I am going to tell the story of a man by the name of August Schirmer today because he is a birthday boy, but in the course of researching his story, I discovered that his mother had the same date of birth. Hermine Ida Petzoldt was born on January 20, 1839 in Germany. Then, after she travelled to America and had gotten married, she had a son who was born on her 24th birthday.
August Christoph Schirmer was born on January 20, 1863, making today his 159th birthday. He was the son of Conrad and Hermine (Petzoldt) Schirmer and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Our German Family Tree says August was child #2 out of 10 children born to this Schirmer couple. We can take a look at an image of August’s baptism record from that congregation’s books. That church’s first pastor, Rev. Georg Schieferdecker, was still serving that congregation and would have performed the baptism of August.
August is found in his first census in 1870 at the age of 7. His father was a carpenter.
The last census in which we find August living in Perry County was the one taken in 1880. Even though his father was a carpenter, August and a few other teenage brothers were said to be working on the farm. August was 17 years old at the time.
Now, we will turn our attention to the woman who would become August’s wife. She was not from Perry County. Her name was Frances Ceraleta Emmaline Bollinger, who was born on December 28, 1868. She went by the name of Emma. Her parents were Abraham and Mary Ann (Statler) Bollinger. Emma was born in Bollinger County, which is also near the location of the historical landmark, the Bollinger Mill. I didn’t take the time to see if and how Emma was related to the family after which this county is named, but it is likely that she was related somehow. Emma is found in her first census in 1870 living in the Union Township of Bollinger County. Emma was part of a rather large family, and she was one of the youngest. She was called Frances in this entry. Her father was a farmer.
The last time Emma is found living in Bollinger County and also in the state of Missouri, was the one taken in 1880. She was 12 years old.
I have no idea how a young man from East Perry County would get to know a girl from Bollinger County. There must be a story there that I do not know. August Schirmer married Emma Bollinger on November 7, 1889. This couple was married in Jackson, Missouri by a Justice of the Peace. Below is an image of their marriage license.
After their marriage, one child, a daughter named Bertha, was born and baptized at Immanuel, Altenburg in 1890. After that, we no longer find evidence of them living in this area.
The next document I found for this couple was their 1900 census entry. By that time, this pair was no longer found in Missouri. They were living in Jones County, Texas. Probably the largest recognizable town near Jones County was that of Abilene, Texas. Abilene is actually partially located in Jones County. This census entry says this couple was living in Justice Precinct 5, which is the name of the township. I’m not sure exactly where that was, but I suspect the Schirmer’s may have been living in the city of Stamford. August is called a machinist, which is an occupation that would most likely be found in a town or city. August and Emma had 3 children by this time.
The 1910 census shows this family still living in Jones County, Texas. This time, August was called a carpenter. Also, one of his son’s, George, was a carpenter at the age of 17.
In the next decade, it appears that August and Emma were likely divorced. From here on, these two lived in different locations. In 1920, we find August living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and working as a millwright. He is said to be single.
I was not able to find Emma Schirmer in the 1920 census, but in 1930, she was living in Stamford, Texas. At the age of 61, she was called a laundress. She was said in this entry to be a widow.
The 1930 census shows August to be living in St. Joseph, Missouri and working as a millwright in a flour mill. This entry says August was divorced.
When the 1940 census was taken, August is found living in the Brooking Township of Jackson County, Missouri. That is located in the Kansas City area. At the age of 77, August had no occupation. In the married status column, you find an “M” indicating “married”, but there is an “X” marked over it.
August Schirmer died in 1950 at the age of 87. His death certificate says he died in Raytown, Missouri. This form says he was both a retired carpenter and a millwright. It also incorrectly says he was born in Perryville, Illinois. This document is another one that says he was divorced.
August was buried in the Mount Moriah Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri. I will add here that his son, George Schirmer, who is the informant on August’s death certificate, is also buried in that cemetery.
Let’s return to Emma Schirmer. I managed to find this photo of her taken later in her life.
Emma died in 1967 at the age of 98. She is buried in the Highland Cemetery in Stamford, Texas.
Thankfully, I have not had to tell too many stories on this blog about couples that end up divorced. Because of the divorce in this case today, it forced me to do extra research to find these two in several different locations. They made me work a little harder.