Erhart, Son of Engelbert Engelhart

I have been looking for a reason to write the story about an interesting name that I have run across in past research. That name is Engelbert Engelhart. I did not find a special reason to write his story today, but I did find an event that led me to tell the story of one of his sons, who also has an interesting name. Today’s birthday boy is Erhart Sigmund Engelhart, who was born on May 23, 1898, so today would be a special birthday, his 125th. As indicated already, Erhart was the son of Engelbert Engelhart and his first wife, Elizabeth Reischauer. I located this wedding photograph of Erhart’s parents. They were married the year before Erhart was born. As you can gather, Erhart was the firstborn child to this couple.

Erhart was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kornthal, Illinois. His father had roots in Pocahontas, Missouri, but he had made his way across the river and found his wife in Illinois and became a member of the church in Kornthal. We can view the baptism record of Erhart below.

Erhart Engelhart baptism record – St. Paul’s, Kornthal, IL

Erhart is found in the 1900 census at the age off 2. His family was living in Jonesboro, Illinois where his father was a blacksmith.

1900 census – Jonesboro, IL

In 1904, there was an Engelhart family gathering in Pocahontas, Missouri and the photo below was taken. The caption will enable you to find the young Erhart.

In 1905, Erhart’s mother, Elizabeth, died. His father then married again in 1906. His second wife was Katharina Ditter. Below is the wedding photo of that couple.

It was not long after that wedding that the photo of 3 Engelhart boys was taken.

Three children were born to Engelbert’s first wife (the ones shown above), and two more to his second wife. When the 1910 census was taken, we find the Engelhart household shown in the image below. Erhart was listed as being 11 years old.

1910 census – Jonesboro, IL

In 1917, the Engelhart family had another gathering. The photo below also contains Erhart.

In 1918, Erhart had his World War I draft registration completed. It says Erhart was a blacksmith working for his father.

Erhart Engelhart – WWI draft registration

We find Erhart in one more census as a single man. His father was called a blacksmith and farmer, and Erhart was said to be farming.

1920 census – Jonesboro, IL

Now, we will turn our attention to the woman who would become Erhart’s first wife. Her name was Anita Rastl, who was born on March 5, 1904. Anita was the daughter of Ernst and Agneta (Petzoldt) Rastl. Anita’s mother was a granddaughter of Friedrich Florian “The Face” Petzoldt, so Anita was his great granddaughter. Like Erhart, Anita was the firstborn child in her family. She was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. Information about Anita is found in the binder we have from St. John’s, Pocahontas in our research library.

Anita Rastl information – St. John’s, Pocahontas, MO

Anita is found in the 1910 census at the age of 6. Her father was a farmer in the Apple Creek Township.

1910 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Anita was a teenager when we find her in the 1920 census.

1920 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Erhart Engelhart came across the Mississippi River to Pocahontas to marry Anita Rastl on July 29, 1923. We can take a look at the marriage license for this couple.

Engelhart/Rastl marriage license

As near as I can tell, Erhart and Anita had 2 children. When the 1930 census was taken, we find the Engelhart’s with both of their sons. Erhart was a farmer in the Jonesboro Township.

1930 census – Jonesboro, IL

It must have been about this time that this 4-generation photo was taken of some members of the Engelhart family. It includes Erhart and his two sons.

The 1940 census shows the same family members.

1940 census – Jonesboro, IL

In 1942, Erhart had a World War II draft card completed. This form says that Erhart was both a state patrolman and a farmer.

Erhart Engelhart – WWII draft card

I do not know when the photo below was taken, but it is the only one I found that includes Anita Engelhart.

I should have been able to find Erhart in the 1950 census, but that was also the year that Anita Engelhart died. She was only 46 years old when she died in early 1950. In December of that year, Erhart married again. His second wife was Lillian Marie Sarensen. Erhart Engelhart died in 1965 at the age of 67. We can view his obituary which says he died while driving his pickup truck as a result of a heart attack.

Erhart Engelhart obituary

Then, in 1969, Lillian Marie Engelhart died at the age of 60. Her obituary is shown here, and it also indicates that she died while driving and having a heart attack.

Lillian Engelhart obituary

Erhart and both of his wives are buried in an Engelhart family plot in the Jonesboro Cemetery in Jonesboro.

The story of Erhart and Anita Engelhart is one of several cases in which we find members of both St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kornthal being united in marriage. The church records of both those congregations contain some of the same surnames. And both of these congregations can be classified as ones which had many of their founding members of Austrian descent.

Before I close, let me point out that today is also a special anniversary for a couple that has been mentioned in a few other previous posts. Theodore Ernst Buenger married Martha Loeber on May 23, 1848, making today their 175th anniversary. Their wedding is found in a chapter in my book, Mama Buenger: Mother of a Synod.

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