Born and Died on Ides of March

August John Oberndorfer was born on March 15, 1880.  March 15th has gone down in history as the Ides of March, the day on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.  That tragedy was supposedly predicted by a soothsayer who proclaimed, “Beware the Ides of March.”  It is now remembered as being an “ominous” day.  For August Oberndorfer, the Ides of March was going to be the beginning of 71 years of life on this earth.  During that time, March 15th was always going to be a special day.  It was his birthday.

August was the son of Ernst and Gertrude (Hacker) Oberndorfer.  He was also the older brother of the main character of the post titled, Doc Leo from Longtown.  August was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, Missouri, but once a church was established in Longtown, the Oberndorfer family were members at Zion Lutheran Church.  His father, Ernst, was the proprietor of a general store in Longtown.  When he was older, August also participated in that business.

Oberndorfer store

August can be seen in the above picture on the horse-drawn wagon.  Another brother, Ben Oberndorfer, was also in the store business, and he can also be seen in this photo.

When August was 28 years old, he married Lydia Drumtra in Altenburg.  She was 26 years old at the time.  Lydia was the daughter of William and Maria (Mueller) Drumtra.  A post titled, A Man of Many Talents, told the story of Lydia’s father.  August and Lydia were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg on June 21, 1908.  Here is their marriage license.

Oberndorfer Drumtra marriage license
Oberndorfer/Drumtra marriage license

We have this wedding photo which shows the entire wedding party.

Oberndorfer Drumtra wedding
Oberndorfer/Drumtra wedding

If you look at this photo of the Drumtra house in Altenburg, you will probably agree with me that the above wedding photo was taken in front of the home in which Lydia had been raised.


August and Lydia had three children, one boy and two girls.  I ran across a photo of their youngest daughter, Elvira.

Elvire Oberndorfer Layton

As was the case often, a general store like the one the Oberndorfers operated would also be the home of the town’s post office.  This was indeed the case in Longtown for many years.  In fact, August Oberndorfer was the postmaster for Longtown from 1913 until he retired in 1950.  Here we see a document which shows his service as the postmaster.

August Oberndorfer postmaster appointment
August Oberndorfer – U.S. Postmasters appointments

The photograph below is reportedly one which shows Lydia Oberndorfer who is performing  the task of plucking chickens.  However, you certainly cannot tell by looking at her face.

Lydia Oberndorfer plucking chickens

Another interesting photo is this one that shows the Oberndorfers using an elephant (not an animal often seen in Longtown) to advertise for their store.

Oberndorfer elephant

The swastika in the photo is disturbing, but I am almost certain that this photo was taken before Hitler’s time in Germany.

Lydia died of a heart attack toward the end of 1932.  Here is her death certificate.

Lydia Oberndorfer death certificate
Lydia Oberndorfer death certificate

The certificate says she “died very suddenly”.  She was just 51 years old when she died.  It must have been quite a shock to August and the children.

It was not until 1951 that August died.  And he died on his birthday.  I even find it interesting to look at his date of death this way…..3-15-51.  Because of his faith and the grace of God, even his death was not an ominous event.  Like his birthday, his day of death was just a beginning of another life.  The new life he received in 1951 was an eternal life.

Both Lydia and August are buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Longtown.  Here are their gravestones.



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