Hulda Bingenheimer – One of Brother John’s Girls

Today’s post begins with the birth of a girl named Hulda Carolina Martha Bingenheimer on August 18, 1898. She would be 124 years old today if she was still alive. Hulda was the daughter of John and Lena (Moeller) Bingenheimer. Let me explain today’s title. A previous post was titled Brother John’s Girls, and that post was a take-off on another previous post titled, George’s Girls. Two Bingenheimer brothers, John and George had families full of females. As you can see, Hulda was one of brother John’s girls.

Another reason I was attracted to this story is the fact that Hulda was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. I have been on the lookout for stories from that congregation because they are celebrating their 125th anniversary this year because it was established in 1897. Hulda was baptism #11 in that congregation’s books. We can view an image of her baptism record below.

Hulda Bingenheimer baptism record – Zion, Longtown, MO

Hulda is found in the 1900 census at the age of 1. Her father was a farmer in the Union Township.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

The last census in which we find Hulda as a single person was the one taken in 1910. You can see all of John’s girls in this entry. John had an 11 year-old nephew named Arthur Elbrecht working on his farm. The Elbrecht name will show up again in this story soon.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

We will now take a look at the man who Hulda would marry. His name was Henry Frank Roennigke, who was born on August 23, 1895. Henry was the son of Henry and Catherine (Elbrecht) Roennigke. There is that Elbrecht name again. Henry was born in St. Louis. That is where we find him in the 1900 census at the age of 4. His aunt, Marie Elbrecht, was also in this household.

1900 census – St. Louis, MO

At this point, let me say that two Bingenheimer siblings (including George who had all the girls) married Elbrecht siblings. The Elbrecht and Bingenheimer surnames are one found often in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim.

I was not able to find Henry Roennigke in the 1910 census, but when he completed his World War I draft registration in 1917, he is found living in Hildebrand, Missouri managing a general store.

Henry Roennigke – WWI draft registration

A man named Dan Hildebrand became a postmaster in 1905 and the populated area he served began to be called Hildebrand at that point in time. We can see Dan Hildebrand in this list of postmasters for 1905.

Dan Hildebrand – postmasters list 1905

If you look closely at the WWI draft registration for Henry Roennigke, it says the registrar was part of the Friedheim precinct. I guess all this can explain how Henry, whose mother was an Elbrecht, and was now living where other Elbrecht’s and Bingenheimer’s had lived, got to know Hulda.

Henry Roennigke did serve in the military during World War I. An application was made after his death for a military headstone as a result of serving his country. He had the rank of sergeant. That application is shown here.

Henry Roennigke – military headstone application

Henry Roennigke married Hulda Bingenheimer on September 14, 1919 at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. We can view the church record for that wedding below. This form says that by 1919, Henry was living in Alton, Illinois.

Roennigke/Bingenheimer marriage record – Zion, Longtown, MO

The marriage license for this pair is also available to view. It also demonstrates that Henry was from Alton.

Roennigke/Bingenheimer marriage license

After this wedding, it looks as if Henry took his new bride to Alton, so we no longer see this couple in our German Family Tree. All indications from later census record are that Henry and Hulda had just one child. The 1920 census from Alton, Illinois shows this couple. No child is listed yet. Henry is called an agent for a tea and coffee company.

1920 census – Alton, IL

A 1923 city directory for Alton shows Henry in the tea and coffee business.

Henry Roennigke – 1923 Alton city directory

Henry must have changed jobs shortly after that directory was compiled. When a similar city directory was put together in 1924, Henry was working for the Illinois Glass Company.

Henry Roennigke – 1924 Alton city directory

I was unable to find Henry and Hulda in the 1930 census, but in the Alton city directory for that year, we find him still living there. By that time, Henry was a clerk working in a post office.

Henry Roennigke – 1930 Alton city directory

Henry Roennigke died in 1938 at the age of 43. I found an Illinois death record for him. It describes Henry as a post office clerk and confirms the names of his parents as Henry Roennigke and Katherine Elbrecht.

Henry Roennigke – Illinois death record

The widow, Hulda Roennigke can be found in the 1940 census for Alton, Illinois. We see her living with her 19 year-old son named Ervin.

1940 census – Alton, IL

The last census we can view that includes Hulda was the 1950 census. Her son, Ervin, who was then married to a woman named Patricia McGuiggan, was the head of the household. Ervin was an insurance underwriter.

1950 census – Alton, IL

Hulda Roennigke died in 1987 at the age of 88. Both Henry and Hulda were buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Alton, Illinois.

Henry and Hulda’s story has roots around Friedheim, some events happening in Longtown, with their married life being spent in Alton, Illinois. Now that Hulda’s story has been told, I have written a couple stories about those Bingenheimer girls. Perhaps more such stories will be told later.


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