Wukasch Single Sisters

I found a birthday girl for today, but was not sure I could find enough information about her because she was single all her life. When there are not marriage records or lists of children in their family, it is sometimes hard to come up with enough of interest for a complete story. However, in this case, I decided to write this story when I found a gravestone. I usually wait till the end of the story to display a gravestone, but I am going to start with it today. The gravestone below is found in the Our Redeemer Cemetery in Afton, Missouri (a municipality in the Greater St. Louis area).

Wukasch sisters gravestone – Our Redeemer, Afton, MO

You will see that Ida Wukasch was born on May 3rd, so she is today’s birthday girl. You might also notice that Clara and Emma Wukasch were twins. You can also conclude that all 3 of these sisters were single all their lives because they maintained the Wukasch surname until their deaths. So, I will attempt to tell the story of all 3 of these Wukasch sisters today.

Let’s begin by reviewing some information about the parents of these sisters. Their father, Matthias Wukasch is famous around here for being one of 2 men who taught at Concordia Lutheran School in Frohna for 50 years each. Matthias had two wives during his life. His first wife was Anna Fischer, who died in 1881. He then married Johanna Schieferdecker, the daughter of Rev. George Schieferdecker, who had been the pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The 3 Wukasch sisters I will discuss today were all born to Johanna.

A set of twins was born on February 14, 1884. These two were born at the time when Perry County kept birth records. The birth record for these twins is displayed below.

Clara and Emma Wukasch birth record – Perry County, MO

Emma Matilda and Clara Marie Wukasch were baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can take a look at their baptism records.

Clara and Emma Wukasch baptism records – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Today’s birthday girl, Ida Deborah Wukasch was born on May 3, 1892, making today her 130th birthday. A Perry County birth record for Ida can also be viewed.

Ida Wukasch birth record – Perry County, MO

We can also take a look at Ida’s baptism record from the Concordia, Frohna books.

Ida Wukasch baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

The first census in which we find this trio of sisters is the one taken in 1900. Their mother had died in 1894, so Matthias was once again a widower and would remain so the rest of his life. Clara and Emma were teenagers, and Ida was 6 years old. All the other siblings were boys.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I will follow these 3 sisters as they go separate ways for a while. When the 1910 census was taken, Clara was the only sister still living in Perry County. It looks to me like Clara, at the age of 26, was the one to remain in Frohna to help take care of her 59 year-old father.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Meanwhile, Emma and Ida could both be found living in St. Louis and working for other families. First, here is Emma’s census entry. She was working as a cook in the John Wright household.

1910 census record – St. Louis, MO

Ida, on the other hand, was working in the Victor Jacquemin household as a domestic servant.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

Before I move on to the 1920 census entries, I want to show a Wukasch family photo that was taken around 1907. Clara is the girl sitting on the left, and Ida is the girl sitting on the right. For some reason, Emma must not have been able to get to Frohna for this photo.

Matthias Wukasch family – c. 1907

We find another interesting set of circumstances in 1920 when the next census was taken. This time it looks like it was Emma’s turn to be living in Frohna with her father. Here is Emma’s entry.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Clara, on the other hand, is found in St. Louis working in the Henry Gallant household and called a maid.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

Ida continued to be found in St. Louis. She was living in the household of her brother, George Wukasch, who was a school teacher. Ida is called George’s daughter in this entry, but that is impossible. There is no way a 31 year-old could be the father of the 25 year-old Ida. Ida was a stenographer for an insurance company.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

Next, we find the 3 sisters in 1930 census entries. Their father had died in 1925, so there was no need for any of these daughters to remain in Frohna. Emma is found living with Paul Wukasch, another brother, who was a school teacher in Chicago. Paul had been married, but his wife had died and he was a widower in 1930. Emma was probably called in to help him raise his children.

1930 census – Chicago, IL

Meanwhile, back in St. Louis, we find Clara and Ida living together, but right above them on this census page, you see the household of Albert (another name for George) Wukasch, who was still teaching in that city. Clara was a seamstress and Ida was a bookkeeper at a shirt factory.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Finally, beginning in 1940, things get easier. The census entry for that year shows all 3 Wukasch sisters living in the same household. Ida was a stenographer for a contractor association. Emma was a finisher for a dress factory. Clara was a poultry woman for a restaurant.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

In the newly-released 1950 census, the trio of sisters was still living together. Ida looks like she still had the same job. Clara had no occupation, and Emma was a saleslady for a retail store.

1950 census – St. Louis, MO

The youngest of the sisters, Ida, was the first one to die. She died in 1960 at the age of 68 as a result of a car crash in Jefferson County, Missouri. Here is her death certificate.

Ida Wukasch death certificate

Clara Wukasch was the next one to die. She died in 1962 at the age of 78. There are several causes of death on her death certificate, including a note that a fall at home had occurred.

Clara Wukasch death certificate

We cannot view a death certificate for Emma because it is said that she died in Peoria, Illinois. I believe after her sisters died, Clara went to live with her brother George Albert, who was living in Peoria. George died in July of 1969; Clara died in December of 1969 at the age of 85. After Clara died, her body was transported to St. Louis so she could be buried with her 2 sisters.

I found photos of 2 of the 3 Wukasch sisters.

Emma is the elusive one when it come to finding a photo. She is the one that did not appear in the 1907 family photo, and I was unable to find any other photo of her. I suppose if we knew that Clara and Emma were identical twins, we could conclude that Emma must have looked like Clara.

When I first began looking into this story, I didn’t think I would have enough details to make it interesting. As it turns out, I find the story of these 3 sisters to be rather fascinating.

One thought on “Wukasch Single Sisters

  1. I appreciate this post, Warren. I’ve been traveling and am just catching up. My grandmother, who was a granddaughter of George Schieferdecker, often mentioned the Wukasch sisters in St. Louis. For some reason, I thought they were in southern Illinois; they were first cousins. I don’t remember ever meeting any of them, but Grandma (nee Anna Steinmann) kept touch with them.


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