“Hattie” Helen Dieter Elsner Time Line




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February 2,

Hattie’s uncle, her father’s oldest brother, John Philip (J.P.) Dieter, was born in Gross Bieberau in the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt.

Son of George Wendel and Anna Maria Margaretha Daab Dieter.


In 1852, Hattie’s grandfather’s (George Wendel) older sister, Justina Dieter emigrated to America.

To learn more about Justina Dieter go to her time line on this website.

Two of Hattie’s great uncles, Johan Georg born in 1841 and Johan Nicolaus born in 1845 followed Justina in 1858 and 1861 respectively.

Johan Georg served in the civil war. He worked a barber in the army. He signed up in New York.

In the late 1850’s, Justina and her husband George Kilian had a son George, born in New York.


September 3,

Hattie’s father, Christian August Dieter, was born in Langen, Hesse, in what would later be Germany. He was the 5th child and the 5th son of Anna Maria Margaretha Daab and George Wendel Dieter.

At various times in his life he would be called, Christopher, August, C.A. Dieter or “Cap”.

N.B. Hattie’s father was first cousin to Justina’s son, George Kilian born in New York.

Please Note:

In 1841, Alexander, the future Czar of Russia married Princess Marie of Hesse.

In 1855, Alexander became Czar and Marie of Hesse became Empress of Russia.

“Every now and again she (Marie) was able to go to her brother Alexander who lived with his morganatic wife in Heiligenberg.

There, she met Princess Alice wife of her nephew Prince Ludwig. Princess Alice was the daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

When Alice died in 1878, Marie, Empress of Russia, often invited Alice’s motherless children for visits to Heiligenberg. It was during these visits that Marie’s son, Grand Duke Serge, first got to know his future wife, Alice’s daughter Elisabeth as well as Marie’s first encounter with Alix of Hesse, (who was the younger sister of Elisabeth) and would one day marry Marie’s eldest grandson Nicholas II.”

The close connections between the Russian ruling family, Queen Victoria and the tiny Duchy of Hesse can be seen in the above quote from Wikipedia. No doubt all the residents of Hesse, Hattie’s mother and father included, were very aware of the connection between their small state Hesse and the large countries of Russia and Great Britan.

The ruling families of all three states were closely interwoven.

Hattie mother, Helene Bärenz, might have passed on to her American daughters, Hattie and Kate, this interest in the Russian state. Decades later, Hattie’s granddaughters, Katie and Gretchen, and later Gretchen’s daughter Maggie were all fascinated with the story of the Russian Czars long before they knew of their family’s connection with this ruling family.

Czar Nicolas and his wife Alexandra (born in Hesse) certainly caught the world’s attention in the Russian Revolution of 1917.


September 16,

Helene Bärenz, Hattie’s mother, was born in Langen, Hesse, at 4 o’clock P.M. She was the third child and second daughter of Anna Helene Kappes Bärenz and George Peter Bärenz . Her family called her “Lenchen” which means little Lene, or little Helene.

She was baptized on September 30. Her godmother was Helene Knoess.

According to the 1860, U.S. Census, Justina Dieter Kilian, her husband George, their son George and Justina’s brother, George Dieter, are living in Zanesville, Ohio. Both George Killian and George Dieter were barbers.


April 18

Wilhelm Bärenz age 5 old brother of Lenchen died.

Lenchen is two years old. Her older sister, Susanna is four years old.


April 19

Just one year after the death of William Jacob Barenz another brother is born in Lenchen’s family.


June 16

Another brother of  Hattie’s mother, William Jacob Bärenz dies. He is the second brother of Hattie’s mother to die in just a little more than a two year time span. This sadly forshadows the death in quick succession of Hattie’s own brothers, just one generation later.

Hattie’s mother Lenchen Bärenz, experiences the deaths of her brothers and later the deaths of her own sons, all young men.

At the same time Hattie’s mother’s family is mourning the loss of their second son, her father’s family, the Dieter family,  is rejoicing over the birth of a daughter after six sons. (see below)

July 10

Justina Eva Christian Dieter the seventh child and first daughter of George Wendel Dieter and Anna Margaretha Daab was baptized.

Justina Dieter Killian who was living in 1860 in Zanesville, Ohio is in Langen for the baptism. She is listed in the church book as the widow of George Killian. Justina Dieter Kilian stands as godmother to her niece and her younger brother’s precious daughter.

December 1

Just months after the birth of his only daughter, Georg Wendel Dieter, Hattie’s paternal grandfather, dies in a hospital in Darmstadt. Georg Wendel Dieter was 33 years old. He had owned the Hartmann mill in Gross-Bieberau. According to state records, he moved with his family to Langen sometime between 1859-1862. According to family lore “He (Georg) left a widow with six sons. The sons expected to inherit the mill but the mother had other ideas and remarried. Four of the boys packed their bags and went to America. They landed in Baltimore and stayed with relatives who had arrived earlier, then went on to Wichita, Kansas” letter of Henning Bruhn Dieter (descendent of Philip Dieter), 1995. The four sons were John Philip, George, August (Hattie’s father) and Adam. According to ship’s records, August and Adam arrived much later in American than their two older brothers.



Baby Justina Eva Dieter dies.

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This picture taken circa 1870 is of the Bärenz family home in Langen, Germany built in 1865.

At the time this picture was taken the Bärenz.family consisted of 3 girls. Susanna age 6, Lenchen age 5 and Susanna Katherine an infant.

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Writing on the back of the above picture reads:

Mama’s home in Germany. Grandmother Bärenz. Built by Grandfather Bärenz when Mamma was 5 years old. Aunt Sancha Volger Uncle Phil Volger & daughter Susanna live here. Kate Dieter and Mother Dieter visited – 1934

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This picture of the Baerenz home on Dieburgerstrasse 18 comes from Gaby Klein in Langen, Germany. In 2011 the home was renovated. Thank you Gaby Klein for this information and this picture.


November 14

Anna Margaretha Daab Dieter is married to William Bar. Note: Margareta is the widow of George Wendal Dieter.

In the year that his mother remarried, John Philip Dieter, 17 years old, came to Baltimore to join his Uncle, J. W. Dieter.

John Philip worked for a year as a baker and went on to Wichita, Kansas where he worked as a barber.


November 12

J.P. Dieter. Hattie’s uncle,  married his first wife, Anna in Wichita, Kansas.


The US Census for 1870, shows George Dieter, his wife Johanna (born Sweden) and their son George living in Abilene, KS.

Nicolas Dieter and his wife Lena also live there. Both of the Dieter’s are barbers.

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Before coming to America in 1879, Hattie’s father worked as an apprentice bricklayer in Germany. On the top of this 1912 postcard addressed to Hattie’s youngest brother, August, from his friend Peter in Germany, someone has written “This tower is where Papa was an apprentice.”

From the handwriting, I assume that this note was made around 1950. Someone, perhaps, Hattie or her sister Kate, was trying to record family history.


Wichita (Kansas) City Directory

Dieter, Geo. barber (Dieter & Kayser), fr Germany, bds with J.P. Dieter

Dieter, J.P. (Dieter & Kayser), from Baltimore, MD. r. Lawrence, bet Williams and English

Dieter, & Kayser, barbers (bath rooms) No.111 Douglas

Just imagine, J.P. Dieter and his brother George are both barbers in the frontier town of Wichita, Kansas. This is the same town and the same era that is so often pictured in cowboy movies.


September 13,

Christian Dieter, 21 Bricklayer and his brother Adam Dieter, 18, Bricklayer arrived at Baltimore, Maryland aboard the ship “Ohio” on their way to Kansas.

November, Fred Jacob Dieter, Hattie’s oldest brother was born in Germany.

No record of Fred’s birth could be found in Germany. More research needs to be done.

Note that Fred’s parents, C.A. Dieter and Lenchen were not married at the time.

C.A. Dieter left for America shortly before the baby was born.

C.A. Dieter returned to Germany after the death of Lenchen’s father. It was then in 1882 that Hattie’s parents were married.


June 4,

The US Census reports in Wichita, Kansas:

Philip Dieter     age 29       Barber

Anna D. Dieter   age 30       wife

Ida Mae Dieter   age 11       daughter        born in Wyo. Terr.

August Dieter    age 21       Stone mason

Adam Dieter     age         apprentice barber

Alice Denly      age 21       female servant     born in PA

Living next door to the Dieter family: George Kayser (29 born in Holstein) and his wife Katie Kayser (17 born in Il).

June 9,

US Census, Junction City, Davis County, Kansas

Christina (Justina Dieter) Kilian, age 51, born Hesse Darmstadt

George J.W. Kilian, age 26, son born New York, Barbar

Christina Kilian, age 21, born New York.

Note: Justina Dieter Kilian, the aunt of Philip, August and Adam Dieter is living in Junction City, KS. The families obviously stayed in touch.

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This picture of C.A.Dieter, Hattie’s father, was taken at the Lee W. Ong, Photographer on Douglass Avenue in Wichita, Kas.

Note that Douglass Ave was also the site of the Dieter Barber shop. Perhaps, this picture was taken when Hattie’s father first arrived in 1879.

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This picture of Hattie’s uncles, the Dieter brothers, was taken in St. Louis. The man seated on the left is J. P. Dieter. Possibly Adam Dieter the youngest of these three brothers is the other seated man. George Dieter stands in back of them.


The following is an excerpt from “Chapter 5a, Houch and Dieter, Purity, Empire, and Grapette” Bill Lockhart, 2000.

The article in its entirety can be found on the web at this address:

Click to access epchap5a.pdf

Houck & Dieter (1881-1912)

John Philip Dieter was a man who saw opportunity and took action. As the railroad approached El Paso, he and his partner, A. L. Houck of Wichita, Kansas, could see that the population of the small village would increase and that a larger, thirsty population would be ready for beer and other drinks. According to the El Paso Times (1/1/1885), “The firm of Houck & Dieter which commenced busines as wholesale agents for beer and mineral waters, on the 2nd of February, 1880, has during the year been doing good business.” The original warehouse was on San Francisco St., and the firm only sold beer and mineral water that came from outside the city. Originally, all bottled goods were brought by wagon from the end of track. According to the Times, “the first car load of beer was hauled by teams from the construction camp of the ‘front.'”

Although Dieter was primarily interested in alcoholic beverages, he was farsighted enough to realize that the coming of the railroads meant an opportunity to fill the needs of a multitude of different thirsts. On April 1, 1881, less than two months prior to the arrival of the railroad, the firm of Houck & Dieter opened its soda bottling establishment in El Paso. According to the El Paso Times, the new establishment was “a branch of A. L. Houck & Co., Santa Fe, New Mexico, the largest and most extensive wholesale beer and soda house in the territory.” Dieter managed the El Paso establishment that the Times crowed was “the largest establishment west of Chicago, employing a large number of men” (EPT 1/1/1882 2:3).

Although the Times may have exaggerated, Houck & Dieter could rightfully claim a thriving business. The firm bottled Soda Water, Sarsaparilla, Royal Ginger Ale, Seltzer Water, Champagne Cider, and other carbonated beverages. Royal Ginger Ale enjoyed a particularly good reputation in early El Paso. In addition, the firm distributed Appolinaris Water, Nassau Selter, Manitou Mineral water products, and Stafford Mineral Springs Water. The El Paso branch bottled five hundred dozen sodas a day, while their second plant, across the Rio Grande in Paso del Norte, Mexico, had a capacity for two hundred fifty bottles per day. In addition, the firm sold Anheuser Busch St. Louis Beer and was the city’s leading supplier of ice (EPT 6/10/1881 3; EPT 1/1/1882 2:3) . In the beginning, its only competitor was Coffin & Co. who sold “Complete Outfit[s] for Manufacturing Mineral Water, Selter, Ginger Ale, Lemon, Sarsaparilla” and other carbonated beverages. Coffin & Co. promised that “All orders in the City and along the line of the Railroad will receive prompt attention” (EPT 6/10/1881 4:6).

Figure 5a-1 – Sacramento Chief 4/15/1899

J.P. Dieter moved from Wichita, Kansas to El Paso, Texas and began a very successful ice business. He was the founder of the first ice house and beverage depot in El Paso. In May of 1881 he established the house of Dieter and Houck. The firm bought property on 4th and Chihuahua St where it erected its own house and bottling works company.

J. Adam Dieter also moves to El Paso.

El Paso at that time was a city with one street and 400 inhabitants.

July 27,

Lenchen’s father, Georg Peter Bärenz died in Langen.

It is possible that Lenchen did not marry C.A. Dieter before he left for America because of her father’s objection. After her father’s death, C.A. returned to Germany and married Lenchen. See below.


February 20

Helena (Lenchen) Barenz and Christian August Dieter wed in Langen, Germany. According to records in Germany. N.B. August came back to Germany after Lenchen’s father died. August and Lenchen were then married.

The newly weds came to America but quite possibly, they left behind 2 year old Fred with Lenchen’s family.


Wichita City Directory

C.A. Dieter fr. Germany, stone contractor, res es market 2d s Williams st.

Dieter & Kayser, barbers, hair dressers and bath rooms, ss Douglas ave 2dw Market st.

Dieter Phillip (P.D. & Geo. Kayser). fr Junction City, Ks..barber, res. w s Lawrence ave bet Williams and English Sts.

January 11,

Helena and C.A. Dieter’s second son, George Philip was born in Wichita, Kansas.

August 27,

The eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia ranks among the most powerful volcanic blasts in history. It spewed six cubic miles of ash and dirt into the air and disrupted the world’s climate for several years. This event certainly was felt in the drastic climate changes in the Great Plains in the years surrounding Hattie’s birth in 1886.


June 29,

Helena and C. A. Dieter’s first daughter, Kate was born in Wichita, Kansas.


In March of this year, the young C.A. Dieter family was living at 718 South Main Street in Wichita, Kansas. The family consists of C.A. Dieter, his wife Lena (Lenchen) and their two children George (Philip) and Kate.

Two of C.A, brothers, J.P. Dieter and Adam Dieter has moved from Wichita to El Paso, Texas. There J.P. was a successful business man. There was talk of C.A. and his family joining his brothers there. Another brother, George Dieter had lived for a while in El Paso but was in late December living with his brother’s young family in Wichita.

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This picture of Hattie’s mother, Lenchen Dieter, was taken in Wichita, Kansas circa 1885.

Note the autumn bouquet she is carrying.

It was taken at “Wichita Art Gallery, Wichita, Kans.” The caption on the back reads “Mama just before we left for Texas”.

Lenchen’s youngest daughter, Hattie, was born in Texas so Lenchen was probably in the very early stages of her pregnancy in this picture.

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This picture of Hattie’s father,

C.A. Dieter, was also taken circa 1885.

It was taken at ” Lauck & Ostergren, Wichita, Kansas”

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The back of this picture reads

“Brother Fred Dieter and Aunt Kate when first arrived from Germany to Texas.”

The caption was probably written by Fred’s sister, Kate Dieter.

Brother Fred was the first child of Lenchen and C.A. Dieter. He was born in Germany and I believed remained there until the family was settled in America.

I can find no record of Fred’s birth in Germany but later records show that he was born before Lenchen and CA were married.

Aunt Kate who is pictured above and who traveled with young Fred to America, was most likely the younger sister of Hattie’s mother born in 1867. However, Aunt Kate could have also been the sister of Hattie’s father also born in 1867.

Perhaps, Aunt Kate took little Fred to Texas and then onto Wichita, Kansas. Where the family was living.

Note, there is a reference in the article below about the suicide of George Dieter

to “a sister of Mrs. Dieter”. In the same article there is a reference to the sister of George Dieter. The Dieter children hence had two Aunt Katherine’s.

December 27

Hattie’s uncle, George Dieter committed suicide in Hattie’s father’s barn in Wichita, KS.

At the time, Hattie’s mother. Lenchen Barenz Dieter was five months pregnant with Hattie.

The Wichita Daily Beacon reported the suicide of George Dieter committed on its front page.

For a copy of the article click on George Dieter’s name above.

Please note in this article there is mention of Mrs. Dieter and her sister. There is also mention of George Dieter and his sister. Both Mrs. Dieter, Lenchen and George had a sister named Katherine, both were about the same age (both born in 1867) . It is possible that these are the sisters referred to in the article.

George left a note which read: “August, I take my poor miserable life. What Phil Dieter is involved in is a different thing”.

August was Hattie’s father, C.A. Dieter. Phil Dieter was Hattie’s uncle, J. P. Dieter.

To learn more about George see 1878 above.

From the Wichita paper of the day, it is clear that George was living with the family of his brother Gus (August) (Hattie’s father) at the time. George was having constant fights with Gus’s wife, Lenchen (Hattie’s mother). At this time Lenchen was pregnant with Hattie.

Kate and Philip were young children in late December of 1885. Although, Hattie was as yet unborn, she would have experienced inside her mother’s womb the tension which this sudden and traumatic death unleashed in the small family.

This was the first of three suicides which Hattie would experience in her immediate family. The second was the suicide of her youngest brother in 1916. The third was the death of her husband Max in 1963.

December 30

El Paso Lone Star, “A telegram announces that George Dieter, well know here, committed, suicide by shooting at Wichita, Kansas, on the 27th. J.P. Dieter and A.C. Dieter left for Wichita on the 28th.

December 30.

The Daily Times, El Paso, Texas “Death of George Dieter. On the 28th instant Mr. J. P. and A. C. Dieter, in response to a telegram from Wichita, Kansas, left for that place. The telegram announced the death of their brother George Dieter. The sad occurrence will bring up in the minds of the people of El Paso the many recollections of the whole souled, generous, openhanded and impulsive friend who has often put himself “in a hole” to relieve the pressing necessities of his friends. George Dieter never in his whole life turned a deaf ear to the cry of distress or the claims of friendship. Whatever his faults may have been (and who of us have none?) these were not found in his vocabulary and when the recording angel comes to balance his accounts we feel assured (for we knew him well) that the deeds of generosity and charity which will go to his credit will more than offset what is on the other side of the balance sheet. His brothers and friends have our sincere sympathies in their affliction. May the sod rest lightly above him and may the perennial flowers of spring bloom as brightly as the memory of his friends in the minds of his friends.”

“You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will, But the scent of the rose will cling round it still.”

December 30 Wednesday, Wichita Daily Eagle, “Gus Dieter has telegraphed from El Paso, that he in company with his brother Phil will arrive tomorrow morning and the funeral of George will take place in the afternoon.

December 31,

Thursday, WDE,” The funeral of the late George Dieter will take place from Gus Dieter’s residence, on south Main street at 3 o’clock this afternoon. His brother will arrive in the morning.


NB. The winter of 1886-1887 was called the Winter of Blue Snow because of the terrible blizzards which descended on the western prairie. It was fuelled by the hot, dry summer of 1886. For a full description of the blizzards of the prairie at this time see The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin.

January 1

Friday WDE “Gus and Philip Deiter, brothers of the young man, who in a fit of temporary insanity, put an end to his life, arrived home yesterday morning from Mexico, in time to attend the funeral. Mrs. Killian, an aunt of the deceased, also arrived from Junction City, to attend the funeral”.

Wichita Daily Beacon,”Gus and Philip Dieter arrived home from Mexico yesterday in time to attend the funeral of their brother George, who suicided Sunday night. Mrs. Kilian, an aunt, also reached here from Junction City in time for the funeral.”

Mrs. Kilian was Justina Dieter Kilian. She was the sister of Hattie’s grandfather, Georg Wendall Dieter. She was listed as a widow in 1864 when she attended the christening in Germany of her niece, Justina, the youngest sister of these Dieter boys. However, in the 1870 census, she was living with her husband in Kansas.

Apparently, Justina Dieter Kilian stayed very close to her nephews when they came to America in the 1860’s and the 1870’s. Her husband was most likely a friend of the first Dieter’s to come to America. Note also that Junction City is where George Kayser was from. See 1873 above.

Perhaps, the Dieters first came to Junction City when they first came to Kansas.

May 2

8 p.m. Helen Hattie born in El Paso, Texas. “About two blocks past the former Court House near Toltek Club. Before getting to the Toltek Club, just before the division of the road, on the left side of the road, two or three houses alike. I was born in the last of these houses.” This description was written by Helen in 1941 when she applied for her birth certificate from Texas .

C.A. Dieter had come to El Paso, Texas at this time to begin “….exploring Chihuahua, Mexico for the purpose of erecting and operating an ice plant. The plan fell through and he then spent his time profitably by learning the Mexican art of lime making and later returned to Kansas near El Doraldo about 21 miles east of Wichita and located a suitable quarry and built and operated a lime mine.” (from a obituary written by the family when he CA died.)

According to Hattie’s granddaughter, Charlotte Gretsch, Hattie was always very proud of the fact that she was born in El Paso, Texas.

The family did not live there long however, they soon moved to El Doraldo, Kansas and then onto Missouri.

In 1911, Hattie older brother Fred, sent this picture from El Paso to Joplin. It shows the house where Hattie was born.

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November 7

Hattie’s future husband, Max Fritz Julius August Elsner, born in Salzwedel, German. Mother Lissette De La Pre, Father Gustave Adolf.

Lisette had been married earlier and had a daughter but both her husband and her child died. The photo below of Lisette was taken in Sallzwedel.

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The De La Pre family, so the story goes, were nobility from France who had escaped the French Revolution by moving to Germany in the late 1700’s.

The picture below is probably of Lisette De La Pre’s mother. So far, I have no more information about her. She was probably born circa 1840 in Salzwedel. This picture was taken circa 1890. Perhaps, it was taken about the time that her daughter Lisette left for America.

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The above picture is of Gustav Adolf Elsner’s parents. Note that the setting is the same as the picture of Lisette’s mother. The pictures were probably taken for the young family to carry to their new home in America.


October 23

J. P. Dieter, brother of C.A. Dieter is divorced in El Paso.

Hattie is only a baby at the time. However, the divorce must have impacted the family deeply.

Did the divorce have something to do with the ice deal falling through in Mexico and CA and his family returning to Kansas?

Did the divorce have something to do with the suicide of George Dieter less than a year earlier? In the suicide note that George left to Hattie’s father ” August, I take my miserable life. What Philip is concerned in is a different thing.”

A lot of things are going on when the little girl Hattie is born into the family!


March 17

Hattie Helena Emma baptized in Sarcoxie, Jasper Country, Mo

Witnesses were Mrs. Cath. Kaiser and Emma Sabert

Lutheran Pastor signed: J.E. Roschke. Philip was also baptized in Sarcoxie by this minister.

Why were the children baptized at this time?

Was it a custom to baptism children so long after their births or perhaps was there some change made around the family’s religion?


March 15

Carl August Daniel, Hattie’s younger brother born in Sarcoxie, Mo

October 17,

Max Elsner age 4 and his parents, Lisette age 36 and Adolf Elner age 29 arrive in America on the Normania. Max’s father is a tailor.

The familly story tells how Max’s duty for the long trip was to keep track of the pestle and morter. Unfortunalely, he lost the pestal on the trip.


December 25 Christmas, Hattie gets an autograph book. The first page says, “Be kind to your Mama and Papa Xmas ’91 To Hattie Dieter”

December 26 Dear Sister, Do your best and leave the rest, ‘Twill all come wright, some day or night. Your brother, Fritz

December 27 Dear Sister, the very first duty of love is to be true Before yournro (?) land (?) be sure your true from your lips speak the truth. Your Brother Philipp

“Dear Sister, Think well and do well and you well be good Your Sister Katie Dieter.”

Perhaps, this undated entry from Hattie’s older sister is from this same date. Kate was is 6 years old .


January 25 Mein lieber kleiner frund Hattie Dieter …………Dein Frund John Nau

Feb 3 Sarcoxie, Mo

“In dem grossen Garten des Haus, Gibts keine schonere Blumen, Als meine kleine Hattie” Dein Onkel J.P. Dieter

Translation, “In the large garden of the house, there is no flower more beautiful than my little Hattie From your Uncle J.P. Dieter

December 6,

Avilla, Mo. Dear Hattie, “Duty by habit is to pleasure turned. He is content who to obey has learned.” (Brydges) Your Friend, Nettie Fishburn, Avilla, Mo. (very adult handwriting).

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This picture circa 1892 was found in the Dieter Collection at the El Paso Public Library. The house belongs to John Philip Dieter , Hattie’s uncle. It was located at 415 Upson Street.

He signed Hattie’s autograph book on February 3 of 1892 in Sarcoxie, Missouri.


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Hattie’s uncle, John Phillip Dieter, October 1894 in El Paso.


Dieters own a large plot of land in Sarcoxie. See county map of that date.


Hattie is now almost 10 years old. Her autograph book which she received for Christmas from her parents when she was five years old takes on a new importance.

February 26 Several of Hattie’s friends from school sign her autograph book on this date. Perhaps, she took the book to school that day or perhaps there was a gathering of her friends at a party. The following entries are from that day.

Sarcoxie, Feb 26. Forget me not. Dear Hattie, Remember me early, Remember me late, Remember me as your old schoolmate. Your Friend, Pear Snow

Sarcoxie, Feb 26 Dear Hattie, Remember me early, Remember me late, Remember me to the golden gate. Your Friend Alpha Everton

Sarcoxie, Feb.26, Hattie Dieter, When you get so old that you can not see, put on your specks and think of me. Frankie Williams.

Sarcoxie, Feb 26. Dear Friend, When you are old and can not see put on your specks and think of me. Your Friend, Frankline Breeze

Sarcoxie, Feb.26, Dear Hattie, remember me, Remember me with my spectacles on my knee your friend Lancle R

Sarcoxie, Feb 26, Dear Hattie when I get old and my hair is gray all I’ll do is sit and pray. our Friend, Willie Turner

Sarcoxie, Feb 26. Dear Hattie, I’ve looked thes papers oe’ r and oe’r to see what these had wrote before and in this little cacant spot I’ll write the words forget me not Your Friend, Besta Jones

Several undated entries appear in this tiny book:

Dear Hattie, Every duty omitted obscures some truth we should know. Your Teacher Kate DeConers.

Dear Friend, Remember me early, Remember me late, remember me at the golden gate Jackey Blankinship

Dear Sister, Do your best and leave the rest Twill all come wright some day are night. August Dieter

Dear Sister, I thought I thought I thought in vane I right my nam, Katie Dieter

Dear Sister, Do your best and leave the rest T will all come wright some day or night, Your brother A

My Friend, Roses are red Violets are blue, Suger is sweet and so are you, Ella Frankenstein


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This picture of Hattie’s uncle J.P. Dieter was taken in New York City. It was signed by JP Dieter on October 27, 1895 in El Paso. It was written to George Kayser. J.P. Dieter and Kayser were barbers together in Wichita, Kansas in 1878.


This picture of the Dieter family was taken in Sarcoxie around 1896.

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Pictured from left to right are August, Hattie, Kate, Philip, their mother Lenchen and Fred.

The picture of C.A.Dieter’s wife and children was probably taken for him to carry with him as he traveled on business.


March 26,

Hattie’s uncle, Philip Dieter married Minna Dieter in Luebeck, Germany.

Philip was divorced from his first wife in 1887.

“At 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon Hans and I were married by Reverend Ranke n the beautiful Marian Church in Luebeck. The reception was held at the beloved old Salmon Wier Garden where I had enjoyed so many heavenly times in my golden youth.”

This is the beginning of the diary that Minna Dieter, born Bruhn kept from March 26, 1897 until July 17. In this diary, Minna recounts her wedding trip from Germany to El Paso, Texas. The diary was translated and a commentary was added by Minna’s grandson, Henning Bruhn Dieter, jr. A copy of this manuscript was found in the El Paso Library. I am indebted to Jack Austin for alerting me to the document, copying it and sending it to me.

Please note:

Embedded in the following years of this time line, are many quotes from the Missouri newspapers of the period.

In looking carefully through these one hundred year old papers, I choose to include here events and people who may have impacted the lives of the Dieter and Elsner family.


December 8 The Sarcoxie Tribune reports :” Fritz Dieter went to St Louis last week, where he will enter a business college and make a commercial course.”

Maybe this is when the 11 by 18 inch truck that Lauren Elsner now (2000) owns was purchased for Fritz’a youngest brother, August.

Lauren found August’s name on the truck and possibly Fred purchased it as a gift for his little brother from St. Louis.

The label on the truck reads “Jas. A. Quirk, manufacturers of Satchels and Sample Cases, Southwest Corner of Second and Walnut, St.Louis.”

Lauren noticed that the little pictures inside the truck were probably stuck in there at a later date. There is a little girl fishing, a little girl playing with a hoop, a scene of horses and farmers gathering hay, and a little boy in a blue outfit with a butterfly net.

Perhaps, Katie and Hattie, August’s sisters helped decorate the trunk to make it look more like a child’s trunk.

The small trunk is ornate with pressed tin on the sides, pressed and painted leather on the top and wooden ribs on the outside complete with an inside tray full of little compartments.

Also advertised in the Sarcoxie Tribune on a weekly basis is an ad for Bryant and Stratten School of business .” the largest and most widely know business school in the West. Shorthand, telegraphy, Century Building Corner Olive and Ninth St. St.. Louis.

Fritz is going off to school while many boys his age are going off to serve in the Spanish American War in the Philippines.


March 16 The Sarcoxie Tribune reported on Thursday, March 16: “The young people gave John Crummel a birthday party on the 5th inst. in honor of his 21st birthday. An enjoyable time was participated in by all. The following were present: Louisa Herman, Emma Herman, Katie Dieter, Oral Woods, Elta Woods, Minnie Wild, Mrs. Emma Carnahan, Bertha Carnahan, Rhoda Paltz, May Jennison, Emma Krummel, John Herman, Will Herman, August Herman, Philip Dieter, Tom Bobison, Gilbert Wild, Eddie Wild, Mark Carnahan, Ernest Carnahan.”

March 23 The Sarcoxie Tribune reports: “John Crummel Jr. and Miss Etta Woods daughter of Marvel Woods were married on Wednesday evening last week by Rev. Mahnke. John does not want anything said about it: its a secret and mums the word.”

Also reported that day in the paper ” Last Sunday, confirmation services were held at the Lutheran church. There were 6 candidates and the services were long and impressive. The Church was very nicely decorated with evergreens and potted flowers for the occasion.” Did any Dieter children take part. Most likely.

June 1 The Sarcoxie Tribune reports: “Miss Katie Dieter of Sarcoxie visited with Rosa Mc Nallie a few days of last week.” Katie was 14 years old.

July 20 The Sarcoxie Tribune reports: ” Fritz Dieter is home from St. Louis where he has been attending school.”

December 10, Sunday Note the Dieter family’s participation in this very German event:

The Sarcoxie Tribune reported on Thursday, December 14:

Mr. John Keutler of Block, Kans. and Miss Louisa Herman were married at the Lutheran church last Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Rev. Mahnke officiating. The old German custom in the ceremony was observed and each guest brought a yard of ribbon which was used in bedecking a youth, who rode at the head of the procession to and from the church. Fritz Brummek and Miss Emma Herman attended the bride and groom. They will make their home in Kansas.

Those present were as follows: Rev. F. W Mahnke and family. Henry Kiene and wife. C.A. Pohl and family. J. H. Sabert and wife, S. Goodner and wife, A. H. Forsythe and family. Will Pothoff and family, August Schimmel and family, L. A. Stebbias and family, C. A. Dieter and family, Geo. Kruse and mother, Mrs. Martha Krummel and family, John Krummel and family, H. W. Eggerman and son, Misses Lena Kettler of Block, Kans, Emma Wodtke, Tracy Krummel, Dells Evertson, Messrs. Paul and Richard Wodtke, Fred W. and Wm. A. Krummel and Dewitt Reese, of Springfield, Mo.


January 3 Sarcoxie Tribune. A City Council meeting on January 2, states that C. A. Dieter was an alderman. He also was serving on the Ways and Means Committee, The Sanitary and Police Committee and the Public Building and Property Committee

June 21 and 22nd U.S. Census, Sarcoxie, the two older boys Fred and Philipp are no longer living at home. The rest of the family is living in Sarcoxie.

Fred is 21 and perhaps he is still at Bryant and Stratton Business College in St. Louis (honor student).

Or perhaps, Fred is already in Texas where he will work for his uncle for the next few years as a bookkeeper.

Philip, age 17 was living with a 82 year old man Keziapp Viele not too far from his parents home in Sarcoxie. I found him there on Nov.2, 2001. His name is misspelled as Deiter but all other information points to his being our Philip. Mr. Viele owned his own home and the Dieter’s rented.

Perhaps, Philip is working there. The day after I discovered this Mr. Taylor , friend of ours, told me that his youngest son Keith – also about 17- was living in Mississippi with his grandparents. I asked Mr. Taylor if he was sad about that and he said “no that ‘s just the way it is.” His son might be happy there but I do think that Mr. Taylor is sad.

September 8 “Great Storm” hits Galveston, Texas from the Gulf of Mexico and left 6,000 people dead and almost destroying the “Queen City”.

Galveston, at the time was an extremely important port city.

