Teacher Meyr

Having been a Lutheran teacher during my career, I am especially partial to writing stories that involve individuals who also entered that profession. The churches in East Perry County have provided plenty of fodder for writing such stories because this area has sent so many people into full time church work. You will be reading yet another post that tells the story of a man who became a teacher at a Lutheran school. Quite a few of such posts take you on a journey all across the country as the teacher served at several schools along the way. That is not the case today. Teacher Meyr went to a Lutheran school after graduating and remained there for most of his career, and even after that, he moved to another Lutheran school not far away from his first call. That makes this story somewhat unusual.

We begin with a special birthday. Albert Edward Meyr was born on January 28, 1898, making today his 125th birthday. Albert was the son of Gottlieb Samuel and Sarah (Haecker) Meyr. Many of the Meyr stories told on this blog are about families that lived near New Wells, but in this case, Albert’s parents had migrated across the Apple Creek and were living in Altenburg when Albert was born. Albert was the 6th of 7 children born into this Meyr family. He was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. We can take a look at an image of his baptism record from that church’s books.

Albert Meyr baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Another thing I cannot resist is a picture of a town band. The one shown below includes Albert’s father, Gottlieb, who is holding a brass instrument.

Gottlieb Meyr – Altenburg Band

Albert is found in his first census in 1900 at the age of 2. His father was a carpenter in the Brazeau Township. This entry spills over 2 census pages, so I have to display it in 2 images. The Meyr’s had 2 daughters followed by 4 sons. One girl would be born after this census was taken. I might also add that since Albert’s brother, Rudolph, was Vernon Meyr’s father, Vernon would have called today’s main character, Uncle Albert.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

In 1910, Albert, at the age of 12, would been having his confirmation training when the census entry shown below was enumerated.

1910 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Albert was confirmed in 1911. Thanks to a set of Meyr family binders (4 of them) that we have in our research library, I can display Albert’s confirmation certificate.

Albert Meyr confirmation certificate

Albert Meyr had a World War I draft registration completed in 1918. Albert was a student at Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois at the time.

Albert Meyr – WWI draft registration

In 1919, Albert graduated from Concordia. He is seen in a gallery of the faculty and some of his classmates in the photo below. His name is misspelled as Meyer (right below the 1919).

Concordia, River Forest – Class of 1919

After graduation, Albert did not have to travel very far to get to his first call. He became a teacher at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crete, Illinois, which is located just south of Chicago. It is there that he spent most of his career. A history of that school includes the following information about Albert.

Albert Meyr – Trinity, Crete history

In the 1920 census, we find Albert as still single and living as a boarder in the Fred Bernhard household. He is called a teacher in a parochial school.

1920 census – Crete, IL

We will now turn our attention to the woman who would become Albert’s bride. Her name was Maria Louise Piepenbrink, who was born on August 16, 1892, which means she was about 5 years older than Albert. Marie was the daughter of Wilhelm and Maria (Meyer) Piepenbrink. So, as you can see, another Meyer was already part of her family before she married a Meyr. Most likely, Marie was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crete, but I do not have access to their church records. She is found in her first census in 1900 at the age of 7. Her father was a farmer in Crete.

1900 census – Crete, IL

Next, we find Marie in the 1910 census as a teenager.

1910 census – Crete, IL

The last census in which we find Marie as a single woman is the one taken in 1920. At the age of 27, she was still living with her parents and working as a stenographer for a real estate company.

1920 census – Crete, IL

Albert Meyr married Marie Piepenbrink on June 30, 1926. I have no documentation for this, but the wedding likely took place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crete. I do not know if this is a wedding photo or not, but it shows Albert and Marie at rather young ages. I do not see a wedding ring on Albert’s finger.

Albert and Marie Meyr

In his earlier years at Trinity, a photograph was taken of the faculty and board of education members. Both Albert and Marie’s brother, John Piepenbrink are in this photo. This picture is found in a Piepenbrink family binder that we have in our research library. It includes some post-it notes used to identify Albert and John. As you can see, this publication was written in German.

