Emily, Like Her Dad, Crossed the River Often

The birthday girl for today’s post is Emily Cora Lungwitz, who was born on May 12, 1896. That makes today her 127th birthday. I will warn you ahead of time, that there are several missing pieces to this story. Emily was the daughter of Paul and Maria (Boehme) Lungwitz. A previous post was written that detailed the story of Emily’s father and how he became the operator of the ferry in Wittenberg. That post was titled, To and Fro Across the River. Emily is one of those babies who has her baptism record in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, but she more likely was baptized at the church in Wittenberg before it became an official congregation in 1903. We can look at that baptism record below.

Emily Lungwitz baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Emily is found in the 1900 census at the age of 4. At that point in time, her father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I was unable to find Emily in the 1910 census. I do know that she is not listed with her parents. Perhaps her name was just missed, and she was actually living with them. In 1910, Paul and Maria had moved their family across the river and were living in the Fountain Bluff Township where Paul was a farmer. The last of the Lungwitz children was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob in 1909. That was the same year as Emily’s confirmation, which also took place at Christ, Jacob.

1910 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

The Lungwitz family moved back across the river and were once again living in Perry County when the 1920 census was taken. Paul is called a laborer, but I suspect he might have been working with his son, Otto, who was operating the ferry according to this entry. Emily was 23 years old at that time.

1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at the man who would become Emily’s husband. He had a surname that is brand new to this blog. His name was Benjamin Franklin Yearian, who was born on March 22, 1900. Frank was the son of Marion and Margaret (Harris) Yearian. I found Marion and Margaret in the 1900 census living in Vergennes, Illinois. I think the baby listed as being 2 months old is probably Frank, although his name looks like Ethel. His father is called a day laborer.

1900 census – Vergennes, IL

Marion Yearian had several wives during his lifetime, and Margaret was his last. Frank had siblings from other mothers who were, in some cases, considerably older. When Frank was only 9 years old, his father died. On Findagrave.com, you find a life story about Marion that gives some details about his life and death.

Marion Yearian life story

Because of his military service during the Civil War, Marion’s family requested that his gravestone recognize that service. Here is the application for that headstone.

Marion Yearian – Military headstone application

We can see that military acknowledgement on his gravestone found in the Pate Cemetery located in Murphysboro, Illinois. It is shown below.

Marion Yearian gravestone – Pate, Murphysboro, IL

Frank’s mother moved to Murphysboro after her husband died and was living with her sister’s family. Frank is found in that year’s census living with his older half-brother, Fred. who was a farmer in the Somerset Township near Murphysboro.

1910 census – Somerset Township, IL

Frank Yearian had a World War I draft registration completed in 1918. He was being employed by his half-brother, Fred, but he gave his mother’s name as his nearest relative.

Frank Yearian – WWI draft registration

Frank was still living with his half-brother, Fred, when the 1920 census was compiled. Three Yearian boys were all called farmers, including Frank.

1920 census – Somerset Township, IL

Frank Yearian married Emily Lungwitz on June 17, 1922. I was unable to find documentation for this event. Our German Family Tree lists 4 children born to Frank and Emily. Interestingly, I was unable to determine where the first child was baptized, but the second one was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. Their 3rd child was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. And then their last child was once again baptized in Wittenberg. Emily and her family continued to make trips back and forth across the Mississippi River.

The 1930 census is the last census in which I found either Frank or Emily. This time, they were said to be living in Vergennes, Illinois. That village is also located near Murphysboro. Frank was a laborer on a farm.

1930 census – Vergennes, IL

Frank Yearian died in 1933 at the age of 33. An Illinois death record for him is shown below.

Frank Yearian – IL death record

Frank was buried in the same cemetery as his father, Pate Cemetery, but there is no gravestone photo for him on Findagrave.com.

It makes sense that I don’t find Frank in any more census entries because he died, but I find it hard to understand that I was unable to find Emily in any more census records. That is because I know that she did not die until 1992 when she was 96 years old. She was a widow for almost 60 years. I should have been able to find her in the 1940 and 1950 censuses, but I failed. Emily is buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Murphysboro. We are able to view her gravestone.

Emily Yearian gravestone – Pleasant Grove, Murphysboro, IL

I figure it was helpful for the Wittenberg ferry to be operated by members of the Lungwitz family. Members of that family certainly made many trips back and forth to Illinois. And Emily eventually ended up living in Jackson County, Illinois for many of her 96 years.

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