William Friederick WERNSE's Death Certificate, 1916

Many of my ancestors immigrated to, moved to, and/or lived in St. Louis, Missouri and the surrounding area, so I’ve been slowly researching what data bases, genealogical websites, etc. that I’ve been able to find for any information and documents concerning their lives (and deaths). This week I was on the Missouri Secretary Of State website (SOS) which has free access to a data base of Missouri birth and death certificates. I found a few surprises concerning my LONG and WERNSE ancestors (a great-grandmother who had more siblings that I knew about; two gr-gr-grandmothers’ surnames). My best find, however, was a scan of my gr-gr grandfather’s death certificate, of which I’ll transcribe at a later time:

Transcription:

MISSOURI STATE BOARD OF HEALTH

BUREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS

CERTIFICATE OF DEATH

Registration District No. 791 File No. 26089

Primary Registration No. 1003 Registration No. 6551

1. PLACE OF DEATH

Village of the City of St. Louis (NO. 5620 Maple St.; 28 Ward)

2. FULL NAME

William Frederick Wernse

PERSONAL AND STATISTICAL PARTICULARS

3. SEX–Male

4. COLOR OR RACE–white;

5. married

6. DATE OF BIRTH

October 19th, 1845

7. AGE

70 yrs 8 mos 22 ds.

8. OCCUPATION

Attorney at Law

9. BIRTHPLACE

Germany

10. NAME OF FATHER

Henry Wernse

11. BIRTHPLACE OF FATHER

Germany

12. MAIDEN NAME OF MOTHER

Charlotte Frye

13. BIRTHPLACE OF MOTHER

Germany

14. THE ABOVE IS TRUE TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE

(Informant) E. H. Wernse

(Address) 5620 Maple Ave.

15. FILED–JUL 12 1916 Registrar–A.H.__?

MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF DEATH

16. DATE OF DEATH

July 11th 1916

17. I HEREBY CERTIFY, that I attended deceased from May 14, 1916, to June 16, 1916, that I last saw him alive on June 16, 1916, and that death occured, on the date stated above, at 7 p.m.

The CAUSE OF DEATH was as follows:

Suppurative Synovitis of right knee. his history indicated that the –?– as Synovitis

near duration 2 years

CONTRIBUTORY

probably —?—Suppurative…6 mos or more

(Signed) —?— M. D.

7-12, 1916 (Address) 609 Hamdl–

19. PLACE OF BURIAL OR REMOVAL

Belle Fontaine Cemetery

DATE OF BURIAL

July 14, 1916

20. UNERTAKERS

CR Lupton

ADDRESS

4449 –?—

Missouri is slowly archiving actual copies of death certificates pre-1955 on this website. But it’s a arduous task so it will be some time before all certificates can be accessed like this. Several of W.F. Wernse’s children (and his wife, Minnie) have their certificates listed in the data base, but at this point I have to send in a request form with a limit of five death certificates for $1 per certificate. They state that they’re swamped and that the wait for a certificate is about 12 weeks. Quite the bargain, in my opinion, and well worth the wait.

  1. Jody Jones’s avatar

    Dear Paula,

    My husband’s (Stephen Jones) great-grandfather was William F. Wernse (William-Hope Wernse Depew-Hope DePew Jones-Stephen Jones). Thank you for posting the death certificate on your website. Until I found it, the only luck I had was through online census copies.

    I would love any additional information you have about the Wernse family, if you are willing to share it. I just ordered a copy of a law book written by W. F. Wernse as a gift to my husband.

    Hope DePew Jones (my mother-in-law) is still living in St. Louis, however, really doesn’t know much about the Wernse family, except the German origins.

    Do you have immigration information? Now that I have Henry and Charlotte, I should have better luck with the research.

    I could not decipher the cause of death on William’s certificate – if you have the time, would you explain what the cause was? I could make out knee (I think!). I tried searching the MO website but no matches were found.

    Thanks very much,

    Jody Jones

  2. Jody Jones’s avatar

    Thought you might be interested in this item from an auction house catalog. I seem to remember my mother-in-law saying a grandfather went to prison. I’ll have to check with her.

    969. Arizona. Graham. Pima. Union Copper Smelter Co. Cert #218. Incorporated in Territory of Arizona. $500 Bond issued 1901. Signed by W. H. Brothers president and A. T. Van Valkenburgh secretary. Vignette of miners underground. Green border. Uncancelled. 20 of 40 coupons cashed in. Printer – Heincke Fiegel, St. Louis. 10 x 16”. The listing for this company is short but very poignant. “Property was an imaginary smelter, devised to reduce ores from imaginary mines.” Company devised by Wm F. Wernse of St. Louis. He also ran a fraud at the same time with a company named Union Copper Smelting Co. Both of these were supposedly located at Pima, Graham County, Arizona. (Copper Handbook, 1910, p.1719.) Tears along fold creases. Fine. Est. $50-100

  3. Diane Bingham’s avatar

    Dear Paula,
    I have tried to connect to the Wernse Family before because My grandfather’s Middle name was Wernse. I contacted you once before with pictures of Minnie and kids. I am now interested in the Hintze line. After much thought, I believe that my gg grandmother and Minnie Hintz were sisters. Please also look at the spelling Hintz, even though you have Hintze listed. My gg grandmother was Emma. The Census of 1880 has the Hintz family living in Boone Iowa. I have a couple more pictures so let me know if you are interested. You may recognize someone in the family in my pictures? My grandmother died in Richmond Ca. and I know that there was Wernse family there. I never have conected her to Hintz family because her sons death certificate lists her maiden name as Wernse. But I now think that this is an error. Please e-mail me if you are interested. Thanks Diane