Longtown Oberndorfers

Several times in the course of writing on this blog, I have written different stories about several siblings in the same family, but not one about their parents. Then I later run into an occasion to write about those parents. Today will be another one of those stories. You may have read about their children, but not about them. It begins with a wedding anniversary.

Today is the 142nd anniversary of Ernst Oberndorfer and Gertrude Hacker, who were married on August 26, 1879. I will begin by looking at the bride.

Gertrude Hacker was born on December 10, 1857, the daughter of Andreas and Brigetta (Friedmann) Hacker. She was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. In the book, Friedenberg Remembrances, we find the following information about Gertrude.

Gertrude Hacker information – Friedenberg book

Gertrude can be found in the 1860 census at the age of 2. Her father was a farmer from Bavaria in Germany.

1860 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Next, we find Gertrude in the 1870 census where she is shown to be 12 years old.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Next, we will take a look at the groom, Ernst Wilhelm Oberndorfer, who was born on May 20, 1856. Ernst was the son of Matthias and Anna Maria (Meyr) Oberndorfer. He was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. An image of his baptism record is pictured here.

Ernst Oberndorfer baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

We find an interesting fact about Ernst’s father. Even though it looks like Matthias Oberndorfer was a member of Concordia, Frohna, when Immanuel Lutheran Church was founded after it broke away from Trinity, Altenburg in 1857, he is shown as a charter member of Immanuel.

Immanuel, Altenburg charter members

Ernst Oberndorfer also has information recorded in the Friedenberg Remembrances book.

Ernst Oberndorfer information – Friedenberg book

Ernst is found in the 1860 census living in the Brazeau Township at the age of 4. His father was a farmer from Austria.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Ten years later, we find Ernst in the 1870 census.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

That leads us up to the wedding of Ernst Oberndorfer and Gertrude Hacker. Their marriage took place at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, so I cannot display a church record, but I can show this certificate of marriage.

Oberndorfer/Hacker marriage certificate

The German Family Tree says there were 7 children born to this couple. All of them except the last one born in 1897, were baptized at Peace, Friedenberg. The last one was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. Their first child was born in 1880 and shows up already in the 1880 census. This is the first census year that we find entries for Union Township, and that is where we find this new Oberndorfer family with an infant. Ernst was called a blacksmith, and for some unknown reason, Gertrude was called Caroline.

,1880 census – Union Township, MO

Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown was established in 1897, and this Oberndorfer couple had a child baptized there in that year, yet Ernst Oberndorfer is not listed with a group of men described as charter members of that congregation. Then, we find the Oberndorfer’s in the 1900 census where it shows him as a merchant. His oldest son, August, was a salesman at his store.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

The 1910 census shows the Oberndorfer household, and once again we see Ernst as a merchant.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

The E. Oberndorfer Store is displayed in the photograph below. Ernst is not in the photo, but two of his sons are. August is seated on the wagon on the left. Benjamin is standing closest to the horses.

Oberndorfer Store

Next, we find this family in the 1920 census. The family of his son, August, is listed right below Ernst’s household. Also, his son, Leo (called Lonnie in this entry), was a dentist.

1920 census – Union Township, MO

Three previous posts have been written about children in this family. You can read them by clicking on the links below.

Born and Died on Ides of March

Doc Leo from Longtown

Longtown Shopkeepers – Part 2

In 1929, an article concerning Ernst Oberndorfer was published in the Perry County Republican.

Ernst Oberndorfer article – Perry County Republican 1929

The last census in which we find both Gertrude and Ernst was the one taken in 1930. I have included the August Oberndorfer family once again, along with that of Martin Moeckel, who had married Emma Oberndorfer.

1930 census – Union Township, MO

Gertrude Oberndorfer died in 1934 at the age of 76. The cause of death was influenza.

Gertrude Oberndorfer death certificate

Ernst Oberndorfer died in 1939 at the age of 83. Both Ernst’s death certificate and his wife’s show their son-in-law, Martin Moeckel, as the registrar.

Ernst Oberndorfer death certificate

A story describing the death of Ernst Oberndorfer made the front page of the Perry County Republican. You can click the images to enlarge them. The article included a photo of Ernst.

Ernst and Gertrude Oberndorfer were buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Longtown. I find it interesting that Gertrude’s name on her death certificate and gravestone is spelled Gertraud.

Ernst and Gertrude Oberndorfer gravestone – Zion, Longtown, MO

Sometimes, after writing a story connected to Longtown, it takes a month or two before I run into another one. Now, I have written two in a row, and as far as I know the Wills family and the Oberndorfer family are not connected in any way.


Another historic building has met its demise in Altenburg today. Although I understand the reason for demolishing the Trinity Ladies Aid Building (which no longer was owned by Trinity), I was still saddened by this taking place. Here are several photos I took. They may not be in the order that they happened.

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