From Shawnee to Shawnee; From California to California

Alma Winkler was born on this day, April 17th, in 1894.  I am not sure Alma ever set foot in the Perry County or North Cape Girardeau County area, but she does have a connection.  Alma was born in California.  That is California, Missouri, which is not far from Jefferson City, this state’s capital.  Alma’s parents were Herman and Bertha (Teichgraeber) Winkler.

Alma’s parents are interesting because of their places of origin in Germany.  Herman was from Niederfrohna, which is the town where Rev. Keyl, one of the pastors who was part of the Gesellschaft in 1839 was from.  It is the town in Germany after which the present-day town of Frohna, Missouri is named.  Bertha Teichgraeber was from Langenchursdorf, which was the hometown of Rev. C.F.W. Walther.  These two German towns are only about 3-4 miles from each other.  Here is a map of that area in Germany.

Niederfrohna Langenchursdorf map

Herman and Bertha were married in Niederfrohna and did not move their family to America until 1882.  This couple had a dozen children, and Alma was number nine in line.  Alma’s father, Herman, was a farmer in California, Missouri.

At least three Winkler daughters ended up in Topeka, Kansas.  This 1920 census record shows these three living in the same household.  Minnie Lawrence was a Winkler before she was married.

Winkler sisters 1920 census Topeka KS
1920 census – Topeka, KS

By this time, Alma was a forelady in a mattress factory in Topeka.

Before we move on with Alma’s life, we need to head down to New Wells, Missouri to look at a Vogel family.  In  1861, a boy by the name of Adolph Alexander Vogel was born and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, which is located in Shawnee Township in Cape Girardeau County.  He was the son of Alexander and Mathilda (Schuppan) Vogel.  You must not confuse this person with the Adolph August Vogel who was born later in Frohna who became a pastor and served at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg for so many years.  Although these two men are not the same person, they may be somehow related because I found evidence that both of them could trace ancestors who spent time in Beardstown, Illinois.  I am not at home today, and cannot check some Clinton Wunderlich resources we have in our museum that involve the Vogel family.

Alexander Vogel moved his family to Topeka, Kansas in the 1870’s.  We find an important clue concerning this move on a passport application that he made in 1894.


This document illustrates that Alexander had moved his family to Topeka in 1874.  By the way, Topeka can be found in Shawnee County in Kansas.  One other interesting item on this form is that Alexander requested that the passport be sent to Rev. Stephanus Keyl in New York City.  That was the son of the Rev. Keyl mentioned earlier in this story.

Stephanus Keyl
Rev. Stephanus Keyl

Back to Adolph Vogel.  In this 1880 census, we do not find Adolph with the rest of his family.  He would have been 19 years old at the time.

Alexander Vogel 1880 census Topeka KS
1880 census – Topeka, KS

I could not locate him in any other 1880 census either.  However, we do know that he managed to get back to New Wells, Missouri to find his wife.  On October 5, 1884, he married Henrietta Kutscher at Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Adolph had a clothes cleaning business in Topeka.  This couple had a whole bunch of children, all born in Topeka.  Their fourth child was Walter Vogel, who became a machinist for the railroad.  It is somewhat debatable how many wives Walter had, but it was at least two.  One wife was Marie (Mueller) Vogel, and she died in 1930.  You might wonder if she was a Perry County Mueller, but census records indicate she was born in Ohio.  Marie is buried in the Topeka Cemetery.  Here is her gravestone.

Marie Vogel gravestone Topeka Cemetery
Marie Vogel – Topeka Cemetery

Let’s backtrack a little.  Walter’s World War I draft registration gives more detailed information about his occupation.

Walter Vogel WWI draft registration

First of all, this form says he is working for A.T. & S.F. Railway.  That would have been the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway.  That railway pretty much followed the route of the old Santa Fe Trail.  This map shows the comparison between the railway and the trail.


The railway went beyond Santa Fe all the way to California.

One other interesting fact on Walter’s WWI draft form was that it says he was both a machinist and a musician.  Now there is an interesting combination of talents.

You will recall that Alma Winkler was working in Topeka at the time that Walter was raising his family there.  After the death of Walter’s wife, he married again.  This time he married Alma.  However, it seems they did not get married in Topeka.  Their marriage is documented in the state of California.

Vogel Winkler marriage record California
Vogel/Winkler marriage record – California

Alma died in 1977; Walter died in 1981.  I am not exactly sure where Alma died, but I found a record that said Walter died in Los Angeles County.  I could not locate grave sites for either one.

I found this story to be interesting.  The Lutheran connections between our home area here and those in California, Missouri, as well as those in Topeka, Kansas fascinate me.  So from Shawnee to Shawnee and from California to California we find an interesting confluence of German Lutheran folks.

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