Frentzel – Not Just a Farmer

Today would be the 147th wedding anniversary of a Uniontown couple. I’ll get to the marriage later. We will start by looking at the groom. His name was Ernst August Alvin Frentzel who was born on June 4, 1857. During his lifetime, he was called Alvin. His parents were Charles and Emily Frentzel. I can show images of Alvin’s parents.

Alvin was the 2nd child out of 9 in this family. One of his siblings died after just a matter of days. Alvin was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. An image of his baptism record is shown below.

Alvin Frentzel baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Alvin is found in his first census in 1860 at the age of 3. His father was a merchant.

When Alvin was just a youngster, his father went off to fight in the Civil War for a short time. Alvin is found in the 1870 census at the age of 12. His father was a retail dry goods merchant. All 8 of the living children are included in this entry.

1870 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

Next, we will turn our attention to the bride. Her name was Elizabeth Engel Ruhkopf, who was born on September 25, 1858 in Germany. Her parents were Conrad and Anne Adelheid (Beckmann) Ruhkopf. Elizabeth came to America in 1867 aboard the ship, Uhland. Conrad had died in Germany before this voyage, and Anna’s second husband, Heinrich Meier was included on this list. Anna (Engel) was mistakenly called a male on this form.

Ruhkopf names – Uhland passenger list 1867

I was unable to find Elizabeth in the 1870 census. I did find an entry for Henry and Anna Meier, but it did not include Elizabeth, who would have been about 12 years old at the time.

Alvin Frentzel married Elizabeth Ruhkopf on November 3, 1874 at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We can take a look at the church record for this occasion. Elizabeth was another one of those young brides, being about 16 years old at the time of her wedding.

Frentzel/Ruhkopf marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

According to our German Family Tree, Alvin and Elizabeth had 11 children. All of those children were baptized at Grace, Uniontown. We have to look in the pages of the 1880 census for Union Township that were lost until a few years back to find the Alvin Frentzel family. Their household is found right under that of his parents. Alvin’s father was called a grocer, and Alvin was listed as a carpenter. After being married for 6 years, this couple had their first child, Victoria, in the year of this census. I think Elizabeth’s age should have been 22, not 20.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

We have to wait until 1900 to view another census. In the entry for that year, we find the following Frentzel household. Alvin was called a merchant. Nine children are included in this listing.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

We next find this Frentzel family in the 1910 census. Now, Alvin is called a farmer.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

When the 1915 plat maps for Perry County were produced, we find a piece of property owned by A.A. Frentzel located not far from Uniontown. If you look closely, you will find a couple other Frentzel parcels of land nearby.

A.A. Frentzel land map – 1915

The 1920 census shows this household getting smaller as children move away. Both Alvin and Elizabeth are in their 60’s.

1920 census – Union Township, MO

The last census in which we find Alvin and Elizabeth was the one taken in 1930.

1930 census – Union Township, MO

Alvin Frentzel died in 1935 at the age of 78. His death certificate says it was a sudden death.

Alvin Frentzel death certificate

An obituary for Alvin appeared in the Perry County Republican.

Elizabeth Frentzel died in 1939 at the age of 80. I was unable to find a death certificate for her. Her death record in the Grace Lutheran Church books says that she died of arteriosclerosis. Both Alvin and Elizabeth were buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown.

Alvin Frentzel is one of those characters we find in our local histroy who did not spend his entire life working in the same occupation. He was a carpenter, then a merchant, and finally, a farmer. He didn’t remain at the same job, but he did seem to remain in basically the same location throughout his life.

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