Today would have been the 162nd anniversary of Paul Martin and Anna (Lange) Estel. They were married at Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis on June 7, 1857. We have this marriage record, although it is just an entry in an Excel worksheet.
I chose to write this story for a variety of reasons. One big reason was because Paul was one of the original immigrants who came as part of the Gesellschaft in 1839. Another reason is the fact that I have a hard time resisting a story from the Estel family. This story, however, presented some real challenges.
Paul Estel was the son of Andreas and Caroline (Anders) Estel. We find this family traveling to America aboard the Olbers. He was just 4 years old at the time. His birthday was November 25, 1834. Here is a portion of that passenger list.
Paul spent his first years in America in Perry County. In 1848, he was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. In 1848, that congregation’s new church building was just 3 years old. We have a list of the confirmands from that year. Martin Paul is #4 on the list, and my great grandfather, Gottwerth Schmidt, is #2.
This is the only document on which I found Paul’s birthdate. If you are interested in a translation of all the members of this class, it is shown below.
For some reason, we do not find Paul living with his family in the 1850 census when he would have been 16 years old. I was unable to find him anywhere else in that census. I even looked for him in St. Louis because that is where we find him getting married in 1857.
I will insert here the fact that I discovered I had to be really careful when looking for Paul Martin Estel. There were several Paul Estel’s, several Martin Estel’s, and even another Paul Martin (or Martin Paul) Estel to be found in a variety of sources.
Paul’s bride, Anna Lange, was born on July 8, 1834. She was born in Germany, the daughter of Christian and Anna (Bleeke) Lange. The Lange family arrived in America in 1848. We find Anna in the 1850 census for St. Louis, Missouri.
After Paul and Anna were married in 1857, we find them in the 1860 census.
You can see that Anna’s family is listed right above the Estel household. Paul and Anna had two children by that time. I find it interesting that there are 4 Anna’s on this image. Anna (Lange) Estel was the oldest child in her family, and her own first child was named Anna. Also, apparently after Anna married Paul, the Lange family had an additional daughter that was also named Anna. It’s almost as if the Lange’s had to replace their first Anna with another one.
Anna did not live long enough to make it into the 1870 census. She died in 1869. We find her death record in the Old Trinity Lutheran Church books.
Anna Estel death record – Old Trinity, St. Louis, MO
Next, we find a very unusual situation. We find the children in this Estel family living with Anna’s Lange family in the 1870 census, but Paul (the father) is not found there. I could not locate Paul in the 1870 census.
I did find an entry for Martin P. Estel in an 1877 city directory for St. Louis. It is included in an interesting list of Estel names in St. Louis at the time.
If you look at Emanuel Estel, who was likely Paul’s brother, he is said to be part of a company known as Estel & Lange. I must also add that the intersection of Jefferson Ave. and Miami is quite near where you would find Concordia Publishing House, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Lutheran Hospital, and Concordia Seminary. Also, my best guess is that the location shown for Estel & Lange at 302 N. Commercial St. would have been very near where the Gateway Arch is now found.
The 1880 census shows Paul Estel living in what appears to be a boarding house or hotel with many other individuals. This record is very difficult to read, but Paul is found near the bottom shaded slightly with yellow. Paul is simply called a laborer.
Two different Paul Estel’s show up in an 1889 St. Louis city directory.
In another city directory for 1893, we find the following Estel names.
I will let you decide if this is the right Paul Martin Estel who is the focus of today’s story.
Paul Estel died in 1896 at the age of 57. We find his death record in the Old Trinity church books.
I was also able to find another death record for the city of St. Louis which shows that Paul died at the Lutheran Hospital.
Both Paul and Anna Estel are said to be buried in the Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis. However, Findagrave.com does not display photos of their gravestones.
I did find quite an impressive gravestone for Anna’s mother and father in that cemetery.
One of Paul and Anna’s daughters, Marie, married Robert Albrecht who was a teacher for a while. I am not sure if he was a Lutheran teacher or not. I located a photograph of the Albrecht family which includes quite a few grandchildren of Paul and Anna, although they were all born their grandmother had died.
This story sent me on a journey through records found in many places where I normally do not look. It turned out to be an interesting journey, and I think I found a fascinating story attached to one of the original members of the Gesellschaft.