Charles and Agnes – The Schuessler’s

The couple highlighted in today’s post were married 120 years ago on this date. The couple was made up of a Schuessler and a Hellwege. Normally, I would think that these two were each from the congregation in Frohna. However, that is not the case. It was one of those marriages between a member of Concordia, Frohna and one from Trinity, Altenburg. I will begin with the groom, who was a Schuessler.

Carl Johann Michael Schuessler was born on August 22, 1874, the son of Gottlob and Christiane (Burkhardt) Schuessler. Carl, like so many others with his name, was later called Charles. Both his father and mother had been married previously. His father’s first wife was Dorothea Harnagel; his mother’s first husband was Friedrich Gotthilf Leonhardt. Both of Charles’s parents had children from their first marriages, so he had quite a few step and half siblings. Charles was the 2nd and last child to be born to Gottlob and Christiane. Charles was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at his baptism record from that congregation’s books.

Charles Schuessler baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Charles’s father died in 1879 when Charles was 5 years old, so when the 1880 census was taken his mother was once again a widow.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We are not able to view another Federal census until 1900, and in that enumeration, I was unable to find Charles. I do know that he was not living in the same household with his mother because I did find her. Charles would have been around 26 years old, so he could have been working as part of someone else’s household and could even have been living outside Perry County.

Now, we will take a look at the bride. Her name was Agnes Friedericke Hellwege, who was born on Reformation Day, October 31, 1880. She was the 2nd child of 8 born to Heinrich and Wilhelmine (Rettig) Hellwege. Agnes was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Her baptism record is displayed below.

Agnes Hellwege baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Agnes just barely missed getting into the 1880 census, so we don’t find her in a census entry until 1900. At that time, she was a 19 year-old servant in the household of Gottfried Blechle. Gottfried was the saloon owner in Wittenberg that shows up occasionally in my Wittenberg Series books.

1900 census – Wittenberg, MO

Charles Schuessler married Agnes Hellwege on May 4, 1902. These two were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for this wedding is displayed below.

Schuessler/Hellwege marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We can also take a look at this pair’s marriage license. Although this marriage took place at Trinity, it was the pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Rev. J. Krueger, who performed this ceremony.

Schuessler/Hellwege marriage license

Our German Family Tree lists 9 children born to Charles and Agnes, but two of them died early. All of these children were baptized at Trinity, Altenburg. Then, when the 1910 census was taken, I once again was unable to find this family in that census. The next document I was able to find was the World War I draft registration for Charles. This form says that Charles was a bartender, and his employer was Theodor Engert.

Charles Schuessler – WWI draft registration

I finally found this Schuessler family in the 1920 census. There were 5 children in their household, and Charles was simply called a laborer.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In 1926, an article about Charles and one of his sons appeared in the Perry County Republican. This article mentions Charles working as a painter.

Charles Schuessler article – PCR 1926

Next, we find the Schuessler’s in the 1930 census. Once again, there were 5 children in their family, but not the same 5. Some new ones had been added in the 1920’s. Charles was called a laborer at odd jobs.

1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The last census in which we find Agnes was the one taken in 1940. Just one daughter remained in their household. At the age of 65, Charles no longer had a listed occupation.

1940 census – Alenburg, MO

Agnes Schuessler died in 1942 at the age of 61. Her death certificate is pictured here.

Agnes Schuessler death certificate

An obituary for Agnes was printed in the Perry County Republican. I have to display it in two images.

Charles is found in the 1950 census. He was living in the household of his son, Floyd. Another son, Elmer, was listed with his family right below Floyd’s entry. Floyd was a transfer company manager; Elmer was a school bus driver.

1950 census – Altenburg, MO

Charles Schuessler died in 1951 at the age of 76. Heart problems are given as his cause of death. His death certificate says Charles was a retired painter.

Charles Schuessler death certificate

Charles and Agnes Schuessler are each buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

I have been told by some local folks that there have been several Schuessler’s in this area who have been house painters. Perhaps Charles was the one who began this trend.

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