Hattie who was born in Texas and always felt a special connection to that state was 14 years old. She must have read all about the Storm and paid special attention.

Also, most probably many members of the Dieter family came in and out of the port at Galveston going to and from Germany. J.P. Dieter, Hattie’s uncle, who lived in El Paso must have passed through Galveston many times. Galveston was an extremely prosperous town.


Hattie is 15 years old.

In this year her oldest brother, Fred is listed in the city directory of El Paso as a sales man for Houck and Dieter Co. 220 S. El Paso Street. This company was owned by Hattie’s uncle J.P. Dieter.  houch and Dieter Company was a wholesale liquor company.

Fred has rooms at 213 1/2 South El Paso Street. Hattie who was always very proud of having been born in El Paso must have been very interested in her oldest brother’s life in El Paso.

Her family is keeping a close connection with this city of Hattie’s birth.

Adam J Dieter, Hattie’s uncle was listed in El Paso City directory as the manager of the Senate Saloon. He lives at 625 North Campbell Street.

C.A. Dieter and his family are now living in Joplin at 213 North Pearl street.

The Elsner family is living at 806 Pennsylvania Ave

July 4

Joplin newspaper report that Miss Tillie Goldstein (do they mean Geltmacher) and Rosina Morris have gone to Parsens, KS where they will spend their Fourth. Tillie Geltmacher will (in the near future) be a close friend of the Dieter girls but perhaps in 1901, they haven’t met yet.

July 5

“Mr. Inger(‘s), the popular young proprietor of the Pearl grocery, 2nd infant passed to the great beyond.” Note: The Dieter family lived on Pearl Street.

July 7

Joplin Globe reports: Piano solo Miss Martha Blieddung, entertained the Coral Club.

(Years later she would play at Hattie’s wedding!)

July 9

Oklahoma land grab going on. President’s proclamation opening the Kiowa & Comanche and Apache and Wichita reservations to settlement embraces.

July 10 Immense crowds are gathering in Reno to register for the land grab. They are passing through Joplin on the train, it must have been the talk of the town in the whole area.

July 12

Library for Sale, Owner leaving city offers upwards of 1000 volumes. Limited and deluxe editions of standard authors and art books illustrated by famous artists. Books may be seen at 124 North Pearl. Joplin Globe

This was just a block away from the Dieter home. Surely some members of the Dieter family went to look at the books and probably bought a few.

Aug 4

A long article in the Joplin Globe on Sunday “The Beauties of Yellowstone park.” By Mrs. Troutman a local Joplin woman.

Did Hattie read this article and start dreaming about herself being a writer. Perhaps this is when she first got the idea of keeping her own travel diary. For more information about Hattie’s Travel diary, go to the library section of this website.

Aug. 18 Sunday “On this day, the town of Pierce City, Missouri was the scene of an horrific triple lynching which drew national attention.”

To read the complete story, see Under Penalty of Death: Piece City’s Night of Racial Terror by Jason Navarro (JN). This article appears in the Missouri Historical Review of January, 2006.

On this day the body of Gisela Wild was found in Piece City, Missouri not far from Joplin. Twenty three year old Gisela was on her way home from Church. Her seventeen year old brother Carl discovered her body as he followed some time behind her. Her throat had been cut and there were signs of a severe struggle.

The condition of the body and the murder scene suggest that the attach had begun as a sexual assault. “We presume the fellow found Miss Wild too strong for him and thought to hide the evidence of his crime by adding murder to it” the Pierce City Empire and the Carthage Evening Post reported the following day. Suspicion soon fell on the black community. The next day William Godley, 32 years old was dragged from the city jail and lynched by a mob numbering more than one thousand. “This was no unruly mob but was instead an organized effort lead by some of the town’s most respected citizens.” (JN)

Later, parts of the mob moved to the black section of town and two more blacks were killed French Godley and Pete Hampton. Their charred bodies were found in the burned out ruins of the Godley home the next day. The city’s black population who had fled the town that night returned to retrieve their belongings but were not allowed to remain. The Joplin Globe reported “The white men stand ready to buy the (African Americans’) real estate. After this is done they must vacate the city”. “….the Pierce City African American community ceased to exist.” (JN)

Hattie and her family must have known all about this. Reports were almost daily in the Joplin papers. Certainly they were aware of the climate of the time as described by Navarro in this article. “the murder of Gisela Wild came in a year of national racial tensions. At least 135 blacks were lynched in 1901, and African “American leader Ida B. Wells denounced lynching as the “National crime of the United states.”

Afterwards Mark Twain remarks, “and so Missouri had fallen, that great state! Certain of her children have joined the lynchers, and the smirch is upon the rest of us.”

This is the context of my grandmother’s 15th year!

“The violence in Pierce City played a pivotal role in a larger regional story. A series of lynching in southwest Missouri between the years of 1894 and 1906 drove away most of the region’s black population. These lynchings were unlike lynchings in the Deep South, where the main goals were to uphold white supremacy and to keep a compliant and intimidated force of agricultural laborers. In the decades after the Civil War, southwest Missouri saw a vast immigration of southern Blacks into the region. This populations was not economically important to a local economy that did not depend on cash crops such as cotton and tobacco. Blacks instead found themselves competing with poor whites for mining and railroad employment. this condition lead to racial tensions and when lynchings took place their aim was to intimidate but also to remove the region’s black population.” (JN)

September 6 President. McKinley shot. He was the third of the last seven Presidents to be killed. (Lincoln and Garfield. Garfield was shot in July, 1881 died September 1881.

Nov. 7 Fred Dieter, Hattie’s oldest brother, sends August , Hattie’s youngest brother, a post card from El Paso. This cards represents Fred as a representative of the Dieter and Houck Company.

JP Dieter pays for the passage of his nephew Philipp Dieter from Germany to El Paso. It seems that Philip Dieter was very interested in bringing his s nephews into his business.

Perhaps, this young Philip Dieter stopped in Joplin on his way to Texas. It would certainly have been interesting to Hattie and her sister Kate to meet a new male cousin from Germany.

end of November Otto Elsner, the 26 year old uncle of Max Elsner dies.

There are many notices in the Joplin Globe about his funeral, 3 in English and 3 in German. He must have been very well liked. In looking through these newspapers over many years, I don’t remember seeing so many notices before for a member of any one family member.

Did Otto’s death have an effect on Max, who was only 15? Max had so sisters or brothers, so he might have looked up to this obviously well liked young relative.

Perhaps, Otto is the good looking young man in the tailor shop with Max and G.A.Elsner.

(INSERT PICTURE ) This picture, taken around 1900 was sent to me by Lee Elsner almost 100 years later.


Fred is listed in the city directory of El Paso as a sales man for Houck and Dieter Co. 220 S. El Paso Street. He has rooms at 213 1/2 South El Paso Street.

Also John A. Dieter, is an employee of the Houck and Dieter Factory. He has the same rooms as Fred Dieter.


Concordia, Hattie and Laura Bartman dress up in long robes, hats, umbrella, fans long robe. (a photograph) What was Concordia?

See also March, 1903 for more information on Laura and her relationship to Hattie.

(On April 23, 1911, Hattie with her mother and mother in law go to a party for Mrs. L. E. Voscamp. Laura Bartman from Concordia is there.(4/6/2001)


“Nearly one year after the lynchings in Pierce City, America Godley, Sarah Godley and Beedie Hampton filed $5.000 lost support suits in the Jasper County Circuit Court against 21citizens of Pierce City. These women’s hubands had been lynched. See above. After fleeing Pierce City the widows lived in Joplin. When one of the presumed riot leaders moved to Carthage, the woman filed suit in Jasper County believing they could not win in Lawrence County.”(JN)

WOW! How brave these women were.


Click to enlarge image

Hattie’s mother returns from Germany and gives Hattie the autograph book or “Poesie Album ” as it is called in German. The above pressed flowers were found inside its pages almost one hundred years later. The family lived at 213 North Pearl. Hattie is 16 years old.

For more information about this book go the Library Page of this website and click on Autograph Book.

November 12 Katie Kayser from Wichita, KS signs the “”. It is the only English entry.

The relationship between the Kayser family is a long one. Kayser and J.P.Dieter had a barbers shop in Wichita in 1878’s. In 1895, Uncle Philip Dieter wrote an inscription to George Kayser on the back of his photograph. Also in 1889 Mrs. Catherine Kaiser was a sponsor at the baptism of Helen and her brothers in Sarcoxie in 1889.

Max Elsner’s mother, Lisette Dela Pre Elsner has a baby girl who dies as an infant. It is her second baby girl to die which I know of. Lisette had a baby girl from her first marriage in Germany who died very young.

Lisette is probably in her early 40’s by now. Certainly at the time, this was considered old to be having a baby. What did this baby mean to her? What a sadness it must have been.

In 1906 Philipp Dieter went to San Franciso to enter the construction business.


Max A Elsner (age17), tailor GA Elsner 806 Penn

February 18 Sarah Godley, the widow of French Godley and the mother of Pete Hampton took her case to trial in Joplin.(JN)

Surely the Dieter and Elsner families were watching.

“On the following morning the all white jury acquitted the defendants of all charges and awarded Sarah Godley nothing. ….America Godley apparently lost heart after the verdict and failed to appear for her trial. Her case was dismissed as well as Beedie Hampton’s suit.”(JN)

March 24 “On Tuesday, March 24, 1903, a party was held in Joplin which was reported in the society column of the Joplin Daily Globe the following Sunday. The party was given in honor of Laura Bartman, a friend of my grandmother’s. Hattie, her sister Kate, and all of her brothers, Fred, Philip, and August, were there. Fred, the oldest, was 23; August, the youngest, was 13. They were all single then, but each of their future spouses were also at this party: my grandfather Max; Fred’s future wife Frieda, who was a good friend of Hattie and Kate; and Philip’s future wife, Emma. Kate and August never married. The guest list included other German names and attests to the closeness of the Dieter children not only as siblings but also as friends.

The young people talked that night about the Kermess to be held soon at the Germania Club. “Kermess” was a familiar and exciting word to these young people, although its meaning is lost to me today. By reading the Joplin papers, which are filled with every detail of its preparation, I find myself listening as the echoes of an old European tradition take root in America. Hattie and her friends and siblings are very much a part of these old-world traditions and very much a part of this new city.

At this Tuesday night get-together, games were played and prizes were given out. Hattie, the only girl to win a prize, stood out—as she would a year later at the carnival. At ten o’clock refreshments were served. Not long after that, I imagine, the Dieter siblings started their walk home together. Max, my future grandfather, walked with them. Fred and Philip left on different routes to walk their future wives home.” *

April 15 “a…foreboding incident shaped the contours of my grandmother’s teenage years. It happened on Wednesday, April 15, 1903, just weeks before her seventeenth birthday. Hattie and her family heard the early morning reports of the police officer who was killed the night before at the Kansas City Southern freight yards by a “tramp negro.” They read in the papers about “the bands of determined man standing around the street and awaiting developments.” Hattie’s parents kept her and her sister home that day as the city buzzed with tales of posses, rewards, and revenge. The atmosphere was expectant, full of barely contained turmoil.

When a frightened Negro, Thomas Gilyard, hiding in an outlying barn was captured and brought to the police station, a crowd was quick to gather. “Never before in the history of Joplin has the passion of the people come to surface with such force,” the paper reports. At five minutes of five in the afternoon, the mob, which consisted of men, women, and children, stormed the police station. They dragged their victim from his cell to the southwest corner of 2nd and Wall streets. There, less than an hour later, after some debate and an effort to prevent the lynching, they beat the Negro unconscious and hung him with a rope draped over a telephone pole.

Almost one hundred years later, as I read the newspaper accounts of this day, my unfolding horror mirrors the fright my sixteen-year-old grandmother must have felt as she watched these events unfolding in the familiar street of her neighborhood. The lynching took place just two blocks from the home where her parents were trying to keep her safe. The violence, fear, and hatred could not be prevented from seeping through the walls and windows of their wood-framed house on North Pearl Street and into my grandmother’s developing consciousness.

As a teenage girl, Hattie had more insight into what this day meant than she would be given credit for. In the weeks and months that followed, many residents debated the role that justice played in the lynching. Hattie didn’t take part in any of these discussions; she left them to those more articulate than she. Deep inside, however, she had a new understanding of the world around her. This event led her to recognize racism and violence more acutely than any well-formed debate could do. Although she kept her thoughts to herself, after April 15th Hattie knew that the possibility of chaos was never far away. *

*(excerpts from the essay “Looking Oppositely” which can be found on the Essay page of this website)

For a closer look at this incident, see “Like a Tug of War: The Lynching of Thomas Gilyard” by Kimberly Harper in “Missouri Historical Review”, January, 2011. Volume 105, No.2.


In Darmstadt, Germany, the hometown of the Dieter family, Victoria Alice, the great granddaughter of Queen Victoria was married to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark. Victoria Alice was the Granddaughter of Alice who came to Darmstadt from England when Lenchen Barenz Dieter, Hattie’s mother was just a little girl.

This marriage in 1903 would result in the birth in 1921 of Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh who is married to Queen Elizabeth.

It is interesting to speculate how interested Lenchen’s American born daughters, Kate and Hattie, were in the Royal wedding of Princess Victoria Alice in 1903. Both Katie and Hattie were in their late teens and certainly susceptible to the romance of a royal wedding in their family’s hometown.

Certainly, an interest in Royal history had been sustained in the family by Katie Gretsch Cuddeback (born 1945) and Maggie O’Connor Wade (born 1969). Both of these descendants of Hattie Dieter have been very interested in the Russian heritage of Queen Victoria’s grand daughter, Alexandra.

Alexandra who also grew up in Darmstadt, was the daughter of Alice who Lenchen would have remembered from her childhood. Alexandra was also the younger sister of Victoria Alice’s mother. Thus Alexandra was an aunt to the bride.

December 26 The Joplin Daily Globe reports a story in which two men stole a hat with the initails “G.P.D” . the hat was later returned to Mr. Dieter. That was George Philip Dieter, Hattie’s brother.


Max A. Elsner (age 18) tailor GA Elsner, 806 Penn

C.A. contract builder, 213 North Pearl

Fred and Philip are living at home again.

Fred Dieter, Bookkeeper. Joplin Supply, 213 North Pearl

Philip, Brk/Lay, 213 North Pearl

Katie, 213 North Pearl

Hattie Dieter Student, 213 North Pearl

August Dieter, Student 213 North Pearl

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Lenchen Baerenz Dieter with three of her children, Kate, Hattie and August at 213 North Pearl Street. Circa 1904.

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This picture was probably taken the same day as the one adjacent.

Was it Hattie’s graduation day? Note the special ribbon around her neck with possibly a locket or a watch falling to her waist.


January 6 Joplin Daily Globe runs a series of stories about “Dieter and Wenzel “and a claim made by the Eagle Cornice Company that their bill was not paid by Dieter and Wenzel. Turns out in the end Dieter was right. ‘Not one cent is due.”

January 31 Joplin Daily Globe reports that the Lutheran Church on the corner of Ninth and Moffett Ave. was a gift of Charles A. Schifferdecker to the German people of the city. It maintains a most excellent school for the education of German youth.

February 2 Joplin Daily globe reports that ladies invited their Gentlemen friends to a dancing party at the Germania Club last Tuesday evening. Tellie Geltmacher, Frieda Brandli, …Dieter was one of the men but it doesn’t report which Dieter.

February 9 Globe reports that 140 acres in the heart of Baltimore destroyed by fire. The Dieter’s had family in Baltimore. Were they affected?

Sunday, February 21
Joplin Daily News Herald

“Last Tuesday marked the 25th year, Mr. and Mrs. CA Dieter of 213 North Pearl Street, had started together on the journey of life, and if they had any thought that they were to be allowed to spend the memorable day “in silence and alone, ” that idea was quickly dispensed about 8 o’clock when the Turner Liederkranz and the German card club entered their home in a body and proceeded to assist them in celebrating their silver wedding.

One of the principle features was the crowning of Mrs. Dieter as queen of the evening with a wreath of silver leaves, glittering with diamond dust, and as the gleam of wreath caught the light it cast a radiance over the face that appeared to at least one of the assembly as fair as it did a quareter of a century when it was lifted to breathe the marriage vow from girlish lips.

The company as a slight token of their esteem presented Mr. and Mrs. Dieter with an elegant silver tea service and after the presentation speech, music, games and a bounteous repast were the order of the evening.”

It is interesting to note that records from Germany show that they were actually married on this date in 1882 and not in 1879 as their 25th Anniversary would suggest. Their oldest son Fred was born in 1879.
Perhaps, Mr and Mrs. Dieter had told their friends they were celebrating their 25th when they were actually celebrating their 22nd.

March 27
Joplin Daily Globe reports the marriage last Tuesday evening of Miss Minnie Schifferdecker and Mr. William Meyer. A large affaire at the Germania Club but names of the guests were not mentioned. Niece of Mr. and Mrs. Schifferdecker. Married head of Liederkranz Society.

April 20 Local Item, JDG, German Turner Liederkranz will give a dance the 20th of this month..next day…..The Grand Concert and Ball given by the JTL at Germania Hall was one of the the most successful entertainment ever given by the society…..program Komisches quartets- Elsnei, Kraus, Fahrenbach and Voscamp. (could this be Elsner?) Was GA Elsner a funny jun guy like Luc? A few years later, Max worked at the liquor store of Fahrenbach.

May 2

Hattie’s 18th birthday

May 19

Miss Dorfelt leads for Queen of Carnival. Joplin Germania society the leading German organization of the kind in the southwest. Germans of Joplin are in favor of building a many thousand dollar float.

May 20

Graduation but did Hattie graduate?

May 28

“Queen of Carnival was assaulted by Mrs. J. R. Weyland.

Distressing Trouble grew out of Controversy over Appointment of the maids of honor. Miss McGee seriously injured-Could not be seen.” JG

May 31

“In the spring of 1904, Joplin spent months preparing for the first annual carnival in honor of the sovereign majesties “Rex Plumbum and King Jack.” These fictionalized monarchs were the personifications of lead and zinc, which figured so prominently in Joplin’s meteoric growth at the turn of the last century.

The Germania Society of Joplin fashioned “one of the most appreciative efforts made by any of the organizations” which participated in the grand inaugural parade ushering in the carnival. “Their float was grand. It was twelve feet by thirty six feet and contained three allegorical figures … Uncle Sam, Columbia and Germania…. Miss Dieter impersonated Columbia.”

There, there was my grandmother. It must have been her and not her older, sister sister Kate. Kate would never have been comfortable atop a float. But I could imagine the grandmother I never knew there. The younger and more outgoing sister, Hattie as she was called then, enjoyed moving slowly through the evening, waving and smiling at the crowd. That Monday night, the crowd of nearly 30 thousand was “the largest ever congregated on the streets of Joplin.” This must be the story I was never told behind the picture of my grandmother as a young woman wearing a dress made of stars and stripes. Along the side of this very faded image, written in the shaky hand of my grandmother’s sister Kate, is the inscription: “Hattie Helen Dieter – Miss America On Float in Parade, 1904.”

(exerpts from the essay “Looking Oppositely” which can be found on the Essay page of this website.)

Hattie by being chosen as one of the three figures on this float was literally at the center of the celebration of the German Community. The newspaper continues “This float was one of the most appreciative efforts made by any of the organizations which participated in the pageant. It was magnificent. The members of the society should feel proud of themselves for nothing to excel their exhibit will be seen on the streets of any Missouri city at frequent intervals. Nothing has ever been exhibited in Kansas City at the annual festivities of the Priests of Pallas to excel it. The float was grand. It was twelve by thirty six feet, contained three principal figures as follows: Uncle Sam impersonated by J W. Morgenthaler: Columbia impersonated by Miss Dieter, and Germania impersonated by Miss Monson. There were other allegorical impersonations as follows Art, literature, industry and music. There were 26 ladies daughters of members who acted as maid of honor escorts in carriages and an escort of 36 gentlemen members of the Germania society all mounted and wearing the most gorgeous uniforms and trappings rented from an eastern company. (JG)

picture here of Hattie as Miss America

June 2 Grand Ball of Carnival is at Germania Hall. serious rain last night. some of the tents blown away. Rain and wind came together. People forced inside

tents….storm did damage to electric and telegraph wires…Joplin cut off from rest of the world.

June 5 Joplin Dailey Globe, “Plumblicum Carnival ended in Dampness last night….with a deficit of about $2,000.”

June 14 “Concordia” is written on the back of a picture of Hattie and a friend “Laura Bartman” both dressed in an oriental costume. What is Concordia?

June 16 Newspapers report news of the General Slocum disaster in New York City.

For more information on this disaster and its effect on the lives of Charlotte Sommer Gretsch, see “Agility and Excellence” on the Essay page of this website.

July 3 Miss Martha Bieldung gave a most delightful musical soiree at her home in N. Pearl Street, Thursday. The program of the evening was…..Miss Biledung is acknowledged one of the leading musicians of the Southwest and those who were fortunate enough to hear her enjoyed a rare treat. Her interpretation of the masterpieces is most pleasing and effective and her technical ability places the many tones qualities of the piano well at her command. Those who were present Thursday night were Mesars and Medames D.Bosewell, L.F. Cramer, B.J. Davidson. Mrs. Cary and Mrs Charles Schenuch. (Joplin Globe)

Martha Bieldung was a guest at Helen’s wedding and Mary (maybe the same) Bieldung played at her wedding.

July 24 Joplin Globe reports a party on Friday evening given by Mrs. George Wiemer (sister of Frieda Brandli) in honor of her sister Mrs Adolf Gauer visitng from Houston. Frieda Brandli is there with Kate and Hattie Dieter and Fred and Philip Dieter and Max Elsner.

Also present were Mr and Mrs. William Meyer, the Schifferdecker’s neice and her husband.

Years later, August Dieter would be in touch with Mrs. Gauer when he lived in Houston.

July 24 Joplin Daily Globe (same day) ” The Young Ladies Aid Society of the Lutheran Church enjoyed a picnic Thursday. The party started in the morning and enjoyed a long day of pleasure. Those who went were: Missses Lissie Schelidt, Hattie Deiter (sic), Adella Marder, Mary Scheidt, Minnie Martin, Octavie Scheidt, Minnie Waggy, Edith Bronder, Louise Bauermiester Kate Deiter (sic) and Lillie Damm.


15-19 Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

Is Hattie Miss America in this parade? I can find no mention in either the Sedalia paper or the Joplin Globe. However, in Hattie’s papers a paper medallion is found which says, “Meet Me, Missouri State Fair Sedalia Aug 15-19, 1904”

August 28 Joplin Daily Globe describes a party on Friday night in Sarcoxie. “Miss Ada Bess Gangler, of Sarcoxie, entertained about fifty of her friends Friday evening in honor of her birthday anniversary. The lawn was beautifully lighted with Japanese lanterns which together with the soft rays of the moon made quite a charming scene. The evening was spent in music and games and at 10:30 a delicious luncheon consisting of ice cream, cake and fruit was served.” Frieda Brandli, Katherine Dieter, and Hattie Dieter were among the quests along with August Dieter. How did they all get there? Did they spend the night?

The Dieters had lived in Sarcoxie from at least 1889 until 1899 when they moved to Joplin.

No doubt Ada Bess was a friend of Kate and Hattie’s from their days in Sarcoxie.

N.B. There are several post cards sent to August at Columbia from Ada Bess: November 8, 1909, December 1909, January 22, 1910. They all discuss Ada coming to Joplin to see August. She is a good friend of the family.

August 30 “Surprise for Schifferecker

Liederkranz Society Gives Old Joplin Citizen Peasant Birthday “Sendoff” (JDG) In this four paragraph article a surprise party on Monday night for Charles Schifferdecker a passive member of the Joplin Turner Liederkranz society is reported. The party was held at his home on the corner of Fifth and Sargeant Ave and it was in honor of his 53rd birthday. ” The members of the society with their ladies and a few intimate friends assembled at the home of the jubilar about 8 o’clock and awaited patiently the return of Mr. and Mrs. Schifferdecker from their regular evening drive. The whole inner yard had in the meantime been nicely decorated with Japanese lanterns and flowers of all description and transformed into a real garden of a fairyland. The Liederkranz under the able leadership of Prof. Wm Meyer ( who was married to Schifferdecker’s niece) presented “vocal recitations”. “Games of all sorts were enjoyed by the young people. Among the guests Misses Hattie and Katie Dieter were the first mentioned. Perhaps, these young ladies were the most memorable. Also present were Mr and Mrs..C. A. Dieter, Mr and Mrs A. Elsner,…..Wm. Fehrenbach, Max Elsner.”


6-8 Hattie writes in her Travel Diary about her trip to the St. Louis World’s Fair. Mrs. George Wiemer, Mrs. Brandli, Anna Brandli, Mr.Brandli, Mr. Wenzel. Fred and Philip were at the station to see them off. Boarded for ST. Louis: Also on the trip were: Mr. & Mrs. CA Dieter, Mr. Muernnig. Mr. Georg Jacobs, Mr. August Dieter, Miss Katie Dieter, Miss Katie Muernnig, Miss Frieda Brandli, Miss Helen Dieter. See a transcript of Hattie’s hand written diary in the Library section of this website.

Sept. 7 The Joplin Daily Globe notes that Mr. George Muenning accompanied by his daughter Katherine and his nephew George Jacobs left last evening for St. Louis. However, the Dieter party is not mentioned.

September 11

The Joplin Dailey Globe reports that a party was given by Mrs. W. Dehm on Thursday afternoon. Mrs. G.A. Elsner is one of the guests.

“One of the features of the entertainment was a contest in which the ladies present guessed at the number of beans contained in a glass”

October 5

JDG reports that Myra Adams, 10 years old, drove away with a surrey and pony belonging to Mrs. Lieb. The girl “is a winsome child but she has a mania for driving off with horses which she finds hitched along the streets… The pony is small and black has four white feet and a blaze face. Upon several other occasions she had driven away with horses belonging to parties in Webb City and Carthage.”

November 13

The Joplin Globe Sunday.

Page 2. “Completed Several Large Projects. The contracting firm of Dieter and Wenzel yesterday formally turned over the colored Baptist Church on East 7th Street to the church trustees. This church was built with the money donated by Thomas Connor and will be dedicated in a short time. It cost $5,000. the firm of Dieter and Wenzel also completed the extension to the Federal Building in St Scot Ark. And a letter received by the firm yesterday from the supervising architect speaks in glowing terms of the manner in which the work was performed. The extention cost $80,000.

A week ago the $25,000 Carnegie Library at Carthage by Dieter and Wenzel was completed and formally accepted by the board.

Click on this image to see an enlargement of the Carnegie Library, Carthage, MO.

Click to enlarge image

Another view of the Carnegie Library in Carthage, MO. Click on the image to see an enargement.

(same day) paper notes that “John Wenzel and Fred and Philip Dieter leave tonight for a visit to the world’s fair” Could it be that they stayed home until these projects were completed?

Click to enlarge image

November 24 Hattie traveled to Miami, Indian Territory with Kate to have Thanksgiving Dinner with Nellie and Walter Johnson. See her diary in the Library section of this website for more information.

November 25 “After dinner we went to town where Mr. Stine and I entertained the rest with music” (Did she play the piano for everyone?) This is about the time that the picture of Hattie and Katie was taken in the white blouses.

November 30

Fred receives a book on construction. Perhaps his 25th Birthday. Perhaps, Fred is starting a new career in life, construction and not bookkeeping.

December 22

JDG describes” Impressive Funeral Services Under the Auspices of the Germania and Liederkranz Yesterday.” ” ..the Germania Society awaited in full force, (at the church) headed by the Joplin band which had been engaged by them as it is customary to escort all the members to their last resting place under the sweet strains of music….at the cemetery the Liederkranz under the direction of Wm Meyer rendered an impressive song in German, entitled, “Prayer” after which Mr. Chris Guengerich delived a last farewell tribute to the departed, mingled with consoling words to the bereaved family and the Liederkranz sand, ” The Scotch Bard”. The funeral was for Wm. Grundler. Although the Dieter and Elsner families were not mentioned in this article, I am sure the ceremony about this burial was familiar to them.


January 3

Tuesday, Joplin Globe reports ” First Ball of the New Year. Immediately following 12 O’Clock new Year Night the Germania Tripped Light Fantastic. The Joplin Turn Verein Germania celebrated their twenty-eight anniversary at the hall corner Third and Joplin Street in a most elaborate manner Saturday night. The large dancing hall presented a most beautiful and artictic appearance.

The ladies of the societ had tried to eexcel all former occasions and had been as busy as bees, baking, roasting and preparing all the good things to eat in a masterly manner, for the great banquet. Three long tables had been placed in thehall and fifty plated or each table, all decorated nicely and neatly for loaded down with an abundance of all the market offers.

At nine o’clock the Putnam orchestra opened theprogram with a nice sselection.

The Joplin Turneer Liederkranz then rendered “Vereins-Gruss” a very appropriate number for the occasion, a song of greeting and welcome for the guests.

The members and their families were all seated adn tWm. Feherback president of the society delivered his address of greetings and welcome to the guests.

the waitresses all young ladies of the society then appeared and with sparkling eyes and smiling faces declared they were ready to attend to the wants of the guests and dischared their duty in a most elegant and graceful manner and under the sweet strains of music the good things to eat and drink slowly disappeared.

…speeches were made and preparations to trip the light fantastic..As a rule the Germans always like to dance the old year out and the new year in or al least to close as possible and it is a sure thing that Germania has the lead as the first hall to have a ball in 1905.”

March 15 Hattie’s uncle, J.Philip Dieter buys a big brewery in El Paso. (See newspaper article El Paso Times)

July 3-6,

Hattie travels with her sister Kate to Miami, Indian Territory ( present day Oklahoma) for the Fourth of July festivities.

To learn more about the trip read Hattie’s Travel Diary in the “Library” section of this website.

September 6

Hattie’s oldest brother Fred marries Frieda Brandli. Frieda is a good friend of Hattie’s.

She was described in the Joplin Daily Globe the next day as “a pretty blonde quite popular in her social circle”. Fred was a “junior member for the firm Williams and Co,. Building Contractors.” It is interesting to learn that he was not working for his father.

The wedding took place in the home of the bride’s parents, 802 Chestnut Street. After which a wedding reception and luncheon was served to the 20 guests present” Joplin Daily Globe Frieda had at least three sisters and three brothers. The Brandli family was from Zurich and had come to USA circa 1880.


Max A. Elsner (age 18) tailor GA Elsner, 806 Penn

Dieter, C.A. (Dieter and Wenzel) 213 N.Pearl

Fred, steneo 213 N. Pearl

Philip, Mason, Dieter and Wenzel, 213 N.Pearl

Helen H. 213 N. Pearl

Katie 213 N. Pearl

March 11

“Nicht wie Rosen,

Nicht wie Nelken

Die da bluehen und verwelken

Sondern wie das Immergruen

So soll unsre Freundschaft bluehn.”

Zur Erinnerung von Deiner Freudin

Mathilde Geldmacher

Methilde Geltmacher signs in German Hattie’s autograph book. To learn more about this book go to the “Library” section on the navigation bar of this website.

The Geltmachers were good friends of Hattie. They were all at her wedding Sophie, Adolf and Tillie.

Sophie Geltmacher had also signed her book in German but no date is given.

May 16

Click to enlarge image

Picture of Hattie Helen is taken. She is 20 years old and eight days.

Was this her graduation from Joplin High School.

There is a similar picture of a young woman in a similar dress. On the back is written. Lillian Hill, Joplin High School, 1906

June 16 J. Adam Dieter, younger brother of CA Dieter, dies in El Paso from Tuberculosis after a lingering illness. He had come to America in 1879 with C.A. Dieter. Adam was 45 years old. His wife Belle stays in touch with the Dieter family. Fred must have known him quite well when he lived in El Paso with him.

In 1905, Adam was the manager of the Senate Saloon in El Paso, Texas.

Philipp Dieter went to San Franciso to enter the construction business.


This is a busy year for the Dieter & Wenzel Construction Co. They are building Joplin High School, the Connor Hotel, etc

Hattie is probably already seeing quite a bit of Max Elsner.

Max’s cousin comes to Joplin from Germany Fritz Kruger.

Apparently, he went to Dakota and shows up again in Joplin in 1910.

He is the son of Ida Elsner Kruger, a sister of Max’s father.

He stays in the US and marries and has children.

His sister Helene Kruger marries Herman Schroeder (see letter 1947).

February 6, Hattie’s brother George Philip marries Emma Moritz

“Philipp Dieter, son of C.A. Dieter of 410 North Pearl St. and Miss Emma Moritz formerly of Sedan, Kans. were married last evening at the Home of Rev. Father Clinton. The couple will make their home at Eighteenth St. and Picher Avenue. The wedding last night was followed by an elegant dinner. Mrs. Dieter is a niece of Mrs. Mike Kolb.”( Joplin Daily Globe)

Emma was a Catholic, did this cause a problem? (NB Mike Kolb is mentioned 20 years later as a pall bearer for Mrs Brandli mother of Fred’s wife. Maybe Philipp met Emma through his brother’s wife?) The Kolb’s were also at Hattie’s wedding in 1909.

