Gottfried’s Single Trio

Back in 2019, I wrote a post titled, Gottfried’s Angels. The story was told about the 3 daughters of Gottfried and Amalie Darnstaedt. Gottfried and Amalie had 6 children who lived to adulthood. The oldest 3 were boys, and the youngest 3 were girls. Gottfried and Amalia’s family is shown in the photo below which also includes Gottfried’s mother, Christiane.

Gottfried Darnstaedt family

I will write today’s story about another trio from this family. Three of the Darnstaedt children never got married. Those 3 will be highlighted today. One of them, Anna Darnstaedt, was mentioned in the previous post because she was part of the group I referred to as Gottfried’s Angels. One of today’s trio has a birthday today, so I will begin with him.

Karl Paul Darnstaedt was born on September 30, 1885, so he would be celebrating his 137th birthday if he was still alive. You already know that his parents were Gottfried and Amalie, but I will add here that Amalie’s maiden name was Schlimpert. The story of that couple was told in the post, Seelitz Sweethearts. Paul was the firstborn child in this family of 7 listed in our German Family Tree. Twins were born in 1887, and one of those twins died right away. Paul, like all the other babies in this family, were baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. An image of his baptism record is displayed below.

Paul Darnstaedt baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

I am amazed that Paul was the 35th baptism to take place in 1885 at Trinity, and it was only September. By the end of the year, there were 44 baptisms at Trinity. That’s almost one every Sunday, if they were all baptized on Sunday.

While I’m on the subject of babies, let me tell you about the births of the other 2 children that never married. Theodore Christian Darnstaedt was born on May 27, 1889. I have talked with several local people who knew Theodore, and all of them called him by an apparent nickname, Dick Darnstaedt. His baptism record is shown here.

Theodore Darnstaedt baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Anna Emma Darnstaedt was the youngest of the Darnstaedt children. She was born on November 20, 1895. Her baptism record has already appeared in this blog before, but I will display it again.

Anna Darnstaedt baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

All 3 of these children appear in the 1900 census. Their father was a farmer in the Seelitz community. Paul was confirmed during the year of this census.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It was at this time that this trio separated somewhat. Paul was no longer found in Perry County when the 1910 census was taken. He had moved across the Mississippi River to the Fountain Bluff Township of Jackson County, Illinois. He was a farm hand in the Herman Kranawetter household.

1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Meanwhile, Dick and Anna were still living with their parents in Seelitz.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

At some point in time, when they were all fairly young, the 3 Darnstaedt daughters had a photo taken. I’ll let you choose which one of them would be Anna, the youngest.

Darnstaedt daughters

Before the next census, the two Darnstaedt brothers had their World War I draft registrations completed. First, here is the one for Paul. It says he was living in Jacob, Illinois and working on the R. Dietrich farm.

Paul Darnstaedt – WWI draft registration

Next, here is the form for Theodore “Dick” Darnstaedt. It indicates that he was working on his father’s farm.

Theodore Darnstaedt – WWI draft registration

Despite his father getting up there in years and his other brothers living in Illinois, Dick was called to serve in the military during that war, although I do not think that he was sent overseas. Theodore was one of the men from Seelitz who had military experience during World War I who were discussed in the story, Seelitz Soldiers.

When the 1920 census was taken, I was only able to find an entry for the two still living in Perry County. I was not able to find Paul, but I am pretty sure that he was still living in Illinois.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I was once again able to find Paul in the 1930 census, where he was a farm laborer in the Gustav Vogel household in the Fountain Bluff Township. Gustav was the son of Henry and Amalia (Palisch) Vogel, who had their roots in Perry County, but had migrated to Jacob, Illinois.

1930 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Back in Perry County, Anna and Dick were still living in Seelitz with their parents who were both in their 70’s.

1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I sometimes find it hard to believe that over the years several generations, in very crowded conditions at times, were living in the Darnstaedt cabin that is shown below. It is told that Dick and Anna were the last to live in this home in the 1930’s.

Darnstaedt cabin

In 1940, we find Paul still living in Illinois and working on the Gustav Vogel farm.

1940 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

The Darnstaedt parents each died in the 1930’s, so when the 1940 census was taken, we find Dick and Anna living apart from each other for the first time. Theodore was a hired hand on the Jacob Grebing farm.

1940 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Anna, on the other hand, was a housekeeper living with a widower, Rudy Preusser, who worked in the Altenburg Bank.

1940 census – Altenburg, MO

When World War II draft cards were completed in 1942, we find forms for the 2 Darnstaedt bachelors. First, here is the one for Paul, who was still working for Gustav Vogel.

Paul Darnstaedt – WWII draft card

And here is the one for Dick. It says he was a postmaster, and his employer was Paul Grebing, Jacob Grebing’s son.

Theodore Darnstaedt – WWII draft card

We can look at one more census entry for each of these 3 single persons in 1950. Paul was still living in the Fountain Bluff Township and, at the age of 64, still working on the Vogel farm.

1950 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Dick was still living on a Grebing farm, but this time it was Paul Grebing’s farm.

1950 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Anna Darnstaedt was living in St. Louis in 1950 and doing kitchen work at Concordia Seminary.

1950 census – St. Louis, MO

Local storytellers have informed me that Dick and Anna would later build the house located just behind Trinity Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum. That house still stands and is seen in the photo below.

Darnstaedt house behind museum

The 2 Darnstaedt bachelors died in the 1960’s. Even Paul, who had lived most of his life in Illinois, died in Perry County. I wish I knew if he at one time lived with Dick and Annie in the above house. Paul died in 1965 at the age of 80. His death certificate says he died at the Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville, but his address is given as Altenburg.

Paul Darnstaedt death certificate

His brother, Dick, who is listed as the informant on the above certificate for Paul, died 2 years later in 1967 at the age of 78. He also died at the hospital in Perryville, and his address is given as being on Church St. in Altenburg. Anna is the informant on this death certificate.

Theodore Dick Darnstaedt death certificate

Anna Darnstaedt died in 1986 at the age of 90. The public is not yet able to view her death certificate. All 3 of the single Darnstadt’s are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

Sometimes when I consider writing a story about an unmarried character, I wonder if there is enough to write about, but it isn’t hard to come up with a lengthy story like this one when you write about a trio of single siblings.

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