Let me set the scene for today’s story. Back in the 1880’s, some Perry County residents moved across the Mississippi River to form a new congregation in Jacob, Illinois that was named Christ Lutheran Church. Several other immigrants settled in that area and joined that congregation, but there always was a close connection between the Lutherans in Perry County and those across the river. It was the days of the horse and buggy and the only practical way to get across the river was to use a ferry. Several ferries operated around here in those days. Families would often have members on both sides of the river, so there was quite a bit of travel that took place back and forth. Then the Chester Bridge was constructed just north of here in 1942, during a time when automobiles had long replaced the horses and buggies. I think that was a turning point. The ferry business dwindled, and the travel between here and Jacob actually diminished.
Today, you will read another one of those stories in which a man living across the river comes to Perry County to get married. He would take his bride back to Jackson County, Illinois where they would raise their family and spend the rest of their lives. Let’s begin with the bride.
Anna Brueckner was born on November 5, 1873, the daughter of Heinrich and Marie (Imbusch) Brueckner. Anna was the firstborn child in her family and was the only one born in Germany. She must have been very young when making the voyage to America. Since the next child was born and baptized in Farrar in 1875, the family must have decided to leave Germany shortly after Anna’s birth. Anna is found in her first American census in 1880. Her father worked on a farm.
That would be the only census in which we find Anna in Perry County and the only one in which she was single. So, we will switch over to talk about the man she would marry. His name was Karl Friedrich Rodewald, who was born on February 15, 1869. Like other German men named Karl in those days, he was sometimes called Carl, sometimes Charles, and his gravestone calls him Charley. I will use Charles. He was the son of Friedrich and Marie (Gruenwald) Rodewald. Charles was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at his baptism record from that congregation’s books.
Charles is found at the age of 1 in the 1870 census for the Brazeau Township. He had one older brother, and his father was a farmer.
When we find the Rodewald family in the 1880 census, they were living in the Bois Brule Township. Charles was 10 years old, and several more siblings had entered the family.
Charles’s confirmation record is found in the books of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. He was confirmed in 1885, so they must have moved across the river in the early 1880’s.
The marriage of Charles Rodewald and Anna Brueckner took place at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar on April 11, 1898. Today would be their 124th wedding anniversary. The church record says that Charles was from the Fountain Bluff Township in Illinois.
Since this couple was married in Missouri, we can also view their marriage license. This document says Charles was from Jackson County, Illinois.
Charles and Anna have 6 children listed in our German Family Tree, but I think there were 8. Six of them were baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. We find the Rodewald’s living in the Fountain Bluff Township when the 1900 census was taken. One child had been born, and Charles was a farmer.
By the time of the 1910 census, 6 children were in the family, including a set of twins. We see the Rodewald household now living in the Degognia Township, which is not far from the Fountain Bluff Township. Walter and Bertha are not found as being baptized at Christ, Jacob. Perhaps when they moved farther away from Jacob, Illinois, they didn’t attend church there for a while.
Two more children were born in the next decade, so we see the following entry for the Rodewald’s in the 1920 census.
Next, we find the Rodewald household in the 1930 census. One of Charles’s sons was helping him on his farm.
Anna Rodewald died in 1939 at the age of 65. Her death record from the Christ, Jacob books says she died of a heart attack. I can display an Illinois death record for Anna.
Then, in the 1940 census, we find Charles as a widower living with a few of his own children as well as an 11 year-old boy named Freddie. I cannot decipher his last name.
Charles Rodewald died in 1943 at the age of 74. I can also display his Illinois death record. His church death record says he died of a stroke.
Charles (or Charley) and Anna are buried together in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob.
This Rodewald family is one in which both the husband and wife had their starts in Perry County, Missouri, but after their marriage, spent the rest of their lives in the Jackson County, Illinois. For them, there was no hopping back and forth across the river, but I am guessing that members of their extended families made several ferry trips across the river over the years to visit each other.