I did a search on this blog for the term “Twin Falls” and got 4 results, so today’s story that begins in Perry County and ends up in Twin Falls, Idaho is not the first such post on this blog fitting that pattern. The story begins with the birthday of Martin Peter Johann Meier which took place on September 14, 1878, making today his 143rd birthday. Martin was the first child of Johann and Maria (Eggers) Meier and baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. His baptism record is displayed below.
Martin can be found in the 1880 census for the Union Township, but not in the lost pages from that township. Martin was 1 year old, and his father was a farmer.
We have to wait until 1900 to find Martin in another census. Martin was 21 years old and working on his father’s farm.
Now, we will turn our attention to Martin’s future wife, Alwine Christina Fiedler. Alwine was born on January 3, 1884, the daughter of Valentine and Marie (Kasten) Fiedler. She was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. We can take a look at her baptism record from that congregation’s books.
We never find Alwine in a census living with her parents. Before I show her entry in the 1900 census, let me say that there have been a few times I have run across a marriage between a member of Salem, Farrar and Immanuel, New Wells before the age of the automobile, and I have wondered how such a courtship could take place. In this case, the 1900 census entry explains how Martin Meier found Alwine Fiedler. She was living with the Henry Versemann family and working as a servant in the Salem Township. She and Martin must have been attending Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. The entry below is from that Salem Township census that is so difficult to read.
Martin Meier married Alwine Fiedler on December 27, 1903 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. It looks like this was one of those cases in which the couple waited until the season of Advent was over before getting married. Lutheran marriages did not often take place during Lent or Advent back in those days (or even to this day). The church record for that event is pictured here.
We can also take a look at the marriage license for this couple.
Our German Family Tree lists 6 children in the Meier/Fiedler family, but only 3 of their entries contain church records for their births and baptisms. The first 3 children were baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. We still see this family living in Perry County when the 1910 census was taken. Two daughters were included in this entry.
The third daughter born to this couple was baptized at Salem in 1910, but also died in 1912 and was buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery. After 1912, we no longer find any records for this family in Perry County. In 1916, another daughter was born in Idaho. Then in 1917 or 1918, we find Martin giving his address as Twin Falls, Idaho on his World War I draft registration. This document also states that he was a farmer.
We find the Meier family in the 1920 census for Twin Falls. Four daughters were in this family at the time.
Next, we find the Meier household in the 1930 census. The last child, 7 year-old Ellen, was actually Allen, this couple’s only son born n 1923.
There were two lodgers in their family in 1930. One of them was a 21 year-old, Otto Oetjen, whose father was born in Illinois. His father was Henry Oetjen from Jacob, Illinois who had made his way to Corvallis, Oregon, where Otto was born. The other lodger was Ellis Linder. I have discovered that he, too, had lived in Corvallis before moving to Idaho. I am thinking that Otto and Ellis were acquaintances in Corvallis, and it was Otto’s connection to the Meier family that may have led both of them to Twin Falls to work for the Meier’s.
The 1940 census is the last one we can view for the Meier family. In this entry, we once again see a hired hand, Ellis Linder.
In a later obituary for Ellis Linder, it says he married Lucille Meier in the year of that last census, 1940. You can see that Lucille was a daughter of Martin and Alwine.
Ellis Linder may be the only person with connections to East Perry County that has been named to the bowling Hall of Fame.
Alwine Meier died in 1942 at the age of 58; Martin Meier died in 1945 at the age of 66. These two are buried in the Sunset Memorial Park in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Now that I’ve written the 5th blog post that contain Perry County natives connected to Twin Falls, Idaho, I guess I have to decide whether to call Twin Falls another “Perry County Suburb”, along with Alva, Oklahoma, Potter and West Point, Nebraska, and Sylvan Grove, Kansas.