Sunday, May 26, 2019

Wolterman Genealogy - Week 20

For Week 20 I am switching over to my husband’s maternal grandparents. His grandfather was Joseph John Pfeffer, who was the first son born to Mathias John and Filomena (Reichel) Pfeffer on 19 March 1900 in Cairo Township, Renville County, Minnesota. The family lived on a farm in Renville County.

When he was 18, Joseph registered for the World War I draft. He indicated that his occupation was farming, and that he was employed by Mathias Pfeffer in Cairo. He stated that he was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and brown hair. There is no indication that Joseph served in the military.

Joseph and Christine's wedding day
On 19 September 1921, Joseph married Christina Agnes Reger in nearby Fairfax, Minnesota. He was 21 and she was an older woman of 25. The couple had the following children: John born 1922; Bernadine born 1923; Joseph born 1925; and Lorraine born 1930.

Joseph and Christinal Marriage Certificate

The 1930 census showed the family residing in Cairo, and Christina’s 37-year-old brother John was living with them as was Joseph’s 16-year-old brother Martin (this was likely because their father Mathias Pfeffer had died in 1929.) John worked on road construction and Martin as a farm laborer.

Joseph, Christina and their children
By the time the 1940 census was taken, Joseph, Christina and their children were living in the town of Fairfax. The census further indicated that they lived in the same house, which they owned, in 1935 as well. Joseph was employed as a government worker.

On 14 February 1942, Joseph registered for the WWII draft. He gave his weight as 165 pounds, height as 5’9”, listed his complexion as light, indicated he had brown hair and brown eyes, and worked for the WPA. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was an employment program created by President Roosevelt in 1935 during the depression. The program lasted for 8 years, and put around 8.5 million Americans to work.

Nearby projects of the WPA included the erection of Morton rainbow granite buildings and restoration of the original fort commissary at Fort Ridgely State Park in Ridgely Township, construction of several stone structures in Flandrau State Park in New Ulm, and installation of hiking trails, stairs, and seven new buildings at Minneopa State Park in Mankato.

Joseph died on 22 November 1977 in Fairfax at the age of 77, a mere 4 years after the death of his son Joseph. The cause of death for the senior Joseph was listed as massive gangrene of the small and large bowel due to thrombosis of the superior and inferior mesenteric arteries. He was buried in St. Andrew’s Catholic Cemetery in Fairfax.

Joseph Pfeffer's stone

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