Today’s story begins with a birthday girl, but her tale leads us to several other individuals along the way. Hang on for the ride.
Kunigunde Rauh would be celebrating a special 175th birthday today because she was born March 2, 1847. She was the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Baer) Rauh. Kunigunde was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, so we cannot view her original baptism record. She is found in her first census in 1850 at the age of 3.
I was not able to find Kunigunde in the 1860 census and she was married in 1870. Her first husband was Frederick Strobel, who was born on May 4, 1848 in Germany. I do not know when he arrived in America, but he married Kunigunde Rauh on February 15, 1870. Here is the marriage record found in the Perry County Marriages index (but I could not find an actual record of it on Ancestry.com.)
During that same year, we find Frederick and his new wife in that year’s census for Perryville. Frederick, called Fritz, worked in a brewery.
Three children were born to this couple, but one died in infancy. We find this family in the 1880 census. Frederick was a brewer.
Later in 1880, Frederick Strobel died at the age of 32. He was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
Kunigunde would marry again. Her second husband would be William Holtmann, who was born on October 6, 1850 in Germany. I have no information about the names of his parents. I also cannot find any census evidence indicating William living in Perry County prior to his wedding. William Holtmann married Kunigunde (Rauh) Strobel on November 20, 1883 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. The record for that wedding is found in the Immanuel Lutheran Church binder that we have in our research library. William’s name is given here as Grotholtmann. This document says that William was a bartender in Perryville.
This pair had one additional child, but then in 1890, Kunigunde died at the age of 42, meaning that today’s birthday girl died at a rather young age, but our story will continue as we track the life of William Holtmann. Kunigunde was buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville. I think this gravestone may have been put at this site at a later date because it looks too modern for an 1890 burial.
William Holtmann would marry again. His second wife was Anna Margaret Popp, who was born on October 4, 1868, the daughter of Simon and Johanna (Reuter) Popp. She was baptized at Peace, Friedenberg. Anna is found in the 1870 census at the age of 1. Her father was a farmer in the Cinque Hommes Township.
Anna’s father died when she was very young in 1873. Her mother then married Karl Buettner, so when the 1880 census was taken we find Anna in this household.
I located this photograph of Anna Popp.
William Holtmann married Anna Popp on June 2, 1892. According to the marriage license for this couple, they were married by Rev. Guemmer in Longtown. Rev. Guemmer was the pastor in Friedenberg. A Lutheran church in Longtown was established not long after this marriage.
Our German Family Tree lists 6 children born to this pair. When the 1900 census was taken, we find this Holtmann household. William was working in a saloon.
William Holtmann died in 1907 at the age of 57, yet another character in this story to die at a relatively young age. An obituary for him was published in the Perry County Republican.
Anna Holtmann was left to raise several young children by herself. We find her and her household in the 1910 census. Please note that her stepson, Louis Holtmann, at the age of 24, was a dentist with his own office.
Anna is found in 3 more census entries. Next, we find her in the 1920 census with 3 remaining daughters.
The 1930 census shows only a boarder named Stella Boxdorfer was living with her.
The last census shows Anna living by herself at the age of 71 in 1940.
Anna Holtmann died in 1959 at the age of 90 in St. Louis. I find her death certificate fascinating. She died one day before my 9th birthday just a matter of blocks from where I was living at the time.
William and Anna are two more Holtmann’s to be buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
The story does not even end here. Please remember that William, the bartender, whose wife had previously been married to a brewer, had a son, Louis, who became a dentist. Louis married a woman named Amanda Lottes, who was the daughter of Gabriel and Maria (Ludwig) Lottes of Altenburg. Gabe Lottes started out working in a brewery and later ran the Angel Saloon in Altenburg. Two of his sons, Leo and Edward, became dentists. Leo was not a dentist for very long, but Edward was the dentist in Altenburg for several decades. So, this Holtmann story is not the only one from Perry County in which a father known for brewing beer and tending bar had a son who became a dentist.
As if that is not enough, Dr. Edward Lottes had his dental office located on the second floor of a building that started out as a hardware store but later became a tavern. We often joke about how folks would get their anesthesia from the bartender before heading up the steps for their dental work.