Fiehler’s Fateful Fall

Although today’s story was generated by first finding the birth of twin girls on this date, most of it will center on the life of a man whose short life was filled with plenty of accomplishments.

Nora and Rosa Lueders were born on April 11, 1899.  They were the daughters of Henry and Louise (Elbrecht) Lueders of Frohna.  Their baptism took place at Concordia Lutheran Church.

Nora and Rosa Lueders baptism record Concordia Frohna MO
Nora and Rosa Lueders baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

These two girls are found in the 1900 census for Brazeau Township.

Nora Lueders 1900 census Brazeau Township MO
1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We have a photograph that was taken in 1909 of quite a few folks connected to the Frohna Lueders family who were harvesting grapes for their wine-making business.  Nora and Rosa are the two girls sitting on the left.  I don’t know which is which.  They would have been 10  years old.

Lueders grape harvest

I am going to hop up to the 1920 census where we find Nora still living with her family in Frohna.

Nora Lueders 1920 census Brazeau Township MO
1920 census – Brazeau Township, MO

There is a mystery here.  Nora is on this list, but her twin sister, Rosa, is not, and I could not find her in a Perry County census at all.  I know that Rosa would marry Edward Limbeck, who was from Gurley, Nebraska, in 1926, but I could not find Rosa in a Nebraska census either.  Where was Rosa Lueders in 1920?

The above census is documented as being taken in January of 1920.  We know that Nora must have married Carl Fiehler around this time.  This is another of today’s mysteries.  We have a girl from a very prominent Frohna family marrying the son of the Lutheran teacher in Altenburg, and there is no civil or church record of this marriage in Perry County.  What we do have is a later confirmation record for their first son, Walter, which states that he was born in November of 1920 in Potter, Nebraska.

Walter Fiehler confirmation record Trinity Altenburg MO
Walter Fiehler confirmation record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

I was unable to find a Nebraska marriage record.  Now let’s take a look at Carl Fiehler’s beginnings.

Carl Fiehler was born on the 379th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, October 31, 1896, in Columbus, Wisconsin, where his father was a Lutheran teacher at the time.  Carl was the son of Henry and Martha (Dallman) Fiehler.  Henry was born in Frohna, Missouri before going on to become a teacher.  Another sister of Carl was born in Wisconsin before Henry Fiehler took a call to become the teacher at Trinity Lutheran School in Altenburg in 1906.  Carl is found in the 1900 census for Columbus, Wisconsin.

Carl Henry Fiehler 1900 census Columbus WI
1900 census – Columbus, WI

In 1910, we find the Fiehler family living in Altenburg, and it looks like they are living in a teacherage because their neighbor was Rev. Schmidt.

Carl Henry Fiehler 1910 census Brazeau Township MO
1910 census – Altenburg, MO

We also find Carl Fiehler as a single man living with his parents in Altenburg om 1920.

Carl Henry Fiehler 1920 census Brazeau Township MO
1920 census – Altenburg, MO

Here is yet another mystery.  Teacher Fiehler and his family are living in a house with his brother, Joseph, who was still single at the time.  If you look at the neighbors in this census, this family was living in downtown Altenburg in 1920.  Why was that?  Even Gerard doesn’t know.  By the way, on this census, it states that Carl was a plumber.

Remember, it was later during 1920 that Carl was having his first child up in Nebraska.  But before we get back to that, let me discuss some other items.  A photo was taken of the Fiehler family which begs some answers.  This photo is shown below.

Henry Fiehler family
Teacher Fiehler and his family

The baby on Teacher Fiehler’s lap was born in 1915, so I figure this photo must have been taken in 1915 or 1916.  Carl is not included in this photo.  It is reported that Carl was living at the time in Cheyenne County, Nebraska and working on a farm.

Now we get to 1918.  Carl had his World War I draft registration filled out, and it states that he was back in Perry County.  He was working in Frohna for his Uncle John.

005151891_04263
Carl Fiehler – WWI draft registration

Carl ended up getting drafted and serving for a short time in the military.  Here we see his military record.

Carl Fiehler WWI military record

The form says he was inducted on September 5, 1918 and went to Camp McArthur which was located in Waco, Texas.  The photo below shows a bunch of Perry County men posing outside the Perry County Courthouse in Perryville on September 6 before they went to Texas.  I figure that Carl must be in this photograph somewhere.  I’ll let you see if you can pick him out.

WWI soldiers Perry County Waco TX

The best clue I can give you is this photo taken of Carl and two of his friends, Joe Seibel and Edwin Lohmann.  Carl is on the left.

Carl Fiehler Joe Seibel & Edwin Lohmann

So it appears to me that Carl was moving around quite a bit during this time.  He was in Nebraska around 1916, back in Frohna in 1918 and in the 1920 Altenburg census with a trip to Texas in between, and then back in Nebraska later in 1920.  This couple’s second child, Leonard, was born in 1922, and he was baptized in Altenburg, so it looks like Carl must have made another move.

In the 1930 census we find Carl and Nora’s family living in Altenburg where Carl was a carpenter.  After this census, one more son was born in 1933, making a total of 6 children.

Carl Henry Fiehler 1930 census Brazeau Township MO
1930 census – Altenburg, MO

It is said that Carl specialized in building new houses, working on roofs, and adding porches to existing houses.  Carl is credited with building (or helping to build) the Young People’s Society Hall (now the Senior Center) at the fairgrounds in 1938.

Fiehler YPS Hall
YPS Hall

Tragedy hit the Fiehler family in 1939.  On April 19, Carl was working on the roof at the home of Leo Reisenbichler in New Wells when he fell, sustaining injuries that resulted in his death on April 22nd.  We have his death certificate.

Carl Henry Fiehler death certificate
Carl Fiehler death certificate

This left Nora as a widow with 6 children, aged 6-19.  Carl was buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.  His gravestone contains mention of his military service.

Carl Fiehler gravestone Trinity Altenburg MO
Carl Fiehler gravestone – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Nora did not die until 1970.  She is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.

Nora Fiehler gravestone Immanuel Perryville MO
Nora Fiehler gravestone – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Before I close this story today, I have a few other items to share.  In the same year that Carl tragically died, a confirmation took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg on April 2, 1939.  This Sunday, family members of two remaining members of that class are having some flowers placed in the church in honor of the 80th anniversary of their confirmation.  One of the members of that class was Gerard’s father, Robert Fiehler.  Carl would die 20 days after that confirmation day.  Gerard recalls that his father told the story of how he was one of the students in Teacher Fiehler’s class when he was informed about his son’s tragic event.  Not only that, but one of Carl’s daughters, Leora Fiehler, was also in her grandfather’s class when she heard about her father’s situation.  Gerard’s dad stated that school ended immediately that day.  I don’t think I can completely comprehend the grief that must have been experienced by so many people as a result of Carl’s death.  Teacher Fiehler would retire in 1942.

Not long ago, our museum received a donation from some of the members of the family of Edwin Fiehler, who was another of Teacher Fiehler’s sons.  Edwin married Wanda Ladreiter in 1942.  We now have her wedding dress on display in our museum.

Edwin and Wanda Fiehler wedding

When I first started looking at this story, I intended to include both of the Lueders twins in the post.  I eventually discovered that there was way too much information to include both twins.  Rosa’s story will have to wait for another day.  Maybe next year on this date.

 


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