Market Mates

June 24th was the birthday of Max Rauh.  His given name was Martin Friedrich Rauh and he was born in 1906.  His parents were Ernst and Emma (Wirth) Rauh.  Early in his life, Max was a member of Peace Lutheran in Friedenberg where his parents had been married.  Somewhere along the line, Martin started carrying the nickname “Max”.

When Max was just three years old, his father died.  The Friedenberg records say that he was killed by a falling tree.  His mother, Emma, would get married again.  Her second husband was Erwin Zoellner, so Max was mostly raised in the house of his stepfather.  They lived in Altenburg, so this is how the name, Rauh, which is normally a name you find on The Ridge and in Friedenberg, entered into the Trinity Lutheran, Altenburg church books. Max Rauh and the rather well-known Obbie Zoellner were step-brothers.

In 1930, Max married Lorna Lohmann.  Lorna was the daughter of Rudolph and Anna (Versemann) Lohmann of Altenburg.  Rudy worked in the hardware store all his career.  Here is a photo of these Lohmanns.

Rudy Lohmann and Anna

Lorna was born on February 15, 1910 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran.  When Max married Lorna, Rev. Adolf Vogel performed the marriage ceremony for Max and Lorna.  Here is their marriage license.

Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002

Max and Lorna had two children.  For a short time, the Rauhs lived in Granite City, Illinois (across the river from St. Louis) where Max worked at a Roller Mill.  This is a 1935 record from the Granite City directory.

Martin Rauh Granite City city directory

In 1938, Max began working for the Fischer Store in Altenburg.  He spent the rest of his life as an employee there.  It was while Max was working at that store that George Fischer decided to construct a new building.  Here is a photo showing the old Fischer Store next to a portion of the new store where it was built in 1952.

old&modern Fischer store

Lorna would begin working in the Fischer Store in 1947, so she was also an employee when this transition was taking place.  Here is a photo that shows both Max and Lorna inside the new store.

Fischers 1952 store inside

Lorna is standing behind George Fischer on the left.  Max is standing in front on the right.  The other man behind Max is Glenn Hughey.

Max died from cancer in 1976 at the age of 70.  That same year, George Fischer lost his wife, Adele.  In 1978, George and Lorna were married.  It is interesting to see that in the above photo that George and Lorna are standing next to each other well before they became man and wife.  The fact that Lorna married two men who worked at the market in Altenburg is the reason I titled this post, “Market Mates”.  Because of the store’s size, I stop short of calling it a supermarket.

Lorna died in 1996.  Both Max and Lorna are buried in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.  Here are their gravestones.

Lorna’s gravestone shows both her married names….Rauh and Fischer.

One of our precious docents, Dolores (Rauh) Schmidt is a daughter of Max and Lorna.  She and her husband, Delbert, have been longtime supporters of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society and the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum.  Here we see this loving couple working as docents at the museum recently.


One thought on “Market Mates

  1. Remember the store being built, it was certainly a “big deal”. I grew up next door and was 8yrs old. Also remember the big old house sitting right next to the old store. Who lived there? Any pictures?


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