Back in Kansas Again

Today, you may feel like Dorothy and Toto did at the end of the movie when they found themselves back in Kansas again. This is the third consecutive post that takes us from the Perry County area to the state of Kansas.

Minna Petrina Engert is today’s birthday girl. She was born on February 5, 1859, the daughter of August and Anna (Jungclaus) Engert. Minna was part of an amazing family. Her father, August, fathered 23 children, 10 with his first wife and 13 with his second wife. Minna was the 5th child born to the second wife, so that also made her the 15th child of her father. Minna was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. An image of her baptism record from that congregation’s books is pictured here.

Minna Engert baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Minna was a infant when she showed up in her first census in 1860. Her father was a farmer. I’ll point out that her father was about 20 years older than his second wife, Anna.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Since 8 more children were born after Minna, we find an even larger Engert family in the 1870 census. It spills over two census pages. And if that family wasn’t already big enough, there was an 8 year-old boy, Henry Fritsche, living in their household. He was actually an Engert grandchild whose father had died in 1869.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at the man that Minna would marry. His name was Adolph Heinrich Robert Oehlert, who had a birthday two days after Minna’s. He was born on February 7, 1851, the son of Henry and Christiane (Walther) Oehlert. Robert was born in Germany and was still a baby when his family decided to move to America. The Oehlert’s, along with some Walther’s, arrived in New Orleans in November of 1851. We can see these families on the passenger list for the ship, Diana.

Oehlert/Walther – Diana passenger list 1851

Robert is found in the 1860 census at the age of 9. He was called Albert in this census entry. His father was a stone mason.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Robert in the 1870 census. At the age of 19, he was working on his father’s farm.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

On October 15, 1876, Robert Oehlert married Minna Engert at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for this wedding is shown here.

Oehlert/Engert marriage recored – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

We can also take a look at the civil marriage record from Perry County.

Oehlert/Engert marriage record – Perry County, MO

Our German Family Tree lists 6 children born to this couple, all baptized at Immanuel, Altenburg, but 2 more would be born in Kansas. The 1880 census still has the Oehlert family in Perry County and living with Robert’s parents. Robert is called a stone mason and farmer.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The last child baptized in Altenburg took place in 1887. After that, Robert and Minna moved their family to Kansas. According to some family histories on, a few children were born in Butler County, Kansas, but later this family would be located in Cheney, Kansas, one county west of Butler. The first census we can view for this family in Kansas was a state census taken in 1895, which shows them living in the Grand River Township in Sedgwick County. That is where the town of Cheney, Kansas is found. The Oehlert family were members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Cheney.

1895 Kansas state census – Grand River Township, KS

Then, in 1900, we find them in the federal census in that location. Robert was a farmer with 5 children in his household.

1900 census – Grand River Township, KS

We find the Oehlert’s in the 1910 census in the same location. This would be the last census in which we find Minna Oehlert.

1910 census – Grand River Township, KS

Minna Oehlert died in 1918 at the age of 59. So, in the 1920 census, we find Robert as a widower living with just one remaining daughter. This time, they were living in Haven, Kansas, which is not that far from Cheney.

1920 census – Haven, KS

While living in Haven, Kansas, Robert had a photo taken with his son, Rudolph Oehlert.

Robert and Rudolph Oehlert – Haven, KS

The last census in which we find Robert Oehlert was the one taken in 1930. He was living in the Wulf household. Robert’s daughter, Hulda, had married Henry Wulf. We also see another Perry County name in this entry, Helen Grother. She was the daughter of Charles and Dena (Oehlert) Grother, whose story was told in the post, A Perry County Wedding in Kansas. This household was living in Humboldt, Kansas, which is not that far from Cheney, Kansas.

1930 census – Humboldt, KS

Robert Oehlert died in 1933 at the age of 82. Robert and Minna are buried together in the St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery in Cheney, Kansas.

Robert and Minna Oehlert gravestone – St. Paul, Cheney, KS

In an earlier post, A-Lert in Kansas, it was mentioned that the founder of A-Lert Construction Company may be a descendant of this family. I still don’t know for sure, but on that company’s website, it gives this history of their company and their founder, Harry Oehlert.

This company now has branches all over the country.

3 thoughts on “Back in Kansas Again

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