Every day that I write one of these blog posts, I learn something new. It is one of the really enjoyable things about doing this. After writing over 500 of these articles, I also can now make some generalizations about what I have discovered. Today’s story is an illustration of a story that has a theme which has been repeated by people that have their beginnings in our German Family Tree. This theme is the one where a person who was born and raised in Perry County ends up moving to the big city (usually St. Louis) to find employment, and then ends up also finding a spouse while there.
Walter Johann Charles Sandler was born on July 2, 1892 in Perryvillle, Missouri. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in that town by Rev. Griebel. Here is an image of a portion of a Perry County birth record for Walter.
Some of you may remember a story about a Sandler family that was written a while back titled, Watching So Many Children Die. In that story, it was said that Immaunel Lutheran Church had its early beginnings meeting for worship in a “Sandler house”. That was the house of John Michael and Caroline (Lang) Sandler. Despite that family losing several children, one of them that survived was Peter Sandler, who became a blacksmith in Perryville. He married Margaretta Boxdorfer in 1878. Here are photos of Peter and Margaretta.
It was to this couple that their their sixth child, Walter, was born. I assume that when Walter was young that he attended Immanuel Lutheran School in Perryville.
Apparently when he became old enough, Walter must have studied to become a pharmacist. Although I do not know at which school he attended to study pharmacy, it may well have been one in St. Louis. In the 1910 census, we find Walter living in St. Louis as a 17 year old drug clerk. It is possible that he may have been an apprentice learning that trade at that time working for another pharmacist. His later obituary says that early on he worked in an Enderle chain of drug stores.
In 1914, Walter married Elizabeth Stephan, a native of St. Louis. Here is a relatively early photo of Walter and Elizabeth.
In 1917, Walter registered for the World War I draft, but it does not appear that he ended up serving in the military. Here is that form.
In 1919, this couple had what appears to be their only child, Betty Jane Sandler. Here is a photo of Walter, Elizabeth, and a very young Betty Jane.
Walter would later own his own drug store which was located on the corner of Wyoming Street and Gustine Avenue in St. Louis. He operated that store for 14 years. He then moved to a drug store located at 4201 Lindell Boulevard where he conducted business until he died in 1951.
Walter must have gone to a hospital for some sort of operation. His death certificate indicates he was having some sort of obstruction in his digestive system.
His obituary states that he died following that operation.
Elizabeth died in 1961. They are buried together in Oak Hill Cemetery in Kirkwood, Missouri.
Even though Walter spent most of his life in St. Louis, I am guessing he never forgot his Perry County roots. The above photo which shows Walter, Elizabeth, and Betty Jane does not look like it was taken in St. Louis. That photo, along with several others that I found, look like they could very well have been taken in Perry County somewhere. Here is another of those photos.
I don’t know for sure who the others are in the picture, but the background looks like Perry County to me. One more photo.
This one is said to be Elizabeth (on left) with other Sandler women. And again, it looks like Perry County, and it was probably taken the same day as the previous one.
My father was another one who had Perry County roots, but went on to St. Louis to find a job and a wife. He never forgot Perry County. Our family often came here to visit his family and friends. It is largely because of those visits, and my love for them, that I have now retired and live here in Altenburg.