The elusive Anna Maurer

The obituary for my great-great-grandfather Jacob Maurer says:

He leaves to mourn their loss the widow, eight children, twenty-five grandchildren and six great grandchildren, besides other relatives and friends. A sister, Mrs. Anna Ziegler, of Denver, Colorado, also survives.

For years, that was all the information I had regarding Anna Maurer.

I found an Anna Ziegler in the census, married to William Ziegler; they lived in White County for a while, then – apparently – moved to Denver. But was it Jacob Maurer’s sister, or just an unfortunate coincidence of names?

(The latter is maddeningly common among the Germans of nineteenth-century White County. They loved to re-use first names.)

I had the notion yesterday to visit the Urbana Free Library, and see what I could dig up on Anna & William Ziegler. Maybe they had some new books in the Archives that would be helpful.

I found White County Marriages, 1866-1880, by Patricia P. Davis; it’s a transcript of (a few of) the marriage registers kept in the County Clerk’s office, in the courthouse in Carmi. (These books are huge, heavy & occasionally quite filthy. Wrestling with them may be genealogically profitable, but in most other ways it’s quite unpleasant.) On page 188, I found:

April 25, 1871
William Ziegler
Anna Mower / Mowrer
Book 5, Box 8

This entry isn’t in any of the other marriage indices I’ve seen. I can’t find it in the Secretary of State’s online database, nor on Ancestry.com. Could it be that the handwriting on the actual document is so poor that later transcribers & indexers all took their best guess – and all got it wrong?

I’m keen to get a copy of Anna & William’s marriage license, but undecided as to how I might do that. I could take a vacation day, drive down to Carmi, and retrieve it myself; or I could ask the County Clerk to mail it to me. One way is faster, the other is significantly cheaper.

What to do, what to do….