Teacher Schlichting

A tenth and last child was born to Johann and Maria (Stueve) Schlichting on this day 125 years ago. That baby was named George Theodor Schlichting. If you’ve done the math, you know that George was born on September 20, 1897. He was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri. We can take a look at an image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books.

George Schlichting baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

George and his rather large family are found in the 1900 census for Salem Township, which is part of those census pages that are often so difficult to read. George was 3 years old, and his father was a farmer.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

The last census in which we find George living in Perry County was the one taken in 1910. He was 12 years old and would get confirmed at Salem, Farrar the next year. That would be the last record for George that we find in our German Family Tree.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

The next document I was able to find for George was a World War I draft registration that he had completed in 1918. This form was filled out at a draft board in St. Louis, and George is given an address for that city, but he was also said to be a divinity student in Seward, Nebraska. He would have been a student at Concordia Teachers College in that town.

George Schlichting – WWI draft registration

I was unable to find George in the 1920 census. I did find a George Schlichting in the St. Louis census for that year, and that George was the right age, but the other members of that family, which included younger siblings, did not fit today’s George Schlichting’s profile.

Let’s now take a look at the woman who would become George’s wife. Her name was Elsa Louise Firnhaber, who was born on May 12, 1897. Elsa was the daughter of Rev. August and Augusta (Brahren) Firnhaber. A family history on Ancestry.com says Elsa was born in Garland, Nebraska, which is a small town not far from Seward. When we find Elsa in the 1900 census, she was living in the H Precinct of Seward County, Nebraska. Elsa was 3 years old, and her father is called a preacher.

1900 census – H Precinct, Seward County, NE

The map shown below of Precinct H of Seward County indicates that Garland was part of that precinct.

H Precinct – Seward County, NE 1921

Before the 1910 census was taken, the Firnhaber family was still living in Nebraska, but no longer in Garland. They were living in Sterling, Nebraska. Elsa was 12 years old, and she, too, was part of a rather large family. Her father was called a clergyman.

1910 census – Sterling, NE

Unlike George, I was able to find Elsa in the 1920 census, and she was still living with her parents. This time, her family was once again living in Seward County, but this time they were living in the city of Seward, the county seat. Her father was called a minister. He may have been the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, or he could have been on the staff of Concordia Teachers College. Elsa was a 22 year-old saleslady at a jewelry store.

1920 census – Seward, NE

I found a record from a Nebraska newspaper (probably from Seward) that indicates that George Schlichting and Elsa Firnhaber got married in 1920, the same year as the above census.

Schlichting/Firnhaber marriage record – Nebraska newspaper

A census entry from the state of South Dakota taken in 1925 shows Elsa living in that state. A similar document could be shown for George, but I chose not to display both of them. This record is another that indicates that George and Elsa were married in 1920.

1925 South Dakota state census

The 1930 census gives us more details about where they were living. It comes from the city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. George is called a teacher at a parochial school. He and Elsa had 2 children by this time.

1930 census – Sioux Falls, SD

Before the next census, the Schlichting family had moved to Yorktown, Iowa where George was a teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. There were now 3 children in the family.

1940 census – Yorktown, IA

In 1942, George had to complete a World War II draft card. It indicates that George and his family were still in Yorktown.

George Schlichting – WWII draft card

Since we can now view the 1950 census, we find that this family moved again. In 1950, they were living in El Monte, California. George was the principal of a school. El Monte is located in the Los Angeles area.

1950 census – El Monte, CA

A 1956 city directory for Richmond, California included George and Elsa. It states that George was the principal at Trinity Lutheran School. The Schlichting family must have moved again because Richmond is located in the San Francisco/Oakland area.

1956 Rinchmond, CA city directory

George Schlichting died in 1993 at the age of 95; Elsa Schlichting died in 1995 at the age of 98. It looks like these two might have moved back to the Los Angeles area because that is where they reportedly died. I was unable to find any burial details for these two. They lived good, long lives and spent them at a variety of Lutheran churches and schools around America. I wonder if George was ever able to bring his wife and family back to Perry County for a visit to his birthplace.

In a previous post, Newlyweds Off to¬†Nebraska, it told of another Teacher Schlichting. His name was Albert Schlichting, who would have called today’s Teacher Schlichting, Uncle George. In that post, it said Albert was teaching in Reno, Nevada in 1957, about the time that Uncle George was in Richmond, California. A maps program says those two cities are now about 3 hours in driving time away from each other. I wonder if they ever had the opportunity to see one another at some time.


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