Estel in a China Shop

One of the reasons I decided to write today’s story is because I found a baptism record for today’s character from the church where this event took place in Germany.  Here is an image of that record.

Johannes Martin Estel baptism record Dresden Germany
Johannes Martin Estel – baptism record – Dresden, Germany

I find this kind of record fascinating.  The handwriting is beautiful, despite the fact that there is very little that I can decipher.  This record indicates that Johannes Martin Estel was born on July 27, 1828 in the city of Dresden in Germany.  It is somewhat likely that the congregation where this baptism occurred was that of Rev. Martin Stephan, the leader of the immigration in 1838-1839.  John Martin’s parents were Andreas and Carolina (Anders) Estel.  Here is a picture of the mother, Carolina.

Carolina Andreas Estel
Carolina Anders Estel

In 1839, the Estel family arrived in New Orleans aboard the Olbers.  Here is a list of the family in the passenger list for that ship when it arrived in January of 1839.

Estel family passenger list Olbers
Andreas Estel family – passenger list – Olbers

John Martin is in this list as a 10 year old child.  After this family came to America, they settled in Perry County, Missouri.  John was confirmed as part of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg in 1842.  Eight years after being confirmed, we find John getting married in St. Louis at Old Trinity Lutheran Church.  His bride was Carolina Vetter.  Here is their St. Louis marriage record.

Estel Vetter marriage record St. Louis
Estel/Vetter marriage record – St. Louis, MO

If you look closely, you can see that it was Rev. C.F.W. Walther that performed the ceremony.

In the 1860 census, it says that John was operating a china store in St. Louis.

John Martin Estel 1860 census St. Louis
1860 census – St. Louis, MO

Over the years, it seems that John was a salesman for several such shops in the St. Louis area.  For a while he was involved operating such a china shop with a man by the name of Heineke.  This map shows the location of that shop at 216 S. Broadway.  (216 S. Broadway does not exist as an address today, but I was able to use 300 S. Broadway)

Estel china shop location Broadway St. Louis

You can see that it located very near the present sites of Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch.  One building seen in this map is the Old Courthouse, which was the site of the famous Dred Scott case which took place in 1847.

John Martin Estel St. Louis directory 1

The above listing says that Heineke & Estel were involved in the sales of china, glass, and queensware.  Our museum director, Carla Jordan, has a piece of Wedgewood Queensware.  Here is a photo of it.


In another city directory of St. Louis, it says John Estel traveled on behalf of E.F.W. Meier’s business.  I find it interesting that in an 1876 map of the St. Louis area, you can find the home of E.F.W. Meier right across the street from Holy Cross Lutheran Church and very near where Concordia Seminary was first located in St. Louis.

Holy Cross Concordia Seminary neighborhood 1876 map

His home has a little #6 on its roof.  Concordia Seminary is in the front left of this picture and has a little #3 on the roof.  There are several records in the E.F.W. Meier family to be found in the Holy Cross Lutheran Church books.

When a draft was required toward the end of the Civil War, we find John Martin Estel on a draft list.

John Martin Estel Civil War draft form

He described himself as a merchant.

Caroline died in 1904.  John died three years later in 1907.  Here is a portion of John Martin’s St. Louis death record.

John Martin Estel death record St. Louis 1

It shows his residence as 1013 Rutger Ave.  That location is not far from Old Trinity Lutheran Church in Soulard.  It is in the Old Trinity records that we find information about John Martin Estel.  The other portion of this death record contains some interesting information.

John Martin Estel death record St. Louis 2

Cancer of the stomach was the cause of death.  The doctor who is listed is G.S. Schuricht, who happened to be married to Carolina Estel, his oldest daughter, making Dr. Schuricht his son-in-law.  Dr. Schuricht was also named the executor in John’s last will and testament.  We have posted several articles about people in the Schuricht family, and a future post may have to be written about this doctor, who also just so happened to be married to a cousin of the Dr. Estel who served the Altenburg area during his lifetime.

You can also see the name Haenschen as the undertaker on this form.  A post titled, Undertaking a Furniture Business, told the story of this undertaker in St. Louis.  The Estels, the Schurichts, and the Haenschens were all members of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Here is a photo of John and Caroline’s gravestone in Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis.

John Martin Estel gravestone

The Estel family’s tentacles stretched out in Perry County, St. Louis, and Jacob, Illinois.  It seems like any time I decide to do a story on an Estel, it always turns out to be very interesting tale.




One thought on “Estel in a China Shop

  1. I am a descendant of the Estel family. My great great grandfather Ernst Holm, on my mother’s side, married Clara Estel, one of John and Caroline’s daughters. Bruno Holm and Ernst Holm, father and son, were both Lutheran ministers, as well as my grandfather Walter Holm, and his brother Roy Holm. This was incredible for me to read and I thank you so much for researching and sharing this!


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