Rev. Martin and Martha

Regular readers of this blog might remember that there have already been several posts that have included a combination of the names, Martin and Martha. You will be reading yet another one of those posts today, one that includes a Lutheran pastor with the name, Martin. I suppose it’s only appropriate that a Rev. Martin shows up on this blog during the week preceding Reformation Day when we highlight the life of Martin Luther. However, it is not Martin, but his wife, Martha, that is the reason this story is told today because she is our birthday girl.

Marie Martha Schaefer was born on October 26, 1871, making today a very special birthday…her 150th. Martha was the daughter of Henry and Mary (Hopfer) Schaefer. She was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. Her baptism record is pictured below.

Martha Schaefer baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Martha is found in the 1880 census in which her family was living in Appleton, just south of Uniontown across the Apple Creek. She was 8 years old at the time, and her father was called a merchant and a farmer.

1880 census – Appleton, MO

Next, let’s look at Martha’s groom, the Martin in the story. Martin Michael Wilhelm Telle was born on September 29, 1867. His parents were Andreas and Sarah (Noennig) Telle. Like his future wife, Martin was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. His baptism record is shown here.

Martin Telle baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Martin is found in his first census in 1870 at the age of 2. There was another son born into this family, but he died before this census, so Martin is the oldest child. His father was a carpenter in this entry.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Next, we have to look in the long-lost pages of the 1880 Union Township census to find this Telle family. Martin was 12 years old. This time, his father was called a farmer.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

Martin Telle married Martha Schaefer on April 16, 1893 at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We can view the church record for this occasion. This document states that Martin was a pastor.

Telle/Schaefer marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

I can also show you this couple’s marriage license.

Telle/Schaefer marriage license

Based on the census entry that included the most number of children and some family histories on Ancestry, it looks like this pair had 5 children. When the 1900 census was taken, we find the Telle’s living in the Hubble Township of Cape Girardeau County. Martin is called a minister. Two children are in their household by this time.

1900 census – Hubble Township, MO

A list of past pastors of Christ Lutheran Church in Gordonville shows that Martin served this congregation from 1900-1907.

Martin Telle – list of pastors at Christ, Gordonville, MO

Next, we find Martin and Martha in the 1910 census living in the Rock Township of Jefferson County.

1910 census – Rock Township,MO

Rev. Telle is found on another list of pastors who served St. John’s Lutheran Church in Beck (Arnold), Missouri. It says he served that congregation from 1907-1920.

Martin Telle – list of pastors at St. John’s, Beck, MO

Rev. Telle left that congregation in 1920, and the census taken during that year is a mystery to me. I could not find him. However, one year later, in 1921, the article shown below published in the Perry County Republican states that he was living in St. Louis.

Martin Telle article – PCR 1921

When the 1930 census was taken, Martin, at the age of 62, was living in St. Louis and working as a packer at a paper company.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Ten years later, we find a similar entry in the 1940 census, except the fact that Martin and Martha had an empty nest. Martin, at the age of 72, had the same occupation.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

Martin Telle died in 1946 at the age of 78. His death certificate calls him Rev. Martin Telle, but also lists his usual occupation as a packer.

Martin Telle death certificate

An article was published in the Perry County Republican that spoke of his death.

Martin Telle article – PCR 1946

Martha Telle died in 1948 at the age of 77. Her death certificate says she died at the Normandy Hospital after surgery.

Martha Telle death certificate

Rev. Martin and Martha Telle are buried together in the St. Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in St. Louis.

Rev. Martin and Martha Telle gravestone – St. Trinity, St. Louis, MO

This Telle couple was made up of one person with a good Lutheran name (Martin) and another with a good Bible name (Martha). I’m getting kind of used to writing Martin and Martha stories. Perhaps this one will not be my last.


The immigration conference sponsored by our museum takes place later this week. I am not sure I will be able to write new stories for this blog. I may find it necessary to re-post old articles on days when I do not have time to write.

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