Joe and Eunice Noennig

Today is a good day for me to do a story that only has two potential church records to view. I am once again out of town doing a grandparently duty, so I cannot display such church records. It seems that I have written several of these kinds of stories lately that involve an East Perry County native who only spent a childhood here before leaving and spending the rest of his life elsewhere. The only records I could display today would be his baptism and confirmation records. In the case of today’s main character, he never lived outside the state of Missouri, but he also did not remain in one place.

Joseph Heinrich Noennig was born on April 10, 1894, making today his 127th birthday. Joseph was the son of Gottfried and Emma (Kuehnert) Noennig. I can display this photo of Joseph’s parents whose story was told in the post, Wife, Mother, Grandmother of the Noennig Clan.

Joseph Noennig was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, Missouri. We find him in just one census while living in Perry County. That was the census taken in 1900 when he was 6 years old.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

A photo was taken of Joseph when he was quite young.

Young Joseph Noennig

I was unable to find Joseph in the 1910 census. I know he is not found living with his parents when he was about 16 years old. He was likely “working out” and living in someone else’s household. The next document I could find for Joseph was his World War I draft registration form that was completed in 1917. This form says Joseph was living in Willow Springs, Missouri and working as a butter maker at the Willow Springs Creamery.

Joseph Noennig – WWI draft registration

Joseph Noennig was called into service for World War I. His military record shown below indicates that he was sent overseas in 1918.

Joseph Noennig military record – WWI

A military transport form also indicates he was sent overseas.

Joseph Noennig – military transport record WWI

Joseph was described as being part of a prisoner of war escort. unit I know of several men from Perry County familiar with the German language who were used as translators with prisoners during both World War I and World War II. Another photo of Joseph is shown below. I am not sure whether this photo was taken before or after his marriage.

Joseph Noennig

Next, we will look at Joseph’s bride, Eunice Piland. Eunice was born on April 19, 1894 in Louisville, Kentucky. So, Joseph and Eunice were born just a matter of days apart from each other, but far away from each other. Eunice was the daughter of John and Daisy (Greene) Piland. We find Eunice living in Louisville in the 1900 census at the age of 6. It appears that the Piland family was living in some sort of hotel or boarding house. Eunice was the oldest of two girls in the family. Her father was a traveling agent

1900 census – Louisville, KY

A photograph of the Piland family was taken when Eunice was rather young. Eunice is at the far left.

John Piland family

When the 1910 census was taken, the Piland family is found living in Memphis, Tennessee. John Piland was called a broker for an axe handle company.

1910 census – Memphis, TN

Another picture of Eunice was produced at about this time in her life. Please take note of the hat.

Eunice Piland

It appears that Eunice’s parents were divorced before the next census. Her mother was living in Willow Springs in the 1920 census. I am guessing that is how Eunice Piland met Joseph Noennig because this couple was married on October 19, 1919 not long after Joseph returned from World War I. This couple had 5 children, the last of which died at a very young age. That left 2 boys and 2 girls. Here is a photo of Eunice that must have been taken around the time of her marriage.

Eunice Piland Noennig

The 1920 census shows Joseph as a butter maker living in Willow Springs. They would have their first child later that year.

1920 census – Willow Springs, MO

A photo was taken of Joseph holding his firstborn daughter, Martha.

Joseph Noennig and Martha

Before the 1930 census, this family moved to Springfield, Missouri. I found an interesting blog post that says a “Willow Springs Creamery” was built in Springfield in 1927. This likely explains this move by the Noennig family. The author of the blog post, Larry Wood, doesn’t have evidence that the creamery in Willow Springs and the one in Springfield were tied into one another.

Blog post excerpt by Larry Wood

Perhaps this move by Joseph gives evidence they are connected. Joseph is called a cream grader for a creamery in the 1920 census.

1930 census – Springfield, MO

An occupation change shows up for Joseph in the 1940 census. He was then called a carpenter. All 4 children show up in this entry.

1940 census – Springfield, MO

A 1941 city directory for Springfield shows yet another change in occupation. Joseph is called a florist.

Noennig names – 1941 Springfield city directory

Joseph being called a florist can further be explained by his World War II draft card that was completed in 1942. It said he operated a greenhouse.

Joseph Noennig – WWII draft card

Joseph Noennig died in 1947 at the age of 52. Some evidence on Ancestry points to his death taking place in Topeka, Kansas. The fact that I could not find a Missouri death certificate for him gives evidence that this may have been possible.

I was able to locate this photo taken of Eunice who is pictured with her mother, Daisey (in the middle), and her sister, Ruth (on the left). Eunice is on the right.

Ruth, Daisy, and Eunice

This trio looks as if they are proudly modeling their hats. I could not resist posting this picture of Eunice’s mother, Daisy, sporting an even more impressive hat in her younger years.

Daisy Greene Piland

Here are a few more photos of Eunice, one with her daughter, Ruth, and another of just Eunice at an older age.

Eunice Noennig died in 1975 at the age of 81. She died too recently for us to view her Missouri death certificate. There is a National Cemetery located in Springfield, Missouri, and that is where we find the grave sites of both Joseph and Eunice.

I wish I could have had Ken Craft, the founder of our Zion Roots Research Library, write this post. If I have it figured correctly, his wife is a descendant from this Joseph Noennig family. With his amazing research skills, I am sure that he could have provided many more details to this story.


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