The Saga of Hattie Schubkegel

The surname Schubkegel is not to be found in our German Family Tree.  Yet there is a connection to Perry County.  I will attempt to tell this story today.

Hedwig Schubkegel was born on February 24, 1901 in Blue Hill, Nebraska.  Her parents were Rev. Charles and Ottilie (Herold) Schubkegel.  Her father was the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Hill for 25 years.  This is a photo of the dedication of their church building in 1899, two years before Hedwig was born.

Trinity Lutheran Blue Hill NE

As I look at German records, it looks as if almost all girls who were named Hedwig ended up with the nickname, Hattie.  In 1908, Rev. Schubkegel, because of failing eyesight and hearing, moved to St. Louis, Missouri, learned sign language, and became a missionary to the deaf.  After organizing several congregations in the Blue Hill vicinity, he then organized several deaf ministries throughout the Missouri Synod.  Here is a photo of Rev. Schubkegel.

Rev. Charles Schubkegel

It appears that Hattie remained single until 1942 when she was 41 years old.  She married a widower by the name of Ernst Bock, who was living in St. Louis at the time.  We have this World War II draft card for Ernst which says that he was working at Shapleigh Hardware Company.  Ernst was 51 years old when he married Hattie.

Ernst Bock – WWII draft card

We have to backtrack into Ernst’s life to find the connection to Perry County.  Ernst was the son of Michael and Marie (Mueller) Bock in Uniontown, Missouri.  He was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.  Earlier in his life, Ernst worked at the Hopfer Store in that city.  We have this photo of him standing in front of that store.

Ernst Bock Hopfer Store Uniontown

Ernst is the second from the right in a suit and tie, leaning against the pole.  We also have this delightful photo of 11 men in Uniontown enjoying some of their favorite refreshment.  Ernst is the blue arrow.  His father, Michael, is the red arrow.

Michael and Ernst Bock Uniontown

In 1915, Ernst had gotten married to his first wife.  Her name was Martha Frances Estel.   Frances was the daughter of Martin and Emilie (Weinhold) Estel.  Her mother was one of the 8 daughters of Joseph Weinhold that were discussed in the post, Surrounded by Good Lookin’ Women.  Her father became involved in the milling business in Wittenberg with his father-in-law.  Frances can be seen in this Estel family photo standing in the back row on the far left (shown by the red arrow).

Estel family 1906 Bock Frances Martha
Martin Estel family

Here is another early photo of Frances.

Frances Bock Estel X
Frances Estel Bock

When Ernst filled out this World War I draft registration form, it said he was married with a child and working as a merchant and assistant postmaster.

Ernst Bock – WWI draft registration

According to our German Family Tree, Ernst and Frances had four children, one of which lived only a matter of days.  Then, sadly, in 1927, Frances had a stroke and died at the age of 34.  Here is her death certificate.

Frances Estel Bock death certificate
Frances Bock death certificate

Ernst decided that he could not care for his daughter, Naoma, and his one year old son, George.  These two ended up being raised by Leo and Marie (Estel) Lottes of Altenburg.  Marie was the sister of Frances.  Another previous post was written about this childless couple that took in several children that needed parents.  It was titled, Let the Children Come to Us.  Here is a photo of Naoma holding her little brother, George, at the Lottes home.

Naoma & George Bock
Naoma and George Bock

Ernst took his other son, Eugene, to St. Louis, and lived with another Estel family there.  We see them in this 1930 census.

Ernst Bock 1930 census St. Louis
1930 census – St. Louis, MO

It would be 12 years after this census that Ernst would marry Hattie from Nebraska.  And now we know the Perry County connection to a Schubkegel.  There is this interesting gravestone where both Ernst and Hattie are buried in the New Bethlehem Memorial Park Cemetery in St. Louis.

Schubkegel Bock gravestone New Bethlehem St. Louis

I found today’s story in Kathy Birkbigler’s website,  I saw a girl with an unusual name, Hedwig Schubkegel, being born on this day in Blue Hill, Nebraska, and I could not resist at least a look into her story.


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