A marriage record shows up for April 12, 1896, and it began my search today. Below is the marriage license.
The bride and groom for this wedding were Caroline Horn and Adolph Weber. The pastor was Rev. J. Stumpf. The minister’s name had me stumped (or is that “stumpfed”) for a little while. I eventually found him as the pastor of the Cross Congregation which was located for a short time near Friedenberg. We find this entry in a book we have in our museum with transcriptions of the Cross Congregation’s records.
As you can see in this record, both John Adolph Weber and Carolina Horn were born in the 1870’s, and the marriage took place before the 1900 census. Therefore, the only census in which we will find the bride and groom as single persons would be the one taken in 1880. We will start with the bride.
Carolina Horn was the daughter of Dr. Christian Charles and Wilhelmina (Rien) Horn. Her father was a physician in the area around Friedenberg for several years. Carolina was born on April 20, 1873. We find her in this entry in the 1880 census for Salem Township in Perry County. Caroline was 7 years old at the time.
John Adolph Weber was the son of Charles and Martha (Hellwege) Weber. His father, Charles, is a rather famous character in Perry County history, having been a captain in the Union Army during the Civil War and later becoming a judge living in Perryville. John Adolph was born in Perryville and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church by Rev. Demetrio. We even find the Weber family next to Rev. Demetrio and his household in the 1880 census. John Adolph was 8 years old.
A number of photographs were placed together to make the following image which contains a picture of John Adolph when he was quite young. He is found at the very bottom in the middle.
The earliest evidence of John Adolph’s occupation can be found in an advertisement placed in a Perry County anniversary booklet published in 1895.
The Beckmann listed as John Adolph’s partner was married to his sister, Martha. These two were in the hardware business, more specifically, the tinning business. At the time when this ad was published, John Adolph was still single. The first census we see after his marriage was the one made in 1900.
I included the entry just above John Adolph’s which shows his father’s household. His father was then a probate judge, and John Adolph was called a hardware dealer. There were two children in his family by this time.
John Adolph and Carolina continued having children in the early 1900’s. One daughter was born in late 1907 and baptized at Immanuel, Perryville. Their next son was born in early 1910 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Therefore, it is likely that sometime between 1907 and 1910, this Weber family moved to Altenburg. When John Adolph was in Altenburg, he operated a hardware store. Below is a photograph of that store.
We have a photograph of an advertisement for stoves that was produced to promote this store. It includes a calendar for the year 1909.
It seems that almost all the stories I write have a mystery to solve. Here is the one for today. Take a look at this photo of downtown Altenburg.
The first building on the right was the Neubeck Store. Beyond that store was the Weber Hardware Store. One thing that is interesting about this photo is what is missing. In the foreground on the right, where you see the pole is where the first Bank of Altenburg was built. That bank was constructed in 1910. Therefore, we know this photograph had to have been taken before 1910. I might add that this photo also shows another hardware store, the Mueller Store, on the left with the rounded roof line.
I have two questions. First, when was the building that housed the Weber Hardware Store built? Secondly, was there a previous owner of that building who may have constructed it. I do not know a definitive answer, but I have a suspicion that John Adolph’s father, Charles, might have bankrolled the construction of this building and put his son in place to run it sometime not long before 1909. We find the Weber household living in Altenburg in the 1910 census.
It does not appear that John Adolph was in Altenburg for very long. Another child was born in 1912 and baptized at Trinity, Altenburg, but their subsequent child born in 1916 was once again baptized at Immanuel, Perryville. The 1920 census once again places this family in Perryville where John Adolph is called a traveling salesman.
John Adolph must have moved his family again before the 1930 census because in that year, we find him living and working in St. Louis as a tinner.
He did not stay there for very long either because in 1940, he is back in Perryville running the Weber Repair Shop.
Our German Family Tree credits John Adolph and Carolina with having 10 children. I am going to backtrack to an event which took place in 1906 in Perryville. A 50th anniversary celebration was held for John Adolph’s parents. A photo was taken of the Weber family outside the Charles Weber home on that occasion. It is shown below.
John Adolph and Carolina are in the back row on the left. I have been able to enlarge that portion of this photograph to show these two.
John Adolph died in 1954. He died of hepatitis at the age of 82. We have his death certificate.
Carolina died in 1959. She died at the Jewish Hospital in St. Louis at the age of 86. Below is her death certificate.
John Adolph and Carolina are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
I would like to talk some more about the building that housed the Weber Hardware Store in Altenburg. That building still stands and has had quite a history all its own. After it was the Weber Hardware Store, a man named Henry Hahn took over the building. He was the postmaster and used it as a post office for a while, but he also ran an ice cream parlor in that building which was open on weekends.
Later, this building was owned by a Kasten who operated a variety store run by Ottbert Doberenz. We have this photo taken inside that store along with Ottbert.
We also have this calendar from the Kasten Variety Store hanging on display in our museum.
After its time housing a variety store, this building began being used as a local “watering hole”. It has now been occupied under numerous proprietors over the years as a tavern. The last two such establishments that have been here since I moved to Altenburg 9 years ago are the Mississippi Mud Saloon and the Grayson’s Bar & Grill. Occasionally nowadays, one can hear local musicians entertaining the patrons of this establishment. I took a photo of Grayson’s this morning.
In closing, let me note that Gerard Fiehler and I have plans to visit this establishment soon to talk with the present owners. We hope to find out that they have a copy of a title search for this property that may answer the question about who it was that had this historic building constructed in our little village of Altenburg. We may have to enjoy some of their liquid beverages while we are involved in our research. Prost!