Today’s tale includes a name that has appeared on this blog on a few occasions before. The name is Clara Schmidt. One of those Clara’s was my great aunt. The birthday girl for today is Clara Friederike Schmidt, who was born on March 27, 1861, making today her 161st birthday. Clara was the daughter of Henry and Wilhelmina (Naeser) Schmidt. A post was written about Clara’s parents that was titled, Butch’s Mom and Dad, because one of Clara’s brothers ended up as a butcher in Altenburg who was nicknamed, Butch. Clara was child #5 of 12 born into her family. Two of her brothers would become Lutheran pastors whose story was told in the post, A Pair of Preacher Schmidts. I call this family one of the “Frohna Schmidt’s”. Like others in her family, Clara was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can take a look at her baptism record.
At the age of 9, we find Clara in the 1870 census. Her father was a blacksmith. This entry spills over two census pages.
Next, we find Clara in the 1880 census when she was almost 20 years old.
Now, we will take a look at the early life of the man who would become Clara’s husband. His name was Friedrich Julius Joseph Goehring, who was born on October 4, 1854. This boy would go by the name of Joseph. He was the 3rd child of 6 born to Gottlieb and Rosine (Schlimpert) Goehring. A story was also written about Joseph’s parents titled, Copernicus Couple. Joseph was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. His baptism record is displayed below.
Joseph is found in the 1860 census at the age of 5. His father was a shoemaker.
When the 1870 census was compiled, Joseph was a teenager. This time, his father was called a farmer.
Joseph is found in one more census before he got married. The 1880 census shows him as a 25 year-old farmer.
Joseph Goehring married Clara Schmidt on August 25, 1882 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can view this couple’s church record here.
The marriage license for this pair can also be viewed.
Our German Family Tree lists 6 children born to this couple, 5 of which were born before the 1900 census. Their eldest son, Otto, was working on the Charles Grebing farm, so he was not living with his family at this time. That leaves 4 children in the household in 1900. Joseph was a farmer.
All of the Goehring children, except for the last one born in 1903, have their baptism records in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Their last child, a boy names Johannes Herbert, was the very first baptism in the books of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg.
Another event happened in this family before the 1910 census was taken. If you look on Findagrave.com for Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Shawneetown, you will find an entry for Clara (Schmidt) Goehring. This is the only place that I found a death date for Clara that says she died in August of 1909. She would have been 47 or 48 years old when she died. Someone has placed an entry for that graveyard saying Clara may be buried there because her parents are buried there. However, there is no gravestone photo. If Clara died in 1909, we will not find a Missouri death certificate for her. What we do know is that when the 1910 census was taken, Joseph is called a widower. Joseph is found living in Cape Girardeau and working as a laborer on a truck farm.
We find Joseph in the 1920 census living as a boarder in the Julius Drury household. He had no occupation.
The last census in which we find Joseph was the one taken in 1930. He was no longer living in Missouri. His daughter, Rose, had married Paul Volz, and that couple was living in Algonquin, Illinois. Joseph is found in their household. Algonquin is located in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.
Joseph Goehring died in 1938 at the age of 83. I found an Illinois death record for him.
An entry is found on Findagrave.com for Joseph Goehring in the Evergreen Cemetery in Barrington, Illinois, but like Clara, an entry was placed there saying it is thought Joseph is buried there because that is where his daughter, Rose Volz, is buried. There is no gravestone photo.
Clara died early, and Joseph ended up spending almost 30 years of his life as a widower. Fortunately, for him, it appears that his daughter took him in and provided care for him in his later years.