Council Member Biographies
Biographies of the 1949 Zion Church Council member families are given below.
Oscar Karl Kletke
Oscar Karl Kletke, son of Gottlieb and Ottilie (Krause) Kletke, was born August 28, 1887 at Winfield, Kansas. In 1893 his parents moved to a farm near Billings, Oklahoma after his father made the run into Oklahoma Territory and staked a claim. The family lived here till 1901 when Oscar’s father bought a farm two and one-half miles east of Alva. They made the move in covered wagons and drove their cattle.
Oscar attended the Lutheran school and on March 23, 1902 was confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Alva. As a young man he was active with young people of the church and sang in the church choir. He also donated much labor on the building of the Lutheran Church which was dedicated July 16, 1911. On April 2, 1913 Oscar married Emma Wamhof, nee Meyer. They made their first home on a farm southeast of Alva for several years. After their first son Martin was born, when Oscar’s parents retired and moved to Alva to 329 Church Street,
Oscar and Emma and little Martin moved to his father’s farm east of Alva. Here another son Roland was born. In 1919 Oscar and Emma, with the two little boys made a trip to California to visit with Emma’s parents. Emma wasn’t feeling too well and upon their return to Alva it was necessary for her to have surgery. She never regained her health and in August of 1923 her wishes were to go visit her parents. Oscar made arrangements and Emma went by train to Long Beach, California. The two boys remained with their father until he could join his wife after the wheat was sown. On the way Emma took a cold and in a short time Oscar and boys went to California to be with her. On September 29, 1923 Emma died at the home of her parents. She was buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery at Alva, Oklahoma.
May 14, 1925 Oscar married Clara Wiersig, daughter of Gottlieb and Bertha (Scholz) Wiersig. Clara was born July 28, 1890 near Appleton City, Missouri and came with her parents to a farm two miles south of Alva. After their marriage Oscar and Clara lived on the farm where Oscar had established his home. Roland Kletke, their youngest son married Margaret (Mickey) Rauh. Margaret was the daughter of Alvin and Marie (Wenninger} Rauh. They live on a farm southeast of Alva. Roland and Margaret have two sons.
James lives in Houston, Texas, where he is practicing law. He is married to Elizabeth Millice. Douglas is married to Margaret Jenks.
Douglas and Margaret live on a farm north of Alva. They have two children, a daughter Pamela and a son Andrew. Martin married Mildred Brunken of Lahoma, Oklahoma. Mildred is the daughter of William and Clara (Petersen) Brunken. Clara, upon the death of her husband, moved to Alva in 1942 and lived here until her death in 1972. She was also a member of the Lutheran Church in Alva.
Martin and Mildred are living on the original Gottlieb Kletke Farm which once belonged to Martin’s grandfather and father, Oscar. Martin and Mildred have three children. Dr. Darrel Kletke who is with the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Darrel married Karen Webb with whom he had two children, Marc and Deana, then married Marilyn (Graves) Hedrick who already had two children, Bryan and Laura. Janice married Gary Sonnenberg. They live in Jefferson City, Missouri. where Gary is an engineer with Westinghouse Company. They have two sons, Martin and Douglas. Phillip at present is working on his PhD thesis in Mathematical Sociology at the Chicago University in Illinois.
After the marriage of their two sons, Oscar and Clara retired, building a home in Alva at 315 Oklahoma Boulevard. Oscar still made trips to the farms helping his sons. Clara was an active member of the Lutheran Ladies Aid and held offices in it. Oscar held various church offices and was on the building committee of the Lutheran School built in 1946, also the church parsonage built in 1954. Oscar died December 23, 1959 and Clara died January 4, 1973. Both are buried in the Lutheran Cemetery southeast of Alva.
Prepared by Mildred (Brunken) Kletke 1976.
Wilhelm “William” Kirmse
William Kirmse, son of Julius and Barbara (Kraus) Kirmse was born at Farrar, Missouri May 21, 1875. William grew up on a farm, attended Lutheran School and was confirmed in the Lutheran Church. German was spoken by the family and was also used in school. Very little English was taught to the children.
William grew up near the Mississippi River. Livestock was marketed by driving stock to the boat landing then they were shipped to St. Louis. As a young man, William was more interested in carpentry work than in farming. At the age of 18, he walked to jobs where buildings were being constructed, stayed at the job during the week and then walked home on the weekends.
In 1902, he came to Alva and did carpentry work. Houses which he helped build were the Gottlieb Kletke, John Rauh, Jr., and Herman Wiersig homes.
