Lebrecht Schmidt and Magdalena Froebel were married on January 21, 1883, so today would have been their 136th wedding anniversary. These two were married in Frohna, but eventually, several in their family ended up in Altenburg. I will attempt to tell the story of that family today.
Lebrecht Schmidt was born on August 12, 1857 in Frohna. He was the son of Johann and Wilhelmina (Naeser) Schmidt and baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church. However, he was not the first Lebrecht Schmidt. One year before, in 1856, another Heinrich August Lebrecht was born, but died in infancy. One year later, that name was recycled by this Lebrecht. Below is his baptism record.
One thing I find interesting on this record is that one of Lebrecht’s sponsors would later become his father-in-law.
Magdalena Froebel was born on Reformation Day, October 31, 1859. She was the daughter of Valentin and Christiane (Seidler) Froebel and also baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church.
One of her sponsors was the pastor’s wife, Anna Marie Loeber, Rev. Christoph Loeber’s wife. Also, after Valentin died 1868, Magdalena’s mother, Christiane married Rev. J.A.F.W. Mueller, who was at that time the pastor in Chester, Illinois. Rev. Mueller was the first graduate of the Log Cabin College in Altenburg. A previous story was written about this family titled, The Ladies of Valentin’s Day, which included an image of all the daughters of Valentin Froebel.
The marriage record for Lebrecht and Magdalena is included in the Concordia books. It was the first marriage at Concordia in 1883. I like to think that Rev. “Alphabet” Mueller attended this wedding.
Lebrecht and Magdalena had five children, but only three lived to adulthood. Also, by the time this family showed up in a census in 1900, Lebrecht had already died.
Magdalena was pregnant with her last son, another Lebrecht, when her husband died. That’s why you don’t see him on this census even though Magdalena is shown as a widow. I suspect that Magdalena decided to name that child after her husband when he was born later that year. Magdalena is also shown on this form to be a dress maker.
Next, I will show the 1910 census. In addition to the Schmidt family, I will show the entry above them. The same “neighbor” could also be found in the 1900 census, but I did not show it.
Magdalena’s two sons, Henry and Lebrecht, both became butchers. Lebrecht probably learned the trade from his older brother, who was 16 years older. However, I asked myself the question about how Henry might have learned the trade. This 1910 census says the 26 year old Henry was a stock trader. That is not a stock trader like we would consider it today. It was someone involved with selling and trading cattle. The neighbor of the Schmidt’s, Rudy Oswald, was a butcher in Frohna. In fact, I wrote a previous story about him titled, Frohna Butcher.
I could not find a marriage record of any sort, but sometime between 1910 and 1920, Henry Schmidt got married. His bride was Minnie Vogt, who hailed from St. Louis. I did find this wedding photo of Henry and Minnie.
The way I have it figured, either right before or right after Henry got married, he decided he needed to open his own butcher shop. There was already one in Frohna, but apparently not in Altenburg. I think that is what got this Schmidt family to relocate in the nearby town and remain there the rest of their lives. Henry established his butcher shop there and became known as “Butch”. Here is the 1920 census.
Henry and Minnie had their only child, Ruth, by this time. Henry’s mother, Magdalena, was also living in the household, and his younger brother, 19 year-old Lebrecht was working as a butcher helper. In Altenburg, the Schmidt Butcher Shop was located right next to the Fischer Store in the downtown area. We have this later photo of that building.
Stories are told that most of Henry’s butchering took place outside behind this building. To the right in this photo was the home that Henry had built for his family. To the left was the Fischer Store. Here is an older photo of the Butch Schmidt home.
We also have this amazing photo taken inside the butcher shop with Henry standing behind the counter with his little brother, Lebrecht.
Also, here is a photo the Henry Schmidt family.
Henry’s brother, Lebrecht, opened a butcher shop in Pocahontas, Missouri, just south of Altenburg in Cape Girardeau County. He had a daughter by the name of Laverne Schmidt who became a Lutheran teacher. She taught at Trinity, Altenburg for many years and became Mrs. Wachter. Later, she became a teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Jackson, Missouri, and recently retired from there. She would have called Butch, Uncle Henry.
Henry’s mother, Magdalena, died in 1932. His wife, Minnie, died in 1954. Then Henry died in 1958. His death certificate says he died in St. Louis “enroute” to a hospital there.
Henry’s father, Lebrecht, was buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery back in the days when the Schmidt family lived in Frohna.
Magdalena, Minnie, and Henry are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
The only remnant from this Schmidt family that still stands in Altenburg is the Schmidt home. It is still in use today. It stands across Main Street from the Altenburg Public School. I took a photo of it this morning.
A grocery store was built near this home, but it is vacant. You can see it in the background. The butcher shop was once located between this home and that store.
Teacher Winter’s journal….January 21, 1839
“We now passed a great swamp, which lies between Vicksburg and Memphis, and came across a wrecked steamer which had got hung up either on a stump, or such as are plentiful on this river, or a sand-bar.”