Doc Leo from Longtown

On April 5, 1891, Ernst and Gertrude (Hacker) Obendorfer were blessed with another boy.  His name was Leo Michael Oberndorfer.  The records of Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown, Missouri indicate that Leo was born in Longtown but baptized at the Friedenberg church.  He was confirmed at Zion in 1904.  Zion began as a congregation in 1897.  Here is a photo taken of Zion in 1912.

Zion Longtown 1912
Zion Lutheran Church – Longtown, MO  1912

While Leo was growing up in Longtown, his parents were operating a general store there.  Here is a photo of that store, but I do not think Leo is in the picture.

Oberndorfer store

In 1913, Leo was graduating from St. Louis University with a degree in dentistry.  Here is his senior photo.

Leo Oberndorfer
Dr. Leo Oberndorfer

Leo returned to his hometown community to conduct his dental practice.  Then World War I took place.  Here is Leo’s draft registration for that war.



Leo did serve during World War I and spent time overseas.  Here is his World War I military record.

Leo Oberndorfer military record
Leo Oberndorfer military record – WWI

The 1920 census shows Leo back in Longtown living with his parents and a few siblings and serving as a dentist.  I do not know where he operated his dentist’s practice in Longtown.

Leo Oberndorfer 1920 census
1920 census – Longtown, MO

Leo never got married.  The 1930 census shows him still living with his parents and siblings in Longtown.  Like the previous census, Leo is called Lonnie.

Leo Oberndorfer 1930 census
1930 census – Longtown, MO

In this census, we also see Leo’s younger brother, Eugene, with an occupation listed as “Agent-Radio”.  Although I do not know what that really means, it is the case that the 1930’s were called the Golden Age of Radio.  It was a time period when people would gather around their radios to listen to such classic shows as The Shadow and comedians such as Jack Benny.

Leo’s parents both died in the 1930’s, and in the 1940 census, Leo is living with two other brothers and a sister.

Oberndorfer 1940 census
1940 census – Longtown, MO

This is not a type of census entry you see very often.  All four of these siblings are single well into their 40’s, and in Ben’s case, well into his 50’s.  You cannot see it in this image, but Leo is the only one in this household who has an occupation shown.  The others are blank.

Leo died on Veterans Day in 1966 and is buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Longtown.

Leo Oberndorfer gravestone

Altenburg had its Doc Lottes.  Longtown had its Doc Leo.  Both were in practice at approximately the same time.  One has to think that they were acquaintances…..possibly good friends.  However, dentists like Doc Oberndorfer and Doc Lottes were not usually folks that other people wanted to visit.


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