Pocahontas Blacksmith

Today would be August Johann Kutscher’s 125th birthday. He was born on March 24, 1897, the son of Martin and Diamanda (Leine) Kutscher. A previous post, Diamanda’s Dozen, told the story of August’s parents. August was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, but since I am away from Altenburg today, I am not able to display his baptism record. He is found in his first census at the age of 3 living in the Shawnee Township. His father was a farmer. August was the oldest of the Diamanda Dozen.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

August was teenager in a much larger Kutscher family by the time of the 1910 census. His widowed grandmother, Henrietta (Krause) Kutscher, was also living in this household.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

August had a World War I draft registration completed in 1918. This document says August was employed on the Charles Starzinger farm.

August Kutscher – WWI draft registration

August was called to serve in that war. We can take a look at a document describing his military record. It doesn’t appear that he was sent overseas.

August Kutscher – WWI military record

August was in one more census entry before he got married. He was in his 20’s when the 1920 census was taken. August was described as a farm laborer.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

We have to move north across the Apple Creek into Perry County to find the woman who would become August’s wife. Her name was Julia Lucie Oehlert, and she was born on November 28, 1902. Julia was the daughter of Joseph and Maria (Gruenwald) Oehlert. She was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Julia shows up in her first census in 1910 living in the Brazeau Township. At that time she was 7 years old, and her father was a farmer.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Julia as a teenager in the 1920 census.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

That leads us up to the marriage of August Kutscher and Julia Oehlert. That event took place on September 21, 1924 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at the marriage license for this couple.

Kutscher/Oehlert marriage license

In 1926, August and Julia had their only child, a daughter named Mildred. Mildred was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. Sadly, Mildred did not even make it to her first birthday before she died. Her death certificate indicates that some sort of operation was attempted at what was called the Schulz Hospital in Cape Girardeau. That hospital is now called the Southeast Hospital. The surgery was not successful, and Mildred died.

Mildred Kutscher death certificate

Mildred was buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.

Mildred Kutscher gravestone – Zion, Pocahontas, MO

In the 1930 census, we find the Kutscher couple living in Pocahontas, where August was a blacksmith.

1930 census – Pocahontas, MO

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940, although we are getting really close to the time that the 1950 census records will be released to the public. August was still a blacksmith.

1940 census – Pocahontas, MO

August Kutscher died in 1970 at the age of 73. His death certificate is found in Perry County records. At the time of his death, he was living at the Ann Patterson Nursing Home in Perryville. Cancer of the colon is given as the cause of death.

August Kutscher death certificate

Julia Kutscher died in 1987 at the age of 84. August and Julia were both buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas. August’s gravestone includes a plaque displaying his military service.

With the coming of automobiles, trucks, and tractors, the blacksmith trade diminished. There may have been no need for a community to have several blacksmiths, but there was still a need for such a service quite a while after such mechanization took place. It appears that August was one them who served the small community of Pocahontas.


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