One of our museum’s most faithful out-of-town visitors is affectionately called “Junior” by his friends and family. His given name is Walter Doering, and since his father also carried the same name, that makes him “Junior”. Note: Around here this name is pronounced “Daring”.
Today’s story is about Junior’s grandpa, whose name was Wilhelm Gustave Doering. Today would have been Wilhelm’s 160th birthday. He was born on August 14, 1857. Since I have always associated the Doering name with either Altenburg or Wittenberg, it surprised me that Wilhelm was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Rev. Christoph Heinrich Loeber was the pastor at Concordia at that time. Wilhelm’s parents were George and Therese (Schlimpert) Doering. I only have a photo of Therese.
Wilhelm was the fifth of eleven children born into this family. The first seven were baptized at Frohna. The eighth child, Adolph, does not have his baptism recorded anywhere in the church books of either Frohna or Altenburg. He was born in 1864, the year that Rev. J.F. Koestering came to be pastor of both Concordia and Trinity. The church records for that in-between time before he got here are sketchy. No baptisms are recorded at Concordia from November of 1863 and June of 1864. I am guessing that Adolph was baptized in Frohna. All of the remaining Doering children were baptized at Trinity.
The way I have it figured, it may have been the fact that some Doering land ended up being in the Seelitz area, and I think it must have been the purchase of that land, probably right after the Civil War, that caused George and Therese to change their membership to Trinity in Altenburg.
It is likely that Wilhelm spent most of his childhood in Seelitz. Then on March 7, 1886, he married Ida Mueller. Ida was the daughter of Zacharias and Emilie (Palisch) Mueller. Here is their wedding photo. This photo could have also been included in post a few days ago titled, Buttoned at the Top (Updated).
They had two children before Ida died in 1894 at the age of 33. Four years later, Wilhelm married again. His second wife was Maria Schmidt. Her parents were Gottwerth and Wilhelmina (Seibel) Schmidt of Altenburg. They also happen to be my great grandparents, so this is how Junior and I get related to each other. Wilhelm and Maria were married on August 24, 1898. Here is their wedding photo.
Both the Doering wedding photos were part of the post, Another Black and White Wedding. Here is their marriage license.
Wilhelm and Maria had three children and one stillborn. One of these was Walter Doering, Sr., who was born in 1901.
The land that eventually became owned by Wilhelm Doering can be found on this property map under the name W.G. Doering.
If you happened to get to the top of Stephansberg and look to the north and east, you would see some Doering land. You can see that some other land in that vicinity also carried the Doering name. Wilhelm was a farmer all his life. Later in his life, several photos were taken of his family. First, here is a photograph which was taken in a studio.
This photo must have been taken sometime in the early 1930’s. Walter Doering, Sr. is the second man from the left in the back, holding his daughter, Elaine. His wife, Edna, is standing to his right. Their oldest child, Vernon, is the young child in front. Junior was born later. At the risk of getting Junior upset with me, I won’t tell you how much later.
Another more casual photo was taken later than this one. It has an outside setting.
Walter, Sr. is the second from the left in the back row. Here is a photo of a portion of Wilhelm’s gravestone in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
As you can see, Wilhelm not only was born on this day, but he also died on this day. He died on his 86th birthday in 1943. Here is the entire tombstone.
I do know this. Wilhelm Gustav Doering must have had a lot for which to be thankful. One of those things must have been his grandson, Walter Doering, Jr. I also know that the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum is also very thankful that we have such a devoted supporter in Junior.