Lillie Hopper. I confess. That name makes me think of a frog. I also confess. That name does not sound like an East Perry County name. Even if you look at her middle names, I don’t think it would give you any more hints that Lillie was from our area. She was Lillie Francisca Georgiana Hopper. And Lillie lived most of her life in Louisiana, which does not lead a person to suspect Perry County roots. However, she was a Fischer. In fact, her name in our German Family Tree was Lydia Fischer. Now we’re getting there.
Before I discuss Lillie’s life, let me tell you how I fell upon this story today. I decided to start looking for a story by searching Kathy Berkbigler’s site, zionrootsgenealogy.org. That is where I found the name Myra Hopper, who was born on November 20, 1922 in Zachary, Louisiana. Since I do not see many people with Perry County roots ending up in a state like Louisiana, I decided to dig deeper. I often find people who ended up moving north, east, and west, but rarely do I find Perry Countians moving very far south. What I found was that Myra Hopper is actually in Kathy (Palisch) Berkbigler’s family tree.
I will begin by going back to Emma Marie (Palisch) Fischer in order for you to see how Lillie fits into the Palisch Family Tree. Here we have a photo of Emma Marie that has shown up on this blog on several occasions.
She married Albert Fischer in 1852 and raised a family. Here is another photo that has shown up on this blog a few times of the Fischer family…….minus the father who had already died and including several spouses.
One son in this family was Martin Fischer. He is the man in the red box. In 1888, he married Concordia (also called Cora) Neubeck. Her father, George Neubeck, ran a general store in Altenburg. A story about the Neubeck Store was told in the post, Dealer and Healer in Downtown Altenburg.
Before I continue, I must mention that the couple in the blue box in the above photo is Bruno and Hulda (Fischer) Schade. Today would have also been their wedding anniversary. I did not do their story today because it has already been done. It was titled, Bruno’s Buggies.
I am also going to quickly mention that Concordia’s younger sister, Louise Neubeck, married Dr. Theodore Estel, who was the doctor in Altenburg for many years. He was the “healer” to George Neubeck’s “dealer” in the story about the Neubeck Store.
Martin and Concordia Fischer had just one child, a daughter. Her name was Lydia Francisca Georgiana Fischer. She was born on October 16, 1889 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. The pastor who performed the baptism was Rev. Wm. Zschoche, who was serving at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. Trinity’s pastor had just taken a call and they were without a pastor.
In the first census in which we find Lillie, the 1900 census, her father was shown as being a salesman.
According to my reckoning, he was either working for his brother, Edward, in the Fischer Cheap Store or for his father-in-law in the Neubeck Store. These two stores were pretty much located across the street from one another.
The Neubeck Store is the first building on the right side of the photo. The Fischer Store is just beyond the tree on the left side of the photo. Grayson’s Bar & Grill (once called the Mississippi Mud) can be seen on the right side also. Mueller’s Hardware Store is seen in the front on the left.
Starting with the 1910 census and continuing in all the following censuses in which we find Martin, it shows him as a farmer. In the 1915 map atlas, we find that Martin owned a lot in the town of Altenburg and a plot of land just east of town.
This is the same location where our own, Gerard Fiehler, has his home right now.
In 1913, Lillie married Henry Hopper at Trinity Lutheran Church. Here is an image of their marriage license.
A few interesting items are shown on this document. First, we see that Rev. Wenger was the minister. He was the pastor at Concordia, Frohna at the time. Once again, Trinity Lutheran was in between pastors, and a Concordia pastor was taking care of the Altenburg congregation at the time.
Also, this license indicates that Henry Hopper was from Zachary, Louisiana. That is not something you see on many marriage licenses from around here. Zachary is a town very near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I cannot help but ask the same type of question that Cal Eggers posed in yesterday’s post, “How did these two ever get to know one another?” The best answer I can give you right now is, “I have yet to figure that out.” Maybe one of our readers knows the answer. The nearest we ever see these two geographically comes from the fact that Henry was born and raised in Campbell, Missouri in Dunklin County. That is located right about where the Missouri Bootheel begins jutting out from the state.
I want to take a moment to mention that Lillie’s mother died in 1920. At about that time, we find this photo taken of Lillie’s father which shows Martin serving on the church council of Trinity Lutheran Church. He is the second man from the left in the back row. To his right is Rev. A. Vogel, who came to be pastor at Trinity in 1914.
Here is the first census in which we find the Hoppers after they were married.
Henry at this point in his life was a farmer. That would not remain the case for much longer. We also see another person living with the family which we know is Clinton Estel, a cousin. That was not Henry’s cousin; it was Lillie’s cousin. It was the oldest son of Dr. Theodore and Louise Estel of Altenburg.
The 1930 census shows us that this family had four children, the last of which was Myra Hopper, who is today’s birthday girl. It also shows her father with a drastically different occupation. He was now a teacher in a public school.
In the last census that we have available to us, we find that Henry is then an acting postmaster. I find another fact on this census entry to be rather amazing.
In one of the columns toward the right, you see a C5 shown for both Henry and Lillie. That C5 means that each of them had completed five years of college. I certainly have not found many women from this time period, especially ones from Perry County, that got much of a college education, much less five years of college. Then it is also amazing that Lillie, even with all that education, has no occupation listed on the form.
In this 1939 city directory, we notice that Henry is the acting postmaster for LSU.
I wonder if both Henry and Lillie attended Louisiana State University (LSU).
Lillie died in 1958; Henry died in 1967. They are both buried in the Roselawn Memorial Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Here are their grave markers.
In that same cemetery, we find the grave of Lillie’s father, Martin Fischer. He must have gone to live with his daughter later in his life. He had died in 1945.
There are several Hopper children and grandchildren around today. I wonder how many of them know their connection to Altenburg, Missouri.