Buck Butter Business

April twentieth was the wedding day for two young Altenburgers who lived not far from each other along Main Street on the east side of town.  It was a Sunday in 1913 when Ferdinand Buck was united in marriage with Alma Seibel at Trinity Lutheran Church.  Here is their Missouri marriage license.

Buck Seibel marriage license
Buck/Seibel marriage license

The license says the marriage was conducted by Rev. Wenger from Frohna, but he was also serving as an interim pastor at Trinity in Altenburg.  The marriage record is found in the Trinity church books.

Alma was the daughter of Gotthold and Louisa (Koestering) Seibel.  A post was written about the marriage between Alma’s parents titled, Your Pastor for a Father-in-Law.  Also, another post was written that showed the Seibel house which was located just across the street from the Koestering Store which was discussed yesterday.  That blog post was titled, Koestering Store.  Here is a photo that was included in that post which shows the Seibel house across the road from the store.  Alma’s parents are also in this photo.  Since the photo was taken sometime around 1927, we know that by that time, Alma was already married and living down the street with her husband.

Koestering store Gotthold Seibel

If you are interested in seeing what this house looks like today, there is a photo of it in the Koestering Store post.  The Louisa Mueller in yesterday’s story was a cousin to Alma in this story.  That would also make Gotthold and Louisa her uncle and aunt.

Ferdinand Buck was the son of Gottlieb and Pauline (Oehlert) Buck.  Ferdinand was actually a twin.  The twins were born on Reformation Day in 1887, but Ferdinand’s twin brother, Julius Leo, lived just a matter of months.  On this 1915 map, you will see both G. Buck and F. Buck owning property in the east end of Altenburg.

Buck Altenburg map

The blue arrows point to Buck property.  The green arrow points to the Koestering Store.  The red arrow shows the location of the creamery which we will talk about shortly.  It appears to me that Gottlieb Buck gave some of his property to his son Ferdinand for his home.  Here is a photo showing Ferdinand Buck at an early age.  I guess you could this an “young buck”.

Ferd Buck 16

Here is another photo that has been shown in this blog on several occasions.  In it you will see Ferdinand Buck’s house on Main Street.


You can also see Alma’s brother’s house.  His name was Martin Seibel.

Let’s talk about the creamery.  Around 1892, there was considerable discussion among several residents of Altenburg that they should start up a creamery.  It was decided that it was going to be a group effort.  A number of people invested in this company by buying shares in it.  Some of the prominent movers of this effort were Gotthold Seibel, William Drumtra, Anton Mueller, Gottwerth Schmidt (who happens to be my great grandpa), Gabriel Lottes, and Dr. E.E. Buenger.  If you look at the minutes of the creamery company (which we have in our museum), you will see these gentlemen holding several of the elected positions.  In 1892, the Altenburg Creamery opened for business.  In the map above, you can see that the creamery was located just down the street from the church, where the fairgrounds are now.

Here is a photo of their first building.  The cost for this building was $3000.

Creamery Palisch

Gottlob Grebing was the first butter maker at the creamery.  They could handle 400 gallons of whole milk at a time.  One thing I found interesting is that after the cream was separated, the skim milk was useful in feeding pigs, so the creamery also raised hogs, which brought in some more income.

Gottlob Grebing resigned as butter maker in 1898.  The next butter maker was Martin Eggers.  It was while Martin was in charge that the creamery burned.  As the story goes, Martin had been at the hog pens and was returning when he saw the building was on fire.  Some men managed to save some of the equipment, some milk, and even some ice, but the building was lost.  The shareholders met and decided to rebuild.  They basically built the same building on the same foundation.

After Martin Eggers left, Ferdinand Buck became the next butter maker in 1908, five years before he got married.  Ferdinand Buck also owned more shares in the business than anyone else.  In 1917, Ferd bought out all the other shareholders and became the sole owner of the creamery.  This photo of a fan advertising the creamery indicates his ownership.


It was also around 1917 when Ferdinand registered for the World War I draft.  This form also indicates that he is a butter maker and lists himself as his employer.  He was not drafted.


Ferdinand Buck operated the creamery until 1952 when he contracted colon cancer.  Here is another photo showing some of the butter products sold by the creamery.

butter display Altenburg creamery

Here is a photo of the second creamery building after it closed and began to fall into disrepair.

Buck creamery

Ferd and Alma had two children, Edgar and Mildred.  Here is a Buck family photo.

Ferd Buck family

Ferdinand died in 1957; Alma in 1975.  They are both buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, within sight of their previous home.

One more picture……one which shows Ferd in a more “play”ful act.  Ferd is on the left.

Buck Kuehnert Lohmann play



2 thoughts on “Buck Butter Business

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