Lutheran Church Changes

No! No! This post will not detail any changes made in the official doctrine or practices in the Lutheran Church. When all is said and done, the Lutheran church will retain its reputation for being reluctant to change. Instead, this story will document a married pair that may just set a record for having church records in the most Perry County Lutheran churches during their lives. That couple was made up of Peter Rodewald and Anna Ochs. I will begin with the birthday boy, Peter. He will not be the only one who has this birthday in today’s story.

Peter Wilhelm Rodewald was born on April 4, 1869, so today would be his 153rd birthday. Peter was the 2nd child of 8 born into the family of Edward and Christina (Sandler) Rodewald. His baptism record is found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. A transcription of that record is shown here.

Peter Rodewald baptism record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

At the age of 1, Peter shows up in the 1870 census. His family was living in the Cinque Hommes Township of Perry County. His father was a farmer.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

When the 1880 census was taken, Peter is said to be 10 years old, and he has several more siblings. His family was then living in the Bois Brule Township. This would be the last census in which Peter was single.

1880 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at the woman who would become Peter’s bride. Her name was Anna Barbara Magdalena Ochs, who was born on April 4, 1874. Yes, that means Anna shared Peter’s birthday. She was born on Peter’s 5th birthday. Anna was the 4th of 6 children of Conrad and Magdalena (Springer) Ochs. Information about Anna that is found in the Friedenberg Remembrances book says that Anna was born in Darmstaedt, Illinois.

Anna Ochs Rodewald info – Friedenberg book

We are unable to view a baptism record for her. The only census we can view that lists Anna as a single person was the one taken in 1880. Her family was living in the Bois Brule Township, and her father was called a miller. A boarder by the name of George Springer, who was actually Magdalena’s brother, was working in a saw mill, so I suspect Anna’s father was not a flour miller, but a saw miller. Later, in 1880, George Springer got married to Anna Catherine Muench.

1880 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

On April 6, 1896, two days after the birthday of both Peter and Anna, these two were married at Cross Congregation. Cross was a Lutheran church located between Longtown and Crosstown. That congregation did not last long, but we have a binder in our research library that lists some of the official acts that took place there. Below is a record of the Rodewald/Ochs wedding. This was one of the last marriages to take place at that church. The last baptism records in their books occurred in 1897.

Rodewald/Ochs marriage record – Cross, Longtown, MO

We can also take a look at the marriage license for this couple.

Rodewald/Ochs marriage license

Apparently, after this marriage took place, this couple became members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville because that is where their first child was baptized when she was born in 1897. Altogether, Peter and Anna would have 4 children, all of which lived to adulthood. The first two were baptized at Immanuel, Perryville, but child #3 was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, and child #4 was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest. Let’s take a look at those last two baptism records. Emma Rodewald was baptized at Salem, Farrar in 1900. Her baptism record mentions Point Rest.

Emma Rodewald baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Trinity, Point Rest did not get established until 1901. Another nearby church, Zion, Crosstown, had not been established in 1900 either. So, the closest Lutheran church to Point Rest was probably Salem, Farrar. When the last Rodewald child was born in 1901, he was baptized at Trinity, Point Rest.

Herbert Rodewald baptism record – Trinity, Point Rest, MO

The 1900 census shows the Rodewald’s living in the Bois Brule Township. Three daughters were in their household, along with Peter’s mother.

1900 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

The Rodewald’s are next found in the 1910 census. All 4 of their children are included in this entry.

1910 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

Next, we find the Rodewald household in the 1920 census. Their daughter, Ida, and her daughter were living with Peter and Anna. Ida had married Edwin Hoehn, but he had died in 1919.

1920 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

The 1930 census shows Peter and Anna, as well as their granddaughter, Wilma Hoehn.

1930 census – Bois Brule Township, MO

Sometime in the 1930’s the Rodewald’s moved to the Union Township. That’s where we find them in the 1940 census. In the case of Peter and Anna, we do not find them in the 1950 census because they died before it was put together. This is the only document I found in which Peter is called William. He and his wife had an empty nest.

1940 census – Union Township, MO

Anna Rodewald died in 1947 at the age of 73. Her death certificate gives bronchial pneumonia as the cause of death.

Anna Rodewald death certificate

Anna’s church death record is found in the books of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. It describes her cause of death as double pneumonia.

Anna Rodewald death record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Peter Rodewald died the next year, in 1948, at the age of 79. His death certificate is shown here.

Peter Rodewald death certificate

His church death record is also found in the books of Grace, Uniontown.

Peter Rodewald death record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Peter and Anna Rodewald are each buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown. If they were buried by the order of deaths like so many cemeteries around here do, these two gravestones are likely to be located near each other. These gravestones give further proof that these two were each born on April 4th.

Peter and Anna Rodewald may have set a record for having official records in the most Perry County Lutheran Churches:

  • Peace, Friedenberg
  • Immanuel, Perryville
  • Cross, Longtown
  • Salem, Farrar
  • Trinity, Point Rest
  • Grace, Unontown


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