I will enter the maze of the Stueve family today. I bumped up against even more difficulty when I discovered that I think I have already done about 5 stories involving men named John Stueve. Because of that, I will call today’s birthday boy, John F. Stueve. Like yesterday’s male character, John F. found a bride named Bertha.
John Friedrich Martin Stueve was born on March 18, 1882, the son of Johann Claus and Maria (Wichern) Stueve. John F. was the 2nd child born to this family, but the firstborn died before John F. was born. So, for all practical purposes, John F. was the oldest of the 7 children born to this family. He was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can take a look at his baptism record.
Both of today’s characters, because they were born after 1880 and were married shortly after the 1900 census, are only found in the 1900 census record as single people. John F.’s father had died in 1897, so John F. was an 18 year-old farmer, along with his younger brother, Martin, who was also doing farm labor.
Next, we will take a look at the woman who would become his bride. Her name was Bertha Emilie Katharine Schuessler, who was born on June 29, 1883. Bertha was the daughter of Henry and Katherine (Baum) Schuessler. She was the 7th child of the 13 listed in our German Family Tree. Like John F., Bertha was baptized at Concordia, Frohna. Her baptism record is pictured below.
Bertha was a 16 year-old student when the 1900 census was taken. Her rather large family spilled over two census pages.
John F. Stueve married Bertha Schuessler on August 28, 1904 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. The church record for this wedding is displayed here.
We can also view the marriage license for this couple.
John F. and Bertha had just one child, a boy named Edmund who was baptized at Concordia. Frohna in 1905. After their marriage, we no longer find this pair living in Perry County in a census. For the rest of their lives, they lived in St. Louis. That’s where we find them in the 1910 census. John F. was a teamster for an ice company. I can just picture him driving his horse and wagon through the streets of St. Louis delivering ice for his patrons to put in their “ice boxes”.
With the advent of motorized vehicles and refrigeration, the ice delivery business would have become extinct. In 1916, John F. had his World War I draft registration completed. This is the first WWI draft registration I have seen that says it was completed that early. This document says he was employed at the Fred Medart Manufacturing Company.
The Fred Medart Manufacturing Company specialized in making metal lockers, such as the ones you may have found lining the hallways of high schools. They also made those wire basket “lockers” you might find in locker rooms of high school gymnasiums. I especially remember those number plates used to identify which locker was the one assigned to you. The Medart Company had plants in several large cities in America.
The 1920 census shows this Stueve household. John F. was called a laborer for a supply company. I believe he was still employed by Medart. Hugo Wirth was living with them. He was another Perry County native, but I do not know if there was a family connection with the Stueve’s, although one of the witnesses at the Stueve/Schuessler wedding was Sarah Wirth. Sarah was Hugo’s cousin.
Next, we find the Stueve’s in the 1930 census. John F. was called a laborer at a pulverizing company (whatever that is). Their son, Edmund, was working as a clerk for the Wabash railroad.
The last census we can view (at least until the 1950 census is made public soon) is the one taken in 1940. John was a shipping clerk for a wholesale locker manufacturer.
In 1942, John F. had to have a World War II draft card completed. Once again, it mentions the Fred Medart Manufacturing Company as his employer.
Bertha Stueve died in 1957 at the age of 73. Her death certificate says she died at the St. Louis Chronic Hospital.
John F. Stueve died in 1961 at the age of 79. We can also view his death certificate.
John F. and Bertha Stueve are buried together in the Park Lawn Cemetery in St. Louis.
Edmund Stueve served in the military during World War II and is buried in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis.
I wonder if there are any more John Stueve’s to be found in our German Family Tree. And I wonder if I’ll find another Bertha story for tomorrow.