Today’s post began with my discovery of a special birthday, but led to another discovery of a collection of photographs of descendants of the birthday girl who gathered for family reunions over the years. The Engelhart family arrived in America in 1875, but they began in northern Austria. Like many others of Austrian descent, the Engelhart’s settled in the Shawnee Township of northern Cape Girardeau County. Let’s begin with today’s special birthday.
Theresa Gumpelmeier was born on January 1, 1847, making today her 175th birthday. Theresa was born in Feldham, Gmunden, Upper Austria. Her father was Carl Gumpelheimer. I do not know her mother’s first name, but later, on Theresa’s death certificate, it says her mother’s maiden name was Humbner.
Theresa’s would marry Joseph Karl Engelhart, who was born on August 21, 1840 near Gmunden, Upper Austria. Joseph was the son of Joseph and Maria Theresia (Nussbaumer) Engelhart. Family histories on Ancestry.com state that Joseph Engelhart married Theresa Gumpelmeier on June 17, 1867. Three children were born in Austria to this couple before they moved to the United States. Six more children would be born in America, and all of those children were baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. The Engelhart family made the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the ship, Oder, in 1875. We see this family on the passenger list for that ship.
The first census in which we find this Engelhart family was the one taken in 1880. Joseph was a farmer with 5 children.
The next census we can view is the one taken in 1900. Some children had gotten married by this time, so there were just 5 of their 9 children left in the household.
The first of the family photos I will display today was taken in 1904. I love the fact that all of the people in the photo are identified. I do not know if there was a reason for this family to gather in 1904. I could not find a wedding anniversary for any of the family members that took place that year.
Next, we find the Engelhart household in the 1910 census. Their son, Joseph, would get married a few years after this census. Bertha and August never married.
In 1917, Joseph and Theresa celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and another family photo was taken on that occasion. Once again, all the folks in the photo are identified.
The 1920 census would be the last one in which we find Theresa Engelhart. Just Bertha and August were left in their household. Joseph was always a farmer.
Theresa Engelhart died in 1922 at the age of 75. Her death certificate lists stomach cancer as the cause of death. This is the document that gives the maiden name of Theresa’s mother, but it does not give a first name. This is also a document that verifies her date of birth as being January 1, 1847.
There were also a few photographs that I think were taken in the 1920’s that were “Four Generations” photos. First, here is one that shows a youngster named Roland.
Then there is this one with two youngsters named Marvin and Gerald. I think this one was taken at the same time as the next family reunion photo I will display.
Another Engelhart family gathering took place in 1929. Once again, I do not know if there was any special occasion that precipitated this gathering. Joseph is sitting on the left side with a dark suit.
Joseph Engelhart is found one more time in the 1930 census. He is called a grandfather in the Theodore Martin household. Joseph was 89 years old at the time.
In the same year as that census, plat maps were produced for Cape Girardeau County. We find the Engelhart farm located not far west of the town of Pocahontas (although you cannot tell that from the image below).
Joseph Engelhart died in 1933 at the age of 92. Pneumonia is given as the cause of death on his death certificate.
Joseph and Theresa Engelhart are buried together in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.
One of the Engelhart children, Frank Engelhart, became a Lutheran minister. I found evidence that he served congregations in Ohio, Iowa, and Minnesota.
The Engelhart family reunion photos are not over yet. A rather large reunion took place in 1979, 50 years after the 1929 reunion. I think it was on that occasion that a book was printed giving a history of the Engelhart family. I have not seen that book but it is reported that this photograph of Joseph’s mother, Maria Theresia Nussbaumer, is displayed on the cover. The book is titled, “Mother of Us All”. Her name given in the caption mentions the name Kirschmeyr. After her Engelhart husband died, she married Matthias Kirschmeyr.
I will display a few photos that were taken at the 1979 Engelhart reunion. Below is one that appeared in a newspaper, and it as a group of first cousins in this family.
An article about the reunion was also published along with the above photo.
Here is another photo from that reunion. Three children of Joseph and Theresa are found in this photo. Charles is sitting on the far left in front. Harold is third from the left in front. Verna is third from the right in front.
Finally, here is the large gathering of Engelhart descendants at that reunion.
It is not often that I manage to find a collection of photos of family gatherings like the ones found in this post. I hope you enjoyed seeing these photos as much as I did. I also would love to see our museum add a copy of the Engelhart “Mother of Us All” book to our research library someday.