In 1903, William went back to Farrar, Missouri and on February 11, 1904, he was married to Martha Cordes, daughter of Henry and Margaretha (Meier) Cordes Friends and relatives implored them not to move to Oklahoma to make their home because people thought Oklahoma was wild Indian country and they feared for the couple’s safety. A few days after their wedding, William and Martha boarded a train for Oklahoma. Instead of settling at Alva, they went to Shattuck, where land did not cost as much. They took up a relinquished claim seven miles southeast of Shattuck. They paid Mr. and Mrs. Chris Pshigoda $1300 for the claim which included the land, a sod house, two horses and a colt, two cows and a calf, six chickens and a wagon. Water for domestic use was hauled from a spring in a 50 gallon barrel on a sled pulled by horses. Wheat was the main crop. Watermelons also grew bountifully. In 1909, William built a frame house on the farm.
Soon, a son, Julius Henry, was born and later a daughter, Edna B. Both children were born in the sod house. Edna died at the age of 17 months and is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery at Alva.
After three crop failures, William and Martha decided to sell their land at Shattuck and move to Alva. They purchased a farm southeast of Alva, where their daughter Ella now lives. Fred Lohmann and August Kahnert drove the horses and two wagons from Shattuck for them. William came on the freight train with their machinery and personal belongings. Martha and son, Julius, came by train a few days later arriving at sunset, just before Christmas in 1910. William had purchased the land with the understanding that the former owner would plant the wheat in the fall. since it was a very dry fall and winter, the crop failed. Kaffir corn, planted in the spring, turned out to be a good crop. At Alva, their second son was born, Alwin Karl. He died of a ruptured appendix on September 28, 1928. Here, also three daughters were born, Laura H., Ella A., and Norma M. Their children all live in Alva area.
William and Martha lived on the farm until 1944 when they moved into Alva. They lived at 1122 Fourth and later at 912 Third. Both were active members of the Lutheran Church. William held various offices in the church and was on the building committee for the Lutheran school, dedicated in 1948. Martha was a member of the Ladies Aid of the church. After he retired, William enjoyed working in his shop and making things for the grandchildren. Martha kept busy in the yard and garden. One of her favorite pastimes was piecing quilt tops and quilting them.
In 1954, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and lived to observe their 63rd anniversary. Martha (Cordes) Kirmse was born March 20, 1879, at Farrar, Missouri. She grew up on a farm near there. Martha died December 9, 1967, at Alva. William died August 4, 1968, at Alva.
Julius Kirmse married Hilda Brunken November 1, 1936 and they lived on a farm southeast of Alva. Their children are Dale, Gainesville, Florida. Mrs. Marshall (Donna) Frazer, Austin, Texas, and Mrs. Ron (Judy) Yordi, Edmond, Oklahoma. Hilda died September 24, 1946. Julius married Hildegard Kletke on 19 August 19, 1951.
Laura Kirmse married Roland Schmidt August 21, 1938. They made their first home at Cherokee, Oklahoma, later moving to a farm south of Alva. They have three children. Mrs. Robert (Arlene) Manning lives at Lawrence, Kansas. Arlene and Bob have two sons, Michael and Jay. Ernest Schmidt married Karen Johnson and they live and farm south of Alva. Their three children are Kurt, Pamela and Mark. Larry died in a plane crash in 1979.
Ella Kirmse married Gilbert Krueger March 2, 1941 and lives on the farm her parents purchased when they moved to Alva. They have two daughters and a son. Larry and Betty Deinlein live at Austin, Texas. Their children are Deborah and Jeffery. John is married to Ruth Mellies and lives at Hutchinson Kansas. Their children are David and Linda. Tom and Martha Mueller live at Ft. Worth, Texas. Stephen and Jonathan are their sons.
Norma Kirmse married Alwin “Bud” Rauh, Jr. 25 Jan 1948. They live in Alva. Their children are Kathleen and Cynthia. Gary and Kathy Earnest live east of Freedom, Oklahoma. and have a son, Sage, and a daughter, Savanah. Joe and Cindy Randolph live in Perryton, Texas. They have a son, Tobin, and a daughter, Lacee.
Prepared by Norma (Kirmse) Rauh 1976.
Gilbert’s father was born at Freiburg, Minnesota near Fergus falls on October 3, 1882. With his family in October, 1900, he moved into the parsonage at Farrar, Missouri where his grandfather, Rev. John Krueger, was pastor of Salem Lutheran Church for many years until his death November 1924. His mother, Martha Maire Fritsche, was born in Chemnitz, Germany on December 10, 1884. At the age of 6 years, she came to America with her parents and settled in Perry County near Farrar, Missouri. John W. Krueger and Martha M. Fritsche were married September 1, 1907 by his father. They were the parents of 6 children, Lucy, Alma, Raymond, Walter, Gilbert and Verna.
