Lumber Yard Matriarch

Meta Sylvia Lueders was born on this day, December 17th, in 1914.  Just a few years ago, she died at the age of 99 years.  Her life was certainly an interesting one.  She herself was the product of some very influential families in the village of Frohna, Missouri, and her own family would be included in a list of influential families in her generation.  Her connections include a general store, a flour mill, a photography studio, a machine shop, and finally, a lumber company.  Here is her story.

Meta’s parents were Paul and Martha (Weinhold) Lueders.  Like her parents before her, she was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna.  Her father was the youngest son of the large August Lueders clan.  August was the proprietor of one of the general stores located in Frohna….the Lueders Store.  The post titled, Frohna Entrepreneur, told his story.  In this photo taken in 1905 at the occasion of Paul’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, we can certainly find Paul, but I’m going to have to let you decide which one you think is the youngest child who was 26 years old at the time.

August Lueders Family
August and Anna Lueders family

Meta’s mother, Martha Weinhold, was the daughter of Martin Weinhold, one of the owners of another large business operation in town, the Frohna Mill.  Here is a photo of the Martin Weinhold family.  Martha is the fourth person from the left in the back row.

Martin Weinhold family
Martin and Magdalena Weinhold family

Paul and Martha were married in 1910.  When the census was taken during that year, we can see these two single people living in their households shown on the same page.

Weinhold Lueders 1910 census Frohna
1910 census – Frohna

Meta was the third of seven children born to Paul and Martha.  Paul became a photographer and had a studio in Frohna.  In this 1915 map of Frohna, we see the Paul Lueders residence shown with a red arrow, and the photography studio shown with the blue arrow.  Meta would have been an infant when this map was printed.

Paul Lueders residence 1915 Frohna
Frohna – 1915

This is a photo of the building that housed Paul’s photography studio.  A special skylight type window was installed to allow natural light into his studio for his photography.

Lueders Studio Frohna

Here is an advertisement for this business.

Paul Lueders Photography ad

On October 10, 1937, Meta married Marvin Friedrich Gotthold Petzoldt, although everyone called him Tommy.  He was the son of Adolf and Eleonore (Seibel) Petzoldt, a farmer in Altenburg.  Adolf is one of the older boys in this photo of his family.  Adolf was a cousin to the Lina Petzoldt from yesterday’s story.

Friedrich Petzoldt family
Friedrich Petzoldt family

Tommy was born on October 11, 1909 and was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  After marrying Meta, this couple became  members of Concordia in Frohna.

In the same year that he was married, Tommy, along with Theodore and Arthur Kassel, started a business called K & P Timber Company in Frohna.  The Kassels were involved with the Frohna Machine Shop, and their story was told in a post called, Frohna Machine Shop.  That business was making deals with people who wanted the farm machinery that they sold, and those folks may not have had the money for the equipment, but they offered pieces of their property instead in trade.  I am guessing that a lot of that property was not cleared, but was heavily forested.  The purpose of K & P Timber was to put some of that property to profitable use by harvesting the timber located on those pieces of property.

In 1942, Tommy and Meta bought out the Kassel share of the business and established East Perry Lumber Company, which is now the largest employer in East Perry County.  Two sons from this family, Marvin (Junior) and Stan, also became involved in operating this lumber company over the years.

East Perry Lumber Company
East Perry Lumber Company

Here are photos of Tommy and Meta taken later in their lives.


Tommy Petzoldt died in 1995;  Meta died in 2014.  When Meta died just a few years ago, her obituary included some interesting information about her life.

Meta Petzoldt obituary

I never got to personally know Meta.  I do know that everything I have heard about her has been very positive.  She must have been an amazing woman who was blessed with an amazing life.


One thought on “Lumber Yard Matriarch

  1. Thanks for posting this Warren. I wish you could have met Meta. You would have loved her. Such a classy, yet down-to-earth lady. She would have played piano for you too. She loved doing that–telling all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren that they should learn to play piano because it was something they could do even when they got old. She proved that to be true.


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