June Hattie’s little brother August has just finished his sophomore year Joplin High School. His friend Charles Hebbard is the staff editor, a basket ball forward and a scientist.

June 6 Philip Dieter sends August a postcard from Kansas City and Memphis.

July 25 Helen Dieter (21 years old) is in Sulphur Springs, Ark. With Kate Dieter, Elizabeth Scheidt, May (Reha) Scheidt , on the back of the picture the men’s names are written in pencil: John B., Harry C., Frank J. also “Whatia Princh! And Celera (what do these words mean? Note the beautiful white dresses and hats that the girls are wearing.

( insert picture)

August 19, Hattie Helen is in El Dorado Springs, Mo with Anna (Schulte), Kate and Tillie. She goes to a dance Wednesday night at the park Hotel and sends her brother August a postcard. (She is there again in the 1920’s with her children and maybe Max.)

August 25 From a postcard she sent to her brother August, it is clear that Hattie is still in Eldorado Springs. The post card is signed Tillie, Anna, Margaret, Kate, Rosa and Helen. They must have been there visiting a friend of August’s for the day they leave he writes August a postal telling about their visit.

September 7 Hattie is in Sulphur Springs, Arkansas

Sept. 23, 6:30 p.m. J.P.Dieter died. Uncle Philip. El Paso, Tx. He signed Hattie’s autograph book in 1892. Helen’s father C.A. Dieter rushed to El Pasco to be by his dying brother’s side. He died of an inoperable brain tumor.

“Not even Mr. Dieter himself imagined that there was anything seriously wrong with him when he returned from Cloudcroft- where his family spent the summer- three weeks ago.” EL Paso Daily times, September 24, 190

What a terrible shock this must have been for the Dieter family. Remember the loving words, Uncle Philip signed into Hattie’s autograph book 16 years earlier!

October, November, December Economic panic of 1907


January 14 Hattie’s maternal Grandmother, Anna Helena Kappes Barenz dies in Germany . She was born December 11, 1824.  She was 86 years old.

Hattie never met either one of her grandmother.

January 18 Moritz August Dieter (born son of Emma & Philipp)

Within one week, Lenchen Dieter, lost her mother and had her first grandchild.

This new baby boy is named with his mother’s maiden name ( Moritz )and his paternal grandfather’s name ( August). The baby is Hattie’s first nephew.

Joplin Turner Liederkranz Society lists among its members, C.A. Dieter, Fred, Philip, Mr. Elsner, Mr.Schiffendecker, Mr.Kolb but not Max.

April Connor Hotel opened. The Middle West’s Finest Hotel. Absolutely Fireproof. European. 100 rooms without bath $1.00 and up, 150 rooms with bath, $1.50, and up. (JNH ad, 1911)

May 25 Contract was given for Hattie’s brother Fred to work on the Carthage Water works.

This was a very big deal.

May 29 Hattie writes about her trip to Baltimore, Maryland in her travel diary.

“The following were at the station to see us off: Tellie Geltmacher, Adolf Geltmacher, Max Elsner, Marie & Elizabeth Scheidt, Frank Reha, Mr.& Mrs. Buerc. Anna Schulte, Mr. & Mrs. Drawe, Mr. Benedict. and of course all of us except for Emma and “little August” they were at Sedan (KS). Were met at the Union Station in St. Louis by Mrs. Hallenberg. Were met in by Rev. Mahnke at La Salle Station and taken to his home in West Chicago.stopped at Concordia Cemetary.”

June 2 “Tuesday 1908. Kate and I took the train at 8 o’clock for Chicago to see cousin Lillian Cain. Her husband was at the station to meet us but was too early, so we telephoned to the house, received instructions and went by ourselves. We made our first trip on the Elevated Railway. Cousin Lillian and her two children, Helen and Louis, me us at the Edgewater. She certainly has a beautiful home. We had luncheon at the Presbyterian Church where her husband is in charge. The church is finished with mission wood. After luncheon Rev. Cain took a carriage and we took the Lake Shore Drive. This is a long Lake Michigan. Then we drove all through Lincoln Park. The park is beautiful. We saw all kinds of animals, birds, flowers monuments, people and everything. Rushed home, had lunch and hurried to the station. Rev. Cain took us to the Chicago and N.W. and we were again speeding onour way to west Chicago.”

June 4

” Baltimore MD. ” Thursday, were on the train all day, at 5:50 P.M. we arrived at Baltimore. Cousins Lewis, Mary and Dora were at the station to meet us. Went home, had supper, sat on the front steps awhile, then went to a spiritualist meeting what do you think of that!” Arrived in Baltimore and met by Cousins Lewis, Mary and Dora. Cousin Phil Volz of Newark, NJ-we have never seen him.

June 7 “Saturday, Up at 8. Breakfast. Cousin, Kate and I had one of our popular concerts. I took a bath dinner and now am writing. Cousin Dora and Kate went to the cemetery.”

This is the cousin “Mary” Nicklaus who sent postcards to August in 1907 and 1908. Aunt Mary Nicklaus sent August a postcard from Germany in 1905. Perhaps that is the mother of these Nicklaus children. When J. Philip Dieter first came to America in the 1870’s he came to Baltimore to live with an Uncle. This family must be descendants of the Uncle of C.A. Dieter.

June 22 Trip to New York, Newark, Hoboken, Coney Island and Philadelphia Cousin Mary Nicklas, met Mamma and Pappa in NJ.

June 25 Hattie watched her parents set sail for Europe on “Deutschland” Hamburg-America line. The death of Hattie Grandmother must have been for this trip.z

July 11 Trip from Baltimore, MD to Washington, DC

Hattie Helen and her sister Kate certainly traveled a lot!

July 30 Fred sends August a postcard from Columbia. Was he taking classes at the University? Fred refers to himself as “Luckless Will.”

Oct.12-16 Lena and C.A. return home on the Deutschland.


Max Elsner is listed as a Bkpr at Inter State Grocery Co.

He is living with his parents at 615 Moffet. The family has moved in the past year from 806 Penn.

April “Verlobte” Helen Dieter, Max Elsner

Formal engagement announcements in German are sent out.

June 10 Schifferdecker Park is opened.

July 12 Louise Agnes Dieter (Daughter of Emma & Philip) born.

This was Lena’s first grandchild.

Christian Church in Carthage completed in 1909 by Fred Dieter.

August is working at this time in Trinidad, Colorado.

“For a small county seat setting, the Trinidad post office is one of the finest examples of James Knox Taylor’s Beaux-Arts style handiwork that can be seen just about anywhere in the country. Relying principally on the use of tan brick work and sandstone portico with four Ionic columns, this one story rectangular building with full basement possesses massive proportions, elegent (sic) symmetry, and fine masonry detailing. (National register listing 01/22/86) Great American Post Offices, James H. Bruns, John Wiley and Sons, 1998.

C.A. Dieter in New York and sends August a series of 6 postcards from the Fulton Hudson .

This was the era of the “Bronko Billy” movies. “the archtype of the brave cowboy who acts alone to fight eveil, defend birture and establish order in a chaotic world is deeply embedded in the American psyche. However, few Americans know that this role was effectively invented by the silent film star known as Broncho Billy….’He was the first movie star’ said Dale Carpenter….’when you passed by the Nickolodeon and saw a Broncho Billy film, you put a nicket in. He wasn’t by any means a great actor, and not a better story teller than anyone else, but he was one fo the first people to realize that movies could succeed by creating a character that people were drawn to”…..In 1907, he and a parner , George k. Spoor, who helped refine the trechnique of film projection, formed the Essanay Film Manufacaturing Company in Chicago. Soon they were churning out short films and hiring dozens of actors….”Broncho Billy was incredibly famous and very influential” said Michael Mashon ….of the Libreatry of Congress……( the things he did) may seem hokey to you now” (says author Arnie Berenstein)…..” but in 1909 they made an audience jump out of their seats.” Stephen Kinzer, NYT, July 17, 2003 pg. B3.

Sept. 22 August, Hattie’s younger brother, is at Columbia, Missouri. He is beginning first year at college.

He seems to have lost his truck en route and Kate sends him a telegram about her inquiries for the truck from the Joplin train station.

Sept. 28 The Joplin Globe reports: Wednesday Sept.29 is day of Quakes?

Earth, Moon and Sun Are in Line Tomorrow, Causing Great Strain Upon Weak Sports, Says, Perret.

by Associated Press

Messina, Sept. 27. Frank A. Perret, the American volcanologist, who arrived here today, believes from his scientific deductions that this part of Sicily will again be the scene of seismic disturbances, Mr. Perret says. “Wednesday, September 29, is the date most favorable for earthquakes or eruptions. At that time the sun , earth and moon are in line with each other, and the moon also is at its nearest approach to the earth. This combination occurs frequently ( I think it meant to say infrequently) tending to produce gravitational distortions of the earth’s form, namely to change the earth from a sphere to an ellipse. This extra strain often acts upon the weak spots in the earth’s crust causing them to give way and thus producing earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.”

Did Max and Hattie know they were being married on such a disquieting day? Surely someone saw this article n the paper and pointed it out to them.

Sept. 29,

Wednesday Hattie Helen Married Max Elsner

Click to enlarge image

Click to enlarge image

“One of the prettiest weddings of the season was that of Miss Hattie Dieter and Max Elsner which occurred at the Lutheran Church Wednesday evening at 6 o’clock. A profusion of pink and white roses and ferns and palms transformed the church into a bower of beauty, the chancel rail being entirely covered with roses and trailing smilax. The ushers Adolf Geldmacher and Herbert Benedict, preceded the wedding procession, followed by the matron of honor and the best man Mr. & Mrs. Fred Dieter; then came the bride and bridegroom who were met at the altar by Rev. Seidel who preformed the ceremony using the beautiful ring service. Richly attired in a gown of ivory poi-de-soie, over which shimmered the wedding veil caught with a wreath of lilies of the valley, the bride was indeed beautiful. She carried a shower of lilies of the valley and brides roses.

Mrs. Fred Dieter the matron of honor wore a handsome lavender gown with a large black picture hat and carried pink roses. Immediately after the ceremony a reception was held at the bride’s home No. 410 North Pearl Street. The color scheme of pink and white was elaborately carried out in the home decorations and also in the 3-course buffet luncheon. Mrs. Elsner is very popular in Joplin and is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Dieter of No. 410 Pearl St.

At the conclusion of the reception the young couple went to their prettily furnished home at 2017 Kentucky Avenue. The invited guests included Messrs. and Mesdames Kolb, Muenning, Morgenthaler, Voscamp, Schifferdecker, Eckartonley, Klotz, Johns, Elsner, Conley, Drawe, Weimer, Leehernbach, Roepple of Cincinnati, Ohio, Will and Chris Guengerich, Fred and Philip Dieter, Mesdames Dugan of Chillicothe, Ohio, Geldmacher, Geler; Misses Marie, Elizabeth and Octavia Scheidt, Martha Bliedung, Tillie Geldmacher, Anna Schulte, Anna Brandli; Messrs. Adolf Geldmacher. Herbert Benedict, John Klotz, Charles Griesser, Julius Kaiser and August Dieter

Click to enlarge image

Floral Bill from Hattie and Max’s wedding.

Brides Bouquet

100 Lilies of the Valley   5.00

Ribbon              1.00

1 doz. wh.rose buds    1.00

Maidn Hair Ferns & Makings          .25

Bridesmaid Bouquet & chiffon &e         1.50

Total:      9.25

You can see these flowers in Hattie’s bouquet in the above images.

“The prettiest wedding of the week occurred at the Lutheran Evangelical church Wednesday at 6 p.m. when Max Elsner and Miss Helen Dieter were united in marriage by the Rev. Seidel. The bridal couple stood under a bower of pink and white carnations and were married by the beautiful G—–man ring service while Miss Mary Bliedung played the chorus from Mendelsshon. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Dieter acted as best man and bridesmaid. After the ceremony a reception was given at the home of the bride, 410 North Pearl Street by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Dieter. A wedding supper was also served in three courses. Both young people are popular in this city, the bride being a graduate of the high school while Mr. Elsner has a position……”

(clipping ends)

October 19

August is back at Columbia. Kate sends him a postcard. ” Not a word from you for a week, what’s the trouble you said you had lots of time. seems as though you might spend some of it writing to “loved ones” at home.”

Nov. 15

Murder in Joplin of a police man. This murder will cause big headlines for years to come but the case doesn’t come to trial until 1911.

Late November

Kate travels to El Paso, Texas with brother Philip and his young family. She is there to help out with the children, 5 month old Louise and two year old August.

The first signs of Philip’s ill health were probably noticed weeks earlier. Philip was advised by his doctor to go to the southwest. Belle Dieter the widow of C.A. Dieter’s brother Adam is living there. The Dieter family has many connections in El Paso. Although they are sad ones with the death recently of C.A. Dieter’s two brothers Philip (1908) and Adam (1906).

The family must have had fears for Philip for a long time. The family was very aware of TB with the death of Adam Dieter. Hattie must have know as she prepared for her wedding that her brother was sick.

December 10

Carthage newspaper “For two or three days past, Contractor Fred Dieter has not been able to have his men do any digging on the ditches for the city water mains, owning to the severe cold weather…….Several citizens have had to go out in the street and build fires in the trnches to thaw out these pipes. In some cases, the pipes burst and shot up a stream of water that looked lika a stream from a fire engine. In such cases, Mr. Dieter repaired the breaks.”

Looks like Fred Dieter is not working for his Dad at Dieter and Wenzel but is a separate contractor. At the same time, Fred was also building the Christian Church in Carthage, his father (Dieter and Wenzel) was building the Federal building (Post Office).


According to the Joplin directory, Max Elsner is listed as a stenographer at Inter State Grocer and living at 2018 Kentucky. ( W. F Thomas owner of Missouri Rug Co. lived at # 2006 .)

Helen and Max only lived for one year at this address. According to their wedding announcement it was all furnished and ready for them to move into on the day of their wedding.

This house was apparently given to Max and Hattie as a wedding gift.

According to the US Census on April 19th of 1910, Max and Hattie are living at 410 North Pearl with Hattie’s parents. Max is an auditor for a wholesale grocery. Perhaps, they returned to this big house for a special occasion or perhaps, work was being done on their new home.


Hattie is having a party in her new house on Kentucky Ave.

November, the Joplin Globe states that Max and Hattie  are entertaining at their home at 123 Moffet.

Interesting, they apparently only lived in their house on Kentucky Ave. for a very short time, a few months.


Work begun for clearing the ground for the new Union Station Terminal.

April 8

JDG reports “Allege impure milk was sold. Lecompt and Chapelle (of the Monett diary) to face trial this morning. …..A crusade for pure mild was conducted last January under the direction of the state chemist and official of the state board of health. Several Joplin dealers were arrested and charged with selling mild containing preservatives. The cases were tried in the police court but resulted in the acquittals for the dairymen.”

At the time that Philip and Fred got sick, impure milk was considered the cause.

In 1980, my uncle Ralph, the nephews of Philip and Fred, told me that bad milk was the cause of his uncles’ illness.

Ralph was not even born at the time his uncles were sick but this is the story that was passed on to him.

April 10 “Mrs. L.E. VosKamp, Mrs A. Johns, Mrs A. Elsner, Mrs. M. Klotz, Mrs. G. Weiner, Mrs. Gus Maeder were hostesses at a weighing party Wed. evening at the home of Mrs. Voskamp No 706 Murphy Street. given for the Lutheran Aid Society. Each guest was charged for their weight at the cost of 1 cent per lbs. Flowers were used in decorating and an excellent program in music and reading was given. About one hundred guests were present and the affair was one of the most enjoyable of the week.

April 17 “Germany is menaced by Industrial War” Employers throughout Empire united in determined effort to crush trades Unionism-building trades start lock out.” What is going on in the Dieter family on this issue? Philip is a big man in the bricklayers union and he doesn’t work for his father;;;;interesting, yet he comes home to his father’s house to die.

April 18 Fred Dieter sent a post card to his brother saying that the water works are finished and he is going on vacation.

“The contract for the construction (of Carthage water works) was let May 25, 1908 and the plant completed in 1910 and so far has proved highly satisfactory” p. 536 Joel T. Livington History of Jasper Co. Vol.1 Lewis Publishing Co. 1912

(From the obituary of Fred Dieter, 1913

Installed the water main of the municipal (Carthage, Mo.) water plant when the city was without water–the old company having suddenly cut off the supply with out previous warning. Mr. Dieter had a large number of men working day and night to lay the water mains. It is believed that too close application to his work impaired Mr. Dieter’s health and finally brought on an attack of tuberculosis.)

April 18 Allege impure milk was sold, causing disease. Warrants issued for arrest of diary, Monett proprieters.

April 19 In the US Census Max and Hattie are recorded as living with Hattie parents at 410 North Pearl Street. Perhaps, they haven’t moved into their new home on Kentucky Ave.

About this time, there is a picture of many Dieters in front of the Crystal Cave just outside of Joplin.

Mr. and Mrs. G.A. Elsner, Max and Helen Elsner, Uncle Nick Dieter, Oak Hills, Kansas, Mr. Mrs. C.A, Dieter, Joplin, MO. Uncle Goerge Dieter, Oak Hill, Kansas. In the doorway with bow tie, August Dieter.

April 26

Joplin Globe reports,

Preached on Tuberculosis,

“Thousands of Kansas Ministers Devoted Sunday to White Plague to Hasten its Defeat.” “Galena ministers and thousands of others of the clergy in Kansas preached on the subject of Tuberculosis on Sunday” ”

In order to break down the prejudice against divulging information in regard to the symptoms of early stages of tuberculosis the state board of health now has an expert on the road lecturing on the subject.”

April 29 Labor controversy over Newman Buiding is finally resolved.

Dispute between the building Trades Council of Joplin and H.F. Stange contractor. Wow, did this go on with Dieter and Wenzel too?

May 7 King Edward of England dies. He had just returned from a vacation in the best of health, caught a cold, sick one week and died. George V becomes King

May 17 Halley’s Comet May 17, 18, 19th, Mark Twain died April 20th.

In Germany lockout, Building contractors are determined to defeat Employer Organizations.

May 23 “Joplin Girl Graduates will wear whatever they please , so there!” apparently there are disputes as to whether the girl graduates should have to have uniform dress for graduation. This debate has been going on for years.

May 28 The Carthage Evening Press has two article about new buildings in town.

One is the new Federal Building by Dieter and Wenzel, the other is the new Christian Church which was built by Fred Dieter.

It is interesting to think about his father and son team not working together.

May 30 Hattie sends postcard to August with a picture and an ad for “Glenn Curtiss with 3 Flying Machines at Electir Park Joplin, MO., May 28, 29, 30 “Sorry you could not see this, of course we were there and it was great. We expect you home this or next weekend. How about it? M & H (Max & Hattie)

May 30 Kate sends a postcard to August from El Paso. ” We (Kate and her mother) must leave El Paso Tuesday 1:30 p.m. in order to use our ticket. In Kansas City Weds. evening about 8 o’clock Sorry but can’t make any other arrangements you choose, you can decide. Kate ”

June 19 Hatttie entertains at her new house.

” At a pretty pink and white luncheon Monday evening, Mr.& Mrs. Max Elsner of No 2017 Kentucky avenue, announced the engagement of Miss Marie Scheidt to Frank Reba of Idaho, the wedding to take place Saturday, July 9 at Spokane, Wash. Pink and white Killarney roses were used in lovely profusion throughout the house and the menu of a three-course luncheon carried out the color idea. The guests including the guest of honor, were Mr & Mrs. G.A. Elsner, Mr and Mrs. Fred Dieter, Misses Tillie Geldmacher, Anna Schulte, Kate Dieter, Eliza Scheidt, Octavia Scheidt: Joe Schulte, August Dieter, Adolph Geldmacher and Herbert Benedict.

” Miss Marie Scheidt a summer bride elect was given a linen shower Thursday evening by Miss Kate Dieter at her home 410 N. Pearl Ave. Garden flowers were used in decorating and the evening was spent informally. The guest included Mr. & Mrs. Fred Dieter, Misses Marie Scheidt, Tellie Geltmacher, Anna Schulte, Kate Dieter, Elixa Scheidt, Octavia Scheiden, Joe Schulte, August Dieter, Aldoph Gelmacher, Herbert Benedick. (Where were Hattie and Max? The night before they had given a party at their house, did they go out of town? were they not welcome at the Dieter’s home? Maybe, it was a misprint by the newspaper.)

July 1 Building begun for new union station terminal.

July 5 Post card to August from Columbia. “How are you? What do you think about the big fight? I want to thank you for your kindess (sic) to Sister she wrote she had a very enjoyable time with you and your sister, again Thanking you I am J.R.B”

July 5 JDG reports ” Big Fight Aroused Intense Interest”

Huge crowds of Joplin Fans Awaits Results in Front of Globe Office—Many interesting incidents.”

James J. Jefries and Jack Johnson, the negro champion at Reno. Nevada.

After 15 rounds, Johnson won.

Summer Perhaps, it was the summer of 1910 that Dieter relatives visited Joplin and everyone went to the Crystal Cave. Here a family picture was taken: Mr. and Mrs. G.A. Elsner, Max and Hatttie Elsner, Uncle Nick Dieter from Oak Hill, Kansas, Mr and Mrs. C.A. Dieter from Joplin, MO, Uncle George Dieter from Oak Hill, Kansas.

Also in the picture is August Dieter and a friend and three young boys but maybe the young boys aren’t related. Their names aren’t written on the back. Crystal Cave must have been quite an attration for visitn guest from out of town.

This summer, August was working for Dieter and Wenzel in Wichita, Kansas.

He is very close to his cousin, Willie Dieter.

July 10 Lots of nice ad in the newspaper for ice cream! I zeroxed one and send it to Katie because I am always encouraging her to eat ice cream because we like it so much. The ad is lovely with two classy women sitting down to eat ice cream together.

Next day, I start noticing articles about people getting sick from ptomaine poisoning. the heat is intense and people are eating ice cream to cool off. The milk spoils in the heat. the news paper gives precautions.

July 21 Max sends a postcard to August in Wichita, KS. ” Your bike will be there on the 5:20 Wells Fargo Express 7-22- 10. Look out for red danger lanterns at night. Max”. The image on the card is a cartoon of people on a high wagon with the sign “High Life Beer”

It sure seems like Max and Hattie are having fun.

July 24,

A swimming party Monday (July 18) at Fillmore’s bridge was composed of Mr Wldn and family, Mr. Laurence and family and Miss Amy Hoover and August Dieter and Charles Hebbard.

Click to enlarge image

The above image of Hattie’s youngest brother was possibly taken around this time.

Aug 2,

(Tuesday afternoon) Mrs. G.A. Elnser of Moffet Ave, entertained the Ladies of the German Lutheran Church Tuesday afternoon. After an house business session the remainder of the day was spent socially and ice cream and cake were served.

August 4,

Ice Cream being placed under a ban by State commissioner, more than half of the ice cream sold in this state is impure.

August 9,

Page1, Joplin Globe. Tuberculosis car touring with exhibit on T.B. The car contains a model sleeping tent considered necessary in the prevention or cure of the disease, numerous charts explaining the stages of the disease and how it can be cured. The death rate in Missouri from TB last eyar is appalling in comparison with many other states, The reason is that people are ignorant of the proper manner of preserving their health. Joplin especially because fo so many wimines . The miners are themselves responsible because they are uneducated in the proper care of their health. T.B is not hereditary. spitting expectorating on the sidewalks conveys germs more than any other way. Kissing, osculation, indiscriminate kissing should be discouraged everywhere.

Women of Joplin buying more store bought dresses and shirtwaist and not sewing so much anymore.

August 10,

Mayor of New York City shot in the head on board the Keiser William Der Grosse as it left Hoboken, New Jersey.

September 1

Helen sent a post card to August in Wichita, Ks.

“Well August I think it must be about time for me to say something, don’t you? We are all well and happy expecting you home shortly. Of course you must come home and go to school – nothing else will do. Fred says he will write also and tell you to come so you see we all want you to. Give Willie our love and tell him that Fritz Kruger (or is it Krieger) came in from Dakota Sunday..will mine at Sarcoxie now. M & H. E.

Fritz Krieger, first cousin to Max, was the son of G.A. Elsner’s sister. Fritz came to Joplin in 1907.

Fritz’z sister Helene Krieger stayed in Germany and married Schroeder. She and Max wrote letters in 1947.

It looks like August doesn’t want to return to college this fall but wants to stay with Willie Dieter in Wichita. William M. Dieter was 18 years old and lived in Wichita as a carpenter. He was born in Germany. William eventually moved to Texas. He married around 1915 and lived in Austin in 1920 with his family.

September 3,

Joplin Daily Globe reports that on Sept. 25-27. American-German National Alliance will meet in Joplin. Delegates from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Illinois will be in Attendance.

C.A. Dieter is the head (vorsitzender) of the Finance Committee.

Sept. 25-27,

Were there parties at the Dieter home for this convention of German Americans. Certainly there were visitng delegates who were offered German American Hospitality.


Ozark Interstate Exposition held at the Electric Park. A big success! Parades! 100,000 people paid to enter the fair grounds. The success of the fair last year was largely due to its location in electric Park”.JNH 1/29/11

November 6,

JDG reports ” The Pastime Club was entertained by Mrs. Max A. Elsner at her home, No.. 123 Moffet avenue, Friday afternoon. The afternoon was spent in needlework after which teh hoster served dainty refreshments.

November 6,

Joplin Globe reports “The Pastime Club entertained at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mox (sic) Elsner of No. 123 Moffett avenue Monday evening. The living room was converted into a forest by miniature trees and the floor was covered with autumn leaves and was lighted by jack-o-lanterns only. Numerous Hallowe’en games were indulged in until a late hour, when a luncheon suitable for the occasion was served. Those present were Misses Anna Schulte, Kate Deiter (sic) Tillie Geldmacher, Elizabeth Scheidt, Messrs. Herbert Benecict, Adolph Geldmacher, Joe Schulte, Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe Houghawout and Mr. and Mrs/ Max A. Elsner”

November 20

JDG reports “Must increase storage space in public library. May ask Carnegie for additional grant of $35,000. Present Quarters not large enough to accommodate present collection of volumes.” Extension built in 1916. August was working on it when he committed suicide.

November 20,

Miss Elizabeth Scheidt of No. 2202 Wall street was hostess to a delightful diner party last Sunday evening. A number of friends were invited to meet at her home in the afternoon to go for a persimmon hunt, and after an enjoyable afternoon in the woods, the party returned to the Scheidt home, where an elaborate four-course dinner awaited them. Covers were laid for fourteen, and dinner was served in four courses. The dining room was very pretty with autumn leaves strewn around the room. After dinner an impromptu musical program was a pleasant feature of the evening’s entertainment. Those who enjoyed Miss Scheidt’s hospitality were: Misses Anna Shulte, Kate Deiter (sic), Tillie Geldmacher, Lena Kernes, Octoabie Scheidt: Messrs, Charles Driesser, Joe Shulte, Homer Roush, A. E. Geldmacher, Herbert Benedict, John Colson, Mr and Mrs. Mox ( sic) Elsner.

Sometime between June 19 and November 6, Max and Hattie moved out of their pretty home on Kentucky Ave and moved closer to Max’s parents at 123 Moffet Street. What were the circumstances around this move and what happened to the house they lived in as newly weds?

Sometime in this first year of their marriage, Max took a new job at Ferenback Wine and Liquor Company. He is no longer a book keeper but now a cashier. He had worked for at least two years at his previous job as book keeper.

December 1 JDG reports “At a meeting of the Ladies Hospital Corps, held yesterday afternoon in the blue room at the Carnegie public library, plans were discussed for the holding of the bazaar, to take place at the Germania hall, from December 13 to 17th. ….The Germania Society has donated the use of the hall for the occasion and also defrays all expenses during that time.”

This very interesting article brings together the library, the Germanina soceity and role of women in Joplin society at this time.

December 4 JDG reports “Mr and Mrs. William Fehrenbach, who have recently moved into their new home, No. 520 Jackson avenue (sic), were given a surprise Thursday evening at a house warming. The surprisers presented Mr and Mrs, Fehrenbach a handsome mahogany chair. Card games furnished the diversion of the evening, and Mr. and Mrs. G. Burgess won the first prize and Mrs. Fritz Johns was consoled. Refreshment were brought by the guests and after the games of cards lunch was served at the card tables.

Those in the party were Mesars. and Mesdames Max A., Elsner, L.E. Voskamp, James E, Madeira, Alois Johns, Will dehm, Frank Johns, Fred Dieter, George Wiemer, Mark Braeckel, Pete adn Frank Braeckel, G. Bergdoll, charles Renthinger, Albert Aughter, L.D. Archer, Gus Maeder, Mike Kolb, G, Burgess, Will Kunckel, Jake Oberlachner, G. A. Elsner, T. Ulrich of Galena, Mesdames C, A, Dieter Martin Klotz, Miss Kate Dieter, Hans Schuster and G. Kerchman.”

This is interesting because it shows the closeness in the community between the Dieters and the Elsners. Max used to work for The Fehrenbach liquor store.


Taft, U.S. President

Max A Elsner, h. 123 N. Moffett (Joplin City Directory-JCD) cashier Feranbach Wine & Liquor.

January 1 Sunday front page of Joplin News Harold, two aviators die in crash Hoxsey and Mosissant. Max & Hattie had watched such aviators at the Electric park last May.

January 1 JG pg.12 Society

Mrs. George Weimer of No.611 West Fifth Street was pleasantly surprised last Friday afternoon by a number of her friends on her Birthday anniversary. She was presented with a handsome cut glass bowl by her guests and they also brought with them a dainty two-course luncheon and the prizes for the high scores at whist which was the diversion of the afternoon. At cards, Mrs. Frank, Johns was the recipient of the high prizes a hand painted plate and Mes. Pete Fraeckel was consoled with a pretty urn. Those in the surprise party were madams Will Dehm, Philip Dieter, Frank Braecke;. M. Kolb, Will Gobar, Willian Fehernbach, Fred Dieter, Mark Braeckel, Fred Johns. John Klotx, A. E. Elsner, Peter Fraeckel, Frank Johns, Joe Dorigst, J, J. Oberlacker, William Brandil jr., William Henckel and William Meyer.

Also: The Annual Christmas tree given by the Joplin Germania Society for the benefit of their wives and children was an enjoyable affair this year. Sunday evening a large crowd gathered at the hall and enjoyed a program of a social time following is the program. Songs by the Joplin Turner Liederkrans recitation by Willie Frehenback: music by etc, etc…

After the program the little folks enjoyed a grand march and a fish pond was given for the little ones and each one received some toy. Pink carnations were given as souvenirs

January 3 Tuesday, Electic Park is in the hands of Constable M’coy.

Judgements rendered against property. Unless the case is settled the property will be sold at public auction”

Is it Schiffendecker park yet?

January 8 Sunday, Joplin Globe

“Mrs. F. Kuttler of No. 701 Murphy avenue was given a complete surprise Tuesday afternoon by a number of the ladies of the Frauen Verein. The occasion was in celebration of her sixty-fifth birthday anniversary, and was a very enjoyable affair.

After an informal afternoon the ladies served a delicious luncheon in the dinning room and again Mrs Kuttler was surprised when she found a handsome-hand decorated chocolate pot at her plate at the table. Mrs. G.A. Elsner whose birthday was Friday of last week, [Dec 30?] was presented with a chocolate pot also, which was more of a surprise to her.

Those present were: Mrs. L. E. VosKamp, Mrs. S. Geldmacher, Mrs. Henry Merk, Mrs. M. A. Elsner, Mrs Charles Schiffendecker, Mrs. William Brandli, Mrs. C. A. Dieter, Mrs. G. A. Elsner, Mrs J. W. Morganthaller, and Mrs. Kuttler.

January 8 Sunday Joplin News Herald

“In honor of the birthday of two members, Mrs. F. Kutler and Mrs. G.A. Elsner, the Ladies’ Society of the Lutheran Evangelical churchpores party at the home of Mrs. Kutler, 701 Murphy ave Wednesday afternoon. Appropriate momentos of the occasions were presented to each of the guests of honor. Those in the surprising party were Mesdames Charles Schiffendecker, L.E. Voscamp, C.A. Dieter, Max Elsner, B.Geldmacher, William Merk and William Brandli.”

January 15

Sunday, Joplin Globe reports”

Miss Elizabeth Scheidt of 203 Jackson avenue entertained informally a few friends at cards Wednesday evening. Whist was the diversion of the evening and Max A. Elsner was awarded the 1st prize while Joe Schulte received the consolation. A light lunch was served at the conclusion of the game. The guests included Mr and Mrs Max Elsner, Miesses Anna Schulte, Kate Dieter, Tillie Geltacher, Messrs. Joe Schulte, Adolph Geltmacher, Herbert Benedict.

