The Bohnstedts in Missouri:
Descendants of George Clinton Bohnstedt

by Thomas Allen Bohnstedt, California USA
     (the text of this page is my intellectual property. Please do not copy and repost without my written permission)


George Clinton Bohnstedt and family, circa 1913-1914 (approximate guess). The hard lives of these Bohnstedts can be seen on their faces. The boy on the left may be David, about 8 years old. On the right is daughter Stella about 4 years of age. Absent is Clint's wife, Ann, and their youngest child, Clifford. By this time Clint's wife, Annie, had gone to Clint's brother Charles. She probably took Clifford with her.


Ludwig "Lewis" Bohnstedt

Now we go back again to the family of Johann Carl ("Carl" AKA "Charles") Christian and Anna Dorothea "Dorothy" Bohnstedt, this time to Carl and Dorothy's tenth child, Ludwig Bohnstedt, who went by the name "Lewis" or "Louis". This man was the progenitor of a number of Bohnstedt family lines in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa, and throughout the Pacific states of America.

Ludwig "Lewis" Bohnstedt was first married to Anna Poff sometime between 1871 and 1875 in Olney, Illinois. At that time much of the rest of the Bohnstedt family was still in or near Olney, Illinois. What records have been found reveal that Lewis and Anna had four children. The oldest was Charles D. Bohnstedt, born about 1875, followed by Cenia Alta in 1876, a third child, a daughter, in 1877, and George Clinton Bohnstedt in 1878. The name of the third child is unknown, and never appears in any records except one, without a name, which suggests that she may have been stillborn. Lewis's wife Anna died in 1878, the same year that George Clinton was born, which opens the possibility that she died as a result of complications in childbirth. She was buried in Richland County Cemetery near Olney.

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1. Cenia Alta Bohnstedt, Sister of Charles and George Clinton Bohnstedt, and half-sister to Myrtle, Marilla, Verner, Vaden and Guy Bohnstedt
2. Grave of Cenia (Bohnstedt) Bryant in Forest Park Cemetery, Joplin, Missouri

Lewis married again in 1880, in Olney, Illinois to Clara Hyers-Jenkins. Clara's hyphenated last name suggests that she was married before and widowed. Their first child, a daughter named Myrta, was born in 1881 in Illinois. But sometime between 1881 and 1886 Lewis and Clara relocated to Missouri, in or near Springfield. Using information from census records taken during those years it was possible to determine that Lewis and Clara left Charles, Cenia and Clinton, or "Clint" in the care of Anna's mother in Illinois.

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1. Grave of Myrtle (Bohnstedt) Snow in Freedom Cemetery, in Sargeant, Texas County, Missouri
2. Top L-R: Guy Irven and Vaden T. Bohnstedt. Bottom: Verner Bohnstedt

Myrtle married in 1881 to Norman Winchester Snow, and they had one child in 1900; a daughter named Winnie, who died a little over a month after she was born.  The following month, in July, Myrtle also died.  She was only 19 years old.

Once settled in Missouri, Lewis and Clara had four more children; Marilla in 1886, Verner and Vaden (the twins) in 1889, and Guy Irven in 1896. Later census records show Lewis's first three children living with Lewis and Clara in Missouri, which indicates that they must have sent for the children after they were settled and brought them to Missouri.

There are still numerous Bohnstedts living today in Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, and on the Pacific Coast, nearly all of which are descended from this one man, Lewis Bohnstedt.


George Clinton Bohnstedt

The rest of Lewis's children married and began their families in or near Springfield and Joplin, Missouri. According to verbal family history it was determined that the oldest of Lewis's children, Charles, had at least some of his own children in or near Rogersville, Missouri, about ten miles east of Springfield.

Although the names are badly misspelled, the 1911 Webb City Directory gives a "snapshot" of the Bohnstedt family as it began to grow in Webb City Missouri.  Listed at 806 Oak: Vaden T. Bohnstedt, wife Lona, and child Denzil Irven, sharing the house with brother Verner Bohnstedt, wife Mollie and son Virgil.  Listed at 820 N. Madison: Charles Bohnstedt, sons Carl and Ivan, and daughter, Nellie.  Also listed in 820 N. Madison: George Clinton Bohnstedt, wife Anna May (Clark), and children David, Stella and Clifford. The identity of Jesse is unknown.

Lewis's son, George Clinton "Clint" Bohnstedt, also started his family in the Springfield, Missouri, area. It is known that Clint had three children; David, Clifford, and Stella. Nothing is known of what happened to David. But some older members of the Bohnstedt family in Missouri, including Nadine Bennett, a daughter of Clint's half-brother, Vade, still remember Stella as being a warm-hearted, caring person.