Gilbert Krueger attended Salem Lutheran School at Farrar, Missouri. Due to his father’s illness and death at the age of 52, he had to seek employment away from home at an early age. During the summers he worked in Iowa and North Dakota. In June, 1939, he came to Alva, Oklahoma to help in the wheat harvest. He worked for William and Martha Kirmse for several summers. They were the parents of Ella, who later became his wife.
Ella’s parents were married February 11, 1904 at Farrar, Missouri by the Rev. John Krueger, Gilbert’s grandfather, left for Oklahoma. William and Martha first settled near Shattuck, Oklahoma. In December, 1910, they bought a farm southeast of Alva and lived there till they retired and moved into Alva in December 1944. Ella has a brother Julius and sisters Laura Schmidt and Norma Rauh, all living in Alva, Oklahoma and a sister Edna passed away in 1908 and brother Alvin, September 1928.
Ella was born January 28, 1918 in the house in which she still resides. She was the fifth of six children born to Wilhelm (William) and Martha Cordes Kirmse. Ella Krueger graduated from Zion Lutheran School which she attended for eight years. She also attended Normal High School at Northwestern College. Herbert Gilbert Arthur “Gib” Krueger and Ella Anna Paulina Kirmse were married March 2, 1941 in Zion Lutheran Church in Alva by Rev. Otto Hoyer.. Gilbert and Ella have lived on the Kirmse homestead since they were married, they enjoy farm life and are still active in farming, gardening, sewing, visiting children and grandchildren. On March 2, 1986, they were married 45 years. They celebrated in Fort Worth, Texas together with all their children and grandchildren.
Their children are Betty Jean, John William, and Martha Kaye.
Betty was born November 14, 1942 at Alva General Hospital. She graduated from Zion Lutheran School 1952, Alva High School in May 1961, and Oklahoma State University in 1964. She married Larry E. Deinlein on August 24, 1963. They live in Austin, Texas with their children Deborah Kay and Jeffery Scott. Betty is employed by a law firm and Larry is an accountant and programmer for Veteran’s Administration.
John William Krueger arrived November 1, 1944 at Alva General Hospital, attended Lutheran School eight years. Attended Northwester Oklahoma State University and graduated from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater , Oklahoma. in May, 1966. Here he met Ruth E. Mellris. After serving 2 years in the army, one of which was in Vietnam, they were married in Edmond, Oklahoma October 12, 1968. They are the parents of a son, David William, and a daughter, Linda Ann. Their home is in Hutchinson, Kansas. John is a Sorghum Researcher for Pioneer Seed Company. with his office near Yoder, Kansas. Ruth is employed by a local bank.
On December 3, 1947, Martha Kaye arrived at Alva General Hospital. She too attended Zion Lutheran School for 8 years, then graduated from Alva High School in May 1965. Martha (Marti) attended Concordia Teacher’s College at Seward, Nebraska, graduating in May 1969. Here she met Thomas Paul Mueller, who became her husband July 12, 1969. They have two sons, Stephen Paul and Jonathon David, now living in Fort Worth, Texas, where Tom is assistant football coach at Texas Christian University. Marti is employed as a receptionist in a dentist office.
Prepared by Gilbert and Ella (Kirmse) Krueger 1987.
John E. Rauh, Jr.
John Rauh, Jr. was born October 5, 1842 near Perryville, Missouri. His parents, John Rauh, Sr. and Elizabeth (Behr) Rauh were born in Bavaria, Germany, January 24, 1814 and September 1, 1819. In 1840 John Rauh, Sr. with his family left their native Germany and came to Perry County, Missouri. They had six children living in 1888. John Jr., Kunedia (wife of William Haltman) Adam, Elizabeth (Wife of Henry Boxdorfer), Dora (wife of Ferdinand Hoehn), and Annie (wife of Adam Knoll). and Annie (wife of Adam Knoll).
John Rauh, Jr. served in the Civil War as a Union man. In 1860 he enlisted in Company A. Fourth Regiment and served seven months in the Missouri State Militia. He afterwards joined Company B., 8th Regiment and served seven months longer.
On January 3, 1864 he was united in marriage with Mary A. Lang, daughter of John Lang. It is for her family, the village of Longtown, Missouri is named. She was born Jan. 2, 1845 in Perry County, Mo. In the same year Mr. Rauh purchased 160 acres in Perry County and built in 1872 a brick residence (still standing) for the cost of $1,800. He and his wife had twelve children: Louise (wife of Charles Groh): Elizabeth, deceased; William, deceased; Henry, deceased; Pauline, deceased (due to the absence of preventive medicine, they lost three children to diphtheria in one day)! Charles; Emanuel M; Otto, (deceased) Martin J.; Alwin A.; Anna M; and John E. All were members of the Lutheran Church.
