Gus, the Franklin School Janitor

Before I get to today’s tale, I want to let you know that the 1950 census can now be found on It can be searched just like all the other previous census records. I did not see any announcement from about this, so I was surprised last night when I noticed a 1950 census entry in a different search that I had made for one of today’s characters. Once I found that, I just had to see if I could find myself in a search of that year’s census. I was successful. I guess I am now old enough to be searchable on that site. I also know that it is now going to be much easier to find 1950 census entries to use on this blog.

Today, as I so often do, I will begin with a birthday girl. She is one who only shows up briefly in our German Family Tree. Often, when that is the case, the person ends up being found in a distant location. However, today’s birthday girl ends up way down in Cape Girardeau. The girl’s name was Agnes Amelia Scholl, who was born on May 6, 1879, making today her 143rd birthday. She was mostly called Agnes during her life. She was the daughter of Conrad and Marie (Koessl) Scholl. A post titled, Conrad’s Kössl, told the story of Agnes’s parents. Agnes was child #6 out of 10 in this Scholl family, all of which were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Below is Agnes’s baptism record from that congregation’s books.

Agnes Scholl baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Agnes is found in the 1880 census at the age of 1. Her father was a blacksmith in the Shawnee Township.

1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Again, because we cannot view an 1890 census, the next one in which we find Agnes was the one taken in 1900, and by that time, she was no longer living with her parents. She was a 21 year-old servant in the William Russell household.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Later during the year of that census, Agnes got married, so let’s turn our attention to the man that would become her husband. His name was Friedrich Martin August Borchelt, who was born on June 18, 1878. He went by the name, August, on the documents I located. August was the son of August and Amalia (Ohlert) Borchert. I located this photo of August and Amalia on Findagrave. A note on that website says that August lost an eye in the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou during the Civil War.

August and Amalia Borchelt

August was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Egypt Mills, which is located in the Randol Township of Cape Girardeau County, just north of Cape Girardeau. We have a book in our research library that contains transcribed records from that congregation. Below is the record for August’s baptism.

August Borchelt baptism record – Trinity, Egypt Mills, MO

August is found in the 1880 census at the age of 2. His father was a farmer.

1880 census – Randol Township, MO

We next can view August in the 1900 census right before his marriage. August is called a 22 year-old farmer.

1900 census – Randol Township, MO

August Borchelt married Agnes Scholl on November 14, 1900 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. We can take a look at the church record for this wedding.

Borchelt/Scholl marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

The marriage license for this couple is pictured here.

Borchelt/Scholl marriage license

Family histories on Ancestry indicate that August and Agnes had 7 children. I think one of them died early. The 1900 census shows the Borchelt family with 3 children. Right below their entry is that of two other Borchelt families. Amalie is August’s mother, and Julius is his brother.

1910 census – Randol Township, MO

In 1918, August had a World War I draft registration completed. This form says that August was doing farm labor for Charles Haupt.

August Borchelt – WWI draft registration

The 1920 census is the last one in which we find August and his family in the Randol Township. This time, August is called a wage worker with 6 children.

1920 census – Randol Township, MO

When the 1930 census was taken, we find August and Agnes living in Cape Girardeau, where August was a janitor for a public school.

1930 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Based on later documents, I believe the school at which August worked was the Franklin School. That school was opened in 1927. When I researched that school, I discovered that a friend of our museum that has his own blog, Ken Steinhoff, has written several posts about the Franklin School. One of them is the one you can click on below. His post also includes photos he took of that school.

Next, we find the Borchelt’s in the 1940 census. This would turn out to be the last census in which we find August. At the age of 61, August was still working as a school janitor.

1940 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

It is August’s World War II draft card where we find that he was the janitor at the Franklin School.

August Borchelt – WWII draft card

August Borchelt died in 1944 at the age of 66. His death certificate is another place that mentions August being a janitor at Franklin School.

August Borchelt death certificate

It was when I looked for Agnes in the 1950 census that I discovered that I can now use to accomplish this. Her entry from that census is displayed below. Agnes was living with her daughter, Meta, who was married to Walter Krieger, an automobile mechanic.

1950 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Agnes died a year later in 1951 at the age of 71. Mrs. Walter Krieger (Meta) was the informant on her death certificate.

Agnes Borchelt death certificate

August and Agnes Borchelt are buried together in the New Lorimier Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.

August and Agnes Borchelt gravestone – New Lorimier, Cape Girardeau, MO

This story is the first one on this blog to include the surname Borchelt, so now I have added yet another file folder to our collection of surnames used in these stories. I just checked. There are 750 such folders.

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