Hoeh Wagon Crash

The first thing I must tell you today is that the surname, Hoeh, is pronounced “Hay” around here. We will get around to his wagon crash later.

Joseph William Hoeh was born on September 8, 1873, the son of Paul and Wilhelmine (Hemmann) Hoeh. He was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri. Since I am still away from Altenburg, I am unable to display church records again today. Joseph is found in his first census in the 1880 pages that were only recently found for Union Township in Perry County.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

Joseph is found in the1900 census at the age of 26. His mother was the head of the household because his father had died in 1893. That put Joseph in the position of being the farmer in the family.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at Joseph’s future wife. Her name was Pauline Anna Pfisterer, who was born on July 22, 1880. She was the daughter of Wilhelm and Nanette (Jung) Pfisterer. She was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pocahontas. A previous post told of some unusual events that took place when Pauline was very young. That post was titled, Tough Choice for Nanette. After her father’s death in 1885, her mother made the decision to put her young children out for adoption, and Pauline was adopted by Christian and Josepha (Steiner) Mirly.

Pauline was not found in the 1880 census that included her parents. So, the first census in which we find Pauline was the one taken in 1900. Her Pfisterer surname is not given here, so it appears that she may have taken the Mirly surname. The other son in the family named August was also adopted by this childless couple. He was actually a Steenbock.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Joseph Hoeh married Pauline Pfisterer on November 20, 1902. They were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells, which is where Pauline was confirmed. We can take a look at this couple’s marriage license. Pauline is called Pauline Pfisterer on this form, so it doesn’t look like she took the Mirly name.

Hoeh/Pfisterer marriage license

I found the wedding photo for this couple. Joseph had a world-class mustache.

Joseph and Pauline Hoeh wedding

Joseph and Pauline had 6 children according to our German Family Tree, three boys and three girls. All of these children were baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. This Hoeh family can be found in the 1910 census where we see two sons, a daughter, Joseph’s mother, a nephew, and a hired hand.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

The 1915 plat maps for Perry County show two parcels of land owned by J.W. Hoeh. You can see that his land was located just north of Uniontown on both sides of what is not U.S. Highway 61.

J.W. Hoeh land map – 1915

As it turns out, the next census taken in 1920 would be the last one in which we find Joseph Hoeh. All 6 children were listed along with Joseph’s mother.

1920 census – Union Township, MO

A tragic event happened in 1929 that caused the death of Joseph Hoeh. An article printed in the Perry County Republican tells the story. I placed this article in 4 images that can be clicked to enlarge to make them easier to read.

The death certificate for Paul Hoeh states that he was killed by accident when he was thrown from a wagon and killed by an automobile. It says this car/wagon crash occurred on Highway 25, which was later renamed as U.S. Highway 61. The crash took place about 1/2 mile south of Longtown Paul was 56 years old at the time of his death.

Joseph Hoeh death certificate

This left Pauline as a widow. When the 1930 census was taken, Pauline was the head of the household with 5 of her children living with her. There was also a lodger by the name of Frank Wibbenmeyer and Joseph’s mother, Wilhelmine, in this household.

1930 census – Union Township, MO

I was unable to find Pauline Hoeh in the 1940 census. She would not die until 1972 at the age of 92. In a year or two, we should be able to view her death certificate. Both Joseph and Pauline Hoeh are buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown.

I keep trying to wrap my head around the fact that there was a time when both horse and wagon as well as automobiles that shared the same highway. I suppose you could say it was akin to driving through Amish areas nowadays when you are cautioned to be aware of horse-drawn carriages. It must not have been long after 1929 when horse-drawn wagons disappeared from busy highways.

Joseph Hoeh certainly died tragically. However, Pauline Pfisterer Mirly Hoeh also faced many drastic changes in her life. From losing her father at age 5 to being put up for adoption and raised by a different family. Then she lost her husband at a rather early age to live a rather long time as a widow. There were other tragedies in her family that I even chose to not include in this article. Through it all, it must have been her faith that sustained her through all these difficulties.


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