Mr. and Mrs. John Rauh Jr. moved to Alva in 1902 following their children’s move to Woods County. Martin and his wife (Emma) came to Woods County in Nov. 1901 followed by Emanuel, Alvin, John and daughter Louise and husband Charles Groh. They brought their horses, etc. with them from their Missouri farm with Alvin and Emanuel riding in the boxcar with them to Oklahoma. After coming to Alva, Mr. Rauh and his sons purchased land southeast of Alva where he farmed until he moved to Alva at 822 Second Street. Mr. Rauh passed away July 9, 1915 and Mrs. Rauh on September 6, 1923. They are both laid to rest in the Lutheran Cemetery.
Their following children established home and families in the southeast Alva area. Emanuel married Lena Herold. Martin married Emma Hacker and their family consists of Harry A., Alfred J., Ernest C, and Edna Schuessler. Alwin married Marie Wenniger and after her death Lena Feher Shimp. His family consists of Edward M., Everette C., Russel 0., Zipporah E. Schumacher; Arthur J., Margaret M. Keltke, Alwin A, Jr., John H., and Esther E. Clark. John was united in marriage with Caroline Keinath and their family consisted of Albert, Gertrude Brune, and Helen Hatfield. The children of Louise and Charles Groh residing in Woods County are Adolph (now deceased), John, and Anna Wagner.
Prepared by Verna (Rauh) Dubben 1976..
Ernest William Meyer
Ernest William Meyer, son of Fredrich Henry and Helena (Kletke) Meyer, was born Apr. 13, 1902 on the farm two miles east of Alva. His parents had made the run into the Oklahoma Territory in 1893 locating in Kay County, Oklahoma Territory In 1901 they made the move to Alva. Ernest attended the public school east of Alva, Triumph School District 105, with Mrs. Fash as his first teacher. He also attended the Lutheran school in Alva and was confirmed into the Lutheran faith at the age of thirteen. He attended Sweeney Auto School of Kansas City, Missouri after which he returned to Alva to help with his father’s farming operations. On October 28, 1925 he married Elsie Pauline Meyer who lived five miles southwest of Alva. Elsie Meyer was the daughter of John E. and Anna (Moeller) Meyer’ They have one child, a daughter Elsie Elaine. Elaine began school where her father first attended school east of Alva, and attended Horace Mann high school and Northwestern State College. Ernest, after retiring from his farming operations in 1946, moved into the city of Alva and took over the Massey Harris Implement business about a year later.
Ernest and Elsie’s daughter Elaine married William “Bill” Campbell Diacon, the son of Glenn and Zelma (Campbell) Diacon. Bill attended Northwestern State College in Alva. He served in the United States Navy for 4 1/2 years serving in the Pacific Theater. Bill and Elaine took over the farming interest of Ernest and Elsie Meyer and are still living on the farm that had belonged to her father and grandfather Fredrick Meyer. They have two sons, Glenn Ernest and Stanley Niles.
Glenn Ernest attended Lutheran school, Alva high school, Northwestern State College receiving a degree in economics and sociology, and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Glenn married Kathy Louise Bockelman. They live in Alva. Soon after marriage Glenn adopted Claudia Jo, the daughter of Kathy by a former marriage. In 1975 a daughter, Tobi Charmaine, was born to them.
Stanley Niles attended Lutheran school, Alva high school, and Northwestern State College. He married Brenda Susan Rasco, and they live in Alva.
Both Glenn and Stanley are farming and ranching together with their father. Following his retirement Ernest and Elsie moved to their home at 1020 Locust Street in Alva. On December 26, 1975. Ernest died suddenly after a heart attack and he is interred in the Lutheran cemetery.
Prepared by Elaine (Meyer) Diacon 1976..
Albert, the son of Herman and Ellenora (Krall) Ritter, grew up on a farm four miles southeast of Alva. Since his parents were pioneers who came to Woods County as a young couple, he learned to share all the trials and pleasures. The rural schools, also the Lutheran and Alva public schools were his sources of education.
Amelia, the daughter of Detlef and Alwina (Husen) Rholing, called Blaine county her home. She grew up as a farm girl, attending Cedar Valley school, Watonga high school, and Northwestern of Alva. She became a teacher. While in Alva Amelia met Albert; however, she taught 3 years in the Blaine county schools, including 2 in her home district. Albert and Amelia were married at home on June 6, 1926, then they settled down on the Ritter farm southeast of Alva. They had lean years as well as good ones, even some of the problems of the dust-bowl days. They raised chickens, and sold hatching eggs; also milked cows and shipped cream to Nebraska for years.
