In my early years of living in Altenburg, I would often have times when I sat at one of the local eateries in the presence of an older gentleman whose name was Henry Scholl. He would often have a newspaper in his hand, working on either the daily crossword or Sudoku. When not doing that, he would regale other patrons with his stories, many about working on the railroad or gathering pecans in Wittenberg. Today, I will tell the story of Henry’s grandparents, beginning with his grandpa, who is today’s birthday boy.
Wilhelm Herman Scholl was born on August 14, 1869, making today his 153rd birthday. William was the son of Tobias and Wilhelmine (Ruehling) Scholl. He was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. An image of his baptism record is displayed below.
When William was very young and showing up in his first census in 1870, we find the Scholl family not living in Perry County, but in the Shawnee Township of Cape Girardeau County. According to our German Family Tree, William was child #2 out of 9 born into this family. William’s father was a farmer.
Next, we find William at the age of 10 in the 1880 census. The Scholl household had gotten much larger during the previous decade.
Now, we will turn our attention to look at the woman who would become William’s bride. Her name was Nona I. Wilson, who was born on July 31, 1876. Nona’s parents were Charles and Susan (Schmidt) Wilson. When I display Nona’s death certificate later, you will see that it says she was born in Sparta, Illinois. However, when she shows up in her first census in 1880, the Wilson family was living in the Brazeau Township of Perry County. Her father was a farmer.
Since we find Nona’s parents living in the Shawnee Township when the 1900 census was taken, it is likely that William met Nona after the Wilson’s moved closer to where he lived. William Scholl married Nona Wilson on December 22, 1895. I must admit that I wonder whether this marriage took place in church during a time when Lutheran pastors were reluctant to perform marriages during the season of Advent. The church record for this wedding is found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. That record is shown here. It indicates that Nona was from Cape Girardeau County.
We can also take a look at the marriage license for this couple.
Seven children are listed in the German Family Tree for William and Nona’s family, all of which were baptized at Immanuel, New Wells. We find them living in the Shawnee Township when the 1900 census is taken. Their first child was born and died on the same day, so the only child in their household was their second-born. William was a farmer.
By the time of the 1910 census, the Scholl’s had 5 children in their household.
The 1920 census would end up being the last one in which we find William Scholl. After 10 years of having no children, their last son was born in 1917, so we see the Scholl household below.
William Scholl died in 1929 at the age of 60. His death certificate gives bladder cancer as the cause of his death.
I was a little surprised that William was buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. Even though he was no longer alive, a parcel of land with his name is found in the plat maps produced in 1930 for Cape Girardeau County. That land was located not far from New Wells.
I was unable to find Nona Scholl in the 1930 census. However, I did find their youngest son, Elmer, living in the Ernst Schuessler household in the Brazeau Township of Perry County. Ernst had married Elmer’s sister, Olga Scholl. The confirmation record for Elmer in 1932 is found in the books of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. Here is the 1930 census entry including Elmer.
I did find Nona Scholl in the 1940 census. She was a housekeeper in the C.C. Hines (sp?) household at the age of 63.
During World War II, Elmer Scholl, the youngest child, was killed in Sicily and buried in Italy. Below is a photo of Elmer along with a gravestone photo.
The last census we can view that included Nona was the one taken in 1950. She was living with her daughter, Bertha, who had married Richard Kasten.
Nona Scholl died in 1966 at the age of 89. Her death certificate indicates that she died at the Millers Nursing Home in Cape Girardeau. This is the document that says Nona was born in Sparta, Illinois.
In a Scholl family binder that we have in our research library, I found a photograph of both William and Nona. The one of William shows him when he was quite young. It is also another one of those photos that illustrate a coat that was buttoned just once at the top. The one of Nona was likely taken well after her husband had died.
Both William and Nona Scholl are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
William and Nona’s grandson, Henry Scholl, died last year in 2021. Yet, several of William and Nona’s great grandchildren can still be seen around here. Perhaps Henry let his children know where the good pecan trees can be found down near Wittenberg.