Theodore and His Two St. Louis Wives

The birthday of a girl in St. Louis is the starting point for today’s tale.  Emilie Christiane Happel was born on July 30, 1858, the 8th child of William and Christiane (Kuehn) Happel.  Her parents were both original members of the Gesellschaft in 1839.  The marriage of Emilie’s parents took place on the day when the first church building of Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis was dedicated in 1842.  That story was told in the post, Busy Day for a Marriage.  Emilie was baptized at that same church in 1858.  Her baptism record is shown here.

Emilie Happel baptism record Old Trinity St. Louis MO
Emilie Happel baptism record – Old Trinity, St. Louis, MO

Emilie is found in this 1870 census for St. Louis at the age of 11.

Emilie Happel 1870 census St. Louis MO
1870 census – St. Louis, MO

Somehow, Emilie Happel found her husband in New Wells, Missouri.  Her husband would be Theodore Ernst Vogel, the son of August and Catherine (Doering) Vogel of Frohna.  He was born on December 2, 1854 and baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church.  Below is his baptism record.

Theodore Ernst Vogel baptism record Concordia Frohna MO
Theodore Vogel baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

We find Theodore in the 1860 census at the age of 5.

Theodore Vogel 1860 census Brazeau Township MO
1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

We find Theodore still living in Frohna in the 1870 census.

Theodore Vogel 1870 census Brazeau Township MO
1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

By the time of the 1880 census, Theodore had moved to Shawnee Township where he was working as a blacksmith with Herman Pfeiffer.

Theodore Vogel 1880 census Shawnee Township MO
1880 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Theodore Vogel married Emilie Happel on July 31, 1881, the day after Emilie’s 23rd birthday.  The marriage took place at Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis.  Here is the church marriage for that wedding.

Vogel Happel marriage record Old Trinity St. Louis MO
Vogel/Happel marriage record – Old Trinity, St. Louis, MO

Fairly early in his life, Theodore had this photograph taken.

Theodore Ernst Vogel
Theodore Vogel

Theodore and Emilie would have four children according to our German Family Tree.  They were all born before the next census shows up in 1900.

Theodore Vogel 1900 census Shawnee Township MO
1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Their son, John Arthur Vogel, must have been living elsewhere at the age of 17, but I was unable to find him.

Emilie Vogel died in 1905 at the age of 46.  She was buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.

Emilie Happel Vogel gravestone Zion Pocahontas MO
Emilie Vogel gravestone – Zion, Pocahontas, MO

I have not document to support it, but I think Theodore married again on August 20, 1907.  His second wife was Martha Maria Sieving.  Quite a few Ancestry family histories spell her surname as Sewing, which is a name found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim.  However, after searching that church’s books as well as a very thorough book that we have that documents this family called the Sewing Circle and not finding her, I looked elsewhere.  I eventually found her in St. Louis.  Her death certificate gave me the necessary clues.  It said her parents’ names were John and Louise (Wehmueller) Sieving.  I found this St. Louis marriage record for Mary’s parents.

Siewing Wehmueller marriage record St. Louis MO
Sieving/Wehmueller marriage record – St. Louis, MO

It’s a little hard to read, but it says the preacher who married them was Rev. J.F. Buenger, who was the pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Louis at the time.

Next, we find the Vogel household in the 1910 census.  Their son, Alfred Vogel, was also a blacksmith.

Theodore Vogel 1910 census Shawnee Township MO
1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The last census in which we find Theodore was the one taken in 1920.  This time, it says Theodore was a mechanic.  I think this is yet another case of a blacksmith who transitioned to become an automobile mechanic.  I also included the household of the son that was missing in that earlier census, John Arthur Vogel, who was said to be a merchant in Pocahontas.

Theodore Vogel 1920 census Shawnee Township MO
1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

Theodore Vogel died in 1924 at the age of 69.  Here is his death certificate.

Theodore Ernst Vogel death certificate
Theodore Vogel death certificate

Theodore was also buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas.

Theodore Vogel gravestone Zion Pocahontas MO
Theodore Vogel gravestone – Zion, Pocahontas, MO

Martha Marie Vogel died in 1930 at the age of 69.  She died in Cape Girardeau County, but her death certificate says she was buried in St. Louis.

Martha Marie Vogel death certificate
Martha Marie Vogel death certificate

I found a record of Martha Marie being buried in the Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis, but there is no gravestone photo for her.  However, I did find gravestone photos of her parents.

The oldest son of Theodore Vogel was another Theodore.  He went on to become a Lutheran pastor.  Evidence seems to point out that he spent time in Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana.  He is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  I also found some photos of each of the Vogel children which I will include below.  Left to right, and also in the order of their birth, are Rev. Theodore, John Arthur (and his wife, Emma Mirly), Alfred, and Oscar.

This story took me on a wild research ride.  I still find it a little puzzling how a Pocahontas blacksmith could find not just one, but two wives, in St. Louis.


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