Horses were still popular during the first years until Fordson tractors appeared on the scene. Later a big Holt combine helped make things hum. Albert and Amelia were blessed with 3 children, Orville, Dorothy and Dale. All attended the Lutheran and Alva public schools. Orville and Dale graduated from Northwestern in the same year and Dorothy is a graduate from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Orville married Naomi Jean Hyde and settled on the Ritter homeplace while Albert, and Amelia moved to a farm southwest of Alva; later they built their home near Alva, too. They have two children, Norville and Jennifer. Dorothy and Dr. Max Deardorff were married while he was in medical school and she taught in Central high school in Oklahoma City. Later they settled in Tulsa. They have a daughter Dru, and a son Doug. Dale married Betty Jo Gallon and built their home southwest of Alva. Their children are Douglas and Dana.
Orville and Dale farm and ranch together . All of the families are members of the Lutheran Church.
Prepared by Amelia (Rholing) Ritter 1976.
Walter William Lohmann
Son of Johann Henry Lohmann and Marie Cordes. Johann Heinrich “Henry” Lohmann was the eldest son of Peter and Margaretha (Versemann) Lohmann born August 15, 1883, at Farrar, Missouri. Henry grew up on a farm at Farrar and attended the Lutheran school there. He was confirmed in the Lutheran Church at the Farrar Church. Henry worked on the railroads around Perry County, Missouri in his late teens. When he was in his early 20’s he moved to Shattuck, Oklahoma and started farming he lived in a dugout for a number of years. In 1906 on November 22, he returned to Farrar to marry Marie Cordes, also from Farrar. They returned to Shattuck to live on the farm where Henry was living.
There two sons were born. The eldest Peter Heinrich Edmund, born July 2, 1908, died on the farm here at Alva after suffocating in wheat being augered in a bin. His death was on June 27, 1922. The second son, born August 13, 1910, was named Walter William Lohmann. He married Hazel Elizabeth Easterling, April 19, 1945. Her birthday was August 17, 1910. To this union, two children were born, Roland Ray and Sharlene Gay Lohmann. Hazel Lohmann died on March 30, 1970. Henry and Marie continued to live on the farm at Shattuck until the ill health of Marie made them search for a doctor which they found in Alva. They moved to Alva in 1912, moving to a farm southeast. Here Marie died on March 12, 1915.
Henry then married Lillie Elsie Alma Dubben, in November 1919. They lived on the farm where Henry had lived since coming from Shattuck. Her birthday was September 13, 1896. They also were blessed with two children. Helen Marie Meta Lohmann, born July 1, 1922 and Edmund Frederick William Lohmann, born June 8, 1925. Helen married Paul H. L. Theiss on June 14, 1953. Paul was born August 7, 1921 and they now live at Uniontown, Missouri. They have two children Virgil Dwayne and Eldeen Lorraine. Edmund married Joyce Jean Seel on July 17, 1949. Joyce was born on June 5, 1930. They have a daughter, Sandra Kay. They now reside at Topeka, Kansas. On December 21, 1927 Henry lost his second wife Lillie in death.
Henry’s third marriage was to Anna Margarethe Christine Engelken on January 20, 1929. Anna was born on November 5, 1895 at Independence, Kansas. To this union one daughter Louise Marie was born on November 23, 1932. She married Glenn Ray Schoeling on November 21, 1954. His birthday is August 3, 1931. They have four children: Gary Gay, Dennis Dean, Glenda Louise and Sandra Kay. Henry and Anna’s first priority was their church, Henry and Anna held many jobs at the Lutheran Church. Henry and Anna lived on the family farm until 1949 when they moved to Alva. Henry enjoyed carpenter work besides farming. Anna enjoyed cooking, sewing and quilting. She also visited many shut-ins. Anna moved here with parents from Independence, Kansas, in 1920. Her parents were Henry and Katherine (Ehlen) Engelken. Henry and Anna lived at 1116 Barnes until their deaths. Henry passed away March 18, 1957 and Anna passed away July 29, 1981.
Prepared by Louise (Lohmann) Schoeling. 1987.
Roland Schmidt’s great-great-grand-parents came to the USA. in 1838. They sold all their possessions in Paitzdorf Germany and boarded a ship in Hamburg Germany. They landed in New Orleans then went up the Mississippi River to St. Louis. In St. Louis they bought a plot of land in Perry County, Missouri, about five miles from the Wittenburg Landing. Roland was born near Altenburg, Missouri to Ernst Schmidt and Sarah (Muller) Schmidt, September 8, 1911. Roland has an older brother Elmer, two younger brothers Albert, and Edgar (1915-1974) and a sister Stella. He went to school in Altenburg, Missouri and enjoyed going hunting and fishing in the hills and creeks near his home. From 1930 to 1934 he worked in Nebraska. In 1934 he came to Oklahoma to work and here he met Laura Kirmse. They were married August 21, 1938 in the Zion Lutheran Church. They moved to Cherokee, Oklahoma where they farmed till December 1943, then moved to a farm four miles south of Alva. Here they farmed mostly wheat and raised cattle. Roland also went Custom Harvesting many years going as far north as Wyoming.
