Lydia’s and Arthur’s in Potter, Nebraska

Back in 2020, I wrote a post titled, Nebraska Art. That told the story of Arthur Schuessler who had married Ottilie Steffens, and those two lived much of their lives near Potter, Nebraska. That couple will be tied to the pair highlighted in today’s story…the Schubarth’s. Also, two other posts have been written about some Schubarth’s who ended up in the same vicinity in Nebraska. One was called Cheyenne Schubarths, and the other was called More Cheyenne Schubarths. You will discover that I could have named today’s story, Even More Cheyenne Schubarths. I also considered calling this story, More Nebraska Art.

The starting point for this tale is the birthday of Lydia Concordia Steffens, who was born on January 12, 1894. Lydia was the daughter of Claus and Pauline (Thurm) Steffens. Lydia was the 4th child of Claus and Pauline, but Claus had two previous wives. Most of his children were born to his 3rd wife. That also puts Lydia in the Steffens family that became well-known for operating a fruit orchard on The Ridge. I wrote the story of Claus’s life in the post titled, Claus’s Wives – Two Thurm’s and a Koenig. Lydia was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at her baptism record below. This record spills over two pages in the church records, so I have to display it in two images.

Lydia Steffens baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Lydia is found in the 1900 census at the age of 6. Her father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township. You can also see her younger sister, Ottilie, who married the Arthur Schuessler mentioned earlier.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It must have been shortly before the 1900 census that a photo was taken of Lydia and her three older brothers that were born to Claus and Pauline Steffens.

Lydia Steffens with brothers

Next, we find Lydia as a teenager in the 1910 census.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now, we turn our attention to the man who would become Lydia’s husband. His name was Arthur Otto Joseph Schubarth who was born on March 30, 1891. Arthur was the son of Adolph and Agnes (Fehnke). Other children in this Schubarth family were baptized at Christ Lutheran Church, both older and younger siblings, but Arthur was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Chester. A transcription of his baptism record is pictured here.

Arthur Schubarth baptism record – St. John’s, Chester, IL

Not long after a stillborn child in 1898, Agnes Schubarth died and was buried in Jacob, Illinois. It must not have been long after his wife’s death that Adolph moved his family across the river into Perry County. We find Arthur in his first census in 1900 at the age of 8. His father was a day laborer. I think he had a job in Wittenberg.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Arthur was no longer living with his father when the next census was taken in 1910. Arthur was living in the Charles Boehme household and listed as a farm laborer.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Arthur Schubarth married Lydia Steffens on May 10, 1914 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record for this event is displayed below.

Schubarth/Steffens marriage record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

We can also take a look at this couple’s marriage license.

Schubarth/Steffens marriage license

Based on later census entries, I think that the Schubarth’s had 7 children who lived to adulthood. The first 2 were baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. When Arthur had a World War I draft registration completed in 1917, he was still living in Perry County and working as a farmer.

Arthur Schubarth – WWI draft registration

In 1918, Arthur moved his young family to Potter, Nebraska. We find the Schubarh’s in the 1920 census showing that Arthur was a farmer in Potter. The first 3 children in this family were all sons.

1920 census – Potter, NE

In a history of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Potter, Nebraska, we discover that Arthur was one of the founding members of that congregation in 1918. You can see that he is not the only Perry County native that helped establish that congregation.

St. Paul’s Lutheran, Potter, NE history

Fairly early in his life, Arthur had this photograph taken. I do not know if it was taken in Missouri or Nebraska

Arthur Schubarth

The 1930 census shows that the next 3 children born into this Schubarth family were daughters.

1930 census – Potter, NE

The last census in which we find Arthur was the one taken in 1940. One more son had been born in the previous decade.

1940 census – Potter, NE

Arthur had a World War II draft card completed in 1942. This form, like his World War I draft registration, says that he was born in Chester, Illinois.

Arthur Schubarth – WWII draft card

Arthur Schubarth died in 1947 at the age of 56. We can view an obituary for Arthur that was published in a local newspaper.

Arthur Schubarth obituary

Lydia shows up as a widow in the 1950 census. Just her youngest son was living with her.

1950 census – Potter, NE

Lydia Schubarth died in 1979 at the age of 85. We can also view an obituary for her. The thumbnails may be clicked to enlarge them.

Arthur and Lydia Schubarth are each buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery.

This Lydia Schubarth is not the only Lydia Schubarth buried in that cemetery. In the post, More Cheyenne Schubarths, the gravestone below was pictured. That Lydia A. Schubarth had the maiden name of Darnstaedt, and she was married to Arthur’s brother, Herman.

Herman and Lydia Schubarth gravestone

Also in that cemetery is another Arthur from Perry County, Arthur Schuessler. Arthur was married to Lydia (Steffens) Schubarth’s sister, Ottilie Steffens. I find it interesting that Ottilie died on January 12, 1981, which was also her sister, Lydia’s birthday.

Arthur and Ottilie Schuessler gravestone

Potter, Nebraska became the home of several Arthur’s and Lydia’s, all of which had their roots in Perry County.


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