The name of Friedrich Florian Petzoldt has been mentioned on this blog many times. He has been tagged with the nickname, The Face. In addition, several stories have been written about descendants of The Face, and some of them even carried his name in future generations. Today, you will read a short story of yet another Friedrich Petzoldt, who happened to be a grandson of The Face. I say it is a short story because part of his story has been written before. It is actually a good thing that I have a short story to write today because we have a school group coming to our museum, and that requires my attendance there.
Today’s Friedrich Petzoldt would be celebrating one of those special birthdays today. Because Friedrich Johannes Petzoldt was born on April 19, 1873, he would have to blow out 150 candles on his birthday cake if he was still alive. Friedrich was the 4th child of a dozen who were born to Richard and Johanna (Lindner) Petzoldt. Richard was one of The Face’s sons, so Friedrich J. Petzoldt was a grandson. Like so many of the early Petzoldt’s, Friedrich was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at his baptism record from that congregation’s books.
You will soon discover that Friedrich J. Petzoldt would live a very short life. The only census entry in which we find him is the one taken in 1880. He was 7 years old, and his father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.
Friedrich was confirmed in 1887, and, as you would expect, his confirmation took place at Immanuel, Altenburg. His grandfather, The Face, had died in 1884, so he would not have been in attendance for that occasion. Below is an image of Friedrich’s confirmation record. He is #4 on the list of confirmands.
The Richard Petzoldt family had the photo shown below taken sometime around 1892. Their last children, a set of twins born in 1889, are standing in front, and they appear to be about 3 years old. I think Friedrich J. is the young man standing in the middle of the back row. I say that because he was the oldest son in this family. The other two men standing who look older are men who had married two older Petzoldt daughters. Friedrich J. would have been about 19 years old when this picture was taken.
Here is an enlargement of the one person in that photo I consider to be Friedrich J. If I am wrong, perhaps someone more knowledgeable about this family will tell me which one is Friedrich J.
Now, I will switch our attention to the woman who would become Friedrich J.’s bride. Her name was Caroline Theresa Gratz, who was born on April 2, 1876. Caroline was the daughter of Michael and Theresia (Pilz) Gratz. She was the 4th of 5 children in the Gratz family. Caroline was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. Our museum is working at getting that congregation’s records photographed, but at this point in time, I cannot display Caroline’s baptism record here yet. Caroline appears in just one census before she gets married. Below, we see her in this entry from the 1880 census showing the Gratz household. Caroline was 3 years old, and her father was a farmer in the Shawnee Township.
Friedrich J. Petzoldt married Caroline Gratz on November 4, 1897 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. We can view the marriage license for this couple.
This pair was married for just a little over a year, and they had no children. Then in September of 1898, Friedrich J. died at the age of 22. When I looked in the books of Immanuel, Altenburg for Friedrich’s death record, I found a “hole”. Death records go up to 1897, and then skip to ones that occurred in 1899. There was a Rev. Gentner who served Immanuel from 1897 until 1899, so I guess we could call this the “Gentner Hole”. There is a cemetery record that lists Friedrich, but it gives his middle initial as F. I have this suspicion that he may have also carried another middle name, Florian, just like his grandfather.
Friedrich J. is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
Caroline Petzoldt would marry again. Her second husband was Charles Swan. I am not going to go into detail about the rest of Caroline’s life because a post was written previously that highlighted that part of her life which focused on a child born to Charles Swan by his previous marriage to Amalie Palisch. You can read that post by clicking on this link: A Beautiful Swan Joins the Bevy
I can show this photo of Caroline that was cropped out of a Charles Swan family photo.
Charles Swan died in 1933, and Caroline died in 1945. Those two are also buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg. In the cemetery record displayed earlier for Friedrich, you can see that Caroline was buried next to her first husband in Row #6.
One other quick note about Charles Swan. It was he that once owned the land that would become the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Wittenberg that had its first burials in 1904.
Our museum is now amidst a season in which we have more group tours than normal. Today and the next two days, we have tours scheduled. It may be difficult for me to write a new story each of those days. We will see how things work out.