Lenora and the Milk Man

Yesterday’s story highlighted the life of Hilda Gerler, who was born on September 10, 1897. One day after Hilda was born, another baby girl was born across the Mississippi River in Jacob, Illinois. That means, once again, we will be looking at a girl who, if she was alive today, would be celebrating her 125th birthday.

Lenora Anna Maria Kistenmacher was born on September 11, 1897, the daughter of Carl and Franzisca (Weis) Kistenmacher. Let’s backtrack a little. In 1882, Marie Kistenmacher, whose maiden name was Schlichting, came to America with 4 children, 3 boys and a girl. They came aboard the ship, Wieland. We can view a passenger list that includes these Kistenmacher’s.

Kistenmacher family – Wieland passenger list – 1882

I do not know what happened to the mother who brought those children, nor do I know what happened to the only daughter on the list. However, there is evidence that the 3 boys lived in Perry County. The 2 youngest boys, including Lenora’s father, Carl, were confirmed in Perry County. The two youngest boys, John and Carl, toward the end of the 1800’s, moved to Jacob, Illinois, and each of them found wives there. Carl and his bride were married in 1896, and Lenora was their first child. Lenora was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob. We can take a look at an image of her baptism record from that congregation’s books. I have to display it in 2 images.

Lenora Kistenmacher baptism record – Christ, Jacob, IL

I was unable to find the Kistemacher’s in the 1900 census. When the 1910 census was taken, we find this family living in St. Louis. Lenora was 13 years old, and her father was a foreman at a brewery.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

That census would be the last one in which Lenora was a single woman. So, let’s take a look at the man who would become her husband. His name was Fred E. Baisch, who was born on August 23, 1895. Fred is a rather unusual character for this blog. I’m not sure I have ever included a character who was born in New Mexico. He was reportedly born in Albuquerque. Fred was the son of Charles and Minnie (Orth) Baisch. Fred must not have been in New Mexico very long, because when the 1900 census was taken, we find him and his family living in Palisade, Colorado, which is located in the western part of that state, quite near Utah. Fred was 4 years old, and his father was a farmer. The John Baisch household can be seen right below the Charles Baisch household. John was Charles’s brother, and he was also a farmer.

1900 census – Palisade, CO

The Baisch family moved again before the 1910 census was taken. By that time, they were living in Smithton, Illinois, which is not far from St. Louis. Fred was 14 years old, and his father was a truck farmer.

1910 census – Smithton, IL

Fred Baisch married Lenora Kistenmacher sometime in 1916. The only evidence I found for this wedding is found in a newspaper article published in St. Louis.

Baisch/Kistenmacher marriage record – St. Louis newspaper 1916

I found half of a wedding photo for this couple. It just shows Lenora as the bride, but we cannot see Fred.

Lenora Baisch wedding

The only photo I located showing Fred was this one that was taken when he was relatively young. Perhaps it was taken when his family was living in Smithton.

Fred Baisch

Fred Baisch had a World War I draft registration completed in 1917. Fred was a hardware clerk in St. Louis.

Fred Baisch – WWI draft registration

Fred and Lenora had 3 children, based on future census entries. In the 1920 census for St. Louis, we find the Baisch’s with just one child. Fred was a driver on a milk route.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

Next, we find the Baisch’s in the 1930 census with 2 children. Fred was called a salesman for a retail milk delivery business.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

The 1940 census indicates that the Baisch family had moved. They were now living in Plattin, Missouri, which is located in Jefferson County, just south of St. Louis. Fred is called a farmer. Their final child, a son named Fred H., had been born in 1937.

1940 census – Platin, MO

Fred Baisch had a World War II draft card completed in 1942. His address is given as De Soto, Missouri, which is near Plattin.

Fred Baisch – WWII draft card

The last census we can view for this couple was the one taken in 1950. Fred was a driver for a long haul milk truck. Their daughter, Lola, who had married Melvin Garrett in 1937, is included in this entry with her 2 sons. She was a widow because Melvin died in combat during World War II. This household was living in De Soto, Missouri.

1950 census – DeSoto, MO

Lenora Baisch died in 1963 at the age of 66. We can take a look at her death certificate.

Lenora Baisch death certificate

Fred Baisch died in 1976 at the age of 81. The public is not yet able to view his death certificate. Fred and Lenora Baisch are buried together in the Woodlawn Cemetery in De Soto, Missouri.

Fred and Lenora Baisch gravestone – Woodlawn, DeSoto, MO

We honor a special 125th birthday for Lenora Baisch today. She was baptized in a local Lutheran church, so she made it into our German Family Tree, but she certainly did not spend much time around here. Then she managed to find a milk man who made his way from New Mexico to Colorado to Illinois before marrying Lenora in St. Louis. Sometimes, I am amazed at how God manages to bring two people together to find wedded bliss.


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