Just two days ago, I wrote the story of Frederick Seibel, who operated a blacksmith shop in Frohna during his lifetime. That story is directly related to the tale I will tell today. Frederick’s wife was an Oberndorfer, and that surname will be an important one today. The Seibel Blacksmith Shop was also located right next to the business that will be discussed in this post.
Arthur Arno Kassel was born on June 24, 1895, so today would not only be his birthday, but a rather notable one…his 125th birthday. Arthur was the son of Christian and Sulamith (Hopfer) Kassel. He was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri. Below is his baptism record.
Arthur can be found in the 1900 census at the age of 5. He was Child #6 in a family of 15 children. It is a census entry that is quite difficult to read.
We find an even larger Kassel family in the 1910 census when Arthur was 15 years old.
In 1917, Arthur had his World War I draft registration form completed.
At this time in his life, he is shown to be a farmer for Benjamin Hopfer, who was his uncle. When Arthur was asked if he claimed any exemption that would keep him from being drafted, the form says, “I don’t want to be drafted.” It did not work. We find that Arthur was inducted into the military in September of 1918.
I believe Arthur is in this photo of a group of Perry County boys who were being sent to Camp MacArthur in Waco, Texas that was taken on the courthouse steps in Perryville.
It does not appear that Arthur was sent overseas for active duty. The way I have it figured, the Kassel family photograph shown below must have been taken not long before Arthur left for training in 1918. His brother, Paul Kassel, was inducted into the military in May of 1918 and is shown in a uniform in this photo, but Arthur, who is indicated by the red arrow, is not.
When the 1920 census was taken we find him in a new location and at an occupation that would last the rest of his life. He was living in Frohna with his brother Theodore and his family. Arthur is called a partner with his brother in operating a machine shop. That business was described in the previous post, Frohna Machine Shop.
On the map of Frohna that was posted in the story two days ago, you will see the Theodore Kassel property across the road from the Seibel land. The Frohna Machine Shop was across the street from Theo’s residence. It almost appears to be on some Seibel property.
On Christmas Day in 1921, Arthur Kassel got married. His wife was Magdalene Oberndorfer, the daughter of Benjamin and Bertha (Kramer) Oberndorfer. She was born on July 13, 1902 and baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. Her grandfather was a store owner in Longtown around that time. Magdalene would also have been the niece of Frederick Seibel’s wife, Maria Oberndorfer. Below is Magdalene’s baptism record.
The marriage on that Christmas Day in 1921 was not the only one. There are two marriages in the Grace, Uniontown records for that day. The other marriage was a Telle/Schaefer couple. They can be seen in the image below.
We can also view their marriage license.
This Kassel couple had 8 children, 4 of which were born before the 1930 census. Magdalene’s brother, Hugo Oberndorfer, was also living in their household. He was a laborer in the machine shop. It was the marriage of Arthur to Magdalene that led to a few Oberndorfer’s being employed in the Frohna Machine Shop.
Two more children were born before the 1940 census. I have to display this entry in two images.
Arthur had his World War II draft card completed in 1942. By that time, the Frohna Machine Shop had a second location in Perryville.
At some time along the way, Theodore and Arthur Kassel received an award from the Standard Oil Company for selling their products faithfully over the years. These two brothers can be seen in the photo below. Theodore is second from the left, and Arthur is on the far right.
The final two children in this family were born in the 1940’s, bringing the total number of their children to 8. Arthur died in 1963 at the age of 68. His death certificate says he died as a result of a form of leukemia at the Lutheran Hospital in St. Louis.
Magdalene Kassel died in 1982 at the age of 80. Arthur and Magdalene are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville, Missouri.
During the history of the Frohna Machine Shop, it evolved from being a place where one could get farm implements that were produced before the era of tractors all the way through the era when automobiles became used by many. The Frohna Machine Shop was involved in all those activities. They were also involved in providing parts for all kinds of machinery over the years. Arthur was a salesman for this business over the years. So, Art’s part in the parts partnership was as a salesman.