Back in 2019, I wrote a story about Otto Leimbach titled, Otto’s Hemmann Twin. That Otto Leimbach was born and raised in the Shawnee Township of Cape Girardeau near the towns of New Wells and Pocahontas. In that post, I mentioned that there was another group of Leimbach’s that lived on The Ridge north of Altenburg. Since that previous post was written, Faron Bartons wrote a post, The Leimbach Mystery, in which he demonstrated that both Leimbach families are related. There was another Otto Leimbach in The Ridge clan, and it is his story I will tell today.
Otto Friedrich Leimbach was born on June 17, 1894, the son of Ernst and Anna Maria (Holschen) Leimbach. The post, Ridge Romance Repeat Revisited, told the story of Otto’s parents who are pictured below.
Ernst and Anna had 8 children. They beat the odds because all 8 children were boys. Otto was #2 in the list. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. His baptism record is pictured here. All of the records I will display today from the Immanuel books spill over two pages, so I have to display two images.
The 1900 census shows Otto at the age of 5. By then, 5 of the sons had been born. Otto’s father was a farmer.
Quite early in his life, Otto was included in a photo of the first 3 Leimbach sons. Otto is the one on the right.
Next, we find Otto in the 1910 census as a teenager. Two sons had died rather early, so there are 6 sons in this listing. Otto was working on his father’s farm.
In 1917, Otto had a World War I draft registration completed. Although it gives his address as Wittenberg, Missouri, it says he was was a farm laborer on the Luedemann place in Jacob, Illinois.
Otto did serve our country during that war, but before he was inducted into service, he got married. So, let’s take a look at the woman who would become his bride. Her name was Liberta Erdmuthe Hedwig Finger. It is her birthday that led me to this story today. She was born on June 27, 1895, making today her 127th birthday. Hedwig was the daughter of Wilmar and Liberta (Telle) Finger. She was child #6 in her family of 8. The first 4 were boys. Child #5 was a girl named Hedwig Ida, but she died in January of 1894, so her parents tried the name, Hedwig, again for today’s birthday girl. Like Otto, Hedwig was baptized at Immanuel, Altenburg. Her baptism record is seen below.
Hedwig was 4 years old when she appears in the 1900 census. Her father was a farmer.
When Hedwig was very young, a photo was taken of the Finger family. I figure the baby on her mother’s lap must be Hedwig.
The 1910 census shows Hedwig as a teenager. One more son had been added to the family since the previous census.
Otto Leimbach married Hedwig Finger on July 21, 1918 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at the church record for that occasion.
We can also view the marriage license for this couple.
The World War I military record for Otto says he was inducted in Perryville on July 26, 1918, just 5 days after he was married.
This photo was taken of Otto and his cousin, Karl Weber, in their military uniforms.
After his military service, Otto and Hedwig lived in St. Louis for the rest of their lives. In a Leimbach family binder that our museum has, it says that Otto started as a machinist at G.E. Raithel Manufacturing Company. Otto and Hedwig had 3 children, 2 girls and a boy. The 1920 census shows this couple with an empty nest. Their first child would be born later that year. It says Otto was a planner for a woodworking company, but I think he was most likely a planer, not a planner.
As his experience grew and after taking extra classes, Otto advanced up the ladder in his occupation. During the Depression, he did several odd jobs, like selling soda from his car and slats for blinds. We find the Leimbach family in the 1930 census, in which it says that Otto was an estimator for a lumber company.
Next, we find the Leimbach’s in the 1940 census. This time, Otto was called a salesman and estimator for a tile company.
In 1942, Otto had a World War II draft card completed.
In 1945, Otto and 5 others bought the St. Louis Tile and Modern Window Company and renamed it the Defiance Millwork Company. By 1950, Otto and Hedwig were the sole owners of this company. The 1950 census says Otto was president and general manager of a millwork manufacturing company. Their daughter, Flora, and her husband were living in their household.
Otto Leimbach died in 1969 at the age of 75. We can take a look at his death certificate.
Hedwig Leimbach died in 1972 at the age of 76. Pretty soon, the public will be able to view her death certificate. The Leimbach binder states that Otto and Hedwig were active members of St. Trinity Lutheran Church in Lemay. That congregation has a cemetery, but Findagrave.com does not have an entry for either of them on their site.
Over the years several other photos were taken that include Otto and Hedwig. I will include a clickable gallery here. The captions should help identify the people.
2 thoughts on “The Otto Leimbach’s from the Ridge”
Diane Anderson and I have added an online memorial and photos on Find-A-Grave for both Otto and Hedwig.
Check them out.
Funny that this is published today. Otto and Hattie were my grandparents and only yesterday we were at the Lutheran Heritage Museum. On the way home we stopped at St. Trinity Lutheran Cemetery which is in Lemay to leave flowers at my parents and grandparents graves. The church, St. Trinity, is in south St. Louis city.