Today’s story begins with a photo. This is a photo of the Koestering store and it came with a description that Gotthold Seibel was in the picture.
I have to assume that Gotthold Seibel must be the one with his backside to the camera hoeing in the garden. If that is Gotthold, then there is a likelihood that the woman leaning against the fence is his wife, Louise (Koestering) Seibel. A previous blog post featured these two people….Your Pastor for a Father-in-Law.
The Koestering store across the street from their house was run by Louise’s brother, Fred Koestering. Here is a photo of Fred Koestering with one of his daughters, Martha, and a grandson, Ralph.
Below is a a photo of a Koestering family reunion that was taken in front of the Koestering Store. You can see the name “Fred” in the window.
One of the interesting aspects of the first photo above is that in the background you can see the Ladies Aid Building which appears to be in the process of being built. We know from other documents that this building was completed in 1927. That fact helps us date this photo. Interestingly, Gotthold Seibel was a carpenter by trade. He may have been involved in the that building process. In a previous blog post, An Austrian Carpenter Marries a Local Girl, it was mentioned that Gottlieb Meyr was certainly involved in this building project. Both of these men were getting up there in years when the Ladies Aid Building was under construction, so I imagine they both might have been telling the younger men what ought to be done.
I attempted to recreate as best I could the photo of the Seibel house, with the Ladies Aid Building as it looks today.
There is a large tree which hides the Ladies Aid Building, and the Firehouse and City Hall Building now takes the place of the Koestering Store. You cannot tell from any of these photos, but Trinity Lutheran Church is located across the street from the Ladies Aid Building.
The Gottlob Seibel house is to the left in the above photo. Here is a before and after comparison of what that house looked like back then and what it looks like now.
Here is what the Ladies Aid Building looks like now.