Faculty and school board – Trinity, Crete, IL

Albert and Marie had 2 children, a girl (Elsie) and a boy (Victor). Elsie was born before the 1930 census was taken.

1930 census – Crete, IL

Both of their children can be found in the 1940 census. Albert is called a primary teacher in a parochial school.

1940 census – Crete, IL

In 1942, Albert had a World War II draft card completed. His address, Park and Division Streets, was adjacent to Trinity Lutheran Church, so they likely were living in a teacherage. A few census entries indicate the Meyr’s were living next to the pastor and his family.

Albert Meyr – WWII draft card

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1950. It says Albert was a 3,4, and 5 grade teacher. His daughter was a secretary at a public school, and his son, Victor, was a minister.

1950 census – Crete, IL

Another photo that includes Albert Meyr is this one taken of him with one of his classes. The Piepenbrink man who made the Piepenbrink binder that we have in our library, indicates that he is in this picture. I know that I never had this many students in any of my classes during my career.

Albert Meyr class

Here is a photo of Teacher Meyr at a later point in his career.

During the last 5 years of his teaching career, Albert was a teacher at Hope Lutheran School in Park Forest, Illinois, which is not far from Crete. A delightful photograph showing the Albert Meyr family is also found in the Meyr family binder. This photo put a smile on my face. Victor and his sister, Elsie, are on the left in the back row.

Albert and Marie Meyr with children, brother Arnold, and his wife, Alida

Marie Meyr died in 1972 at the age of 79; Albert Meyr died in 1973 at the age of 75. I am able to display Albert’s obituary that was printed in a Perry County newspaper.

Albert Meyr obituary

Albert and Marie are buried together in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Crete.

Albert and Marie Meyr gravestone – Trinity, Crete, IL

I had the privilege of meeting Rev. Victor Meyr when I was a Lutheran teacher in Minnesota. I believe he was the pastor of the church in Red Wing, Minnesota. At that time, I had no idea that he had some family roots in Altenburg.

I saw Gerard Fiehler at the local breakfast eatery this morning. He remembers Albert. One thing he told me was that Albert was a very good musician, and he once heard Albert play the Hallelujah Chorus from memory on the organ in Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Also, Gerard, since he once worked at the Altenburg Garage, knows that Albert drove Studebakers. I can also add that Pat Borgmann, a member of our museum’s Advisory Board, is connected to this Meyr family from Altenburg. She contributed the band photo for Mary Dillon’s Altenburg book.

I love a good Lutheran teacher story.

3 thoughts on “Teacher Meyr

  1. Kathy is correct about Arnold and Alida (Fischer) Meyr. They are my grandparents. The man and woman on the left are Fred Riedl and his wife, Elsie Meyr. The little boy is their first son, Jordan Riedl.
    Victor was Uncle Albert and Aunt Marie’s son. He graduated in 1954 from Valpo with a degree in business. He married Romona Vilmain. Their children were born in California where Vic worked in Insurance Sales. In 1974, Vic graduated from Concordia Seminary, Springfield and served congregations in Minnesota. He married Joanne Friedrich after Romona died. He died 18 Jul 2022 in Woodbury, MN.
    We heard Vic preach at Trinity, I’m guessing, around 12-15 years ago. It might have been then that Tim Fiehler played his keyboard for the service, too. Lots of good Meyr memories from Uncle Albert’s family. I remember visiting them in Crete when I was a little girl. We took Grandma and Grandpa to visit them and spent a short time there. And Elsie was a regular at the October Conferences until about 6 years ago. She was my traveling companion and a good friend of Lillian and Bob Fiehler’s. She is doing well in Arlington Heights, IL.

    1. Hi Patricia, you are 100% correct about the man and the woman on the left and their child. They are my grandparents, and the little boy in the photo is my dad, Jordan Riedl. My grandmother is 94 now and still doing well. The next time I see her, I will definitely ask about you! I hope you are doing well!

  2. The couple on the right in the photo where people are laughing are Albert’s brother Arnold and wife Alida. They lived in Altenburg. I’m not sure if the woman between Victor and Arnold is Elsie or Victor’s wife. I also don’t recognize the child. Maybe another cousin can clarify.

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