Heise Hopping

Yesterday, I told a story in which much of the information was found in the Arnsberg binder. Today, our story begins with a girl whose surname was Arensburg, which was sometimes spelled Arnsburg. Today’s birthday girl ends up marrying a Heise, and we are going to discover that the Heise name hops back and forth across the Mississippi River several times before all is said and done. So, let’s begin hopping.

Elise Amalia Augusta Arensburg was born on January 4, 1875, making today her 147th birthday. Amalia was the daughter of August and Margaretha (Staufenberg) Arensburg. She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at her baptism record from that congregation’s books.

Amalie Arensburg baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

The only census record in which we find Amalie before she was married was the one taken in 1880. Amalie is called Mollie in this entry. She was 7 years old, and her father was an engineer. I am thinking that her father was working at Joseph Weinhold’s flour mill in Wittenberg. Amalie’s grandfather, Frederick Arensburg, was a barkeeper in Wittenberg.

1880 census – Wittenberg, MO

Now, we take a look at the early life of the man that she would marry. His name was Gerhard Georg Ernst Wilhelm Heise. Gerhard was born on March 26, 1867, the son of Andreas and Anna (Keyl) Heise. His mother was the daughter of Rev. E.G.W. Keyl, who was the first pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Gerhard was the first child born into his family. The second child, who was born in 1868, was baptized at Concordia, Frohna, but Gerhard’s baptism record is not found in any church records in Perry County. This is explained when we look at Gerhard’s confirmation record which is found in the Concordia, Frohna books. It says Gerhard was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

Gerhard Heise confirmation record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Rev. Keyl was living in Baltimore at the time of Gerhard’s birth, so it is likely that he performed Gerhard’s baptism. Since the E.G.W. in Rev. Keyl’s name were for his name, Ernst Gerhard Wilhelm, I think it also likely that Gerhard was named after his grandfather. The Heise family must have moved from Maryland to Missouri sometime in 1867 or 1868. Gerhard is found in his first census in 1870. Gerhard, called Jere in this entry, was 3 years old, and his father was a cooper. I’m thinking that his father may have been at the Frohna Flour Mill run by Joseph Weinhold’s brothers.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

When the 1880 census was taken, Gerhard was a teenager.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Gerhard Heise married Amalie Arensburg on April 15, 1895. The church record for this wedding is found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Although the record is found in those books, it is somewhat reasonable to think this marriage took place in the church/school building located in Wittenberg. This record says Gerhard was from Altenburg and Amalie was from Wittenberg.

Heise/Arensburg marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We can also view this couple’s marriage license. I find it interesting that Amalie is called Miss A.A. Arensburg on this document.

Heise/Arensburg marriage license

This couple’s first child, Emilie Eleonore Heise, who was born in 1898, has her baptism record in the books of Trinity, Altenburg. However, when the 1900 census was taken, we find the Heise family living in Murphysboro, Illinois where Gerhard was a cooper. Could it be that Gerhard learned this trade from his father-in-law.

1900 census – Murphysboro, IL

The next child born to this couple, another girl named Ruth Heise, was born in 1908, and her baptism record is found in the books of the relatively new congregation, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. We also find a note in our German Family Tree saying that Gerhard had become a member of St. Paul’s, Wittenberg in 1904. So, this couple must have hopped back over the Mississippi River back to Missouri. We find the Heise household in the 1910 census living in the Brazeau Township. Based on the names of others on this census page, he must have been living in Wittenberg.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In the above entry, Gerhard is called a bartender at a saloon. One of the characters in my Wittenberg Series of books, Bill Mayhew, was the proprietor of a saloon in Wittenberg in the 1910 census. Perhaps Gerhard was working for Bill.

Gerhard Heise died in 1911 at the age of 43. However, even though there were death certificates available in 1911 in Missouri, we do not find one for Gerhard. What we do find is Gerhard’s gravesite in the St. Peter’s Lutheran Cemetery in Campbell Hill, Illinois, another town in Jackson County.

Gerhard Heise gravestone – St. Peter’s, Campbell Hill, IL

It looks like Gerhard hopped across the Mississippi River yet again. Just a quick note: Gerhard is the only Heise gravesite in that cemetery.

At this point, Amalie Heise disappears from the records. At least I could not find her again. I suspect that she may have died at around that time also, but I know she wasn’t buried in Campbell HIll, nor do we find a death record for her in our German Family Tree. I looked all over the place to see if I could find an Amalie Heise who got married after 1911. I found several of them, but none of the facts matched Amalie’s information.

What I did find was where one of their daughters, Ruth, was living in 1920. We find her living in Wittenberg in the Frank Masters household. She is called a ward at the age of 11.

1920 census – Wittenberg, MO

Ruth was another Heise that died at a rather young age, and when we look at a death record for her, it says she was living in Grand Tower, Illinois when she died. So, here is another Heise who hopped across the river. Except she wasn’t a Heise at the time. She had married Evert Wright sometime before 1928, when she died at the age of 19. Here is an Illinois record of her death.

Ruth Heise Wright – Illinois death record

Let me tell you another quick story. Not long ago, I wrote the post titled, Wittenberg Winter. In that story, August Winter married Mary Arensburg, Amalie’s sister. That couple had a child named Bertha Winter, who married Otto Lungwitz. Bertha would later operate a bar which was located in the building that was once the home of Joseph Weinhold, the flour mill operator in Wittenberg. Bertha and Otto had a child named Pearline, who would later marry Claud Wright, who was originally from Grand Tower, Illinois. I was unable to tie Claud Wright to Evert Wright, but they were both from the small town of Grand Tower just across the river from Wittenberg. Can we include Claud Wright in the category of Mississippi River hoppers since he found his wife in Wittenberg? He wasn’t a Heise, but he had Heise connections. Perhaps, Claud and Pearline’s son, Delwayne Wright could tell us if Claud and Evert were related.

One thought on “Heise Hopping

  1. There’s a little more to Ruth being called a ward of Frank Masters in the 1920 census. First, you need to know her mother, “Molly Heise of Wittenberg”, married “John H. Masters of Wittenberg” in Ste. Genevieve Co., MO on 29 June 1914:

    January 1919 would prove to be a tough month for the family as the flu pandemic gripped the area. First, John “Henry” Masters died January 6:

    Click to access 1919_00000516.PDF

    The Perry County Republican reported his death in their edition on the 9th and hinted there was more tragedy to follow, as his [step-]daughter was also seriously ill:

    As it turns out, his step-daughter, “Norah”, had died on the 7th, so they probably just didn’t update the type before they went to press:

    Click to access 1919_00000515.PDF

    Finally, Molly died on January 18:

    Click to access 1919_00000532.PDF

    I can’t imagine how tough it must have been for Ruth to lose her step-father, sister, and mother, all in less than two weeks! After her own death in 1928, her widowed husband, “Evertt Wright” was enumerated with her step-grandmother, Margaret Eveline (Randolph) Masters, or “Maggie”, in Grand Town, Jackson Co., IL at the time of the 1930 census:


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