One and a half centuries ago, Carl Rudolph Landgraf was born. He ended up living almost a century. You will be reading his story today. If you already did your calculations, you know that Rudolph was born on September 2, 1872. He was the son of Herman and Mathilda (Naeser) Landgraf. Rudolph was one of 10 children born into his family, and he was child #8. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. We can take a look at an image of his baptism record from that church’s books.
Rudolph can only be seen in one census entry before he got married. The 1880 census shows Rudolph as a 7 year-old living in the Shawnee Township of Cape Girardeau County. His father was a farmer.
Rudolph’s first wife was a woman named Emma Karoline Marie Beckemeier, who was born on February 21, 1875. Lina, as she was called, was the daughter of Christian and Elise (Rohlfing) Beckemeier. Lina was born in St. Louis and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church. We can view a record for her baptism in that congregation’s books.
Lina is found in the 1880 census at the age of 5. Her father and an older brother were carpenters in St. Louis.
Rudolph Landgraf married Lina Beckemeier on January 6, 1898. There is some question about where this marriage occurred. A marriage record found on Ancestry.com states that this wedding took place in Norborne, Missouri which is located in Carroll County.
Norborne is located in the western part of Missouri as shown on the map below.
The marriage license for this couple, on the other hand, is found in the records from Cape Girardeau County. This document states that a Rev. Schmidt performed the wedding. I think it says he was from Carroll County, but there is no Rev. Schmidt in a list of that congregation’s pastors over the years.
Our German Family Tree lists 2 children born to this couple. Both of them were baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. We find the Landgraf household in the 1900 census before they had their first child. Rudolph is called a contractor and builder.
Before the next census could be taken, Lina died in 1909 at the age of 34. She was buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.
When we find Rudolph in the 1910 census, he was a widower with two young children. There was also an orphan by the name of Rose Nennert living in his household. A servant by the name of Alwine Gerharter is also listed in this entry. Rudolph is called a house carpenter.
Rudolph married again in 1913, so let’s take a look at his second wife. Her name was Magdalena Mueller, who went by the name Lena. She was born on January 29, 1883, the daughter of Henry and Katherina (Kieninger) Mueller. Lena was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. An image of her baptism record is shown here.
Lena’s family is found living in the Shawnee Township by the time of the 1900 census. Lena was 17 years old at the time.
In the 1910 census, Lena was a servant in a McCombs household in Jackson, Missouri.
Rudolph Landgraf married Lena Mueller on March 23, 1913. The marriage license for this couple is displayed below.
This is yet another case of a marriage license from Cape Girardeau County, but we have evidence that the wedding took place elsewhere. Rev. C.C. Schmidt was the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in St. Louis in 1913. I went to the Holy Cross records that we have and found a record for the Landgraf/Mueller wedding in their books.
The German Family Tree lists 5 children born to this couple. All of them were also baptized at Zion, Pocahontas. The 1920 census for the Landgraf household lists 6 children, 2 teenagers born to his first wife and 4 younger children born to his second. This time, Rudolph is called a merchant.
Next, we find the Landgraf’s in the 1930 census in which Rudolph is called a lumber dealer in a hardware store.
The 1940 census entry shows just one son still living in the Landgraf household. Rudolph was a lumber dealer at a lumber yard.. He was 67 years old at the time.
The last census in which we find the Landgraf’s was the one taken in 1950. Rudolph and Lena were living in Pocahontas, and Rudolph, at the age of 77, was retired.
Later in his life, Rudolph had a photo taken that is displayed below.
Rudolph Landgraf died in 1969 at the age of 97. His death certificate gives cancer of the pharynx as his cause of death.
Lena Mueller died in 1976 at the age of 93. We cannot view her death certificate, but there is evidence that she died in St. Louis. Both Rudolph and Lena are buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.
Rudolph Landgraf was a lumberman for a lot of years. These days, lumber yards are the largest employers in this area. All day long, we get to watch trucks going in and out of Frohna and Altenburg carrying logs and lumber. It is big business in East Perry County.
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