Another Wittenberg Musician

Dorothy Weinhold
Dorothy Weinhold

August 25, 1865 was the birthday of Dorothea Weinhold.  Now, before I get myself into deep, deep trouble, let me say that this is not the same Dorothy Weinhold who is one of our faithful docents here at the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum.  Today’s birthday girl was the daughter of Joseph and Marie (Bretscher) Weinhold of Wittenberg.  Here is Dorothea’s baptism record from the Trinity Lutheran Church, Altenburg books.

Dorothea Weinhold birth record Trinity Altenburg
Dorothea Weinhold – baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

In the 1880 census, we find the Weinholds living in Wittenberg.  Dorothea is shown as Dora.

Ernst Daniel Keyl 1880 census Wittenberg
1880 census – Wittenberg, MO

Interestingly, this family had a boarder living in their home at that time by the name of Ernst Keyl.  That was the son of Rev. E.G. Keyl, the first pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.  Ernst was the first Lutheran teacher in Wittenberg.

In another 1880 census, one from Addison, Illinois, we find Albert Koeppel, who would become the second Lutheran teacher in Wittenberg.  Here is that census.

Albert Kaeppel 1880 census River Forest IL
1880 census – Addison, IL

I included enough of this record to also show that there was a Welp who was a student at the same time.  He was the son of Teacher Welp in Frohna.  When he graduated, Albert Kaeppel became the teacher in Wittenberg in 1881.  Teacher Kaeppel was only in Wittenberg for two years before he took a call to Old Trinity Lutheran School in St. Louis in 1883.  We do not have a census record for this, but I suspect that Albert may have roomed at the Weinhold home just like his predecessor.  Regardless, on August 1, 1883, Teacher Kaeppel married Dora Weinhold in Wittenberg.  She was just 17 years old at the time of her marriage.

Here is a collage of some of the early teachers that served the people of Wittenberg in the early history of their school.

Wittenberg early teachers X

I have not written a story about E.D. Keyl yet, but after today’s story, I will have written blog posts about the other three.  You can find them by placing their name in the search function on this website.

Albert would serve Trinity, St. Louis for 14 years, and during that time, six of his eleven children would be born.  Then in 1897, he would take a call to become a professor at his old alma mater in Addison, Illinois.  Here is a photo of what was called Addison Normal School in those days.

Addison Normal School 1912
Addison Normal School

We find Professor Kaeppel in this collage of the faculty of that school in 1912.

Addison faculty 1912

Albert is in the upper right corner.  I am guessing that the church in Wittenberg must have used this photo of Albert when they put together an anniversary book showing the early teachers in the earlier collage.  Professor Kaeppel taught music classes at that school.  He was known to be an organist and composer.  Also in this collage in the upper left is Professor Theodore Brohm, who was the son of one of the builders of the Log Cabin College in Perry County, Rev. Theodore Brohm.

In a previous post titled, Surrounded by Good Lookin’ Women, this photo was published showing Joseph Weinhold with his eight children, all daughters.  It was taken for the golden anniversary of Joseph and Marie.


Dora is on the far right in this photo.  They are likely to be standing in front of the Weinhold home in Wittenberg.  An earlier photo of the Weinhold family was taken in about 1894.  It includes several of the spouses of Joseph’s daughters, including Albert Kaeppel on the far right.  Dora is in front of him with some of their children.


Professor Kaeppel achieved enough notoriety to be included in the publication, The Lutheran Cyclopedia.  Here is an image of the resumé that is given for him in that book.

G C A Kaeppel Lutheran Cyclopedia

As you can see, he is renowned for his contributions to the field of music.

Dorothy would die in 1933; Albert died one year later in 1934.  They are buried in the Forest Home Cemetery in the Chicago area.  Here is their gravestone.

Albert Dora Kaeppel gravestone.jpg

I am continually amazed by the number of people who were associated with the little river town of Wittenberg who had amazing expertise in the field of music.  I keep finding stories of either teachers or students from Wittenberg who went on to be leaders in the area of music in their later schools, congregations, and colleges.  Just a few days ago, I wrote about Teacher Harnagel, who got his elementary education in the school in Wittenberg and went on to be a leader of bands and orchestras.  Teachers Feiertag and Stohs were known to be accomplished musicians.  Teacher Feiertag went on to also be a professor of music at the college in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Former students from the Wittenberg school such as Charles Nennert and Arnold Mueller became teachers who were accomplished musicians.  Arnold (with the trumpet) and Charles (seated in the front) are shown in this photo.


I am sure that there are others who could be included in this litany of musicians who came out of Wittenberg.  There continues to be strong emphasis on music in the Lutheran churches and schools in this area.  At our Lutheran elementary school here, all the students in grades 5-8 have to learn to play in the band.  At Saxony Lutheran High School, one of our “own”, Tyson Wunderlich, from Altenburg originally, is in charge of the music program, and amazing things are being done there in training young musicians.  Tyson also directs the Perry County Lutheran Chorale which is made up of many people from local congregation who enjoy sharing their vocal talents with others.  I pray that such a love for music continues to thrive here in Perry County in generations to come.



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