George Jacob Mecker was born on April 10, 1882, making today his 140th birthday. George was the son of Henry and Catherine (Bangert) Mecker. George has some information included in the Friedenberg Remembrances book, but I am not confident that he was baptized there. Since we cannot view the 1890 census, the first census in which we find George was the one taken in 1900. He was 18 years old and working on his father’s farm.
That census was the only one in which George was a single man, so let’s take a look at the woman who would become his first wife. Her name was Sara Anna Knoll, who was born on January 25, 1888. Anna was the daughter of Michael and Georgia (Venable) Knoll. Anna was also likely baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. Like George, Anna is found in her first census in 1900. Anna was 12 years old, and her father was a farmer.
On October 27, 1907, George Mecker married Anna Knoll at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. Here is this couple’s marriage license.
One child was born to this couple, but not until after the 1910 census was taken. In that entry, George and Anna had an empty nest, but Anna was almost certainly pregnant when this census was put together. At this point in time, George was a farmer.
The only child of this couple, a boy named Lonnie, was born on October 22, 1910. Then, a month later, on November 22nd, Anna died at the age of 22. Death certificates began to be recorded in 1910 in Missouri, but I was unable to find one for her. Her death record from the Immanuel, Perryville records say she died of consumption, which is another name for tuberculosis. Anna’s death left George as a widower with a baby. He would marry again.
George’s second wife was named, Martha Mathilde Yamnitz, who was born on October 20, 1889. She was the daughter of Ernst and Maria (Brickhaus) Yamnitz. Martha was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim. We can take a look at her baptism record.
Martha was the younger sister of Anna Yamnitz, who was part of the story told a few days ago titled, The Boxdorfer’s – Louis, Sophia, and Anna. These two are both part of this 1900 census entry for the Union Township of Bollinger County.
Martha was confirmed at the Lixville Lutheran Church. That confirmation record is pictured here.
Next, we find Martha in the 1910 census for the same location.
George Mecker married Martha Yamnitz on January 14, 1912 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. Here is a transcription of that marriage record.
We can also view this couple’s marriage license.
In 1918, George had his World War I draft registration completed. This form says George was the manager of a garage.
No more children came into this family, but the little baby from the first marriage did survive and live to adulthood. We next find the Mecker’s in the 1920 census. George was the proprietor of a garage.
Lonnie Mecker was not living with George and Martha at that time. Lonnie was living with George’s parents in the entry shown below.
An article appeared in the Perry County Republican in 1920 that reported George Mecker was selling his garage.
Five years later, this article appeared in the same paper describing that George had become involved in the insurance business.
In 1928, George decided to become a candidate for sheriff of Perry County. This article describes this effort, complete with a photo of George.
That leads us up to a census entry that I find fascinating. Take a look at this image showing the Mecker household. Lonnie is back living with his father and stepmother, and George is called a sheriff.
Now look closely at this enlarged portion of the above entry. There is another member of this household by the name of Rocco Passananti, who was called a prisoner.
I could not resist the urge to find out any information I could about Rocco. As it turns out, all I had to do was search for the name, Rocco, in the archives of the Perry County Republican to find out why Rocco was a prisoner. His crime is included in this paragraph. When you read this, keep in mind that America was still in the time period of Prohibition when this happened.
Before I move on, let me also display another view of George’s 1930 census entry. Right below the Mecker household, you will see the John Black household. The Black’s were the main characters of yesterday’s blog post.
Yet another article about George Mecker is displayed below. He next decided to open a saloon.
The last census in which we find George is the one taken in 1940. He was still an insurance salesman.
George Mecker had his World War II draft card completed in 1942.
George died the same year that he had the above form completed. His death certificate indicates he died at the age of 60.
Martha can be found in the 1950 census. This is another census entry that I find fascinating. Martha is simply called “Mrs. George Mecker” on this form. I have never seen a census entry before that does not use a female’s first name, and I have looked at a lot of census entries. Lonnie, at the age of 40, was still living with his mother.
Martha died in 1984 at the age of 94. We are unable to look at her death certificate. George Mecker and his two wives are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.
I’m going to close this post with an interesting characteristic of most of the gravestones of people closely connected to this story. With the exception of Martha’s stone, the others contain photos of the people buried there. Here is a gallery of closeups of several of these photos on gravestones.
And in case you’re wondering what Martha looked like, I managed to find a photo of her.