Eleanora Regine Weber is today’s birthday girl. She was born on May 26, 1888, the daughter of Henry and Amalia (Kaufmann) Weber. A previous post was written about these parents titled, Henry and Amalia Weber – The Other Weber Farm. Eleanora was the first of 6 children born into this family. She was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at Eleanora’s baptism record from that congregation’s books.
The 1900 census is the first census in which we find Eleanora. At that time, she was called 10 years old, but I think she was at least 11. She was often called Nora. Her father was a farmer.
That would be the only census entry in which we find Eleanora as a single woman. So, we turn our attention to the man that she would marry. His name was Gottfried Gustav Schuessler, who was born on July 22, 1883. Gottfried’s parents were Gottfried and Maria (Jahn) Schuessler. Gottfried was the 11th and last child in this Shuessler family. He was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can take a look at his baptism record.
Like Eleanora, Gottfried was found as a single person in only one census that we can view. That was the one taken in 1900 when he was 16 years old. Gottfried was working on his father’s farm.
Gottfried Schuessler married Eleanora Weber on December 26, 1906, the day after Christmas. This is likely one of those marriages where the couple had to wait until after the Advent season was over before they were allowed to get married in the Lutheran Church. In this case, this couple was married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for that wedding is pictured here.
A marriage license for this couple is also available to view.
Our German Family Tree lists 4 children born to Gottfried and Eleanora, all of which lived to adulthood. Only the first child was born before the 1910 census was taken. This family’s entry from that census is shown below. Gottfried was a farmer.
In 1918, Gottfried had his World War I draft registration completed.
All of the Schuessler children were born before the 1920 census. We can see this household in the entry displayed here. In addition to the 4 children, we find Gottfried’s mother, Mary, living with this family.
Around 1925, a photo was taken of the Henry Weber family that included Gottfried and Eleanora Schuessler. The caption helps identify the people in the photo.
Eleanora Schuessler died in 1929 at the age of 41. Her death certificate mentions sepsis as a cause of death. She died while at the Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau.
Next, we find the Shuessler’s in the 1930 census, where it lists Gottfried as a widower. Included in his household was a 39 year-old widow, Hattie Stelling, who is called a servant.
A year after this census was taken, Gottfried married Hattie, so let’s take a quick look at her early life. Lydia Hedwig Hecht was born on October 27, 1897, the daughter of Gotthilf and Lydia (Jacob) Hecht. She was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We can view her baptism record.
I’m going to skip ahead to say that Hedwig Hecht married George Stelling in 1925, and that couple had one child, a girl named Gertrude. You can also see Gertrude as a young child in the 1930 census shown above. George Stelling then died in 1929, the same year that Eleonora Schuessler died. On January 27, 1931, Gottfried Schuessler married Hedwig (Hattie) Stelling at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Our images of Concordia’s books do not contain marriage records past the early 1920’s, so we cannot view a church record for this wedding. However, we can take a look at the marriage license for this occasion.
No additional children resulted from this marriage. We find the blended Schuessler/Stelling household in the 1940 census.
Despite being 59 years old, Gottfried had to complete a World War II draft card in 1942.
The last census we can view is the 1950 census. Hattie’s daughter, Gertrude, had married someone named Harris, and apparently had a child. These two, minus any presence of her husband, were included in the Schuessler household.
Gottfried Schuessler died in 1966 at the age of 80. His death certificate is pictured below.
Hattie Schuessler died in 1972 at the age of 74. Gottfried Schuessler and both of his wives are buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Frohna.
This story is not the first one told on this blog that describes a man who lost his wife marries a woman who lost her husband, thus forming a family that combined the children from both previous marriages. I know it also won’t be the last.