We begin today by looking at a birthday girl by the name of Ella Maria Theresa Schilling. Ella was born on April 30, 1898, so today would be her 125th birthday. She was the daughter of Gotthilf and Juliana (Militzer) Schilling. Ella’s baptism record is found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at an image of her baptism record below.
Ella shows up in her first census entry in 1900 at the age of 2. Her father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.
In a previous post written about the Schilling family, the map shown below was published, and it indicates where the Gotthilf Schilling farm was located. It was not far from the community that is called Seelitz.
Ella was 12 years old when we find her in the 1910 census.
When Ella was confirmed in 1912, that event took place at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. Ella is found in one more census entry before her marriage. The 1920 census shows Ella being 21 years old.
Now, we will turn our attention to the man who would become Ella’s husband. His name was Ludwig Reinhold Seemann, but he was later called Louis. His birthday also took place in 1898. He was born on September 4th. Louis was the son of Andrew and Anna (Gerler) Seemann. The other Seemann siblings were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg, but for some reason, Louis’s baptism record is not found in that congregation’s books. Louis is found in the 1900 census at the age of 1. His father was also a farmer in the Brazeau Township.
Next, we find Louis in the 1910 census at the age of 13. This census was taken the year before Louis was confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.
Louis had a World War I draft card completed in 1918. His form indicates that he was no longer living in Perry County. Like so many other young men back in those days, he found work in western Nebraska. Louis was working on the Fred Nelson farm located in Potter, Nebraska.
When the 1920 census was compiled, we find Louis living in the Charles Wood household in Potter and listed as a laborer. He likely worked on the Woods farm.
There seems to be evidence that Louis returned to Perry County after the above census was taken. It must have been a difficult time for the Seemann family that remained in Missouri. First of all, evidence points to his father being moved to the state hospital in Farmington in about 1916. Then, in 1917, Louis’s older brother, who was likely doing most of the work on the Seemann farm, died in 1917 of typhoid fever. In 1920, Louis’s father died while at Farmington. That left Louis as the oldest of the Seemann children, and he likely felt he should be back in Perry County to help run the family farm.
That leads us up to the marriage of Louis Seemann and Ella Schilling that took place on April 14, 1925. If you look at the marriage license for this couple shown below, you will see the name of Rev. Deye as the pastor who conducted the wedding. He was the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg.
It is puzzling that a church record cannot be found in the church books of St. Paul’s. In a family tree found on Ancestry.com put together by our friend, Diane Anderson, who happens to be a descendant in the Gerler family, says that the first child of this Seemann couple was born in Norfolk, Nebraska in 1927. Then, when the 1930 census was taken, we find Louis and Ella living in Dix, Nebraska, which is just down the road from Potter. It seems odd that the daughter born in 1927 is not listed in their household.
A second child was born later in 1930. Ten years later, we find the Seemann’s in the 1940 census. The two children, Esther and Delbert, were included in their household.
Louis had a World War II draft card completed in 1942. His address is given as Potter, Nebraska.
The last census we are able to view is the one taken in 1950. The Seemann family was still living near Potter and had one child still in their household.
It appears that the Seemann’s later moved to the St. Louis area. In 1964, Ella Seemann died at the age of 65 at the St. Joseph Hospital in Kirkwood, Missouri. Her address is given as Crestwood. It is not given as the primary cause of death, but she had broken her right hip just 4 days before her death.
In 1966, Louis married again. His second wife was another woman who had Perry County roots. Her maiden name was Golda Wills. Golda had previously been married to Theodore Buck, who had died in 1952. I do not have any documentation for this wedding. However, I just cannot resist saying that Louis Seemann married Golda Buck for her money. Both Louis and Golda were 68 years old at the time of their second marriage.
Louis Seemann died in 1978 at the age of 80. His obituary says that he was living in the Perry County Nursing Home in Perryville.
Louis and Ella Seemann are buried together in the Lake Charles Cemetery in St. Louis.
Golda died in 1989 and was buried with her first husband in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Chester, Illinois.
The story of Louis Seemann is one of those that tells of a young man’s migration to Nebraska, but this one has him coming back to help on his family farm, finding his bride, and then moving back to Nebraska. Then, that pair finally moves back to Missouri in their senior years.
2 thoughts on “The Seemann’s – To Potter, Nebraska and Back”
The first child, Esther Mary Schultz, born 9 Nov 1927 was adopted in 1937 by Louis & Ella. This is why she does not appear in the 1930 census.
I did briefly consider that. Thanks for clearing that up.