Ole’ Ben’s Younger Sister

On May 20th, I wrote the story of Ole’ Ben Hopfer, who married Emma Vogel on that date back in 1906.  Today, you will read an account of the life of Ole’ Ben’s little sister, Martha Hopfer.  And it turns out that Martha married Emma’s older brother, John Vogel about 4 months after the other Hopfer/Vogel wedding.

We start with a birthday.  Martha Hopfer was born on June 1, 1887, the daughter of Gotthold and Amelia (Kasten) Hopfer.  Martha was child #10 in her family of 10.  Ole’ Ben Hopfer was child #8.  By the way, child #9, Angeline Hopfer, had a post written about her in the past as well.  That article was titled, Angeline Pi.  Martha Hopfer, like all others in her family, was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri.  Below is her baptism record.

Martha Hopfer baptism record Grace Uniontown MO
Martha Hopfer baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Martha is found in her first census in 1900 at the age of 12.  Her father had died when she was just 6 years old.

Martha Hopfer 1900 census Union Township MO
1900 census – Union Township, MO

Now, we turn our attention to Martha’s future husband, John Salomo Vogel.  John was born on August 2, 1881, the son of Salomo and Helene (Schmidt) Vogel.  John was child #3 out of 9 in his family.  His older brother, Adolph Vogel, would later be the pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg for most of his ministry.  John was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri.  Here is an image of his baptism record.

John Vogel baptism record Concordia Frohna MO
John Vogel baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

John was already 18 years old before we can look at him in the 1900 census.  He was living in his Uncle Henry’s household in Fountain Bluff Township in Illinois and working as a farm laborer.

John Vogel 1900 census Fountain Bluff Township MO
1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Both of the Vogel/Hopfer marriages in 1906 took place at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.  If you look in the church records for that congregation, you will find only those two marriages during that year.  As said before, Benjamin and Emma’s wedding took place on May 20th.  John Vogel married Martha Hopfer on September 16th.  Below are the church records for the two Vogel/Hopfer weddings.

Vogel Hopfer marriages 1906 Grace Uniontown MO
Vogel/Hopfer marriage records – Grace, Uniontown, MO

I find it quite interesting that John and Martha were both attendants at Ben and Emma’s wedding 4 months before theirs.  I can just imagine those two walking together down the aisle at Grace Lutheran Church as a couple.  The question is whether these two were courting by then or not.  Just for your information, the Vogel’s weddings took place when their brother, Rev. Adolph Vogel, was serving as a missionary in Brazil.  We can also take a look at the marriage license for John and Martha.

John Vogel Martha Hopfer marriage license
Vogel/Hopfer marriage license

According to our German Family Tree, John and Martha had 8 children.  We find this couple in the 1910 census with their first two children.  The head of the household was John’s father, Salomo, who by this time, had purchased a farm near Uniontown.  In addition, John’s grandparents, Heinrich and Wilhelmine Schmidt were also living in that household.

John Vogel 1910 census Union Township MO
1910 census – Union Township, MO

We can see the Vogel farm in the plat maps produced in 1915.  Their land was along the banks of the Apple Creek.

Sal. Vogel land map 1915
Sal. Vogel land map – 1915

John had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918.

John Vogel – WWI draft registration

The next census we can view for this family was the 1920 census.  They were up to 4 children at that time.

John Vogel 1920 census 1 Union Township MO
1920 census – Union Township, MO

The last census in which we find Martha Vogel was the one taken in 1930.  Their oldest daughter, Ella, had gotten married, so she is no longer in the household.  Another son was born in 1928, but died right away.  John’s parents were still alive and living with them as well.

John Vogel 1930 census Union Township MO
1930 census – Union Township, MO

In 1939, Martha died at the age of 52.  Her death certificate says she died at Lutheran Hospital in St. Louis.

Martha Vogel death certificate
Martha Vogel death certificate

The 1940 census shows John Vogel as a widower.  Nearby, we find other interesting families.  Below his household we find his older brother, Arno Hopfer, and his family.  Above his name is Theodosious Frentzel, who is the brother of the woman who would become John’s second wife.

John Vogel 1940 census Union Township MO
1940 census – Union Township, MO

John had his World War II draft card completed when he was 60 years old.

John Vogel – WWII draft card

On April 21, 1946, John married again.  His second wife was Natalie Frentzel.  If you look closely at John’s church marriage record shown earlier, you will see that she was an attendant at his marriage back in 1906.  Now she was marrying him 40 years later.  These two were married in St. Louis.  Here is an application form for their marriage license.

Vogel Frentzel marriage license St. Louis MO
Vogel/Frentzel marriage record – St. Louis, MO

Natalie Frentzel, the daughter of Arthur and Emma (Telle) Frentzel, had not previously been married.  We find her in 3 different censuses from St. Louis showing her as a servant in someone else’s family.  In 1920, we find her working as a servant in the George Stoeckhardt family.  George was a rather notable professor at Concordia Seminary.

Natalie Frentzel 1910 census St. Louis MO
1910 census – St.  Louis, MO

We still find her in the 1920 and 1930 census records from St. Louis working for other families.  Here is the 1920 census.

Natalie Frentzel 1920 census St. Louis MO
1920 census – St. Louis, MO

Next, here is the one for 1930.

Natalie Frentzel 1930 census St. Louis MO
1930 census – St. Louis, MO

What I find fascinating is that both of these census records say she was living on Waterman Ave. in St. Louis.  I have circled the house number on each entry.   She was living at the same address in 1920 and 1930, 6255 Waterman Ave., but with different families and working as a servant.  It is as if she was the maid at that house no matter who lived in it.

In 1932, Natalie’s mother died, leaving her father as a widower.  We find Natalie back in Perry County living with her father in the 1940 census.

Natalie Frentzel 1940 census Union Township MO
1940 census – Union Township, MO

Natalies father died in 1944, leaving her all alone.  That leads us up to her marriage to John Vogel in 1946.  One can imagine that these two older individuals would both benefit from getting married and helping each other cope.

Natalie died in 1970 at the age of 81; John died in 1973 at the age of 91.  John and both his wives are buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown.

So, now you know both the story of the Jacob, Illinois Hopfer’s and the Uniontown, Missouri Vogel’s.  I wonder how many times these two couples who had been married in 1906 got together for family get-togethers over the years.




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