Pretty Poppitz

The word schön in German means “beautiful”. The “Americanized” spelling used to eliminate the umlaut is schoen. Stories about people with the surname, Schoen, have shown up on this blog before. Today you will read a story about a Schoen who married a Poppitz, thus making her a Pretty Poppitz. Here is a photo of Esther (Schoen) Poppitz. I’ll let you be the beauty judge.

Esther Schoen Poppitz

Esther Domitilla Schoen was born on January 10, 1897, the daughter of Emmanuel G. and Mary T. (Haberfellner) Schoen. A previous post, Another Pocahontas Merchant, was written about Esther’s parents. Esther was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. The following information can be found about Esther in the binder we have for that congregation.

Esther Schoen information – St. John’s, Pocahontas, MO

Esther is found in the 1900 census at the age of 3. Her father was a dry goods merchant in Pocahontas.

1900 census – Shawnee Township, MO

The photograph shown below is said to have been taken around 1904 showing Esther with her older sister, Alma Schoen. A post, A Beautiful Swan Joins the Bevy, was written about the life of Alma.

Esther and Alma Schoen

We find Esther in her next census in 1910. Three more siblings are found in her family.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

A photo of the Schoen family is said to have been taken in 1911. Esther is standing in the back on the right.

Emmanuel Schoen family

Esther was still single and living with her family in 1920 at the age of 22. More family members are found on the next page of the census which I did not display.

1920 census – Shawnee Township, MO

That leads us to Esther’s future husband whose birthday led me to this story in the first place. Reinhold Poppitz was born on October 7. 1897, the son of Ferdinand and Ernestine (Oehlert) Poppitz. Reinhold was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is his baptism record.

Reinhold Poppitz baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Reinhold is found in his first census in 1900 at the age of 2. He grew up in the community known as Seelitz.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Reinhold in the 1910 census.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

I think it was around the time of the 1910 census that the Poppitz family photo was taken that is displayed here. Reinhold is standing in the front on the far right.

Ferdinand Poppitz family

In 1918, Reinhold had his World War I draft registration completed. He is said to be a farmer for himself and still living in Perry County.

Reinhold Poppitz – World War I draft registration

Reinhold did not get called in for military service during World War I, but he had two brothers, Ernst and Ferdinand, who did. I am guessing that this early photo of Reinhold was taken around this time.

Reinhold Poppitz

I was unable to find Reinhold in the 1920 census. Then on September 27, 1925, Reinhold Poppitz and Esther Schoen were married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas, Missouri. We can view this couple’s marriage license.

Poppitz/Schoen marriage license

This license says Reinhold was living in Potter, Nebraska. I did look for him in the 1920 census for that location, but was unsuccessful. Below is the wedding photo for this couple.

Reinhold and Esther Poppitz wedding

We can also view a photo of the entire wedding party.

Poppitz/Schoen wedding party

The information for Esther from the St. John’s binder says she transferred to St. Louis in 1925, so I think that after this wedding, this pair moved to St. Louis. That is where we find them in the 1930 census. Reinhold was a punch operator for an electric company.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Next, we find this family in the 1940 census. By then, these two had both of their children, a boy and a girl. Reinhold is called a punch press operator for an electrical factory manufacturer.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

When Reinhold had his World War II draft card completed, we see that Reinhold was employed by Wagner Electric.

Reinhold Poppitz – WWII draft card

Reinhold Poppitz died in 1972 at the age of 75; Esther Poppitz died in 1976 at the age of 79. They are both said to be buried in the Laurel Hill Cemetery in St. Louis, but there are no gravestone photos on Findagrave.

I did locate a few other photos of folks in this story. Here is a photo that is said to be of Esther Schoen and Dora Starzinger. It may have been taken after Esther was married because the home in the background looks like a St. Louis structure.

Esther Schoen and Dora Starzinger

Here is another photo that reportedly has Alma and Esther wearing the white dresses. The others are unidentified. I mainly want to show this picture because of the automobiles in the background. The photo was supposedly taken in the 1920’s. This one looks like it was taken in a more rural setting.

A later photo was taken of Esther Poppitz.

Esther Poppitz

Next, we see Esther with her daughter-in-law, Charlotte, who had married their son, another Reinhold Popptiz.

Esther and Charlotte Poppitz

Finally, here is a photo taken that includes both Esther and Reinhold along with the family of Gilbert Schoen, who was Esther’s youngest brother.

Reinhold and Esther Poppitz with Gilbert Schoen family

It isn’t often that I find a selection of photos like I found for this Poppitz/Schoen couple. It is a real treat to see photos such as these.


I have a few other photos and a video to share today. The trusses for our building addition are going up today. Also, our first visitor at the museum today was Peter Rabbit from the Farmer McGregor Farm.

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