Laura’s parents were Wilhelm “William” and Martha (Cordes) Kirmse. They were both born near Farrar, Missouri just several miles from the Mississippi River. Laura has one brother, Julius, and two sisters, Ella, now Mrs. Gilbert Krueger, and Norma, now Mrs. Alwin “Bud” Rauh, Jr. Laura was born on Laura’s parent’s farm southeast of Alva on October 31, 1913. Laura started to school in Liberty district 35 then attended Lutheran School in Alva. As a young girl. Laura I helped at home and worked for different people around Alva until she got married. Roland and Laura have three children, Arlene, Ernest and Larry.
Arlene attended Oklahoma State University and graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. She married Robert J. Manning. They live in Lawrence Kansas where he is Gymnastic coach and P.E. teacher. They have two boys, Michael and Jay.
Ernest attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University and is now farming. He is married to Karen Johnson and they live south of Alva. They have three children Kurt, Pamela and Mark.
Larry graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. He was killed in an airplane crash in 1979 on his way home from working as a Deep Sea operator on a drill ship in Northwest Canada. In 1976 Laura and Roland moved to Alva.
Prepared by Laura (Kirmse) Schmidt 1987.
Karl John Meyer, Sr.
Karl John, son of Fredrick and Helena Meyer was born Nov. 30, 1899, in the Oklahoma Territory near Bliss in Kay County. Karl was baptized in the Lutheran Church at Blackwell, Oklahoma. as an infant. When Karl was 3 years old his parents sold their farm and moved to Alva, locating on a farm two miles east of Alva. Karl attended the Triumph public school one mile east of his home. When he was old enough to be confirmed in the Lutheran church, he attended the Lutheran school. He entered St. John’s Lutheran High School at Winfield, Kansas, but did not complete his high school because of World War I when he was called to serve his country. He was in training at Students’ Army Trailing Corps Northwestern State Normal School when the war ended.
Karl had two older brothers in the service, Arthur and Martin. Both were overseas. Arthur was killed in action shortly before the Armistice. Karl now helped with the farming since his father had established a business in Alva. Karl was active with the young people of the Lutheran church and made the acquaintance of Freda Hartwig, daughter of Charles and Anna Marie (Schick) Hartwig, who was born October 25, 1902. They were married May 7, 1922. Karl and Freda made their first home east of Alva, now known as the Honer farm. Due to flooding of the land by the river they relocated on a farm southwest of Alva. They had two sons. Harold Charles Fredrick married Goldie Margaret Lohmann, daughter of Joe and Frieda (Dubben) Lohmann. Harold took over the farm of his parents in 1951. They have two daughters, Ladonna Kay who attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University and now is working in Oklahoma City. She married Harmon Ellis. Lavina Jo is at present attending Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Karl and Freda’s second son Karl William Eugene attended Valparaiso College in Indiana and Oklahoma State University at Stillwater. Karl married Delma Jene McBride. They have one son Kurt Arthur. Karl William later married Donna Tidwell. They live in Alva.
Karl and Freda after retiring in 1951 made their home at 731 College Ave. in Alva. Karl’s family were lifetime members of the Zion Lutheran church in Alva. Karl died October 17, 1961 and is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery. Freda still lives in their home on College Ave. She keeps busy helping others when and wherever she sees the need whether it is on the farm or caring for the sick or disabled in Alva.
Prepared by Freda (Hartwig) Meyer 1976..
Clarence Dubben was the son of August Dubben and Emilie Schlenter. August Dubben was born February 15, 1861, in Kuehne, Preussen, Germany. His parents were Friedrich and Hanna. When he was eight years of age the family came to the USA, settling in Wisconsin. In 1886 he was married to Emilie Schlenter. She was born November 26, 1864, in Bremen, Germany and came to the United States when she was sixteen years of age. The couple were farmers near Beechwood, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. Nine children were born to the couple: William, Arthur, Meta, Oscar, Martha, Lillian, Frieda, Emma and Clarence. In 1908 due to Mrs. Dubben’s health the family moved to Alva in search of a different climate. Mr. Dubben first went to Kingfisher but didn’t like the water there, and so came to Alva, purchasing his home from Mr. Doman, two miles south of Alva. Mr. Dubben’s father, Friedrich Dubben, moved with the family as his wife and daughters were at that time deceased. Another daughter, Mrs. Hornberg, remained in Wisconsin.
