John Hooss and Mary Magdalena Kiesler were married in Perryville 150 years ago. I will attempt to tell the tale of a prominent family in Perryville history. I will begin with documenting the early years of John Hooss.
John Hooss was born on February 1, 1848, the son of Henry and Barbara (Fath) Hooss. His death certificate would say that he was born in Perryville, Missouri, but I am not sure where he was baptized. He had an older brother and sister who were both baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, but John’s baptism is not found there. Perhaps he was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. We know that Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville did not get established till the 1860’s. John’s father, Henry, operated a tavern and hotel in Perryville. In fact, for a while it was known as the White House. It is shown in the foreground of the photo below which I managed to find on the Facebook page of the Perry County Historical Society.
I guess one could say that John Hooss grew up in the White House.
The first census in which we find John was the one taken in 1850. It says he was 2 years old. Here it says his father was a tavern keeper.
In 1860, we find that this household was operating a hotel, and you see that the census listing is quite long with names of folks living in the hotel. John was 12 years old. Your guess is as good as mine as to why it says the youngest in the Hooss family, Louis P., was born in Turkey.
During the Civil War, John Hooss served in the Union Army. Here is a record of his Civil War service.
The timing of his service corresponds with the Battle of Fort Davidson, which took place in Pilot Knob, Missouri on September 27, 1864. It also looks like we found another bugler from Perry County. Captain Weber was also likely to be Charles Weber, one of the original immigrants in 1839. Later, we see that he had a pension from his Civil War service. He was part of the 47th Regiment of Infantry Volunteers.
On January 18, 1870, John Hooss married Mary Magdalena Kiesler. Mary was the daughter of George Henry and Dorothea (Yauker) Kiesler. She was born on December 30, 1849 in Germany. I was unable to locate Mary in an earlier census. I was also unable to find a civil marriage license for this couple, but a church record can be found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. In fact, I will show all the records for that church for grooms with the name, Hooss. This document states that John was a blacksmith in 1870.
Since this marriage took place so early in the year 1870, this couple made it into the census for that year. Mary’s mother was living in their household, indicating her husband had probably died. This census says that John was a tinner.
The 1880 census indicates that John was a retail grocer. There is also a 12 year-old girl by the name of Elizabeth Lewis who is said to be an adopted daughter. However, I cannot tell if that daughter was adopted by John and Mary, or by Dorothea Kiesler, Mary’s mother.
The above census does not indicate this, but according to our German Family Tree, there were 6 babies born into this Hooss family in the 1870’s, but none of them made it past infancy. They finally had two children who survived to adulthood that were born in the 1880’s.
At this point, I am going to display a biography that was part of Goodspeed’s History of Southeast Missouri that tells more about John Hooss’s life. This bio also includes some information about John’s youngest brother, Louis Hooss.
As is told in this article, these two Hooss brothers bought a general store in Perryville in 1886. In an 1895 publication called A Modern Eden: A History of Perry County, Missouri, we find a full-page ad for John Hooss & Co. on the inside front cover.
The 1900 census shows the following Hooss household. John is called a dry goods dealer, and their two children, a boy and a girl, are on the list as teenagers. I had to use two images.
Their son became an eye doctor who had his practice in St. Louis, and their daughter married Leo Herbst, who was a tailor and had a clothing shop in downtown Perryville. We find the Hooss household in the 1910 census. Leo and Myrta Herbst were living with John and Mary.
John Hooss died in 1912 at the age of 64. We have his death certificate.
We still find Mary in the 1920 census. Since she is listed right next to Leo and Myrta Herbst, she was probably still living with them.
In another publication printed in 1923, we see an ad for Leo’s tailor business.
Mary Hooss died in 1923 at the age of 73. We also have her death certificate.
John and Mary are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
I am going to display a portion of John’s will. I find it interesting that his will is signed by the probate judge, who happened to be John’s brother, Thomas Hooss.
It is also interesting to note that John had a younger sister, Louise, who married Henry Kiesler. That couple was married in February of 1870, about a month after John and Mary were married.
In closing, I will simply wish John and Mary a very special Happy 150th Anniversary.