I think a case can be made that today’s main character was the person responsible for introducing the telephone to Perry County. After you read his story, I’ll let you decide. If nothing else, you will read the story of a man who was involved in many businesses as well as being involved in public service and politics.
Karl Joseph Palisch was born on February 19, 1867, making today his 155th birthday. Like many other German boys named Karl, he would eventually go by the name Charles. Charles was the son of Ernst and Juliane (Hofstaedter) Palisch. Here is a photo of Charles’s parents.
That also makes him a grandson of the “Pioneer Palisch”, J.G. Palisch. The baptism record from the books of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg is shown below.
We can first find Charles in the 1870 census for the Brazeau Township at the age of 3. His father was a farmer. If you look at other names surrounding this Palisch family, you would conclude that they lived in or near Frohna.
Ten years later, Charles is found in the 1880 census. That was the year that he was confirmed at Immanuel, Altenburg. Although there is evidence that the Palisch’s lived quite near the Lutheran church in Frohna, they still made the short trip to Altenburg to attend church at Immanuel.
We now will turn our attention to the woman who would become Charles’s wife. Her name was Lydia Cora Engelmann, who was born on January 18, 1870. She was the daughter of Edward and Adelheid (Wiese) Engelmann. Lydia was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. From a binder containing records from that congregation, we find this record for Lydia.
Lydia was a baby in the 1870 census. Her father was called a notary public. This census entry has shown up on this blog before. In the post, Moeckel and His Mathilde, you can read about an orphan named Mathilde Sewerosky. She is found in this entry as an 8 year-old who apparently was taken in by the Engelmann family.
Lydia is still found living in Cape Girardeau in the 1880 census. This time, her father was called a lawyer.
I do not know how these two met, but Charles Palisch married Lydia Engelmann on April 17, 1890. They were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. The record from the Trinity, Cape Girardeau binder says the marriage took place at the Engelmann home.
We can take a look at the marriage license for this pair.
Our German Family Tree lists 5 children born to this couple. All of these children were baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. The 1900 census shows this Palisch family with a son and a daughter. One daughter, born in 1896, had died in 1899. Charles is called a merchant in this entry.
Charles was one of the Palisch brothers that operated the Palisch Store in Frohna, which was once located at the intersection of Highways A and C in Froha. In the background of the photo below, you can see Concordia Lutheran Church.
As near as I can tell, in the early 1900’s, Charles Palisch was involved in introducing the telephone to Frohna. It probably began with installing some phone lines to some nearby Fischer and Palisch homes to the store. I have found evidence that indicates some of the early “phone systems” in East Perry County were connecting stores to the nearby residences of the storeowners. That is why I introduced the character of Charles Palisch in my Wittenberg ’03 book, who came to Wittenberg in an attempt to sell people on the idea of having telephones.
A move was made by the Charles Palisch family in the 1900’s. An article published in the Perry County Republican in 1905 notes Charles’s involvement with the telephone system in Perryville.
In 1906, we find Charles as a candidate for the Perry County Collector of the Revenue, running on the ticket as a Democrat. Bernard Huber was the Republican candidate. The ballot shown below also had two other columns for the Socialist Party and the Prohibition Party, but those parties did not have a candidate for Collector.
When the 1910 census was taken, we find Charles living in Perryville and called the collector for the county. There were 4 children in the household. One son, Hugo, was a lineman for the telephone company. His story was told in the post, The Advent of the Phone. At this point, let me add that a daughter, Adelheit, would marry Edward Jung (later Young), who would later establish the Young & Sons Funeral Home. That story was told in the post, Jung & Sons Funeral Home.
The 1920 census shows the Palisch household with just their 2 youngest children. Charles’s occupation is rather difficult to read. The first column definitely says he was the proprietor of an ice plant. After that, it looks like the word “county” is in there, along with some reference to the Bank of Perryville.
In 1922, this article appeared in the Perry County Republican that mentions Charles. Two things are notable. First, Charles is called a judge. Also, he is listed among other prominent Perryville Democrats.
A year later, another article appeared in that paper. It gives a little history of the telephone company in Perryville and indicates Charles’s involvement from the very beginning.
Next, we find the Palisch’s in the 1930 census. They had moved to Illmo, Missouri in Scott County. Charles and Lydia had an empty nest, and Charles was called a bank cashier.
The last census we can view is the one recorded in 1940. With both Charles and Lydia in their 70’s, there is no occupation listed for them. They had returned to Perryville.
Lydia Palisch died in 1945 at the age of 75. Her death certificate says she died at the St. Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau of pneumonia. She died the day after Christmas and was buried on the last day of 1945.
Lydia died early enough for me to find an obituary in the newspaper archives.
Charles Palisch died in 1956 at the age of 88. The cause of death on his death certificate mentions a fracture of his left femur. He died at Perry County Memorial Hospital in Perryville.
Charles and Lydia Palisch are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
Charles Palisch became a rather notable character both in Frohna and Perryville, having been involved in various business enterprises and political participation.