Probably about 90% of the stories I write on this blog start out with me knowing absolutely nothing about the person or persons that are the subjects of the stories. I piece together the stories by looking at any records I can find about them to come up with a story line for their lives. Sometimes, I am completely unaware of some of the aspects of people’s lives until someone who knows better adds to the story by placing comments either here on our website or on our museum Facebook page. I love it when others add to the stories after they have been written. Today I will once again write about people I had no prior knowledge of until this morning.
It starts with a birthday boy. His name was Gotthilf Herman Carl Frentzel. Born to Arthur and Emma (Telle) Frentzel on August 23, 1879, Gotthilf was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri. Here is his baptism record.
I could not find Gotthilf in an 1880 census, but he does show up in the 1900 census where he is living in Brazeau Township in the household of Mrs. E.L. Farrar and is described as being a warehouse keeper. My guess is that he was living in the vicinity of Seventy-Six, Missouri.
Meanwhile, in Altenburg, a girl by the name of Bertha Pruesser was being born to August and Fredericke (Winter) Preusser. She was born on October 1, 1881 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Here is her baptism record.
Sometime between 1900 and 1910, two things happened. I do not know which happened first. Gotthilf married Bertha, and a move was made to St. Louis. I was unable to find a marriage record for this couple, but in the 1910 census, we see them as married, living in St. Louis, and Gotthilf is a grocer. They already have two children, Ruth and Gotthilf (Martin).
In that census, we also find two Preussers and another Frentzel. The William Frentzel in this census was a character in a previous blog titled, Angel’s Annie Becomes Butcher’s Bride. William also lived in St. Louis and had his own butcher shop/grocery store later.
When Gotthilf filled out his World War I draft registration in 1918, we see two addresses which show up in many other later documents.
A neighborhood grocery store was located at 2426 Marcus Ave. and their residence is shown as 4670 St. Ferdinand Ave. in St. Louis. Here is a map of the 4670 St. Ferdinand Ave. location as it seen today.
You can see that Marcus Ave. and St. Ferdinand Ave. intersect with each other. Here is a streetside view of this location.
The house on the left has an address of 4668 St. Ferdinand Ave. I think the parking lot across the street may be the location of the Frentzel Grocery at one time.
When you look at the Frentzels in later censuses, you find them living in this place for pretty much the rest of their lives. Here is the 1920 census. This is the only census that describes Gotthilf as being a butcher.
Next, we see the 1930 census.
The last census we can find him was the 1940 census.
Long story, short. The Frentzels lived in the same place, doing the same thing for a very long time.
I found a listing of grocers in a 1913 St. Louis directory. This portion of it shows two people with Perry County roots that were grocers in St. Louis. One was Gotthilf Frentzel and the other was Samuel Gaebler. Another previous post about him was titled, Gaebler the Grocer.
It was an era before the time of large retail grocery stores. Grocery stores could be found on street corners all over the city of St. Louis. When we see Perry County folks moving to St. Louis, they usually end up in the south end of St. Louis. The Frentzels were located more to the north end.
Gotthilf died in 1948; Bertha died in 1951. They are buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Louis, but no gravestone photos are available. Here is Gotthilf’s death certificate.
What caught my attention in this death certificate was the address of the informant, Gotthilf’s son, Martin Frentzel. He was living in Jennings, Missouri, my hometown. His address in 1948 was about a mile from the house in which I grew up.
Our museum has a relatively new exhibit which comes from the Uniontown Frentzel family. It is an old spring wagon. We use it as a place to display other items we exhibit at the museum. Right now, it is holding a Weinhold tool exhibit.
Here is a close up of the caption on this wagon.