Uniontown Harness Maker

Michael Bock was born in Germany and married a Hemmann before coming to the United States. One of his sons, Michael Bock, Jr., married Christiana Hemmann not long after the immigrants arrived in Perry County. Then on February 9, 1856, Michael and Christiana had a son that was also named Michael. I will call that son, Michael Bock III, today. Many times, parents will name the firstborn son after the father, but that was not the case in either Michael Bock, Jr. or Michael Bock III. In fact, Michael Bock III was the last child born in his family The baptism record for Michael Bock III from the books of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown is displayed below.

Michael Bock III baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Michael shows up in the 1860 census at the age of 4. His father was a farmer.

1860 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Michael III in the 1870 census. His father had died in 1867, so his mother was the head of the household. Michael III’s older brother, Benjamin, was called the farmer, and Michael III was working on that farm with him.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In the 1870’s, a new township was formed, the Union Township, and it is in that township that we find Michael III when the 1880 census was taken. You don’t find him in an 1800 census on Ancestry.com because he is found on the long-lost pages from that census that still have not appeared on Ancestry. However, those pages can be found by clicking on the link below. I use that site so often that I have it bookmarked on my computer.


In that 1880 census, we find Michael III living in the household of his brother, Benjamin and was called a farmer. His mother and one of his sisters were also in the household.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

We will now turn our attention to the woman who would become Michael III’s first wife. Her name was Wilhelmina Maria Mueller, who was born on November 19, 1863. Maria was the daughter of Christoph and Karoline (Franke) Mueller. She was child #3 out of 9 Mueller children. She was almost certainly baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. All of her siblings were baptized at that church, but for some unknown reason, Maria’s baptism record is not to be found in that congregation’s books.

The first census in which we find Maria was the one taken in 1870. The Mueller family lived just across the Apple Creek in Cape Girardeau County. Maria’s father was a farmer.

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

We don’t have to look in the long-lost 1880 census pages to find Maria because her family lived in the Apple Creek Township. In 1880, Maria was 16 years old.

1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Michael Bock III married Maria Mueller on April 12, 1883. Easter was on March 25th that year, so they did not get married during the Lenten season. These two, as expected, were married at Grace, Uniontown. Their church marriage record is pictured here.

Bock/Mueller marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

A marriage license form can also be viewed.

Bock/Mueller marriage license

The German Family Tree lists 3 children born to this couple, but one of them died right away. We never find this pair in a census record because Maria Bock died in 1898 at the age of 34. The death record in the Grace, Uniontown books says it was heart trouble that caused her death.

Now, we will take a look at Michael III’s second wife. Her name was Lydia Juliane Hopfer, only by the time this marriage took place, she was Lydia Bultmann. Her first husband, Heinrich Bultmann, had died in 1897. Lydia was born on June 6, 1869, the daughter of Emanuel and Amalie Caroline (Rabold) Hopfer. Lydia as child #2 in her family of 10, but the first child died right away, so Lydia looks like the oldest child in the early census records for her. Lydia was also baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We can take a look at her baptism record.

Lydia Hopfer baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Lydia is found in the 1870 census in which we also see Lydia’s grandparents.

1870 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Lydia is another person that has to be found in the missing Union Township pages in 1880. We find her family right above the entry for Michael Bock III’s family.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

Lydia had gotten married to Heinrich Bultmann in 1889, so she was married to him about 8 years before he died. They had 4 children, but 3 of them died early.

Michael Bock III married Lydia Bultmann on November 5, 1899 at Grace, Uniontown. The church marriage record is pictured below.

Bock/Bultmann marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

We can also view the marriage license for this pair.

Bock/Bultmann marriage license

I confess that I laughed out loud when I found this article that was published in the Perry County Republican shortly after this wedding.

Michael Bock III PCR article – 1899

This couple had 2 children, but one of them died right away. We find this couple in the 1900 census. Their household consisted of 2 children by Michael III’s first wife and one child by Lydia’s first husband. This is the first census in which Michael III is called a harness maker.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

Lydia Bock died in 1904 at the age of 34. So, once again, Michael III was left as a widower. He would get married one more time. His third wife was Pauline Christina Schaefer, who was born on August 10, 1861. Pauline was the daughter of Christian and Juliana (Bruhl) Schaefer. She, too, was baptized at Grace, Uniontown. We can take a look at her baptism record.

Pauline Schaefer baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

Pauline was 8 years old when the 1870 census was taken. Her father was a farmer in the Apple Creek Township.

1870 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Pauline remained single all the way through the 1900 census. I’m going to skip the 1880 census to show you the last census in which we find her as single. She was 38 years old.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

On April 23, 1905, Michael Bock III married Pauline Schaefer, again at Grace, Uniontown. Here is the church record for this event.

Bock/Schaefer marriage record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

The marriage license for this wedding is also available to view.

Bock/Schaefer marriage license

No children were born to this couple. We find them in the 1910 census. Two children from two different previous marriages remained in their household.

1910 census – Union Township, MO

Main Street in downtown Uniontown had a strip of businesses that included the Bock Harness Shop. The other two prominent businesses were the Hopfer Store and the Amschler Hardware Store. This photo of Main Street was shown in a previous story about the Hopfer Store.

Uniontown Main St. Hopfer Store on right

A description of the above photo is displayed here.

Another old photo shows the Amschler Hardware Store and the Bock Harness Shop. Michael III and his second wife, Lydia, are indicated by the blue arrows.

Another photo of Michael III was taken later in his life. Michael III is indicated by a red arrow.

A common denominator in the above photos is a barrel of beer.

Michael Bock III died in 1924 at the age of 68. Diabetes is given as the cause of death.

MIchael Bock III death certificate

An obituary for Michael was published in the Perry County Republican. I have to use two images to display it.

In the 1930 census, we find the widow, Pauline Bock, working as a cook for a private family.

1930 census – Union Township, MO

Pauline Bock died in 1941 at the age of 79. Michael Bock III and all three of his wives are buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown. It looks like someone, probably from the Bock family, has made sure all of these gravestones were cleaned to make them more readable. The images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

The story of Michael Bock III and his wives is one in which all of the church records from cradle to grave for all of the characters are found in the same Grace Lutheran Church records. It’s another one of those stories that has Uniontown written all over it.

One thought on “Uniontown Harness Maker

  1. Even after 350 years,
    there is still a detectable DNA share between Katryn Berkbigler born Palisch related to GGGGGGGF Michael Bock * 1784 from Jonaswalde, Sachsen and Eike Bock * 1949 from Berel, Niedersachsen.
    I am take by ancestry.com the autosomal DNA Test with same 8,6 cM.

    She is a cousin to Gerard Fiehler. Born 1952 still living.
    Gerard works by my visit´s 2014 and 2017 as staff in the Museum, Altenburg, MO.

    She is also a cousin to William Bock * 1935 still living.
    Bill show me the Museum in Frohna 2014.

    Katryn B. lives in Tucson, Arizona:
    The little same DNA shows that a dominante part is very long to verifiable.
    1644 must our famliy left our home in (LEWE) Liebenburg because the 30 year war (1618 -1648 10 Generation back to me) let the most people in these village die, the other goes in other areas. 70% of the villagers died at the hands of friendly and enemy soldiers who took away their food. The survivors fled into the woods.

    Eike Bock,
    Gartenstrasse 04,
    38272 Berel, Germany.


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