Ella became an Eggers. She and her husband, called Tom, would be part of what became known as Eggers and Company in Farrar, Missouri. I will attempt to tell their story today. Normally, I would prefer to allow our friend, Fred Eggers, tell this story that is so connected to his family, but I couldn’t ask him to do this at the last minute. I begin with Ella because today would have been her 125th birthday.
Ella Kaempfe was born on August 1, 1895, the daughter of William and Anna (Mangels) Kaempfe. She was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri. Below is her baptism record.
Below is the wedding photograph of Ella’s parents.
The first census in which we find Ella is that notoriously bad one for Salem Township in 1900. I have enlarged it so you have a better chance of seeing Ella’s name. She was 4 years old at the time.
Next, we find Ella and her family in the 1910 census.
Ella’s future husband would be Martin Eggers, the son of Henry and Catherine (Soehl) Eggers. He was born on February 18, 1894 and baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Here is his baptism record.
I can show you a photo of Martin’s parents also.
Martin was called Tom during much of his life, so I will do so also. He was found in the 1900 census at the age of 6. Good luck reading this census entry.
Tom was 16 years old in the 1910 census.
On April 11, 1915, Tom Eggers married Ella Kaempfe at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Below is the church record for this wedding.
Tom had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917.
This couple would have 5 children. One of them died at the age of one. We find this family in the 1920 census with two children, and Tom was a farmer.
It was in 1920 that Tom and his younger brother, Walter, bought the Klaus Store located in Farrar. Below is a photo of that store when it was still owned by Henry Klaus.
Tom and his brother operated this store from 1920 until 1966. Here is an early photo of this building when it was the Bueckman Store, even before it became the Klaus Store.
Next, we find the Eggers family in the 1930 census which says that Tom was called a retail merchant at a general store. Walter was also living in his household as well as a young school teacher named Herbert Grebing.
The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940.
A photo was taken of Tom and his siblings that is displayed below. Each of his brothers and sisters are labeled.
A photo was taken around 1958 of Tom and Ella in front of their store.
A short biography of Tom’s life has been written by someone in this family. It adds a few more details that have not been shared yet.
Ella died in 1970 at the age of 74. She died too recently for us to be able to view her death certificate. Tom died in 1986 at the age of 91. He and Ella are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
I am going to place a few more photos of the Eggers and Company Store in a gallery. The thumbnails may be clicked to enlarge them.
Nowadays, the Eggers and Company Store is a bed & breakfast operated by one of Tom’s grandchildren, Ellen Frye. More information about the history of that store along with some more photos you might enjoy can be found on their website. You can click the link below to get there. You might consider staying at this historic site someday. My wife and I have stayed there, and I can attest to the fact that Ellen’s breakfasts are delicious.
Fred Eggers wrote a post a while back about one of the sons of Tom and Ella. His name was Homer Eggers, and one of his claims to fame was that he was born on the day of the Tri-State Tornado in 1925. That post was titled, A Tornado Tale of Two Towns. Perhaps we can talk Fred into writing the story about the other brother in the Eggers & Company Store, Walter Eggers, who is Fred’s ancestor. Or maybe he and his brother, Cal, who has also been a guest blogger for us, can work together on that story someday.
6 thoughts on “Eggers & Company – Tom and Ella’s Story”
I’d like to offer a correction to this post. The photo of the general store with the mule drawn wagon is when the store was owned by Mr. Bueckman, the original owner. Mr. Bueckman sold the store to Henry and Herman Klaus in 1903. They owned it until 1920 when it became Eggers & Co. I’m not able to add it here, but a photo of the store in about 1923 can be seen on the history tab page of our website: eggersandcompany.com (This is our correct website) In that photo, standing on the porch from left to right is Tom Eggers, daughter Mildred ‘Mickey’, daughter Vera and brother/co-owner Walt Eggers. Seated in the passenger seat of the truck is Tom’s youngest daughter, Ruby. There is another man, who is unidentified. Thanks,Ellen Frye
I have made those corrections. Hope I got them correct. Thanks for letting me know.
Thanks, Warren for writing about my grandmother, Ella (Kaempfe) Eggers. I am honored to have been named Ellen after her. Mostly, I remember her working in the kitchen. She made the kuchen that was part of every breakfast. Good thing that my Aunt Ruby wrote down the recipe, so I can now make and serve it at Eggers & Co. B&B. She also made THE BEST fried chicken. She also didn’t feel well a lot and had to lay down due to low back pain. She finally sought medical help at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and was found to have a tumor in her abdomen. Her death certificate recorded retroperitoneal sarcoma. No doubt this tumor was pressing on her spine all those years. She stayed with our family while she received cobalt treatments (radiation therapy). Eventually, there was a decision to surgically remove the tumor, said to be the size of a football. She passed away during surgery.
My father, Edmund Stelling, worked for Eggers and Co. 85 years ago, driving a truck between Farrar/Menfro and St. Louis. He carried local produce to STL and brought back grocery goods for the 2 stores.
While I enjoyed reading your article about my Great Aunt Ella, I would like to make a point of reference which was stated towards the end of your article. You stated that Walter Eggers, my Grandfather (I am Martha’s daughter), was Fred and Cal Eggers’ ancestor. I believe a more appropriate term to be used is father, as ancestor implies a relative of a distant time. This especially bothered me as you know Fred and Cal, and that Walter is as their father.
Thank you for allowing me to make this point of reference.
I wrote that because I wasn’t sure if he was their father or grandfather.