Also reports, ” In honor of her birthday anniversary, Mrs. Charles Reutling of No. 917 Pearl Street delightfully entertained at Whist Wednesday afternoon. At card Mrs. Braeckel won the first Prize, a beautiful hand painted plate. Mrs. L. D. Archer scored next highest and was awarded a pretty cup and saucer and Mrs. Will Gobar was consoled with a pretty salad bowl. The ladies in the party presented Mrs. Ruetlinger (sic) with a handsome hand pained urn in honor of her birthday anniversary.

“After the enjoyable game of whist, the hostess served an elegant two-course luncheon in the dining room to the following: Mesdames J.H. Eckart, Martin Brotherson, C.A. Dieter, William Fehrenback, William Dehm, A. J. Hoover, M. Kolb, Frank Braeckel, W. E. Gobar, W.J. Henckel, L.D. Archer, M. J. Braeckel, Alois Johns, Frank Johns, A. Elsner, J Overlachnes, Joe Dorizzi, M. Myers, P. Braeckel, John Klotz.

1/19 Thursday, JG , pg 2 “HOME BENEFIT CONCERT PROVES DECIDED SUCCESS” Did Hattie go to this benefit proformance at the Club theater for the children’s home? Rosina Morris from Webb City played Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, Paganini, etc.

January 22, 29 The Joplin Globe reports that Mrs Fred Dieter is mentioned three times at parties for the Birthday Whist Club.

Thursday, January 19, Mrs. I. V. Burch of No. 709 Byers, Birthday Whist

Thurday afternoon Jan.26th at Mrs. John Kinmouth’s house at 715 Chestnut Street

Wednesday afternoon the 25th. Mrs. I.L. Burch, 709 Byer, Birthday whist, for a wedding anniversary surprise.

The guests are most always the same, Gobar, Klotz, Johns, Brotherson, Weimer, Franks, Lawrence, Cordrey, Kinmouth, Tabler, Thurman, Buress, Johnson. No other Dieter or Elsner family members are mentioned.

January 25

, Wednesday, Globe reports Local Item p. 5

” Mr. and Mrs. Fred Dieter of no. 106 Empire Street entertained Mr. and Mrs. Wormington of Carthage at dinner Sunday.”

January 29 JNH,Sunday

“Another of the birthday surprises parties of the week was given Mrs. William Myers at her home ,621 Melvin avenue, Wednesday (25th) The guest of honor was presented with three pretty hand-painted plates from the surprising party. A delightful two-course luncheon was spread. The afternoon was dedicated to whist. Mrs. William Henclke and Mrs. John Klotz cut for the prize, with Mrs Heckle winning. Mrs. Frank Braeckel received the consolation The guests were Mmes. L. D. Archerm H Eckart, William Fehrenback, W. Reutlinger, J. Oberlacker, W. Dehm,, J. Dorrizzi, John Klotz, Fred Dieter, H. Dieter, Max Elsner, A. Johns, M.Kolb,L. Voskamp, G.Elsner, William Henckle.”

Jannuary 29 JNH, Sunday

“Mrs. W. L. Burch of 708 Byers avenue had a pleasant surprise Wednesday afternoon, on her birthday anniversary by the members of the Souvenir Whist club. The surpriser spread a delightful two-course luncheon. A handsome cut-glass bowl was presented to the guest of honor. The afternoon was spent in playing whist, the high score being made by Mrs George Weimer, Mrs. Martin Brotherson was given the consolation. The guests were Mmes. Henry Merk, Max Kinmouth, Martin Brotherson, John Klotz, Frank Johns, Johns Johns, John Frank, Will Cordray, Geore Weimer, Fred Dieter, Max Lawrence.”

NOte that Mrs. Fred Dieter was at two parties on Wednesday afternoon. She must have been a well liked person.

January 29 JNH, Sunday

“The Birthday Whist club met Thursday afternon with Mrs. John Kinmouth, 715 Chestnut Street. The guests wree Mmes. T. R. Kinmounth, S.C. Cisema, James Thurman, Pete Burress, John Klots, The first prize was given to Mrs. James Thurman. Mrs. Will Cordray secured the club prize. A two course luncheon was served, Mrs. Will Cordray of 203 East Ninth street will be the next hostess.” (Note Mrs. Fred Dieter is not listed but she is listed in the Globe announcement of the same party.)

same day JNH, Sunday

the Aid Society of the Lutheran Church gave a delightful surprise to one of their number, Mrs. J.P. Weimer, at her home , 423 Conner avenue, Friday, in honor of her sixty-first birthday anniversary. A beautiful hand-painted salad bowl was given to Mrs. Weimer by her guests. Those composing the party were Mmes. J. W. Morganthaler, G.W. Keller, C.A. Dieter, Sophia Geldmacher, M. Peters, L.C.Burch, Mark, Will Frandli, L.Seidel, S. Geier, Eggertm James Moats, M. Klotz, G.A. Elsner, Fred Dieter, P. Weimer, Stumph, C.A. McAntire, H. Grigsby, G. Osborne and George Weimer.

same day JNH, Sunday

“Mrs. Max Elsner of 123 North Moffet avenue entertained four of her young women friends at thimbles Thursday (26th) evening. The guests were Miss Tillie Geldmacher, Elizabeth Scheidt, Anna Schulte and Kate Dieter.

February 1 Wednesday Temperatures ran 83 degrees, the next day it was 30 degrees.(JNH, 2/2/1911)

February 5 Sunday, Joplin Globe Society P. 12

One of the most delightful parties of the week was the one given Wednesday afternoon by Mrs. Mike Kolb of No. 616 Main Street. She entertained at cards in honor of her birthday anniversary. Whist was enjoyed until a late hour after which the hostess served a delicious two-course lunch. A large bouquet of pink carnations made a very pretty decoration for the dining room table.

The hostess was given six handsome hand-painted cups and saucers, as a remembrance of the occasion. Mrs. Phil Dieter won the prize at the guessing game and Mrs. Frank Johns was awarded the high score at whist while Mrs. G, Bergdoll was consoled.

Those who enjoyed Mrs. Kolb’s hospitality were: Medsames Henry Schulte, Frank Braeckel, L.E. Vos Kamp, Max Elsner, Phil Dieter, J. Swinesburger, G. Bergdoll, L.V. Burch, Fred Dieter,George Weimer, Albert Augter, William Fehrenbach, J. Oberlachter, Joe Dorrizn, Ferd Ulrich of Galena, B. E. Archer, Will Gobar, Charles Reulinger, Frank Johns, A. Johns, Johns Koltz, William Dehm, Marcus Braeckel, Peter Braeckel, Charles Richey, William Weimer, Will Henckel and Pinkey Goetz.

JNH, 2/5/1911

Mrs.M.Kolb of 616 Main street entertained at one of the largest whist partied of the week Wednesday afternoon. Ferns and white carnations were used profusely in the decorations with a shower bouquet of the same flowers for the table centerpiece. Mrs. A. John scored highest and received a hand-painted cup and saucer. The consolation a pair of hand-painted cuff buttons went to Mrs. Bergdoll. In a guessing contest mrsP. Dieter was successful and was awaareed a hand-painted plate. A delightful two course luncheon was served. The guests wre Mesdames M.Klotz, A. John,G. Weiner, William Dehm, William Gobar, william Myers, Frank Braeckel, March Braeckel, Pete P. Ulrich, L.E. Veskamp, C.Reutkinger, M. Elsner, W. Fehrenbach, Frank John, C. Oberlechner, H. Eckart,C. Forrizzi, Archer, Bergdoll, W. Henkle,Johanna Swinesbarger.

Feb. 2 JNH, Sunday

” Mrs. C. A. Dieter of 410 North Pearl street entertained the German Lutheran Aid society Thursday afternoon. About forty guests were present. After the regular business session a delightful luncheon was served by the hostess.”

JDG, Sunday

JDG. Another party was held Monday afternoon at the house of Mrs. Peter Braeckel. “Those present were Mesdames L.E. Vos Kamp, John Koltz, G.A. Elsner, Joe Dorizzi, G. Bergdoll, Charles Richey, Ferd Ulrich of Galena, William Fehrenbach, Will Dehm, Alois Johns, William Weimer, J. Oberlachner, Will Henckel, George Weimer, Fred Deiter (sic) Albert Augter, Will Frank, G.E. Archer, Mike Kolb, Will Gobar, Henry Schulte, Pinkey Goetz, Charles Reutlinger and Frank Johns.”

Also ” The spring like weather of last Sunday ( January 29) afternoon proved so alluring to a jolly crowd of young society folk, that they had a picnic supper in the woods. About 2 o’clock they started for a stroll toward Castle Rock. At 4 o’clock they built a large camp fire and cooked their supper. They roasted weiner-wursts, bacon and potatoes and had sandwiches and other good things to eat that are always especially appearling to picnickers. Those who enjoyed the afternoon in the woods were: Mr. and Mrs. Max A. Elsner, Misses Elizabeth Scheidt, Anna Schulte, Tillie Geldmacher, Messrs.Joe Schulte, Herbert Benedict and Adolph Geldmacher.”

February 8

Wednesday, February 8, JDG,P.3, Miss Anne Schulte of 903 Virginia Ave was the guests of friends in Galena yesterday afternoon.

(same line on p.10 of JNH with last word omitted)

February 9 JNH ” Mrs Geroge Muennig Sr. of 423 Virginia avenue has been quite ill, is improving.

February 9 JDG “Electric Park sold at auction by Sheriff. At a public sale at the west entrance of the courthouse yesterday the Schiffendecher Electric Park was auctioned off by the sheriff….bid in by John Fennimore of Pittsburg Kansas….Plans will be made at once to open the park for the coming season and if the proper arrangements can be made with the creditors, Joplin will again have a amusement resort opened.” P.7 JG

February 11

Saturday, JG, p.2. GERMAN CLUB ELECTS. Society expects to give program at High School Assembly Soon.

“Der Deutche Verein” the german club of the high school meet yesterday afternoon and elected the following officers: Morrison Fowler, President, Margart Welton vice president, Blanche Baker, secretary and treasurer, Harold Finke, rerporter and Marie Guengrick chairman of the progam committeel .The club, it is expected will appear before the high school in assembly in the near future.

February 11, a comedy play by Clyde Fitch “Girls” at the Club theater, mattee and evening. A hit in London and New York. Did Hattie and Max go? Three girls who” have sworn to avoid all men” ” before the end of the play they are all hopelessly entangled in serious love affairs”.

JG. Sunday Febiraru 12.

Sunday and Monday, “Madame Sherry” the world’s big musical sensation with its merry quips that have ahd Chicago, New York and St. Louis laughing with pure delight…will come to Joplin theater for two nights, Sunday and Monday, February 12 and 13th…..one of those acheivements of the stage which comes rarely but which compensate an amusement- loving public for a hundred mediocre productions they might have seen before.

JG Sunday, 2/12 pg. 9



Funeral Services will be conducted from home tomorrow at 2:30

Mrs. Elizabeth Muening, 69 years old, died at her hie is the wife of a retired merchant of Joplin.

Mrs. Muewnnig was born in Germay April 5, 1842. And came to America in 1871 where she met her husband, George Muennig. She was married the following year. In 1881, Mr and Mrs. Muennig came to Joplin and have lived in their present residence since then.

Mrs. Muennig is survived by her hudancd Geroge Nuennig, 68 years olf: two sons George, Jr and John and one daughter, Mrs. Katie St. Clair, all of Joplin.

The funeral services will be conducted from the house Monday aternoonat 2:30 o’clock by the Rev Louis Seidel of the German Lutheran Church. Burial will be at Fairview cemetery.

(This woman was at Hattie’s wedding or maybe it was her son. The family also went to the World’s Fair with the Dieter’s in 1904)

Joplin News Herald, February 12,

Mrs. Muennig is finally at Rest. Joplin Pioneer suffered for 15 years from her illness.

Mrs. George Muennig aged 70, died Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Mrs. Muennig was an invalid for about fifteen years, there were times when there was hope for her recovery but the last two weeks the chances were very small and her death was considered certain. Geroge Muenning and his wife came to American From Germany in 1871 and for about 35 years have been residents of Joplin. For many years he was actively engaged in Joplin, but some time ago he retired from active business,’

Mrs. Muennig leaves her husband and three children, mr. Goerge Muennig, jr., John Muennig and Mrs.Thomas ST. Clair all reside in Joplin at present.

The Funeral services will be held at their home on Fifth and Virgina. Burial will be in Fairiew cemetery.

JNH Sunday Februrary 12, Front Page

“raid being made on automobile owners who have not complied strictly with the standards” lots of names listed but I don’t recognize any of them.

February 12, Sunday, Joplin Globe, Society P. 12

Tuesday afternoon there was a whist party for Mrs Henry Merk of East Seventh street. “Those in the party were Mesdames H. Schulte, S. Frank, A. Johns, W. Gobar, Martin Brotherson, I.L. Burch, John Kinmouth, Max Elsner, G. Weimer, Frank Johns and M. Peters.”

Miss Elizabeth Scheidt of No. 2303 Wall street entertained informally Friday evening at a Thimble party. The hostess served a dainty lunch. The guests were Mrs. Max Elsner, Misses Lena kearns, Anna Schulte, Kate Dieter, Tillie Geldmacher and Octavia Scheidt.

JNH, Sunday Feb.12,

“A number of friends of Mrs.J.F. Bauer and Mrs. John Klots surprised them n the birthdy anniverdary, Friday the the home of Mrs. Bauer, 181 Kentucky avenue. Each was presented with dainty hand-painted plates, the surprisers served the luncheon., Those present wre Mmes. E.H. Faulstitch, J. W. Morganthaler, A. E. Elsner, N.J. Cuttler, B. J. Buley, L.E. Coskamp, J. E. Moats, John Klotz, Louise Eggert, W.P. Bauer.”

Joplin News Herald reports, that the Whist birthday club met again on Thursday and this time Anna Schulte was there. The first time I’ve ever seen her there and the Dieter girls still weren’t there but Mrs Fred Dieter was .

JNH, Sunday Feb.12

The Luther society of the German Lutheran Evangelical Church held its monthly meeting with the Misses Adelle and Carrie Maeder of 910 Bayer avenue, Thursday evening. ( Did the Dieter girls go to this? They atteended the Immanuels’ Evangelical Lutheran Church on the corner of Ninth and Moffet with Louis Seidel, pastor…German services at 10:30 on Sunday morning I think that this was the only church in town with German services. Can’t find anything in the paper about a Catholic church. But there must be one.)

Theater is certainly a big thing, musicals and comedies. Lots of turning companies.

February 19, Sunday, Society p. 12 Joplin Globe

“The charity Ball given for the benefit of St. Johns Hospital in the Elk”s ball room Wednesday night was one of the most successful affairs of its kind ever given in Joplin…Miss Anna Schulte was the chairman of the committee and her assistances were Misses Frances Handcock, Kate Sweeney, Mary DeLaney, Ella Divine, and Bess Malone. Messrs Adolph Geldmacher, Herbert Benedict and John De Laney assisted in entertaining at the hall.

“The Sans Formes Embroidery Club was entertained by Mrs. Martin Brotherson of No. 407 West C. street Friday afternoon. This was the first meeting of the club and it proved to be enjoyable. The Valentine Decorations were prominent, and a color scheme of red and white was carried out throughout the lunch. Neelde work was the diversion of the pleasant afternoon. The members of this club are Mesdames Fred Dieter, L.L Burch, W. G. Franks, W. Gobar. Frank and Fred Johns, William Guinan and Martin Brotherson. In two weeks the club will meet with Mrs. Fred Dieter of No. 1805 Empire Street.”

Also, Thursday afternoon, Mrs G.A. Elsner was at a Whist part at Mrs. Joe Derrixxi of No 1022 West Sixth Street. She was the only one of the Elsner/Dieter family there. There were many familiar names there.

2/14 JG.pg. 2″TO SELL PARK EFFECTS Constable McCoy will whold Auction at pleasure Resort.

Following the sale of the park grounds at public auction recently, the building and other fixtures at SchiffendeckerElectric Park are to be sold at public action tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m.by Constable J.H. Mc Coy.

The sale of the park was held at the court house but the sale tomorrow is to conducted at the resort. Both are the result of judgments granted creditors against the company.

2/14 JDG. Pg.6 Local items.”Miss Ethel Weimer of Springfield has been the guest of her sister Mrs. D. H. Nichols of 320 West Fifth Street for the past week will return home today.” Also in JNH ( Nichols is a name of a Dieter relative and Weimer is the name of the sister of Mrs Fred Dieter)

2/14 JNH Pg.4 ” Sunday Mail. Joplin is now agitating the closing of the post offices on Sunday. If this nature of agitation keeps in it will not be long until a fellow will be compelled to remain in bed all day Sunday. If the Christian people desire their churches to be better attended, let them make their churches better their services more interesting and more helpful. If Joplin churches would thus do, every church in that town would be crowded at every service. There is no law either civil or divine that teaches that it is wrong for a man to get his mail on the first day of the week. If there is let the News Herald cite us.- Lamar Republican Sentinel.

2/15 JG pg10. ELECTRIC PARK COMPANY IS TO BE REORGANIZED. ” plans are being made for a season of success.”

2/16 JNH Thursday.Pg.4 Talking about Joplin. Will Not War With Women. Joplin society women are greatly alarmed because of a rumor that bride whist will be stopped in that city, but the procecuting attornery has told them to play- and fear not. He says it keeps him busy keeping the men in the straight and narrow path withour fooling away his time trying to put a stop to the harmless pastimed of the women_ Carthage Press.

2/17 Friday, Pg.2, City Brevities

“Miss Emma Brandli of Sixth and Melvin streets and her sister Mrs. Fred Dieter of 1801 Empire Street were the guests of Mrs. A.C. Wormington of Carthage yesterday.”

2/19 Sunday JDG pg.9


A.W. Canada settles all legal suits….it will operate under the name of Sdchiffendcker Electric Park Ass. Instead of Schiffendecker Electric Park Company as in the past ” Despite the unpleassant experiences of the past it it is declared that the association anticipates a summer’s run at the park which will be meritorious in every way.

2/19 Sunday, JHN Social Happenings Pg.14

“The masque ball given by the Joplin Turnerene Liedergranz Tuesday evenin at Germania hall was one of the most enjoyable events of the week. The ball was in charge of a committee composed of Messrs. Frank John, William Fehrebach and Mike Kolb.Music was furnished by the Kreyer orchestra. A munber of beautiful customs were worn. Among the different characters represented were Miss Stlla Smith as cranberry girl, Misses Anna Schiffendecker and Lizzie Grenginger represented hearts, Mrs. Will Gobar wore a comic hobble suit, Mrs. Frank Braeckel and Mrs. John Braeckel were dressed as flower firls, Mrs. Alois John represented a Holland girl, Mrs. L. E. Coskamp wore an elaborate white net with spangles, Charley Burgess represetnted Alphonso and John McCaleb played the part of “Happy Holligan.”

Other masqued balls were given that week, One at the Elks Club, Senior Masquerade party,

Also a party was given for Mrs J. Dorizzi, a whist party only mrs a. Elsner was there…no Dieters although the other guests were all friends of the Dieters. Thursday afternoon. Are they staying away for a reason?


“A new embrodiery club named the San Fourn, was entertained Friday at the home of Mrs.M Brotherson of 405 West C.street. The valentine idea was carried out in the decorations and the two-course luncheon. The guests wre Mmes. John Kootz, Will Govar, G. Wiemer, B. Burch, Will Frank, Frank John, Fred Dieter, W. Gina , Clarence MrAntire and John Kinmouth.”

2/19 JNH p.7

“The body of A.C. Wood who died in El Paso, Texas will arrive is expected to arrive in Webb City……” is there a connection to the Wood who worked for Dieter Construction in 1929?

2/ 19 Sunday, JNH

A new embroidery club, named the San Formes, was entertained Friday at the home of Mrs. M. Brotherson of 405 W. C street. The valentine ides was carried out in the decoraions and the two-course luncheon. The guests were Mmes. John Klotz, Will Gobar, F/ Wiemer, V. Burch, Will Frank, Frank John, Fred Dieter, W, Gina, Clarence McAntire and John Kinmouth.

2/23 Thursday, JNH

Ben Hur arrives in town and will show tonight. It’s a big deal! (my own words) 200 people in production, 20 in orchestra, 8 horses in race scene

2/24 Friday, JNH

Ben Hur Chorus Girl is found dead today. She had been with the company for 8 years on the road. (probably form a gas leak or heart failure)front pg.

‘Pick pockets here preying on Show ” According to police the town is at present infeste with pickpockets and conficnece men who are following in the wake of the Ben-Hur show.” Pg2

“The opening performance of this play was all that the fondest anticipations could have desired.”

2/24 JNH

“August Maeder is back from trip. Well know engineer has intersting europoean trip” Must have been a friend of the Dieters. He visited France and Switzerland.

2/26 JNH Sunday Front Page

“W. H. Andrews files suit against Breweries and Whilde sale Agents.”

One of the defendents is William Fehrenbach where Max works another is Voscamp.

February 26, Sunday, Society, Joplin Globe p. 12

(2/21)Mrs Martin Koltz of 607 Moffet was surprised Tuesday afternoon.

(The only member of the Elsner/Dieter family present was Mrs. G.A. Elsner who lived at 615 Moffet) Whist was the diversion!

Also ” Miss Anna Schulte of 908 Virginia avenue was pleasantly furprised Thursday evening Flinch and Whist were the diversions of the evening. Those present were Misses Elixabeth and Octavie Scheidt, Kate Dieter, Lillie Stephens, Frances Hancock, Tillie Geldmacher, Evaline Kerns, Minnie Henry, Messrs Adolph and Herman Geldmacher, John Coleson, Homer Rausch, Herbert Benedict and Joe Schulte; Mr and Mrs. M.A. Elsner.

2/22 ” Miss Tillie Geldmacher of No. 825 Pennsylvania avenue was surprised by a few of her friends last Wednesday evening in honor of her birthday anniversary. Whist was the diversion of the evening. A Dainty linch was served. The honor guest was presented with many pretty remembrances. The guests present were: Mr. and Mrs. Max Elsner, Misses Anna Schulte, Elizabeth Scheidt, Kate Deiter(sic), Elizabeth Munson, Messrs, Herbert Benedict, Joe Schulte, Adolph and Herman Geldmacher”.

(Tillie was a long time friend of the Dieter girls. In August she would accompany Katie and her mother on a 5 week trip out west.)

Also reported,(2/24) “Miss Anna Schulte of No. 803 Virginia Ave. was delightfully entertained by a number of her friends Friday night. Whihst and music were the diversions of the evening, Mrs. Earl Beren received the ladies prize at whist and Herbert Benedcit received the gentleman’s prize. A two-course luncheon was served after the games of cards. The guests included Messrs and Mesdanes Max. A. Elsner, Earl Geren, W. G. Franks, Walter Arcularius, Misses Elizabeth Scheidt, Tilllie Geldmacher, Hattie Burk, Kate Dieter, Frances Hancock, Messrs Afolph and Herman Geltmacher, John Schulte and Herbert Benedict.

Also in the 2/26 JNH reports a party on Thursday although a slightly different guest list is given, Evilina Kerns, Minnie Herring, Francis Hancock, Homer Rouch. John Coleman, Lily Stephens, Cahrley Jones. Were there two parties?

2/26 JNH Sunday

” Among the delightful surprise parties given during the week was the one given for Miss Tillie Geldmacher, at her home 825 Pennsylvania avenue in honor of her birthday anniversary Wednesday evening. A number of beautuful pieces of hand-painted china was received The surprisers were Misses Elixabeth Monson Anna Schulte, elizabeth Scheidt, Kate Dieter, Messrs, Joe Schulte, HermanGeldmacher Herbert Benedict, Afolph Geldmacher, Mr and Mrs. Max Elsner.

2/25 Saturday, JG pg.1. announce building of new Frisco’s eight story passenger building and depot at Main and Sixth…and the freight deopt at 10th and Main…between $500,000 and $600,000 in improvements will be spent by the Frisco.

2/26 JNH Sunday

Adolph Geldmacher was at a Catholic Knights of Columbus dance. Was he catholic?

2/28 Tuesday. A ball held in Germania Hall, Third and Joplin Streee to raise funds for Hiram Frank, a fireman who was injured. People have been donating money and their names have been appearing the Globe on the front page…no Dieter/Elsner found yet.

2/25 pg 1, Germania Society donated the use of its Hall for Frank Benefit.

March 3, Fred is in Houston, Texas and send a telegram to his brother August. He has just left Joplin…

3/5 JNH Sunday

A whist party was held Monday night:Geldmacher, Schulte, Benedict and other names that are not familiar but no Elsners

JNH 3/5

“The Sans Formes Embroidery club was entertained Friday afternoon by Mrs. Fred Dieter of 1806 Empire street, Guests other than the club members wrew Mrs. William Frandli, Jr., Misses kate Diter and Emma Brandli, The hostess served a felicious tow course lUncheon. The club members wre Mmes. Martin Brotherson, R.L. Burch, Will Gobar, Will Guinan, Frank Johns, John Kilmouth, John Klotz, Clarence McIntyre, George Weimer, W.G. Frank.

March 6, President Taft mobilized 20,000 troops 2/3 of the regular army on the Mexican boarder….with mobilizing headquarters at El Paso. Journalist sworm on El Paso. Hattie must have taken note of this because this was her birthplace and she was always very proud of it. (Charlotte told me this.)

March 9, Jolin Globe “Society” reports ” The ladies of the Lutheran church gave Mrs. E L. Buley of No 812 Pennsylvania avenue a surprise party Friday afternoon, March 17 as she is leaving for Portland Ore. Refreshments were served and the ladies presented her with a beautiful souenir spoon. Those present were: Mesdames M. Elsner, Elsner, E.A. Becter, Geldmacher, Morganthaler, Saulstick, John Bauer, Eggart, S,

Yeager, Maeder, John Moats, Damm. Voscamp and Cutler. Perhaps, these are some of the women in the picture of the Lutheran Aid Society form 1908.

March 11, Fred in San Antonio. Telegram to August. “How would you like to hear Roosevelt with me and see the soldiers.?’

March 12, Sunday Globe “Society” reports, At the S.V.Whist club on Wednesday Mrs. Fred Dieter was not there. This is probably not the same as the birthday whist club that Frieda had attended so faithfully in January.

On March 9, Mrs C.C.Hebbard won the Bridge prize. Was this the friend of August??????

Also reports. “In honor of her cousin Miss Mary Allie Millet of Larned, Kansas, who was her guest last week. Miss Frances Hancock of No. 1910 Moffet avenue entertained at whist Monday evening. (March 5th) Diamonds were the trump of the evening and this furnished an idea for the lunch and decorations which were carried out in diamond shapes

At whist Miss Mary Delany received the first prize and Herbert Benedict received the gentleman’s first prize. Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. W.G. Frank, Mr and Mrs. Earl Geren, Misses Anna Schulte, Ella Divine, Minnie Herring, Veva Van Norman, Tillie Geldmacher, Mary Delaney, Mary Allie Millet of Larned Kan, Messrs. Herman and Aloph Geldmacher, John Schulte, Will Davis, John Delaney and Herbert Benedict.

NB. There are no Elsner or Dieter folks at this party!

Also reports ” Mrs. Fred Dieter of No. 1806 Empire delightfully entertained the Sans Formes Embroidery Club Friday (9th) afternoon. Needlework was the diversion of the afternoon, and at 4 o’clock the hostess served a delightful lunch. Misses Kate Dieter and Emma Brandli were guests of the club. The members present were Mesdames Martin Brotherson, George Weimer, I.L. Burch, WillGebar, Clarence McAntire, John Kinmouth, Frank John, John Klotz, Will Guinan and W. G, Franks.

Mrs.I.L. Burch will entertain the club Tuesday, March 14.”

March 15, August celebrates 21st birthday

March 17, Friday Globe full of stories about the Mexican rebels” Madero is about 100 miles south of El Paso.” ” Madero is the only man authorized to conclude an armistice, President Diaz must step down” “Chihuahua is the city where negotiations will take place”.(see post cards to August at this time from El Paso where the newspaper reports are coming from.

March 18, Saturday pg.7


Big audience greets pupils of jacson school.

“To increase the funds for the purpose of buying apparatus for the school play ground”…..”The hit of the entertainment last night was a piano duet byDe Ette and marguareta Dehm. The former is 7 years old and has had piano lessons for only about 5 months she is in second grade in school. Marguerite is 10 years old and has been taking lessons for about one year. She is in the sixth grade. (there girls also played at the germania hall christmas party)

March 21, Globe report from El Paso”Madero insists Diez must step down” Is Hattie watching these reports from the city of her birth! Its all over the front pages of the newspapers.

March 22, Monday globe said ” a large audience in Joplin’s New theater to hear Madame Nordica, soprano “transcendently perfect” arias from Madame Butterfly, etc. Martha Bliedung was there. Was Hattie there? She certainly heard about it.

March 22, Fred in El Paso… Frieda sends telegram to August.”Dear Brother, I leave for El Paso Thursday evening. Nothing serious,only Fred wants me to come. Good Bye will answer your appreciated letter as soon as I get settled. Love, Frieda” What a time to go to El Paso. Things are really hot there. Taft has sent troops there to foil “internal Mexican threat to American business from the increasing menacing insurrection” (Tuchmanp.37) Word was going around that the Japanesse were going to in the US with Mexica as its invasion point. Yellow peril!

What a time to go to El Paso!

March 24, Friday, JG Local Item ” Mrs. Fred Dieter formerly of No. 1805 Empire street, went to El Paso, Texas yesterday morning to join her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Dieter will make their home in El Paso, on acount (sic) of Mr. Dieter’s health.

Frieda wrote a post card to August dated 3/2?, Dear Brother. I leave for El Paso, Thursday eve. Nothing serious only Fred wants me to come. Good Bye. Will answer your appreciated letter as soon as I get settled, Good Bye, Frieda.

JNH, 3/24/1911

“Mrs. C.A. Dieter has gone to El Paso, Texas, to join her husband, who is in the South on account of his health. Mr. and Mrs. Dieter formerly lived at 1906 Empire street.”

March 26, Sunday. Triangle Shirtwaist fire in NYC is reported in Joplin Globe . No JG society page in this edition has survivied.

JNH, 3/26/1911 Sunday p.19

Mrs J. Kilmouth of Chestnut street had a Whist party Wednesday afternoon but there were no Dieters or Elsners there.

” The Ladies Society of the Lutheran Evangelical church surprised Mr. William Brandli of 616 Melvin ave last Monday afternoon by going in a body to her home to assist in the celebration of her sixtieth birthday. They presented a beautiful painted salad bowl to the hostess. The self-invited guests included Mmes. Fred Dieter, C.A.Dieter, George Weimer, William Grandlie, Jr., E. Moais, G. Younkin, S. Geier, P. Weimer, E. Lawrence, O. Johnson, Charles Schifferdecker, J. W.Morganthatler, M. L. Eckart, John Swinsberger, S. Geldmacher, F. Kutler,and L.E. Voskamp. (no Elsners)

this is the mother of Frieda Dieter who is leaving soon to join her husband in Texas.

Monday, March 27, America’s Greatest Prima Donna, Madame Lillian Nordica. One of the Great Queens of Song of the whole world and the most famous artist who ever favored Joplin with a visit. At the New Jo;in Theater. Did Hattie go? Did she want to go?

March 29, Fred writes to August that he is feeling better now in El Paso.

Fred is already sick in Texas when his brother dies in Joplin.

March 30, Thursday “Big Smoker at Germania Hall Friday. A unique event in the politiacl annals of the city will take place at the Germania Hall when the Bryan Club will act as host to the Democracy of Joplin…a great ratification meeting as a fitting climax to a campaign that has been conducted cleanly and with rate unity of party purpose.”

April, 1911, Fred sends a picture from El Paso, Texas. It is probably sent to his parents. It is a picture of the house where his younger sister, Hattie, was born in 1886. “At intersection of Magoffin and San Antonio Sts.” There is a woman sitting on the porch, perhaps, George Philip’s wife, Emma. The house has a “For Sale” sign on it. This picture was in a photo album kept by the young Elsner family in the early 1900’s. It is in the possession of Paula Elsner Mac Quiddy and was sent to her cousin Gretchen Elsner-Sommer ( me)  in the summer of 2011.

Click on image to enlarge

April 2, Sunday JDG, Mrs. W. G. Frank of 2019 Kentucky Ave. was hostess to Dans Forms Emboridery Thursday afteronno ( no mentio of who was there) Mrs. Will Gobar of 6th and Pearl street will host the next meeting. NB2019 is right next door to the house that Hattie and Max first moved into after their wedding. How did they lose this house? Mrs W. G. Franks was a neighbor and a friend. Later Mrs. W. G. Franks address is given as 2109.

April 2, Sunday JDG Churches Immuel’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. German Lenten Services every Wednesday evening at 7:45 o’clock until Easter.