Two of the sons, William and Oscar, served in the army in WWI. All the family lived in Woods County and established homes with the exception of Arthur, who formerly lived six miles south of Alva but due to family ties and health returned to Wisconsin. Mrs. August Dubben passed away September 13, 1947, and Mr. Dubben, December 12, 1949. Both are laid to rest in the Lutheran cemetery. William and his wife (Martha Lohmann) had Frederick, (killed in World War II); Erna, (Mrs. Harold Bohlman), whose children are Verlin, Myra, Letha, Arlo and Lora Ann; and Edna (Mrs. Harold Nobis) whose children are Barbara, Roger and Carolyn. Arthur and his wife (Ella Lubach) have no surviving children. Meta (Mrs. Charles Wiersig) had Herbert. He and his wife (Erna Brackage) have a son Dan and he and his wife (Nancy Ludwig) have two daughters, Melissa and Melinda. Walter and his wife (Gertrude Brackage) have Carolyn, (Mrs. Dale Zerener) who have Daren and Da Lynn; Wayne and his wife (Barbara Schroeder) and Darlene. Frona (Mrs. Clarence Stelling) has Gary who is married to Nancy Corbett and a daughter Eilene. Hilda (Mrs. George Burroughs) has Diane (Mrs. Richard Howell) whose children are, Rick, Brian and Bradley; Duane, who married Gwenell Johnson; and Don Ray. Oscar and his wife (Emma Ritter) had Harold (now deceased), who married Verna Rauh. Their children are Cheryl and Mark. Martha, (Mrs. Fred Lohmann) has Esther, (Mrs. Eldor Stelling) whose family has Glenda (Mrs, Robert King), Randy and Sandra; Arnold and his wife (Hazel Herdmann) have Terry and Steven; and Mildred. Lillian’s (Mrs. Henry Lohmann) family consisted of Helen (Mrs. Paul Theis) who has Virgil and Eldean; and Edmund, who married Joyce Seel. Frieda (Mrs. Joe Lohmann) has Goldie (Mrs. Harold Meyer) whose daughters are Ladonna (Mrs. Harmon Ellis) and Layina; and Raymond. Emma (Mrs. Martin Meyer) has Elmer and his wife (Leola White) have Dennis and Jeanice; Gertrude (Mrs. Verle Moore) has Judy Wirth; and Norma, (Mrs. Verlyn Chance) who has Vernette, (Mrs. Ghodart Attarzadeh) and Sherry, (Mrs. Jay Doty). Clarence and his wife (Hazel Morris) have Phyllis, (Mrs. Loyd Deffner) who has Bricky, Kirby, Kim and Brad; and Harl and his wife (Mary Rhoades) have Kyle and Jay.
Prepared by Verna (Rauh) Dubben 1976.
Pastor Otto Hoyer
In a meeting held on October 16, 1927, the congregation called Pastor Otto Hoyer, who accepted and was installed on November 27, 1927. The recollections of Rev. Otto Hoyer are legion as he was privileged to serve in Alva until 1953. During his pastorate the stock market crashed, the Great depression came and went, and World War II was fought, as well as the Korean conflict.
Otto Hoyer was born in Kansas on September 4, 1890. He followed in his father’s footsteps and entered the ministry in 1914 after graduating from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He served a three-point pastorate in Nebraska before being forced to resign in 1926 due to a surgery he had undergone. By 1927, however, he was able to accept the call extended by Zion of Alva.
Hoyer and his wife, Frieda, had 8 children born to their union. The changes manifested during Hoyer’s pastorate were many, as one would expect during such a long stay. Hoyer was responsible for organizing Sunday School for the first time in 1927.
It is a remarkable fact that.for most non-Oklahomans who did not live through this period, most of our conceptions of what the dust-bowl of this area meant is largely shaped by works of fiction, such as The Grapes of Wrath, and Woody Guthrie folk songs. No one doubts that families like the Joads existed who were tractored, but there were also a lot of families named Rauh, Ritter, Dubben, Lohmann, and Kirmse who dug in their heels and were able to ride out the storm by the strength of their faith in God. In 1932, Rev. Hoyer, dependant upon contributions from struggling farmers, took, along with the teacher, a 20% cut in salary. Strangely, the next item in the voters’ assembly minutes for that day approved the building of the parish hall. Of course, all the labor was by way of volunteers, but the two items look odd standing one beside the other. In 1937 their salaries were again raised.
Hoyer was, by consensus opinion, a pious and sober man. He was always immaculately dressed and smoked cigarettes incessantly, a point of embarrassment to some of members who were concerned over the image this presented. However, some have spoken about his fun-loving side which especially surfaced in his interactions with the Young People’s Society.
