By Ann Chrissos
Henry William Wardenburg (3 Feb 1885-18 Sept 1962) married Minnie Belle Corless (11 Nov 1896-9 Apr 1985) on 27 December 1915. Minnie was the daughter of John William and Frances Eatherton Corless. On their wedding day, the couple walked through the snow in their wedding finery to the train station in Chesterfield accompanied by Minnie’s mother. They traveled by train to St. Louis, where they were married by a Justice of the Peace. Initially, the newlyweds lived in Gumbo. Later, they moved to Pond Road and then to Chesterfield where Henry worked as a section laborer on the railroad. They lived in a Railroad Company house next to the tracks, which is now Breckenridge Materials. Henry and Minnie Belle had four children: Ethel (b. 19 Sept 1916), Edna (b. 12 Oct 1918), Clarence (7 Apr 1921-18 Jan 1968), and Myrtle (b. 2 Oct 1925). All of the children attended Chesterfield School on Wild Horse Creek Road. The family shopped for food in Chesterfield at the Red & White Store owned and operated by Roy and Garnet Glaser. However, they traveled to Wellston to shop for clothes and other necessities. They attended St. Thomas Evangelical & Reformed Church in Gumbo.
Henry’s son, Clarence, bought property in the town of Chesterfield from Ralph Biel. He operated a tavern and store which had formerly been the Burkhardt Store and later the Ruppel Store. In 1968, the store caught fire and burned down. Clarence lost his life when he ran into the burning building to rescue the money box. Clarence’s brother-in-law and sister, Carl and Myrtle Wardenburg Baker, then purchased the property. They later sold it to Mr. Dorack.
Edna, Henry’s daughter, married Kenneth Henry on 29 December 1943. Edna’s older sister Ethel married Matthew Bine on 7 June 1947. Clarence married Virginia Saulters on 14 June 1952 and his sister Myrtle married Carl Baker on 25 February 1961.
Henry, Minnine Belle and their son Clarence are buried at Laurel Hill Memorial Gardens in Pagedale, Missouri.
Children of Henry and Minnie Belle Wardenburg. L to r: Ethel, Clarence and Edna Wardenburg. Circa 1923. Courtesy of Myrtle Baker.
Family of Henry and Minnie Belle Corless Wardenburg. L to r: Myrtle, Clarence, Edna and Ethel Wardenburg. Circa 1950. Courtesy of Myrtle Baker and Edna Henry.
Ancestry.com, “Vital Records.”
Edna Henry and Myrtle Baker were interviewed by Marian Hackmann and Arland Stemme on 12 Oct 1993.