If you were to ask me to list the top four surnames of lay people who were associated with the establishment of the Lutheran church in Uniontown, Missouri, I think that list would be the following: Hemmann, Frentzel, Hopfer, and Telle. Those are certainly not the only important names involved in the history of that congregation, but those would be the first four that would come to my mind. Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown has three different cemeteries listed on Findagrave.com. If you look at the largest of those, you will find large amounts of grave sites for those four names. Here is a tally of them:
- Hemmann – 24 grave sites
- Hopfer – 19 grave sites
- Frentzel – 18 grave sites
- Telle – 18 grave sites
Today’s story hits all four of them.
Martha Frentzel was born on January 31, 1870, so today would have been her 150th birthday. She was the daughter of Carl and Amalia (Hopfer) Frentzel and baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. Here is her baptism record.
Martha already shows up in the 1870 census as a baby. She was actually the baby of a rather large Frentzel family. She was child #9. Her father was a retail dry goods merchant.
Meanwhile, Martha’s future husband, Gottfried Telle, was born 4 years earlier on September 9, 1866. He was the son of Herman and Eva (Hemmann) Telle and was also baptized at Grace, Uniontown. Below is his baptism record.
Gottfried is first found in the 1870 census.
I will interject here that the time period when these two were born is about when the town that was once called Paitzdorf was renamed and became Uniontown. It is a bone of contention when, how, and why that name change took place. One theory says that it become Uniontown when the Union Township was established. That township was not to be found in the 1870 census. You can see in the above census entries that the township in which these two lived was the Cinque Hommes Township. If you look at the two images below, you can see that the 1870 census table of contents does not include a Union Township, but the table of contents for the 1876 Missouri state census does include a Union Township.
I also found a map that was produced in 1872 that does include a Union Township in Perry County.
In a document listing postmaster appointments, there is a record that says Martha’s father, Charles Frentzel was appointed as postmaster of Uniontown (not Paitzdorf) in 1868. He was replaced by today’s character, Gottfried Telle, in 1899, the year that Charles Frentzel died.
One more thing. I found this discussion of the Paitzdorf/Uniontown name change in a publication we have in our library.
The 1880 census records for both Gottfried and Martha are a challenge as well. They are both included in the “Lost Union Township Records” which were only recently discovered. First, here is the entry for Gottfried Telle.
Next, here is the entry for Martha Frentzel. She was 10 years old, and her father was called a grocer.
On October 30, 1892, Gottfried Telle married Martha Frentzel at Grace, Uniontown. We have the church record for that wedding. The wedding took place on the day before the 375th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.
We also have this civil marriage license for this couple.
We find the Telle couple in the 1900 census. Gottfried was a farmer. It must have been a challenge for Gottfried to be both a farmer and a postmaster. He was replaced as a postmaster in 1907. There were 3 children in the Telle family at this time.
A set of twins was born to this couple in 1901, but they did not live long. Interestingly, this set of twins made up of a boy and a girl, were named Gottfried and Martha, their parents’ names. The 1910 census for the Telle’s is shown below.
The 1915 plat map shows where Gottfried Telle owned property right along the banks of the Apple Creek.
Next, we see them in the 1920 census. I wrote a story about one of the sons, Albert Telle, recently, and this is the census entry that says Albert was working at the swing factory in Wittenberg. Another story has been written about Adolph Telle, and this census entry says he was working at a garage.
The last census in which we see Gottfried was the one taken in 1930.
Gottfried Telle died in 1938 at the age of 72. Here is his death certificate.
The 1940 census shows Martha as a widow living with her two children who never married.
Martha would not die until 1962 at the age of 92. We also have her death certificate.
Both Gottfried and Martha are buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown.
I will leave it up to you to determine if these two grew up in Paitzdorf or Uniontown. I think it is safe to say that there were likely folks around in those days that called it Paitzdorf even after it officially became Uniontown.