Birdman of Leavenworth

In order to understand the title of this post, you must know that the German word for bird is vogel. The birthday boy for today is a Vogel. He is another character that has very little evidence of living in Perry County. He also got brief mention in the post titled, Vogel (Bird) Migrations.

Rudolph Martin Vogel was born on July 14, 1895, making today his 137th birthday. Rudolph (often called Rudy) was the son of August and Mary (Gerharter) Vogel. I can display this photo of August and Mary.

August and Mary Vogel

Rudy was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. His baptism record from that congregation’s books is shown here.

Rudolph Vogel baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Rudy shows up in the 1900 census at the age of 4. He was part of a rather large Vogel family. According to our German Family Tree, he was child #11 out of 12. His father was a farmer.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

A photograph was taken of Rudy when he was very young.

Young Rudolph Vogel

The only other church record we have for Rudy was his confirmation record which took place in 1909. That year’s confirmation record is too recent to be included in the images we have in our research library for that congregation’s books, so I cannot display it. The last census in which we find Rudolph living in Perry County is the one taken in 1910.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

When Rudolph had to complete his World War I draft registration in 1917, his address on the form gives Frohna as his home, but he is called a student of religion in Springfield, Illinois. I have every reason to believe he was studying to become a Lutheran pastor at Concordia College in Springfield.

Rudolph Vogel – WWI draft registration

Rudolph did not become a pastor. When the 1920 census was taken, we find him living in Atchison, Kansas. He was living in the household of William and Magdalena Zschoche. Magdalena was Rudy’s older sister. William Zschoche was the nephew of Rev. Zschoche, who was the pastor in Frohna who bapitzed Rudy. And if that is not interesting enough, we will see soon see that this census entry is even more interesting than that.

1920 census – Atchison, KS

The woman who would become Rudy’s wife was Edna Emma Osthoff, who was born on July 27, 1904. Edna was the daughter of William and Ida (Mason) Osthoff. What I find interesting is that Edna was born in Springfield, Illinois according to a later Social Security form.

Edna Osthoff Vogel – Social Security form

It must not have been long after Edna’s birth that the Osthoff’s moved to Kansas. All their remaining children were born in Kansas according to subsequent census entries. I could not find a federal census for Edna in 1910, but I did find a 1915 Kansas state census that included the Osthoff family living in Atchison. Edna was 10 years old at that time.

1915 Kansas state census – Atchison, KS

Next, we return to the 1920 census for Atchison, Kansas. The Osthoff family is found on the same page along with Rudolph Vogel. Please note also that Edna is the only Osthoff child that was born in Illinois.

1920 census – Atchison, KS

I find it fascinating that Rudolph’s future wife would have been previously born in Springfield, Illinois 13 years before he was studying for the ministry in the same town, and then these two ended up living quite near each other in Kansas in 1920. We find a similar situation in 1925, in which Edna and Rudolph are found right next to each other in a Kansas state census for Atchison. This time, Rudy is called a bookkeeper.

1925 Kansas state census – Atchison, KS

I was unable to find any evidence of a marriage date for Rudolph Vogel and Edna Osthoff, but it would have been between 1925 and 1929, when their first child was born. We find this young couple in the 1930 census in which they were living in Leavenworth, Kansas where Rudy was a bookkeeper for a furniture factory.

1930 census – Leavenworth, KS

I don’t know when the photo below was taken of Rudolph Vogel.

Rudolph Vogel

The 1940 census shows the Vogel household with 4 children. Rudy was the operator of a private filling station.

1940 census – Leavenworth, KS

Rudolph completed a World War II draft card in 1942. I find it very interesting that Rudy was now employed by the War Department as a finance officer.

Rudolph Vogel – WWII draft card

Fort Leavenworth has a long history as part of the American military establishment. Many famous Army generals received part of their training at this location. It also has the reputation as being the place where soldiers can be imprisoned as part of their disciplinary sentencing.

We can see the Vogel’s in the 1950 census in which we find Rudy being the owner of a clothing cleaning shop.

1950 census – Leavenworth, KS

Rudolph Vogel died in 1965 at the age of 69. Edna would not die until 1996 at the age of 92. Rudolph has an entry on for the Mount Muncie Cemetery in the Leavenworth area, but there is no gravestone photo. Edna died somewhere in Kansas, but I have no idea where she is buried.

Before I close, I want to relate some information about one of Rudy and Edna’s sons, Arthur Paul Vogel, who is buried in the Leavenworth National Cemetery. Arthur had a distinguished medical, military, and ministry record. The obituary shown below describes his life. The thumbnails can be clicked to enlarge them.

Below is a photo of Dr. Albert Vogel.

Dr. Arthur Vogel

I cannot help but wonder if Dr. Arthur Vogel ever came to Perry County, Missouri to visit the place of his father’s birth.


I just cannot resist the urge to post another photo on this post, especially since I made reference to birds. For the first time since we have lived in Altenburg, we have hosted two baby turkey vultures in our barn loft. They are never happy to have us visit them, and neither is their Mommy who shows up every once in a while. I don’t know about you, but I never expected that baby turkey vultures would have white down feathers when they are young.

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