A Flock of Female Frentzels

We will focus on another wedding anniversary today.  On May 15, 1883, Victor Frentzel married Pauline Telle at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.  After getting married, this couple had six straight daughters before they had their first son.  All in all, Pauline gave birth to eleven children, eight of them girls.

One unusual thing about this post is that I found pictures of all four of the parents involved in this wedding, but I found no photos of the wedding couple or their children.  I am guessing that one of our guest bloggers, Clayton Erdmann, who is an expert on some of the family names in this post, would have some of these photos.  I just don’t have the courage to ask a teacher who is the throes of his last days of school to add an extra task to his countless end-of-the-school-year duties.

Victor was the son of Carl and Emilie (Hopfer) Frentzel.  Both Carl and Emilie were original immigrants, coming to America as part of the Gruber Group aboard the Johann Georg.  When Carl arrived, he was described as a weaver.  In the 1870 census, he is shown as a retired dry goods merchant.  Emilie was the subject of a post done quite a while ago titled, Which of the Original Immigrants Was the Last to Die?  We still recognize Emilie as the original immigrant who outlived all the others.

Here is a picture of Emilie.

Emilie Hopfer
Emilie Hopfer Frentzel

We also have this picture of Carl.

Carl Frentzel
Carl Frentzel


I have seen a few of the type of picture in which you see Carl, and I have always wondered how such a picture was made.  I did some looking, and this is called a charcoal portrait.  I ran across this explanation of how they were produced.

“The most common late 1800s ‘charcoal portrait’ photograph started with a very underdeveloped albumen photographic print. The photographer highly embellished the print with charcoal or chalk and either left that as the finished product or rephotographed it and made a second, finished print. If the image is all sepia, it’s probably the rephotographed kind. If it has colors, it’s the first kind. They were commonly framed in an oval frame, often with the bubble or concave glass. I’ve seen charcoal portraits in other shaped frames. In the early 1900s, there were similar style photos, except from gelatin silver prints instead of albumen prints. Again the early 1900s often have the oval frames with bubble glass. My family has 1880s oval framed charcoal portraits of my great-great grand parents (all sepia, meaning it’s a photograph of the charcoal print), and I’m sure quite a few families have charcoal portraits.”

Pauline Telle was the daughter of Herman and Eva (Hemmann) Telle.  Eva was one of the original immigrants who was also in the Gruber Group.  Caspar immigrated to the United States in 1849.  Clayton Erdmann wrote a post on this blog about this couple titled, Two Huge Families Unite.  Here are photos of the two parents of the bride.


Victor was a carpenter and farmer by trade.  He owned land in the Uniontown area.  Here is a land ownership map of Uniontown from 1915.

Uniontown land map 1915

There are several Frentzels on this map, along with some Hopfers and Telles.  Even Emilie Frentzel is on here, although her name is spelled Amelia.  She was a widow by this time.

Victor died on July 20, 1934.  The cause of his death is not one that you see often on a death certificate…..sunstroke.  It is certainly not hard to believe that a Perry County summer day can cause sunstroke, and it can lead to death, especially for someone who was 73 years old.  Here is his death certificate.

Victor Frentzel death certificate
Victor Frentzel death certificate

Pauline died on July 3, 1946.  Her cause of death is also somewhat unusual.  It was said to be caused by gangrene of the right foot.  Diabetes is also listed as a cause.  Here is her death certificate.

Pauline Frentzel death certificate
Pauline Frentzel death certificate

Pauline died in the St. Louis area.  Her youngest son, Edgar, was the informant.

I probably should not admit this, but Victor’s last will and testament made me laugh.  There is one sentence in this will that caused this reaction.   It came after several provisions for Victor’s son, Herbert, to find the value of his carpenter’s tools, buy them, and distribute that money to the rest of his siblings.  Herbert was the executor.

Victor Frentzel will

If you have trouble reading this, it says, “It is my will that after my son Herbert has received the real-estate he shall not dispose of same to a Catholic.”

Around here, we often point out that there was once a time that Highway 61, which runs right through Uniontown, was the dividing line between the German Lutherans and the German Catholics.  The Lutherans lived mostly on the east side of Highway 61, and the Catholics on the west.  This sentence in Victor’s will illustrates the sometimes combative relationship between these two groups.

The marriage between Victor and Pauline was another one of those weddings that brought together many common Uniontown names.  It didn’t just happen there.  I think there have already been several stories of similar events happening in Frohna, Altenburg, Wittenberg, Seelitz, and The Ridge.  Neighbors married neighbors.




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