Perryville Butcher

Adam Knoll was born on December 18, 1871, making today his 149th birthday. Adam was the son of John Nicholas and Katherine (Herman) Knoll. This Knoll family’s records are found in the Peace Lutheran Church, Friedenberg book. You may recall that this congregation’s original church records were destroyed in a fire, and a good reconstruction of those records is now included in a Friedenberg book that we have in our research library. However, I am unable to display images of original documents. Adam would have been baptized at that church which is located not far from present-day Perryville.

Adam can be found in his first census in 1880, where he is shown to be 8 years old. His family was living in the Salem Township, and his father was a farmer.

1880 census – Salem Township, MO

Since we cannot view an 1890 census, also because of a fire, the above census entry is the only one in which we find Adam as a single person. So, we will now turn our attention to his future bride. Her name was Anna Maria Klemp. Anna was born on February 16, 1870, the daughter of Johann and Caroline (Zoellner) Klemp. Anna was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. We have transcriptions of the church records from that congregation. Here is the transcription for Anna’s baptism. Her mother’s maiden name is mistakenly written as Selnau.

Anna Maria Klemp baptism record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Because Anna was born so early during a year when a census was being taken, we find her as a baby in the 1870 census. Her family was living in the Cinque Hommes Township,, and her father was a farmer.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Next, we find Anna at age 10 in the 1880 census. Her father had died in 1872 when Anna was just 2 years old, so Caroline is now listed as the head of the household in this entry, and she is called a farmer. Two older brothers in their teens were likely doing a lot of the farm work.

1880 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

That leads us up to the marriage of Adam Knoll and Anna Klemp which took place on April 10, 1894. They were married by Pastor Griebel at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville.

Knoll/Klemp marriage license

We can also view the transcription of the marriage record from the Immanuel, Perryville books. This record says Adam was a farmer near Crosstown.

Knoll/Klemp marriage record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Immanuel Lutheran Church constructed a new church sanctuary in the same year as this wedding…1894. Perhaps this wedding was the first one to take place in that new church. It is shown in the photo below.

Immanuel Lutheran Church – Perryville, MO

Adam and Anna had two children, both daughters, who were born before the 1900 census. The Knoll’s were living in the Central Township of Perry County, and Adam is still called a farmer.

1900 census – Central Township, MO

The next census in which we find this family was the one taken in 1910, and they were then living in Perryville. Adam was called a stock buyer.

1910 census – Perryville, MO

The last census in which we find Adam Knoll was the one taken in 1920. This time he was called a stock trader.

1920 census – Perryville, MO

It must have been around this time that the photo of Adam shown here was taken.

Adam Knoll

Adam Knoll died on Christmas Day in 1925 at the age of 54. His death certificate tells an interesting fact that we would not know by just looking at the documents that I have already displayed. It says that Adam was a butcher and a farmer. Adam’s cause of death was cancer of the liver.

Adam Knoll death certificate

I have a confession to make. I’m not sure I would have been attracted to this story had it not been for the photo that I am about to display. When I saw this picture, I figured I had to tell this story, if only to give me an opportunity to show you this photograph.

Adam Knoll butcher shop

There are so many things in this picture that I enjoy. First, I like photos that show people working at their occupations. So often, I see posed photos of people in studios or on special occasions where folks are all dressed up for the picture. I don’t get to see ones like the one above very often. I love the cash register, the man cutting the meat in the back, the animal carcasses hanging on the wall, the patterned ceiling, the butcher’s scale, the sausage links, the long sausage on the counter, the signs on the wall, the hole in the ceiling, and of course, the men’s mustaches.

Anna Knoll can still be found in one more census. In the 1930 census, her daughters are no longer part of the household, but she has a few other family members and a boarder living with her.

1930 census – Central Township, MO

Anna died in 1937 at the age of 67. We can also view her death certificate which also mentions cancer as a cause of death.

Anna Knoll death certificate

Adam and Anna Knoll are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.

I cannot help but wonder about the courtship of Adam Knoll and Anna Klemp. Would there be a tree located somewhere near Perryville that may have a special message still carved into its trunk…A.K. + A.K.?

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