Finding a Bride Across the Creek

On several different occasions, I have written stories in which a bride or groom from the Lutheran community around New Wells in northern Cape Girardeau County finds a mate across the Apple Creek in the southern portion of Perry County. In the early years of settlement of this area, a young man might have had to ride a horse or mule or drive a buggy or wagon across a low water part of that creek to go “a-courting” a potential bride. You will read another “cross the creek” tale today, but this one took place more recently, and the young male would likely have had the use of an automobile to cross the Apple Creek by way of a more convenient bridge.

Edwin Benjamin Schneider was born on November 22, 1896, making today his 126th birthday. Edwin was the son of John and Selma (Saupe) Schneider and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Less than a month ago, I wrote the story of Edwin’s parents titled, John and Selma – A Schneider-Saupe Pair. The baptism record for Edwin from the Immanuel, Wells church books is pictured here.

Edwin Schneider baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

Edwin is found in his first census entry in 1900 at the age of 3. His father was a farmer in the Apple Creek Township. There were only 2 boys born in this Schneider family, and they are both included in this entry.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

In 1910, we find the Schneider family still living in the same location. The two sons, including Edwin at the age of 13, were working on their father’s farm. It was during 1910 that Edwin was confirmed. In 1908, a new Lutheran church was established in Shawneetown. Edwin was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church, that newly-established congregation.

1910 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Edwin had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. He was 21 years old at the time, and it says his employer was his father, who was operating a farm in Shawneetown.

Edwin Schneider – WWI draft registration

The last census in which we find Edwin as a single man was the one taken in 1920. Edwin was the only son left in his parents’ household, and I am surprised that it says he had no occupation at the age of 23.

1920 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

It must have been after the above census that Edwin was courting his upcoming bride who lived north of the Apple Creek. Her name was Frieda Susanna Wachter, who was born on October 21, 1906. Frieda was the daughter of Ernst and Martha (Fiehler) Wachter. A previous post was also written about Frieda’s parents titled, Fiehler/Wachter. Frieda was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at her baptism record from Trinity’s books.

Frieda Wachter baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Frieda shows up in her first census in 1910. She was called 2 years old in this entry, but she was likely closer to 4 years old. Her father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township of Perry County.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

When the 1915 plat maps were produced by Perry County, we find the Ernst Wachter farm located just north of the Apple Creek. Based on where the bridge across Apple Creek is presently located, this farm was not far from that bridge.

Ernst Wachter land map – 1915

The last census in which we find Frieda as being unmarried was the one taken in 1920. That was the year that Frieda was confirmed at Trinity, Altenburg.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Edwin Schneider married Frieda Wachter on May 26, 1919 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for that wedding is pictured here.

Schneider/Wachter marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

We can also view this couple’s marriage license.

Schneider/Wachter marriage license

While Edwin’s parents had just 2 boys, he and Frieda would have just 2 girls. Both of those girls were baptized at Trinity, Shawneetown. Since they were not born until the 1930’s, we find Edwin and Frieda with no children in the 1930 census. They were living in the same household as Edwin’s parents in the Apple Creek Township.

1930 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Cape Girardeau County had plat maps produced in 1930. The Schneider farm was located just west of Shawneetown even though you cannot tell that from the image below.

John Schneider land map – 1930

When the 1940 census was taken, we find the two girls, Lucille and Lillian, in this household of 3 generations. Both Edwin and his father were farmers.

1940 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

I was unable to find the Schneider’s in the 1950 census. I do know that Edwin’s parents both died in the 1940’s, so Edwin and Frieda would no longer have been living with them. Edwin Schneider died in 1969 at the age of 72. His death certificate indicates some sort of lung cancer was the cause of his death. He died at the Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau.

Edwin Schneider death certificate

Frieda Schneider did not die until 1992 at the age of 85, much too recently to be able to view her death certificate. Edwin and Frieda are buried together in the Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson, Missouri.

Edwin and Frieda Schneider gravestone – Russell Heights, Jackson, MO

I have been told the story of a young man back in the old days who made his way across the Apple Creek to find his bride. That tale says the young man made his trips “a-courting” by walking the whole way, wading across the Apple Creek, even when it was frozen in the dead of winter, to win his bride. Men throughout history have made great sacrifices in the quest for a bride.

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