“601 North Pear street home of Frank Irwin a saloon keeper. Burglers start fire after ransacking home. Piano and parlor suite completely ruined neighbor called fire department” just blocks away from the Dieter’s home.

Independent telephone service lists numbers, names and addresses in paper but no one we know.

Groceries stores must be closed all day Sunday.

Joplin Post Office record sales for stamps in March.

April 4, JDG front page ” last night in the fog, It was the first real fog of the year The grey ozone lay over the city like a comfort and at time it was impossible to distinguish objects a few feet distant. Pedestrians had some trouble “navigating”.

April 5, Wednesday. “Germania elects officers. Wm.Fehrenbach heads list

At the annual meeting of the Joplin Turin Verein Germanina the followin officers were elected for the coming year. William Fehrenbach, Erster Sprecher: Frank Johns, Zweiter Sprecher; William Dehm, Kassenwart; Charles Reutlinger, Schiftwart; Peter Braeckel, Turnwart; Frank Braeckel, August Maeder, Henry Schulte, trustees.

April 9, Sunday JDG, Frank Bauer, 1812 Kentucky Ave. daguther Bertha married . large wedding at home members of the German Lutheran Church, Wednesday evening, German ring service of the German Lutheran Church. (N B Hattie also had a beautiful ring service)

April 11, JDG Tuesday, Germanin Hall Planned- Members of the jOplin Societies go to Springfield-May follow example- It is posbable that Joplin wil have a new Germania hall after the visit of thirty members of the local society return from Springfield, where they went in a special car to witness the formal dedication of a new hall at that place. The hall at Springfield was built at an expence of $15.000. All fours of the societies in springfield joined in its constructionl. The joplin Germania now has 135 members and has outgrown itthe present samll hall on the corner of Thired and joplin streets. Shoudh a new hall be built it will be equipped with reading rooms, gymnasium, game rooms baths and other luxuries. Members of the society at Springfield will hold a large banquet to which members of sisters societies from all parts of the siate have been invited. A part of the Joplin memebers will return next Monday night.

April 13 JDG Cyclone sweeps district and kills 2(?). 13 injured. The North part of Joplin felt the sorn most severly-lasted five minutes phones down and electricity down, 8:30 pm.

Death toll of tornado in KS and OK 23. 2 persons killed at Lawrence,KS

April 15, Saturday, JDG. ” August Dieter came home from Columbia yesterday and will visit during the Easter Holidays with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Dieter at 510 North Pearl street.

April 16 Sunday, JDG Easter Sunday, “clubs will resume Activity after Lenen Vacation.

Looks like the services for Easter at the Immuel’s Evangelical Lutheran Church are the same as always. Strange that there is no special Easter Service.

April 19, JDG Democrates take charge of affairs. New Members of Administration sworn into office.

Lots of talk of Mexican War.

Rebels are trying to overthrow Diez who has been president forever.

He himself was once a rebel with Santa Ana and then against Santa Ana.

All rebels are united under ??????

I’m so struck by reading the papers by how prosperous Joplin is. This is the way Uncle Ralph always talked about Joplin as a booming place and his family was right in the middle of it.

April 23, Sunday JDG “A number of friends of Mrs. L.E.VosKamp of No. 703 Murphy avenue surprised her Tuesday afternoon in honor of her birthday anniversary. Whist was the diversion of the afternoon and Mrs. Ferd Ulrich received the first prize, a handsome centerpiece, edged with crocheted lace which she presented to the hostess. Mrs. M. Braeckle received the second prize, a hand decorated plate.

The surprisers took with them a two course luch, which was served by the hostess after the games of whist. She was assisted by Mrs. James Madeira, Mrs. Will Berry, Mrs. Alois Johns and Miss Laura Bartman her sister from Concordia, Mo.

The guests presented Mrs. VosKamp with a beautiful mahogany chair as a remembrance of her birthday anniversary. Those in the party were Mesdames J Madeira, Will Berry, Al Johns, F. Johns, C. Burgess, J, Dorizzi, F. Graeckal, Geroge Weimer, William Dehm, W, Fehrenbach, Peter Graeckel, W. Henckel, W. Meyer, M. Braeckel, J. Klotz, M. Elsner, F.Bergdoll, G.A. Elsner, H. Eckert, C, Archer. F.Ulrich,of Galena G Person, C. Reutlinger . M. Kolb, F.Juttler, J. Stricke, W. Gobar. J. Obertachner, E. Overly, C,A, Dieter. W.G. Franks, M, Klotz, Misses Laura Bartman and Frances Burcke.

April 23, JDG Whist Birthday club had their first meeting since Lenten season began.

April 28, Friday. A “postal card” shower for Mrs. S.E. Doney at No.301 Pearl Street. It was her 68th birthday and all her friends had sent postal and overworked the post office.

April 28, JDG ” Joplin Boy has narrow escape in Mexican battle” Guy B. Randall a Jolpin who is chied engineer of the Gugenheim interests in Vallendena , Mexico….He probaly will return this summer to resume his studies in the school of Engineering at Columbia, Missouri..

April 28, JDG ” El Paso selected as meeting place of Peace mission”

April 29, JDG Pg.6. “Mrs. J. E. Bergdoll of Kansas City is visiting her sister, Mrs. W.G. Franks, here”.

April 30, Sunday JDG Birthday whist club Thursday afternoon with Bergdoll, Franks, Kinmouth, Brotherson, Johns, Tabler, George Weimer, Burch, no Elsner,no Dieter.

April 30, Sunday JDG, Wednesday afternoon, birthday anniversary surprise. Eckert, Fahrenback, Reutlingerm George Weimer, Mike Kolb, Dorizzi, etc. no Elsner, no Dieter

April 30, JDG Anna Johns, married Mrs. Frank Johns matron of honor. Daughter of Mr and Mrs. Fred Johns. At St. Peter’s catholic church.

April 30, Sunday JDG Miss Anna Schulte of No. 903 Virginia avenue entertained informally Tuesday eveing at whist. Mrs. Earl Geren received first prize and Mrs. W. G. Franks the consolation of the ladies and W. G. Franks, received the gentleman’s prize and Earl Geren was consoled.

After the games the hostess served a three-course luncheon. The club members present were Mr. and Mrs. G. Franks, Misses Tillie Geldmacher, Frances Hancock, Messrs Herbert Benedict and Adolph Geldmacher. Mr. and Mrs, Walter Arcularius and Mr. and Mrs Will Cordrey were quests of the club. (no Dieters, no Elsners)

May 2, Tuesday, Hattie’s birthday, 25 years old. Probably no celebration

May 6, JDG Saturday, Churches ” Immanuiel’s Evangelical Lutheran church . corner of Ninth street and Moffet avenue- Sunday school 9:30 a.m.; German service 10:30 a. m. There will be no English services Sunday evening. The Luther Society will meet at the home of Mrs. Sm Yaegerm 117 North Byers avenue next Thursday evening.

May 7, JDG, Society, Wednesday afternoon a birthday surprise was given for Mrs. Peter Braeckel. Mrs. G.A.Elsner received first prize at Whist. (No Dieters were there although lots of their ususal friends were)

Also a Whist party Wednesday evening with usual people but no Dieters.

May 7, Sunday at 1 P.M. Brother George Philip died of T.B. at his parents home, 410 N. Pearl after a two-year illness. Funeral services by Rev. Matuski from Pittsburg, KS.

Hattie is two months pregnant at the time. Does she know that she is pregnant?

This must be very hard to be pregnant at the time of your brother’s death.

No paper on Monday! At least no paper found in this collection on microfilm.

May 9 Tuesday, JDG pg 2, first column…..

Attendance at Lakeside Park Breakd Records-Ladies Rest Room proves popoluas Innovation.

The attendance at lakeside parkt last Sunday afternoon wans evening broke the records giving the management reason to believe that the many imporvement hath have been made at the popolar resort since the close la last season will be appreciate by its patrons.

While the feature of the afternoon was the double-header baseball game between Trolley League Teams, the great variety of other entertainments….

(directly below is this article

May 9, Tuesday, JDG pg.2. George Philip Dieter Dies at father’s home.

Young Contractor fails to recover from protracted illness.

George Philip Dieter, 28 year old. Died after a prolonged illness at the home of his father, C.C. Dieter (sic) No. 410 North Pearl street at 1:15 o’clock Sunday afternoon. Mr Dieter was born January 11, 1883 in Wichta, Kan. He came here with his father about ten years ago and completed his education in the Joplin High school. He became a brick mason and at one time was president of the Joplin Bricklayers/ Union. Soon afterwards he entered the contracting department on his own account. And continued in that occupation until forced to stop by the illness that finally resulted in his death. Mr. Dieter is survived by a young wife and two children. A son. 3 years old and a daughter, 2 years old. His father and mother Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Dieter, two brothers, Fred Dieter of El Paso, Texas and August Dieter of Joplin, and two sisters Miss Katherine Dieter and Mrs. Mac Elsner of Joplin also survive.

Funeral services will be conducted at the residence at 2:30 this afternoon by the Rev. Mr. Matushki of the Lutheran church at Pittsburg, Kan. Internment will be made at Mount Hope Cemetery.

May 9, soure unknown perhaps Joplin Daily Harold

Funeral of George Philip Dieter today. After a prolonged illness of over a year’s duration Georlge Philip dieter, 28 years and four months old , died at the home of the parents’ Captain and Mrs. C. A. Dieter, 410 North Pear street, at 1 o’clock. Sunday afternoon.

The funeral was held at the family residence today at 2;30 p.m. conducted by Rev. Matuchka, pastor of the Pittsfield, Kan., Lutheran Church, with internment at Mount Hope cemetery. The Germania Society of which Mr. Dieter was a member attended the the funeral in a body. The singing society of that organization rendered two vocal numbers, the Prayer by Otto and Rest by Kuhlau at the grave.

“The first sign of ill health was noticed by Mr. Dieter about two years ago, when we was advised to go to the Southwest for his benefit of his health. Accompanied by his wife and two children he went to El Paso, Tex., where he remained about one year. There he was visited by his mother, Mrs. C.A. Dieter and his eldest sister. On the advice of physicians, he left El Paso going to a sanitarium at Denver but the change did not produce the results expected and he returned to Joplin in July of 1910.

Since then he has been under the care of Dr. Freeman and everything that medical science could do was employed to restore failing health, but without avail.

Mr. and Mrs. Dieter built an enclosed porch over the front entrance to their home at 410 pearl Street where the son could obtain all fresh air desired and the benefits of the climate without undue exertion. Every comfort, every convenience was extended the sufferer by the parent’s, wife and family when at 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon almost without an effort, like the lightest zephyr that wafts the tree tops in midsummer, he peacefully passed away apparently without a struggle or pain whatever.

A few moments prior to dissolution he asked for a drink of water, His head was raised from the pillow, and after the beverage and a tablet were given, death ensued. The spirit of lide had departed.

A young man in the prime of life whole future gave every promise of a brilliant career and success in business is but down by the grim Monster. The wife, two little children will mourn for the husband and father: the parents brothers and sisters, for the son and brother.

There is comfort and solas in their sorrow and grief—the husband, father and brother was kind, affectionate, ever mindful of his duties to his family, his parents, and the other members of the household. He was honest and fair in his business transactions, a good neighbor and true in his friendships and during his short span of years on earth truly make the world better for having lived in it.

George Philip Dieter was born at Wichita, Kansas on January 11, 1883. He was married to Emma Moritz in Joplin four years ago. Of this union there are two children, a boy of three years of age and a little girl 18 months. the surviving relatives are the wife and two children and the parents….two brothers, fred Dieter who has been in el Paso several months but who arrived in Joplin last night and August Dieter a student at Columbia, who returned Monday and two sisters, Miss Katie Dieter and Mrs. Helen Elsner.

The deceased was a faithful and consistent member of the Lutheran church and was communicant of the local parish. he was also a member of the Germnia Society. Two weeks ago he requested the singing society of the organization to come to his father’s house and sing two favorite numbers, but it was thought that he was not able to bear up under the ordeal and that it would unduly excite him and the plan was abandoned.

He served an apprenticeship as bricklayer with the Dieter and Wenzel Construction Company and help a number of responsible positions with the firm., becoming an accomplished mechanic. later, he began business for himself, forming a partnership under the firm title of Dieter and Bugenhagen, which met with success as contractors from the start. One of their contracts was the building of the Central Methodist (south Methodist) Church at Webb City, a large and beautiful edifice that cost $50.000. Other large contracts were filled by the firm in Joplin and Southwest Missouri towns and cities. Mr. Dieter continued his contract work until ill health compelled him to abandon it.

Numerous floral offerings were received from the many friends of Mr. Dieter in and out of the city. One very beautiful offering came from the classmates fo august Dieter at Columbia.

the pallbearers were Adolph Geldmacher, Charles Brandli, F.E. Payne, joyn kumme., conrad wenzel and Oliver Barbee.

May 9, Tuesday, JDG pg 10.Local Items. Second item. Mr and Mrs Fred Dieter will arrive in Joplin this morning from their home in San Antonio, Tex. to attend the funeral of the former’s brother Philip Dieter.

May 10. Wednesday, JDG pg2 Column 2 top and picture. Gustave Mahler is critically ill….for two years he conducted the New York Philharmonic. Last year he wrote a great choral Symphony.

Pg 2. Column 5 bottom Obituaries Dieter- Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock over the body of George Philip Dieter, 28 years old who died Sunday. The services were conducted in the residence at No.410 North Pearl Street with burial of the body at Mount Hope Cemetery. There is no JDG published on Monday.

NB Mahler and Philip are on the same page! Philip was a singer!

In Memoriam. Mr. Geo. Phil. dieter’s final journey to his rest let along a slow but certain path. With the end ever in view the Lord enabled him to bear up patiently until the hour came for the call to come home at 1 p.m. on sunday May 7, 1911.

Mr. Dieter was born in Wichita, Kan., Jan. 11 1883. He was baptized later by Rev. Roschke at Sarcoxie, Mo.,and was confirmed at Sarxocie by Rev. mantke, now residing in Chicago.

The following friends of the deceased served as pa;; bearers; Messrs. A. Geltmacher, Chas.Brandli, F.E. Payne, J.Krummel, Conrad Wenzel, and Oliver Barbee. ( This newspaper clipping was found with several others among Dieter papers sent to me by Debbie Elsner Stewart. They had all once been mounted in a scrapbook. By whom I do not know.)

Also: Mourn Phil Dieter’s Death

At a meeting last night, the members of the bricklayers (sic) union of Joplin appointed a committee to draft resolution over the death of Phil Dieter. A floral werath was also ordered. the committee is headid by A.J. McCaffrey as chairman.

Also: George P. Dieter Funeral services were conducted over the body of George Philip dieter at his home, 410 North Pearl street at 2:30 o’clock this afternoon and burial was made a Mt. Hope cemetery. Prv. Matuschka of Pittsfield conducted the service. members of the Turnverin Germania society attended in a body.

May 11, Thursday JDG front page. Juarez is captured by rebels after bloodiest battle of the revolution”

May 11, Thursday, JDGpg10 Local Item (second item)”Will Dieter of Wichita is visiting his parents Mr. and Mrs. C. A, Dieter of 406 North Pearl street for a few days.” (sic) this must be August who would have been in town from Columbia. Or perhaps, it was Will Dieter a nephew from Wichita.


May 13, Saturday, JDG Emmuel’s Evangelical Lutheran Church corner of Ninth street and Moffet avenue. Sunday School 9:30 a.m. German services 10.30 a.m. English Services 7:45 p.m. Rev. O.Matuschka of Pittsburg, Kan will deliver the English Sermon. Rev. L.Seidel is able to sit up some occasionally and is gradually gaining strength.

May 13 JDG Local Item. Mr. & Mrs. H.E. Brandli of Ottuma Ia. will arrive Sunday morning to visit the former’s brother William Brandli and family of No. 616 Melvin street. For several weeks. (On May 23, Mr. H. E. is going back after visiting his parents….his wife will remain for 2 or 3 more weeks)

“Dancing Dancing go to Lakeside Park, Tuesday and Friday Nights .Free Music Free Putman’s Band”

May 14, Sunday, JDG Kaiser will attend ceremonies . Wiesbaden Germany . The German Emperor depa

rts for London tonight where he will take part in the ceremonies at the unveiling of the statue of Queen Victoria. He will be joined by the empress and Princess Vitoria Luise on the way and the roal party will remain in the British capital for a week.

May 17, JDG “Eighty more Students of M.U. Quarantined. Latest Report of Number Having Small pox is Seventeen, Of Whom Fourteen are students.” Did August go back to school yet? The family must have worried about this!

May 19, JDG “Gustav Mahler, the composer, is Dead.” May 18 in Vienna.

” Picnic season inaugurated at lakeside and Grounds are crowded with Merry makers.”

May 20th Saturday JDG churches Immanuel’s etc…..The Rev. O. Matusehka will preach the German sermon in the evening. On May 28th in the afternoon our parochial school will celebrate its annual picnic at Kolb’s Grove near Castle Rock. The children will render a program. The Rev. L. Seidel is still imporving. He feels strong enough to go to Quincy, Ill., where he will stay until the end of Junem when according to his physicaiansm he will be likely to return to Joplin.

May 21, Sunday, Parties of whist and embroidery are continuing In Joplin but the names of Dieter and Elsne are not among the quests.

May 26, Friday, JDG Diez yields presidency of Mexico. All quiet!

Local items, Mrs. H.E. Brandli of Ottuma, Ia who is visiting relatives in this city and Mrs. Fred Dieter were the guests of Mrs. Leslie Davis in Carthage yesterday

May 27, JDG Saturday, pg7 Dreamland, a Coney Island Park, Burns At Early Morning Hour Fire Departments were Unale to Check Progress of Flames–by Associated Press . New York , May 16, Fire broke out early this morning in Dreamland a big amusement park on Coney Island.

The blazze spread rapidly and seemed to threaten the entire park.

The flames were first seen at the lower end of the park next to the ocean and spread rapidly, fanned by stiff sea breezes. Four alarms were turned in within a few minutes and at 2:15 the fire was rolling unchecked towards Surf avenue. Shortly afterwards a fifth alarm was turned in for the fire.

The season at Dreamland and the other Coney Island parks opened only last Saturday night. The park was entirely renovated during the winer. Dreamlans was the second of the big parks to be established on the island Its tall tower, gleaning with electric lights, was a conspicuous feature form the ocean at night and by day loomed up a commanding object form all sides.

Hattie and Kate had been to Coney Island on June 22, 1908. Hattie wrote about it in her travel diary.

Their parents were setting sail for Europe. It was a very different time.

They must have talked of this fire, as the family gathered together.

May 28, Sunday JDG Immamuel’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (etc.)

The Rev. A. C. Meyer of Onett, Mo. will preaach in the morning. After the morning service a special car will leave 4th and Main street at 1 o’clock for Kolb’s Grove near CastleRock where our parochial school will celebrate its annual picnic. The children will render a progran starting at 2 p.m. On next Thursday aafternon the Ladies Aid Society will meet a the home of Mrs. Max Lorenz 1220 Bird Street. The voting memebers will meet next Wednesday in the Church.

May 28, JDG ” pure milk this summer he promises. ” In order to prevent another epidemic of ptomaine posonin in Joplin such as occurred last year, local phycisians are already giving gussesiions and advice regarding the proper care of milk in the home. It is daid that almost all of last year;s cases of ptomaine posiconing were directly traceable to the use of impure mils, partly caused by unsanitary condition in which the mile was kept.” Ralph told me that the three boys had died because of mild from a sick cow. I guess this was what the family told themselves and what they passed on to the next generation. With this mild scare at the time the deaths bagan one can see how it all got started.

May 28, Sunday JDG. Monday afternoon the home of Mrs. John Klotz of 802 Conor avenue was taken possession of by a number of friends, who came as a surprise to her to help celebrate her birthday anniversary. Whist was enjoyed during the afternoon and Mrs. Ernest Gobar received the first prize, while Mrs. Henry Merk was given the consolation. The surprisers presented Mrs. Klotx with a handsomd umbrella. After a delightful afternoon at cards the hostess assisted by Mrs. Will Gobar and Mrs. Martin Brotherson , served a two course luncheon which was provided by the guests.

Those who composed the party were Mesdames Frank Johns, A. Johns, William Dehms, George Weimer, Martin Guinan, W. G. Franks, I.L.Burch, Martin Brotherson, Will Gobar, Mike Kolb, M, A, Elsner, William Seifert, Jake Oberlechner, Herman Eckart, F.J. Bergdoll, John Kammerer, Marcus and Peter Braeckel, Willian Reutlinger, William Myer, Willim Tabler, William Hinckel, E,E, Johnson, Henry Merk, Ernest Gobar, J.P.Belanger of Marionette , Wis. And Mrs. H.E. Brandli of Ottumwa, Ia.

(Hattie first time socializing after the death of her brother two weeks earlier. Why did she want to go to this particular party?)

May 28, JDG Mrs W.G. Franks of 2109 Kentucky avenue enteretained the Birthday Whist Club (day not given) but no Dieters or Elsners are present.

But the same people who were at the party for Mrs. Klotz were there.

It was in honor of her aunt Mrs. J.P. Belanger of Marionette, Wis who is visiting at her home.

May 28 JDG Mrs Fred Johns of No.604 Moffet avenue entertained the Sans Formes Embroidery Club Tuesday afternoon. Aside from the regular club members Mrs. John had as her guests Mrs. J, P. Belanger of Mrionett, Wis., Mesdames G.A. Elsner, F.J.Bergdoll, and H. W. Grandli of Ottuwas, Ia. The guests present were Mesdames martin Brotherson, William Guinan. I.L. Burch, Fred Dieter, Will Gobar, Johen Kinmouth, John Lkotz and Gerge Weimer. Afterh the ususal diversion of needlework the hostess served a delightful two course luncheon.

May 28, Sunday Immuel Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Rev. A.C. Meyer of Monett, Mo will preach in the morning. After the mornin service a sperical car will leave 4th and Main streeet at 1 o’clock for Kolb Groove near Castle Rock where our parochial school will celebrate its annual picnic. The children will render a program starting at 2 p.m. On next Thursday afternoon the Ladies Aid Society will meet at the home of Mrs. Max Lorenz 1220 First Street. The voting members will meet next Wednesday evening in the Church.

May 29, Monday, Aviators to seek Records Here today. Sensational Flights at Electric Park. Hugh Robinson and Jommy Ward are filling a 3 day engagement at electric Park.

June 4, Sunday JDG Sunday Services ” Immanuel’s Evangelical Lutheran Church….. The pastor J. C. Roshke, will preach here on June11in the morning. The Lutheran Society will meet t the home of Miss Lysia Stumpf of 609 west Thirteenth street next Thursday evening. Local Item. The ladies Aid will give an ice cream socail on the lawn of the Lutheran curhch norner Ninth and Moffetr avenue Wednesday evening June 7. Everyone cordially invited.

June 4 Sunday, JDG Society ” Mr. and Mrs. George Weimer, Mr, and Mrs. Fred Dieter, Mrs. H. E. Brandli of Ottumwa,Iowas and Misses Anna and Emma Brandlie were the guests of the Priscilla Embroideray Club at a picnic at lakeside park Tuesday evening, After a delightful supper spread on on the ground, the members of the party enjoyed the carious amusements of Lakeside park. Those from Barthage in the party wre:Messrs, and Mesdames Lea Wormington, C Yarboro, Leslie Davis, J, Wormington, McCauley, Miss Ina Fugitt, Messrs, Harry Berger and William Titua.

June 8, Thursday JDG Local Item- Fred Dieter of 1806 Empire has gone on a fishing trip near Galena, Mo. (This is the same address they had before they moved to El Paso. Did they own or rent?) Seems like a good time to be leaving town because lots of conventions are coming in and thousands of quests are expected.

June10, Saturday JDG ” Mrs Carrie Nation dies of Paresis. World Famous Temperance Reformer Passed away in Leavenorth Sanitarium Last Night. – Is a Result of Worry- Only smiles Calmly when Told of Approaching End-Physician and Nurse at Bedside.(born in Ky.1846)

Lots of conventions being held in Joplin. Missouri Press Association, Laundrymen, Drummers, Dentists,

June11, JDG Federal Court to convene in Joplin Monday

June 11, JDG Society, “Extremely hot weather”.

“Birthday Whist Club” and Sans Formes Embrodery met last week but members names weren’t given.

Crystal cave is where the wives of the conventioners are taken. “which shuld prove interesting to the ladies who have never seen the formation of the mining groundin Missouirl”

Wednesday June 14, JDG, Court House burns caused by explosion. Corner of seventh Street and Virginia avenue.

Sunday, June 18, Society “exodus to Summer Resorts, Noeth, East, and West, Begins in Earnest-Activities Among Society Folk Are Few–Few Formal Affairs Given

June 22, Thursday, JDG England will Crown King George (V) today.”

(King George and Queen Mary have five children, Albert Henry and edward, Mary and Philip. Edward is 17 and Heir to the throne.)

June 27, Tuesday,JDG, pg. 2 Joplin Society Folk Now Seek cool Retreats. More June caxationists are leaving Joplin this jyear than ever before in the hostory of city….Never before has there been such a egress of rest and pleasure seekers so early in the summer.

June 27, JDG pg.10 Local Items.Mr and Mrs. C. A. Dieter and daughter Miss Kate, of No. 410 North Pearlstreet have returned from a three weeks’ fishing trip near Galena. Their sons expect to remain another week. remain another week. (sic)

June 30, Local Item JDG Miss Anna Schifferedecker who maker her home with her sister, Mrs.William Meyers of No. 621 Melvin Ave. has gone to Girard to cisit her parents Mr. and Mrs. J. Schifferdecker for a couple of weeks.

NB I think this is wrong date:

June 30, a crowd of 2,500 cheered as the Katy train roared into Joplin Union Depot

July 1, JDG Saturday morning. Just nine years after the first Katy train entered Joplin and one year from the day work was started on the structure, train no.88 on the Missouir, Kansas & Texas line pulled into the station last night at 10:30 a.m. It was the first train to enter the new depot. A fiery salute from skyroickets and torpedoes was answered by the shrill whistle of the engine amid the cheers of more than 2,000 spectators.

What was the “country Club”? According to the JDG “people motored there from Joplin and surrounding motored there to enjoy the evening in the cool breezes from the lake” they could also take a train. Whre was it? Were the Dieter’s members?

July 2 JDG Madame A. Elsner attended a party on Thursday but there were no Dieter’s there but Kolb, Braeckel, Meyer, Schulte, Burke, Johns,Dehm, Weimer and other familia names at 1601 Moffet hosted by Mrs. Frank Johns.

July 4, very hot! Electric Park, fire works, Baseball, Fred Vaudeville

July 2th advertisement ” Be a Suffragette. Cast you vote for Electricity in the home. See that your Husband takes advantage of our Exceptional House Wiring offer. An Example a 5-room house Wired. Complete with . Tungsten Fictures and Tungsten Lamps $17.75. The Empire District Light Company. ( Max later got into the eletric business…)

July 7, Pg. 1, “Inquisition of Prohibitionary laws violations held” in Galena,KS. (but the spirit is in the air against liquor.

Pg2 article about the “Maine” possibly bowing up from with in

July 8, Saturday, pg 7 Large ad for Sunny Brook Whiskey which can be ordered at. Fehrenbach Wine and Liquor, Joplin. This is where Max worked…and Inter-state Mercantile co. 301 Main Street.

July 9, Sunday JDG. CHURCHES. Mrs. I.L. Burch and Mrs. Henry Merke entertained the German Lutheran Aid Sociiety at the home of the latter in Spring Park, Thursday afternoon. Thirty members were present.

July 11, Tuesday, pg.2. Joplin Germania Aids a former member in Need.

Danhakl Family will receibe financial assistance. Society raises fund for Miner who loses eyesight and Limb in Accident.

July 13, Thursday. Germania Society Picnic. Pg. 6

Meeting tonight will Furnish all Arrnagements. Arrangements for a picnic to be held by the Joplin Germania Sociaty will be completed tonight at the regular weekly meeting of the sociey in Germania hall at Third and joplin Streets. This will be the second of a series of summer outtings arranged by the society the first having taken place seeralweeks ago. Mike Kolb’s gove, siturated east of the city is to be the scene of the outing, as in preivious picnics. The date for the affair will probably be set for next week, A big basket hinner with ginhing and speaking will be the feature of the occasion. An effort is to be made to seure an out-of-town speaker. The Saenger Society a branch fo the Germania Society is also arranging to hold an outing of their own in the near future.

July 15,pg 6, Saturday, again the liquor ad but this time Joplin Merc. Added as distributor.

July 16 Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Church back in the listings, hasn’t been there this month.

Also finding no traces of Dieters or Elsners in the paper. Maybe they all left town in the heat.

July 16, Sunday, Churches. The Lutheran Society of the Lutheran Church held a social at the home of Mrs. John Moats of No. 1601 pearl Street , Monday evening.

July 18, Tuesday, Stopping only to remove his hat, Joe Schulte jumped into Shoal creek just in time to assist Walter W. Broune in saving Frank Myers from drowning Sunday afternoon suring the pccnic of Joplin Typographical Union No. 850 at Childers ford south of Joplin. …Throwing only his hat to one side Schulte, a powereful swimmer, leaped into the water and with Brown succeeded in landing Myers. Pg 2.

July 20, Thursday. Celebration for opening of new Depot at Twentieth and Main.

The battleship Maine is being brought to the surface and the paper has articles about the progress!

July 21, work to begin on NYC subways. Will be the most elablorate system of underground thoroughfares in the world when completed.

July 26, Wednesday, JDG,” Misses Tillie Geltmacher and Kate Dieter left for Colorado last night to spend a month.” Local items pg.7 ( see poem that Tillie wrote in Hattie autograf book in 1904)

August, Kate is traveling in Colorado. August 6, she writes received the Globes today . She is keeping up with the news in Joplin.

(Kate 27 years old)

July 27, JDG, Thursday Local Item “George Weimer and Fred Dieter have gone on a fishing trip to be gone two or three days” Perhaps they spoke of the will Fred would soon make which George signed five weeks from now.

July 27, JDG, Thursday, pg. 10.

Three Counts filed Against Fehenbeck.

Procecutor Charges Wholesate Liquor Dealer Sold Goods in Less Than Three-Gallon quantities.

Three informations were filed in circuit court yesterday by W. N. Andrews prosecuting Attorney against William Fehrenbach (sic) each charging him with selling less than three gallons of liquor without a dramshop license.

Fehrenbach conducts a wholesale liquor establishment on Sixth street between Joplin and Main streets where it is alleged he sold liquor in quantities less than three gallons, to B. Gordon, Frank Smith and Samuel Mitchell.

(I think Max worked here at the time. I should get in touch with the court and get a record of the transaction.Write the people I have written to before in Carthage)

July 29, Saturday, JDG “Ladies Aid Society ( of Lutheran church) meets Thursday afternoon at the residence of Mrs.M. Klotz’ 617 Moffet ave.

July 30, JDG ” Postal Card Craze has reached its climax.” ..”I believe thr rush to buy the cards will come back” one dealer said ” another merchant said he didn’t believe it will come back ” with all the vim it raged a year ago”

July 30, Sunday JDG, A wedding John Klotz of 607 Moffet and Ola Meese of 626 Moffet in the parsonage of the German Lutheran church. Mr and Mrs. J.(sic) A. Elsner attended. There are also several parties with Brotherson, Gobar, and klotz but no mention of Dieter at all. Where are they?

July 31, Fred is in Memphis, Tenn. and sends a postcard to August.

Circus at electric Park.

August 1, Local Item Misses Clara Morganthaler and Carrie and Adelle Maeder will leave Thursday morning for a motnthe’s visit throughthe eastern states and Canade. They will go from Chicago to Niagra Falls. From there they will go to Toronto, Onlt and will return by way of Buffalo and other eastern cities of interest. ( this is like the trip that Hattie and kate took in 1908, also German girls)

August 1, Tuesday, page 5, JDG “Prosecutors are after wholesale liguor dealers”

….” Assistant Attorney General .W.P. Montgomery said this afternoon that he is in possession of enough evidence to convict Papish of violating the law on 1,000 counts. He further declared that many jointists in the county have in the past procured liquor from Papish and expressed belief that some of them would be required to quit business now that Papish had been arrested. He said that a campaign , equallly as drastic as the one conducted against the retail liquor dealers in this country a few weeks ago would be waged during the next few weeks to drive out the wholesale liquor dealers. Attorney General John Dawson is to assist int eh campaign he said. (did I miss something in the papers about this campaign. I wonder if this has something to do with the big ads I saw in the paper for Liquor distributors)

August 2, Wednesday, Local item.pg.10. Fred Dieter of 1805 Empire Street left yesterday morning for Nashville Tenn for an extended business trip.

August 3, Kate sent a postcard to Hattie from Seven Falls Cheyenne Canyon, colo. kate is traveling with Tillie Geltmacher and Hattie is pregnant with her first child.