On January 28, 1940, a motion was made and carried to empower Vicar Gumz to administer the sacraments and serve the congregation in every capacity as its pastor, save the power to perform marriages. Rev. Hoyer had taken sick that year which prompted this decision. It is anyone’s guess if this illness was related to his surgery of 1926 and subsequent time off It is an amazing testimony either to the discretion of the people at that time, or of Hoyer himself, that no one presently seems to know what it was that hindered Hoyer during that year.
Due to his fluency in German, Rev. Hoyer was able to minister to the German prisoners-of-war, who were assigned to the camp near Alva. The premise was to put these prisoners-of-war in Oklahoma because it was so isolated. That is to say, even upon escape, were that to occur, there weren’t a lot of places for a German to go. It’s a long way to any port towns. Some of the most heinous war criminals, high-ranking in the German army, were stationed in Alva. He learned the importance of not wearing a neck tie, so as not to make oneself a target for choking.
Pastor Hoyer was quite adept and served not only this church but many churches and private citizens in the repairing and maintenance of pump organs. On October 6, 1946, a pipe organ was dedicated at Zion with an evening concert. This replaced the old pump organ which the church had been using.
Pastor Hoyer also served as the President of the Oklahoma District during his stay in Alva.
Due to declining health, on March 21, 1954, Pastor Hoyer asked for peaceful release from the congregation that he might serve a smaller parish in Blackwell which would not require such an expenditure of strength. It was granted and he departed after over 26 years of faithful service effective June 1.
One of the best loved and well remembered stories about Pastor Hoyer was the occasion on which his own son, Victor, along with some other boys, was misbehaving in the balcony during the sermon. His father, the reverend, stopped cold in the middle of the sermon, pointed his finger up to the balcony and told his son to remove himself from that balcony and locate his posterior on the front pew. The service stayed on hold until the younger Hoyer came down the stairs, walked the length of the church and found his seat. This was not the only time, by any means, in which he halted the sermon to call restless youngsters back into line. Reverend Otto Hoyer was the prototypical German Lutheran pastor of his era.
Prepared for the Zion Lutheran Church – Alva, Oklahoma 100 year celebration. 1999..
William Helmkamp became the Zion Lutheran School Principal in 1947. He brought some stability to the revolving door of teachers of the late 1940s. The latter part of the decade was chaotic for the additional reason that the schoolhouse had reached its capacity due to steady growth in enrollment. Both rooms of the school were filled, and so on February 24, 1946, the voters’ assembly resolved to build a new school. The committee which was appointed consisted of Oscar Kletke, Russell Rauh, Louis Engelken, Wm. Dubben and Wm. Kirmse. A roadblock appeared immediately as materials could not be found due to war shortages. Finally in 1947 the project could be undertaken. Mr. Helmkamp left in 1952.
Prepared for the Zion Lutheran Church – Alva, Oklahoma 100 year celebration. 1999..
Perry County Heritage
Only two of the Zion Lutheran Church – Alva, Oklahoma founding members made the Cherokee Strip Run in 1893. And, none of the founding members were from Perry County, Missouri. See post Founding of Zion Lutheran Church – Alva at http://dalesfamilyresearch.kirmse.website/founding-zion-lutheran-church-alva/. As shown in the post First Members From Perry County at http://dalesfamilyresearch.kirmse.website/first-members-perry-county/, the first Perry County residents arrived in the Alva area in 1901, 2 years after the founding of the Zion Lutheran Church – Alva, Oklahoma. However, after 50 years, a significant portion of the membership had a Perry County heritage. This is illustrated by way of the picture of the 1949 Zion Church Council – Alva at the 50th Anniversary where half of the lay church council members have a Perry County heritage: Wilhelm “William” Kirmse, Gilbert Krueger, John E. Rauh, Jr., Walter Lohmann, and Roland Schmidt.
1949 – the 50 year celebration of Zion Lutheran Church – Alva, Oklahoma founded in 1899.
Alva, Woods, Oklahoma.
- Cherokee Strip Volunteer League. “Pioneer Footprints Across Woods County”, 1976.
- Seekers of Oklahoma Heritage Association. “The First 100 Years of Alva, Oklahoma. 1886-1986″ Curtis Media Corporation, Dallas, Texas, 1987.
- “Zion Lutheran Church 1899-1999 Alva, OK”. Zion Lutheran Church, 1999 – Alva, Oklahoma 100 year celebration.
- The biographies were reformatted as well as various spelling, grammar and other modifications were made. Also, be aware that the biographies were prepared about 27 and 38 years after the 1949 Zion Lutheran Church Council picture was taken – hence many of the people had passed on and situations differ.