The Baby of “The Face” Family

Every once in a while, toward the end of a post, I mention that I might have to tell the story of someone else in that post. Today, you will read one of those stories that I more or less promised to tell. It happens to be about a member of a family that has been written about many times on this blog. The patriarch of the family is a man who I call Friedrich Florian “The Face” Petzoldt. According to our German Family Tree, there were 8 children born to “The Face”, and today you will read the story of his last child.

Friedrich Petzoldt was born on March 4, 1861, so today would be his 162nd birthday. His parents, Friedrich Florian and Johanne Christiane (Maennel) Petzoldt, apparently named this boy after his father. Many times, parents name their first boy after their father, but I find it unusual that such a name was given to their last child. Friedrich was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at his baptism record below.

Friedrich Petzoldt baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Friedrich is found in his first census at the age of 9. His father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Friedrich and his wife were both still teenagers when they were married in 1880, so let’s take a look at the woman who would become Friedrich’s wife. Her name was Ernstine Katharine Linda Bodenschatz, who was born on September 11, 1862. Linda was the daughter of Gottfried and Johanna (Geyer) Bodenschatz. Linda’s parents had both been previously married. Gottfried was married to Christiane Buettner who had died in 1861, and Johanna had been married to Johann Jahn who had died in 1858. The widower and the widow were married at the very beginning of 1862. Linda Bodenschatz was the only child born to Gottfried and Johanna. She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. Her baptism record is pictured here.

Linda Bodenschatz baptism record – Immanuel, New Wells, MO

I was not able to find the Bodenschatz’s in the 1870 census. However, I did find this family in the 1876 Missouri state census living in the Cape Girardeau County. Gottfried is not included in this entry, so he must have died prior to 1876. Julius and Oscar were actual named Jahn.

1876 MO state census – Cape Girardeau County, MO

Friedrich Petzoldt married Linda Bodenschatz on May 18, 1880 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at the church record for this wedding shown below.

Petzoldt/Bodenschatz marriage record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Friedrich was 19 years old, and Linda was 17 years old when they got married. Their civil marriage record can also be viewed.

Petzoldt/Bodenschatz marriage record – Perry County, MO

The German Family Tree lists 9 children born to Friedrich and Linda. These newlyweds were already married when the 1880 census was taken, and they were living with Friedrich’s parents…”The Face” and his wife…who were in their 60’s. Both of the Friedrichs were farmers.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

All but their last child were born before the 1900 census was taken. Three children died at very young ages, so we find just 5 children in their household at that time.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

All of the Petzoldt children were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. However, sometime between when their last child was born in 1901 and the year, 1906, this family must have transferred their membership from Immanuel, Altenburg to Trinity, Altenburg. Starting with their daughter, Louise, in 1906, confirmations for the remaining Petzoldt’s took place at Trinity. I have been told that the reason for this family changing churches may have had something to do with them attending Trinity’s school.

The photo shown below was reportedly taken around 1906. I am thinking it was taken on the occasion off Louise’s confirmation that year. She is the girl in the white dress standing in the front on the left. It might look like there are too many people in the picture, but the man standing on the far left on the porch is Teacher Walle from Wittenberg, and the couple on the right of the porch were Otto Petzoldt, a son, and his wife, Martha. Also, one of the young children in front was the child of Otto and Martha.

Friedrich Petzoldt family

The 1910 census shows this family with 4 remaining children (the four children standing in front of the porch in the above photo, except Otto’s little one on the right).

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

When the plat maps for Perry County were produced in 1915, we find the Friedrich (or Fred) Petzoldt farm not far from the town of Altenburg. The small square to the right of the Bucks property is approximately where I live, so the old Fred Petzoldt farm is not far from me.

Fred Petzoldt land map – 1915

When the 1930 census was taken, only 2 sons remained in the Petzoldt household. Their son, Eldor Petzoldt was helping Friedrich on his farm.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find the Petzoldt’s in the 1930 census. Friedrich is called a retired farmer. His son, Theobald, and his family were listed right below Friedrich and Linda. Theobald was likely farming the land belonging to his father.

1930 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The above census would be the last one in which we find Friedrich. He died in 1935 at the age of 74. His death certificate is displayed here.

Friedrich Petzoldt death certificate

Linda is found in the 1940 census living in the household of her son, Adolph.

1940 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Linda Petzoldt died in 1944 at the age of 81. We can also take a look at her death certificate.

Linda Petzoldt death certificate

I was able to find an obituary for Linda.

Linda Petzoldt obituary

Both Friedrich and Linda Petzoldt were buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. has entries for each off them, but no gravestone photos. I decided to take a trip to the cemetery this morning in search of those gravestones. I did not find either of them, but I did locate the sites at which they must be buried. They are both unmarked sites. The thumbnails shown below can be clicked to enlarge them.

I must admit that I was a little surprised that Friedrich and Linda do not have gravestones in our cemetery. Perhaps some of the many descendants from this Petzoldt family might consider having these sites marked with a stone someday.

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