Gottfried’s Popcorn Stand

The story today begins aboard the Copernicus on its voyage to America and ends in a popcorn stand in Collinsville, Illinois.  It involves several people and places in between.

We find three Lorenz siblings listed on a passenger list of the ship, Copernicus.  There was an older brother, Johann Gottlieb, and his two younger sisters, Johanne Rosina Maria and Johanna Christiane.

Lorenz siblings Copernicus passenger list
Lorenz siblings – Copernicus passenger list

This ship happened to be the one which carried Rev. Ernst Moritz Buerger, and many of the passengers from this ship became settlers in the area known as Seelitz in Perry County, Missouri.  Indeed, Gottlieb Lorenz did end up with a piece of property there.  It was lot #18 on the map below.

Kuehnert property in Seelitz

After arriving in Perry County, Gottlieb married Johanne Christiana Amalie Mueller in 1841.  She was the sister of the first graduate from the Log Cabin College, Rev. J.A.F.W. Mueller.  However, after this marriage, some church records indicate that this couple  moved to St. Louis for a while.  Their first two children were born in that city and their baptisms are recorded in the Old Trinity Lutheran Church books.

In the 1860 census, this family is once again located in Perry County.  This Altenburg census record shows this.

Johann Gottfried Lorenz 1860 census Altenburg
1860 census – Altenburg, MO

Before I move on, let me say that in both this census record and the passenger list above, it says that Gottfried Lorenz was a shoemaker.  There was another Gottfried Lorenz who came to America as part of the Gruber Group who was a tailor.  It becomes even more confusing when you consider that there is still a Lorenz Shoe Store located in Perryville, and that store was started by a descendant of the Lorenz that was the tailor, not the shoemaker.

Back to the shoemaker in Altenburg.  His oldest son, Traugott became a wagon maker.  In 1867, Traugott married Anna Kropf in Collinsville, Illinois.  That was Anna’s hometown.  I cannot get the actual image of the record, but here is what is contained in a record of their marriage.

Lorenz Kropf Illinois marriage record

The 1870 census shows this Lorenz couple living in Collinsville.

Traugott Lorenz 1870 census Collinsville IL

Traugott Lorenz 1870 census 2 Collinsville IL
1870 census – Collinsville, IL

Yet again, we see a Lorenz family returning to this area.  In the 1880 census, we find the Traugott Lorenz family living in Shawnee Township in north Cape Girardeau County.

Traugott Lorenz 1880 census Shawnee
1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

In this census we see a 7 year old son by the name of Gottfried.  He was probably named after his grandfather.  This Gottfried Lorenz would be celebrating his birthday today.  He was born on February 11, 1873.  He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells.  Sometime before 1899, Gottfried had moved back to Collinsville, Illinois, his mother’s hometown.  In 1899, Gottfried married Mary Heins at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Their marriage license says that Gottfried was from Collinsville.

Lorenz Heins marriage license
Lorenz/Heins marriage license

Mary was the daughter of Johann and Anna (Wichern) Heins.  After the marriage, Gottfried took his new bride back to Collinsville.  We find them in the 1900 census there.

Gottfried Lorenz 1900 census Collinsville IL
1900 census – Collinsville, IL

This census says that Gottfried had something to do with furnaces.  I do not know what that really means, but I think it is safe to say that it was not easy work.  Gottfried and Mary would have four children.  In the 1910 census, we see three of them.

Gottfried Lorenz 1910 census Collinsville IL
1910 census – Collinsville, IL

This time, it says that Gottfried is a laborer in the zinc works.  The city of Collinsville, Illinois sits on the top of land which is rich in both zinc and coal.  I cannot imagine that working in the zinc industry was an easy job either.  When Gottfreid filled out his World War I draft registration, he was working for the Donk Brothers Coal Company in Mine #2.  That mine was located not far from Collinsville in the city of Maryville.

Gottfried Lorenz – World War I draft registration

This map shows the location of the Donk Brothers Mine #2.

Donk Brothers Coal Mine #2 map

Donk Brothers Coal Company was headquartered in St. Louis.  You can see evidence of that fact in this old advertisement for their coal.

Donk Bros. Coal ad

The 1920 census also illustrates his participation in the coal mining industry.  I placed the census in in two parts so it would be easier to read.

Gottfried Lorenz 1920 census Collinsville IL

Gottfried Lorenz 1920 census occupation Collinsville IL
1920 census – Collinsville, IL

In one record I located online, it said there were three deaths in Mine #2 in 1922.  Coal mines were certainly dangerous places to work.

In the 1930 census, when Gottfried was 57 years old, we see Gottfried in an entirely different kind of occupation.  He is said to be the proprietor of a confectionery stand.

Gottfried Lorenz 1930 census occupation Collinsville IL
1930 census – Collinsville, IL

Ten years later, the census is more specific in calling his business a popcorn stand.

Lorenz popcorn stand
1940 census – Collinsville, IL

In that record, we find Gottfried and Mary living in the same household with one of their daughters, her husband, and a grandson.

Gottfried Lorenz 1940 census Collinsville IL
1940 census – Collinsville, IL

I could not find any records about Gottfried and Mary’s deaths or burials, but there is an family history that says that Gottfried died in 1955 and Mary died in 1973.

I cannot say that I have seen “popcorn stand” on a census record before.  Gottfried’s last job certainly doesn’t sound like it was either difficult or dangerous, but after his career in the mining business, I think he deserved a break.

2 thoughts on “Gottfried’s Popcorn Stand

  1. Very nice article about an interesting family. One small note – Madison County IL, where the zinc works were mentioned, does not have it’s own zinc deposits. They received their zinc ore from deposits in MO, west of Perry County. The thick coal beneath Madison County was used to process the ore.


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