Longtown Blacksmith Gets Funke

A baby boy was born in Perry County 150 years ago. Sadly, this baby was born after his father had died previously during November of that year. That baby was given the name August Johann Peter Meier, born on November 27, 1871. August’s parents were Heinrich and Anna (Beckmann) Meier. August was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. His baptism record from that congregation’s books is pictured here. The surprising thing about this document is that Heinrich Meier is listed as the father even though he has already died, but his living mother is not included.

August Meier baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

When August was 8 years old, he is found in the 1880 census living in the Union Township. His entry is found in the pages of that year’s census that were lost for many years. The Meier household consisted of just August and his mother, who was called a washer.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

The above census would be the only one in which we find August as a single person. We will now take a look at his future bride. Her name was Rosa Marie Funke, who was born on December 29, 1872. Rosa was the daughter of Herman and Elizabeth (Ochs) Funke. She was the 4th of 8 children in the Funke family. Rosa’s baptism record is found in the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. That record says Rev. Demetrio baptized Rosa in her house.

Rosa Funke baptism record – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

Like her fututre husband, Rosa is found in only one census entry as a single person. She is found in the 1880 census for the Union Township at the age of 7. However, her family’s entry was not found in the long-lost pages of that township’s census pages. Rosa’s father was a house carpenter.

1880 census _ Union Township, MO

August Meier married Rosa Funke on Epiphany Day, January 6, 1895. They were married at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. We cannot look at a church record for this wedding, but we are able to view their marriage license.

Meier/Funke marriage license

Our German Family Tree lists 9 children born to August and Rosa. It was not long after this couple’s marriage when Zion Lutheran Church was established in Longtown. A history of that congregation lists August Meier as one of the charter members of that church.

When the 1900 census was taken, we find the Meier household shown below. They had two daughters by then, and August’s mother, Anna, was living with them. There was also a servant by the name of Isabella Frentzel in this household. August would always be called a blacksmith. This portion of the Union Township is described as being the Longtown Village.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

Next, we find the Meier’s in the 1910 census with 6 children.

1910 census – Longtown, MO

There is a map of Longtown included in the plat maps for Perry County that were produced in 1915. I have circled two spots on the Longtown map that are described as blacksmith shops. I have no way to determine which one might be the one operated by August Meier.

Longtown Village – 1915

The last census in which we find August Meier was the one taken in 1920. There were 7 children living in the Meier household.

1930 census – Longtown, MO

August Meier died in 1924 at the age of 52. His death certificate is displayed here.

August Meier death certificate

Rosa Meier is found still living in Longtown when the 1930 census was taken. Her daughter, Victoria, had married Dayton Thorp, and that family was living with Rosa.

1930 census – Longtown, MO

The last census we can view including Rosa Meier is the one taken in 1940. Rosa is listed all by herself in this entry. She was 67 years old at the time.

1940 census – Longtown, MO

Rosa Meier died in 1946 at the age of 73. It was a little challenging to find her death certificate because her last name was misspelled. Her maiden name is also misspelled.

Rosa Meier death certificate

August and Rosa Meier were buried together in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Longtown.

August and Rosa Meier gravestone – Zion, Longtown, MO

I did not notice until I saw this couple’s gravestone that these two died on the same day, September 28th. Rosa lived exactly 22 years longer than her husband.

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