Barbara Marie Rodewald was born on May 24, 1867, so she is today’s birthday girl and she would be celebrating her 155th birthday. Barbara was the firstborn child of Edward and Christiana (Sandler) Rodewald. She was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, so we cannot view an image of her baptism record. Barbara is found in her first census in 1870 at the age of 3. Her father was a farmer in the Cinque Hommes Township.
Next, we find Barbara in the 1880 census. This time, her family was living in the Bois Brule Township. Barbara was 13 years old at the time.
Now, we will take a look at the man who would become Barbara’s husband. His name was Albert Martin Boxdorfer, who was born on June 14, 1862. Unlike his future wife, Albert was the last born child in his family. His parents were Gottlieb and Barbara (Muench) Boxdorfer. A previous post was written about Albert’s parents titled, Burgeoning Boxdorfers. Albert was also baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. Albert was 8 years old when the 1870 census was taken, and his father was a farmer in the Bois Brule Township.
In 1880, the Boxdorfer household was living in the Central Township. Albert, at the age of 18, was working on his father’s farm.
Albert Boxdorfer married Barbara Rodewald on February 12, 1889 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. A transcription of their marriage record from that congregation’s books is pictured below.
We can also take a look at the marriage license for this pair.
Albert and Barbara became quite a prolific couple when it came to having children. Our German Family Tree lists 13 children in this family, all baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. They were born between 1889 and 1911 and included two sets of twins. Not all of the children lived to adulthood. The first census including this married couple was the one taken in 1900. Albert was a farmer in the Central Township of Perry County.
I did not find any family histories on Ancestry.com that included a 1910 census entry for this couple (although I did not take the time to look at all 93 of them). However, I found an Albert Boxdorfer family living in LaSalle County, Texas in 1910. I admit that I had to look at this census entry several times, comparing it to the list of children’s names born to the Boxdorfer’s, before I was convinced that this is indeed the correct family from Perry County that was living in Texas.
All of the names matched up all the way to the 1 year-old daughter, and all of the members of this family were born in Missouri. It has to be the Albert Boxdorfer family what we a discussing in this post. Albert was a farmer. LaSalle County is not only in Texas, but it is way down in Texas, south of San Antonio. What is even more amazing is that the last of the Boxdorfer children, a set of twins born in 1911, just a year after this census, have their baptism records once again included in the books of Immanuel, Perryville. It certainly looks to me that this family moved to Texas no earlier than March of 1909 and left it no later than July of 1911. Their stay in Texas must have been very short.
Next, we find the Boxdorfer family in the 1920 census living in Perryville, where Albert is simply called a laborer. Their oldest son, Edward, who had served in the military during World War I, was working as a chauffeur.
We find Albert in his last census entry in 1930. Albert, at the age of 67, was called a laborer at odd jobs. Albert and Barbara had an empty nest by this time.
Albert Boxdorfer died in 1939 at the age of 76. We can take a look at his death certificate.
A newspaper obituary for Albert is displayed below. It mistakenly says that he was 77 years old when he died.
Apparently, Barbara, after her husband died, went to live with her son, Oscar, and his wife in Crystal City, Missouri. Oscar was working at the glass factory there. Here is the 1940 census entry for this Boxdorfer household.
Barbara Boxdorfer died in 1942 at the age of 74. Her death certificate uses her name, Marie. She died in Crystal City, but it says she was to be buried in Perryville.
We can also take a look at a newspaper obituary for Barbara. It says she died on an Easter Sunday. This obituary says she had 12 children, not the 13 we find in the German Family Tree.
Albert and Barbara Boxdorfer were buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
I find the move the Boxdorfer family made to Texas quite fascinating. Perhaps he and Barbara had high hopes when they made such a dramatic change in location. However, this story has all the appearances that their hopes were short-lived and resulted in a quick return to their home territory. Maybe there’s more to this story, but I do not know it.
I wrote a story about another Rodewald man (probably a cousin of Barbara) a while back who moved from Perry County to New Mexico and remained there for the rest of his life. That post was titled, Trek to the Territory. That move to New Mexico occurred at almost the exact time that Albert and Barbara trekked off to Texas…1909. Maybe folks with the Rodewald surname had wanderlust in their genes.