In several previous posts, I have referred to a certain “neighborhood” found near New Wells, Missouri as the “Koenig-Koch-Haertling Neighborhood”. I derived that term from seeing so many census pages from the Shawnee Township that list families with those surnames in successive censuses. It’s like these families remained neighbors for many, many years. Today’s post will begin with a baby that was born in that neighborhood.
Flora Adeline Koenig was born on January 26, 1893. Or was she born on January 25, 1893? Flora is another one of those cases in which we find her baptism record stating she was born on January 25th and her Findagrave.com entry that says she was born on January 26th. Since she was a female, we cannot view a military form that gives her birthday. Military documents are great places to get confirmation of someone’s birthday. Also, since Flora died too recently, we cannot view her death certificate, which is another source that lists a person’s date of birth. Flora would be either celebrating her 130th birthday today or yesterday.
Flora was the daughter of Alvin and Martha (Schrumpf) Koenig and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. We can take a look at the baptism record for Flora from that congregation’s books.
Flora was the only child of Alvin and Martha because Martha died the same year that Flora was born. She died in November of 1893 of diphtheria, leaving Alvin as a widower. Alvin married again in 1896. His second wife was Elisabeth Diefenbach. So, when the 1900 census was taken, we find the following Koenig household. Two additional Koenig children had been born to Alvin and Elisabeth. Also, it looks like Elisabeth had a son, Henry Diefenbach, by a previous marriage. Flora’s father was a farmer in the Shawnee Township.
Next, we find Flora in the 1910 census at the age of 17. Once again, Henry Diefenbach was a member of this household. Henry was working on his stepfather’s farm. Alvin must have really appreciated his help because his other children were all daughters.
Now, we will take a look at the man who would become Flora’s husband. His name was Otto Friedrich Meyr, who was born on October 2, 1890. Otto was the son of Johann and Emilie (Mirly) Meyr. Otto was the 3rd of 6 children in his family. Like Flora, Otto was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. His baptism record from that church’s books is displayed here.
Otto is found in his first census in 1900 at the age of 9. His father was a farmer in the Shawnee Township. He also had some additional members of his household. A young nephew, Fritz Mirly, Emilie’s mother, Mary Mirly, and a lodger named Ernst Harrison were listed in this entry.
In the 1910 census, we find Otto, at the age of 19, was working on his father’s farm. We find Emma Koch as a servant girl and Rudolph Reisenbichler and Friedrich (Fritz) Mirly as hired men also included in the household.
Otto Meyr married Flora Koenig on the day after Valentine’s Day, February 15, 1914. The marriage license for this couple is shown below
The above license says the wedding was performed by Rev. August Wilder, who was the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. I found the church marriage record for this pair in a binder we have that contains Trinity, Cape Girardeau records.
Our German Family Tree lists 2 children born to Otto and Flora. They were both baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. A few years after his wedding, Otto had a World War I draft registration completed in 1917.
The 1920 census lists both of the Meyr children, along with Rudolph Reisenbichler, who had shown up in the same entry with Otto in the previous census. Otto was a farmer in the Shawnee Township.
The Meyr’s are next found in the 1930 census. Two servants, Otto Hoffmann and Nora Perr, were included in their household.
In the same year as the above census, plat maps were produced for Cape Girardeau County. We find the Otto Meyr farm located not far from New Wells.
In 1940, the Meyr household consisted of Otto, Flora, their daughter, Evelyn, and their son, Ruben, who had married Gertrude Schlimpert in 1939.
In 1942, Otto had a World War II draft card completed even though he was already 52 years old.
The last census we can view is the one taken in 1950. It looks as if Otto and Flora had a bunch of children, but quite a few of them are actually grandchildren, the children of Rueben and Gertrude Meyr.
I suspect that Otto and Flora moved to Jackson at a later time in their lives like so many others did in those days. Otto Meyr died in 1972 at the age of 81. I have heard that the 1972 death certificates are almost ready to be placed on the Missouri Secretary of State website, but Otto’s is not there yet. Flora Meyr died in 1978 at the age of 84. Otto and Flora are buried together in the Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson, Missouri.
Even though the entry on Findagrave says Flora Meyr was born on January 26, 1893, her gravestone is engraved with the date of January 25, 1893. So, I conclude that she was born on the 25th, and I confess that I should have written this story yesterday. Our German Family Tree, which includes the January 26th date, led me astray. I do know this. My post written yesterday about our newly-named museum director, Kristen Lewis, was a much more important story to tell.
4 thoughts on “Flora and Otto – A Koenig/Meyr Pair”
Are New Wells congregational books at the Museum? I would love to find my Daddy’s sponsors as well as his 10 siblings. Do you also have who is buried in the cemetery by the church? Thanks.
We do have copies of the church books from Immanuel, New Wells. Their death records would be the best indicator of who is buried in their cemetery that we have.
Darlene, I believe that a USB drive containing an index to the New Wells church records as well as the actual images is also available for purchase in the Museum gift shop.
Thank you Kathy and Warren. Hope to make a trip to the museum soon to check this out.