August 9, JDG “Rector attacks coming wedding of John J. . Astor.”

We abhor this Astor alliance. It is a devilish proceeding m unholy in its origin, sinful in its procedure. And tis end will be defiance of God’s laws and of our holy religion. We need a nation uniform divorce lwa whixh will put an end to this overriding of court decree and by such social rakes a s John Jacob Astor and the social freaks with whom he associates”

August 12, Liquor add. Fehrenbach Wine and Liquor co.

August 13,Society, Sunday,

“Miss Bess Foster of No. 229 North Byers avenue entertained very informally Thursday evening. Music was enjoyed until a late hour and light refredhments were served. Those present were Misses Ema Brandli, Nellie Johnson. Messrs. Wilbur Henrichs. John Hinkson and Harry Wililkins, Misses Grandli and Johnson stayed at Miss Forter’s and composed a bunking party.

“Mrs. J. Oberlechner of No. 502 Connor avenue was given a surprise party Monday afternoon in honor of her birthday anniversary. Whist was the diversion of the afternoon and Mrs. James ElMadeira won first prixe, cut-glass olive dish, and this she presented to the hostessm Mrs. Oberlechner, Mrs. William Reutlinger was awareded the consolation. The “surprisers” presented to the hostess with a golden oak pedistal. After cards were enjoyed for a xouple of hours. The hostess serverd a two-course luncheon , which the party took with them. She was assisted in the serving by Mrs. William Dehm, Mrs. Frank Johns, Mrs, Joseph Dorizzi and Mirss Lorena Forizzi. (Mrs G.A. Elnser and Mrs. Fehrenbach were there with others but no Dieters.)

August 15, To Prosecute 15 Wholesale Liquor Dealers

Pittsburg Kan. ( there seems to be something in the air against liquor dealers)

August, there is a article in the Globe about the Dieter & Wenzel Construction Co. moving the first house built in Joplin so they could build a new building on the sight.

August 19, Saturday in the Editorials of JDG a refers to Mrs. Emily Newell Glair of Carthage, a writer, her story in September, Cosmopolitan. Did Hattie know her? Did she read her work?

August 20th, JDG Society,

The fourth annual dance for the students of Jasper County at the University of Missouri will be held Sept 6. The president of the University and his wife Ross A. Hill will stay at the home of Mr. and Mrs Burton 524 Moffet near the Elsner home.

A Whist birthday anniversary party was held for Mrs. Frank Johns on Tuesday ateronno. Mrs A. Elsner was there and Mrs. Fehrenbach, Kolb Gobar, etc. no Dieters.

Misses Helen and Hazel Porter at 421 North Pearl had a evening party Thursday night.

A party of young ladies spent Tuesday eeving by taking supper down town and attending the five-cent show then had a slumber party at the home of Bess Foster, 227 North Byers. The party was compposed of Misses Emma Brandli. Bess Foster, Morna Miller, Mary Jones of Carthage, Mary Kisenbee, Nell Johnson and Nell Coon.

August 23, Wednesday, pg 1 “couple are frozen on Pike’s Peak” is kate back yet. Was she there then?

August 30, Lcal Item pg.4 Misses Tellie Geltmacher of No. 825 Pennsylvania avenue and Miss kate Dieter of No. 410 North Pearl street have returned from Colorageo whre e they spent the summer in colorado Springs and Denver.

September 6, Fred Dieter writes his will. Signed by George Weimer and Fred L. Williams.

It is curious that George Philip did not have a will. At least a will that was brought to light.

It is curious that Fred decided at this time to make one for himself. He is sick and returning to Texas.

Was there perhaps something about the Philip’s wife and children not being supported that made it clear to Fred that he should make a will and place it in the hands of his wife’s family.

September 11, Fred is on his way back to El Paso. Sends a postcard to August from Texas.

October 3, first child Paul Adolph born at his grandparents home 410 N. Pearl. Dr. A.B. Freeman and Nurse Mrs. Corman, 7th and Locust.

Hattie gives birth at the same home where George Philip died five months earlier. Her brother Fred is in El Paso.

Dec. 3, Paul Christened by Rev. Seidel, at Lutheran Church

Godfather-G.A. Elsner, Godmother- Mrs. C.A. Dieter

Paul First six months-Very Cross (Hattie writes in baby book)


Max is listed in bold letters as a bookkeeper at Feranbach Wine and Liquor.

The family lives at 123 Moffet (JCD). This was the home of Max’s parents.

June 12 H.J.P. a friend of August’s goes to Europe with Mrs. Schippendecker.

September, Fred and Freida are living in El Paso, Texas.

October Dieter and Wenzel begin Post Office in Kingfisher, OK

Christmas Fred is in Texas.

It must have been a sad Christmas knowing that Fred would soon die.


Max is listed as a bookeeper. No employer is given. Has he lost his job? Family still living at 123 Moffet.(JDC)

Hattie & Family living at 317 North Sargeant.

The Inter State Grocery company is expanding and began the construction of a imposing new warehouse and office structure….. but Max hasn’t worked there for two years.

March 7

Opening of the Union Station in Wichita, Kansas built by Dieter and Wenzel.

Click to enlarge image

May 13

Last concrete laid at Gatan for the Panama Canal.

The Dieter family must have been watching with great interest for years the building of the Panama Canal. They were all engineers or builders.

May 16

Fred Jacob dies of T.B. in El Paso,Texas.

I can’t find a death certificate. Not in Texas and not in Missouri.

According to Joplin papers, his father, mother and wife accompanied the body back to Joplin.

Funeral service in Joplin by Rev. Louis Seidel.

June 4

George Weimer appears before the courts with annexed will of Fred Dieter.

Judge orders other witness to come before and give testimony to annexed will.

June 5

August graduated from University of Missouri. He is now the only remaining son in the Dieter family.

June 9

Fred’s will is filed.

June 19

Forgan Enterprise Newspaper

The following telegram is self explanatory and is good news to all of us who have been waiting so long and patiently.

Joplin, MO.6.18.13

“H.P.Garrett, Forgan, Oklahoma.  Received money for bonds. Work Commences at once. W. C. Swanwick.”

It seems that work is going to begin immediately on a new water system for Forgan, OK. August Dieter will be involved in its construction.

June 26 Forgan Newspaper

“W.C. Swanwick, the water works man came on Monday and brought joy into the tanks of the Froganites. The money has been turned over for the bonds and the work on the system will be commenced this week. The first thing to be done will be to locate a place for the well and Mr. Swanwick says the well tester has been shipped and outght to get here by Thursday.”

Apparently, August Dieter is there in Forgan too.

” Local and Personal” (Forgan Enterprise)

W.C. Swanwick, Harry D Truax and Chief Garrett made a trip to Hooker to see about the waterworks system and electric lights over there Wednesday. Earl Shore took them over in this auto.”

June 27

Post Card to August Dieter in Forgan, Oklahoma. ( Scene in Crystal Cave, Joplin, MO.)

6/13 Your card rec’d this (Friday) A.M. Are all so worried about you and after finally considering the matter decided you had better wait until tomorrow morning to leave Wichita. If this card doesn’t reach you in time or not at all than be sure to let us know right away what has become of you so our will be at ease. Awful hot here and so far no rain but we put a lot of water on the grass every evening. D. Family”

July 3 Forgan Enterprise, Local Newspaper

(Local and Personal)

“August Dieter is here from Joplin, MO. making the surveys preparatory to installing the water works system.”

When August comes to town, he will become friends with the editor, L.B. Tooker,of the Forgan Enterprise.

July 10 Forgan Enterprise

First Material for Waterworks

A carload of tools and pipe for the installation of the water works system arrived last week. Engineer Dieter is getting along nicely with the preliminary work of surveying, establishing grades, preparing chars, etc. The site of the elevated tank and city hall has been laid out just east of Dr. Buckmaster’s office.

Click to enlarge image

Paul Adolph Elsner, 123 Moffet, Joplin, MO.

Paul is approximately 2 years old in this picture. IT is right around the time that his younger brother Ralph was born.

Also note the furnishings in the Elsner home: the fancy rug, the many books in the book shelf, the Blue Boy statue on a pedestal, the handmade doily underneath the statue.

July 19.

Fred’s will is recorded. The only records I have of Fred’s death are all public ones. Their were no memories of him pasted down through the family.

The will is not signed by nor does it have any reference to the Dieter family other than his wife Frieda B. Dieter to whom everything is left.

July 23 Post Card from Helen to August in Forgan, from Joplin

“If I had know (sic) you really wanted to play tennis I don’t think anyone would have objected if I had ask you to play on the court, next time. I was at “Camp Clark” on the James River Saw by the register you had been there this years. Fine place isn’t it, I hope to go back in August.”

Is this from Hattie? Would she have signed a posted card Helen? Would she have wanted to play tennis when she was so pregnant? Perhaps, from another friend named Helen.

July 28 Monday, 6:10 pm, second child Ralph August born.

Dr. M.T. Balsley 210 West 7th St., Nurse Miss Alice Benedict, 111 S. Clinton, Carthage, Mo.

This is the second son born to Max and Hattie within just months of the death of one of Hattie’s brothers.

On this date a post card is sent to August in Forgan. ” Ralph has a 8 pound brother Arrived at 6:10 this evening. Hattie and Boy doing fine.

August sends a telegraph of congratulations from Forgan, OK

July 31 On the front page of the Forgan Enterprise is a story about what August did on this date.

It was written probably by L.B. Tucker who was the editor of the paper. L.B. and August became good friends while August was in Forgan. Ruth Truax also became a friend of August’s.

In a period when so little is known about the everyday life of the Dieter family, this article is a real treasure.

” A Gay Time

A party of young folks held a picnic at the grove, Friday night and in spite of a wind and rain storm which for a time threatened to spoil the whole affair, had one of the best times of their lives. Before the storm had reached its fury a fire had been built and the coffee cooked to a delightful taste. But about that time the thunder, wind and lightening began to compete to see which could outdo the others, so the crowd suddenly broke camp and took refuge in the vacant house on the opposite side of the road. It was discovered however, that the barn close by was a more romantic as well as comfortable place for a spread than the house, so forthwith the fine array of goodies was unloaded and everybody “set to” in the light of the lanterns while the rain beat a tatoo on the roof. Such a feast you never saw, consisting of chicken fried (but not stolen) coffee, sandwiches, pickles, olives, salad, peaches, cake and ice cream. After much feasting inter-mingling with jolly conversation and stump speeches, the crowd again took refuge in the house until the rain ceased and they departed on their homeward journey which was one continuous joy ride. Those in the party were: Mr. and Mrs. Riddle (chaperones), Ruth Truax, Gertrude Comstock, Beatrice Sublette, Anna Sims, Mrs. J. C. Cain, Roy Pritchett, Clarence Bowman, Bob Evans, Otto Stallings, Frank Nichols, August Dieter and L. B. Tucker.

To the immediate left of this article, also on the front page is an article entitled: Despondent; Ends Life

The article goes on to describe the suicide of a Ray Hinkle, 19 years old. This lengthy appearing as it does right next to the joyful picnic article is a sad foreshadowing of August’s own death just three years later.

Ralph christened at home by Reverend Cleveland.

Godfather C.A. Dieter, Godmother- Mrs. G.A.Elsner.

September Dieter and Wenzel Construction Co. is finishing Post Office in Kingfisher, OK

” Built on the “Government Acre,” part of the 1889 land rush set aside for official use, Kingfisher’s Post Office was constructed by Dieter and WEnnzil of Joplin, Missouri, between October 1912 and September 1913,at a cost of $ 46,000. Among the most stricking features are the large cornice brackets that were used to support the overhang of the red-tiled hipped roof. The two-story buff-coloerd stucco buidling, meauring 80 by 46 feet, continued to be used until 1976, when postal operations wer moved to larger quarters. (National Register Listing 01/20/78)” Great American Post Offices, James H. Bruns. John Wiley and Sons, 1998.

September 11 H.D. Trudex finished installing acetylene lighting in his hardware store.

August was good friends with Ruth, his sister.

Lighting along with water must have been the talk of the town.

September 26 Postcard to August in Forgan, Image- Government POst Office, Austin Texas showing Masonic Temple in the rear and Hancock Opera House on the right.

“Austin, TX 9-26-12

What do you think of the old P.O. Building at Austin which will soon be replaced with a better one Father”

October President Wilson flipped a switch in Washington, D.C. and the locks on the Panama canal were set in motion.

November 6 Forgan Enterprise, Local and Personal

“August Dieter, civil engineer for the water works company which installed our syster, left Saturday after several months stay in Forgan.”

November August is in Houston visiting Frieda, his brother’s widow.

November 11 Post Card sent to August in Austin, Texas care of Dieter and Wenzel Construction Company.

“Dear Friend,

Have forwarded dope. Take it from me, this is one lonesome burg now. L.B.T.”

Three postcards from Ruth Truax to August. One in November to Austin and two in December in Joplin.

Ruth Truax’s brother owned the hardware store in Forgan. she was the book keeper.


Max listed as bookkeeper, no employer. The family living at N. Sargeant. Max doesn’t seem to have a job but they buy a new house. Perhaps, they are getting lots of help from their families.

June 28 Archduke Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated. In August WW1 begins.

December 25 Grossmutter Dieter gave Ralph a baby book.Hattie Helen again has a chance to put things in writing.

Baby’s first prayer: Abba, Lieber, Vater, Amen Lieber Gott , Mach mich fromm, dass ich zu Dir in Himmel Komm. Amen


(No Joplin City Directory available)

March 28 Paul Started Sunday School- Very much interested.

May 7 Lusitania sunk by German torpedos. The Dieter and Elsner family were very German identified. This event must have impacted both families intensely.

October 15 Edith Cavell, a British nurse at a Red Cross Hospital in Belgium was executed by a German firing squad for helping 200 allied soldiers to escape. Her execution at 2 A. M. helped to harden American opinion against the Germans.

Hattie and her family would have known about this and no doubt as were effected by it. As was the whole German community in America.

October 20 Nina Martins Schifferdecker died. She was she a friend of Hattie’s mother and had attended Hattie’s wedding. Like Hattie’s mother, she was born in German.

October 30 Charles Schifferdecker died. The Schifferdeckers had come to Hattie’s wedding and were long time friends of her mother and father.

October The dedication of the United Hebrew Congregation Temple which Hattie’s father, Dieter and Wenzel Construction Company, had built.


Dieter and Wenzel Construction Company are listed in the directory but no Wenzels are listed as working with the company. 222 Independence Building.

Dieter and Wenzel are also based in Wichita, KS at this time and begin work on the Grand Junction, Colorado post office.Could all the Wenzels working with the company now be based in KS?????

Max A. Elsner (Hattie) President Farwell H&E Co. 317 N. Sargeant. Perhaps, Max started this company in his home. That’s why he is president.

Dieter, Emma (wd Philip) clk Osterloh’s Book Store 606 Pearl

Dieter, Frieda (wd. Fred) steno Howard & Gray agency 903 W. 5th.

January 10 Villasita (men of Poncho Villa) at Santa Ysabel in the Mexican province of Chihuahua…waylaid a train carrying 17 American Mining Engineers… lined them up stripped them and then shot them down one after the other (see BarbaraTuchman, The Zimmerman Telegram.). Citizens sought to avenge “this foul and brutal murder” El Paso had to be put under marshall law,

January 11 “Mexican bandits kill 16 American taken off train.” Reported in the New York Times from El Paso, Texas.

Hattie and her family would have been very interested in this news. Hattie was born in El Paso and members of the Dieter family still lived there.

This incident also resonated with the tension which was high between the Mexicans and the Americans. A tension which would soon show itself in the Zimmerman telegram when the US entered the war.

The Germans were very interested in Mexico starting a war with the United States.

Roosevelt called for the regular army to march into Mexico just what the German’s wanted.

Hattie must have read about this but she also has two very young children, perhaps she isn’t paying attention.

March 9 Poncho Villa came onto US soil and killed and looted. The United States had promised to back him for President but then backed Carranza instead and Villa was very angry.

March 15 General Pershing was sent to Mexico by Woodrow Wilson with the consent of President Carranza to search for Villa. Pershing had a force of 10,000 men. The mission was called the Mexican Expedition and lasted until 1917. It was considered a failure.

March Hattie writes “Spent several weeks in Sarcoxie, Mo. In March 1916. Had fine time.”

March Paul has measles Very Light, Ralph had measles Quite Sick.

Auto drives all over Joplin” (from Ralph’s baby book)

April Site is selected for building of new High School on block of Eighth, Ninth, Wall and Peral Street. The old building on the southeast corner of Fourth and Byers is no longer large enough.

cite chosen for Tuberculosis Hospital in Webb City.

April 19 Hattie’s youngest brother Carl August died of a bullet wound to the head. He was 25 years old.

Pallbearers were: John Klotz, Charles Hebbard, C.D.Overfel, George Stumpt, Carl Morganthal and Mr Lieberknecht.

I wonder if these Pallbearers believed as the family did that August’s death was an accident.

Perhaps, they knew or thought they knew that August had killed himself.

May 2 Hattie turns 30 just weeks after her younger brother’s suicide.


According to the Joplin City Directory, Max’s company Farwell H&E Company is no longer in business.

Instead, there is a big ad in the 1917 directory for “W.J. Nelson Electric, Everything in Electric, Showroom 120 e. 4th St. W.J Nelson and Max A. Elsner”. Apparently, Max’s own business has failed and he is now in business with W.J. Nelson.

February U.S. breaks trade relations with Germany.

April 6 War is declared on Germany

April 9 C.A.Dieter writes his will. Leaving nothing to Max and Helen’s children and only $5.00 to each of his other grandchildren. He leaves $5.00 to each of his daughters. Everything else is left to his wife who is the executrix of the estate. There is no mention of the Dieter Construction Company.T his will is made out exactly one year after August dies.

Loyalty Day Parade in Joplin. Twenty five thousand gathered in downtown Joplin to show loyalty to their government. This must have been very hard on the Dieters…to see their homeland in war with their new homeland.

July or August? Dieter & Wenzel Construction Co. disassociated.

September 8 There is a cartoon in the Joplin Globe entitled ” When a fellow needs a friend” It shows a lot of disappointed faces as “another boy” is born into a family which really wanted a girl. The mother is depicted as saying “Of course I’ll love it but we did want it to be a girl”

How interesting because the Elsner with two sons were at this exact time awaiting the birth of their third child.

Schifferdecker’s home sold to Leon Hurwitz. this was a home the Dieter’s had been to often.

September 14 Maxine Lois Elsner born. Hattie’s third child.

September 18 There is a birthday party for Hattie’s mother at 410 North Pearl Street.

The new baby Maxine is wheeled over in her baby carriage for the even’t. It is quite unheard of that a new baby should be taken out so soon after birth. She caused quite a lot of excitement, everyone was very surprised.

In 1945, after the birth of Maxine’s first child in New York, Hattie wrote to her daughter from San Francisco. Hattie and Max had just talked to Maxine on the phone and heard their new grandchild crying in the back ground

“It was quite a wonderful thing many years ago when you were taken over to your Grandmother Dieter’s birthday party in your baby carriage when only 4 days old- everyone was so surprised but now, when Grandfather and grandmother Elsner can hear their little granddaughter cry all the way from New York to California —-when she is only two days old—well that is “something.”

Now it is 2009, and I Gretchen, a grandmother myself, am recording these events for my grandchildren and great grandchildren to read. Like my grandmother Hattie, I am passing stories down. Hattie really had a sense of history.

Little Maxine when she showed up at her grandmother’s birthday party must have been very welcomed into the family which had so recently experienced so much death.

December 18 states had abolished German as a language and 16 others states working on doing the same


January Several articles in the paper about the new high school at Eighth and Wall Street. This I think was built by Dieter and Wenzel.

“An extensive library will not be necessary as the high school stand on the same block of ground as the public library

According to the Joplin City Directory (JDC) “Max A.Elsner (Helen) General contractor.”

The job at W.J. Nelson only lasted one year.

Nelson Electric Company ‘ad still in directory but Elsner name is gone. “Wm J. Nelson mgr. Nelson electric 308 Meridan.

Wm.J. Nelson electrician 308 Meridan (JCD)

March Hattie writes in baby book. “March, 1918 Auto drive to Kansas City” Did all three children go? Or did they stay with their grandparents in Joplin?

April The Turnverein Society of Joplin donates their building to the American Red Cross on the corner of third and Joplin, 301 Joplin Ave. This Old Germania Hall was built in 1891 and was the scene of many citywide gatherings. The Joplin Turnverein Germania was organized November 14, 1877-five years after Joplin was founded.

April “Scarlet Fever Ralph. Ralph asthma and Bronchial Trouble quite frequently.” From the baby book.

September 12 Max Fritz Julius August Elsner registered with the Draft Board in Joplin.. He was listed as 33 years old, born in 1885. According to other records, he was born in 1886. His occupation was listed as Auditor for the Joplin Supply Company. He was listed as tall and stout. He had blue eyes and brown hair.

Family living at 317 North Sergeant, Joplin.

Nov. 11 end of WW1.


Max A. Elsner Bkpr. Joplin Supply Co.

Wm. J & Mary I Nelson Globe Electric Co.r. 614 W.5th.(JCD)


Max A. Elsner (no occupation) r.317 N. Sargeant. (JCD)

May 20 Miss Kate Dieter, 410 North Pearl avenue entertained with a children’s party Thursday in honor of her young niece, Maxine Elsner. The children played games in which the winners were Betty Ruth Waggoner and Betty Brown. Others present were Mary Margaret McCall, Virginia Ball, Margaret Calbeck, Katherine Molloy, Virginia Bobarde, Anna Lucile Burdetterm Minnie Margaret Childress, Helen Winn, Marjorie Sayles, Margaret McAllister and Katherine Albrech (From a newspaper clipping found by GES in Grandparent’s papers held in Savannah,Georgia)

Maxine, ca1921 Click to enlarge the image.

Maxine at the time of the birthday party her Aunt Kate gave for her.

June, The family is in Noel with Aunt Kate. See picture

July The family was in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Family picture taken. The family was at Eldorado Springs several times. They were there at least once before Ralph could write and he scribbled a birthday letter to his father. They were there again when Maxine was about 10. Hattie had been there in August, 1907 with Kate, Anna, Tille, Rosa and Margaret. At that time they all sent a post card to Hattie’s younger brother, August. Eldorado Springs was obviously a favorite vacation spot for several generations.They would return here in 1936 with Maxine to Balanced Rock.

insert picture


The family is in Noel with Max.

1922 No Max Elsner in JCD

July, Ralph is living in Tulsa, Ok. Max is in Joplin (business?)

No Max Elsner in JCD

Easter, family in Tulsa

June, Family is in Tulsa

July, Ralph’s ninth birthday. His father is out of town in Tulsa, Oklahoma and sends a birthday letter home to Ralph.


Max A. Elsner (Hattie) contr. 317 N Sargeant (JCD)

How was it that Max got into the construction business. At the time of his marriage to Hattie there is no record that I can find which states that he finished high school. He was listed as General Contractor in 1918.

Did he attend school in the early days of their marriage?

In 1911, two years after his marriage he is employed as a cashier in a liquor store.

The family had moved away for two years and then moved back to the same house. What were they doing during those two years?

Click to enlarge image.

Click to enlarge image.

The above picture was taken in 1922 and sent to me, Gretchen, in 2013 by my cousin, Lee Elsner.

Hattie and her sister Kate, and her family are on a camping vacation.

Lee purchased a 1922 Studebaker in 2012 just like the one pictured above!


No Joplin City Directory available.

July 4-6, family in Noel, Mo. ( August 5, 1999, I found an old postcard for Noel, Mo. I am so excited that I can see the landscape of my mother’s life)

1925 Max A. Elsner C.A. Dieter Construction.

This is the first reference I can find to Max working with Dieter.

August Dieter student 907 W. 5th. (Gus, was he living with Frieda’s family?) (This is the address where Frieda had lived earlier. Were Emma and Frieda close? Did Emma and her chldren move into a place where Frieda had lived?)

Emma Dieter, (wd. Philip) Clk Osterloh’s book Store, 410 North Pearl???

March 18, Tri-state Tornado, Very Big, Ill. Ind. Mo.

Lasted 4 hours, spread 219 mile river of ruin, sometimes forces of 700 mph.

No funnel cloud, just a huge black cloud. It didn’t look like a Tornado.

Started in Missouri and traveled across the Mississippi to Ill…the cresant of Ill was called Egypt because of the weather and the activity (KKK, bootleggings, gangsters were there)some say the tornado was God’s revenge for what was going on there. The tornado hit in the mid afternoon when children were in school. 37 children were killed in one school house in De Soto, Ill.

Other cities destroyed were Gorham, Mo, Murphysboror, ILL, West Frankfurt.

At the end, some saw a rope cloud and then the tornado suddenly vanished. Lots of freak stories were told afterwards. After the tornado a cold front came in with cold air and it snowed…very freaky.

The deepest scars were on people’s minds. People learned that it was wise to keep an eye on the sky. But with this tornado there was no warning in the sky

Max and Helen must have been thinking of this when they sent their children to school from then on.

Where was Helen Hattie and her family and what were they thinking when they heard about the tornado?

Hattie and Max had three young children at the time. I’m sure that thoughts of this tornado were in their heads as their children went off to school each day.

What kind of preparations did they have against these tornadoes? There must have been lots of conversations about tornadoes.

June 27, family vacationing at Mt. Manitou, Colorado

June, Hattie’s nephew Gus Dieter graduates Joplin H.S.

August 5, Frieda makes her will in Joplin. She must know at this time that she is sick.



Paul Elsner, keeps a photo album. Pictures of Grandma D., Mrs. Helm and Hattie in front of 410 North Pearl.

Mrs. Helm, must have been a friend of Hattie’s mother. Also pictures of Paul’s new trumpet.


On July 4, the family is in Noel, Mo. They are staying at a cabin on Henderson’s Farm.

They also visit the Clifts at Elk Springs. They also visit a pre-historic cave at Elk Springs. Their cousin August Dieter is with them.


Paul’s photo album continues as the family visits Springfield, Mo, and Dolling Park

Mr. & Mrs. Bressier and Lena Join them. They also travel to Stockton and Le Dorado Springs, MO.


January 8 funeral for Mrs. Brandli age 75.Hattie’s father C.A. Dieter was a pallbearer.

Mrs. Brandli’s daughter Frieda had married Hattie’s brother Fred.Frieda and Fred were the winesses at Hattie’s and Max’s wedding.

May 21 Maxine (age 8) writes this letter to her parents a few blocks away

” Dear all of you. I am having a fine time on my vacation at Dieters. I drink two bottles of soda pop every day when the let me soon I will pop myself.

Aunt Kate and I fooled the morning away by looking in here trunk its sure full of junk. Grandmother is making a bed spread and Aunt Kate is making a pillow case…and I am sitting by her writing there we all are. This letter has been waiting long time to be written. This morning we took Grandfather, August, Aunt Emma & Louise to work we are running a bus line now. Hurry up and put up your mailbox so you can get this letter. How are you all I am fine. I hope you are having a fun time for I am. Tonight my vacation ends here and I will go to my Grandfather’s and Grandmothers Elsners and I am sure I will have a good time there…..(several crossing outs) a good time to you all

And love Maxine PS how is my cat


January 24 Frieda Brandli Dieter dies. a childhood friend of Hattie’s who married her brother Fred Jacob….no children. Her mother had died just one year earlier.

This must have been quite upsetting for Hattie for Frieda had been the matron of honor at her wedding in 1909.

Frieda died in Texas visiting her sister Mrs.A. (Bertha Gauer) but it is to her sister Hermine Weimer of 423 Conner Street in Joplin that she leaves the bulk of her estate.

August (Hattie’s brother) had been close to Frieda and visited her at her sister’s house in Houston TX in November of 1913.

Frieda made her home in Joplin with her sister Mrs. George Weimer at 423 Conor Ave. A nephew, George Weimer from New Orleans, accompanied the body with Bertha. Is this the same George Weimer who came forward with Fred’s will in 1913? Or was that his father?


August 1 Maxine writes letter to her Dad from Noel, Arkansas

M.L.E. Henerson Farm, Noel, Mo. Wednesday, August 1,  1928 (August 1 was a                                      Wednesday)

Dear Dad,

I enjoyed the papres (sic) you sent me, today. I read all of them.

I noticed in the paper where mother accompanied Mrs Hurlburt and Perry to Noel., Fine, Eh? I also see that Mr. & Mrs. Elsner, Paul Ralph and Maxine, accompanied by Mr. & Mrs P.K. Hulbart and son Perry Jr. morted (sic) (perhaps motored) to Spawinaw Sunday from Noel.

Now which am I to believe?

I think we will go home with you Sunday. In other words we will come home Sunday or Wednesday.

The boys both wrote before me so I have nothing to say.


Namesake, Daughter, & and the only person in the family (sic) that looks like you.

Maxine Lois Elsner

Maxine, 1927ca

This picgture of Maxine was probably taken around the time she wrote the above letter.

Click to enlarge image

Click to enlarge image

The above picture of Hattie was probably taken at the same time, circa 1927/28.

Note that Hattie has a “bob” haircut. This haircut which was made famous by the silent film star, Louise Brooks, was very stylish and slightly wild.


Max and Hattie live at 317 North Sergeant, (JCD)

Max is Secretary, Treasurer of C.A.Dieter Construction Co.(JCD)

March 4 Herbert Hoover inaugurated.

May 23 Paul graduates from Joplin High School

June Gus graduates Notre Dame

June The family vacations together in Colorado but no one looks happy. There is a picture taken at “Seven Falls Canyon” in Colorado Springs,Colorado. This is the same spot where Kate had sent a postcard to Hattie in 1911.

July Connor Hotel is renovated (by Dieter Construction Company) and reopened.

September Paul begins college

September 29 20 wedding anniversary. How was it celebrated?

October 24 Black Thursday, stock market begins to fall


November Gustave Elsner dies. Father of Max.


Max is sec/tres of CA Dieter Construction (JCD).

Family living at 317 North Sergeant.

March 17 Monday shortly before noon, Christopher August Dieter dies at his home at 410 Pearl. The house at 321 North Pearl is not yet built.

Funeral services were conducted at 2:30 March 21, at his home by Rev. Samuel Michael paster of the Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Honorary Pallbearers were: R.F Ralston, George N Spiva, A. H. Waite, Hugh Dabbs, John Wenzel, H.B. Boyd, E.W. Singleton, L.R. Hoffman, W.P.Weimer, Henry P.Sabert, C.T. Orr and M.Kolb.

Active pallbearers were: J.W. Morgenthaler, J.R. Johnson, William Drawe, G.A. Brautigan, W.F. Gray, and . Braeckel.

Al Wood associated with the Dieter Construction Co. Who was he?

“Officers of the Niangua Club have announced that a tea to have been given tomorrow has been postponed out of respect the the late Captain C.A. Dieter father of Mrs. Max A. Elsner, a club member. The tea will be held March 28, in the home of Mrs. Otto Ruhl, 207 North Byers.” (Globe)

April 25 Joplin Globe article Dieter estate valued at $239,627.00

Hattie and Max are living at 317 N. Sargeant. On the back of a picture of Ralph and Pau,l Hattie has written” This is an extra good picture. I’m awfully proud of it.”

insert picture here

May 4 Sunday. Joplin Globe “Women in the above group are officers of the Niangua Club. The club’s 1929-1930 program of study is nearing completion. Mrs. Shelby, as president, is assisted by Mrs. Elsner, vice-president; Mrs. Bullard, recording secretary: Miss Lottie Glover, coresponing secretary, and Mrs Ruhl, treasurer.”

insert picture here


Max A. Elsner Pres C.A. Dieter Construction Co. 204 Independence Building.

Easter family at new house 620 Jaccard.

“Snob Hill” or “Mortgage Hill” Roanoke.This was Joplin’s first restricted and planned subdivision.

Found in a diary at Fred’s house from 1931 belonging to Max A. Elsner.

This book records in handwriting a car trip out west in June, July and August out west.

These is a small picture of a young man which says ” our Hero” on the back. I think it is a picture of Paul and I think that Paul wrote this diary. Ralph is traveling with him. “Ralph was really disappointed in the painted dessert and in the Grand Canyon.” This is the only other person mentioned. The young men slept in the car. Sounds like a real adventurous trip for two young men. Paul was 20 Ralph was 18.

September 21 Picture in the Joplin News Herald of Joplin Kiwanis Club. Max is pictured. He is sitting next to Percy K. Hurlbut.

Christmas The family sends a very beautiful Christmas with a picture of their new house covered in snow.

“with sincere wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mr. and Mrs. Max A. Elsner

Paul, Ralph, and Maxine”


Max A. Elsner Pres. C.A. Dieter Construction Co.

May 16, 8 o’clock Maxine graduates form Joplin Jr. High School

October 3 Paul’s 21st birthday family were together in K.C.


