John and Selma – A Schneider-Saupe Pair

The northern part of Cape Girardeau County is the setting for almost all of today’s story about a Schneider and a Saupe uniting in marriage on this day over 100 years ago. It turns out to be a rather typical story found on this blog which demonstrates more than one generation being involved in operating a farm. I will start with the groom.

Johann Schneider was born on October 2, 1865, right as the Civil War was at a close. John was the son of John and Sophia (Wachter) Schneider. I have to admit that it took me a while to determine who his parents were. Our German Family Tree includes John and Sophia, but it does not include a son named John. The John Schneider that is today’s groom is also in the GFT, but there is no indication who his parents were. The proof that I will display later is John’s death certificate which includes his parents’ names. John’s parents arrived in America in 1853, travelling aboard the ship, Minerva. We see his parents with a young child on the passenger list below.

Schneider family – Minerva passenger list 1853

I am not sure where John was baptized. Two older siblings were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. When the 1870 census was taken, we find the Schneider family living in the Apple Creek Township of northern Cape Girardeau County. John was 5 years old at the time. Before John was born, we find the Schneider family already living in the Apple Creek Township in the 1860 census.

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The 1880 census gives us evidence that John’s father must have died in the 1870’s. I found no documentation for his death. John’s older sister, Ernestine, had married Ernst Rudert in 1871. Sophia, John’s mother, along with John and his sister, Lina, were living in the Rudert household.

1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at the bride in today’s pair. Selma Saupe was born on February 26, 1861, the daughter of Julius and Justine (Dietze) Saupe. She was born just 2 months before the Battle of Fort Sumter that ignited the Civil War. Selma was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. We can take a look at her baptism record from that congregation’s books.

Selma Saupe baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Before Selma shows up in a census in 1870, the Saupe’s made a move. We find them living in the Apple Creek Township in this census entry. Selma was 9 years old at that time, and her father was a farmer.

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The 1880 census lists Selma as a teenager. This would be the last census entry in which she was a single person.

1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

It would be 13 years after that census was taken that the marriage of John Schneider and Selma Saupe took place at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. The church record for that wedding is pictured here. Their wedding was not the only Saupe wedding to take place that year in the New Wells congregation. Selma’s brother, Ernst, who married Lina Lindner, was the previous marriage in that congregation’s records.

Schneider/Saupe marriage record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

We can also view the marriage license for this couple.

Schneider/Saupe marriage license

Our German Family Tree lists 2 children born to John and Selma, both boys. Both sons were born before the 1900 census, so we find the entire Schneider household in that year’s census. Like his father, John was a farmer. I think it is likely that he even farmed the same land that his father had. By 1900, both of his parents had died.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

In 1910, the Schneider’s family looks the same. John’s two teenage sons were helping him on his farm.

1910 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Their oldest son, Arthur, got married in 1919, so he is no long found living with his parents when the 1920 census was taken.

1920 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Plat maps were produced for Cape Girardeau County in 1930. We find the John Schneider farm not far from the village of Shawneetown, although you cannot tell that from this image. Not far from the Schneider land, you will see the parcel owned by Leo Saupe, Selma’s brother.

John Schneider – 1930 land map

In the same year as the plat maps were made, we find the Schneider’s in the 1930 census. Their other son, Edwin, had gotten married in 1929. He and his new wife, Frieda Wachter, were living in their household. Both John and Edwin were farming.

1930 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The last census entry in which we find John and Selma was the one taken in 1940. This time, we find two additional grandchildren living in their household.

1940 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

The above census was submitted in April of 1940. Selma died in August of that same year at the age of 79. I tried all my normal techniques to locate her Missouri death certificate, but I failed. There is a death record for her in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Shawneetown that says she died of kidney and liver troubles.

Two years later, in 1942, John Schneider died at the age of 76. I did locate his death certificate, and this is the document that supports the fact that John’s parents were John and Sophia (Wachter) Schneider.

John Schneider death certificate

John and Selma Schneider are buried together in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Shawneetown.

John and Selma Schneider gravestone – Trinity, Shawneetown, MO

I may be wrong, but if John Schneider’s father got the land that he farmed in the Apple Creek Township back in the 1850’s, then when John died in 1942, that piece of land was well on its way to being a Century Farm. If the farm was passed on to their son, Edwin, and he continued to farm it until sometime in the 1950’s, then it would qualify for that distinction. Unfortunately, I could not find Edwin in the 1950 census, so that makes me doubt that this happened.


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