in the list of original immigrants, arriving with the New York Group in that same year. Regina had been previously married to Friedrich Wilhelm Weber, another original immigrant, but he had died in 1848, so Regina then married George Kaufmann in 1849. This Kaufmann couple had 9 children, only one of which was a girl. Martin was child #6 and boy #5. Martin was born on New Year’s Eve and baptized on Epiphany Day. His baptism took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. An image of his baptism record is pictured below. It looks like the pastor forgot to enter a previous baptism and added it in the left margin next to the one for Martin.

Martin Kaufmann baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Martin is found in his first census in 1870 at the age of 8. This large Kaufmann family spills over two census pages. Ernst and Lena should have been recorded with the surname, Weber, but they were made to look like Kaufmann’s. George Mueller was Regina’s unmarried uncle. George Kaufmann was a farmer.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Martin was a teenager by the time the 1880 census was taken. This time, Ernst was listed as a Weber stepson.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The next census we can view is the one taken in 1900. When that census was taken, we find that Martin was still unmarried at the age of 36. He was living in the household of his younger brother, Gotthilf Kaufmann. By this time, both of Martin’s parents had died.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Martin would get married before the next census, so let’s take a look at the woman who would become his bride. Her name was Emma Friedericke Walther, who was born on June 27, 1881. That means Martin was almost 20 years old when his future wife was born. Emma was the daughter of Herman and Maria (Hesse) Walther. This was a different Walther clan than that of C.F.W. Walther. I was not able to find a baptism record for Emma, Her parents had been married in 1880, and that marriage took place in St. Louis. Perhaps that is where she was baptized. The children that were born later in this Walther family were baptized at Trinity, Altenburg. The first record I found for Emma was her confirmation record. That event took place in 1895 at Trinity.

Emma Walther confirmation record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We don’t find Emma in a census until the one taken in 1900, and that would be the only one in which we find her as a single woman. She was the oldest child in her family at the age of 18, and her father was called a merchant and a farmer.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Emma’s father operated the Walther Store located south of Altenburg. That store has been described in previous blog posts.

Walther Store

If we look at a later plat map, we can see that the Kaufmann and Walther properties were located near one another.

Kaufmann and Walther land map – 1915

Martin Kaufmann married Emma Walther on November 21, 1909. That marriage, as you would expect, took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for this event is shown here.

Kaufmann/Walther marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We can also view the marriage license for Martin and Emma.

Kaufmann/Walther marriage license

Our German Family Tree lists 4 children born to this couple, but none had been born yet when the 1910 census was taken. Right below their entry, you will see the household of Emma’s parents. Martin was a farmer.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

This couple’s first child was born in December of 1910, but died in early 1911. Two more children were born later in the 1910’s and are found in the Kaufmann household in the 1920 census.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Martin and Emma’s last child was born later in 1920 when Martin was 59 years old. That leads us up to the 1930 census. All 3 of their children were listed in this entry. All of the Kaufmann children had names beginning with the letter “A”. Right under Martin’s family, you find the household of his nephew, Adolph Kaufmann.

1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

A very strange thing happened to Martin Kaufmann in 1931. An article published in the Perry County Republican describes the unusual problem he had with his teeth.

Martin Kaufmann – PCR article 1931

The surgeon mentioned in this article, Dr. G.B. Schulz, at one time conducted his practice out of the Wagner Hotel in Altenburg. He later established the Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau.

In March of 1939, it was determined that Martin should be moved to the state hospital in Farmington. Another article published in the Perry County Republican describes this move.

Martin Kaufmann – PCR article 1939

As it turned out, Martin was not at the state hospital long. The above article was written in March, and in May of 1939, Martin died at the age of 77. His death certificate gives the cause of death as senile psychosis.

Martin Kaufmann death certificate

Emma was still living near Altenburg when the 1940 census was taken. She was living by herself.

1940 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Emma Kaufmann died in 1947 at the age of 66. When she died, she was living in St. Louis. Her daughter, Alida Hellwege, is the informant on her death certifcate.

Emma Kaufmann death certificate

Both Martin and Emma Kaufmann are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

Martin Kaufmann had quite the life. He married a bride 20 years younger than he was, he once swallowed part of his teeth, and he ended his life in the state hospital.


I attended the funeral of Gladys Engert this morning. Our church is still decorated for Christmas. I think it was appropriate for Gladys’s last time in church, she was surrounded by Christmas trees. Gladys really enjoyed decorating trees for our annual Christmas exhibit at our museum.

Gladys Engert funeral

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s