A Maplewood History Mystery-Part 2

As you’ll recall the last post mentioned the genealogical research being done by Pat Baker of Texas who discovered earlier posts of mine while searching for information on her husband’s maternal grandfather, William Christian Koester.

Some of the facts she uncovered jived perfectly with what we know of Maplewood’s once very prominent citizen.  The Koester she was looking for was a carpenter, had a daughter named Florence and lived in Maplewood.  All those facts are true of the William Koester featured in the last post.

But troubling discrepancies emerged as well.  Such as two addresses apparently maintained at the same time, one being the home we’re familiar with at 7395 Flora but another at 3617 Oxford.  And there were other problems as well.

This obit dated Sept. 10, 1932, clearly shows the 3617 Oxford address and in addition to Florence, another daughter, Alma.  It also verifies that Koester was a carpenter as well as a Mason.  Courtesy of Pat Baker.

This obit dated Sept. 10, 1932, clearly shows the 3617 Oxford address and in addition to Florence, another daughter, Alma. It also verifies that Koester was a carpenter as well as a Mason. Courtesy of Pat Baker.

Pat Baker in an email describes the photo above.  "…William's father was Wm "Theodore" F Koester--he and his sibs and parents emigrated from Germany in 1857 and they settled in Manitoba, Canada. Theodore, a saw miller, met and married Catherine Vogt there, but after they had 3 children, for some reason his family alone left Canada and emigrated to Alabama in 1881 to begin farming.  (William Christian Koester is the boy in the photo. DH)

Pat Baker in an email describes the photo above. “…William’s father was Wm “Theodore” F Koester–he and his sibs and parents emigrated from Germany in 1857 and they settled in Manitoba, Canada. Theodore, a saw miller, met and married Catherine Vogt there, but after they had 3 children, for some reason his family alone left Canada and emigrated to Alabama in 1881 to begin farming. (William Christian Koester is the boy in the photo. DH)

Pat was also kind enough to include this wedding photo with the following information.  "So our William Koester was born in Canada but raised in Cullman Co, Alabama. And the first record I have for our William is his marriage in 1896 in Cullman, AL to Hulda Scheinert (where her family was from). Their 1st child Florence is born in 1898 in St. Louis, so it appears they moved there pretty soon after the marriage. Again, don't know why St Louis--no other family there that I know of."  (It's a nice photo but it's hard to see a resemblance to the William Koester we know. DH)

Pat was also kind enough to include this wedding photo with the following information. “So our William Koester was born in Canada but raised in Cullman Co, Alabama. And the first record I have for our William is his marriage in 1896 in Cullman, AL to Hulda Scheinert (where her family was from). Their 1st child Florence is born in 1898 in St. Louis, so it appears they moved there pretty soon after the marriage. Again, don’t know why St Louis–no other family there that I know of.” (It’s a nice photo but it’s hard to see a resemblance to the William Koester we know. DH)

3617 Oxford.  There will be no rollerskating in the street on this block.  Courtesy of Pat Baker.

3617 Oxford. There will be no rollerskating in the street on this block. Courtesy of Pat Baker.

Hulda and Florence at the cistern.  I wonder if the house didn't have interior plumbing.

Hulda and Florence at the cistern. I wonder if the house didn’t have interior plumbing. Courtesy of Pat Baker.

Another view of 3617 Oxford in the "1920's".  Courtesy of Pat Baker.

Another view of 3617 Oxford in the “1920’s”. Courtesy of Pat Baker.

take a good look at this 1908 photo of the whole family.  Does William look familiar now?  Courtesy of Pat Baker.

Take a good look at this 1908 photo of the whole family. Does William look familiar now? Courtesy of Pat Baker.

Take a closer look.  Are these two photos of the same man at different stages of life?  Don't touch that dial.  The answer will be revealed next post.  Special thanks to Pat Bker for sharing her family photos and research.  Pat retains all rights to the photos and info she provided.

Take a closer look. Are these two photos of the same man at different stages of life? Don’t touch that dial. The answer will be revealed in the next post. Special thanks to Pat Baker for sharing her family photos and research. Pat retains all rights to the photos and info she provided.

5 thoughts on “A Maplewood History Mystery-Part 2

  1. Very interesting Doug. I notice the terrain change in the two photos of the house. In the first the street appears to be on the same elevation as the house. But in the second the street and sidewalk are sunk or depressed. Did they dig out the street and sidewalk when paved with concrete back in the day? I had always assumed houses were built up above the street in olden times but maybe not?

    • I can’t explain it, Luke. It sure looks like they cut the street down quite a bit, doesn’t it? You live very near that location. Can you tell anything by looking at it today? I agree with Cathy. That is a good catch. I hadn’t noticed it.