Panhandle Pete of Perryville

Today I tell the tale of a Perry County boy who became known as Panhandle Pete.  Panhandle Pete got that name because of his exploits elsewhere, but before all was said and done, he ended up back here in Perry County.  And one of the amazing things about him was the fact that his name was not even Pete.

Arthur Martin Lohmann is today’s birthday boy.  He was born on October 14, 1883, so today would have been his 126th birthday.  Arthur Martin was the son of Peter and Wilhelmine (Mueller) Lohmann, so even if Panhandle Pete was not named Pete, his father was.  The story of Peter Lohmann and his several wives was told in the post Lohmann – The Altenburg Cobbler.  Here are photos of Arthur Martin’s parents.

Peter and Wilhelmine (Mueller) Lohmann
Peter and Wilhelmine Lohmann

Arthur Martin was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Here is his baptism record.

Arthur Martin Lohmann baptism record Trinity Altenburg MO
Arthur Martin Lohmann baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Arthur Martin was confirmed at Trinity, Altenburg in 1897, but then we do not find him in the 1900 census.  We have an autobiography of Arthur Martin in our research library, and in it, it states that he attended Concordia College in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  However, I could not find him in a census.  In 1904, he began attending Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  He did a vicarage in Manitoba, Canada.  After he returned to the Seminary, there were times when his services were needed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tilset, Missouri.  When Arthur Martin graduated in June of 1908, he was told that he was going to be preaching in the panhandle of Texas, but he was not assigned a congregation.  Since he had no official congregation, he was ordained at his home congregation, Trinity, Altenburg.  The first census in which we find him, Arthur Martin was already married.  It was while spending time at the Tilset congregation, that he met his future bride.  In his autobiography, he stated the following:

At Tilset, I met a most beautiful maiden, a lady in every sense of the word, the belle of the community, by the name of Hulda Clara Kipping.  She showed me many favors.  Allowed me to call on her.  Invited me for meals.  How could I keep from falling in love with her!  One night at choir practice she brought me a box of candy.  A note was enclosed reading: “Sweets from the sweet to the sweet.”

Arthur Martin married Hulda Kipping on October 28, 1909 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Their marriage license says that A.M. was from Canyon City, Randall County, Texas, and Hulda was from Tilset, Hubble Township, Missouri.

Lohmann Kipping marriage license
Lohmann/Kipping marriage license

We also have the church record for this marriage.

Lohmann Kipping marriage record Trinity Altenburg MO
Lohmann/Kipping marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Hulda Kipping was born on January 4, 1887.  She was the daughter of Louis and Wilhelmine (Feuerhahn) Kipping.  Here are photos of Hulda’s parents.


We do not have the church records for Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tilset, but I assume that Hulda was baptized there.  We find Hulda in the 1900 census for Hubble Township in Cape Girardeau County.

Hulda Kipping 1900 census Hubble Township Cape County MO
1900 census – Hubble Township, MO

According to a history of St. Paul Lutheran Church in  Canyon, Texas, Rev. Lohmann arrived in the panhandle of Texas in 1908.  You can read the pertinent information about him in a segment of that article below.

A Short History Of St. Paul Lutheran
By Pastor Samuel H. Nafzger

The first Lutheran pastor to serve the Panhandle area was the Rev. A. M. Lohmann, known as “Panhandle Pete”. He arrived in Canyon during the summer of 1908. In addition to his work in Canyon, he held worship services all over the Panhandle area and even in eastern New Mexico.

The map below shows where Canyon, Texas is located.  Interstate 40, which used to be the famous Route 66, is located just to the north of Canyon.

Canyon Texas map
Canyon, Texas map

The article states that Rev. Lohmann even held worship services in eastern New Mexico.  On the above map you can see Tucumcari, New Mexico on the left side.  A previous post told the story of several Perry County folks who attempted settling that area at about the time when Rev. Lohmann was in Texas.  That post was titled, Trek to the Territory.  It is possible that he may have preached to some familiar folks in Tucumcari.

The 1910 census shows this couple living in Canyon.  Their first child would be born later that year.

Arthur Martin Lohmann 1910 census Canyon TX
1910 census – Canyon, TX

The first two Lohmann children were born in Texas.  I managed to find a birth certificate for Victor Peter Lohmann.

Victor Peter Lohmann Texas birth certificate

Rev. Lohmann returned to Cape Girardeau County in 1912 where he became pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Egypt Mills, Missouri.  Egypt Mills is located in Randol Township, so the Lohmann’s moved from Randall County, Texas to Randol Township, Missouri.  Arthur Martin’s World War I draft registration shows that he was pastor at Trinity, Egypt Mills in 1918 when that form was completed.

Arthur Martin Lohmann – WWI draft registration

The 1920 census that contains the Lohmann family is practically unreadable, but I will display it anyway.

Arthur Martin Lohmann 1920 census Randol Township Cape County MO
1920 census – Randol Township, MO

In 1921, Rev. Lohmann took a call to become the minister at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville where he remained the rest of his life.  He served that congregation for 36 years.  He was instrumental at getting worship services conducted in the English language at that congregation.  The 1930 census shows the Lohmann family in Perryville with all three of their children.

Arthur Martin Lohmann 1930 census Perryville MO
1930 census – Perryville, MO

Somewhere along the line, the photo below was taken of Rev. A.M. Lohmann.

Rev. A.M. Lohmann

Next we find him in the 1940 census.  A Lutheran teacher by the name of Hans Bruss was in their household.

Arthur Martin Lohmann 1940 census Perryville MO
1940 census – Perryville, MO

Their oldest son, Victor can be found in that same census for Perryville.  He was listed as being the superintendent of the high school.

Victor Lohmann 1940 census Perryville MO
1940 census – Perryville, MO

Victor would later be a professor at St. Cloud State Teachers College in Minnesota.  I found a photo of him in one of their yearbooks.

Victor Lohmann 1950 St. Cloud State Teachers College
Victor Peter Lohmann

Hulda died in 1970 at the age of 83; Arthur Martin died in 1978 at the age of 94.  They are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.

Rev. A.M. and Hulda Lohmann gravestone Immanuel Perryville MO
Rev. Arthur Martin and Hulda Lohmann gravesite – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Rev. A.M. Lohmann is just one in a long list of Perry County natives who went off to become Lutheran pastors and teachers in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  In his case, he was called to come back “home” to serve a congregation right here in our midst.  Panhandle Pete didn’t pack a pistol, he packed the Gospel.

Below you see three generations of men of the Lohmann family.  Do you see a resemblance.


2 thoughts on “Panhandle Pete of Perryville

  1. I am “Panhandle Pete’s” great granddaughter. Thank you for writing about him. This is the first I have heard a lot of this history after your blog was forwarded to me by my aunt Victoria, Victor’s daughter. She says she has a copy of his biography and I look forward to learning more about my family. I met him several times when I was very young and he baptized me when I was a newborn even though I lived in Minnesota.

    Liked by 1 person

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