William Gottlieb or Gottlieb William?

Today’s post starts with the birthday of Emma Louisa Hoehn.  Almost immediately upon looking at her life story, I became confused.  One of my first puzzles was this:  Did Emma marry William Gottlieb Boxdorfer or did she marry Gottlieb William Boxdorfer?  This situation had my head swimming for a while, but I think I have most of the pieces of this puzzle in place.

One of the reasons for my confusion was the fact that there were two Boxdorfers that could easily be mixed up.  One big reason for this is the fact that both of these Boxdorfers were born in 1877.  One of them was William Gottlieb Boxdorfer, who was born on December 8, 1877.  The other one was Gottlieb William Boxdorfer, who was born on March 10, 1877.  At least each of them went by their first name.  If you enter “William Gottlieb” in the first name box, “Boxdorfer” in the last name box, and “1877” as the birth year on Ancestry.com, you will come out with a collection of results for both of these men.  These two guys were first cousins.

Now we will look at the next confusing item.  Both of these men married Hoehn girls.  You may have to go back to Germany to find a relationship between the two Hoehns, but they both come out of the church records of Peace Lutheran in Friedenberg.  Both of these Boxdorfer/Hoehn weddings took place in Friedenberg and were conducted by Rev. Henry Guemmer.  For the purpose of today’s post, I am going to focus on the Boxdorfers.  I do this because I want to preserve my sanity.  Maybe my buddy, Clayton Erdman can help me untangle the Hoehn families someday.

I will start with Gottlieb William Boxdorfer.  His birthday was March 10, 1877, and he was the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Rauh) Boxdorfer.  On April 8, 1901, Gottlieb married Anna Marie Hoehn, who was the daughter of Valentine and Margaret (Bergmann) Hoehn.  Here is the marriage license for that wedding.

Gottlieb Boxdorfer Hoehn marriage license
Gottlieb Boxdorfer/Mary Hoehn marriage license

We have this wedding photo for this couple.

Gottlieb and Mary Hoehn Boxdorfer wedding
Gottlieb Boxdorfer/Mary Hoehn wedding

Gottlieb and Mary had two children.  The first one died after only 10 months.  However, in 1905, Mary died of tuberculosis.  Gottlieb married again in 1907.  His second wife was Clara Buettner.  Here is the marriage license for that wedding.

Gottlieb Boxdorfer Buettner marriage license
Gottlieb Boxdorfer/Buettner marriage license

Here is the wedding photo for this couple.

Gottlieb and Clara Buettner Boxdorfer wedding
Gottlieb Boxdorfer/Buettner wedding

That couple had two children, one of which was stillborn.

That leads us to the other Boxdorfer.  William Gottlieb Boxdorfer was born on December 8, 1877.  He was the son of John and Flora (Kemp) Boxdorfer.  Both of the Boxdorfer cousins in this story were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville by Rev. Demetrio.  On November 13, 1900, William married Emma Louisa Hoehn.  Here is their marriage license.

William Boxdorfer Emma Hoehn marriage license
William Boxdorfer/Emma Hoehn marriage license

Here is their wedding photograph.  Keep in mind that this Emma is today’s birthday girl.

William Boxdorfer Emma Hoehn wedding
William Boxdorfer/Emma Hoehn wedding

According to our German Family Tree, this couple had 9 children, including a set of twins, one of which died right away.  A photo was taken of the William Boxdorfer family with their children later in their lives.

William Boxdorfer family
William and Emma Boxdorfer family

Emma is sitting in the front row on the left; William is sitting on the right in front.

Gottlieb Boxdorfer died in 1948; William died in 1957.  Here are their gravestones, which are both located in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.

If this isn’t enough Boxdorfer/Hoehn confusion, add to this the fact that I was able to locate five other Boxdorfer/Hoehn marriages in our German Family Tree.  I guess there are plenty more stories to tell in the future, but as for me, I am done for today.


3 thoughts on “William Gottlieb or Gottlieb William?

  1. Gottlieb was my grandfather and he and his first wife had 2 children, a daughter born in 1902 and died several months later. The 2nd child Leonard was born Oct 7, 1903 who is my father. After Gottlieb remarried, his second wife had 2 daughters, Wilma and Verna who both lived long lives. There wasn’t a stillborn child.

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  2. Great information…thank you! William G. was my grandfather,
    The following appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch (presumably in the Fall of 1951).It gives a glimpse at life in the early 1900’s in Perry County.

    The headline reads:

    “Perry County Couple Married 50 Years Still Ride Buggy to Town —
    Anniversary Celebration Sunday to Be Similar to wedding — Pair Never Owned Car —
    Calls Hay Cheaper that Oil.”

    The story was written by Dorothy O. Moore.

