Four surnames will enter today’s story. All of them have shown up plenty of times on this blog. It’s one of those stories in which a widow and a widower unite for a second marriage. It begins with a birthday boy.
Herman Ferdinand Hoffmann was born on March 6, 1880, so today would be his 142nd birthday. Ferdinand was the son of Charles and Marie (Mueller) Hoffmann. Our German Family Tree lists 12 children born to this family, and Ferdinand was #12. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. His baptism record is pictured here.
Already in 1880, Ferdinand shows up as a baby in the census. His father was a farmer in the Shawnee Township.
It would not be until Ferdinand was 20 years old before we can find him in another census, and he was no longer living with his parents. His father had died in 1886, and his mother had remarried. He was not found living with that couple either. Instead, we find him as a servant in the Henry Kasten household. That family lived in the Apple Creek Township.
We now will turn our attention to the woman that Ferdinand would marry. Her name was Ida Pauline Mueller, who was born on September 25, 1886. Pauline was the daughter of Wilhelm and Adelheit (Tiedemann) Mueller. Yes, that means Ferdinand’s mother was a Mueller, and his wife was a Mueller. However, these two Mueller’s were from entirely different clans. Pauline was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can also take a look at her baptism record.
Pauline only shows up in one census as a single woman. That was in the 1900 census entry for the Mueller household displayed below. Pauline was 13 years old. That was also the year that she was confirmed at Trinity.
Ferdinand Hoffmann married Pauline Mueller on November 5, 1903 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for this event is shown here.
The marriage license for this couple can also be viewed.
Eight children were born to Ferdinand and Pauline. The first 2 were baptized at Immanuel, New Wells. The next 4 were baptized at Trinity, Altenburg, and the last 2 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. When the 1910 census was taken, we find the Hoffmann’s living in Altenburg. Ferdinand was doing odd jobs. The first two children of this couple died at very early ages, so there was just one daughter in this household in 1910.
Ferdinand had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. This document states that he was employed by the Perfection Furniture Manufacturing Company in Wittenberg, also known as the swing factory.
We find the Hoffmann family living in Wittenberg in the 1920 census. Ferdinand was still working at the swing factory. Right below their entry, you can find Adolph Hoffmann, Ferdinand’s older brother, who was also employed by the swing factory. Both were called painters (probably more accurately, they were stainers).
It turns out that Ferdinand had a job-related death in 1922. His death certificate says his cause of death was naphtha poisoning. Ferdinand was just 42 years old at the time of his death.
I found this document about the harmful effects of naphtha. You can see that it can be quite the dangerous chemical to be handling.
The death certificate says that Ferdinand Hoffmann was buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, but there is no gravestone photo on Findagrave.com. I even went to the cemetery yesterday to look for it, but only found an empty gravesite.
Pauline is found in the 1930 census living with her children in Cape Girardeau. She was doing housework for private homes.
Now, because Pauline would again get married, we will look at the life of Ernst Engert, her second husband. Ernst (sometimes spelled Ernest) was born on October 16, 1874, the son of Gotthilf and Anna (Gerler) Engert. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Here is his baptism record.
In 1880, Ernst was 6 years old when he appeared in the census for that year.
in 1900, Ernst shows up in the census record for Fountain Bluff Township in Illinois. He was in the Adolph Dietrich household.
Marie Schade would become Ernst Engert’s first wife. She was born on May 3, 1874, the daughter of August and Elisabeth (Brandt) Schade. Her baptism record from the Immanuel, Altenburg books is shown below.
I’m going to skip ahead to display Marie in the 1900 census. Her father had died in 1876 when she was just 2 years old.
Ernst Engert married Marie Schade on October 18, 1903 at Immanuel, Altenburg, about 2 weeks before the Hoffmann/Mueller marriage mentioned earlier. Their church record is pictured here.
We can take a look at their wedding poto.
This couple had 4 children, all of which were baptized at Immanuel, Altenburg. We find this couple in the 1910 census with 3 children. Ernst was a farm laborer in the Union Township.
Next, we find this family in the Brazeau Township in 1920.
Marie Engert died in 1925 at the age of 50. She was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg, but there is no gravestone photo on Findagrave for her. I also went to that cemetery and was unsuccessful at locating it.
Ernst Engert married again. His second wife was Pauline Hoffmann. These two were married on October 18, 1934. That means Ernst was married twice and got married both times on October 18th. Here is the marriage license for this pair.
In 1940 this pair was living in Cape Girardeau. It looks like they were living in some sort of boarding house.
Ernst Engert died in 1944 at the age of 69. Below is his death certificate.
Pauline Engert died in 1957 at the age of 70. Here is her death certificate.
Ernst and Pauline were buried in the Fairmount Cemetery in Cape Girardeau. However, Findagrave does not picture a gravestone for either of them. Only this image is shown for a marker for Ernst.
I must confess. It makes me sad when I find people whose graves are unmarked in a cemetery. This story includes four major characters, and none of them are identified in the cemetery in which they are buried.