Dealer and Healer in Downtown Altenburg

In 1895, a publication called A Modern Eden included this advertisement for the Neubeck Store in Altenburg.

Neubeck AD

Today I tell the story of George Neubeck who was born on April 29, 1836 in Bavaria and is now buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

According to his biography in Goodspeed’s History of Southeast Missouri, George Neubeck came to America when he was seventeen years old.  That would have been around 1853. In 1862, we find this military record for George in St. Louis.

George Neubeck military record

From what I could find out, this 24th Regiment at the St. Louis Arsenal was not called into action, but this document does show that George is now in America.  In 1864, we still find George in St. Louis as a furniture dealer.

George Neubeck St. Louis city directory 1864

Goodspeed also records that Georg became an apprentice cabinetmaker after arriving in the United States.  Eventually, he would sell his own wares in St. Louis.  Then in 1868, he moved his goods to start a store in the town of Birmingham in southern Perry County, Missouri.  Here is a map that shows the Birmingham location in relation to other nearby sites.


At about that time, land speculators were thinking that there was going to be quite a bustling town there because of the discovery of some iron ore nearby.  That prospect never was realized, and it was in 1869 that George Neubeck got married and moved his store to Altenburg.  He was married to Johanna Kross by a Justice of the Peace in St. Louis on June 1, 1869.  This marriage record was later noted in the Trinity, Altenburg church books.  Here is the marriage license for George and Johanna.

Neubeck Kross marriage record

We have this terrific photograph which was taken at the time when the Neubeck Store in Altenburg was in business.  It shows what we might refer to as downtown Altenburg.

Neubeck store looking west

The Neubeck Store is the first building on the right.  Behind it is the building that now houses the Mississippi Mud Saloon (which sadly is closed these days).  If you come to Altenburg today, you would see the Old Bank of Altenburg (Now the Old Bank Coffee Shop) in front of the Neubeck Store in the foreground (next to the pole).  Mueller’s Hardware Store is across the street.  Not far down the street on the left is the Fischer Cheap Store.  I love seeing the horses and wagons along the street and a man casually walking down the middle of the road.

The Neubeck family consisted of five girls who were born in the 1870’s and early 1880’s.  The first two were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Sometime around 1875, this family must have transferred to Trinity Lutheran Church because the rest of the children were baptized there.

Just quick side note:  The Gieseke shoes mentioned in the ad above would be the company which began producing Red Goose Shoes which became quite popular early in the twentieth century.  That company was bought out by the International Shoe Company in St. Louis.  I have run across several people with Perry County roots that spent some time working at that shoe factory in St. Louis.

George died at the end of June in 1898; Johanna died one month later at the end of July.  They are both buried in the Trinity Cemetery.

One of the Neubeck girls married a man who also had a big impact on the history of Altenburg.  Louisa Neubeck married Theodore Friedrich Estel in 1902.  Here is a photo of Louisa.

Louisa (Neubeck) Estel

Theodore was a doctor in the town of Altenburg for several years.  He operated his practice out of the building which had been the Neubeck Store.  Dr. and Louisa Estel lived in a home right behind the old Neubeck Store.  Here is a photo of that home.  It is the one farthest away.

Fiehler Bank

Here is a 1915 property map which shows this area of town.

Neubeck Estel map

Right behind the old Neubeck Store, you can see property which belongs to T.F. Estel.  Next door is the property of E. Poppitz, who was a main character in yesterday’s blog.  Both Dr. Estel and Ernst Poppitz didn’t have far to go to get to the doctor’s office and the bank.  I took a photo of the Estel house yesterday.  Here is what it looks like today.  It is the house in the back which is considerably overgrown.


Another note of interest.  One of the other Neubeck girls, Concordia, married Martin Fischer.  Martin was the brother of Edward Fischer who ran the Fischer Cheap Store not far down Main Street.  It wasn’t long after that marriage and the death of George that we find the Neubeck Store no longer in business.

However, over the years, that Neubeck building housed both a dealer and a healer.


3 thoughts on “Dealer and Healer in Downtown Altenburg

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