Walter Hacker would have been celebrating his 133rd birthday today. Walter Andrew Hacker was born on November 23, 1887, the son of Christopher and Adele (Schmidt) Hacker. Walter was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, Missouri. The records for that congregation were destroyed in a fire, so we cannot view his baptism record.
When Walter was about 10 years old, a new Lutheran church was established in Longtown, Missouri. In this segment of that congregation’s written history, we see that Walter’s father was a charter member.
It would be at that congregation, Zion Lutheran Church, that Walter would be confirmed in 1902. Here is his confirmation record from that church’s books. There were 5 confirmands in his class.
Walter’s confirmation would have taken place in the first church building of Zion Lutheran Church. A photo of that church is shown here.
The first census in which we find Walter was the one taken in 1900. His family was living in the Union Township of Perry County. Walter is shown to be 12 years old.
Walter would get married in 1910, but right before that wedding, the census was taken in April. Walter can be found as a single man in that enumeration. I have to display that entry in two images. Walter was 22 years old. This census also states that the Hacker household lived in the Longtown Village.
The plat maps produced in 1915 show a parcel of land belonging to Christopher Hacker, Walter’s father, just to the north of Longtown. That land can be found on both sides of what is now Highway 61. The church shown not far from this land is York Chapel. So, if you are driving along Highway 61, the Hacker land is what you see on both sides of the road between Longtown and the York Chapel.
Next, we will take a look at Clara Springer, who would become the bride of Walter Hacker. Clara was born on February 5, 1893, the daughter of Michael and Elizabeth (Hoehn) Springer. Like her future husband, Clara was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, and we cannot view her baptism record.
We find Clara in the 1900 census at the age of 7, living in the Central Township.
I was unable to find Clara in the 1910 census. She would have been 17 years old. I know she was not living in the same household as her parents. That Central Township census was taken in April of 1910, so Clara would not have been married yet.
Walter Hacker married Clara Springer on July 31, 1910 at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. That once again means that we cannot view their church marriage record. We can take a look at this couple’s marriage license.
The first of this couple’s 5 children was born in 1911 All 5 of their children were baptized at Zion Lutheran in Longtown. The first of these children would have been baptized at the first church building shown earlier. Here is the baptism record for their first child.
The rest of the Hacker children would have been baptized in a new church that was dedicated in 1912. That is the sanctuary still used to this day.
The 1920 census shows the Hacker household found in the Central Township with two children. This entry shows that they are living in close proximity with Clara’s parents, Michael and Elizabeth Springer.
The plat maps of 1915 show where the Springer farm was located.
This parcel of land, if I have this figured correctly, is found in the Central Township, but it is also very near the Bois Brule and Union Townships. Over the years, we find Walter in different townships in census records, but I think it is possible that he was living on the same land all along the way.
The 1930 census shows the Hacker’s living in the Bois Brule Township.
The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940. We find this family living once again in the Union Township.
Walter Hacker died in 1957 at the age of 70 as a result of a stroke. Here is his death certificate.
Clara Hacker died on Christmas Eve in 1973 at the age of 80. She died too recently to be able to view her death certificate. Walter and Clara Hacker are buried together in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Longtown.
Walter Hacker spent his early years living right outside Longtown. Later, after he married, he and his wife, Clara, regardless of where their farm was located, continued to be members of Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. If you look at census records for Walter’s father, you discover that he would become involved in operating a store in the Longtown Village at about the time of Walter’s marriage. I can just imagine the Walter Hacker family traveling into Longtown where their children could go visit their grandfather at his store. Perhaps they would hope for their grandpa to sneak them a little free candy.