    PERRYVILLE, MO. A buggy, pulled by a blazed-faced sorrel team, stopped on
    Perryville’s courthouse square and an elderly couple got out. William Boxdorfer, 72 years
    old, made sure the buggy was parked within the yellow lines marked off for vehicles, and
    tethered the horses to a post. His wife, Emma, 71, pulled a grocery list from her pocket
    and they picked their way through automobile traffic to a store.
    This is a weekly event for the Boxdorfers and for Perryville where buggies have
    become mementos of the past. The couple lives on a farm seven miles east of town.
    Last Wednesday they had more than shopping to attend to. They went to a local
    printer to publish an invitation to all Perry County residents to attend their golden wedding
    celebration Sunday. They will repeat their vows at Emmanuel Lutheran Church at 10 A.M.
    The service will be in German but the Boxdorfers are making sure the vows will be
    exchanged so that their eight children and 37 grandchildren, two great- grandchildren and
    others will catch every word. After the service there will be a basket dinner at a public
    dining room with fiddle music and dancing, just as the Boxdorfer’s celebrated in 1900.
    +

    “We’ve had a hard row of stumps to beat this past 50 years,” says Boxdorfer. “But
    when we married we had a nice nest egg. During the summer of 1900 I raised 900 bushels
    of wheat with a team of bantam-sized mules. That November I hauled it to Chester,
    Illinois, and came back with $548.40 after paying 60 cents to cross the Mississippi river
    ferry.”
    “I bought myself a wedding suit of black serge for $10 and a waxed boutonniere, and
    Emma got a black wool dress all gathered in the middle — one of those tight-waisted
    things with a full skirt — and bouquet of waxed flowers, and a mock orange wreath and
    white veil that swept the floor. She curled her hair with curling iron, and she was pretty!”
    Emma smiled and said he was quite a “dude” himself.
    On their wedding day Emma baked a big cake. William hired three fiddlers and they
    invited a few friends to a square dance and wedding celebration at Friedenberg. William
    had bought the farm that produced the bumper wheat crop and built a two-room log house
    with an attic, a mile from their present home. Three beds, a dozen chairs, wood burning
    cooking and heating stoves, a kitchen “safe,” kerosene lamps and a coffee grinder cost him $72.

    FLOOD FOR SEVEN YEARS

    The first year of their marriage was a good one. Boxdorfer grew 1000 bushels of wheat
    and their first child was born. Then came seven years of flood. Each year just as grain was about to mature, McClannahan creek boiled over its banks and crops were lost. There were more little Boxdorfers and keeping the larder full put the family in debt. One fall day in 1916 they left their oldest son in charge of the farm while they hauled a load of apples to Perryville. The son threw some chunks of wood into the stove and hitched a mule to a sled to haul a barrel of water from a spring. The cistern had gone dry. When William and Emma returned the house and all contents had burned, but the children were safe.
    “Folks helped us out,” says Emma. “They gave the children warm clothing and
    one day a big crowd came and cut timber, took the lumber to the mill and then they gave
    us a house raising.” They built the three-room house that has served the Boxdorfer family
    since.

    TOO MUCH GRAIN WASTED NOW

    William recalls the saving ways of farmers before the mechanization and says too
    much grain is wasted today. As a boy he harvested wheat with a horse-drawn cutter, tied
    the bundles by hand, and women of the family made a second harvest, gathering grain into
    the big aprons they wore. Then they swept the field with broom like rakes. Grain was
    separated from the chaff by tossing it on a tarpaulin. Sometimes it was thrown in heaps on
    the swept earth and threshed by horses’ trampling feet. No one had ever heard of
    lespedeza or hybrid corn, but William plowed in the contour method recommended by soil
    conservationists, not up and down hill. Many of today’s fields were then in timber.
    The Boxdorfer’s have never owned a car, and though the seven-mile trip to
    Perryville takes an hour and 10 minutes each week they stick to the buggy for two
    reasons: Boxdorfer loves horses, and hay comes cheaper for him than gasoline. They
    installed electric lights in their home two months ago but Emma does not trust it during a
    storm. When there’s lightening she throws the switch to shut it off. Boxdorfer says she
    will get over that distrust. When they got their first telephone six years ago she would not
    use it, and now, he teases, she keeps the party line busy.

    UP AT 4:30 A.M.; TO BED AT DARK

    They arise at 4:30 A.M. to do the milking so that the big metal cans will be full
    when the truck comes by to collect. William grows corn and wheat and hay each summer,
    and Emma cooks the kartoffel and crapfen he likes so well from German recipes well
    known in Perry County. They retire each night as soon as it’s dark.
    “It’s a habit, and besides, we get lonesome,” said Will. Emma was putting a net
    over her new permanent wave (she had her hair bobbed for the first time a month ago) and
    she’s proud of the fact that not one hair is gray. Will, who likes a good joke, said he
    didn’t see a reason for so much primping, since their “sparking” days are over. She says
    we can charge that to sour grapes. The hair he used to part in the middle when he was a
    “duke” isn’t any more.
    They’ve stayed up late at night this past week to complete plans for the
    celebration. There’s more to do than 50 years ago, for the family has gained renown and
    seven of their children, with grandchildren have remained in the Perryville area. The circle
    of friendship has rippled outward and the celebration is going to be a big one.

    — end of St. Louis Post-Dispatch article —

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