To California from Frohna by Way of Colorado and Minnesota

Marie Fredericke Blanken was born on January 19, 1888, so she is today’s birthday girl. She would have to blow out 135 candles on her birthday cake if she was still alive. Marie was the daughter of Dietrich and Maria (Eisenberg) Blanken. Marie was the 4th of 10 children born to her mother and the 6th child sired by her father because he had 2 children with his first wife. Plenty of background information about this Blanken family can be found in the post, The Blancken Brood. As you may notice, this surname is sometimes spelled with a “c” in the middle. Marie was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. I would like to display her baptism record here, but I am having trouble starting my old pickup truck this morning, and I didn’t want to walk back and forth to the museum to get a photo.

The only census in which we find Marie living in Perry County was the one taken in 1900. Marie was 12 years old at the time, and her father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In 1901, Marie was confirmed at Concordia, and that would be the last record for her that we find in our German Family Tree (unless Lynn Degenhardt adds some more information after he reads this post). After scanning the GFT for later records in the Blanken family, the last record I found was a confirmation that took place in 1903. After that, the Blanken family moved to Colorado. I am going to display a photo that was previously published on this blog showing Marie with her family while living in Colorado. Marie is on the far left.

It was while Marie was in Colorado that she met her husband. Let’s take a look at him. Henry August Herman Malchow was born on October 17, 1882, the son of Fred and Ernistine (Kietzer) Malchow. I have this photo of Henry’s parents.

Henry was born in the Delafield Township in Jackson County, Minnesota. Plat maps were produced for Jackson County in 1887. On such a map, we find the farm of Fred Malchow.

Fred Malchow land map – Delafield Township, MN 1887

Right next to the Malchow farm was the German Lutheran Church. That is St. Peter’s Lutheran Church which is given the address of Lakefield, Minnesota, which is a nearby town. I found this aerial photo of that church as it now looks. I hesitated to put this photo here, but I found it on the Facebook page of St. Peter’s, so I figure if they put it out in the public, I could also.

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church – Lakefield, MN

Henry is found in the 1900 census at the age of 17. You can see that Henry was part of a very large family. An Ancestry family tree lists 15 children in this Fred Malchow family.

1900 census – Delafield Township, MN

Henry’s father apparently purchased some land in Colorado near the city of Flagler. In 1907, Henry, along with his two brothers, Gustav and Adolph, went to Colorado to care for this property. That happened to also be the place where the Blanken family had settled. Henry must have become acquainted with Marie Blanken, had fallen in love, and these two were married on June 2, 1909. I was able to locate a Colorado marriage record for this wedding. The place of marriage was Flagler, Colorado, but the minister was from Colorado Springs.

Malchow/Blanken – Colorado marriage record

We find this Malchow couple in the 1910 census living in the Arriba Township, which is near Flagler. There were no children born to this pair yet.

1910 census – Arriba Township, CO

This couple must have moved back to Henry’s Minnesota home prior to 1912 because that is when their first child was born, and she was born in Minnesota. Henry had a World War I draft registration completed in 1918. This form gives his address as Windom, Minnesota, another town near the Delafield Township.

Henry Malchow – WWI draft registration

The 1920 census shows the Malchow’s with 2 daughters. Henry was back to being a farmer in the Delafield Township.

1920 census – Delafield Township, MN

This couple’s last child, a 3rd daughter, was born in 1924, so when the 1930 census was taken, we find the complete Malchow family listed.

1930 census – Delafield Township, MN

A photo was taken of this Malchow family. I figure it must have been taken not long before the census shown above. It looks like the youngest child was younger than 6 years old, which is her age in the above entry.

Henry Malchow family

The last census in which we find Henry was the one taken in 1940. Only their youngest daughter was still living in this household. The two older sisters had moved to Los Angeles, California and had both gotten married there prior to this census.

1940 census – Delafield Township, MN

Henry Malchow died in 1941 at the age of 58. Several family trees on Ancestry say he died of a heart attack. However, none of those family trees indicate where Henry was buried, and I was also unable to determine that fact. I figure that Marie and her daughter, Irene, must have left Minnesota and moved to Los Angeles after her husband died. Irene also found a husband in California and was married in 1948. In the 1950 census, we find Marie living with her oldest daughter, Florence, and her husband, Leonard Staats who was an insurance salesman.

1950 census – Los Angeles, CA

Marie is found in a 1961 Pasadena, California city directory.

Marie Malchow – 1961 Pasadena city directory

Marie Malchow died in 1985 at the age of 97. She is buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California.

Marie Malchow gravestone – Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, CA

I guess you could fabricate a good story about Marie going from rags to riches. She was born in the little village of Frohna, Missouri and made it all the way to Hollywood. You, however, now know her real story.


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