My career was spent as a Lutheran educator. I spent my days in several states, picked up a wife and family along the way, and served as both a classroom teacher and a principal. The main character in today’s story followed pretty much that same pattern. He also is today’s birthday boy.
Paul Theodor Valentin Noennig was born on January 5, 1885, the son of Martin and Pauline (Froebel) Noennig. He was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Below is his baptism record.
Paul can be found in the 1900 census for Brazeau Township. He was 15 years old. This document is one of several that I found that call him Paul T.V. Noennig.
The 1915 Perry County atlas shows the land owned by Paul’s father, Martin Noennig.
The 1900 census was the only one in which we find Paul living in Perry County. It must not have been long after that census that Paul went off to school to become a Lutheran teacher. The most likely place for him to attend college was the Addison Teachers Seminary in the Chicago, Illinois metropolitan area. It appears that Paul’s first teaching position was at Christ Lutheran Church in Peoria, Illinois. I found a city directory showing Paul living in Peoria as early as 1909.
Here is a photo of Christ Lutheran Church at the time when Paul Noennig was a teacher.
We find Paul in the 1910 census for Peoria. It shows him married to a wife named Clara. It also states that they had been married 0 years, indicating they were newlyweds. Clara was Clara Harms. You can see the Harms household right above Paul’s name in this census.
I found Paul in Peoria as late as 1912. We see him in the city directory for that year.
In 1913, we find Paul in a city directory of Portland, Oregon.
Paul was a teacher at Zion Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon. Here is a photo of what that church looked like when Paul served there.
I found another Portland city directory that said Paul was still in that city in 1917, but when he had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918, he was living in Concordia, Missouri and teaching at St. Paul’s Lutheran School.
Paul and his family were still in Concordia, Missouri when the 1920 census was taken. They had 3 children, two who were born in Oregon, and one that was born in Missouri.
Clara Noennig died in 1922. I found a record of her death in some records from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Concordia, Missouri online.
As early as 1927, we find Teacher Noennig living in Kankakee, Illinois. Here is a 1927 city directory that says he was the principal at St. Paul’s Lutheran School.
I was unable to find a 1930 census record for Paul in Kankakee, but I did find one for the 1940 census. It includes a wife named Amelia, so Paul must have married again.
I found Paul in a Kankakee city directory as late as 1949, but he was no longer a teacher. He would have been around 64 years old at that time.
According to a California death index, Paul died in Contra Costa County in 1960. I found evidence that his son, Robert Noennig, was living in that county. In 1960, Paul would have been 75 years old when he died. I was unable to find a burial location for him.
Teacher Paul Noennig is yet another example of a full-time church worker for the Lutheran church who had his roots in East Perry County. When I was a student at Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska, I had a classmate by the name of Bruce Noennig. Despite being from Minnesota, he could claim some ancestors from Perry County. He was some sort of cousin a generation or two removed to the Teacher Noennig in this post. The last I heard, Bruce was still a Lutheran pastor in northern Minnesota.