The Other Wolfe’s from Grand Tower

Back in August, I wrote a post titled, Wolfe’s from Grand Tower. That story highlighted an Ahner from Altenburg that married a Wolfe from Grand Tower, Illinois. In that tale, I mentioned that there was another Ahner woman who married another Wolfe man, and I commented in that post that I might have to tell their story someday. Well, today is the day.

This post begins with the birthday of Anna Emily Ahner, who was born on December 12, 1875. Today would be her 147th birthday. Anna was the daughter of Friedrich August and Anna (Lungwitz) Ahner. Anna was the granddaughter of the “other” Friedrich August Ahner, the one called Friedrich August Sr. in Zion on the Mississippi. Anna was child #4 in a family of 10 children born into this Ahner family according to our German Family Tree. Anna was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at the baptism record for Anna from the Trinity church books.

Anna E. Ahner baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Anna is found in the 1880 census at the age of 4. There were 2 August Ahner’s in this entry. The older, at age 75, was Anna’s grandfather, a retired farmer. The younger, at age 31, was Anna’s father, who was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We cannot view the 1890 census, and I was unable to find Anna in the 1900 census. I do know that she was no longer living with her parents. She likely moved somewhere else to find work as a young woman. A lot of such ladies found work in St. Louis, but I could not find Anna there either.

In 1898, Anna’s older sister, Agnes, married George Wolfe from Grand Tower, Illinois. That story was told in the post mentioned earlier. Anna would marry George’s older brother, Horace. Let’s take a look at his early life. Horace Wolfe was born on December 2, 1873, the son of George and Elizabeth (Crowther) Wolfe. The biography of Horace’s father that was previously shown is pictured again here. It is found in our Ahner family binder.

George Wolfe bio

Horace can be found in the 1880 census at the age of 6. His family was living in Grand Tower, right across the Mississippi River from Wittenberg.

1880 census – Grand Tower, IL

Horace got married to a woman named Anna Belle Baxter in 1895, but I was not able to find any documentation for that wedding. We find Horace and his family in the 1900 census with one daughter named Lorena. Horace was a farmer in the Preston Township in Union County, Illinois.

1900 census – Preston Township, IL

Preston Township in Union County may sound like it’s quite a distance from Grand Tower which is in Jackson County, but the map below shows how close those two places are to one another. It also demonstrates how close both of these places are to Wittenberg, Missouri.

Grand Tower and Preston Township map

Horace’s first wife died in 1904, not long before her 30th birthday. She is buried in the Walker Hill Cemetery in Grand Tower

Anna Belle Wolfe gravestone – Walker Hill, Grand Tower, IL

Horace Wolfe married Anna Ahner sometime in 1905. I found no marriage record. A few family trees on Ancestry.com disagree on where the wedding took place. Some say Grand Tower and others say St. Louis. I do know that there is no record of Anna’s marriage to Horace in any of the church books of congregations in East Perry County. In Horace’s obituary, it states that he was a Mason. I know there were Lutheran pastors back in those days who would not marry someone who was a Mason. Perhaps that was the case here.

The Ahner family binder lists 7 children born to Horace and Anna. Our German Family Tree includes only 6. The baptism records for the 6 in our GFT are found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. If you look at those baptisms that took place in East Perry County churches, you will discover that all of them indicate a longer waiting time between birth and baptism than you usually see. It’s a matter of months later, not days later. It probably took them time to plan for their trip across the river, as well as making arrangements for their babies’ baptisms.

Horace and Anna are found in the 1910 census living in the Preston Township. Two children had been born to this pair, plus Lorena from Horace’s first marriage.

1910 census – Preston Township, IL

Horace had a World War I draft registration completed in 1918. He is given a Grand Tower address.

Horace Wolfe – WWI draft registration

The 1920 census finds the Wolfe’s living in Grand Tower and having several more children, seven altogether. Horace was still a farmer.

1920 census – Grand Tower, IL

I think the photo of Anna’s parents shown here was taken at this time. It looks like this is a 50th wedding anniversary gathering, in which case, that would have taken place in 1920. I have indicated Anna and Horace with red arrows.


A.F. and Anna Ahner family – 1920?

I could not find Horace and Anna in the 1930 census, but they had changed locations before the 1940 census. They were then living in the Sand Ridge Township of Jackson County, which is between Jacob and Murphysboro. Horace was still farming.

1940 census – Sand Ridge Township, IL

At some point in her life, Anna had this portrait taken of her. In this case, someone also posted the back of this photo onto Ancestry.com telling some facts about Anna.

Horace Wolfe died in 1947 at the age of 73. We can read his obituary below.

Horace Wolfe obituary

Anna can still be found in the 1950 census as a widow. She was living by herself at the age of 74 in Grand Tower.

1950 census – Grand Tower, IL

Anna Wolfe died in 1967 at the age of 91. Her obituary is included below. It indicates that her funeral took place at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois.

Anna Wolfe obituary

Both Horace and Anna are buried in the Walker Hill Cemetery in Grand Tower.

In the Ahner family photograph, we see evidence that Horace and Anna came back to Altenburg for a family gathering. I have to think that there were quite a few times when this couple traveled back to Perry County (probably by ferry) to visit family members, even after Anna’s parents died. I also like to think that the Perry County family members made the trip to Illinois to visit some Wolfe’s. It’s what families do.


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