Gerler’s in Nebraska

After beginning to look at a birthday girl with the surname, Hilpert, I eventually discovered that her story would also involve the surnames, Mueller, Gerler, and Hansmeier. That last name is not a “Perry County name”, but by the time that name enters the story, the setting for the story will be in Nebraska, not in Missouri.

Martha Maria Hilpert was born on February 26, 1892, making today her 130th birthday. Martha was the daughter of Andreas and Anna (Ross) Hilpert, whose story was told in the post, Andreas and Anna – The Hilpert’s. Martha was the 6th of 8 children in this Hilpert family, who were all baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. An image of her baptism record is displayed below.

Martha Hilpert baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

A Perry County birth record is also available to view.

Martha Hilpert birth record – Perry County, MO

Martha was 8 years old when she is found in the 1900 census. Her father was a farmer near Frohna.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

When the 1910 census was taken, Martha was not found living in Perry County. She moved across the river and was living in the Henry Vogt household in the Fountain Bluff Township near Jacob, Illinois. Henry Vogt’s wife was a Schroeder from Perry County. Martha was an 18 year-old “hired girl”.

1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Martha returned to Perry County after this and was married in 1914, so let’s take a look at the man who would become her first husband. His name was Christian Jacob Mueller, who was born on August 27, 1884. Jacob’s parents were Jacob and Anna Maria (Hartung) Mueller. Our German Family Tree lists 11 children born into this Mueller family, but several of them died at rather young ages. Four of these children were boys, and all of them died before having children, including Jacob, so this Mueller branch had no Mueller’s in the next generation. Jacob was also one of a set of twin boys. His twin died two months after birth. All of the Mueller children have their baptism records in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, but I think it is likely that many may have been baptized in the church/school building in Wittenberg. Jacob and his twin brother’s baptism records are shown here.

Johann and Jacob Mueller baptism records – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Jacob shows up in the 1900 census at the age of 15. He was working on his father’s farm.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It was a little more difficult finding Jacob in the 1910 census. He was not living with his parents. I think I found him living in Ste. Genevieve. There was a Jacob J. Mueller, Jr. living in the Lawrence Huck household and called a boarder. It also says he was a farm laborer. He is the right age, and I think this was today’s character.

1910 census – Ste. Genevieve, MO

Jacob Mueller married Martha Hilpert on November 10, 1914 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can take a look at this couple’s church marriage record. This record says that Jacob was from Wittenberg.

Mueller/Hilpert marriage record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

I can also show you the marriage license for this pair. This also says Jacob was from Wittenberg.

Mueller/Hilpert marriage license

Sadly, Jacob died exactly 4 months later, leaving Martha as a widow. I could not find a Missouri death certificate for him, but his death record in the St. Paul’s, Wittenberg books say that he died of lung fever. He is buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery. His gravestone is another place where we see him referred to a Jacob Mueller, Jr.

Jacob Mueller gravestone – St. Paul’s, Wittenberg, MO

When the 1920 census was taken, we find Martha living with her father. It looks as if her name was Martha Hilpert, but her married name was Martha Mueller.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Martha would get married again. Let’s take a look at her second husband. Joseph Adolph Gerler, the son of Christian and Susanna (Vogel) Gerler, was born on December 7, 1895. Joseph was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can also take a look at his baptism record.

Joseph Gerler baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

It must not have been long after Joseph’s birth that his family moved across the river to Jackson County, Illinois. Joseph was a 4 year-old living in the Fountain Bluff Township in the 1900 census. His father was a farmer.

1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

By the time of the 1910 census, the Gerler’s were back in Perry County. Joseph was 14 years old at the time. This was the year that Joseph was confirmed, and we find that he was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In 1917, Joseph had his World War I draft registration completed, and it shows him living in Beemer, Nebraska and working on the farm of Adolf W. Joella (sp?).

Joseph Gerler – WWI draft registration

Next, we find Joseph in the 1920 census back living in his father’s household, which is somewhat surprising considering the next document we will view.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Joseph Gerler married Martha (Hilpert) Mueller on November 14, 1920 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. The surprising fact on this record is that Joseph is said to be from Potter, Nebraska.

Gerler/Mueller marriage record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

The marriage license for this couple can also be viewed. This form says Joseph was from Perry County.

Gerler/Mueller marriage license

There was one child born to this couple. That was a daughter named Laverna who was born in Nebraska. We find the Gerler’s in the 1930 census living in the Pleasant View Township of Cheyenne County, Nebraska which is near Potter. Joseph was a farmer. Clara Lorenz, another Perry County native, was a servant in their household.

1930 census – Pleasant View Township, NE

Martha Gerler died in 1937 at the age of 45. She was buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Cheyenne County, Nebraska. I have been told on several occasions that some of the cemeteries in the Potter, Nebraska area are mislabeled on, so I will just say this cemetery is located near Potter.

Martha Gerler gravestone – St. Paul’s, Cheyenne County, NE

Joseph is found in the 1940 census, living in the same location. However, his household had gotten larger, considering he had only one child and had lost his wife. His brother, Ernest, and his family had joined the household. Now there were more Gerler’s in Nebraska.

1940 census – Pleasant View Township, NE

Joseph Gerler married again. Although I have no documentation, it is reported that he married Gertrude Hansmeier in Alameda, California on February 15, 1942.

In 1942, Joseph had a World War II draft card completed. You can see that he is still living in Potter, Nebraska and that he is married.

Joseph Gerler – WWII draft card

I am not going to go into detail about Gertrude, other than to say that it looks like she spent almost all her life in Nebraska not far from Potter. I don’t know how or why she and Joseph got to California for a marriage. Joseph died in 1986 at the age of 90; Gertrude died in 1994 at the age of 93. Joseph and Gertrude are buried together in the Greenwood Cemetery in Sidney, Nebraska.

Joseph and Gertrude Gerler gravestone – Greenwood, Sidney, NE

Now, you know yet another story of some more Perry County natives that ended up near Potter, Nebraska.

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