The mystery of John & Rose Maurer

John Maurer was born in 1878, the eldest son of Jacob & Katherine Maurer. Around 1900, he married Rose Burkhardt – sister of Barbara Burkhardt, the mother of Barbara Felty, wife of…John’s brother Harry. Rose was also sister of Susie Burkhardt, who married John’s brother Jacob.

I digress.

I had the notion yesterday to find John & Rose in the 1940 census. This presented some unexpected mysteries.

John Maurer is listed in Burnt Prairie Township, as a lodger (with people I didn’t recognize), marital status divorced; Rose is in Carmi, as a housekeeper (again, with people I didn’t recognize), marital status widowed.¬†They’re both the right age, and they’re the only John & Rose Maurer in White County in 1940 (so far as I know); but I’m not convinced they’re the right people.

I have no record that John & Rose ever divorced. Their obituaries (1957 and 1955, respectively) imply that they stayed married. Perhaps divorce was unmentionable in the 1950s? But if they didn’t divorce, where were they in 1940? And how does the Stolen Heifers Incident of 1932 fit into this?

I don’t suppose this will be resolved without a trip to Carmi.

Update:¬†Numerous errors have been corrected. (I really shouldn’t try to write these things from memory.)