One of the regular visitors from out of town that we have at our museum is a man that we call Junior Doering. He has acquired that name because he and his father had the same name, Walter Doering. Today, I will write the story of William Doering whose father was named William Doering. So, in a way, he, too was a Junior Doering. However, in this case, there are some different middle names, so I’ll let you determine if he should be called Junior. I do know that William Doering, Senior was also Walter, Junior’s grandfather, and his story was told in the post, Junior’s Grandpa.
Wilhelm Joseph Heinrich Doering is today’s birthday boy. He was born on October 22, 1891, the son of Wilhelm and Ida (Mueller) Doering. That makes William one of the children born to his father’s first wife. After Ida’s death in 1894, William’s father would marry Maria Schmidt and have several other children. William, Jr. was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri. Below is his baptism record.
William’s future wife was born not long after he was and baptized at the same church. Her name was Bertha Emma Elizabeth Noennig. Her birthday was January 26, 1892. She was the daughter of Gottfried and Emma (Kuehnert) Noennig. Here is her baptism record.
We find these two individuals in their respective households in the 1900 census for Brazeau Township. First, here is the Doering household.
And here is the Noennig household.
I thought these two might have been in the same confirmation class at Trinity Lutheran Church, but I was wrong. In fact, I was surprised to find out that Bertha, even though she was younger, was confirmed in 1905, and William was confirmed in 1906.
I was only able to find William in the 1910 census. He was still living in the same household. Bertha was not included in her parents’ household in 1910.
On a plat map of Perry County produced in 1915, we find parcels of land owned by the Noennig and Doering families that are found not far from each other.
On April 30, 1916, William Doering married Bertha Noennig at Trinity, Altenburg. Here is their marriage license.
Here is a wedding photo of William and Bertha which includes their flower girl, Alma Doering. Alma was William’s younger half-sister.
We also have this couple’s church record from Trinity. Whoever wrote down this record started writing William’s name and must have realized it was the first marriage of 1916 and had to make an adjustment.
A photo was taken of the entire wedding party in front of the Gottfried Noennig house on Main Street in Altenburg. The six witnesses listed in the church record above would be the ones in this photo.
That house is still standing in Altenburg. I went by there today and took this photo.
William had his World War I draft registration filled out in 1917.
William and Bertha would have 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. The first two children, Raymond and Leona, show up in the 1920 census. This entry is a little confusing. This couple was living with William’s parents. The bottom three children on this entry were William’s younger half-siblings, not his own children.
We can also find this family in the 1930 and 1940 censuses. For a while, the Doering family lived in the Cinque Hommes Township of Perry County.
William and Bertha had their first children in 1917, 1919, and 1921. Then they had two more children in the 1930’s. Those last two do not show up in a census until 1940. That census shows them back in the Brazeau Township.
It was not long after that census that William and Bertha moved to St. Louis for a while. William’s World War II draft card filled out in 1942 indicates this.
William was working for McQuay Norris Company which was an auto parts business. It is said that during World War II, that company may have also manufactured bullets. William’s son, Leonard, served in the military in World War II. It must have been about this time that a photo was taken of the Doering family.
Later in their lives, William and Bertha must have moved back to Perry County. They lived in Perryville at the time of their deaths. William died in 1963 at the age of 71. Here is his death certificate.
Bertha died in 1987 at the age of 95. William and Bertha are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
It’s too bad that Walter (Junior) Doering is not visiting our museum today. He could have helped me by adding some details to this story. These two must have been Uncle William and Aunt Bertha to him.