Walter and Della – The Leimbach’s

It seems like I have written more stories lately that have featured men or women born in the late 1880’s or 1890’s. When I do so, it makes me think that people born during this time period would have been peers of my grandparents because that is when they were born. Secondly, men from this age group are ones who were expected to register for the draft during World War I, and quite a few of them ended up serving during that conflict. These people also lived through amazing changes in transportation technology. Their early days consisted of getting from one place to another by horse and buggy, to the age of the automobile, then air travel, and if they lived long enough, may have seen man walk on the moon. Today is another one of those stories.

Wilhelm Walter Leimbach was born on March 26, 1894, so today would be his 128th birthday. This boy mainly went by the name of Walter. He was the 4th of 9 children of August and Caroline (Mirly) Leimbach who lived in the Shawnee Township. Walter was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. We can take a look at his baptism record from that congregation’s books.

Walter Leimbach baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Walter was 6 years old when he showed up in the 1900 census. In this entry, he is called William. His father was a farmer.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Walter was a teenager when the 1910 census was taken. He was working on his father’s farm.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

A photograph of the August and Caroline Leimbach family is said to have been taken in 1916. The caption identifies the people in this family.

In 1917, Walter had his World War I draft registration completed. At the age of 23, he was employed by his father.

Walter Leimbach – WWI draft registration

In the case of Walter, I did not find any evidence that he was called to serve in that war, but his younger brother, August, was.

Walter was still single when the 1920 census was taken. This entry was a little hard to read, so I enlarged it more than normal. You cannot see the column for occupation, but he was still a farm laborer. He was back to being called William.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Now, we need to take a look at the woman who would become Walter’s wife. Her name was Adele Regina Winter, who was born on July 19, 1898. Adele, who was often called Della, was the daughter of Martin and Maria (Bellmann) Winter. Her parents lived in Perry County when she was born and was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Her baptism record is pictured below. By July of that year, Adele was already the 17th baptism at Trinity for that year.

Adele Winter

Della is found in the 1900 census living in the Brazeau Township. It says she was born in 1899, and because of that, she was listed as being just months old, but I do not think that is accurate. Her father was called a salesman. I am guessing he was working at the Winter Store operated by his father. That store was located just north of the Apple Creek, not far from New Wells.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The Winter’s moved across the creek into the Shawnee Township before the 1910 census was taken. Her father was still a merchant at a general store. Perhaps it was a store in Pocahontas. The census page says Pocahontas at the top, but it is crossed out.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Della was in her 20’s when the 1920 census was taken. This time, they were living in the village of Fruitland. Della was called a clerk.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Walter Leimbach married Adele Winter on February 17, 1924 at Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. We can take a look at the church record for this wedding.

Leimbach/Winter marriage record – Zion, Pocahontas, MO

The marriage license for this couple is also available to view.

Leimbach/Winter marriage license

This couple had two children, a girl and a boy. In the 1930 census, we find this couple living in the Shawnee Township where Walter was a farmer. Their two children had been born, and Walter’s father was living in their household.

1930 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The final census we can view is the one taken in 1940. Just their two children were in the household.

1940 census – Shawnee Township, MO

In 1942, Walter was required to complete a World War II draft card.

Walter Leimbach – WWII draft card

Both Walter and Della died in 1987. Della was 88 years old when she died in June; Walter was 93 years old when he died in November. Both of them were buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas, but only Adele has a gravestone photo on Findagrave.com.

Adele Leimbach gravestone – Zion, Pocahontas, MO

When I looked for stories in newspaper archives for Walter, I discovered that there was another Walter Leimbach who was often mentioned. After checking our German Family Tree, I discovered the other Walter Leimbach was born in 1909. That man was part of what we call the “Ridge Leimbach’s” in Perry County.

Walter and Della’s son, Norman, married and had at least one boy, so I know there may still be some descendants of this Leimbach branch around today.


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