I’m going to start today’s story toward the end, and then go back in time. Here are some photos that were taken at a 50th wedding anniversary celebration.
I’ll show both sides of the next photo. The back side identifies the people in the photo and can actually be used to identify the people in the above photo also.
The back of this photo also indicates that the date of this anniversary celebration was February 10, 1934. Fifty years earlier, Paul Martin Estel married Mathilda Schneier in the church in Wittenberg on February 10, 1884.
Paul Estel was the third child of Immanuel and Wilhelmina (Krahmer) Estel of Wittenberg. His parents’ story was told in the post, Tell It Like It Was . Mathilda Schneier was the daughter of Nickolaus and Katharina (Drumtra) Schneier of Altenburg.
This couple’s first child, Arthur, was born in Wittenberg and his baptism is recorded in the Trinity, Altenburg church books. St. Paul’s Lutheran in Wittenberg had not been organized yet even though a church/school building was used for services. The second child, Walter, was born in Marshall, Missouri in 1887. I am not aware of the reason the Estels were in Marshall at that time. It is reported that the Estels moved to Jacob, Illinois in 1891, where they became members of Christ Lutheran Church. Jacob is a small town just east of Wittenberg across the Mississippi in Illinois.
When they moved there, Paul’s uncle, Rev. Ph.S. Estel was the pastor of that congregation. His story was told in the post, A Jacob Preacher with Perry Roots. Paul and Mathilda’s last child, Ella, was born in Jacob in 1892 and baptized at Christ Lutheran. Here is her baptism record from the Christ, Jacob church books (We have these records digitized and available in our museum now). And yes, Ella’s initials were E.E.E.
Here is a photo taken about the time when the Estels had moved to Jacob.
Paul managed a grain elevator, which makes sense since his father operated a mill in Wittenberg. The 1920 census shows four people living in the Estel home.
John Schneier was Mathilda’s brother. John Gruebmeyer has an interesting story. Both of his parents died within days of each other in 1899 when John was just two years old. Paul was one of his godparents, and the Estels took him into their home and raised him as if he was their own child. You also find the Arthur Estel family listed immediately below, which probably indicates that they lived nearby.
We have a photo of the home in which the Estel family lived in Jacob, Illinois.
Paul and Mathilda lived to see their 60th wedding anniversary. Here is a photo taken of this couple at that time.
Paul’s mustache seems to have been an ever-present feature throughout his life, and I, for one, would classify it as a mighty impressive one.