Yesterday, the story was told of a couple made up of two people who were born, baptized, confirmed, married, and buried while members of the same church. I will tell another one of those stories today. It just takes place a a different congregation. This time, the setting for the entire post will be in Uniontown, at the congregation of Grace Lutheran Church. This story will be full of what I refer to as “Uniontown names”…Hopfer, Bock, Mueller, Kasten, Franke, and Hemmann.
Paul Benjamin Hopfer was born on January 29, 1876, so he would be celebrating his 146th birthday today. Paul was the son of Gotthold and Amelia (Kasten) Hopfer. That also makes Paul the grandson of the original Hopfer’s, Michael and Justine (Quaas) Hopfer. His other set of grandparents were Christoph and Wilhelmine (Griefel) Kasten. Paul was child #5 out of 10 children born into his family. He was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. An image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books is pictured here.
We have to look in the long-lost pages of the 1880 Union Township census to find Paul at the age of 4. His father was a farmer.
It would be 20 years before we can view another census, and in 1900, we find that Paul was still single. Paul, at the age of 24, was the head of the household because his father had died in 1893.
We will now turn our attention to the woman that would become Paul’s bride. Her name was Anna Caroline Bock, who was born on August 31, 1884. Her parents were Michael, Jr. and Maria (Mueller) Bock. She was also the grandchild of the original Bock’s in this area, Michael, Sr. and Christine (Hemmann) Bock. The other set of her grandparents were Christoph and Caroline (Franke) Mueller. Anna was the firstborn of 4 children of her parents, but there were also two children born to her father and his second wife. Below is the baptism record from the books of Grace, Uniontown.
We do not find Anna in a census until 1900 when she was 15 years old. This entry displays an interesting situation. After her mother’s death, Anna’s father had married Lydia (Hopfer) Bultmann. Since Lydia was Paul’s cousin, Anna’s stepmother was her future husband’s cousin.
That leads us up to the marriage of Paul Hopfer and Anna Bock, which took place on April 25, 1905. The church record from Grace, Uniontown is shown here.
We can also view the marriage license for this pair.
There was also an article published in the Perry County Republican describing this event.
The German Family Tree lists 8 children in this Hopfer/Bock family. In 1910, we find the Hopfer household with their first 2 children, both girls. Also living in their household was Paul’s mother.
We see a change in Paul’s occupation in the above entry. It says he was a merchant. Paul and Ernst Bock, Anna’s brother and also an attendant at their wedding, operated a store together in Uniontown that was known as the Hopfer Store. I put together a gallery of photos of the Hopfer Store below. You should click them to see the entire image, and the captions should help describe who and what you see.
In 1909, Paul Hopfer became the postmaster for Uniontown. That job was almost always done by a storekeeper back in those days.
In 1918, Paul had his World War I draft registration completed. This document says Paul was both a merchant and postmaster.
Next, we find the Hopfer’s in the 1920 census. There were 6 children in the household.
In 1922, the Frohna Mill put an ad for their biscuit and pancake flour in the Perry County Republican. It includes the Hopfer Store, along with many of the other stores found in Perry County in those days. Several of these stores have been mentioned in previous blog posts.
The 1930 census shows a very full Hopfer house, with 8 children, ranging from age 7-23.
In 1937, an interesting article concerning Paul’s position as postmaster appeared in the Perry County Republican. Back in those days, when a town had more than one store, and they were operated by men associated with different political parties, the job often went to the one whose party was represented by the person occupying the Oval Office in Washington, D.C. In 1937, it was President F.D. Roosevelt, a Democrat.
When the 1940 census was taken, Paul is no longer said to be a merchant. He was a carpenter.
Paul Hopfer died in 1954 at the age of 78. His death certificate says he was a retired storekeeper.
Anna Hopfer died in 1960 at the age of 75. We are also able to look at her death certificate.
Paul and Anna were buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown.
I think this post can be called about the most “Uniontown Story” you can find on this blog. So many previous stories can be tied to the surnames included in this post.
I have not been through old downtown Uniontown in a while, but as far as I know, the Hopfer Store building still stands and an antique store is now operated there.