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1. Estella "Stella" Bohnstedt
2. Stella with her second husband, Sid Stewart

One record was found in the U.S. Social Security death indexes for a David Bohnstedt, born in 1906 in Washington, and died in 1972 in Washington. Evidence strongly suggests that David Bohnstedt was George Clinton's son, who, we estimate, might have been born around 1905-1906. As for the discrepancy in the place of birth, this is a discrepancy often seen; that someone was born in one state, and received their social security number in another. So it is quite possible that George Clinton Bohnstedt's son David was born in Missouri about 1905-1906, later went to Washington as an adult, and got his social security number there.

But why would David go to Washington? If this David Bohnstedt in the social security death indexes was Clint's son, he may have gone to Washington because he had relatives there; his uncle Verner had moved there with his own family in the late 1920's, and David might have followed there as well. According to a 1920 census for Boonville, Missouri, David was in a reformatory for boys. He was about 14 years old. Possibly, the moving around between different mining towns, coupled with the absence of his mother as a stabilizing influence, allowed David to wander into some trouble.

Grave marker of David Bohnstedt, Abbey View Memorial Park, near Brier, Washington state.

A 1940 census record indicates David living in Picher Oklahoma with his "wife", Clara. So far no marriage record has been found for these two. This Clara seems to be Bertha Clara Rudd. Other records indicate that Bertha was married to a man named John William Weitz, but were divorced in 1934. David was 28 years old at the time. David and Clara were both in Washington, where David died and was buried. However, it seems that Bertha Clara was later reunited with Weitz because a newpaper article about Weitz being killed after a poker game mentions his wife Bertha and children. When Bertha Clara died she was buried with Weitz in Oklahoma.

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1. Clifford Lee Bohnstedt
2. Grave marker of Clifford Lee Bohnstedt, Hazelwood Cemetery, Springfield Missouri

Clifford Lee Bohnstedt married Viona Nimmo in 1934, and together they had two sons and one daughter. These two sons; Clifford Junior Bohnstedt and James Lee "Jim" Bohnstedt, have numerous descendants in the Springfield Missouri area. "Junior" and "Jim" Bohnstedt operated some auto salvage businesses for many years, and were helped by Junior's two sons, Robert and Clifford.

1. Family of Clifford Junior Bohnstedt and Juanita Bohnstedt, circa 1965-66.  L-R: Juanita (Gregory) Bohnstedt, Karen Renee Bohnstedt, Clifford Junior Bohnstedt, Robert Van Lee Bohnstedt, and Clifford Wayne Bohnstedt
2. Clifford Junior Bohnstedt

Clifford Junior Bohnstedt (who went by his middle name of Junior) had three children with his wife Juanita: Robert Van Lee Bohnstedt (1957), Clifford Wayne Bohnstedt (1959), and Karen Renee Bohnstedt (1964). Junior and Juanita's daughter Karen has two adopted children, and both of them were children from her second husband, Jackie Lee Sweeton from Jackie's previous marriage. These two adopted children brought Karen a lot of joy, and also brought her six grandchildren.

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Clifford Junior Bohnstedt participated in local auto racing events in the 1960's, a hobby that would be vigorously pursued by his cousins in Oklahoma.

Robert had three children; a daughter, Meaghan Starkloff, from a relationship before his first wife, a son, Erik Lee Bohnstedt, from Robert's first marriage to Sheryl Thomas in 1980, and, Lacy Marie Bohnstedt, from his marriage to Lisa McCain in 1988. Unfortunately, Erik was killed in a car crash in 2011. From Meaghan, Erik and Lacy, Robert has nine grandchildren; four from Meaghan, two from Erik, and three from Lacy.

1. Grave of Clifford Junior Bohnstedt in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, Springfield Missouri.  Junior passed away on April 29, 2018 in Springfield Missouri after a lengthy illness.
2. Clifford Lee "Cj" Bohnstedt with his wife, Brittani, and their first two daughters; Payton (right), born 2012, and Tynlee (left), born 2014.

Clifford Wayne Bohnstedt had three children. From his first marriage to Rae McCreary came a daughter, Shawna Rae Bohnstedt (1979), and from his marriage to Teresa Ann Tindle in 1986 came two children; Clifford Lee "Cj" Bohnstedt (1986) and Kimberly Ann Adkins (1988). From these three children Clifford has nine grandchildren; five from Shawna, two from Cj, and two from Kimberly.

