I do not know if the streetcar was named Desire, but its conductor’s name was August. And August had his roots in North Cape and Perry Counties. August was born as August Wehmueller on February 7, 1892 in Friedheim, Missouri. He was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim. Here is his baptism record.
He was the son of Louis and Mary (Ochs) Wehmueller. Here is a photo of August’s parents.
A previous post discussed this Wehmueller family. It was titled, The Bottoms Church. During August’s childhood, his family moved to Point Rest, Missouri in Perry County. In 1914, August married Eleonore Beckmann on September 27th, so today would have been their 103rd wedding anniversary. Here is their wedding photo.
Eleonore was the daughter of Martin and Emma (Leimbach) Beckmann. Eleonore was born in St. Louis on March 8, 1895, but by the time she was six years old, both of her parents had died. Emma died in St. Louis in 1900; Martin died in Frohna in 1901. Since Martin died and is buried in Frohna, and Eleonore was confirmed at Concordia, Frohna, I think she must have lived with some family in that town, but I could not find her in the 1910 census. That leads us up to her marriage at Point Rest in 1914. Here is a transcription of some marriage records from Trinity, Point Rest, which show that marriage.
Two entries below August’s marriage, you will find his sister’s marriage to Wm. Wichern. That was a wedding that was featured in that previous blog.
The Wehmuellers had two children, Wilburt and Vernon, before moving away from Point Rest. Here is an adorable childhood photo of these two brothers.
August and his brother, Adlai, moved to Pilot Grove, Missouri, near Boonville and they ran an oil business together. It wasn’t much later that they moved again, this time to St. Louis, where August became a streetcar conductor, and later a bus driver. Here is the 1930 census which shows this family.
This census shows all five of the children that were part of this family. When August filled out a draft card for WWII, he stated that he worked for St. Louis Public Service Co., which was the company that operated the city’s streetcars.
The Wehmuellers lived in several homes in St. Louis over the years, and they all were relatively close to an old St. Louis landmark…..Sportsman’s Park, where the St. Louis Cardinals played baseball. I have great memories about attending games at this stadium as a boy.
One story that is told by his family is that when someone in the family had tickets to see a game, August would park his car out in front of his flat, and when the others would come for the game, he would move his car, let them take the parking place, and he would return his car to his garage. The family members would only have a short walk to the stadium. Grandchildren also tell the tale that they remember staying overnight at the second story apartment and had trouble going to sleep because of the lights and noise from the stadium.
I just had to get a picture of a St. Louis streetcar from the era when August worked as a conductor. I hit the jackpot when I found this photo.
Not only is this a photo taken about 1940, when August was a conductor, but it also pictures Cherokee Street, looking east from where it intersects with Iowa Ave. That was the location of what was once the Cherokee Brewery. You can see a few buildings on the right which were once part of that brewery. Just this past weekend, the building nearest the corner was once again opened as the Earthbound Brewing Company. A story was done about this brewery a while back titled, Cherokee Uprising.
We have a few photos of August and Eleonore later in their lives. Here is a photo of these two at their 50th wedding anniversary. That would have been in 1964, a year the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Yankees in the World Series at Sportsman’s Park, which by then had been renamed Busch Stadium.
Here is a photo of this couple with Eleonore holding their first great grandchild. You can see four generation of this family in this photo.
August died in 1977 at the age of 85; Eleonore died in 1992 at the age of 97. They are buried together in Our Redeemer Cemetery in St. Louis.
This story brought back some good memories from my childhood growing up in St. Louis. I remember fondly my trips to the stadium to see the Cardinals play. I recall the streetcars and the rails upon which they ran. I enjoy the fact that I continue to find stories that start in Perry County and end up in St. Louis.