The Bohnert’s and the Longtown Mill

May 1, 1877 was the day on which the baby, Mathilda Marie Weinrich was born. Mathilda was the daughter of Henry and Margaret (Bergmann) Weinrich. She was likely born in or near Longtown, but at that time, Lutherans in Longtown made the trip to Friedenberg to attend Peace Lutheran Church. That is where Mathilda would have been baptized, and we are not able to view images of that congregation’s records. Mathilda shows up in the 1880 census at the age of 3. She is called Martina in this entry. Her father was a farmer in the Cinque Hommes Township.

1880 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Because we cannot view the 1890 census, the next census in which we find Mathilda is the one taken in 1900. She was in her 20’s, and she was almost certainly being courted by her future husband. Her mother had died in 1894, so her father was a widower. Two Weinrich sons were in this Weinrich household, so it is likely that Mathilda was the boss in the Weinrich kitchen.

1900 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Mathilda would get married later in 1900, so let’s take a look at the man that she would marry. His name was Johannes Friedrich Bohnert, who was born on September 26, 1873. He would go by the name John during his life. A previous post was written about John’s parents, Friedrich and Barbara (Hahn) Bohnert. That couple was made up of a Lutheran bride who married a Roman Catholic groom. That post was titled, Buried ‘Cross Crosstown. John, like Mathilda, was likely born in or near Longtown, but baptized in Friedenberg. He shows up in the 1880 census at the age of 6. His parents were living in the household of her Hahn grandparents. Mathilda’s father was a farmer in the Central Township.

1880 census – Central Township, MO

In 1900, we find John, at the age of 26, still living with his parents. Prior to this census, John’s father purchased the flour mill located in Longtown in 1889. Friedrich Bohnert is still called a farmer in this entry, but he must have also been operating the flour mill. John was helping on his father’s farm.

1900 census – Central Township, MO

John Bohnert married Mathilda Weinrich on November 27, 1900. A new congregation, Zion Lutheran Church, had been established in 1897 in Longtown, and that is where this wedding took place. We find the church record for this marriage in that congregation’s books.

Bohnert/Weinrich marriage record – Zion, Longtown, MO

I included a few other marriage records that took place in 1900. You can see another marriage of a Weinrich and a Bohnert that had taken place in that church earlier in 1900. That wedding involved Mathilda’s brother and John’s sister. We can also take a look at the marriage license for this couple.

Bohnert/Weinrich marriage license

The wedding photograph of John and Mathilda is shown here.

Bohnert/Weinrich wedding

The German Family Tree lists 7 children born to John and Mathilda. All of them were baptized at Zion, Longtown. In 1908, John purchased the Longtown Mill from his father. By the time of the 1910 census, there were 4 children in their household, and John is called a miller.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

In 1918, John had his World War I draft registration completed.

John Bohnert – WWI draft registration

The 1920 census displays all 7 of the Bohnert children. The household above John’s entry is that of Benjamin Bohnert, who was John’s cousin. Benjamin and John were both involved in the operation of the Longtown Mill.

1920 census – Longtown, MO

Two photographs were taken of Mathilda Bohnert over the years. I will display both of them here.

Next, we find the Bohnert’s in the 1930 census. John was still called the proprietor of the roller mill. Several of his sons were also working at the mill.

1930 census – Longtown, MO

Below is a photo taken of the Longtown Mill. There are several men shown in front of the building, but I cannot identify them.

Bohnert Mill – Longtown

Mathilda Bohnert died in 1932 at the age of 55. Her death certificate is pictured here.

Mathilda Bohnert death certificate

An obituary for Mathilda appeared in the Perry County Republican.

Mathilda Bohnert obituary

John is found in the 1940 census with 3 remaining children living with him. By then, the mill was called a feed store, and John is called the manager.

1940 census – Longtown, MO

John Bohnert died in 1946 at the age of 72. We can also take a look at his death certificate.

John Bohnert death certificate

An obituary for John was also placed in the Perry County Republican.

John Bohnert obituary

John and Mathilda Bohnert are buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Longtown.

Not long ago, the Longtown Mill building, which had fallen into disrepair and was deemed to be dangerous, was demolished. Below is a recent photo of the mill before demolition, along with a few taken after the demolition was completed.

The Bohnert Mill was a prominent business in Longtown during that village’s heyday, and John Bohnert was very well-known in his community. There was another mill located in Crosstown for a while that was operated by Bohnert’s.

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