Married and Buried in Alva, Oklahoma

Before I get too far into today’s story, let me say that once again, I had to create a new folder for another surname because of this tale. Actually, the surname has shown up briefly in one previous post, but that one did not contain any images for this new surname. That surname was Wiebener, which is not a Perry County name. There is very little in our German Family Tree about this name. In fact, the image below contains the little that we do have.

Wiebener information – GFT

In the above image, it says that Henry C. Wiebener was born on January 8, 1893 in Minnesota. I will present a few documents that dispute this date of birth along the way. So, although it looks like Henry is today’s birthday boy, it may actually be the case that he was born on January 9th. Henry was the son of John and Katie (Deitrich) Wiebener. I located a birth record for Henry, and it is the first one I found that supports a January 9th birthday.

Henry Wiebener birth record – Sioux Valley, MN

Henry can be found in the 1900 census in which his family was living in the Sioux Valley Township in Jackson County, Minnesota. Henry was 7 years old, and his father was a farmer.

1900 census – Sioux Valley Township, MN

Sometime during the next decade, the Wiebener family moved to another state. In the 1910 census, we find this family living in Alva, Oklahoma. Henry was a teenager by then, and he was working on his father’s farm.

1910 census – Alva, OK

When we look at the story of Henry’s bride, it takes us back to Perry County, Missouri. Susan Sophia Groh was born on October 5, 1893, the daughter of Carl and Louise (Rauh) Groh. Susan was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Her baptism record from that congregation’s books is displayed below.

Susan Groh baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Susan is found in the 1900 census living in the Brazeau Township. Susan was 6 years old, and her father was a carpenter.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

While living in Frohna, this Groh family had a photograph taken. The caption will identify all the people in the photo.

Like the Wiebener family, the Groh’s moved to Alva, Oklahoma in the first decade of the 20th century. The story of Susan’s parents’ move to Oklahoma was told in the post, Groh-klahoma! The 1910 census shows this family living in Alva. Susan was 16 years old at the time.

1910 census – Alva, OK

That leads us up to the marriage of Henry Wiebener and Susan Groh that took place on May 11, 1913 at Zion Lutheran Church in Alva. Several years ago, our museum obtained images of that congregation’s records because so many Perry County natives ended up in Alva.

Wiebener/Groh marriage record – Zion, Alva, OK

I included the marriage record of Susan’s brother, Ernst, who married Anna Brehmer later that year. You might notice that Anna was born in Sioux Valley, Minnesota. I wrote a post about that couple titled, Groh West, Young Man. That was the one that included the surname Wiebener.

We can take a look at the wedding photo for this couple.

Henry and Susan Wiebener wedding

Not long after they were married, Henry and Susan were found living in New Mexico. When Henry had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917, their address was given as Taylor Springs, New Mexico. This document says that Henry was a farmer. This document also gives Henry’s date of birth as January 9th.

Henry Wiebener – WWI draft registration

This couple was still living in New Mexico when the 1920 census was taken. Springer and Taylor Springs were not far from each other.

1920 census – Springer, NM

The next census in which we find Henry and Susan was a Kansas state census that was taken in 1925. We find this couple living in the Everett Township in Woodson County.

1925 Kansas state census – Everett Township, KS

I was not successful at finding the Wiebener’s in the 1930 census, but in the one taken in 1940, we find them living in Emporia, Kansas. It appears that Henry and Susan were childless. I never found a census that included a child. This census says that Henry was a salesman for an implement business.

1940 census – Emporia, KS

Henry Wiebener had to complete a World War II draft card in 1942. Once again, we see a birth date of January 9th.

Henry Wiebener – WWII draft card

There are plenty of city directory documents that show this pair living in Emporia, Kansas. Here is one that was published in 1957.

Henry Wiebener – 1957 Emporia city directory

It appears that the Wiebener’s moved back to Alva, Oklahoma sometime later. Henry Wiebener died in 1960 at the age of 67, and his death record is found in the books of Zion Lutheran Church in Alva.

Henry Wiebener death record – Zion, Alva, OK

The above death record is one of those that does not give a birth date. Instead, it gives the number of years, months, and days that Henry lived. This must be where his birth date was calculated to be January 8th. I think a mistake was made.

Susan Wiebener died in 1985 at the age of 91. Her death record is also found in the books of Zion, Alva. I took a photo of that record, but it turned out to be rather blurry, so I decided not to display it. I also did not want to make another trip to the museum.

Henry and Susan Wiebener are buried together in the Alva Municipal Cemetery in Alva.

Henry and Susan Wiebener gravestone – Alva Municipal Cemetery

I must display a few more photos taken of Susan (or Susie) Wiebener during her life. A photo was taken of the children of Carl and Louise Groh later in their lives. Once again, the caption will direct you to which one is Susie.

Much earlier in her life, a series of rather fashionable photos were taken of Susie. It certainly looks as if she enjoyed having these pictures taken of her modeling different hats and an umbrella.

Susie Groh Wiedener

Henry and Susan Wiebener lived in many different locations during their lives. I find it interesting that although they didn’t spend much of their lives in Alva, Oklahoma, that is where they were married and buried. They moved there to get married, and they moved there to get buried.

One thought on “Married and Buried in Alva, Oklahoma

  1. Wish my Mother was still living to see if she recognized any of this name. She passed away 6 years ago this past November.


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