Martin Heise – Illinois Coal Miner

Martin Johann Heise is today’s birthday boy, and he would be celebrating one of those special birthdays if he was still alive. Martin was born on February 27, 1873, making today his 150th birthday. He was the son of Andreas and Anna (Keyl) Heise. Martin was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, where his grandfather, Rev. E.G.W. Keyl had been the first pastor. An image of his baptism record is displayed below. His surname is written with a double “s”and an extra “r” at the end.

Martin Heise baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Martin shows up in his first census in 1880 at the age of 7. This is also the only census entry in which we find him as a single person. Martin’s mother had died in 1878, and his father married again. His second wife was Louise Schamburg. Martin’s father was a cooper in the Brazeau Township. Since one of Martin’s sponsors was one of the Weinhold brothers who operated the Frohna Flour Mill, I think his father was a cooper working at that flour mill.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Andreas Heise, according to our German Family Tree, fathered a total of 15 children between his 2 wives. Martin was the 4th child of his first wife. One other event is mentioned in our GFT about Martin. In 1897, he became a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown, which had just been established that year. Now, we will take a look at the woman who would become Martin’s bride.

Natalie Rosalie Oehlert was born on May 20, 1875, the daughter of Gottlieb and Wilhelmine (Krause) Oehlert. She was the 11th of 12 children listed in the GFT for Gottlieb and Wilhelmine. By the way, Rosalie’s grandfather, Johann Gottfried Oehlert, was one of the husbands of Theresia Kranawetter who was highlighted in the recent post, Theresia Kranawetter-Zwickelhuber-Oehlert-Dietrich. Rosalie was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at her baptism record shown here.

Rosalie Oehlert baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Rosalie is found in her first census in 1880 at the age of 5. Her father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Rosalie is seen in a photo with her father and mother standing in front of the Oehlert house.

Oehlert house

Martin Heise would marry Rosalie Oehlert not long before the 1900 census was taken. Their wedding date was October 15, 1899. This couple was married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The church record shown below for that event says that Martin was from Longtown.

Heise/Oehlert marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

The marriage license for this couple can also be viewed. The pastor who performed this wedding, Rev. Hamm, was the pastor at Zion, Longtown. The building used as a church in Longtown likely did not have a large enough capacity to have this wedding held there.

Heise/Oehlert marriage license

These newlyweds show up in the 1900 census living in the Union Township. These two still had an empty nest, and Martin is called a farmer.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

If the photo below was taken on the occasion of Rosalie’s parents’ 50th anniversary, then it was taken in 1906. Both Rosalie and Martin are in this photo. They are standing in the back row on the far right.

Gottlieb Oehlert with children and their spouses

This couple did not remain in Perry County very long. In fact, they did not remain in Missouri for very long. When the 1910 census was taken, we find them living in the Bradley Township in Jackson County, Illinois. The map of Jackson County townships below indicates that this township was in the northwest corner of the county.

Jackson County, IL township map

By 1910, Martin and Rosalie had 3 children. The first one was born in Missouri in 1900 and baptized at Zion, Longtown. Martin was a laborer at a coal mine.

1910 census – Bradley Township, IL

In 1918, Martin Heise had a World War I draft registration completed. This document says his employer was the Willis Coal Mining Company in Percy, Illinois. Percy is also given as Martin’s address.

Martin Heise – WWI draft registration

Percy is located in Randolph County, Illinois, but the map below shows that this town is not far from his previous location in the Bradley Township. There is also town named Willisville located nearby. The name for that town likely had a connection to the name of the coal company.

Percy, IL map

The 1920 census that includes the Heise household is from the census pages of Percy, Illinois. There were 4 children in the family, but their oldest son, Edgar, was no longer living with them. He was in Murphysboro working as a grocery clerk. Martin was still a coal miner.

1920 census – Percy, IL

In the 1930 census, the Heise’s were living in Murphysboro. If I am correct, the coal mine at which Martin worked closed in the 1920’s, and he may have decided that his days in the mines were over and moved to the city. He was working at odd jobs.

1930 census – Murphysboro, IL

Later in her life, Rosalie was included in a photograph with several of her Oehlert siblings. She is sitting in the front on the left.

Oehlert siblings

I was not able to find Martin in the 1940 census. Then, in 1946, he died at the age of 73. Rosalie died in 1953 at the age of 78. These two are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Harrison, Illinois, just outside Murphysboro.

Martin and Rosa Heise gravestone – Immanuel, Harrison, IL

This post tells the story of how one of the many Heise children married one of the many Oehlert children. It turned out to be the story of a coal miner and his bride.

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