Tirmenstein the Treasurer

You are going to read another Tirmenstein tale today. However, the starting point is the birth of a Schmidt in Collinsville, Illinois. The birthday girl was Caroline Wilhelmine Schmidt, who was born on December 2, 1882. That makes today her 140th birthday. Caroline was the daughter of Martin and Caroline (Mittenzwei) Schmidt. Caroline’s father was a resident of St. Louis when the 1880 census was taken, but then he married Caroline Mittenswei who was from Collinsville, Illinois. I think that’s where that couple was married, and then they remained in Collinsville for a few years. When their 2nd child was born in 1885, their baby girl was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis. That baptism record is shown here. You can see that the mother was from Collinsville.

Martine Emilie Schmidt baptism record – Trinity, St. Louis, MO

I located a St. Louis birth record for that child also.

Emilie Schmidt – St. Louis birth record 1885

What is fascinating, and actually quite tragic, is that Martin Schmidt, the father, died earlier in 1885 while he was in St. Paul, Minnesota. So, Caroline’s mother (also named Caroline) gave birth to this girl in August of 1885 when she was a widow. There is a Minnesota death record for Martin Schmidt. This document says that his body was to be taken to St. Louis for interment.

Martin Schmidt – MN death record

I am not going to display it, but there was also a St. Louis death record for Martin that says he actually died in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in St. Louis.

Martin Schmidt gravestone – Concordia, St. Louis, MO

When the 1900 census was taken, we find the Schmidt household living in St. Louis. Today’s birthday girl was 17 years old.

1900 census – St. Louis, MO

Now, we will turn our attention to the man who would become Caroline’s husband. His name was Louis Carl Edward Tirmenstein, who was born on June 25, 1880. Louis was the son of Rev. Martin and Amalia (Stoeppler) Tirmenstein. Louis’s father was highlighted in the post, Who Was the Youngest? More recently, I published a post about Louis’s younger brother titled, Who Is the Last Grandchild of an 1839 Immigrant? Louis’s father was a pastor in St. Paul, Minnesota when he was born. We find him in the 1900 census living in Logansport, Indiana where his father was the pastor at that time. At the age of 19, Louis was a bookkeeper for a grocery store.

1900 census – Logansport, IN

Despite no evidence of Louis living in St. Louis, we know he had plenty of Tirmenstein relatives in that city. Somehow, he became acquainted with Caroline Schmidt, and those two were married in St. Louis on June 9, 1904. That wedding took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis. Their church marriage record is pictured here.

Tirmenstein/Schmidt marriage record – Trinity, St. Louis, MO

A St. Louis newspaper published some information about this marriage. That article indicates that Louis was from Logansport.

Tirmenstein/Schmidt marriage – St. Louis newspaper

In a list of postal clerks in Indiana, we find evidence that Louis was such a clerk in Logansport, Indiana in 1905. This gives evidence that Louis and Caroline may have spent their first years in Indiana after they were married.

Louis Tirmenstein – Postal clerk list – 1905

Another interesting development took place in St. Louis in 1905. Caroline’s mother got married again. Her second husband was August G. Brauer whose wife, Emilie (Schuricht) had died in 1902. Emilie’s mother was also a Tirmenstein. August married Caroline on March 16, 1905. Then, in 1907, August’s son by his first marriage, August E.F. Brauer, married Martina Schmidt, Caroline Tirmenstein’s sister whose baptism record was displayed earlier. August E.F. Brauer became a Lutheran pastor. His story was told a while back in the post, Acts of God – Part 2.

It may have been the above developments that led Louis and Caroline to make their way back to St. Louis. A 1908 St. Louis city directory finds the Tirmenstein’s living in that city. Louis was a bookkeeper for the Mercantile Trust Company.

Louis Tirmenstein – 1908 St. Louis city directory

According to some family trees found on Ancestry.com, Louis and Caroline had 3 children, including one that died as an infant. In the 1910 census, we find the Tirmenstein family living in St. Louis with their son, Ralph. Louis was a bookkeeper for a glass works company.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

Louis had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918. This document says Louis was a clerk for the A.G. Brauer Supply Company. A.G. Brauer was Caroline’s stepfather.

Louis Tirmenstein – WWI draft registration

The earlier post about Rev. Brauer contained some information about the A.G. Brauer Company. I will share the link again that will lead you to a history of that notable St. Louis business.


Here is a photo of the building that housed the Brauer Supply Company in the early 1900’s when Louis worked there.

The 1920 census shows the Tirmenstein household, in which Louis is called a supervisor of a stove repair supply company. I believe that was still the Brauer Supply Company. Both of the Tirmenstein sons, Ralph and another Louis, were listed in this entry.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

Next, we find Louis and Caroline in the 1930 census. This time, Louis is called a treasurer for a stove supply business. You might recall that his younger brother, Walther Tirmenstein, was a treasurer for a road grading equipment company in Indianapolis. One of Louis’s sons, Ralph, was also called a private secretary for the railroad in this entry.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

We find the Tirmenstein’s in the 1940 census with an empty nest. Louis was called a treasurer for a heating supply company. That would once again be the Brauer Supply Company.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

Louis had his World War II draft card completed in 1942, despite being 62 years old. He was still employed at A.G. Brauer Supply Company.

Louis Tirmenstein – WWII draft card

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1950.

1950 census – St. Louis, MO

Caroline Tirmenstein died in 1961 at the age of 78. Her death certificate says she died as a patient in the Lutheran Hospital.

Caroline Tirmenstein death certificate

Louis Tirmenstein died in 1967 at the age of 86. His death certificate gives pneumonia as the cause of his death.

Louis Tirmenstein death certificate

Louis and Caroline Tirmenstein are buried together in the St. Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Lemay.

Louis and Caroline Tirmenstein gravestone – St. Trinity, Lemay, MO

In closing, let me point out that this couple’s son, Louis, Jr, became a Lutheran pastor. Louis, Jr. also married Lorene Kluegel. The Kluegel surname is yet another one that is found in the original immigration that took place in 1839. Whenever I do a Tirmenstein story, I seem to end up finding them connected to several other surnames that can be traced back to the early German Lutheran presence in Missouri. Also, I find plenty of men who ended up as full-time workers in the Lutheran Church, as well as others who were very intelligent and successful businessmen. It is a tribute to the talents of these German immigrants who were also very committed to their Lutheran faith.

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