Two Men Sent from Perry County for a Purpose – Part 2

Cal EggersToday, ur museum’s friend, Cal Eggers provides the second part to his blog post about two men from this area who made important contributions to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  Enjoy.

 

 

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The blogs of yesterday and today were inspired by the photo and article from the November-December 2018 issue of “The Lutheran Layman.” Parts of the article are repeated below to refresh your memory. In Part 1 we discussed the life and career of E. W. “Hap” Schroeter, on the occasion of his grandfather’s birthday.

2A LLL clip

2B. LLL clip

Today our story moves to the other member of the featured LLL duo. Theodor (Theodore, Ted, or TG) Gottfried Eggers was born October 15, 1888, the 3rd son and 4th child of eight of parents Heinrich (or Henry) and Katharine (nee Soehl) Eggers. He was baptized at Salem on October 21, 1888, and confirmed on March 23, 1902. First we will review his ancestry.

Claus Eggers, Ted’s great-grandfather, immigrated with his wife and three children from Lamstedt, Kingdom of Hanover, in 1842. At the time of the 1850 census Claus was farming in Brazeau Township, west of Altenburg. The image below includes the family above Eggers to show the wife of Andrew Popp (not Bopp) who is Catharina (or Catherine or Katherine) nee Eggers, 18 year old daughter of Claus, who had married Andrew in 1848 after his second wife died.

Claus is believed to have died in about 1876 but no church or public records of his death have been found.

23. Claus 1850 census
1850 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Ted’s grandfather, Hermann Friedrich Eggers, was born June 3, 1830, in Lamstedt, and baptized there. He was confirmed at Trinity in 1844. On Nov 2, 1854, he married Johanne Hopfer at Trinity. At the time of the 1860 census he has three children and is farming in Brazeau Township, south of Altenburg.

24. Herman 1860 census
1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

The German Family Tree clarifies that the 8 year old “Arndt” girl living with them was actually Adelaide Ahrens, who had been orphaned in 1857; she herself died of pneumonia in 1861.

Hermann died July 14, 1893, in Linn, Kansas, while visiting his daughter, Dorothy (Eggers) Stuive and is buried there.

Ted’s father, Heinrich Friedrich “Henry” Eggers was born March 8, 1856, and was baptized at home on March 13, 1856. He was the eldest of six children of Hermann. On October 30, 1879 Henry married Katharine Soehl of Farrar and then moved to a farm near Farrar. The picture below was probably taken in late 1897. Ted is the young man standing on the far left. (Walter Eggers, Cal and Fred’s father, was not born until 1899.)

25. Henry Eggers family
Henry Eggers family, about 1897

The aerial view below shows the Henry Eggers farm (in the red circle) in relation to the Salem campus. Ted would have less than a quarter mile walk “over the hill and through the woods” to school. In the green circle is the home where Albert Lueders lived after marriage and probably also when Teacher Otto Schroeter roomed with him in 1900; Otto would also have had a short walk to work.

26. vies of Salem
Salem Lutheran Church, Farrar, MO

In the census record of 1910 Ted is listed as being “At College.” By then, Ted’s mother, Catherine, had died (in January 1901) and Henry had remarried (in April 1902) to Fredericke Hesse of Jefferson County. Henry died on July 15, 1914, and is buried in the Salem Cemetery.

27. census 1910 Eggers
1910 census – Salem Township Missouri

After graduation from college and before starting to his first teaching position, Ted apparently had time to play a little baseball as described in the following articles that Fred reconstructed from microfilm. The Walter Krueger mentioned in the article was the son of Rev. Johannes Krueger, Pastor at Salem from 1900 to 1924. Walter also became a minister and in the fall of 1910 he was installed as the Pastor at Poplar Bluff and Dexter, Missouri. What impressed me in addition to my Uncle’s pitching skills is the time of the game. I would like to see the majors finish a game in one hour and 32 minutes.

