Monday, October 13, 2014

August Henry Poeppelman (1881-1960) "52 Ancestors"

Ready for week 41 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge? This has been another busy week and I just about missed getting a story out this time. I went to a German Genealogy Interest Group meeting last Thursday. One of the things they talked about was a service called Ancestor Seekers that you can contract with to do research. The person who tried them said she had spent 35 years looking for an immigration record and that only a few hours after she sent her request they had found the elusive document. I thought it was worth a shot to see if they could find any information on James A Walker. So I sent them a copy of all the research that I have on him. A few hours later they replied back that the likelihood of them finding his birth, death or information on his parents was "Poor". Ok, that makes me feel better since I haven't been able to find anything about him beyond the 1870s-1880s.

Lorikeets from the zoo.
So after all that, I started to think about who I would write about this week. I decided to write about August Henry Poeppelman (1881-1960). He is my 2nd cousin 3 times removed. Why did I choose him? Well, for the same reason I select most of my subjects, random chance. As I started looking at what I have on the Poeppelman line I realized that there was a lot of information missing and many many people that were not included in my file yet. So I spent the last couple days doing research to try to fill in the gaps. And since today was a holiday I figured I would spend more time getting things in order for this story. But we went to the zoo instead (see the pretty birds to the right). So now I am going to write about what I already have. Hope you enjoy.

August Henry Poeppelman was born 23 December 1881 near Ft. Loramie in McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. He was the fourth child of Clemens (1848-1911) and Bernadine Berning Poeppelman (1856-1939). His siblings were Mary (1876-1940), Katherine (1878-1957), Anna (1880-??), Anton (1883-1949), Agnes (1885-1927), Rosa (1887-1978), Bernard (1889-1971), Fred (1892-??), Bernadine (1895-1979), Clemens Bernard (1898-198), Cecelia (1900-1969), and Margaret (1902-1925).

In 1880, Clemens (age 32), his wife Bernadina (age 23), and their three daughters, Mary (age 3), Catherine (age 2), and Anna (age 5 months) are living on the farm of his father and mother, Henry and Catherina Baumer Poeppelman. Henry was 73 years old and had immigrated from Oldenburg, Germany. Catherina was 65 years old and had also immigrated from Oldenburg. Since August was born in 1881, it can probably be assumed that after he was born he lived with his grandparents also. His grandmother, Catherine, died on 11 August 1884 and his grandfather Henry died on 3 December 1889.

I am not sure where August was living in 1900. The 1900 census lists Clemence (age 62), his wife Bernadina (age 53), and their children Catherine (age 31), Anthony (age 26), Rosa (age 22), Bernard (age 20), Bernadina (age 15), Clemence (age 12), Cecelia (age 10) and Margaret (age 8). I know August married Mary Ann Lehmkuhl in 1907, so he wasn't married at the time. Maybe he did what many young men did during this time, he could have moved to Dayton, Ohio for employment and stayed with relatives there. I will have to keep searching to see where he disappears to for these few years.

In 1910, August (age 27) has been married to Mary (age 24) for 2 years and has his first daughter, Helen (age 1). August is renting a farm in Van Buren Township, Shelby County, Ohio. But by 1920 he has his own farm which he owns free of a mortgage. His family has also grown by the 1920 census. It now consists of himself (age 38), his wife Mary (age 32), and their children Hellen (age 10), Adella (age 8), Viola (age 6), Varona (age 4) and Clarans (age 16 months). Adella and Hellen are attending school.

It appears that his dominant crop on this farm was corn. That is based on two newspaper articles from the 1920s and 1930s. In March 1923 a storm hit the farm and took part of the roof off his tool shed and scattered corn fodder all over the fields. Then in 1934 there is a short sentence which states "The D-L and P-L shredder company (whatever that is) started to shred corn at the August Poeppelman place Wednesday morning." I like this short sentence, especially the part about "whatever that is".

By the 1930 census, August and Mary state they had been married for 23 years. August is 48 years old and Mary is 43 years old. Their family consist of seven of their children, Adele (age 18), Viola (age 16), Verona (age 14), Clarence (age 11), Alma (age 8), Wilber (age 5) and Orville (age 2). I am assuming that Wilber and Orville were named after the Wright brothers. All of the children, except Wilber and Orville, are attending school.

In 1940, August (age 58) and Mary (age 53) are living on the farm with their children Alma (age 18), Wilbur (age 15), Orville (age 12), and Donald (age 9). August had an 8th grade education, which was typical of the farmers at this time. His son Clarence also had an 8th grade education. His wife Mary had a 7th grade education. However, his daughter Alma was finishing her fourth year of high school. Wilbur, Orville and Donald were in the 8th, 5th and 3rd grades, respectively. Clarence was helping out on the farm and was working 40 hours each week. August reported that he was working 45 hours per week on the farm.

August signed up for the WW II draft registration at the age of 60. He wasn't selected but at least he registered. He lists his employment as a self employed farmer and lists the location of his farm as RR#2, Anna, Shelby County, Ohio.

August retired from farming in 1955 at the age of 73. Near the end of 1958 or the beginning on 1959, August, his wife and their daughter Viola moved into a new house that they had built in McCartyville. August died at his home at 9 p.m. on 19 July 1960. He was 78 years old. He had been suffering from an illness for three years. He was a member of the St. Joseph Society of Sacred Heart Church and was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus in Minster. By the time of his death, his family was spread out across the area. His daughter Helen was married to Ray Hoying and living in St. Patrick. Adele had married Arthur Huecker and was living in Anna. Viona had married Carl Flaute and moved to Dayton. Alma was living in McCartyville with her husband Ray Heilers. Clarence had married Martha Ahrns and was living in St. Patrick. Wilbur married Virginia Dietz. Orville married Dorothy Mae Johnson and Donald married Verona Otting. Wilbur, Orville and Donald were all living in McCartyville. He also had 43 grandchildren and a great-grandchild at the time of his death. He was buried in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in McCartyville.


  1. Miles,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!