A Serious Worker at His Hardware Store

Today’s story begins with the birth of a girl that I will affectionately refer to as “Triple E”.  Her name was Ella Euphemia Estel.  She was born on February 22, 1892.  Here is a portion of her baptism record that is found in the Christ Lutheran church books in Jacob, Illinois.

Ella Euphemia Estel baptism record Christ Jacob IL
Ella Euphemia Estel baptism record – Christ, Jacob

As  you can see here, her parents were Paul and Mathilde (Schneier) Estel.  Here is a photo of her parents.

Paul and Mathilda Estel
Paul and Mathilde Estel

According to our German Family Tree, Ella was their third and last child.  We have this photograph of Ella when she was confirmed.

Ella Estel Arbeiter confirmation
Ella Estel

Ella’s father, Paul, was involved with running a mill in Jacob, Illinois.  It was this same family from which Paul came that was involved in the milling business here in the Wittenberg area.  In this family photo of the Emanuel Estel family (Emanuel was Paul’s father), we can see Ella when she was quite young.  Emanuel was living in Perryville, Missouri at the time.  Ella is indicated with a red arrow.

Emanuel Estel family 1904 Ella
Emanuel Estel family

On October 15, 1911, Ella married Ernst Arbeiter.  If I have my German correct, ernst arbeiter means “serious worker”.  Ernst was the son of Heinrich and Karolina (Rowold) Arbeiter.  Here is the record of Ernst’s baptism at Christ Lutheran Church.

Ernst Carl Arbeiter baptism record Christ Jacob IL
Ernst Arbeiter baptism record – Christ, Jacob

Both Ella and Ernst were baptized by Rev. P.S. Estel, who was a brother of Emanuel Estel and was the pastor at Christ Lutheran Church at that time.

Rev. P.S. Estel Jacob IL

In a previous post titled, Family Photos, two family pictures of the Heinrich Arbeiter family were shown.  I have even found a third family photo which would have been taken even earlier than the other two. Ernst is indicated by the arrow.

Heinrich Arbeiter family Jacob IL Ernst
Heinrich Arbeiter family

Ernst was the fourth child in this Arbeiter family.  Here is the marriage record that can be found in the Christ Lutheran church books.

Arbeiter Estel marriage record Christ Jacob IL
Arbeiter/Estel marriage record – Christ, Jacob

I could not resist showing the record above the Arbeiter/Estel event.  In addition to the interesting text to be found, I find it fascinating that Rev. H. Haertling recorded the top event in English and the bottom one in German.  Here is the wedding photo for the Arbeiter/Estel marriage.

Ernst Arbeiter Ella Estel wedding (2)
Arbeiter/Estel wedding

After the wedding, the reception was held at the Arbeiter home.  It is said that they hosted about 250 people.  A family story says that Heinrich provided 5 half-barrels of beer for the crowd which cost him $39.60.

In the same year as his marriage, Ernst began a hardware business in downtown Jacob, Illinois.  In this old photo of Jacob, the arrow points to the building where Ernst conducted his business.

Downtown Jacob Illinois Ernst Arbeiter store

The tall building across the street from his business was the mill (the tall building) which was operated by his father-in-law.  Ernst had his hardware store on one side of the building, while a Mr. Modglin operated a general store on the other side.  Here is another photo of the Ernst Arbeiter Hardware Store.

Ernst Arbeiter Hardware Store exterior
Ernst Arbeiter Hardware Store

We also have this photo of the interior of his store.  Ernst is shown leaning up against the display case on the right.

Ernst Arbeiter Hardware Store interior
Inside Ernst Arbeiter Hardware Store

When Ella’s parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1931, this photo was taken.

Paul and Mathilda Estel 50th anniversary
Paul and Mathilde’s 50th wedding anniversary

Ella is seated in the front, the 3rd person from the left sitting next to her father.  Right behind her is her husband, Ernst.  Ernst and Ella had 3 children.  Their only son, Fremont, is standing in the back row on the far left.  Two people to the right of him is his sister, Mabel.  The little girl squeezed in on her mother’s right is their youngest daughter, Fern.  By the way, it is Fern’s daughter, Sally, that has provided our museum with so much of the information that we have in our research library about the Arbeiter and Estel families.

Just five years after the above photo was taken, Ernst died in 1936 at the age of 48 of meningitis.  Ella would not die until 1976.  They are buried together in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery in Jacob, Illinois.

Ernst and Ella Arbeiter gravestone Christ Jacob IL
Ernst and Ella Arbeiter gravestone – Christ, Jacob, IL

We have so much information about this family in our museum.  Much of it includes the kind of stories that a person like me just loves to read.  They are anecdotes told by people who actually lived in Jacob, Illinois in days gone by.  So many times, I am limited in these posts with just records that can be found in censuses and church records.  Today, I have to say that I actually have too much information to share.  Maybe I’ll have to revisit this family someday.  Maybe I can talk Sally Thies Gustin into writing a blog post about her family…..hint…..hint.


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