|Wedding photo for Joseph Henke|
and Bernadine Drees (1901)
The first census that I find Joseph in is the 1880 census. His father Henry (age 47) is listed as a farmer. His mother Anna (age 41) is keeping house. His siblings were listed as Henry (age 22), Frederick (age 20), Anna (age 14), Madeline (age 8), Mary (age 6), Joseph (age 4), John (age 3) and Maggie (age 9 months). Additionally, Joseph Larshe (age 27) is working at the home as a servant. The two oldest siblings, Henry and Frederick are working on the farm. Anna, Madeline and Mary are attending school.
When Joseph's father died on 5 January 1897 at the age of 63, the farm went to his mother Anna, who at 61 years old was not able to care for it without the help of her sons Joseph and John. In 1900 the census records the family as Anna (age 61), Mary (age 26), Joseph (age 24), John (age 21), Margaret (age 20) and Rosa (age 17). Joseph married Bernadine Drees on 16 October 1901. The wedding was held in St. Michael's Church in Ft. Loramie. Interestingly enough, Bernadine Drees is also related to me on her own. She is my 2nd cousin 3 times removed. In 1909, needing more care than she was able to give herself, Anna moved in with her daughter Anna Henke Hilgefort's family after suffering a lengthy illness. Anna died of pneumonia on 2 March 1909 leaving the farm to Joseph. Her funeral was attended by a large number of family and friends from the area.
In 1910, the census records Joseph's family as himself (age 34), his wife Bernadine (age 28) and their children Anna E (age 7), Agnes (age 6), Christian H (age 4), August F (age 2) and William J (age 10 months). Also living in the house was Anthony Wenning (age 25) who was a farm laborer.
At the age of 42 Joseph registered for the draft for WW I. His physical description is listed as medium height, slender build, grey eyes and dark hair. He is living and working on the family farm.
By the time of the 1920 census, Joseph's family had grown considerably. Joseph (age 43) and his wife Bernadine (age 38) have nine children; Anna (age 17), Agnes (age 15), Christ (age 13), August (age 12), William (age 11), Julius (age 8), Bernard (age 7), Leo (age 3) and Bernadine (age 1 year 6 months). All of the children except Leo and Bernadine are attending school.
In 1930, Joseph (age 54) is still working on the farm. His son William (age 20) is listed as a farm laborer. August (age 22) is working as an auto repairman at the Westerheide Motor Sales Company which was run by Ed Westerheide. His wife Bernadine (age 48) and the other children, Julius (age 18), Bernard (age 16), Leo (age 13), Bernadine (age 11) and Helen (age 9) are also living on the farm. Leo, Bernadine and Helen are attending school. According to the census, the family owned a radio so they would have been able to listen in on the broadcasts of the day.
The 1940 census lists Joseph (age 64) as a farmer who owns his own farm, He is working about 50 hours per week. The farm is valued at $1600. His wife Bernadine (age 58) and children Julius (age 28), Bernard (age 26), Leo (age 23), and Helen (age 19) are all living at the home. Julius had finished one year of high school and is working 50 hours per week on the farm. Bernard had finished two years of high school and is working 60 hours per week as a waiter in a restaurant. Leo finished one year of high school and is working and Helen had finished three years of high school.
Anna, his oldest daughter, married Lawrence Joseph Mescher on 18 June 1924. They had six children. Agnes married Arthur Knapke on 16 October 1928. They had three children. His son Christian married Ruth Esther Setsor on 20 September 1947. They had one son. August married Jessica Eischer and had one daughter. William married Leona Hilgefort. Julius married Adella Schmidt. Leo was a WW II veteran who fought in Italy. He married Rita Goubeaux on 24 August 1948. Bernadine married Adrian Gariety and had seven children. Helen married Delbert Barhorst and had two children. Bernard, a veteran of WW II, never married.
On 3 December 1955, at the age of 79, Joseph died at the family farm on which he had lived his entire life. He had been ill for three years and confined to his bed for the last 10 weeks. He was survived by 10 children, 21 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. His burial was in St. Michael's cemetery in Ft. Loramie.