Brazeau Barber Beholds Burleigh Baseball

In the process of telling today’s story, I will divert my attention to baseball. While researching today’s characters, I discovered that several local businessmen attended a special St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball game. I feel compelled to tell the story of that game as well.

This post begins with a girl who was born on this day…or was she? The birthday for Martha Amanda Oberndorfer is listed in our German Family Tree as taking place on either March 14th or March 15th in 1897. That would mean that Martha either celebrated her 125th birthday yesterday or today. That would also mean that she either had a “Pi Day” birthday or an “Ides of March” birthday. Based on what I found, I think she was born on March 15th.

Martha was the daughter of August and Wilhelmine (Ruehling) Oberndorfer. She was baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can take a look at her baptism record from that congregation’s books. If you look at her date of birth, it looks as if one number was replaced by another. I think it could be either March 14th or March 15th.

Martha Oberndorfer baptism record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

Martha is found in the 1900 census at the age of 3. Her father was a cooper.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

There is another interesting notation on Martha’s confirmation record. She was confirmed at Concordia, Frohna in 1910. Where her birthday is listed, it was definitely written originally as March 14th, but crossed out and changed to March 15th.

Martha Oberndorfer confirmation record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

During that same year, we find Martha in the 1910 census. Her father was a cooper at the Frohna Flour Mill that was mentioned in the story I wrote two days ago.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we will take a look at the man who would become Martha’s husband. His name was William Sittner, who was born on September 25, 1893. William was the son of Charles and Anna (Mecker) Sittner. He was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. The Friedenberg Remembrances book has the following information about William.

William Sittner info – Freidenberg book

William is found in his first census in 1900 at the age of 6. His father was a farmer in the Cinque Hommes Township.

1900 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

In 1907, William was confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown. We can view that confirmation record here.

William Sittner confirmation record – Zion, Longtown, MO

The Sittner family is found in the 1910 census. William was working on his father’s farm.

1910 census – Cinque Hommes Township, MO

In 1917, William had his World War I draft registration form completed. William’s occupation is given as barber.

William Sittner – WWI draft registration

William did get called in to serve during that war and spent time overseas. A military record of his service is pictured here.

William Sittner – WWI military record

I was unable to find a marriage document for the wedding of William Sittner and Martha Oberndorfer, but I did find an article published in the Perry County Republican on December 25, 1919. It says this couple was married on the previous Sunday in St. Louis. The Sunday before Christmas in 1919 was December 21st.

Sittner/Oberndorfer marriage article – PCR 1919

As the above article states, William and Martha took up residence in Brazeau, and William worked at the Brazeau Store. That store is now the Hemman Winery.

Hemman Winery – Brazeau, MO

We find William and Martha in the 1920 census living in the Union Township. William is called a barber. There was a barber shop located inside the Brazeau Store.

1920 census – Union Township, MO

I found another article about William Sittner in the Perry County Republican from 1921. It states that William was a baseball player, along with his friend, George Klobe.

William Sittner article – PCR 1921

That leads us up to this short article found in the Perry County Republican in 1930. Four friends “motored” to watch the 5th game of the World Series being played in St. Louis in October of 1930. R.E. Mueller had a hardware store, Leo Wunderlich had a trucking business, and George Klobe helped run a movie theater. All of those businesses were located in Altenburg. R.E. Mueller was also married to Martha’s sister, Clara Oberndorfer.

William Sittner article – PCR 1930

The St. Louis Cardinals were playing the Philadelphia Athletics. The Athletics won the first two games in Philadelphia. The Cardinals won the next two games in St. Louis, leading up to the pivotal 5th game. A line score for that 5th game is pictured here.

1930 World Series Game 5

The men from Altenburg got to witness a pitcher’s duel. The winner, Lefty Grove, and the loser, Burleigh Grimes, are pictured below.

Lefty Grove and Burleigh Grimes

Burleigh Grimes was quite the character. I found this paragraph describing his antics during that Game #5.

1930 World Series Game 5 description

The Athletics’ victory in this game led them back to Philadelphia where they won the Series in the 6th game. I found a few other photos I’d like to display. First, here is a photo of the crowd inside Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis during the 1930 World Series. This is the stadium at which I, as a boy, saw my first Cardinals game in person.

Sportsman’s Park, St. Louis – 1930 World Series

I also found an image of an actual ticket to Game 5.

1930 World Series – Game 5 ticket

Despite their disappointment at the Cardinals’ loss, I have to think this must have been a great memory for these 4 baseball fans from East Perry County. Now, I must return to the story of William and Martha.

This Sittner couple never had children. We find them next in the census taken in the year of the World Series. It says William was the manager of a general store.

1930 census – Union Township, MO

The final census we can view is the one taken in 1940. William was still running the Brazeau Store.

1940 census – Union Township, MO

William Sittner had his World War II draft card completed in 1942.

William Sittner – WWII draft card

Later in their lives, some photos were taken of William and Martha Sittner.

William Sittner died in 1985 at the age of 92; Martha Sittner died in 1996 at the age of 99. These two were buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville. Their gravestone gives one final bit of evidence supporting a March 15th birthday for Martha.

William and Martha Sittner gravestone – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

I had way too much fun and spent way too much time researching the 1930 World Series.


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