Adolph and Martha Bock

The birthday boy for today’s post is Adolph Martin Bock, who was born on July 18, 1884. Today would have been his 137th birthday. Adolph was the son of Benjamin and Sulamith (Hopfer) Bock. He was the 7th of 12 children born to that couple. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you would expect that a son born to a Bock/Hopfer couple would be baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. You would be correct. Adolph’s baptism record from that congregation’s books is shown below.

Adolph Bock baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

We are not able to see Adolph in a Federal census until the one taken in 1900 when he was already a teenager. He was a laborer on his father’s farm. This would also be the only census in which we find Adolph as a single man.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

A later plat map shows the land that was the farm of Adolph’s father, Benjamin. This is where Adolph was raised.

Benjamin Bock land map – 1915

Next, we will take a quick look at the early life of his future wife, Martha Mehner. Martha was born on March 17, 1885, the daughter of Fritz and Elizabeth (Hillemann). A previous post was written about Martha’s parents titled, Fritz and EliseĀ Mehner. Martha was also part of a large family. She was child #8 out of 11. I believe she was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, but we are not able to view baptism records from that congregation because they were burned in a fire. Martha is found in her first census in 1900 at the age of 15. This entry comes from the Salem Township pages of that year’s census that are so difficult to read.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Three years before Martha was married, her sister, Emilie Mehner, married Rev. Rudolph Norden, the son of Rev. H.H. Norden, in 1904. Rev. H.H. Norden was serving both Zion Lutheran in Crosstown and Trinity Lutheran in Point Rest. Martha was in that wedding party and is shown on the left in the wedding photo below.

Norden/Mehner wedding

Adolph Bock married Martha Mehner on April 14, 1907 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. The church record states that Adolph was a blacksmith in Perryville. Right above their record, you will find the one for Martha’s sister, Emilie, and Rev. Rudolph Norden.

Bock/Mehner marriage record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Our German Family Tree lists 3 children born to Adolph and Martha. All 3 were baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. The 1910 census shows this young family living in Perryville where Adolph was a blacksmith. Their first child, Bernice, was born by this time.

1910 census – Perryville, MO

There is a parcel of land on the plat maps produced in 1915 for Perry County that has the name of Adolph Bock as the owner. It was located just west of Perryville.

Adolph Bock land map – 1915

In 1918, Adolph Bock had his World War I draft registration completed. It says Adolph had a Perryville address, and he was a farmer.

All three children were born before the 1920 census was taken, and at that time, we find this family was back living in the Union Township of Perry County. This time, Adolph was a farmer.

1920 census – Union Township, MO

Before the next census was taken in 1930, this couple moved their family to St. Louis where Adolph became a coal salesman. I recognized the address that was given on this census for the Bock’s…3967 West Pine. My grandparents lived at 4060 West Pine. However, my grandparents weren’t living there until we find them in the 1940 census, and by then, the Bock’s were living elsewhere.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Next, we find Adolph and Martha in the 1940 census. They had a different address, but Adolph was still a coal salesman. I have some early memories of seeing some old homes in St. Louis that had coal chutes leading into their basements where furnaces were once run on coal.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

Adolph Bock had his World War II draft card completed in 1942. Since Adolph gives his own name as his employer, I conclude that he ran his own business.

Adolph Bock – WWII draft card

Adolph Bock died in 1962 at the age of 78. His death certificate says that he was a retired coal and fuel salesman. He died in St. Louis.

Adolph Bock death certificate

Martha Bock died in 1966 at the age of 81. Her death certificate says she died at the St. Anthony Hospital in St. Louis.

Martha Bock death certificate

Despite the fact that both Adolph and Martha Bock died in St. Louis, they were buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.

Adolph and Martha Bock gravestone – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Adolph Bock was another man who had several different occupations during his life. Adolph and Martha were also a couple that lived in several different locations along the way. Yet, we see that this couple began and ended their lives in Perry County, Missouri.


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