The Life of Louis and Lulu

Today’s story is a continuation of yesterday’s tale….Twin Twins.  That post ended with the marriage of Louis and Lulu Boehme.  But first, I must backtrack on a few things.  First of all, I want to share this photo of Louis which is possibly his confirmation picture.

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Next, I want to make sure to deal with pronunciation.  Around here, Boehme is pronounced as rhyming with “name”.  I know a pastor in Minnesota with the same name, and his family which has Illinois roots pronounces their name Bow-mee.  Folks here would say that pastor is wrong.

I also want to give you a little background on Lulu.  She was the daughter of Gabriel and Maria (Ludwig) Lottes.  Gabriel was a saloon keeper in Altenburg.  Already in the 1900 census, we see Louise being referred to as Lulu.

lottes-1900-census
Lottes family – 1900 census

I cannot help but notice that 16 year old Leo Lottes is serving as a bartender.  One year after this census, Lulu would get married.

After their marriage, Louis and Lulu moved to a farm in the Uniontown area.  Shortly after 1910, Louis is said to have developed some health problems which kept him from farming.  He moved his family to Wittenberg.  Louis would establish a partnership with Adolph Thurm to buy the Lueders Store in this river town.  Louis would be a merchant the rest of his life.

The first home of the Boehmes was located just north of the downtown Wittenberg area close to the relatively new railroad tracks that went through town.  One can only imagine how that house must have shook when the train went rumbling by blowing its whistle as it was coming close to a railroad crossing.

boehme-first-house-x
First Boehme home in Wittenberg

Back in those days, several merchants in this area used tokens as a way to get people to return to their stores for future purchases.  These tokens have become collectors items.  Here are some tokens from the Boehme & Thurm Store.

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Mr. Thurm sold out his share of the store to run the boat landing in Wittenberg.  Later after Mr. Thurm moved out of town, Louis also took over the landing.  It was an exciting time in this town, with steamboats still landing there and the railroad also becoming another source for bringing merchandise into Perry County.

The Boehme Store would later become a part of a chain of stores know as the Red & White Food Stores.

red_and_white_food-stores

Here is a photo of the interior of their store.

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The first three children born to Louis and Lulu were stillborn or died early.  After that, they became successful at raising a rather large family.  They had seven children who lived at least until the late 1900’s.  Two even made it into the 21st century.  Here is a photo of Lulu with several of those children.  It is only my guess that the other woman is Grandma Boehme.

louise-boehme-and-children

Here is a later photo of the Boehme family.  It shows all seven of their children.

boehme-family-rohde-x

Left to right:  Esther, Edna, Bernice, Lulu, Edgar, Louis, Dora, Arnold, and Loretta.

Louis and Lulu were members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg and are both buried in their cemetery.


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