Fostering Feiste’s

Back in 2017, I wrote a post titled, Feistes Coming to Cuming. It told the story of 4 Feiste boys from Perry County who moved to Nebraska in their younger years to find work. Three of those Feiste boys worked on the farm of a man named George Luther according to their World War I draft registrations. Today, you will be reading about what happened to one of those Fieste boys. More details will be provided about his life than were presented in that previous story. However, before we get to the Feiste man, I am going to begin with his bride, who happens to be today’s birthday girl.

Edna A. Krauss was born on May 31, 1894, making today her 128th birthday. She was the daughter of Adam and Elizabeth (Klemp) Krauss. The Friedenberg Remembrances book says that Adam Krauss came to America in 1886 aboard the ship, Leipzig, but I could not find a passenger list for him. When Adam married Elizabeth, she was a widow, having previously been married to Johann George Popp. So, when Edna was born, she had several older half-siblings born to the Popp/Klemp couple. Edna was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, so we cannot view her baptism record. She shows up in her first census in 1900. Her family was living in the Salem Township. There were two Krauss children, one of them being Edna, and two older Popp children. Edna was 6 years old at the time.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Next, we find Edna in the 1910 census as a teenager. There were only the 2 Krauss children left in the household. Edna’s father was a farmer.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

Now, we will turn our attention to the Feiste boy. Wilhelm Otto Feiste was born on April 6, 1889, the son of Otto and Hulda (Junge) Feiste. He was born in Germany. The Friedenberg Remembrances book states that the Feiste family came to America in 1892, so William (as he was later called) would have been about 3 years old when that occurred. The first we see of William in America is the entry for the Feiste’s in the 1900 census. The family was living in the Union Township. William was the oldest child in his family and 11 years old at the time of this census. His father was a farmer.

1900 census – Union Township, MO

I was unable to find William in the 1910 census when he would have been around 21 years old. He was not living with his parents, so he was likely “working out” somewhere else. I looked in Perry County and in the area of Nebraska where I knew he was when his World War I draft registration was completed in 1917, but I failed to find him.

William Feiste – WWI draft registration

The above form was completed in June of 1917. We find William back in Perry County for his wedding in September of 1917, so, the way I have it figured, William must have left Nebraska to move back to Missouri right after this document was completed.

William Feiste married Edna Krauss on September 23, 1917 at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg. That means I also cannot display a church marriage record for this couple. However, I can show the marriage license.

Feiste/Krauss marriage license

Our German Family Tree lists no children born to this couple. We find them in the 1920 census as a young couple with no children. William was a farmer. Their entry in this census is listed very near that of William’s parents, so he may have been a farmer on his father’s land.

1920 census – Union Township, MO

In the 1915 plat maps, we find 2 separate parcels of land owned by his father, Otto. Maybe William was farming on one of those parcels.

Otto Feiste land ;map – 1915

In 1930 we find William and Edna are no longer alone. They have an adopted daughter named Lora Scholl.

1930 census – Union Township, MO

Laura Louise Scholl was born on January 21, 1915, the daughter of Karl Ludwig and Alwine (Mueller) Scholl. When she was just 4 years old, her father died. Her mother then married Henry Plieseis in 1920. Then, her mother, Alwina, died in 1921. Henry Plieseis married Caroline Best in 1925. Henry died in May of 1930, but the census entry shown above was submitted in April. It appears that Laura was living with the Feiste’s before Henry died. It is likely that sometime in the 1920’s, Laura became part of William and Edna Feiste’s family. Laura got married in 1937 to Walter Fritsche, so this 1930 census entry is the only one in which we find Laura living with the Feiste’s.

The Feiste’s are found in the 1940 census living with Edna’s widowed father, Adam Krauss, in Perryville. William is called a tavern keeper.

1940 census – Perryville, MO

The last census in which we find the Feiste’s is the one taken in 1950. At the age of 61, William had no occupation. A 22 year-old, Leona Versemann, was a lodger with them. She was a bookkeeper at a bank.

1950 census – Perryville, MO

Edna Feiste died in 1970 at the age of 76. We can view her death certificate.

Edna Feiste death certificate

William Feiste died in 1975 at the age of 85. In a few years, his death certificate should be made public. William and Edna are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.

William and Edna Feiste gravestone – Immanuel, Perryville, MO

There are still Feiste’s living around here, but none of them come from this Feiste couple because they never had their own children. Walter and Laura (Scholl) Fritsche had a boy, also named Walter, and one of the sponsors at his baptism was Edna Feiste. Perhaps, in addition to some Fieste descendants, there are also some Fritsche’s around here that consider this Feiste couple to be a special part of their family.

Please forgive me if I used the wrong term in the title. I don’t see any evidence of the Feiste’s being foster parents, only adoptive parents. I just liked the sound of Fostering Feiste’s.

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