 

FARRAR DEFEATS BRAZEAU

Last Sunday the Farrar baseball team crossed bats with the Brazeau team and defeated them by a score of 7 to 2.  It was a fast and interesting game all through.  Quick, for Brazeau, did some good pitching, but weakened in the seventh and C. Farrar succeeded him.  Vest Shirril did the backstopping for the Brazeau team.  All told Quick and Farrar allowed 9 safe bingles, and struck out 11 Farrar batters.  Eggers, for the Farrar nine, was going at his best and should have had no score against him, but an infield error allowed two men to score.  Not until the sixth inning had anything gone out that looked like a hit.  In this inning one succeeded luckily in beating out an infield hit.  In the eighth, one more hit was made, but did no damage toward scoring.  These two were the only safe hits he allowed, and he struck out 10 men.  Wirth while mentioning is the nice back stopping “Boone” Krueger did for the Farrar boys, his mighty whip kept many a runner hugging his base.  The feature of the game was the fielding of Claus Steffens for Farrar, he pulling down several that looked like extra base hits.  Batteries: Brazeau, Quick, Farrar, and Shirrel; Farrar, Eggers and Krueger.  Time of game 1:32. Umpire, F. Mahnken.     A FAN

 

Perry County Republican – July 28, 1910

 

FARRAR NEWS

Walter Krueger left for Cape Girardeau last Saturday where he will spend several days.

 

Theo. Eggers left for Delmont, South Dakota where he holds a position as teacher in the Lutheran Parochial School.

 

Since Theo. Eggers and Walter Krueger, the battery of our baseball team have left us, the team is somewhat crippled up and will not be in good condition to tackle very strong teams hereafter.

Perry County Republican – August 18, 1910 Farrar News

Two years later, Ted married Ida Schaefer, on August 27, 1912, in Douglas, South Dakota, where he was teaching.  Here are a record of the marriage and a portrait of the handsome couple.

28. TG wedding record
Marriage record of Theodore G. Eggers and Ida C Schaefer

29 TG wedding

The next image summarizes most of Ted’s professional life between Perry County and the LLL. He had attended the Teacher’s College in Seward, Nebraska, and then received the call to South Dakota where he met his bride. Three years later he took a call to teach in Fort Wayne.

30TG article
Fort Wayne (Indiana) News February 11, 1916

 

It seems that in those days the Fort Wayne newspapers published “all the news” somewhat like the Farrar (and other community) News columns in the old Perry County Republican – but for a much larger metropolitan area. Fred found in an on-line database a trove of at least 20 articles from Fort Wayne that mention Eggers or Lueders family members, including church events, family reunions, job changes, and even the 21st birthday party for our father, who lived there for a few years.

Another example is the next article about Ted Eggers. Only the title is legible but it provides two interesting facts: First that TG’s leadership abilities had been recognized in the area by Lutherans who elected him to a leadership position with the Walther League and second that the Hospice concept that we saw associated with Hap Schroeter’s story in Cleveland was also being considered in Fort Wayne.

31. TG walther league
Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette October 17, 1921

The last public record that we have of TG in Fort Wayne before moving to St. Louis tells us that he had a relative long tenure at Emmaus (1916 to 1929) and that at some point he had been promoted to principal.

32. 1929 directory
1929 City Directory Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Layman article described the role of TG at the LLL from 1930 to 1950 so we won’t repeat that here but will share this picture of his office. Are those fund-raising letters on the floor?

EPSON MFP image
Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, Spring 2017, Cover Page

From family records and our Ancestry.com page we know that after retirement from the LLL Ted was President of Lutheran Travel Bureau for 8 years. There he continued tours, such as to the Holy Land, which had been carried out through LLL during his administration. In about 1953 he and Ida moved from St. Louis to Inglewood, California, to be near their son Milton (a Principal and Organist) and where Ted served as assistant to the Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran for 5 years. He was awarded the honorary Doctor of Laws by Concordia Seward in 1958.

Ted died January 17, 1970, and was buried in Our Redeemer Cemetery, Affton, St. Louis County. His funeral service was conducted by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, Lutheran Hour speaker at the time.

34. TG tombstone
G. Eggers Gravestone, Our Redeemer Cemetery, Affton, St. Louis County

At first reading of the Layman article one might consider it a coincidence that two men from Perry County were working together in the LLL office. In the TV drama “NCIS” one rule of the Leroy Gethro Gibbs character is: “There is no such thing as a coincidence.”

Whether or not we believe in coincidences, we do believe and sing that “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform” (LSB Hymn #765). What started as a simple story about two men, Hap and TG, revealed multiple events and connections along the way, and involving also Hap’s father Otto and other family members. We will never know how God may have used these events to guide the way of these servants of the church.

This section was written on the Third Sunday after Epiphany when the Epistle from 1 Corinthians 12, read in part: “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.” Elmer and Theodore, as well as Otto, were at first “sent for a purpose” to work in the church and to use their gifts of teaching. Later, each in his own way demonstrated gifts of administration and leadership to serve schools, choirs, and the Lutheran church at large.

Finally, here is one more LLL connection with Perry County that I found among things from our father, a souvenir from a Missouri District LLL convention in Perryville in 1952.

35. ash tray

 

 

 


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