Telle’s Deli

Sometimes I assume people will know how to pronounce Perry County names, and as a result, they do not understand some of my terrible plays on words.  Today, I want to make sure that people know that the name Telle rhymes with jelly.  That way, you understand the title.

This weekend, the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum got a visit from Jim and Gene Telle.  They were from the states of Arizona and Illinois.  These two are descendants of the original Telle to come to Perry County, Caspar Telle.  Caspar’s marriage to Eva Hemmann was told by Clayton Erdmann in his post titled, Two Huge Families Unite.  Today, I will tell the story of a few other descendants from this family.

I decided to research this story after I discovered that Adolph Walter Telle was born on this day, August 8, 1895, in St. Louis, Missouri.  Walter was the son of Martin Gotthilf and Bertha (Landl) Telle.  And Martin Gotthilf was the fourth child of Caspar and Eva Telle of Uniontown, Missouri.  The only record we find in our German Family Tree is the record of his birth and baptism at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.

Martin Gotthilf married Theresa Gerharter of New Wells, but we only find the record of her confirmation in the Immanuel Lutheran Church books there.  We do not find the marriage record of these two in Perry County.  On, there is a story which says these two were married on December 6, 1885 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Louis.  This couple had four children before Theresa’s death in 1890, one day after her 26th birthday.  Then on July 10, 1894, Martin Gotthilf married Bertha Landl at the same church.  Walter was the first of three children to Martin Gotthilf and Bertha.  Here are three photos of Bertha, who also happened to be born, baptized, and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran in New Wells.


I cannot resist talking a little more about Martin Gotthilf before discussing today’s birthday boy.  I have a sneaking suspicion that he went by Gotthilf Martin because he ran the G.M. Telle Delicatessen in St. Louis.  Personally, I would have called it Telle’s Deli.  This Deli was located in the Union Market in downtown St. Louis.  The building where this market was located is a designated historic landmark and now houses a Drury Inn.

Union Market building
Union Market – St. Louis, MO

It occupies an entire city block adjacent to the Edward Jones Dome.  In a way, you might call it an early mall.  I like to imagine it as being surrounded by horses and buggies.

Here are a few photos of the man who ran the delicatessen in this building, G.M. Telle.  One shows a young man; the other one shows him later in life.


Both Martin Gotthilf and Bertha are buried in the Western Cemetery in St. Louis.  That cemetery was at one time the one associated with Immanuel Lutheran Church.  That church was once located near where the Edward Jones Dome is, but it was later relocated on the property where the Western Cemetery is located a little west of the original church.  Another famous Perry County character is buried there, Rev. J.F. Buenger.  He was the first pastor of Immanuel.

Now on to Walter.  He was married twice.  His first wife was Bertha Woerther (that sounds like a rhyming name too).  They were married at St. Peter’s Church in Columbia Bottoms in 1915.  That area is now called Spanish Lake north of St. Louis.  They had one child before Bertha died in 1920.  Then in 1924, Walter married Elizabeth Mueller at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood.  This couple had two children.

I guess you could give Walter the title, Telle the Timekeeper.  The 1940 census shows Walter as working as a timekeeper for a packing house.  I believe he was some sort of clerk or bookkeeper.  In other documents we see that he worked at the St. Louis Independent Packing Company or Krey Packing Company.  I believe those were probably two names of the same business over the years.  Krey Packing Company was located right next to Hyde Park in an area north of downtown St. Louis.

Krey Packing Company St. Louis

It was a meat packing company and for a while in its history was even in the business of slaughtering hogs.  This company had the reputation for providing that neighborhood with some pretty awful aromas.  Here we see an old Krey lard bucket that came from this plant.

Krey lard bucket

Walter died in 1960 and is buried in the New Bethlehem Cemetery in St. Louis.  His first wife, Bertha, is also buried there.  Later in her life, Elizabeth went to live in California to be near where her two children lived.  She died in 1994 and is buried in Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego, California.

I am occasionally amazed when one of the blogs I write correspond with a visit by a person associated with that post at about the time the post is published.  There have been occasions when someone has visited our museum right after a story was written about their family.  Or, as is the case today, a story line about a personality just seems to appear right after a visit by someone in that family.  I am one who believes that these situations develop by divine guidance.



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