Hopping Across the Mississippi River

The birthday girl for today is one of those persons who hops back and forth across the Mississippi on several occasions during her life. As I write this post, the Mississippi River is so low that people are able to walk out to Tower Rock, and it’s drawing quite a crowd to this area. However, despite its low level of water, it is not physically possible to hop all the way across the river on dry land. Nonetheless, you will read about several river crossings in this post. I suppose you could say the river-hopping trend began with her parents, who were made up of a man and a woman from opposite sides of the river getting married. We begin with the birthday girl.

Amanda Louise Hollmann was born on October 24, 1893, making today her 129th birthday. She was the daughter of Henry and Martha (Stueve) Hollmann. Henry, from Jacob, Illinois, had married Martha at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna in 1888. Both the Hollmann and Stueve sides of this marriage came to America aboard the ship, Carl, in 1866, with the Stueve’s settling in Missouri, and the Hollmann’s settling in Illinois. After Henry and Martha married, they lived in the Fountain Bluff Township in Illinois for a while. That is where Amanda was baptized. Her baptism record shown below is found in the books of Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob.

Amanda Hollmann baptism record – Christ, Jacob, IL

The first 4 Hollmann children were baptized in Jacob; the next 3 were baptized in Frohna. Sometime between 1895 and 1898, this family made its way back across the Mississippi River to Perry County again. We find Amanda in her first census living in the Union Township of Perry County where her father was a farmer. Amanda was 6 years old.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

The last child born to Henry and Martha, a son named Erwin, was born in 1909. Erwin’s later death certificate states that he was born in Murphysboro, Illinois. That means the Hollmann family had hopped across the river once again. The 1910 census shows Amanda’s family living in the Fountain Bluff Township, but Amanda was not living in their household. I was unable to find her in that year’s census. I searched both sides of the river for her.

Amanda’s husband was going to be Charles Friedrich Rowald, who was born on December 29, 1890. Charles was the son of Ernst and Anna (Arbeiter) Rowald. On his later military records, one says his birthplace was Evansville, Illinois, and the other says it was Murphysboro. When Charles shows up in his first census in 1900, his family was living in Ruma, Illinois, which is near Evansville. His father was a farmer. Charles was 9 years old.

1900 census – Ruma, IL

The 1910 census finds the Rowald family living in Murphysboro. Charles was working on his father’s farm.

1910 census – Murphysboro, IL

Charles Rowald married Amanda Hollmann on February 22, 1914. I found this Illinois marriage record that just states that this couple was married in Jackson County. Their marriage record is not found in the books of Christ, Jacob, so I suspect they were married in Murphysboro.

Rowald/Hollmann – Illinois marriage record

Evidence points at this couple having 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. In 1917, Charles had his World War I draft registration completed. This document states that Charles was working at the Brown Shoe Company in Murphysboro.

Charles Rowald – WWI draft registration

The photo below was taken inside the Brown Shoe Company in Murphysboro in 1917. Could Charles be one of the men in the photo?

The 1920 census shows the Rowald family living in Murphysboro with 3 children. Charles continued his work at the shoe factory.

1920 census – Murphysboro, IL

Amanda made her last hop across the river in the next decade. When the 1930 census was taken, the Rowald’s were living in St. Louis. All 6 of their children were in their household, and Charles was working at another shoe factory in St. Louis.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Charles had a different occupation when the 1940 census was taken. He was now in the roofing and siding business. All 6 children were still in their household, and several of them had joined the workforce.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

Charles had a World War II draft card completed in 1942. This form says Charles was employed by the Davis Boring Tool Company.

Below is a photo of an advertisement for the Davis Boring Tool Company.

Davis Boring Tool Co. ad

We find Charles and Amanda in one more census that we can view. The 1950 census shows Charles back in the roofing and siding business. He had his own business. The Rowald couple now had an empty nest.

1950 census – St. Louis, MO

Amanda Rowald died in 1980 at the age of 86; Charles Rowald died in 1987 at the age of 96. Both of them died too recently for us to view their death certificates. Amanda and Charles are buried in the Our Redeemer Cemetery in Affton, Missouri. You may have noticed that several documents in this post spell the surname with two o’s…Rowold. Even our German Family Tree has about an equal amount of folks with the surnames Rowold and Rowald. I went with Rowald in this story because it is spelled that way on his gravestone.

Charles and Amanda Rowald gravestone – Our Redeemer, Affton, MO

According to my count, Amanda (Hollmann) Rowald made 3 hops across the river during her lifetime. If you add the fact that her father hopped back and forth across the river to get a wife, it would be even more.

One thought on “Hopping Across the Mississippi River

  1. It appears that the WW II draft registration is for Charles’ son, Raymond, not for Charles himself. This may explain the confusion in his occupation.

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