J.J. the Accountant

One of my boyhood friends was named Joel. Someone pinned him with the nickname “Jolly Joel” which appropriately described his character. As time went by, that nickname was shortened to “J.J.”. Today, you will read the story of another man who could have been called “J.J.”. I don’t know if he was, but I cannot help but pin that nickname on him. His name was Julius Johannes Tirmenstein.

Julius was born on March 20, 1868 and was the 7th of 8 children born to Samuel Martin, Jr. and Dorothea (Doeries) Tirmenstein. Julius was baptized at Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Missouri. We have those church records in an Excel spreadsheet. Julius’s baptism record is displayed below.

Julius Tirmenstein baptism record – Old Trinity, St. Louis, MO

Julius can be found in his first census which was taken in 1870. This entry says that Julius was 3 years old, but I think he was just 2. His father was in the business of making tin ware.

1870 census – St. Louis, MO

Julius’s father, Samuel Martin Tirmenstein, died at the early age of 43 in 1875. Therefore, we do not see him in the next census taken in 1880. Julius was 12 years old.

1880 census – St. Louis, MO

Julius’s oldest brother, Martin, was working as a clerk in an awning company at the time of the above census. In a previous post written about Martin titled, Premiere Lutheran Publisher, it was said that he worked for the Missouri Tent & Awning Company. That business will show up again soon as we look at the life of Julius. Since we cannot view another census until the one taken in 1900, I took a look at some directories for the city of St. Louis for information about the life of Julius during that intervening time period. In the 1889 city directory, we find a list of Tirmenstein names.

Tirmenstein names – 1889 St. Louis city directory

Dorothea was the mother of the 3 men listed below her in this directory. Julius was a clerk for the Mo.T.&A.Co. If you look at Martin’s entry, you can see that would be the Missouri Tent & Awning Company. Julius’s older brother, as secretary, was just a little higher up on the ladder in that company. Otto Tirmenstein was Julius’s youngest brother, and he was working as a binder.

Next, we find Julius in the 1900 census. His mother was the head of the household along with Julius and one of his older sisters, Anna. Julius and Anna were both in their 30’s and still unmarried. Each of these two would never marry. Julius is called an office clerk in this entry.

1900 census – St. Louis, MO

When the 1920 census was taken, we find the same members of this Tirmenstein household, only 10 years older. Julius was said to be a bookkeeper for a tent company, so he was likely still working for the Missouri Tent & Awning Company.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

This household still remains the same when the 1920 census was taken. Now, Julius was called the secretary of a tent & awning company.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

Julius lost both his mother and sister in 1925. These two each died of pneumonia within 2 days of one another according to their death certificates.

Dorothea Tirmenstein death certificate
Anna Tirmenstein death certificate

These two were buried together in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in St. Louis.

Anna and Dorothea Tirmenstein gravestone – Concordia, St. Louis, MO

The death records for these two show that they were buried on the same day.

Dorothea and Anna Tirmenstein death records – Old Trinity, St. Louis, MO

I spent some time trying to find Julius in the 1930 census, but I was unsuccessful. Maybe one of our readers who has more time than I do can locate it. The 1940 census shows Julius living with his younger brother, Otto, and his wife. It says that Julius was working at clerical work for a real estate company. Otto was working as a book binder for a publishing company. I figure that would probably be Concordia Publishing House.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

I confess that when I find a potential story for a blog and it turns out the person was always single, I often move on to find someone else for a story subject. That is because single people do not have as many life events to fill up a post. There is no spouse to research, no marriage record to view, and no children to discuss. It has also been my experience to not find as many photos for someone who never married. That is not the case with Julius…or the Tirmenstein family in general. The Tirmenstein’s seemed to want to have studio photos taken at different time periods in their lives, and Julius is no exception. Below are three such photographs of Julius. I think I have them in the order that they were taken.

Julius Johannes (J.J.) Tirmenstein died in 1951 at the age of 83. His death certificate states that Julius had fallen on some ice on February 8th and injuries from that fall caused his later death on April 14th.

Julius Tirmenstein death certificate

Julius was buried in the same cemetery as many others in his family. The Concordia Cemetery has a plot in which several Tirmenstein’s were buried. Although I cannot show a specific gravestone for Julius, the photo below is the grave site that is pictured on the Findagrave.com site. I know the tall stone on the right marks the graves of his grandparents. Also, the two stones on the left are the one for his father and the one shown earlier for his mother and sister.

Julius Tirmenstein grave site – Concordia, St. Louis, MO

Now you know the story of J.J., a descendant of a large family of Tirmenstein’s that arrived as part of the Stephanite immigration in 1839. It was a family that chose to make St. Louis their home. Many other posts have been written about this family on this blog.


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