When I was a boy, I vaguely remember a trip my family made to West Point, Nebraska. We rarely went on trips, so maybe that is why I remember it. I know we stayed with some people there that my parents knew. I even remember that my Uncle Rudy’s family also made that trip. Each family traveled in their own car. However, I do not know who it was that we visited. I suspect they were people who had their roots in Perry County. I do know now that West Point is in Cuming County, Nebraska, and I know that in recent months, I have run across several Perry County connections to this county. Today’s story is about some of those connections to the Feiste family from Farrar. I will attempt to tell this story even though I am sure there are several people around here who know more about this family than I do. I will rely entirely upon documentation that I have been able to find.
We start today with the marriage of Ernst Max Feiste on April 23, 1922 at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri. His bride was Hedwig Koenig. Max was the third son of Otto and Hulda (Junge) Feiste. According to our German Family Tree, the Feistes had 13 children. Not all of them lived very long. In this 1915 map of Perry County land ownership, we see where the Feiste land was located.
Their land is indicated by the red arrows. My impression is that their land is not that expansive, and the fact that several of the Feiste sons moved away from Perry County may have been due to the fact that there would not be enough land or work for them.
Otto and Hulda Feiste immigrated to America sometime around 1891. Their first son was born in Germany in 1889. Their second son was born in 1891 and baptized in Longtown. Max was born in 1894 and baptized in Uniontown. Their sixth child and all subsequent children were baptized in Farrar.
What fascinates me about this Feiste family is how many of them spent at least a small part of their lives in the vicinity of Cuming County, Nebraska. Here are four World War I draft registration forms for the four oldest sons in this family in order from oldest to youngest.
The three oldest sons (William, Paul, and Max) filled out forms on the the same day, June 5, 1917. They registered in Wisner, Nebraska, which is located in Cuming County. The identification numbers on these documents are even consecutive numbers. Also, even though he registered for this draft in Perry County, the youngest of these brothers, Karl, said that he was employed in Wisner, Nebraska. Three of the four show that they were employed at the George Luther farm.
I found evidence that at least three of these boys were inducted and served some time in the military during World War I. I only could find one document that showed that Paul actually went overseas toward the end of the war.
After the war, William returned to Farrar to get married to Edna Krauss. They were married at Friedenberg. William and Edna are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
Paul Feiste must have returned to Nebraska some time after the war. In 1930, the census shows him living in Washington County, Nebraska and married to a woman named Dora. They are both buried in Hooper, Nebraska. These places are all not far from each other in the northeast part of the state.
Max returned to Wisner, Nebraska after the war and is once again shown as a farm hand on the George Luther farm. He then moved back to Farrar and married Hedwig Koenig at Salem Lutheran Church on this date in 1922. He and Hedwig are buried in Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
Karl returned to Perry County after the war and married Lydia Petzoldt on April 21, 1924. Karl and Lydia are both buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.
To add to all these connections to Nebraska, we must also mention the youngest son, Walter Feiste. His obituary notes that he died in a hospital in Wayne, Nebraska. The obituary says that Walter ran a butcher shop in Rosalie, Nebraska.
I wish I had some photos of these men and their families, but I do not. I must also mention that I know there were several brothers from a Weber family in Perry County who made their way out to Cuming County also. That is another story which is starting to come together and is likely to show up on a blog one of these days.