Today, we wish a “Happy 125th Birthday” to Leo Emanuel Reisenbichler. He was born on December 11, 1897, the son of August and Christiane (Lindner) Reisenbichler. Leo was the firstborn child of 3 in this Reisenbichler family and the only boy. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. An image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books is displayed below.
Leo shows up in his first census in 1900 when he was 2 years old. You can see a list of people with both the Reisenbichler and the Lindner names in this entry. Henry and Anna Lindner were Leo’s maternal grandparents. Leo’s father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township. This would be the only census in which Leo is found living in Perry County.
By the time of the 1910 census, Leo’s Reisenbichler family had moved to the Shawnee Township of northern Cape Girardeau County. Leo was 12 years old in this entry.
Leo had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. This document states that he was a farm hand on his father’s farm at the age of 20.
The last census in which we find Leo as a single man was the one taken in 1920. Another girl had been born in the previous decade, so now we see all 3 of the Reisenbichler children. At the age of 22, Leo is shown with no occupation, but I have every reason to believe that he continued to work on his father’s farm.
Now, we will turn our attention to the woman who would become Leo’s wife. Her name was Alma Josephine Boehme, who was born on June 3, 1903. Alma was the daughter of Charles and Susanna (Grosse) Boehme. Like her future husband, Alma was the oldest child in her family. She was one of only two children born to Charles and Susanna. Since the Boehme’s lived in Altenburg, this couple would be yet another one in which the groom from the Shawnee Township would find his bride across the Apple Creek in Perry County.
Let me point out that there were two Alma Boehme’s that were born at about this time. The other was Alma Sarah Boehme, who was born in 1904, the daughter of Louis and Louise (Lottes) Boehme in Wittenberg. Alma was one of the young children highlighted in the story, 3 Infants, 3 Graves, 10 Days, that told the story of the first 3 burials in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Wittenberg. That story is also told toward the end of my book, Wittenberg ’04.
Alma Josephine Boehme was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at her baptism record from that congregation’s books.
In this map of Altenburg produced in 1915, you can see that Alma’s family lived near Immanuel Lutheran Church on the west side of town.
Alma is found in her first census entry in 1910 at the age of 6. Her father was trading in livestock.
The other census in which Alma shows up as a single woman was the one enumerated in 1920. This time, Alma’s father was called a farmer, and her Uncle Gustave Boehme was living in their household and called a stock trader.
Leo Reisenbichler married Alma Boehme on October 29, 1922 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for that wedding is shown here.
We can also view the marriage license for this couple.
According to our German Family Tree, this pair had 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls. In the 1930 census, we find Leo and Alma living with Leo’s parents. That household included the first 3 children of Leo and Alma.
Next, we find the Reisenbichler’s in the 1940 census with all 5 of their children. Their 9 year-old son, Eugene, has a real mess behind his name. I think the census taker mistakenly called him a daughter and then had to make an attempt at correcting his error.
Leo had a World War II draft card completed in 1942. He was called a self-employed farmer.
One more census can be viewed for this Reisenbichler couple. Even though there are only 3 members of this household, their entry spills over 2 census pages. Their son, Eugene, was a truck driver.
Alma Reisenbichler died in 1993 at the age of 90; Leo Reisenbichler died in 1997 at the age of 99. He died about 5 months before what would have been his 100th birthday. Both Alma and Leo are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.
If you look not only to this couple but also to the parents of Leo Reisenbichler, you will find two generations of “cross the creek” marriages. Leo’s parents, a Reisenbichler from the Shawnee Township and a Lindner from the Brazeau Township, were also a husband and a wife from both sides of the Apple Creek that separates Perry County from Cape Girardeau County.