Instead of getting a January 11th story today, I will be writing about a second Longtown storekeeper who was born on January 10th. His name was Martin Moeckel. Martin was born exactly 7 years after yesterday’s birthday boy, Gottwerth Telle. Delving into this man’s story is probably going to lead to some other future stories, but they are going to have to wait.
Martin Moeckel was born on January 10, 1879 in St. Louis. He was the son of Friedrich and Anna (Popp) Moeckel. His family had grown up in Brazeau Township where his father was a farmer. His mother had also grown up in the same township as a farmer’s daughter, but I do not know why they moved to St. Louis for a while. This 1880 census shows that family living in St. Louis where Fred was working in a grocery store.
I do know that Martin’s father died in 1881 and is buried in the Concordia Lutheran Church Cemetery in Frohna. So Martin basically did not know his father.
Because we don’t have an 1890 census, the next census in which we find Martin is the one taken in 1900. He was working on the Emmanuel Popp farm in Cinque Hommes Township in Perry County.
Martin’s mother was a Popp. Emanuel was some sort of cousin to Martin, probably second cousin. Emanuel came from a Popp family that lived in Frohna. A brother of Emanuel was Paul Popp, the father of Teacher Popp and grandfather of our guest blogger, John Popp. Paul Popp had a wagon making business in Longtown for a while.
On September 29, 1903, Martin married Emma Oberndorfer at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. Below is the record we find in the Zion books.
Emma was the daughter of Ernst and Gertrude (Hacker) Oberndorfer. Ernst ran the Oberndorfer Store in Longtown. That store can be seen in this photo. Emma was the sister of the men identified as August and Benjamin Oberndorfer in this picture. I am guessing one of the women standing in the photo may be Emma. She was two years younger than Benjamin.
The 1910 census shows that Martin and Emma were living in Longtown where Martin was a house carpenter. They had their only child, a son named Edgar.
Below is the World War I draft registration form filled out by Martin.
The same situation continued until we see a change in the 1930 census. I will show two images. First a list of some names in the Longtown census.
Martin and Emma are shown right below several Oberndorfer’s. If you look at the occupations in another column, you will find this.
The important thing I want you to notice is that Martin is now in “Partnership” in general merchandise. I have every reason to believe that Martin was now in business with his brother-in-law, August Oberndorfer.
Before I move on, let me say that there were only 3 pages in the 1930 census for the Village of Longtown. Martin can be found on page 2 in the general store business. On page 1, you can find yesterday’s birthday boy, Gottwerth Telle, running his hardware store.
The 1940 census continues to show Martin as a merchant in Longtown. I found two photographs showing the interior of the Oberndorfer Store. The first was taken in the 1930’s and shows Edgar Moeckel, the son of Martin and Emma. The caption gives some other information about the photograph.
This other photograph is the one mentioned in the caption as the Longtown Grocery.
I also located a photograph of the Zion Lutheran Ladies Aid which includes Emma.
Martin Moeckel was once the chairman of the Longtown Village Board. I found this record of that service.
I think I now have a better understanding of how some names got into the Longtown community. For example, the Popp and Oberndorfer names are ones that have long been part of the Frohna area. I asked myself how those names also ended up in Longtown. Here is an answer for that. Look at this map of the Frohna area. I have circled the Popp and Oberndorfer properties.
John Martin Popp was Emanuel Popp’s father. His wife was a Hacker. Ernst and Joseph Oberndorfer, Emma’s brothers, each married Hacker’s. The surname Hacker is a long-time Longtown name. This has to be a reason so many Popp’s and Oberndorfer’s resided in Longtown.
Emma died on March 28, 1972; Martin died on April 2, 1972. That’s right. Martin died just 5 days after his wife died. I think he missed her. They are buried together in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Longtown.
I also discovered that the Oberndorfer name came to this area back in 1852 along with several other Austrian families, most of which settled in the New Wells vicinity and started Immanuel Lutheran Church there. The passenger list for the ship, Deutschland, includes several of those people, including the Oberndorfers.
Deutschland passenger list – 1852
The names Oberndorfer, Meyr, Mirly, and Starzinger are all on this image. And Matthias Oberndorfer’s wife, Anna, was a Meyr. But that’s a story for another day.
I wonder if our two birthday boys, Gottwerth Telle and Martin Moeckel, ever got together to celebrate their common birthday.