Max A. Elsner, Pres. C.A.Dieter Construction Co 221 West 3rd. Rm 202-204

January-” Brothers Frat Officiers- Paul and Ralph Elsner, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Max A. Elsner, 620 Jaccard Place, have been elected officers of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Columbia Missouri, where they students. Paul, a senior in the engineering school, has been named president of the fraternity., while his brother a sophomore in the engineering school, has been elected secretary-tresurer.” This clipping from a Joplin newspaper was saved by Hattie.

February, Ralph elected president of Sophomore class

March Ralph has serious accident while bobsledding and is hospitalized

Clipping at Freddy’s house: Mr and Mrs. Max A Elsner and daughter Maxine accompanied by Mrs. C. A. Dieter and Miss Kate Dieter returned last night from Columbia where they visited Mr. and Mrs. Elsner’s sons, Paul and Ralph. Who are students at the University of Missouri. Ralph Elsner is a patient at Noyes Hospital recovering from injuries from an accident. His condition is imporved but he will remain in the hospital for some time.

Max sends a postcard to his mother.

June Paul graduated, U. of Missouri with a degree in Engineering. Max, Hattie and Maxine attend. They are accompanied home by their sons, Paul and Ralph. Ralph is recovering from an accident in a bobsled. (Joplin clipping)


Max A. Elsner Pres C.A. Dieter Construction.

January 18

Max’s mother, Lisette Elsner, 72 years old dies after a 2 week illness at her home, 615 Moffet Ave.

“Her son Max Elsner president of the Dieter Construction ” “Mrs. Elsner was born on January 6, 1862 in Germany and went to Galena 45 years ago. She resided there six months and then moved to Joplin “Funeral at The Emanuel (Lutheran) Church at 9th street and Moffett Ave. The Reverend Samuel Michael pastor will officiate. Pallbearers: A. Johns, G. Wiemer, F. Johns, A. Kirchman, S. Higgins and F. Gray


The Dust Storms begin. Sandra Scofield describes the period in these words. “With nothing to hold down the soil, it (the soil) began to roll into the sky as dust fills clouds that eclipsed the sun. In May, 1934, it rolled all the way across the nation and into the Atlantic dumping on Chicago and New York City.”

Summer Hattie, Max and family visit the Chicago World’s Fair.

Hattie is 48 years old. Maxine is almost 17.

Did Hattie recall when she went to the St. Louis World’s Fair with her family in 1905 almost 30 years earlier.

Hattie was then 18 almost the same age as her daughter Maxine is now.

To read more about Hattie’s trip to the St. Louis World Fair, see Hattie’s Travel Diary in the Library section of this website.

early July,

Hattie’s sister Kate and her mother, Mrs. C.A. Dieter, (age 74) aka “Lenchen”, go to Germany to visit Langen, Lenchen’s family home. A German newspaper clipping from the period reports that their visit was a surprise for Lenchen’s sister who still lived in the family home build by Lenchen’s father in the 1860’s.

Hitler was very much in power in Germany. It would be so interesting to hear the conversation between Lenchen and her sister about the politics of the time.

insert German clipping

A newspaper clipping found in my brother Fred’s family papers and dated 1934 reads ” Mrs. C. A. Dieter and daughter Miss Kate Dieter 410 North Pearl avenue left yesterday for a tour of Europe, They will sail July 18 from New York on the S.S. Bremen and will be the guests of relatives in Germany. They plan to attend the Passion play in Oberammergau.

Click to enlarge image

This picture of the family home in Langen can be compared with the 1865 picture taken when Lenchen (Mrs. C.A. Dieter) was five years old. See 1860 Time Line above.

Note that three windows on the second floor and three windows on the first floor are outlined in pencil. According to the writing on the back of the picture, these marks indicate the bedroom where Kate and her mother stayed in 1934.

Click to enlarge image

The writing on the back of the above photo reads:

Langen Germany


Diehirgen Str. 18

Langen-bei Frankfort a/m


Bed room Mama and I ( Kate Dieter) slept in when in Germany 1934

living room

September 16 Louise Agnes Dieter, daughter of Hattie’s brother, Philip Dieter and his wife Emma died from T.B.

She died on her grandmother’s birthday and two days after Maxine’s 17th birthday.

Louise was her grandmother’s first granddaughter. Now, Maxine was the only granddaughter.

Surely, Kate and her mother are still in Germany. Were they told about the seriousness of Louise’s illness?


No JCD available

April 14

A Dust storm called “Black Sunday” hits Kansas. The storm carried 300,000 tons of top soil from the Great Plains. The Dust Bowl, also known as black blizzard country, comprised about 100 million acres, including much of Kansas, and parts of Colorado, Nebraska, new Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Its center was in the southern plains.


Max & Hattie at Pivot Rock in Eureka Springs, Ark. They had all been to Eureka Springs before in 1920’s.

Maxine by Balanced Rock

June 10, Wednesday Maxine Graduates from Joplin H. S. at 8 P.M. in Memorial Hall.Maxine receives congratulatory letter from Aunt Emma in Buckhardt, Mo. Only last year, Emma’s young daughter Louise, died.

Ralph graduates from College.

September, Maxine starts Junior College in Lindenwood

December 7

Maxine’s Lindenwood Horse Show, St. Charles, Missouri


No JCD available

March 1 Sunday Joplin Globe reports that Miss Maxine Elsner and Miss Lola Oliver of St. Charles are visiting Mr. and Mrs, M.A. Elsner.

insert newspaper picture

May 2 Hattie’s 50th birthday. According to Maxine’s school paper, “the Linden Bark” Maxine spent the week-end of May 1st in Columbia, Missouri. No doubt the family met there to celebrate Hattie’s 50th birthday.

Maxine, Helen and Max in St. Louis (see Photo)

From Helen’s diary as a young girl, we know that she visited St. Louis in 1904 when she was 18 with her parents and friends and siblings. Now her daughter Maxine is about the same age. It is a real mid point in her life to be here with her daughter. Does Helen think of this? Does she think of her diary? Does she have another diary I haven’t found yet? Or am I writing it?

May Horse show at Lindenwood

insert photo

Summer Kate, Helen, their mother and Maxine drive out west together to Colorado?

insert photo

Maxine sends her father (P.O. Box 144 Joplin, MO.-a post card from Estes park, Co. August 31, 1936. On postcard ” Longs Peak from Bear Lake, rocky Mountain National Park”

” Dear Dad, We just drove by this lake, Its as pretty as this etching. On our way home now. Love Maxine”

Nov.7 Max celebrates his 50th birthday.

Two sons have graduated from college. Maxine away at school and they both turn 50. An important year of change for Max and Hattie. It is the same time that the Max A Elsner Construction Co was formed and the Dieter Construction Co only has a warehouse now.

Click to enlarge imagine.

Click to enlarge imagine.

The above photo of Maxine was probably taken ca 1936. the photo was taken at 620 Jaccard Street, Joplin, MO.


Max A.Elsner Construction Co bldg contrs. 221 W3rd. rm 202

(this is where the Dieter Construction had been)

C.A. Dieter Construction Co. (whse) 915 Byers Ave.

Gus and Willodean Dieter are living in Joplin now. Gus is working as an interviewer with the National re-employment service.

September, Maxine starts at Northwestern University

Maxine while representing the family at a wedding of the Cain family in Chicago meets Bill Gretsch.

See Hattie’s trip diary from 1908. Here she describes when she first came to Chicago with Kate and met the Cain family. ” Tuesday June 2, 1908. Kate and I took the train at 8 o’clock for Chicago to see cousin Lillian Cain. Her husband was at the station to meet us but was too early, so we telephoned to the house, received instructions and went by ourselves. We made our first trip on the Elevated Railway. Cousin Lillian and her two children, Helen and Louis, me us at the Edgewater. She certainly has a beautiful home. We had luncheon at the Presbyterian Church where her husband is in charge. The church is finished with mission wood. After luncheon Rev. Cain took a carriage and we took the Lake Shore Drive. This is a long Lake Michigan. Then we drove all through Lincoln Park. The park is beautiful. We saw all kinds of animals, birds, flowers monuments, people and everything. Rushed home, had lunch and hurried to the station. Rev. Cain took us to the Chicago and N.W. and we were again speeding on our way to west Chicago.”


Max . A. Elsner, Elsner Construction Co.

Paul and Ralph civil engineers living at home.

Jan.2 Maxine sends telegram to Bill Gretsch. They are already dating.

April 13 Maxine comes home from college. She is receiving telegrams from Bill. He sends her a telegram at every train stop along the way.

June 22 Joe Louis and Max Schmelling fight in New York City.

Louis knocked out (KOd) Schmelling in one round. Surely the family talked about this. The whole country and Germany was paying attention.

End of June Bill in Joplin gone by July 3.

July 3

Paul, Lola, Maxine, Ralph, Max & Helen in Joplin?

This summer Maxine spent her time between the house on Jaccard Street and 410 N. Pearl. She received many telegrams from Bill.

Thanksgiving Maxine didn’t go home but went to visit a friend, Miss Katherine Myers, in Springfield, Ill.

Perhaps, she meet Bill there. No telegrams over the Thanksgiving holiday.

December 29 Maxine attends party for Nondas Mac Daniel. Thursday

December 30 Maxine has party for Nondas. See JDG Report below. Friday


Max A. Elsner Construction Co 221 W 3rd R202-04 (JCD)

Ralph and Maxine are living at 620 Jaccard (JCD)

January 1 Mike Dieter, son of Gus and Willodean was born in Joplin.

At the time, Gus Dieter was a draughts man for Wm. Stewart Engineering Co.

January 5 Joplin Globe Reports ” Maxine Elsner entertained with a surprise shower Friday night at ther nome, 620 Jaccard place, in compliment to Miss Nondas McDaniel, whose engagement to Armand Helm of Pine Bludd, Ark., was announced recently. Refreshments were served, Bridge prizes won by Mrs. C. W. Helm and Miss mary Rupard, were presented to the honor guest. Other guests included Misses Nadine Sharp, Martha Ruth Kendrick, Josephine Divsion, Martha Emerson, Mary Louise Jennings, Rebekah Blair, Gwyneth Waring, Eleanor Blair, Mary Margaret Alcott and Margaret Dennis, Mrs. M.A. Elsner and Mrs. Hazel McDaniel.

January 8 Mr. &Mrs. A. Ray Oliver of St. Charles Mo, announce the engagement of their daughter Miss Lola Oliver to Paul A. Elsner son of Mr.& Mrs. Max Elsner of 620 Jaccard Place. Miss Oliver is a graduate of Missouri University and the Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity. The wedding will take place in the early spring.

January 29 (JDG) Joplin Public Library is being improved at a cost of $25,000. WPA assistance obtained. The roof was placed on temporary supports and the north wall which had moved alarmingly was torn down.

This would have interested Hattie and her family as Dieter Wenzel built the original building in 1906. Max’s construction company was not given the contract for repairs. maybe they didn’t try for the job. It was given to C.A. Bumgarner, a Kansas City Engineer. “The condition of the library building has worried city official and board members for more than a year.”

January 31 (JDG)Unity Literary Club held a meeting at the library recently and again on Monday. Rabbi Goldstein reviewed “Horse and Buggy Doctor” by A. D. Hertzler.

Perhaps, this was the last meeting held before the closing of the library. Their next meeting was held at Hattie’s house on Feb 23. Interesting since Hattie’s family had so much to do with the building of the library.

Febrary 8 Hattie was at a party for Miss Mondas Mc Daniel, a friend of Maxine. Many attended including Mrs. P.K Hurlbut.

February 11 Hattie and Max’s oldest son, Paul marries Lola Oliver in Lola’s parent’s home in St. Charles, Mo. Maxine lit the candelabra.

Bill Gretsch was there and pulled some pranks that Lola didn’t think were so funny.

“Mrs. Elsner, mother of the bridegroom, wore a dinner dress of wine colored lace with a corsage of gardenias.”  2/12/39 St. Louis Post -Dispatch…

Lola’s mother made the bride’s dress. Lola’s granddaughter Carol MacQuiddy wore the same dress when she married in California on September 25, 1995.

After Paul and Lola marriage, they moved to a house they had build in Fulton, Mo.

February 18 Golden Gate International Exposition, the San Francisco World’s Fair opened. Did Max go there? Is that what instigated Maxine’s illness soon after.

Feb 23 Maxine is in Evanston Hospital

Also on this day the Joplin Globe reported: Mrs. M. A. Elsner was assisted by Mrs. Claude W. David and Mrs. C. R. Hedrick in entertaining the Unity Literary Club Monday afternoon at her home, 620 Jaccard Place. Mrs. J. W. Jackson reviewed ” Grandma called it carnal”( Bertha Damon).

Feb. 26 (JDG) Fire at Connor Hotel, on upper floors. started 8 pm last night

March 3 Pope Pius XII elected pope. (JDG) Maxine and children would be in Rome in 1958 when he died.

March 4 Editorial in the JDG 150th anniversary of our constitution, contrasts our rights and liberties with Germany’s the most important of the totalitarian states.

March 5 (JDG) US army plans biggest maneuvers in History. (US getting ready for war?)

March 12 Library repairs half completed.

March 16 Hitler takes over Czechoslovakia

March 18 (JDG) U.S. denounces German Grab as Wonton lawlessness and condems invasion of Czechoslovakia.

April 16 Miss Maxine Elsner entertained with a “knick-Knack” shower for Miss McAllister at her home, 620 Jaccard place Saturday night (April 8?). Miss Martha Emerson, Miss Gretchen Hurlbut, Miss Rebekah Blair, Miss Louetta Kindrick, Miss Martha Ruth Kendrick, Miss Mary Ruppard, Miss Nondas McDaniel, Miss Mary Von Lupik of Castle Rock, Colo. a houseguest of Miss Elsner’s, Mrs. McAllister and Mrs. Max A. Elsner.

Sunday( April 9th Easter), Miss Gretchen Hurlbut gave a coffee in her home at 635 North Moffett for same

Mr & Mrs. Max A. Elsner returned to their home at 620 Jaccard Place after visiting their son and daughter in law Mr & Mrs Paul Elsner in Fulton, Missouri. They were accompanied to Fulton by their daughter Maxine Elsner and Mary von Lupik who were returning to Northwestern.

April 19 JDG reports that the DAR would not allow Marion Anderson to give a concert in Constitution Hall on Easter sunday and Mrs. Roosevelt resigned from the DAR

June 6 JDG Mr. & Mrs. Max Elsner will leave today for Evanston, Ill where they will attend the graduation of their daughter….Mr.& Mrs. Paul Elsner of Fulton, Missouri will accompany them. They plan to return next week.

Miss Rebekah Blair graduated from U of Missouri school of journalism. She plans to take some summer courses there. (Her family owns the Jopin Globe)

June 10 Maxine graduates from Northwestern. Hattie and Max attend the graduation.

June 17 JDG Fiery cross near 4th and Maiden Lane. Klu Klux Klan? organization of the klan here around 1921 precipitated one of the worst political and fractional fights in the history of Joplin. The klan in its height controlled county as well as Joplin politics….four men were on the chat pile just before it was ignited…hundreds were attracted to the scene.

June 18 JDG “Not Wanted or Needed”…editorial against the Klan…Hitlerism in America

June 22 Lou Gehrig playing career at an end. ALS known in layman’s terms as infantile paralysis.

June 23 Hattie, Maxine and Betty Heinz attend a shower for Noondas McDaniel who will be married in July.

July Noel-Ozark Press, July, 1939 ( written in long hand on this newspaper clipping)

Mr. & Mrs. Max Elsner of Joplin, Missouri spent the week end at Henderson Camp on Elk River, Mr. Elsner and “ye editor” made a float trip to the state line Monday and several fine bass and some perch were caught. Artificial bait , both flie and plugs were used, the largest a four pound line side bass was caught on a River Runt plug.

A picture accompanies this short article, the caption reads,

“Line side bass caught on Elk River near Henderson Camp by Max A. Elsner of Joplin, Mo.

Thanks to Paula for this clipping. Unfortunately, there is no exact date on the clipping.

It does show however, that Max and Hattie were vacationing together in July. Was it before or after the date below?

July 13

Max age 54 gave his son Ralph age 26 power of attorney to take care of all of his affairs. Was he is some kind of trouble or was he just moving and appointing Ralph to take care of things as they came up in Missouri?

Is this the date that Max left town for good? Max applies for a SS number in March of 1941 in California. However, there is no clear mention of Max again in family records until Christmas of 1941.

In February of 41, when Ralph is married, his parents are reported to be living in Kansas City. Did this have something to do with his move to Kansas City?

Paul and Lola are living in Fulton, MO. Why didn’t Max ask Paul to be his power of attorney? Because Paul was living in another town?

July 28 JDG ” Mrs.W.E. Carden, 110 North Connor avenue, has returned from a two weeks’ visit with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J R. Hayes, and other relatives in El Paso, Tex.” Mrs. Carden left town the same time that Max signed those documents. This is the first time I have found reference to her in the Joplin paper.

In June of 1941, Hattie refers in a letter to her son to the Carden’s as “the enemy”. Did Mrs. Carden have something to do with Max’s leaving town?

A graduation card was sent to Maxine Elsner and signed Mr. & Mrs. W.E.Carden. This might have been her college graduation in 1939. It certainly shows a relationship between the families.

August 20

Bill Gretsch visiting Joplin. Are Maxine’s parents still there?

late August Maxine gets a job teaching English and Debate at Webb City High School.

She get the job at the last minute because another teacher resigned.

Sept. 1 German’s invade Poland. Hugh convention in Joplin for American Legion, a war veteran organization.

Dec.7, 8, 9 Bill Gretsch visiting in Joplin. Are Max and Helen there?

Eunice Newdigger of the Joplin Geneological Society tells me in 1998

” Some clippings from the paper say that Max Elsner was in Los Angeles in 1939 but I find him in the city directory of 1940. But they are prepared the year before. I would say that he left about 1939 for California”

Dec. 20

Bill sends a telegram to Maxine in Joplin on December 20th saying that he is looking forward to seeing you “both” on Tuesday, which is Christmas Day. Did Bill come to Joplin to be with Maxine and her mother. Or did the both refer to Maxine and Ralph?


Max A.Elsner Construction Co. 221 W 3rd R 202-04 (Joplin City Directory) These directories are made a year in advance and perhaps, Max and Hattie have already left town to live in Kansas City.

1940 Census, taken in april shows Max and Hattie and Ralph and Maxine living at 620 Jaccard.

Ralph and Maxine are living at 620 Jaccard . Maxine teaching at Webb City High School.

January 19

Maxine in Lincoln Nebraska ?

February Mrs. W. E. Carden is one of the hostesses for a luncheon for the League of Women Voters.

Late May Bill Gretsch visits Maxine on 620 Jaccard.

From May, 1940 until December of 1941, there are no extant telegrams from Bill.

What is going on in the family. Are Max Max & Hattie in Kansas City?

Has Helen just found out about Max’s affair, is that why Maxine wanted Bill to come visit. Is this why Bill is not so unhappy with Max for leaving the family?

June German Troops March into Paris.

July 12

There are two pictures of Maxine and Bill in Chicago. They look like they are having a really great time. Maxine looks very young and happy. But where is Hattie?

According to the Joplin City Directory, Lucille C. Elswick is still listed as housekeeper at 626 Jaccard. this is just a few houses down from where Maxine and her brother Ralph are living without their parents. I’ll bet that housekeeper would have something to say about what is going on.

September 29

Golden Gate International Exposition closed- Did this have something to do with Max and Hattie moving to California-


Picture of Maxine and Hattie on the street in Kansas City. Maxine looks very irritated with Hattie. Maxine is wearing the same jacket she looked so happy in the July 12th picture in Chicago with Bill. ( Picture in Menlo Park Collection, Savannah.)

Perhaps, Max and Hattie are living in Kansas City now. Maxine will soon take a job in Texas and be near her family there. Her mother and her grandmother will join her there.


Click to enlarge image

Hattie in Kansas City with her sister Kate.

Oct. 7 In Joplin, Mrs. Carden is having a meeting for the women of Kawanis.

Draft starts. Debbie Elsner told me that around this time her father Ralph Elsner was trying to get out of the draft because he had to take care of his mother. So Max was probably not around if Ralph felt he was the only means of his mother’s support.


Wichita Falls, Texas City Directory lists: Helena Dieter (wid Aug) h. 1507 Speedway, Maxine Elsner, continuity Director Wichita Falls Broadcasting Co. r.1607 Speedwell.

Maxine and her grandmother are living in Wichita Falls. Perhaps, Kate is also living there. Perhaps, Hattie is also there.

Did Maxine take this job under pressure from her Mother? Did she take the job to give her mother a place to go that was not Joplin? There is no record of contact with between Bill and Maxine during this time. Was my father really angry that my mother took this direction in her life to help her mother?

Feb. 1 Ralph marries Betty Ann Heinz. Max and Helen are not there. Ralph is now working for a home construction company in Kansas City. The couple will live in Kansas City.

Joplin News Harold in the announcement of Ralph and Betty’s engagement states that “Mr.& Mrs. Max Elsner of Kansas City, formerly of Joplin”

Feb. 2


The article in the Joplin Globe states that Maxine was maid of honor and lives in Kansas City. Paul was best man. Large article in paper but no mention of Hattie and Max.

Note Lola is pregnant with her first child and probably did not attend.


Hattie’s in Fulton, Mo visiting Paul & Lola who are expecting their first child in early June. Bill & Maxine are there too.

March 7 Max applies for a social security card. He lists his business address as: Beach Hill Inn, 27 Main Street, Santa Cruz, California.

He lists his wife as Hattie Helen Dieter. Perhaps, she is living with him. Perhaps, he is hoping that she soon will.

Oddly, Max lists his name as Max Fritz Julius Adolph Elsner. His name was August not Adolph. Max also lists his father’s name as Adolf. It was in fact, Gustave Adolph. It seems a strange time to be using the name Adolph so much.

I think at this time, Max has settled in California and clearly wants Hattie for his wife. But for the moment she is not joining him. She is living with her mother and daughter in Wichita Fall, Texas.

Trying to decide no doubt if she should go back to Max. Also perhaps, waiting for the birth of their first grandchild in early June.

March 17- April 1 Maxine writing copy for radio in Wichita Falls, TX


Hattie is in Wichita Falls with her mother, her sister and Maxine. (see photo below)

Click to enlarge image

June 3 Paula Elsner, Hattie’s first grandchild, is born in Fulton, Mo.

June 9

Hattie writes a letter from Wichita Falls, to Paul, Lola and Paula. So Hattie is in Texas. Has she been here awhile?

“Maxine is so tickled about her new job and not yet fired…send the bed spread in care of KWFT …& she can get it at the office.” “Our address now after tomorrow is 1821 Collins or 321 North Pearl.” ” We hope to be in Joplin Saturday or Sunday providing we get to leave.” Sounds like Hattie is living with her mother and sister, at least for awhile. She also writes ” Your announcement sound swell. We are anxious to see them. Whatever you do, do not send one to the Cardens–we are enemies—–” Is this a clue to what the trouble was with Max?

Note that Mr. & Mrs. W.E. Carden sent an undated graduation card to Maxine, either in 1935, 1937 or 1939. The card suggests that the Cardens and the Elsners were at one time friends.

Note also that in this letter, Hattie is stating “our new address as 1821 Collins”. Apparently, she is not thinking of living in California. By December she is living again with Max and this time in California.

Maybe, Max always wanted to move to California and Hattie just couldn’t agree to leaving her family in Joplin. But after this huge disrupter of Max and another women, she decided to go with him.

Mrs. Jessie Cardin, lived at 1022 North Sergeant Ave. in Roanoke, a Residence district of Joplin. This is the same district of Joplin where Max Elsner and his family lived.

In 1944 both the Elsner home on Jaccard Place and Mrs. Jessie Cardin’s home are Tenant occupied.

June Maxine is in Wichita Falls, TX with Willodean.

August Maxine writing radio copy in Wichita Falls,TX.

August 5

Helene  “Lenchen” Bärenz Dieter, Hattie’s mother writes her will in Joplin. Witnesses are Mary Laird, Kenneth Schuessler, Cowgill Blair, Jr.

Mary L. Laird was born in Arkansas in 1907. She lived at 825 Sergeant in 1930. She was married and had a daughter. Her husband’s name was Roscoe. He was an engineer in a creamery. She died in Ventura California on Jan.28, 1964.

Cowgill Blair, Jr. was a good friend of Ralph.

Found a Kenneth Schuessler in Missouri born 1914 perhaps, he was a friend of Ralph.


Maxine visiting in California with her parents. They all look very happy

Dec. 8

Peal Harbor, WW2 begins for America.

Dec 26

Maxine sends telegram to Bill” Fired Tuesday can meet you Kansas City (where Ralph is) Fulton (where Paul is) your convenience between Dec 29 and Jan 4th job hunting in Wichita Falls there after. Please advise as soon as possible. Sylvia”

Dec 30 Maxine writes to her parent ” Dear Mom and Dad,……Sure would like to come to San Francisco now. Let me know at Paul’s how the “Help Wanted” ads run. I’m footloose and fancy free”


Maxine writes from Fulton in early January,” Hey don’t get a bigger apartment in S.F. yet. There is a job in Port Arthur, Texas, I might want and I’ve got some awfully good leads around here. I’ll also write to California, but won’t make an definite plans for a week or so yet…not until I get more answers from more letters. I might decide too to return to Wichita Falls”. There is also lots of talk about Bill. Sounds like their romance is back on.

Jan. 6

Maxine writes a letter congratulating her Dad on his new job.

Max must not be working anymore at the Beacon Hill Inn.

Later in the same letter she writes ” Dad I think its swell that you are selling policies on Saturday afternoons, provided you get plenty of rest. Hope your insurance company doesn’t make you stop…but I don’t see why they should. You don’t take the place of another man…you just supplement their staff of salesmen.”


Click to enlarge image

Hattie is in San Francisco and has her picture taken under a street sign “Hattie St.”

She is wearing a big corsage and the same hat she was wearing in October when Maxine was visiting. She is 56 years old.

June 1 Maxine is in New York with Bill from there she goes on to Detroit and plans to see everyone soon.

June 3 Paula’s first birthday (Fulton, Missouri)

June 14 Hattie visiting her first grandchild in Fulton, Mo

Click to enlarge image

Ralph and Betsy in KC.

Maxine looking for a job. Dating Bill.

July Maxine at Yosemite

August Maxine is in California with her parents. Several pictures were taken on the beach at Seabright, Monterrey Bay.

Max and Hattie must have been delighted to have their daughter with them again.

Sept. 12 Maxine sends telegram to Bill asking him to come for her birthday.

October Maxine gets job at magazine in San Francisco. Looks like Maxine will be living with her parents in California.

Oct.19 October 19, Hattie completed a course at “The Emporium” in Standard First Aid. She is now living on Bush Street

Dec. 14 Maxine and Bill are married in California, Missouri.

Dec. Hattie wrote in a Christmas letter to the family ” ….Maxine and Bill we sincerely hope that you will have an usually nice Christmas and know that after so many months apart you should have the “best ever”….Maxine your picture is wonderful. We opened it right before the wedding so we would be looking at you. It was certainly a surprise but a very grand one. Now to tell you of our share of the wedding. Dad came home for the event which was three o’clock here. He rushed to the kitchen with packages which he would not let me see but gave me a beautiful gardenia corsage. Then after the wedding he served champagne and a beautiful wedding cake with a bride and groom on it. The bride and groom are now on the buffet but the cake and champagne were used immediately. Now what a fine way to celebrate.” (see letter in Maxine’s wedding album)

In the same letter Max writes about his company having a Christmas Eve Lunch with free eats and drinks. ” Afterwards, I should be in fine fettle to open packages if and when I get here” ( a reference to his drinking)



Hattie and Max at 980 Bush, Apt 303 San Francisco.

January 5

Helen Hattie wrote a letter to Maxine. See letter…Pictures of the apartment are enclosed and someone is paying attention to a lot of detail in the decorating of the apartment. Max is makings dried flower arrangements.

Feb. 25

Mrs. Elsner pays the International Institute, 1860 Washington Street , San Francisco, CA. Two dollars and fifty cents cash for a translation of her Baptismal Certificate. Translated by Robert Plank.

The translation reads: Hattie Helena Emma legitimate daughter of C.A, Dieter and his wife Helena nee Barenz, born in May 2nd, 1886 at El Paso, Texas, has been baptized in the name of God, on March 17, 1889, at Sarcoxie, Jasper Country, Mo.

Baptism witnesses were: Mrs. Cath. Kaiser, Emma Sabert signed: J.E. Roschke Lutheran Pastor Freistatt Lawrence Co. Mo. June 24th.

Note: The body of the document is framed with religious pictures and quotations from the Bible (not translated).

March 25

Hattie completed a course in Home Nursing with the American Red Cross.

April & May

Hattie is visiting Ralph and Betty at 5506 Roe Blvd, Mission, KS and Joplin, Mo, and Grosse Pointe, Michigan (Paul and Lola and Paula live here). Max writes her very loving letters from San Francisco.


Hattie poses in Grosse Pointe, Michigan under a street sign that says “Helen”.

Click to enlarge image

April 29,

Thursday Dear Hattie,

Well here it is another day nearer to seeing you. Just about two weeks from right now in fact.

While shopping yesterday noon for your “Home coming” present I found that there is still another ocassion (sic) calling for a celebration-

My gosh-It seems I’ve spent all my time getting presents for someone or something, Please hurry back as I’m bereft of ideas-I thought that cookng and washing would be my main problems but I didn’t not know then of this continuous round of “occassions” (sic)-If you get something for your mother or/and Lola then please please make it from both of us-

Took a walk to market Street last night but was home early. Did my monthy, or whatever it is shopping and all I got fro my stamps was 1 can corn-that is terrible- For my red stamps I got 2 cans sardines, 2 can (?), 2 can chili, 1/2″ Bacon, 1 bottle catchup, I think that is terrible too-

The other night I did my washing and it took all evening-One of my pillow slips tore up so I can not sent it to the laundry-Too my holey sox pile is getting pretty big-

No mail yesterday and no letter this morning so I take it you are busy which is swell-

Whoa-its 11:45 and I see the mail man approaching -wait a moment-aw shucks, he did not being me anything- Guess Maxine will leave soon- Then i suppose things will quiet down- Have not decided yet how I’ll celebrate your birthday but will do something that will keep you constantly on my mind-

Give my love to all and I hope you gave Paula a big “Goodbye” kiss for me too-

Will probably wriet ” all” a letter soon, Been putting it off mostly because there is little to say and too no one is at home- Funny how traveling stops when a war is on-

If you get this before Sunday then again “Happy Birthday”

Lots of love and kisses to you from your, Max

May 2

My Darling Hattie,

First of course congratulations on having reached that ripe old age of – your husband.

Since this is an occasion to celebrate I hope you will have a big feed at least, Am glad Mike is there to represent U.S. Sure would like to be with you, but we will celebrate when you get here and try not to let the lettle delay in time interfere with the enjoyment of our celebration. Maybe you will even cook us up a cake, and maybe I;ll supply the California wine.

You will have to wait till you get here to see your Birthday present as it is too fragile to send around much and in the meantime I’ll just let you “wonder” what it is too so you can really feel celebrated ” all over again when you get home, so let the flowers I’m getting for you be as both a gift and as a promise of more to come. A promise of something rather pretty to look upon and also a promise of something that, tho it can not be so readily seen yet is something very satisfying to realize.

And that my sweet, is perhaps after all the best gift. The promise of yet still more to come. It is really that that I would give you, give in the certain knowledge that you will prize and cherish it for long after all but the fragrance of the flowers is gone; the promise of my everlastingly trying to be good to you. to be nice to you and to help us dig out of life all the happiness and contentment we can, and to make you always glad that you have given me the right and the privilege to call you My Love.

May my thoughts of you this day reach you as a lingering kiss that will follow you into your dreams tonight that they may be filled with visions of your eternal lover, Max

May 9

Picture with Maxine, Lola, Paula, Kate, Hattie and Mother Dieter for the Joplin Newspaper. This is around the time of Hattie’s birthday.

Also perhaps, the get together is to celebrate Maxine’s wedding. Max was in San Francisco.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

May 22

Swirling floods waters from Shoal Creek and Spring River invade the downtown business section of Joplin and caused the calling of State Militia to protect buildings and content.


Hattie and Max are back in San Francisco.

June 30

City and Country of San Francisco, County Clerk, Law Library Fee, $1.00Complaint or Petition (to Establish a Birth) $2.00. Re. Hattie H. Dieter

July 7

City and County of San Francisco, County Clerk “Certificate & Seal”. $1.50.Re. M. A. Elsner

11:17 AM Received from Mrs.Max Elsner 900 Bush Street Apt 303

City and County of San Francisco, Department of Public Health

“1 Certified Certifiate of Birth” $1.00

Also that day, M.A. Elsner paid $1.50 for 3 certificates and seals.

