Margaretha Emilie Hemmann was born on December 13, 1886, so she would be turning 136 years old if she was alive today. Her parents were Gustav and Margaretha (Streit) Hemmann. That qualifies Margaretha to be the great granddaughter of J.G. Hemmann, who has been mentioned in so many posts on this blog. She was not the only one to be born on that day in New Wells, Missouri. She had a twin brother, Gustav, whose story was told in the post, Dakota Hemmanns. This set of twins was part of an amazing sequence in which the mother gave birth to 3 consecutive sets of twins, with this set being the first. Another post was written about that amazing streak of events in the post, Triple Twins. In that post, I displayed the baptism records of these twins from the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. You can see that this set of boy/girl twins must have been named after their parents.
We cannot view these twins in a census until they were teenagers in 1900. You can see that this was a large family. Our German Family Tree lists 13 children born to Margaretha’s parents. Her father was a farmer in the Shawnee Township.
I was unable to find Margaretha in the 1910 census. She was not living with her parents. I did find an Emma Hemmann who was the right age living in St. Louis and working as a maid, but I am not sure it was Margaretha for the obvious reason that she didn’t have the right first name.
Margaretha would get married before the next census was taken, so let’s take a look at the man who would become her husband. His name was Theodore Gottfried Koch, who was born on November 8, 1886, about a month before Margaretha and Gustav were born. Theodore was the firstborn child of Edward and Laura (Grosse) Koch. Theodore was also baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. As you can see in the image below, Theodore’s baptism record is found right above the Hemmann twins.
Theodore shows up in his first census in 1900 at the age of 13. His father, like Margaret’s father, was a farmer in the Shawnee Township.
Next, we find Theodore in the 1910 census. He was working on his father’s farm.
The year, 1910, was also the one in which the Hemmann twins and Theodore Koch were confirmed at Immanuel, New Wells. The pastor listed the boys first when he wrote down that class’s confirmation records, so we see Theodore and Gustave in this first image.
Margaretha’s record is found farther down the page when the pastor got around to recording the girls.
Theodore Koch married Margaretha Hemmann on April 24, 1913. Their wedding took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Shawneetown which was a rather new congregation. Their marriage record is only the 3rd one found in that church’s books.
We can also view the marriage license for this couple.
I really do not know why this wedding happened at Trinity, Shawneetown. When Theodore and Margaretha had their 5 children, they were all baptized at Immanuel, New Wells. Theodore had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917. It said he had a wife and one child at that time, and he was employed by his father.
The 1920 census shows the Koch family with 2 children. Theodore was a farmer.
It must have been about this time that Margaretha’s Hemmann family gathered for the photo shown below. Margaretha is standing on the far left.
The Koch household is next found in the 1930 census with all 5 of their children, 4 girls and a boy.
When the 1940 census was taken, their oldest daughter had gotten married, so we see only 4 children in the entry.
Theodore had a World War II draft card completed in 1942.
When I looked at the 1950 census for the Koch household, I was surprised. The entry included Theodore, his son, Albert, and his daughter, Elsie, and her Schuessler family. However, it was missing Margaretha.
I think I found her. There was a Margaretha Koch living as a patient at the mental health facility in Farmington, Missouri. It indicates that she was married.
At first, I doubted that this was the correct Margaretha Koch. However, I now think she was in Farmington for the following reasons.
- On the 1950 census, the marriage column for Theodore says “Sep”…separated.
- Theodore has a death record in the books of Immanuel, New Wells, but Margaretha does not, even though both of them are buried in that congregation’s cemetery.
- On Theodore’s WWII draft card, it was not Margaretha who was listed as the person who would always know your address. Instead, Edwin Koch of Altenburg is listed.
- On Theodore’s death certificate, Albert Koch, his son, is listed as the informant, not his wife. That document also does not give a marital status at all for Theodore.
Theodore Koch died in 1961 at the age of 75. We can view his death certificate which says he died of a heart attack.
Margaretha Koch died in 1972 at the age of 85. Both Theodore and Margaretha Koch are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in New Wells.
As I write this, Missouri death certificates can be viewed by the public up until the ones in 1971. Perhaps, the 1972 death certificates will be released to the public soon, and the questions about Margaretha may be answered by that piece of documentation.