My grandmother’s name was Bertha Schmidt. I have discovered several Bertha Schmidt’s while researching for this blog. Some of them, like my grandmother, became a Bertha Schmidt by marrying a Schmidt. Others, like a character in today’s story, were born as Bertha Schmidt. I will eventually include her in this story, but I will begin with a birthday boy.
Benjamin Ludwig Roth was born on March 17, 1878, making today his 144th birthday. Benjamin was the son of August and Ernestine (Feig) Roth. A story was written about Benjamin’s parents, A Frohna Farmer’s Dozen. Benjamin was one of that farmer’s dozen children. Here is a photo of his parents.
Benjamin was also the brother of two other siblings that were part of the amazing story of a double Roth/Roth wedding that was discussed in the post, Roth-Roth and Roth-Roth. Benjamin was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. An image of his baptism record is displayed below.
I had to look in the long-lost pages of the 1880 Union Township census to find Benjamin in his first census. He was 2 years old, and his father was a farmer.
Because we cannot view the 1890 census, we do not find Benjamin in another census entry until 1900. He was no longer living with his parents in Frohna. Instead, he was living in the Adolph Dietrich household near Jacob, Illinois. This census entry showed up in a post that was written earlier this month that included the character, Ernst Engert.
The above entry explains how Benjamin met his future bride. Her name was Bertha Anna Emilie Schmidt, who was born on November 17, 1888. She was the daughter of Alois and Maria (Pfeiffer) Schmidt. Her baptism record is included in the books of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. What I find interesting is that Bertha was born in November of 1888, but was not baptized until March of 1889. And when she did get baptized, it was on her future husband’s birthday, March 17th.
The only census in which we find Bertha as a single woman was the one taken in 1900. Her mother had died in 1898, and her father had then married the widow, Johanna (Bourges) Wunderlin. Bertha’s father was a farmer.
Benjamin Roth married Bertha Schmidt on September 9, 1909 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can view the church record for that event. Concordia was between pastors at the time, and Rev. H. Schmidt (no relation to Bertha) from Trinity, Altenburg conducted this marriage.
This couple’s marriage license is pictured here.
The 1910 census shows this couple living in the Bois Brule Township. One of Benjamin’s brothers, Paul, was living with them.
Ben and Bertha’s two boys were born in 1910 and 1911. Those two were baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest.
I find it interesting that these two boys would have such similar names as Leo and Leonard.
An article published in the Perry County Republican in 1910 told of Benjamin’s successful farming. The Bois Brule bottom is where Point Rest was located.
Ben and Bertha must certainly have attended the Roth/Roth and Roth/Roth weddings that took place at Concordia, Frohna in 1915. Benjamin had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. It gives Menfro as his address.
The 1920 census shows Ben and Bertha with their two boys.
Next, we find this Roth household in the 1930 census, still living in the Bois Brule Township. Two children, Melba and Arthur Davis, were living with them. They were described as a niece and a nephew. These two were children of Sylveda Schmidt, Bertha’s sister.
The last census we can view in which we find Ben and Bertha was the one taken in 1940. Ben and Bertha had an empty nest.
Benjamin, despite being in his 60’s, had to complete a World War II draft card in 1942.
Benjamin Roth died in 1946 at the age of 67. His death certificate says he was 68 years old when he died, but it also lists his year of birth as 1877, which is incorrect. Benjamin died at the St. Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau. This form also says that Benjamin was a worker at the International Shoe Company in Perryville.
Bertha Roth died in 1973 at the age of 85. At the time of this writing, we can only view Missouri death certificates up to 1971, so I am not able show you hers.
Benjamin and Bertha Roth are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
So, now you know the story of a man from Frohna, Missouri who finds a bride in Jacob, Illinois. They live near Point Rest most of their lives and are finally laid to rest in Perryville. It’s yet another story describing folks that went back and forth across the Mississippi River.