Eggers in Corvallis

The birthday boy for today is another person who spent his childhood in Perry County, Missouri, only to live most of his life elsewhere. In the story for today, we find that this man ends up not far from the Pacific Ocean.

Paul Ernst Martin Eggers was born on May 24, 1894, so today would be his 129th birthday. Paul was the son of Jacob and Ida (Wachter) Eggers. He was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. An image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books is pictured here.

Paul Eggers baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Paul’s father was first married to Minna Koenig, but she died in 1891. Two Eggers children were born to that marriage. Then Jacob married Ida Wachter in 1893, and Paul was that couple’s first child. Seven more children were born after Paul, making a total of 10 children born to his father. Paul is found in the 1900 census at the age of 6. For some unknown reason, Paul is not listed in chronological order in this entry.

1900 census – Brazeau Township, MO

Next, we find Paul in the 1910 census living in a Wachter household that included 2 single siblings of Paul’s mother, Ida. Paul was helping with the farming in that household in the Shawnee Township. Paul is called Martin E. in this entry.

1910 census – Shawnee Township, MO

It was at some point during the next decade that Paul made a dramatic move. When he had a World War I draft registration completed, his address is given as Corvallis, Oregon. It says his employer was J.O. Wilson, and there is a note that Paul was a foreman on a ranch. Paul did get called into military service during that war.

Paul Eggers – WWI draft registration

There is evidence that Paul was not the only one in the Eggers family who made the move to Oregon. When his younger brother, Otto Benjamin, had his World War I draft registration completed, he was also living in Corvallis. Then, in 1919, Otto died at the young age of 19. His Oregon death certificate says he died of pneumonia and influenza.

Otto Eggers – OR death certificate

Otto’s obituary says Paul accompanied his brother’s body back to Wittenberg where he was buried. There is an entry on for Otto in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Wittenberg, but there is no gravestone photo.

Otto Eggers obituary

It was just a matter of months after that death that Paul would get married in Oregon. Let’s take a look at the early life of the woman who would become his bride. Her name was Elizabeth Sturm, who was born on April 29, 1892 in Poole, Nebraska. Elizabeth was the daughter of Christian and Catharina (Joerger) Sturm. In the 1900 census, we find Elizabeth at the age of 8 living in the Cedar Township of Buffalo County, which is where Poole is located. Poole is found in a rural area not far from Kearney, Nebraska, and these days, it is basically a ghost town. Her father was a farmer.

1900 census – Cedar Township, NE

The Sturm’s moved their family to Oregon during the next decade. When we find their household in the 1910 census, they were living in the Tangent Township in Linn County which was not that far from where Paul was living. Elizabeth was a teenager, and her father was still farming.

1910 census – Tangent Township, OR

Paul Eggers married Elizabeth Sturm on April 20, 1919. I was able to find an Oregon marriage record for this couple. It says they were married in Albany, Oregon, which is also in Linn County.

Eggers/Sturm – OR marriage record

The map below shows that Albany, Corvallis, and Tangent are all in the same proximity.

Albany and Corvallis, OR map

In the 1920 census, we find the Eggers couple living in Wilamette, Oregon, which is just outside Portland. They had no children at that point in time.

1920 census – Wilamette, OR

A group of photographs of the Jacob Eggers family is found on It reportedly was taken sometime around 1920, but it includes Otto, who had died in 1919, so I figure it was taken a bit earlier. Paul is said to be the bottom one of the 3 boys pictured separately on the left. Sometime in the 1920’s, Jacob Eggers moved his family to the Corvallis area.

Jacob Eggers family

The 1930 census puts the Eggers household back in the Corvallis area. Paul was still farming, and they had two children.

1930 census – Corvallis, OR

Next, we find the Eggers family in the 1940 census. Another child was added to their family in the previous decade. Also, one of Paul’s younger brothers, Theodore, was helping on Paul’s farm.

1940 census – Corvallis, OR

In 1942, Paul had a World War II draft card completed.

Paul Eggers – WWII draft card

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1950. Paul was still farming in his 50’s. Right below Paul’s entry is that of their son, Robert, who was driving a logging truck.

1950 census – Corvallis, OR

Elizabeth Eggers died in 1962 at the age of 70. We can take a look at her Oregon death certificate.

Elizabeth Eggers – OR death certificate

Paul Eggers died in 1967 at the age of 72. His death certificate is pictured here.

Paul Eggers – OR death certificate

An application was made by the Eggers family to have Paul’s military service recognized on his headstone.

Paul Eggers – Military Headstone Application

Both Paul and Elizabeth Eggers are buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Corvallis. Zion Lutheran Church had been established in 1905.

There are 16 grave sites listed on in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Corvallis that contain the Eggers name. I suspect most of them, if not all, can be attached to the Jacob Eggers family tree.

2 thoughts on “Eggers in Corvallis

  1. Thanks for celebrating mt Uncle Paul.
    The family portrait was most likely taken in 1920, probably after Otto Benjamin’s death and possibly in the family’s final months in Altenburg. In Jan 1920 (U.S. Census date) Jacob and Ida, with the girls and the youngest children, were still living in Perry County MO. I’m planning to research their move to Benton County, Oregon, when I’ve solved a puzzle on my father’s side.
    By 1918-1919, when they registered for the draft, the four oldest boys–Henry, Bill, Paul, and Otto Benjamin–had migrated to Oregon. Henry and Bill were both married and starting a family.
    The three young men in thumbnail, top to bottom, are Henry, William, and Paul.
    Back row, left to right: Theodore Friedrich, Hulda Louise, Theodore Rudolph, and Louise Amanda.
    Front row: Jacob and Ida are seated; between them are the youngest children (left to right), Martin Benjamin, Clara Bertha, and Martha Emma, my mother (1912-1990). Otto Benjamin is not in the picture, unless he is who I believed to be Theodore Rudolph (my Uncle Rudy), who in Jan 1920 the U.S .Census places in St. Louis MO. Their draft cards record Otto Benjamin as medium height and Rudy as tall, which is how I remember him.
    You have given me another puzzle to solve.

    Roberta Meyer Bear
    Port Hueneme, Ventura County CA


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