Finding Spouses in East Perry County

I think the stories I will share today began when Teacher Henry Welp began his teaching career in Frohna, Missouri in 1883.  Teacher Welp ended up serving Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna for 51 years.  Henry was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but had been raised in Hoyleton, Illinois where his father was a farmer.  Hoyleton can be seen on this map.

Hoyleton Illinois area map

Coincidentally, I understand that this group of students from schools in Okawville, Nashville, and New Minden visited our museum yesterday.  You can see all those towns on the above map.  I believe the Lutheran church in Hoyleton has its own school.

TSJ ILS students at museum Okawville and Nashville Illinois

Teacher Welp’s full name was Heinrich Johann Welp.  One of his brothers was named Johann Heinrich Welp.  How confusing.  Teacher Welp went by the name Henry.  His brother went by John.  It is John’s story that we tell today.

John shows up in our German Family Tree for only one event.  On November 3, 1895, he married Lina Schuessler at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri.  This is his marriage license.

Welp Schuessler marriage license
Welp/Schuessler marriage license

We also have this wedding photograph of John and Lina.  John’s wedding suit is another example of one that was buttoned only at the top.

John and Lina Welp wedding
John and Lina Welp wedding

John was the son of Herman Heinrich and Eliza (Kleiboeker) Welp.  John was born on April 4, 1861.  We have this photo of John’s parents with one of their children.

Herman and Elizabeth Welp

Lina Schuessler was the daughter of John and Mary (Jahn) Schuessler of Frohna.  She was born on July 24, 1866 and baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church.  A post was published quite a while ago about Lina’s parents titled, When Did Jahn Schuessler Die? 

The marriage license shown above, as well as the marriage record in the Concordia books, states that when his marriage took place, John was living in St. Louis.  However, in the previous 1880 census, John was living with his parents in Hoyleton.

John Welp 1880 census Hoyleton IL
1880 census – Hoyleton, IL

You might think this is his brother, Henry, in this census, but we find Henry in the 1880 census as a student at the Lutheran teachers seminary in Addison, Illinois.

Henry Welp 1880 census Addison IL
1880 census – Addison, IL

One might conclude that John met his bride, Lina, in Frohna when he came down to Perry County to visit his brother.  For that time period, John and Lina were pretty old when they got married.  John was 34, and Lina was 29.

In the 1900 census, we find John and Lina living in St. Louis, but in that record we find some additional information about John.  The entry for John started on one page and was continued on the next.

John Welp 1900 census St. Louis MO

John Welp 1900 census St. Louis MO 2
1900 census – St. Louis, MO

This record shows that John must have been married previously and had children by that marriage.  Those children were also born in Illinois.  Only the last child, Frieda, was born in Missouri and was born after John and Lina were married.  I was unable to find another marriage record for John Welp in Illinois.  Another child, Gottfried, was born to this couple in 1903.

Sadly, John died in 1903, so these two were only married for eight years.  This death record from St. Louis gives us a few more details about the Welps.

John Welp death record St. Louis 1903
John Welp death record – St. Louis, MO

This document states that John died of typhoid fever, and he was an iron worker. This record says that John was buried at the New Bethlehem Cemetery in St. Louis, but a gravestone photo could not be found.  It also says that he lived at 1422 Farrar St.  The building in the photo below is listed with that address nowadays.

1422 Farrar St. St. Louis Welp home
1422 Farrar St., St. Louis, MO

Lina was still living at this address in 1910.

Lina Welp 1910 census St. Louis MO
1910 census = St. Louis, MO

The same is true in the 1920 census, but fewer children remain in the household.

Lina Welp 1920 census St. Louis MO
1920 census – St. Louis, MO

Then in 1930, we find a new situation.  Lina and her youngest son were living with her daughter, Frieda, and her husband at a different address in St. Louis.

Lina Welp 1930 census St. Louis MO
1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Here is another case of a Welp who found a spouse from Perry County.  Frieda Welp married Ferdinand Buenger.  Ferdinand was the son of Friedrich (Fritz) and Ida (Hellwege) Buenger of Altenburg.  As near as I can tell, they must have been married around 1920, but I could not find a marriage record or license.  It is not recorded in any church records we have in our German Family Tree.

Ferdinand and Frieda were living in Kansas City, Missouri in 1940 where Ferdinand was an accountant.  Lina Welp was still living with them at the age of 72.

Lina Welp 1940 census Kansas City, MO
1940 census – Kansas City, MO

Lina died in 1955.  There is a death record for her in the Concordia Lutheran Church books, and she is buried in the Concordia Cemetery.

Lina Welp gravestone Concordia Frohna MO
Lina (Lena) Welp gravestone – Concordia, Frohna, MO

The story today shows a few examples of people who lived elsewhere who came to this area to find their spouses.  I like to think that there always have been Perry County women around who had or have the qualifications of being wonderful wives.  The same goes with wonderful Perry County men who had or have the qualifications of being wonderful husbands.



6 thoughts on “Finding Spouses in East Perry County

  1. Thank you so much for this article. Such a wonderful surprise. My Grandfather was Ferdinand, though his given name was always an issue for him. My Father Allan has many fond memories living with his grandmother Lina Welp. He has said that as a child he and Lina would communicate with her speaking German and him being able to understand her but not being able to speak it. I am looking forward to sharing this article with him very soon. He is almost 90 and still has a firm grasp of early memories.
    Once again thank you!


    Jim Buenger


      1. I do not. I am visiting my father tomorrow and will see if it rings any bells with him. Dad was quite a bit younger than his sister and always says she would probably remember things about the family.


      2. Warren,

        John’s first wife was Helene Wolf, they were married 8 Nov 1885 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. They had three children, Gustav H. (1886-1926), John Peter (1889-1954), and Clara (1891-1927). I’ve done considerable research on the family and suspect some of you information may have come from my website. I’m happy to discuss the family and share any information.



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