Joe and Molly – The Popp’s

We have another special birthday to acknowledge today. Joseph Gerhard Popp was born on November 10, 1872, making today his 150th birthday. Joseph was the son of Wilhelm and Caroline (Hoffstetter) Popp. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at his baptism record from that congregation’s books. For some reason, his record is printed on the right side of the page near the right margin. It looks like it may have been added at a later date.

Joseph Popp baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Joseph is found in his first census in 1880 at the age of 7. His father was a farmer in the Brazeau Township of Perry County.

1880 census – Brazeau Township, MO

It appears that this Popp family left Immanuel, Altenburg to become members of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna while Joseph was a child. In 1886, Joseph was confirmed at Concordia, Frohna. When we can view his next census, the one taken in 1900, we find Joseph at the age of 27. His father had died in 1894, so his widowed mother was the head of the household. Joseph was working at a sawmill.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Now, we will take a look at the woman who would become Joseph’s wife. Her name was Amalie Elizabeth Ernestine Theiss, who was born on January 23, 1879. On several documents you see her called Molly. She was the daughter of Johann and Ernestine (Dellert) Theiss. Amalie’s baptism record is found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. However, since she was born in Wittenberg, there is a good chance that the pastor from Trinity baptized Amalie in that town on the river. An image of her baptism record is shown here. There is a bit of confusion because it says she was born in 1878, but this record is found among many others that occurred in 1879. I think the pastor made a mistake. Later evidence also gives the year of birth as 1879.

Amalie Theiss baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Amalie was just 1 year old when she appears in her first census in 1880. Her family was living in Wittenberg where her father was working in Joseph Weinhold’s flour mill. Already at the age of 1, she is called Mollie.

1880 census – Wittenberg, MO

When Molly was in her 20’s, we find her living in the Beckmann household in Perryville when the 1900 census was taken. She was working as a servant. August Beckmann operated a hardware store in Perryville.

1900 census – Perryville, MO

Joseph Popp married Amalie Theiss on June 23, 1901 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. We can view the church record for this event.

Popp/Theiss marriage record – Concordia, Frohna, MO

The marriage license for this couple is pictured here.

Popp/Theiss marriage license

Our German Family Tree lists just 3 children born to Joe and Molly, but there were several others. The first 2 that are in the GFT were baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna. The 3rd child was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. So, it appears that Joe and Molly spent at least a short time at that congregation. The baptism record for Richard Popp is displayed below in two images.

Richard E. Popp baptism record – Christ, Jacob, IL

When their next child was born in 1907, a daughter named Alma, she was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. I am showing her baptism record below.

Alma Popp baptism record – Trinity, Cape Girardeau, MO

Altogether, there were 7 Popp children baptized at Trinity, Cape Girardeau. I was unable to find this Popp family in the 1910 census. I am almost certain that they were living in Cape Girardeau. I did manage to find a 1912 city directory for Cape Girardeau that includes Joseph and Amalie.

Joseph Popp – 1912 Cape Girardeau city directory

Joseph had a World War I draft registration completed in 1917. It states that he was working for the International Shoe Company in Cape Girardeau.

Joseph Popp – WWI draft registration

The 1920 census shows the Popp household living in Cape Girardeau. There were 7 children in the family, along with Joseph’s mother, Caroline. Again, Joseph is shown as working at the shoe factory.

1920 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

The last census in which we find Joseph was the one taken in 1930. Not only was Joseph working at the shoe factory, but several of his children were working there also.

1930 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Joseph Popp died in 1937 at the age of 62. His death certificate lists both pneumonia and bladder cancer as causes of death.

Joseph Popp death certificate

When we find Molly in the 1940 census, we notice an unusual entry. She is called Mrs. Joseph Popp, not Molly. There is a note in the margin that says the information was given by someone else for this entry, perhaps a neighbor. It looks like that person did not even know Molly’s first name. Molly still had 3 children living in her household.

1940 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

The last census we can view that includes Molly was the one taken in 1950. She was living with her daughter, Anita, who had married Fred Reimann.

1950 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

Amalie Popp died in 1961 at the age of 82. Her death certificate says she died at the Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau.

Amalie Popp death certificate

Both Joseph and Amalie Popp are buried in the New Lorimer Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.

There are so many different Popp clans and branches found in our German Family Tree. There have to be a bunch of descendants that come from all these Popp’s. Certainly there should be plenty of descendants from Joseph and Molly’s rather large family. However, around here in East Perry County, I am fairly sure there are not many Popp’s remaining.

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