1. James Lee Bohnstedt
2. Grave of James Lee Bohnstedt, Rivermonte Memorial Gardens, Springfield MIssouri

Junior's younger brother, James Lee Bohnstedt was married twice; first to Esther Gregory about 1958, and the second time to Jantia Marshall in 1965. James (or "Jim") and Esther had one child in 1960; a son named James Edward Bohnstedt, and a daughter in 1962 named Debra Marie. Debra died the same day she was born. James Lee Bohnstedt and Esther divorced about 1963-64 when their son, James Edward was about 3-4 years old. Esther remarried to a man with the family name of McCarty, and James's last name was changed to McCarty; his descendants no longer carry the Bohnstedt name. From Jim's second marriage to Jantia he had two more children; Thomas Lee Bohnstedt, and Nancy Marie Bohnstedt. Nancy married Bryan Keith Collier in 1985, and they have two children and two grandchildren.

1. James Edward McCarty.  James is the first child of James Lee Bohnstedt and Esther Marie (Gregory) Bohnstedt.  After James Lee and Esther divorced James was raise by Esther and her second husband, and James was raised under a different family name.   with his adopted son, Henry James Bohnstedt
2. Grave of Debra Marie Bohnstedt in Hazelwood Cemetery, Springfield Missouri.  Debra Marie was the second child of James Lee Bohnstedt
3. Nancy Marie Bohnstedt. Nancy is the second child from James Lee Bohnstedt's second marriage, to Jantia Marshall

The family name continues from James and Jantia’s son, Thomas Lee “Tom” Bohnstedt. Tom’s primary occupation is tow truck driver-operator. Although not a direct employee of Clifford Junior Bohnstedt’s salvage companies, he has done contract work for them from time to time. From four marriages Tom has eight children and at least three grandchildren.

1. Thomas Lee Bohnstedt , High School picture
2. Thomas Lee "Tom" Bohnstedt, with his adopted son, Henry James Bohnstedt
3. Brian Bohnstedt

Tom’s oldest, from his first marriage, is Christine Marie, born in 1982. From his second marriage Tom had four children, Brian Lee, Ashley Michelle, Thomas Allen, and Tyler James. Brian Lee Bohnstedt, born 1985, is the Owner-Manager of Edge Stoneworks in Ozark, Missouri, a company which dresses stone for home building and remodeling applications. Currently, Brian and his wife, Kami have one son, Mason. Tom’s son, Tyler (from his second marriage) works for Brian dressing stone.

1. Brian Bohnstedt with his son, Mason, on a hunting trip
2. Edge Stoneworks, in Ozark, MIssouri, owned and managed by Brian Lee Bohnstedt

Tom’s daughter, Ashley, has two daughters. From his third marriage Tom has another daughter, Jennifer Rene'. Tom married a fourth time, to Aimie Brewington. With Aimie, Tom adopted two small children; Brooklyn Amelia, and Henry James.


The Stillings Connection

In 2003 one of Clifford Lee Bohnstedt's grandsons (and a great-grandson of George Clinton Bohnstedt), Clifford Wayne Bohnstedt, married Debra Stillings in Ava, Missouri. I discovered this when I was catching up the records in 2016.  When I heard the Stillings name it rang a bell in the back of my head. Then I remembered that one of the Bohnstedts from the Guy Irven Bohnstedt line had married a Stillings. I checked records, and there it was, Dan Stillings was Jody Ellen Bohnstedt's second husband.

I talked to Clifford W. Bohnstedt's wife, Debra about this. According to her, the Stillings who married Jody Ellen Babish (Bohnstedt) was Debra's brother, Dan Stillings, and Jody is a descendant of Guy Irven Bohnstedt.  Jody is a second cousin to Clifford Junior Bohnstedt (Clifford Wayne Bohnstedt's father), so while Jody and Clifford Wayne Bohnstedt are "second cousins once removed", they were also in-laws through their spouses, Dan and Debra Stillings, who were brother and sister. (sadly, Dan passed away in 2016). 

When Dan first married Jody she may have still had the last name "Babish" from her first marriage. But according to Debra, when she (Debra) realized that her brother's new wife was a Bohnstedt (her maiden name) she called her new sister-in-law, Jody, to ask her about it. Jody came over to visit Debra with a copy of the Bohnstedt book we had put together and distributed in 1998.

I was very gratified by this because, although there are some errors in it, and although our knowledge has expanded considerably since then, Debra and Jody were able to use the book to look up their Bohnstedt lines and see how they were related. And that was one of my intentions in creating this Bohnstedt record; so that, hopefully, we wouldn't lose all knowledge of each other again because of time, distance or tragedy.

It was through these two marriages; that of Debra Stillings to Clifford Wayne Bohnstedt (a descendant of George Clinton Bohnstedt), and of Dan Stillings to Jody Ellen Bohnstedt (a descendant of Guy Irven Bohnstedt) that these two Bohnstedt family lines in Missouri were reconnected.


See Also:
3-23 /
The Bohnstedts in Missouri: Descendants of Guy and Vaden Bohnstedt
3-36 /
Genealogy 3-3-8: America; Missouri


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