One of the Last Perry County Buengers

After Widow Christiane Buenger brought eight of her children to America, they all started out in Perry County.  In fact, she was the first owner of the property that I now own.  However during the 1840’s, all of those Buengers had moved to St. Louis.  Then, after Christiane died in 1849, two of her children moved back to Perry County.  One of those was Clementine, who by that time was married to Gottlob Neumueller, so her name was no longer Buenger.  The other was Dr. Ernst Eduard Buenger.  He was the one who brought the Buenger name back to Altenburg.

The Buenger family was always good breeding ground for full-time Lutheran church workers.  In addition, the women in the Buenger family often married church workers.  As a result, the Buenger name ended up all over the country, but not much in Perry County.

Dr. E.E. Buenger had seven children who lived to adulthood.  Only three of those were males who could carry on the Buenger name, and one of those died when he was just 20 years old and had not married.  One of the remaining two became a minister and moved away from Perry County.  That son’s story was told in the post, Double E.E.  That left one son, Johannes Friedrich Buenger (who was named after his famous uncle who was one of the builders of the Log Cabin College) to carry on the Buenger name in Perry County.

Friedrich was married twice.  His first wife was Pauline Mueller, and his second wife was Ida Hellwege.

Friedrich had two children who lived to adulthood with Paula, and then five such children with Ida.  Only three were boys.  All three of these boys moved away from Perry County, one of them becoming a pastor.

That leads us to today’s birthday girl.  One of Friedrich and Ida’s daughters was Paula Buenger who was born on March 27, 1897.  When Paula was ten years old, her father died.  The 1910 census shows Widow Ida living with her family in Altenburg, with her three youngest children, one being Paula.

Let’s move on to Paula’s future husband.  His name was Wilhelm Arnold Frentzel, and he was born and raised in Uniontown.  His parents were Arno and Louise (Brandes) Frentzel.  Here is William’s World War I draft registration.


William describes himself as having his own garage and livery business in Uniontown.  I admit to chuckling when I read his response to whether he had any exemptions.  He said, “cannot leave business no drafting”.  I just had to look to see if he had a military record.  He did.

William Frentzel military record

He did serve overseas toward the tail end of World War I.

I began to wonder how a Uniontown man could end up courting an Altenburg girl.  Well, first of all, Paula’s mother apparently took on a new job sometime before 1920, because in that year’s census she is shown in the Wittenberg census, and her occupation was that of a hotel manager.  Here is that census record:

William Frentzel 1920 census

I will enlarge this a bit.

Frentzel 1920 census enlarged

And there we see three Frentzel brothers staying at Ida’s hotel in Wittenberg.  All the boarders at that hotel are shown as working at the swing factory.  This is the factory that was highlighted in the post, Frogtown Furniture.  On October 9, 1921, William and Paula were married at the relatively new St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg.  Here is a photo of that “Roaring Twenties” wedding party.

Frentzel Buenger wedding
William Frentzel and Paula Buenger wedding

The church record says that the following people were witnesses at this wedding: Elda Buenger, Clotilda Gemeinhardt, Lillian Brandes, Clara Grebing, Leo Frentzel, Herbert Moeckel, Louis Frentzel & Oscar Brandes.  There is also a note that says, “This record was made on 6 Oct 1951 by information received from Mrs John Lauer, daughter of Mr & Mrs Wm Frentzel and the Rev A Vogel of Altenburg MO who officiated at the marriage, substituting for the Rev Bartz.”  The flower girl was Verna (Hemmann) Romberg.  She was Paula’s niece.

The swing factory closed in the mid-twenties, so William had to look for different work.  He found it in the railroad that came through Wittenberg.  The 1930 census shows him as a “section man” for the railroad.  Gerard Fiehler says that William retired from the railroad.  Somewhere along the line, William and Paula moved back to Altenburg.  This house is described as the old Frentzel place.


This house is on property that is listed as belonging to Ida Buenger (Mrs. F. Buegner)  in this 1915 atlas showing the town of Altenburg.

Mrs. Buenger land Altenburg 1915

There was also another piece of property owned by Ida Buenger just north of Altenburg on the same road as Trinity Lutheran Church in town.

Ida Buenger land 1915

This is land that her husband, Friedrich, probably farmed while he was still alive.

William and Paula had three children.  The middle child, Alice, lived less than one year.  The other two were Arlene and Oliver.  I think this photo includes Arlene and Alice.  The baby is wearing what looks like a baptismal gown.

Paula Frentzel Fiehler Garage X

Here is a later picture of William and Paula along with their two living children, Arlene and Oliver.  This house was located in what was called the “Mueller Addition” in Wittenberg near their new brick church.

Frentzel home X

Next is a later photo of William and Paula, once again in front of their Wittenberg home.

William and Paula Frentzel

One more photo shows Paula in 1969, with her holding a doily she made for the 1919 Fair in Altenburg.  That was the first year of the Fair.

Paula Frentzel

We have a few descendents around here who claim an ancestral connection to the Buenger family, but the Buenger name can no longer be found.  Unless one of them returns in the future.





2 thoughts on “One of the Last Perry County Buengers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s