Perplexing Pair of Poppitz Partners

On a lark, when I started yesterday looking for a story for today, I decided to not just look for an event that took place on September 14th, but I went after an event that took place 100 years ago today on September 14, 1919.  I was amazed that a search for that date in our German Family Tree came back with 25 results.  Also, those results pointed me towards four different weddings which took place on that day, which happened to be a Sunday.  I will be focusing on two of those four marriages, but before I do, let me briefly mention the other two.

  • Hugo Palisch married Lina Dewein at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville.
  • Henry Frank Roennigke married Hulda Bingenheimer at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown.

The other two weddings took place in the Poppitz family.  I have already written several posts involving the Ehregott and Clara (Mueller) Poppitz family.  Some of them are listed below if you want to catch up.

Another Sire from Seelitz

Poppitz Pairs

Born, Married, and Buried in Perry County

As For Me and My House….

Another Pair of Poppitz Partners

Here are photos showing Ehregott and Clara Poppitz.

The more I write about this Poppitz family, the more I discover that so many of the stories involve pairs of people or pairs of events.  In two different situations, a man ended up marrying two Poppitz girls from this family.  In one case, a Poppitz couple had two different sets of twins.  Now today, I discovered that two Poppitz siblings shared the same wedding day, and it just so happens that those two siblings were married at Trinity Lutheran Church 100 years ago today.  One of those siblings, Ernst Poppitz, had his story told in the post listed above, Poppitz Pairs.  However, when I authored that story, I did not notice that Ernst’s sister, Esther, was also married on the same day.  It is especially Esther’s story that I tell today.  Below are the church records for the double Poppitz weddings that took place 100 years ago.

Poppitz Riske and Berkholz Poppitz marriage records Trinity Altenburg MO
Poppitz marriage records – Sept. 14, 1919 – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

One interesting thing about these two Poppitz marriages is the fact that both of the Poppitz’s managed to find their spouse somewhere else other than Perry County`.  Ernst’s bride was from Sullivan, Missouri, and Esther’s groom was from Sawyer, Michigan.

Let’s take a look at Esther Poppitz’s beginnings.  She was the baby of the Poppitz family.  Her birthday was October 10, 1894.  She was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Below is her baptism record.

Esther Poppitz baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Esther Poppitz baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Esther can be found in the 1900 census for Altenburg.  She was 5 years old, and her father was a carpenter.

Esther Poppitz 1900 census Altenburg MO
1900 census – Altenburg, MO

At the age of 15, Esther could be found in the 1910 census.  The numbers on the right after her mother’s entry indicate that Clara Poppitz had given birth to 11 children with 9 of them still living.

Esther Poppitz 1910 census Brazeau Township MO
1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now let’s take a look at Esther’s groom, Edward Berkholz.  He was born on April 16, 1890.  One thing that makes Edward rather unique is the fact that several documents state that he was born in Russia.  Some of those same documents indicate that his parents were born in Germany.  This may be one of those cases where his family may have moved to Russia from Germany to take advantage of inexpensive land that was available.  Yet when Edward was about two years old, his family moved to America.  The first census in which I was able to find Edward was the one taken in 1910, and we find his family living in Berrien County, Michigan.  Edward was a 19 year-old laborer for his father, who had a fruit farm.

Edward Berkholz 1910 census Lake Township Berrien County MI
1910 census – Lake Township, Berrien County, MI

Edward Berkholz had spent some time serving in the military during World War I.  One record for his service is shown below.

Edward Berkholz WWI military record
Edward Berkholz – WWI military record

When Edward was buried, a plaque showing his military service was placed there.

Edward Berkholz military service plaque Trinity Altenburg MO

The big mystery in this story is this.  How did a fruit farmer from Michigan ever get tied to a Perry County girl?  I have no idea.

I found the two Poppitz marriage licenses on the same page in the Missouri Marriage Records.

Berkholz Poppitz marriage license
Poppitz marriage licenses

We also have a wedding photo for Edward and Esther Berkholz.

Berkholz Poppitz wedding
Edward and Esther Berkholz wedding

Edward took his bride back to Michigan with him.  We find them in the 1920 census for Lake Township, Michigan.  This is one of those documents that shows Edward’s birthplace as Russia.

Edward Berkholz 1920 census Lake Township Berrien County MI
1920 census – Lake Township, MI

Edward and Esther had no children during their lifetime.  We find them still in Michigan in the 1930 census.  In each of these two census entries, it describes Edward as being a farmer with a fruit farm.  I found information that says this area in Michigan is known for growing apples, grapes, and peaches.

Edward Berkholz 1930 census Lake Township Berrien County MI
1930 census – Lake Township, MI

I was unable to find a 1940 census for Edward and Esther, but we can take a look at Edward’s World War II draft card.  This document shows Edward working for the Truscott Boat & Dock Company.

Edward Berkholz – WWII draft card

I found this advertisement for the Truscott Boat & Dock Company.


Later in their lives, Edward and Esther moved back to Altenburg.  I have been told that they built and lived in the house just east of the Altenburg City Hall.  It is also said that they had another residence in Florida and would spend much of their winters there.

Edward died in 1986 at the age of 95; Esther died in 1987 at the age of 92.  They are both buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

One hundred years ago, two weddings took place here in Altenburg.  There may have been family members here from both Franklin County, Missouri and Berrien County, Michigan.  Perhaps the Wagner Hotel had some extra business as a result of these weddings.  This Poppitz story of a double wedding adds just one more episode to the several other events that involve Poppitz Pairs.


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