A Plethora of Poppitzes

We start with a wedding today, but as is often the case, that leads to other places.  On May 8, 1904, Otto Immanuel Mueller married Marie Magdalena Poppitz.  Otto was a member at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, and Mary was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Around here, we jokingly refer to that as a mixed marriage.  And as is usually the case, even today, a wedding was controlled by the bride, and this ceremony took place in Mary’s church in Altenburg.  However, this family would then become members of the church in Frohna for the rest of their lives.

We do have a photo of Mary, but not of Otto.

Mary Poppitz Mueller
Marie Magdalena (Poppitz) Mueller

In a previous post, we also displayed a photo of Mary’s family from Seelitz, where she grew up.  Mary is the middle girl in the back row.  She was the oldest child in that family.

Carl and Ernestine (Oehlert) Poppitz family

Otto was the son of Joseph and Anna (Petzoldt) Mueller of Frohna.  The Mueller couple was living on a farm north of Frohna in 1915, as we see on this map.

Martin Poppitz land map

Their land was adjacent to the Martin Poppitz property.  Martin and Mary were what we might call half-cousins.  They had the same grandfather, but different grandmothers.

The Muellers had four children.  We see them in this adorable photograph.

Otto Mueller children
Otto and Mary Mueller children

Lydia and Joseph are standing in the back.  Paul and Hulda are in front.  Paul went on to become a pastor.

Now, I move on to the main reason I am writing this story.  We have two photos which were taken at a Poppitz Reunion which took place at the Young People’s Society building (now the Senior Center at the fairgrounds) in Altenburg in either 1960 or 1961.  These photos are included in the Altenburg book which was produced by Mary (Mueller) Dillon.  Some of the people are identified in the photos, but certainly not all of them.  I am hoping that by posting these two photos today, we at the museum may be able to label more people.  One of the photos is described as showing the men who were at the Poppitz Reunion.

men Poppitz reunion

One little girl is being held in the back row.  Otto Mueller would not have been in this photo because he died in 1948.  Ernst Poppitz, who was discussed in a post not long ago, is seated at the far left.  Do you think the reunion was held on a Sunday after church, or was it customary for men to wear ties to a family reunion in those days?

The other photo is described as showing the women, although there are a few men in the picture.

women Poppitz reunion

Mary Mueller is in the row of seated women on the far left.

Just a few observations:

  • I may get into trouble for writing this, but it looks like the men were a lot more focused on getting their photo taken than the women.  I can just imagine the photographer getting frustrated and finally deciding that he/she wasn’t going to get all those women to stop talking, so the button was pushed to take the picture.
  • Almost all of the little children showed up in the women’s photo.  I am not surprised by this.
  • All of the women who are not looking at the camera are looking off the right side of the photo.  Maybe some noise, distraction, or funny comment was made over there right before the photo was taken.

What is incredible is the fact that despite all of these Poppitzes in these photos from the 1960’s, neither Gerard Fiehler or I can name anyone living in East Perry County who has the surname Poppitz anymore.

We urge you to comment either here on the website or on our Facebook page where this blog post also shows up and inform us if you know any of the people in these photos.


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