Murphysboro Saupe’s

Erna Leonora Roth has a special birthday today. She was born on November 16, 1897, so if she was still alive today, she would have to blow out 125 candles on her cake. Erna was the daughter of Martin and Marie (Rudert) Roth. As near as I can tell, Erna was their only child. She was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. An image of her baptism record is pictured below. It is a strange record. It is the last one on the bottom of a page and does not have much information. It gives no birth date and no baptism date. Nor does it list Erna’s sponsors like other records on the page. I have include the baptism record above Erna’s to display a more typical record for that congregation’s books. Erna’s record is highlighted.

Erna Roth baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Erna did not live in Perry County very long, but when the 1900 census was taken, she and her parents were living in the Brazeau Township of Perry County where her father was a farmer.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Right after this census was taken, this Roth family moved across the Mississippi River to Illinois. When the 1920 census was taken, they were living in a rural area near Murphysboro in the Somerset Township. Erna’s father was still farming.

1910 census – Somerset Township, IL

When Erna was 22 years old, she was still living with her parents in the same location. Below, we see the 1920 census entry for this Roth family.

1920 census – Somerset Township, IL

Now we will take a look at the man who would become Erna’s husband. He was also a native Missourian. His name was Fredrick Joseph Saupe, who was born on October 21, 1894. Fred was the son of Adolph and Linna (Lindner) Saupe and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. We can take a look at his baptism record as found in that congregation’s books.

Fred Saupe baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Fred is found in his first census in 1900 at the age of 4. He is called Fritz in this entry. His father was a farmer in the Shawnee Township.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

We once again find Fred living in the same location when the 1910 census was taken. There were 3 sons in the Saupe family, with Fred being the oldest. Fred, at the age of 16, was working on his father’s farm.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Fred had a World War I draft registration completed in 1917. He was no longer living in Missouri. He was doing farm labor in Stratford, South Dakota which is located in Brown County. This form says he was born in Shawneetown.

Fred Saupe – WWI draft registration

Finding Fred in the 1920 census proved to be a challenge, and I am not completely sure if I found the right person. I figured that Fred might have still been living in South Dakota, so that is where I searched for him. The only entry I found was the one shown below. The entry shows a single man by the name, Rudolph Saupe, living in the Hanson Township, which is also located in Brown County, South Dakota. He is about the right age, but not quite, and he was born in Missouri. I looked in previous year’s censuses for a Rudolph Saupe who was born in Missouri but was unsuccessful. I think this is actually Fred Saupe, but I am not certain.

1920 census – Hanson Township, SD

I have no idea how Fred Saupe, who had been living in South Dakota, got to know Erna Roth, who was living near Murphysboro, Illinois. According to a family tree on, these two were married on February 10, 1929, but I have no documentation for this date. I think they were most likely married in Murphysboro. We have a Saupe family binder in our research library that includes a little bit of information about this Saupe/Roth family. It is shown below. The fact that Fred is in the 10th generation of the family documented in this binder indicates that someone researched 9 generations before this one. Some of the Saupe information in this binder goes back to the 1600’s.

Fred Saupe information – Saupe family binder

The above document says Fred and Erna had 3 children. Two of them were a set of twins, Ruben and Ruth. If you add the 3rd child called Robert, you have a trio of children whose names begin with an “R”. Since the first one was born in 1931, we do not find this couple with any children yet in the 1930 census. There was a boarder in their household named Otto Scholl. Otto had some Lindner’s in his family tree, so he was likely related to Fred somehow. Fred was a farmer in the Somerset Township.

1930 census – Somerset Township, IL

Next, we find the Saupe’s in the 1940 census with all 3 of their children. Also in their household was Fred’s mother and a lodger named Albert Heeszel. Albert’s parents had been married at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois.

1940 census – Somerset Township, IL

We can see Fred and Erna in one more census entry, the one taken in 1950. Once again, we see all 3 children, along with Fred’s mother, Linna.

1950 census – Somerset Township, IL

Erna Saupe died in 1959 at the age of 62. We can take a look at her obituary. This gives us evidence that the Roth’s had moved to Illinois when Erna was 3 years old, which would have been right after the 1900 census was taken. Also, we find out that the Saupe’s were members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Murphysboro.

Erna Saupe obituary

Fred Saupe lived about 30 years longer after his wife’s death. He died in 1989 at the age of 95. We can also view his obituary, which mentions that he was the oldest member of Immanuel, Murphysboro when he died.

Fred Saupe obituary

Fred and Erna Saupe are buried together in the Tower Grove Cemetery in Murphysboro.

Fred and Erna Saupe gravestone – Tower Grove, Murphysboro, IL

A few days ago, in the blog post, Pocahontas Mueller’s, there was a couple made up of a man from Frohna marrying a woman from the Shawnee Township. Today, you just read a post about a woman from Frohna marrying a man from the Shawnee Township. With the Pocahontas Mueller’s, I know that both the bride and the groom were both living in the Shawnee Township when they were married, so I can easily figure out how they got to know one another. I just wish I knew how Fred met Erna.

One thought on “Murphysboro Saupe’s

  1. Fred’s brother George was my grandfather. He had a farm in North Dakota before moving to Washington State in the 1950’s. I didn’t know Fred was ever living in the Dakotas. I’d like to learn more about the Saupes and relatives.


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