HELEN IS ESTABLISHING PROOF OF HER BIRTH. WHY IS SHE DOING THIS NOW? Perhaps, it has something to do with the war and wanting to ascertain her American Citizenship. AND WHY DO THE PAPERS SURVIVE TO BE PASSES ON TO ME?



A picture of Max and Hattie looking very relaxed and happy. They are standing at the state boundary entering Oregon on US 101.

March 17 Bill and Maxine adopt Charlotte. Maxine travels by train to Kansas City to pick up the new baby. Bill stays in NYC and tells Duke and Fritzie to meet the train in Chicago because Sylvia is coming through. Bill does not tell them about the baby. At the train station when they see Sylvia with a baby in her arms, Fritzie says to Duke ” Duke why didn’t you tell me that Sylvia was pregnant?”

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This picture of Max in front of the Federal Public Housing Authority was sent to me by internet by Paula Elsner McQuiddy in 2006. On the back is written, Eurika, California, July 1944.

The Sign reads “Office of the Federal Public Housing Authority …..Max A. Elsner, ……Engineer”.

I am unable to read what kind of engineer. Perhaps, an Agent or a Private.

September 9

Lee Elsner born in Norfork, VA.

Paul was working here during the War.


Hattie and Max move to 908 F. Street, Eureka, California.

Here, Max made lots of furniture: a desk, a liquor cabinet, a pipe stand, baby toys, and took many pictures of Hattie holding the objects. May, Max took a picture of Helen under a Street Sign ” Hattie”. He then made it into a three dimensional free standing figure.

Nov. and Dec.

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Hattie visiting with Bill and Maxine and Charlotte. This was gthe first time Hattie had seen her new granddaughter. Maxine was four months pregnant then with Katie who would be born in April. They must have been delighted.


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Hattie went on to Norfork, Virginia to visit Paul and Lola and their children.


April 1

Easter Sunday and April Fools Day. Katherine Gretsch born in NYC.

(Fritzie Kramer tells me in 2001 that my mother hated that Katie was born on April 1, because people will always remember that it was April’s Fools Day and they would not remember that it was Easter Sunday!

April 2

San Francisco, California  April 2, 1945

Dearest Maxine & Bill & Daughters,

How wonderful to receive your telegram this morning!

Congratulations and the very best of wishes!

An Easter Sunday Baby, how grand! Now if we only knew how you were feeling, could be with you and help you! There is not much I can say being so very , very gar away, we are as happy as we can be and are certainly sharing our joy with you.

We are so glad that you did not have to wait the extra month that so many first baby’s take but the shock is so great that I’m afraid the docotr ( if I had one) would put me to bed-so I will just have to relax and bear it the best I can.

Dad is able to walk and is now composing a telegram that will pass all censors as no congratulatory messages ca be sent.

Yes, we are very, very happy!and anxiously awaiting all further word.

Sincerely hope Maxine, that you are feeling extremely well & Bill hope that you now you have recovered!

Take good care of all four of you and bring the baby down to see us as soon as possible, Much, much Love, Mother

Dearest Maxine, plus your multitudinous family- We are very happy to get the good news and very anxiously await talking to you direct-All my love to you and the little Sylvia, POP (Note that POP is signed with drawing which makes the name look like a face with a top hat!)

April 4

The stationary is engraved with these words in script across the top

“News from Mother”

San Francisco, California, April 4, 1945, Wednesday

My Darling Maxine-

It certainly was wonderful to talk to you last night and to hear the little baby cry all the way from New York to California! That really should have been recorded for the ages. Do you realize that is the first one of his grandchildren that Dad has ever heard? My what a thrill!

It is only too bad that Bill was not there also, we hope that by the time you receive this he will have recovered from his cold and is able to spend every spare minute with you. We certainly appreciate the arrangements you both made for us to call, would have called the first evening bu thought it was better for you to be quiet, we certainly have a hard time waiting for the second evening.

Maxine, you certainly sounded as if you really felt good and we hop you still feel fine. By tomorrow (Thurs.) we expect a big long letter from Bill telling us everything, then in a day or two one from you.- We can hardly wait!

Sincerely hope that by now the dear little baby has a name- we are so anxious to hear it.

The weather here is beautiful, really beginning to be hot but this hear can’t last long, dav had to to to the city this morning but I am still ” too shaky” after, the big event to be able to go. Maybe in several days I will recuperate. We have been “crying” at each other like “little baby” ( oh too bad she hasn’t a name) since we can’t hear her cry anymore. How I wish I could squeeze her tight!-

Sincerely hope Maxine that you are doing as well as can be expected and much love and kisses to all of you, Mother

I’ll bet little Charlotte is anxious for you and the baby to come home!-

It was quite a wonderful thing many years ago when you were taken over to your Grandmother Dieter’s birthday party in your baby carriage when only 4 days old- everyone was very surprised but now when Grandfather and Grandmother Elsner can hear their little Granddaughter cry all the way from New York to California-when she is only 2 days old- well that is “something”.

Dear Mike, my, my, wadda baby- I’ll bet that’s the only baby that ever cried so loud she could be heard 3000 miles It was a big thrill for me, and for her, well I’ll see that she never hears the last of that. Take good care of yourself. We are both very happy about the baby and about talking to you, POP

June 26 Harry S. Truman seated on the stage of the San Francisco Opera House signed the United Nations charter.

July 25 Maxine sends a lock of Charlotte’s hair to Helen and Max at: 1375 Donner, San Francisco, CA. 24

Sep. 18 celebrating Mother Dieter’s 85th Birthday in Joplin with Ralph and Lola.

December Drive to NY with Ralph and Betty to visit Maxine, Bill, Charlotte and Katie living at 144-45 Coolidge Drive, Jamaica, Queens.

Friends of my parents have told me that my father really didn’t like Sylvia’s father and didn’t like to be with him very much. They have told me that it is because my grandfather left his wife and children for a long period of time when the kids were growing up. One said ” I don’t know why she (Helen Elsner) ever took him [Max] back. Maybe she just thought that she was too old to ever get another man”.

That Christmas when my mother’s parents came to visit, my mother had a hard time tracking my father down. He was out with Duke Kramer who had just gotten home from the service and right after he came home my father took him out to distribute Christmas poinsettias to friends. Both young, Fritzie and my mother were looking for their husbands that day as my mothers parents who had driven from California to visit their daughter waited also for Bill to come home.

Ralph told me in 1977 that the tension was high between Betty and the family during that long car trip.

See black and white pictures of everyone but my Dad who was out with Duke.

Fritzie said that she really felt sorry for my mother who was left in a bad situation without my Dad and her parents there.



Hattie and Max go onto Jamestown, Virginia after visiting New York at Christmas. In Virginia they visit with Paul, Lola, Paula and Lee. From there, they go onto Joplin.


Joplin, 1946

Paula and Lola and children in Joplin with Hattie and Max.


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This picture of Hattie in El Paso, Texas in 1946 was sent to me on the internet by her granddaughter Paula in 2006.

Hattie wrote on the back:

“Same spot May 2, 1886

May 2 1946 El Paso Texas…This is the corner where the house stood!”

It was Hattie’s 60th birthday!

This huge trip from California through Kansas City to New York, Virgina, Joplin and Texas must have been all planned for Hattie’s 60th birthday.

I wonder if they went back to California or if they stayed in the Midwest.

Perhaps, they were hoping to be invited to help Maxine with the move to Chicago.

Perhaps, they were hoping to be with Maxine and the children for the birth of Fred in Chicago.

For all I know they were there in Chicago when Fred was born.

Hattie’s 60th birthday year was certainly a year filled with travel. She obviously wanted to be with her children and her grandchildren.

July 23 Maxine’s third child, Freddie, born in Chicago.

Sept. Hattie is with Max in Joplin with Charlotte, Katie, Freddie, Maxine and Bill. The first get together after the birth of Freddie.

Also the birthday of Hattie’s mother.

Were Hattie and Max in Joplin all this time since March? Or did they drive back and forth?



Maxine in Minnesota with Bill at Mayo Clinic.

April 20

Maxine sends this telegram to her parents in San Francisco….”Operation Highly successful. No Danger of reoccurrence. Bill Comfortable. Love, Mike”     (original telegraph with Freddy in Savnnah).

June 4

Postcard from Maxine to her parents “Leaving via sleeper for Chicago tomorrow.”

May 3

another telegram arrives for Hattie’s birthday ” Happy Birthday Bill sitting in chair today to celebrate. Duke Fritzie just arrived for day send their love, Dick still here Bill’s father arrives tomorrow very pleased with Bills progress what do you want for your new house for your birthday love Maxine

July 3

New York. On a light blue postcard with “Private Mailing Card written on front where return address usually appears. Verso: printed -Mrs. William Gretsch 301 Burns Street Forest Hills, New York.(301 Burns Street is crossed out and 37 Shorthill Road is written in.) Monday, Arrived safely and will have an ideal set-up here. Big fenced in back yard with plentry of room to keep the noise away from us. Bill looks better already getting tan and getting his appetite back. He is enjoying the girls and Freddie…all well and getting browner by the minute! Taking Freddie to the doctor for shots right now.-love, Mike

July 3 or 4 Grand River Dam in Oklahoma. Ralph visiting there with Betsy and Aunt Kate. “Haven’t seen it (the Dam) since the day I quit work.” (Is there a problem with Ralph and keeping a job?) Post card is sent to Milbrae.

Paul and Lola and children move to Melbrae and live with Max and Helen for a while


January 15

Maxine’s fourth child, Gretchen is born in Chicago at Wesley Memorial Hospital.

The Cathedral of Healing, 250 East Superior Street.” A new modern twenty-two story structure with 515 beds and 35 transparent bassinets. This hospital is based on a plan which provides a maximum of light and air to all and is equipped with the very latest hospital facilities. (from post card sent to Hattie and Max.) ” This is it- Room 1484- Chicago’s newest and finest! Postmarked Jan. 29.

Another post card sent on the same day……Our fifth Honeymoon Hotel! On the front is a picture of the Stevens…..

March “Coronet” magazine has a article on page 75 about “Georgia’s –Cured of Cancer—Club”. Obviously, Hattie and Max were reading about Bill’s illness and hoping for the best.

“Save” is written in pencil on the cover.

May Paul and Lola move to San Carlo.

June Mike ( Maxine) sends telegram to Mrs. Max Elsner 371 Bonita Way, Milbrea, CA. from Rochester, Minn. “Hope to start home Tuesday please come direct to Chicago your earliest convenience stay apartment with children. We go to Hotel wire me your plans, love, Mike


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Hattie is in Chicago at Palmer Square helping with the kids while Bill is very sick in NYC with Maxine and Charlotte.

September 5 Hattie has taken Katie to Kansas City to visit with Ralph and Betty. Then Katie and her grandmother go on to Joplin to see Hattie’s sister Kate and her mother who is 88 years old.

Hattie, her mother and her sister Kate. Her mother’s 88th birthday.

September 10 When the news comes of her father’s death, Katie who is just 3 years old flies with her Grandmother to New York.

Imagining this household in Joplin in the days leading up to my father’s death. Kate and Hattie who had lost their three young brothers as men much younger than Bill must have been inexorably caught in the remembrance of their own mouring. Their mother who was now 88 years old had of course lost three sons in their prime. Bill’s death must have brought back to of these women their own deeply buried sorrows. The memory of their old grief came flooding back to them in the midst of this new sorrow.

How sad they must have been for their beloved, beautiful, intelligent Maxine on whom they all dotted.

Their magical daughter, granddaughter and niece who had been spared the sorrow of their own youth was now caught in her own web of mourning.

…and three year old Katie who was a silent part of the conversations and the pall that fell over the house on Pearl Street in those early September days. At the time, Katie knows her sadness mostly as being separated from her beloved older sister Charlotte and her younger siblings Freddie and Gee Gee. Poor Katie covered by these generations of sadness that she knew nothing of. Certainly she felt the pain which surrounded her. There was no one to guild her through this unexplained sadness which fell over her and the three women in whose care she found herself.


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Hattie at 106 Onslow Place in Kew Gardens with Maxine. Was Max there too?

At this time Hattie is 62 years old and in the past few months she had been in Chicago, Joplin and New York helping her daughter and visiting with her sister and mother. She must have been exhausted.

November 7

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Pop’s 63 birthday in Joplin and Hattie is back in Joplin with Max. This inscription on the back of the photo to the left. “Pop’s 63rd birthday, Joplin Missouri, Nov. 7, 1948.”

It must have been a hard decision for Hattie and Max to leave their newly widowed and beloved daughter in New York.

Christmas Did they go on to California and home for Christmas? It must have been a hard Christmas, so soon after the tragedy of Bill’s death.


April 4

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“Pacific Ocean Beach at Half Moon Bay”

Wonderful picture of Hattie, wearing pants with a big smile on her face, and Paula and Lee.

In the past year Hattie had traveled across the country to be with her grandchildren in Chicago and then traveled onto New York to be with Maxine after Bill died. That is a lot of traveling and a lot of sadness for a 63 year old woman.

In this picture, Hattie looks so happy to be back in California with Paula and Lee.

In November, 1963, 14 years later, Max committed suicide on this beach.

July 4 Hattie’s mother, Helene Bärenz Dieter dies just two months before her 89th birthday.

Pallbearers were Carl J. Johnson, Will C. Johnson, Joe Schulte, E. Bronkhorst, M. Vinther and E. Fritz.

The whole family is together on July 4, at San Carlos, Ca.

Aunt Kate is also there that summer but she probably came later in the summer.

What a summer for Kate and Hattie. they would have had much to say to each other about their mother’s death. Kate’s whole life had been taking care of her mother. Now perhaps, Hattie tried to entice her to move to California.

July 23, Freddie’s 3rd Birthday party in Milbrae, Ca.

On this trip to California, Maxine had written to Aunt Kate that she wanted to have the children’s portraits done in Joplin. What survives are very formal pictures of the kids which were taken in California at Ed Arnold, 285 Primrose Road, Burlingame, California. See pictures at Freddy’s.


March 21, Debbie Born (Max & Hattie living in LA?)

Dec through January Hattie and Max in New York




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Hattie and Max are in Joplin visiting with Kate.

On the back of this lovely picture is written, “for Kate, January 1952, 321 North Pearl.

Mr. and Mrs. Sayles, Mrs. Repplinger”.

“The Repplinger family was originally from Joplin. Evelyn Repplinger was a friend of Maxine’s. The woman pictured here is probably Evelyn’s mother.

In 1954, there is picture of Evelyn Repplinger at a party at Maxine’s new house in Forest Hills. The picture can be found on Maxine’s Time Line.”

Hattie looks so happy in this picture surrounded by her sister and several old friends from Joplin.


Hattie’s  granddaughter, Katie Gretsch, has a very serious accident on her bicycle. Her liver was damaged. Maxine doesn’t tell her parents until it is all over. Katie spent several days in the hospital and then several days recouperating at her grandfather’s house on Shorthill Road.

March 19,


Maxine sent an announcement from the Daily Mirror to her parents about Fred and Helen being engaged.

” Both looking awfully happy- ‘s wonderful to be in love!

Maxine has an article published in “Modern Romance”. It appears in a section on the modern family, “Sew and Save”.

May 24 Fred and Helen wed.


Maxine and children go to California and Maxine sails from there to Central America. Children stay with Hattie Helen and Max now living in Menlo Park.

See pictures with Freddy of Maxine and children on board the ship “The Portland” before Maxine sailed for South America. GES is wearing her sailor dress.

For a more details on this trip see time line for Maxine.

Also in this year. Voimir (sp) and Guatie (sp?) Belda visit with Grossmom in California. Hattie looks very happy.

Diane and Bonnie are little girls, about 9 and 10.

In 1965, Bonnie (Belda) and her husband Grant Giles are living at 6812 Academy Dr. in Houston, Texas.

Bonnie sends a note to Grossmom thanking her for the salt and pepper shakers. Bonnie also writes “Maybe we can go to California to visit Momand Dad and Diane. I wish we lived closer.

“Also, in this year, Hattie is volunteering as a “Gray Lady”. The picture below was taken on the back patio of 16 Palm Court in Menlo Park. Sixty years later in 2013, Hattie’s granddaughter, Gretchen, (me) would also volunteer at a medical center.

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Information about  the Gray Ladies from the Worth Point website:

HISTORY OF THE GREY LADIES: The term “Gray Ladies” refers to American Red Cross volunteers who for many years provided friendly, personal services of a non-medical nature to sick, injured, and disabled patients in American hospitals, other health-care facilities, and private homes. Their work ranged from writing letters, reading, tutoring, and shopping for patients to serving as guides to visitors and as hostesses in hospital recreation rooms and at information desks. Gray Ladies also provided hospitality services in Red Cross Blood Centers and joined forces with other Red Cross workers in caring for disaster victims. The Gray Lady service began in 1918 at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. Women volunteers acted as hostesses and provided recreational services to patients, most of whom had been injured during World War I. The women wore gray dresses and veils as uniforms and the soldiers affectionately called them “the gray ladies.” The name stuck although the service did not become officially known as the Gray Lady Service until after World War II. Originally it was called the Hostess and Hospital Service and Recreation Corps of the American Red Cross. The name was shortened to Hospital and Recreation Corps in 1934 and changed to Gray Lady Service in 1947. Some men also enrolled in the Service and were called the “Gray Men.” Gray Lady Service spread to other hospitals around the country, both military and civilian, in the 1930s as health needs grew during the Depression. The service reached its greatest strength during World War II when almost 50,000 women served as Gray Ladies in military and other hospitals throughout the United States. Following the war, some Gray Ladies also served in U.S. military hospitals overseas. Although their numbers declined after the war, Gray Ladies continued to maintain a distinctive presence in American hospitals until the late 1960s when the different volunteer branches of the Red Cross were discontinued in favor of a unified concept of the Red Cross Volunteer. The Gray Lady Service, as such, disappeared and volunteers who performed its traditional functions were simply called members of the Red Cross Volunteer Services. In keeping with this new policy, a universal blue uniform replaced the distinctive ones that had identified Gray Ladies and volunteers in other Red Cross services for many years. Despite these changes, some former Gray Ladies continued to use the apparel they had worn so proudly for nearly 50 years and Red Cross leadership made no effort to ban this practice among those longterm volunteers. Even today a few chapters continue to call some of their volunteers “Gray Ladies” who perform the traditional functions of the bygone service. *****************************************************


1955 May, Aunt Kate in California



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August (film developed in October) Lillian and Helen Cain come to visit in California.

It was at Lilian Cain’s house in Chicago that Maxine met Bill Gretsch. Note Hattie’s diary entry from 1908, May in Chicago. At that time she visited with Cousin Lillian and her family.

Christmas Perhaps in New York with Maxine and children.


February Joplin visiting sister Kate.

Picture in March of Ralph, Betty, Debbie, Max, Hattie and Kate at 321 North Pearl.

Also visited Ralph’s home at 6436 Washington, Kansas City, MO.

1959 September celebrate 50th wedding anniversary

1960 March 28, Ralph and Betty separate

1960’s Lee Elsner tells me in 2000 that once when he was in college at the University of Missouri, he drove home to California with Aunt Kate. She was really encourageing of his driving fast. She would say to him “just keep on going fast” even after they got stopped by a policeman and he got a ticket. She said you just drive fast and I’ll look out the window. Aunt Kate also told him one time that she had had a really good life and not to worry about her that she was alone with no family and no children.

But I don’t know what year that was.

1962 August, Maxine has operation and Ralph goes to visit

George Dieter, whose father was a first cousin of Hattie’s is named the director of Public Works in El Paso. Did Hattie know about this? She must have thought about it since she was born in El Paso and it was once such a Dieter town. George’s father Philipp had gone to El Paso from Germany in 1901 as a young man.( see 1901)


June 5 Ralph divorced. He comes to live with his parents in Menlo Park.

October 26 Paula and Chuck McQuiddy married. Maxine and Charlotte come from New York for the wedding.

November 7 Max’s 77th birthday. To celebrate Maxine writes in long hand three “Happy Birthday Bulletins” . Each is written as if it is newspaper copy

“Happy Birthday Bulletin—-Decorating Note——Max and Helen Elsner have installed an art museum in the great hall of their home. The remodeling was a joint birthday gift to them broth from their daughter, Maxine.” In my grandmother’s hand is written, “To Dad and Mother, May 2, 1963 Novermber1-1963

“Happy Birthday Bulletin—-Max and Helen Elsner spend night at ST. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, as guests of their daughter maxine, following dinner and opera, which was as quest of their son Ralph” In my grandmother’s hand is written “Dad’s birthday-Nov-7, 1964”

“Happy Birthday Bulletin—–Max and Helen Elsner take Helicopter trip from San Francisco to Oakland as birthday present of son Ralph and daughter Maxine!” in my grandmother’s hand ” to Dad November 7, 1964. Ralph and Maxine went along-Wonderful Trip.”

Right around this time Max dissappears.

mid November Maxine returns to San Francisco from New York.

After my mother’s died, I always thought that she went to California at this time to tell her parents about her illness.

I didn’t find out until April, 2000 that Max was not there and that my mother had traveled to California to help her own mother deal with her disappearing husband.

I doubt that my mother even mentioned her developing cancer and any fears she might have had about her own health.

Maxine was on her way home from San Francisco when she got the news in Kansas City that her father had died. Kate Dieter went back to Menlo Park with Maxine to be with her sister Hattie. Kate was 79 years old at the time.

Paula wrote in an email (3-29-2000) according to mom, max disappeared many times during his marriage…and as you know, committed suicide on mom & dad’s front walkway, after ringing the doorbell in the middle of the night and seeing the porch light come on he shot himself…he had disappeared shortly after our wedding (which Charlotte and your mother attended) on 10/26/63.

This email from Paula (4-14-2000) explains further: hi again…talked to mother this morning and she remembers that max had been gone for 2-3 weeks before he showed up on their doorstep…dad evidently traced his whereabouts to the half moon bay area (on the coast) where he had stayed long enough to get a gun permit and bought the gun…mom told me today that dad got the money back for the gun after max used it…on the premise that it should never have been sold to him in the first place….i believe dad traced some of the info (after the fact) thru a cab driver that brought max to their house that night…but i could be wrong about that…i suspect that your mom kept a lot of what went on from you kids….

This was the same time that John Kennedy was shot. I remember getting the news that my mother was not coming home but heading back to California because my grandfather had died. In Forest Hills, we were all watching the Kennedy news on television for hours and hours. We had no idea of our own family tragedy.


January 25 Maxine begins a letter to her Aunt Kate in Joplin:

Saturday, January 25, 1964

Dear Tante-

What a shame that you arrived home for a cold snap! It must have been quite a shock to your system, after balmy California.

However, I imagine the peace, quiet and comfort of your own home made up for it.

You were certainly wonderful to go out with me and to stay so long. I’m so grateful—and I know Mother, Ralph and Paul are too.

Its amazing that your car startedup so quickly, I was sure you’d need a new battery, at least!

All sorts of things have happened since you were in Menlo Park—all with happy endings. Some of them you may already have heard of—– but I’ll jot them down anyway.

Fred sold his 1935 Buick—-still in pieces but with the motor runninf perfectly—for $425– He had bought it for $100- and spent another $125 getting it in shape—-what a lovely profit.

Then he had bought a 1937 Plymouth for $75, put about $50 into it and sold it for $250-!

Now he has a motorcycle he paid $150 for , and is putting in condition. He expects to sell it for $300 in the spring.

He enjoys working with the motors so much. ANd of course making a profit, too makes it especially exciting!

Charlotte was in a lucky automobile accident, if there is such a thing—–had only pulled leg muscles-

Feb 3, 196(3)4

Well, a lot of water has gone under the dam since I started this,

First, on last Thursday (about the 27th, I think) (30th written in) I went to get a shot for adhesions ( as a result of my operation) and before I got out of the doctors office (fortunately) I started having chills & fever. Apparently I was allergic to the shot!. So they took me to the hospital where I stayed 2 nights. Then I went home on a Saturday, but the adhesion situation didn’t clear up and I couldn’t eat and couldn’t get my strength back so last Saturday Tom Hayes, my friend, doctor and neighbor, brought me back to the hospital to build me up a little before treating me again. He is trying to figure out a way to keep from operating, I think—-and I am all in favor of that.

Meanwhile, Katie has moved back home! I am still not sure if it is permanent, but certainly hope so! It is a long drive for her back and forth to her college—about 50 minutes each way— so I hope it works. And especially I hope she doesn’t have an accident!

Gretchen keeps as happy as a lark. Her grades went down a little this term— I think it is to much “Cookie” —that’s her current boy friend. But she is doing alright and certainly is enjoying life!

We’re having a kind of mid-winter warm spell and hope you are too— I love that California climate.

Too bad you didn’t have more fun with Gus and Willodean. Hope she and her father are better now!

No I haven’t seen the picture of Katie—-thank you so much for sending it.

love, Maxine

February 8 Maxine is admitted to Doctor’s hospital. It is very serious. Ralph and Hattie fly immediately to New York. They stay on Short Hill Road visiting the hospital everyday

February 10 Maxine has an exploratory laparotomy.

February 29 Maxine passes away.

March 5 On Thursday, March 5, 1964 Hattie is back home in California with Ralph. She described Maxine’s death in a long letter to her sister Kate in Joplin.

My Dear Kate,

It is now 1 P.M.-have just eaten a bowl of canned soup so will start this letter. The mailman is coming now- My what a wonderful letter you wrote. Your friends and ours, were so very considerate and kind, sending plants, coming to stay with you, and soon, how very nice that your minister came also. Your idea of going to the cemetery made it very complete and also unusual, what a fine way to attend services for our very lovely daughter, sister and niece.

I just don’t know how to tell you of our three weeks with Maxine and her final sleep in her Heavenly Home. It was too bad that she was not able to talk except in a very faint way, and sometimes very legible.- It was very hard for me to understand her but Ralph read her lips, as well as hearing her and then telling me what she said. We went to the Hospital every morning about 11 A.M.- a Visiting Priest who was on his Vacation from “Equator (sic)”, and not being too far from Maxine’s home took it upon himself to come by for us every morning about 10 or 11 and take us to the Hospital. We used Taxis also but most of the time some one brot (sic) us home.

Just had a lovely phone visit with Mrs. Warren, Zimmers were here this morning. Rhodes called & are coming tomorrow afternoon. Now I’ll finish my letter. We were shocked when Dr. Hayes, (back of Maxine’s house) & her Dr.-came over at 8 A.M. & said Maxine had passed away at 7:45- – He & his wife were so lovely to us all of the time. Dr. Ariel, the Cancer Dr. was consisdered (sic)the best one in N.Y.- He praised Maxine so highly also–Everyone at the Funeral Home did the same, at least 500 or more people were there, the Church was filled. Everyone praised her and also did not know that she was sick. Fred and Dick and their wives were so very wonderful- Fred was at the Hospital also everyday and evening. The Somers (sic) & 2 married daughters were so kind and considerate of us during the several last days.

They will keep the home, also Mrs. Conors as long as she will stay & will get a middle aged woman or couple to live with the them. All of the girls cook, but Char, stayed home from college of her own free will to take care of cooking, etc. Cath, is at home now too & helps with everything. They all intend to either work, or take some college work this summer. Fred is buying old cars, as you know but did not do anything on them when we were there– They wouldn’t let me do anything, they all, & everybody fell in love with Ralph & he kept busy doing things all the time. He was at the hospital all the time too and sometimes in the evening.

Maxine was buried in the blue, long skirted dress that she had here. I’m sure you saw it, she looked beautiful & peaceful & you could not tell that she had suffered for so long. she had no food at all except the interveinous (sic) liguid & sedatives, & sometimes they had to stop that.

The casket was a huge (Mahogany crossed out and Walnut written over) beautiful casket- Fred & Dick & Ralph-(maybe Paul) I don’t remember- yes, I guess he was- selected it. The flowers were immense, beautiful, and all around the walls in the funeral home, then at the Cemetery. The article in your paper was very lovely except about her husband, (how on earth could anything like that happen.)-Fred & Dick had a big Spray of White Chrysanthemums, there was a white crys. blanked (sic) on the casket from the children. We and you -had Spray just like the Brothers, & so was the one from Paul Lola, Paula, Chuck & Lee. A lovely big Spray of (believe) it was gladiolus, & also a lovely telegram from (them crossed out)Gus & Willodean. The number of beautiful Mass Card was in the hundreds, some in frames, a funeral could never have been more beautiful. Helen (Gretsch crossed out) Welsc was not there, they didn’t think they would let her know until afterwards. Her two college friends did not come back for the (family crossed out) funeral. We told all the families that you intended to come but was not well & the weather was so uncertain, etc. & they all agreed that was best also. Our Plane trip back was one hr. late, Lola met us, had groceries in the ice box, & a big Beef Stew in Our Roaster. Paul stayed on for business, to New Jersey, Chicago, etc. & home tomorrow nite (sic).

Much love, Ralph and Hattie, I’m going to lie down now- you take it easy too.


Elsner dinner 19dy 1953

This picture taken in Febraruay of 1965 at 16 Palm Court. It was just one year after Maxine’s death.

Hattie sits at the head of the table with her son Paul and his wife Lola on either side of her. Also present is Martha Eissfetlt who was a long time friend of the family. I have heard Martha referred to as a friend of Maxine but I have no knowledge of their relationship.

Raplh probably took the picture.


January/ February Charlotte and Jim and baby Jimmy come to visit. Hattie wants to hold the baby the whole time.

Charlotte remembers that she is in very good spirits and very happy to be with them. A very different person than what Charlotte remembers when Grosspop was alive.

Click to enlarge image

Sometime in the years after my mother’s death in 1964 and before Hattie death in 1970, Katie sent this envelop to her sister.

It contained the pictures from the house in Langen, Germany where her mother had grown up in.

It was addressed to Mrs. M.A. Elsner, 16 Palm Court, Menlo Park, California 94025. It was from 321 NOrth Peral Street, Joplin, Mo 6480.

On the envelop Hattie wrote in very shakey writing, “Germany pictures from Kate now-Return to Kate- after Paul and Lola see it-(them) Then Ralph-”

The stamps had been cut away from the envelope. The pictures which the envelope contained can be seen on this timeline in 1860 and 1934, above.

This important envelope gives us some idea of how the sisters communicated and how they shared family history and wished to carry it onward. Kate’s trip to Germany in 1934 is written about on the back of each picture. It must have been an important trip for Kate. Hattie never went to Europe.

The house in the picture is a house to be proud of, built by a grandfather they never knew, Kate especially did not want the house to be forgotten.

The sisters Kate and Hattie wrote often to each other. This envelop shows that they were interested in preserving family history. At least Kate was. Perhaps, Hattie was only doing what her older sister asked her to do. Katie had many many old family pictures in Joplin and she was interested in sharing them with the family.

The envelop and the pictures came to me from Charlotte in 2005. Perhaps, Paul sent them to her in 1986 when he sent Charlotte some family newspaper clippings and photos. Perhaps, Hattie gave it to Charlotte when she visited in 1966.


June 1 Hattie dies. 84 years old

Freddy reminds me that she fell and broke her hip. I remember that she was hospitalized for a while. Ralph told me that she was always cheerful in the hospital even though she didn’t know what was happening. He said the nurses commented on how cheerful she was. Freddy went to the funeral.

Katie and I in lieu of going to California visited Aunt Kate with six months old baby Maggie.

Katie remembers the very small hamburgers we had for dinner. I remember that Aunt Kate showed me lots of pictures of the family and said we could take whatever we wanted. It was the first time I ever heard about my grandmother’s three brothers but I didn’t ask any questions about them. However, I took their pictures home with me.

Aunt Kate worried about falling in the house and breaking a hip. She drove us very slowly around in her very old car. She was very thin and I remember seeing her brushing her very long grey hair at night as she got ready for bed. I’m sure Katie and I talked about how strange it was to be back in this house with so many childhood memories. But I don’t’ remember what we said.


Kate and Ralph, Joplin July, 1973  Kate and Ralph visit the Dieter burial site in Joplin, July, 1973.


In the spring, Kate’s great nephew, Fred Gretsch was on business in Missouri. He drove from Kansas City to Tulsa, OK. with a stop in Joplin. Spent the night with Aunt Kate. She cooked bacon and eggs breakfast the next morning. She was in good spirits and very pleasant. Fred working for his own company Fred Gretsch enterprises and living in Elmhurst, ILL.


May 19, 10:45 p.m. Thursday. Kate Dieter dies 92 years old. I wonder if she too broke her hip. I know she was afraid of that happening when Katie and I visited her in 1970.

Kate died at  St. John’s Medical Center where she had been a patient for three weeks. Services will be held at Thornton-Dillon Mortuary. Rev. Donald Loesch will officiate, May 21.

Kate Dieter has lived for 77 year on North Pearl Street. In 1900 when the family first moved to Joplin they lived at 213 North Pearl. Later around 1907 they moved to 410 a very large house which the Dieter and Wenzel construction company surely built. Around 1940, Kate moved with her mother to 310 North Pearl Street. In 2000, all three houses were still in existence.

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