The Hoeh Ride

The first thing I must do today is discuss the pronunciation of the surname Hoeh that you see in the title. Folks around here would pronounce this name as “hay”. We will be looking at the “ride” made by Carl Edward Hoeh as he made his journey through life. The homes he had throughout his career were always in the state of Missouri, but only his early years were spent in Perry County.

Carl Edward Hoeh is today’s birthday boy. He was born on October 19, 1875, making today his 145th birthday. Carl’s parents were Paul and Wilhelmine (Hemmann) Hoeh who were members of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. It is in the church books for that congregation that we find his baptism record shown below.

Carl Hoeh baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

One of the challenges I faced while researching Carl’s life came when I looked for him in census records. The transcribers who were given the task of reading the census and other documents and indexing them on Ancestry.com rarely saw Carl’s surname and wrote it as Hoeh. I found several that transcribed his name as Hoch and one that said Hock. To add to that problem, his first census finds him in the 1880 record from Union Township, and his family happened to be in that lost set of records that were recently found. So, that one is not found on Ancestry either. Here is the entry for the Hoeh household in which Carl (Charles) is 4 years old in 1880. Even in this one, the census taker wrote the surname as Hohe.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

The only other document to be found for Carl in Perry County was his confirmation record. He was confirmed in 1889 at Grace, Uniontown.

Carl Hoeh confirmation record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Carl went off to prepare to become a Lutheran pastor. He likely attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in the 1890’s. In 1902, Carl began his service at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wellsville, Missouri which is located about 90 miles west of St. Louis.

While he was in Wellsville, Carl married Emma Kleinsorge on February 15, 1903. Let’s take a look at the marriage license for this couple.

Hoeh/Kleinsorge marriage license

First of all, this license was issued in Audrain County in Missouri, which is adjacent and not far from Montgomery County, in which you find Wellsville. Secondly, the pastor shown on this document was Rev. Henry J. Mueller from Wentzville, Missouri. Rev. Mueller had been born in Altenburg and went on to become a Lutheran minister. I wrote a post titled, Rocky Mountain Muellers, which told the story of Rev. Mueller. We also have the wedding photo of Carl and Emma.

Rev. Carl and Emma Hoeh wedding

Emma Kleinsorge was born on December 8, 1883, the daughter of Henry and Louise (Schirenberg) Kleinsorge. The only census in which we find Emma was the one taken in 1900 where she is already 16 years old.

1900 census – Montgomery County, MO

Before I move on with Carl’s story, let me point out that when I run across a pastor that served in Missouri prior to 1954, our research library has a resource that is very helpful. This is especially the case in a life like Carl’s in which he was a pastor his whole career and never left the state of Missouri. That resource is the book, The Heart of Missouri, which was published in 1954, telling the history of the Missouri District, which was once called the Western District.

That book shows that Rev. Hoeh served Trinity, Wellsville, from 1902-1906.

Rev. Hoeh – Trinity, Wellsville, MO

Carl and Emma had two children while at Wellsville, both of them boys, born in 1904 and 1905. The year 1906 must have gotten more challenging for Pastor Hoeh. According to Heart of Missouri, he also served what appears to be a dual congregation in Audrain County, one in Mexico and the other in Vandalia, Missouri. I am guessing that congregation lost its pastor and Rev. Hoeh became the vacancy pastor for them.

Carl Hoeh – Mexico and Vandalia churches

It looks like Rev. Hoeh took a call to another congregation later in 1906. The next church he served was St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Columbia Bottoms, Missouri. That location was also called Northdale and Baden over the years, and nowadays, it is called Spanish Lake. Pastor Hoeh served that congregation from 1906-1921.

Carl Hoeh – St. Peter’s, Columbia Bottoms, MO

Not long after arriving in Columbia Bottoms, which is located just north of St. Louis, another son was born in February of 1907. Then tragedy struck. Emma died less than two weeks after that birth. I have no death record to state the cause of death, but it was likely due to complications having to do with childbirth. Emma was buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Wellsville, but Findagrave has no gravestone photo. Needless to say, Rev. Hoeh was now a widower and left with a very young baby. He must have found some help from local people because we know that child went on to live a full life.

On June 30, 1909, Carl got married again. His second wife was Augusta Plautz, the daughter of August and Henrietta (Butenhoff) Plautz. Augusta is found in the 1880 census for Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1880 census – Milwaukee, WI

Next, we find Augusta still living with her parents in Milwaukee in the 1900 census, and she was working as a dress maker.

1900 census – Milwaukee, WI

This marriage took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a mystery to me how Carl met Augusta. Here is a marriage record for this couple.

Hoeh/Plautz marriage record – Milwaukee, WI

We find these two in the 1910 census living in the Saint Ferdinand Township which is where Columbia Bottoms was located. Carl’s household included his 3 children from his first marriage and a niece named Paula.

1910 census – Saint Ferdinand Township, MO

In the 1910’s, three more children were born, a boy and 2 girls. We find the Hoeh family again living in the same location in the 1920 census. All 6 children were listed in this household.

1920 census – Saint Ferdinand Township, MO

In 1921, Pastor Hoeh took a call to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, Missouri. Des Peres is a suburb of St. Louis. As this list from Heart of Missouri states, Carl would be the pastor of St. Paul’s from 1921-1945. You might note that Rev. J.A.F.W. Mueller, the first graduate of Concordia Seminary in Altenburg was the first pastor of this congregation.

Carl Hoeh – St. Paul’s, Des Peres, MO

In another binder we have in our research library which tells the history of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, I located a couple of photos of Rev. Hoeh in his later years.

Carl Hoeh died in 1949 at the age of 73. We can take a look at his death certificate.

Rev. Carl Hoeh death certificate

Augusta Hoeh died in 1963 at the age of 86. Here is her death certificate.

Augusta Hoeh death certificate

Rev. Carl and Augusta Hoeh are buried together in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Kirkwood, Missouri.

Rev. Carl and Augusta Hoeh gravestone – Oak Hill, Kirkwood, MO

Researching the life of Carl Hoeh did present some challenges. Sometimes, it’s the short names that cause the most problems.

Carl Edward Hoeh is yet another example of a native of Perry County who ended up becoming a full-time church worker in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.


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