An Arranged Deaf Smith, TX Wedding?

I will begin with an apology. I spent enough time researching today’s story that when I discovered a mistaken date of birth, I had invested too much into this tale to find a new person to investigate. Our German Family Tree says today’s main character was born on April 16th, but I think there is enough evidence to prove that his birthday was actually April 10th.

The story does not begin in Perry County. Adolph Henry Frye was born on April 10, 1885 in Hoyleton, Illinois, which is about 90 miles away from Altenburg. Adolph was the son of William and Wilhelmine (Sachtleben) Frye. A brand new Lutheran church was established near Hoyleton in 1885, and that may have been where Adolph was baptized. All indications point to Adolph being a Lutheran all his life. We find him in his first census in 1900 at the age of 15. It would be the only census entry in which we find him living in Illinois. His father was a farmer. This was a rather large Frye family with Adolph being the oldest son. There was a Martin Miesner living in this household. That piques my interest, but I did not take any more time to check him out.

1900 census – Hoyleton, IL

When the 1910 census was taken, we find Adolph living in Deaf Smith County, Texas. He was living in the Henry Kottmeyer household and called a farmer. Henry Kottmeyer was married to Adolph’s sister, Anna. Deaf County was located near Amarillo in the panhandle area of Texas.

1910 census – Deaf County, TX

Before I move on, let me say that Henry and Anna’s son, William Kottmeyer, went on to become an educator in St. Louis, authoring many textbooks, including “Basic Goals in Spelling”. I think I learned to spell using those spelling books when I was attending St. Jacobi Lutheran School in St. Louis.

Now, we will turn our attention to the woman who would become Adolph’s bride. Her name was Emma Johanna Lohmann, who was born on October 25, 1891. Emma was the daughter of Peter and Wilhelmine (Mueller) Lohmann. She was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at an image of her baptism record.

Emma Lohmann baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Emma is found in her first census in 1900 at the age of 9. Her father was a shoemaker in Altenburg.

1900 census – Altenburg, MO

When the 1910 census was taken, Emma was living in the Henry Haintz household in St. Louis and working as a servant.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

Part of this story had me really stumped for a while. How could a girl from Altenburg get to know a man originally from Illinois now living in Texas? I think I found an answer. Emma had an older brother, Arthur, who became a Lutheran pastor. Rev. Lohmann’s first call was to the panhandle area of Texas. Even though he was not named Pete, he got the nickname, Panhandle Pete. His story was told in the post, Panhandle Pete of Perryville. We have an autobiography of Rev. Lohmann in our research library. Below is an excerpt from that document.

Rev. Arthur Lohmannn’s autobiography

Adolph Frye was living near Hereford, Texas. That location is mentioned as one of Pastor Lohmann’s preaching stations in Texas in another excerpt below.

Rev. Arthur Lohmann’s autobigraphy

Below is a map of the panhandle area of Texas that was displayed in the previous post about Panhandle Pete.

Panhadle of Texas

Perhaps Arthur met Adolph Frye and got to talking. The conversation may have led Arthur to mention that he had an unmarried sister in which Adolph might have an interest. What we do know is that on April 14, 1912, Adolph Frye married Emma Lohmann at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at the church record for that wedding.

Frye/Lohmann marriage record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

The marriage license for this couple can also be viewed.

Frye/Lohmann marriage license

Emma would spend the rest of her life with Adolph in Texas. According to family histories on, this couple had as many as 9 children. In 1918, Adolph had his World War I draft registration completed.

Adolph Frye – WWI draft registration

We find this couple in the 1920 census in which Adolph was a farmer. By that time, there were already 4 children in the household.

1920 census – Deaf Smith County, TX

Next, we find this family in the 1930 census. This time there were 7 children in the household.

1930 census – Deaf Smith County, TX

The last census I located for the Frye couple was the one taken in 1940. The same 7 children were living in the family.

1940 census – Deaf Smith County, TX

Adolph Frye died in 1947 at the age of 62. We can look at his Texas death certificate.

Adolph Frye – Texas death certificate

We can also take a look at Adolph’s obituary.

Adolph Frye obituary

Emma would not die until 1981 at the age of 89. She should be in the 1950 census, but I didn’t take the time to look for her. I also think she died too recently to view a Texas death certificate. Adolph and Emma Frye are buried together in the West Park Cemetery in Hereford, Texas.

Adolph and Emma Frye gravestone – West Park, Hereford, TX

I will add a few more things. My aunt, Esther (Lohmann) Schmidt, would have called Emma Frye, Aunt Emma. I don’t know if she called Emma’s brother, Uncle Panhandle Pete. Also, one of our museum’s docents, Dolores Schmidt, is related to Emma as well, since she is a descendant of Peter Lohmann.

One thought on “An Arranged Deaf Smith, TX Wedding?

  1. Hello, my name is Larry Miller, my mother was the daughter of Adolf and Emma. I read your story with much interest as they were my grandparents. I knew Aurther as Uncle Art and I met him several times which were very memorable encounters. My mother’s name was Laura Orlene Frye and I was familiar with all of her siblings who were my aunts and uncles. I never knew Adolph but knew Emma as Grandma as she was referred to by all her grandchildren.

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