We will be wishing a “Happy 125th Birthday” to today’s main character in this post. On May 4, 1898, Edward Andrew Weith was born to his parents, Frederick and Margaretha (Klobe) Weith. Edward is listed in our German Family Tree as the 4th child out of 5 in his family, although I think there may have only been 4 children born to Edward’s parents. Edward was born at at time when some changes were taking place in the Lutheran community in the area where they lived. The first child in the GFT, Anne Louise, was reportedly born on October 16, 1893 and baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. That child is also called a twin in the GFT. The second child in the GFT, Mary Lizza Anna, was also born on October 16, 1893, but that baptism record is in the books of Cross Congregation. That church was established around that time between Longtown and Friedenberg. The Cross Congregation did not last long. I think Anne Louise in the Friedenberg Remembrances book is the same girl as the Mary Anna Lizza in the Cross Congregation books and there were no twins. There is no census entry showing twins. Edward has his baptism record in the books of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. When the last child was born in 1903, Zion Lutheran Church in Crosstown had gotten started, and that is where that final child was baptized. An image of Edward’s baptism record from Salem, Farrar’s books is shown here. Edward may not have been baptized in the church in Farrar. This record has the name of Rev. Hamm, Crosstown given as the person who performed this baptism. Rev. Hamm was the first pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown, which was established in 1897. The church in Crosstown, also called Zion, would not be started until 1901.
Edward is found in the 1900 census at the age of 2. His father was a farmer in the Salem Township. The entry below is almost impossible to read.
Next, we find Edward in the 1910 census when he was 12 years old. His father was often called Fritz.
When the plat maps for Perry County were produced in 1915, we find the Fritz Weith farm located east of Perryville.
When Edward had a World War I draft registration completed, he had a Crosstown address. I found no evidence that he was actually drafted into service.
Edward was still single and living with his parents when he was included in the 1920 census. His age is given as 21, and he was working on his father’s farm.
Edward got married late in 1930, so we still find him as a 31 year-old single man in the census taken that year. He was the only remaining child living with his parents.
Now, we will turn our attention to the woman who would become Edward’s bride in 1930. Her name was Lillie Florence Stockdall, who was born on January 4, 1912. That means she was about 14 years younger than Edward. Lillie was the daughter of William and Agnes (Fox) Stockdall. A family tree on Ancestry.com says she was born in Polk County, Missouri. Lillie is found in the 1920 census at the age of 8. She was part of a rather large Stockdall family that was living in the small village of Collins, Missouri, where her father was called a laborer who was working out.
Lillie’s mother died in 1926, leaving her father as a widower. He may have felt that he could not raise his remaining children. When the 1930 census was taken, Lillie was living in the Charles Sowell household in the Central Township of Perry County. Lillie is called a 17 year-old adopted daughter. Lillie’s older brother, Otis, was also included in this household, but he is simply called a lodger. The Sowell’s were both in their 70’s at that time.
If you look closely at the plat map shown earlier, there is an Amelia Sewell parcel of land located not far south of the Weith farm. Amelia was Charles’s mother. It appears that Lillie became a neighbor of Edward not long before they got married.
Edward Weith married Lillie Stockdall on November 23, 1930. These two were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. A transcription of their marriage record is found in a binder we have in our research library for Immanuel, Perryville.
A marriage license for this pair can also be viewed. There is a note on this form saying there was consent for this wedding from a secretary of the State Board of Charities. That likely had to do with Lillie being adopted, along with the fact that Lillie was still a teenager.
The family tree I located on Ancestry.com lists 3 children born to Edward and Lillie, which is backed up with later census entries. I suspect that these children were baptized at Immanuel, Perryville, but the baptism records we have from that congregation’s books only go up to 1923. The 1940 census shows all 3 of these children. Edward’s mother had died in 1936, so his widowed father, at the age of 81, was living in this household as well. I suspect that Edward was farming the same land that he had grown up on.
The last census we can view is the one from 1950. This entry indicates that both Lillie and their son, Donald, were helping with the farming.
Edward Weith died in 1980 at the age of 81; Lillie Weith died in 2005 at the age of 93. These two are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
Let me be clear. There is no evidence that Pastor Lohmann turned to Lillie during their wedding ceremony to say, concerning her new husband’s birthday, “May the 4th be with you.” If he had done so, she would have certainly responded with the typical Lutheran response, “And also with you.”
However, I will also point out that, if you look at the above gravestone, you will see that Edward was born on the 4th of May and died on the 14th of January. Lillie was born on the 4th of January and died on the 24th of February. There are plenty of 4’s on that tombstone. At least the 4’s were with the Weith’s, if not the fourths…or the force.