Ferdinand Baudendistel & Maria Sophia Schumer ( Mary Sophia Baudendistel's parents) | Joseph Anton Baudendistel & Maria Katharina Hund (Ferdinand's parents) | Franz Joseph Baudendistel & Maria Elizabeth Busam | Johann Karl Baudendistel & Gertrud Birck | Anton Baudendistel & Anna Maria Wilhelm | Michael Baudendistel & Kunigunda Klumpp | Martin Baudendistel & Magdalena Steimers | Peter Baudendistel & Barbara |
Franz Anton Schumer & Anna Marie Mertens (Maria Sophia Schumer's parents | Johannes Christoph Schumer & Maria Catherine Schulte | Anton Schumer & Anna Maria Kluppel | Johannes Schumer & Maria Agatha Koch
Theodore Joseph Geile, Sr. (brother of Henry Joseph Geile)
THIS IS MY WORKING GENEALOGY BIOGRAPHIES, PLEASE DO NOT COPY AS FACT. Some photos are personal and should not be copied and republished; other images are okay. Documentation I collected as proof to support facts (i.e. dates, relationships, etc.) are available for your use. I share freely, but please do not abuse copyright or perpetuate any information without supporting facts that may or may not be in error. I try to mark in red my questions or documents I need to look for, so your assistance in making this a complete collection is always appreciated.
I am proud to be the great-great granddaughter of John F. Geile. He left a big-hearted, ethically abundant, and benevolent legacy and example for his descendants to follow. Some words used to describe him were honest, upright, right-thinking, generous, and straight-forward. I often wonder how such a prominent man in his community could be forgotten so quickly, so it is my goal to memorialize John F. Geile with this writing. Although his many hats are seemingly uncountable, the following list is the easiest to digest John's characteristics and esteemed influence on his family, church, and community.
Family: Devoted husband to two sisters and father of 13 children; enduring heartache through faith, especially upon the unexpected death of his wife Mary (31) when he was 36 years old, and the deaths of 3 of his children, Annie age 10, Clemants age 1 month 6 days, and baby girl age 4 weeks.
Church and School: Prominent church man, loyal and consistent member of the Catholic Church; connected with all movements launched for the improvement of both church and school (Assumption Catholic Church, now St. Mary’s of the Barrens Cathedral). His beloved St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Silver Lake situated on the land donated by his Father, Joseph, burnt in 1936 and John would have contributed to the rebuilding of the church.
Entrepreneur: Business owner as blacksmith, surrey business owner, farming business (cattle, corn, hay, wheat, hogs, milk, barley, alfalfa), land owner (voluminous real estate transactions), oil stock owner, engineer, business owner of Keifner & Geile Construction Company, Board of Directors, stockholder, and banker of the Home Trust Company, and over-achieving workingman up until his death on the farmland field.
Community and Leadership: Board of Commissions for Road District (elected 1900 for 1 year and 1901 for 3 years; that being 1901-1905), Sheriff (elected 1904 and 1906 for 2 year terms; that being 1905-1908), Superintendent of Engine and Pump (appointed 1905), Collector of Revenue (elected 1910; beginning 1911 through 1918); overseer to Perry County Drainage District No. 1 (1920-1921); road building across the State, including Highways 25 and 51, and other farm-to-market roads in the area; refinancing the failed banking institution which had been closed by the State during the Great Depression thereby rescuing the deposited monies of many individuals and businesses; member of the Old Age Assistance Board (public aid and relief during calamity for the elderly and children, precursor to Social Security); member of the Knights of Columbus, member of the Modern Woodmen of America, upkeep on county buildings such as the county poor farm, courthouse, courthouse well, courtyard, jail, and pumps; care for the insane as Sheriff transporting them to the asylum (State Hospital) in Farmington and ensuring their board, supplying alfalfa to the county poor farm; loaning family, friends, and neighbors money as evidenced by the notes in his probate file and Trust Deeds in the real estate files.
However, the words that most resonate in my heart from his obituary are "Mr. Geile probably will be best remembered for services rendered to hundreds of men and women outside the sphere of his official life…he willingly extended a helping hand to those of his fellowmen who were in need of financial aid, and many a man, now well-established in life owes his start to the assistance received from" him. Not only did John loan money to others in need, he gave them "aid" which would suggest he gave money to individuals without expecting anything in return. Not only did he help to save the bank during the Great Depression, but he also helped to save his community during the Great Depression through personal donations of his time, money, experience, and skills to make this community of Perry County a better place. There is a sense of his deep-rootedness, identity, devotion, loyalty, compassion, and commitment to the community of Perry County, Missouri. This was his place and his home in which he was forever linked, encompassed through his capacity of unselfish, charitable, and free-giving public service and the promotion of human and community welfare. His value for community and the enriching of others has influenced Perry County for generations to come.
The following is a collection of information in somewhat chronological format. I look forward to the digitizing of more records, especially the Perry County newspapers, which will undoubtedly with ease bring forth even more about this family.
John Frederick Geile was born May 31, 1860, in Yount, Perry County, Missouri, to Henry Joseph (Joe) Geile and Anna Marie (Mary) Hennecke.
Mary Sophia Baudendistel was born June 2, 1865, in Perry County, Missouri, to Ferdinand Baudendistel and Maria Sophia Schumer.
In the August 28, 1860 census, [Yount] St. Mary's Township, Perry County, Missouri, we find John's family with his Dad, Joseph (34) is a farmer with a real estate value of 1000 and personal property value of 800, born in Prussia. Also in the home are his mother Mary (31), and the children Mary (7), Francis (5), Theodore (4), Joseph (2), and John (3/12 months).
In the August 4, 1870 census, [Yount] St. Mary's Township, Perry County, Missouri, John (9) is living with his parents, Joseph Geile (43) and Mary (40), and his siblings Mary (18), Francis (15), Theodore (13), Joseph (11), Henry (7), Elizabeth (5), and Louisa (3). Joseph is a blacksmith, with real estate valued at 2000 and personal property valued at 500. He is from Prussia and his parentage is listed as father and mother of a foreign birth. Mary is keeping home.
Yount, where John was born, and Silver Lake are both in St. Mary's Township, Perry County, Missouri.
From John's obituary, in 1874, the family moved to Silverlake, when John was 14 years old.
Photo on Page 121 of the book “St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church & Cemetery, Silver Lake, Perry County, Missouri” Perry County Historical Society
From left to right, Frank Geile, John F. Geile, and Henry Geile.
In the June 4, 1880 census, St. Mary's Township, Perry County, Missouri, John (19) is working as an apprentice blacksmith for his father. His father, Joseph Geile (54) is from Arnsberg, as well as his parents, and is farming. Mary (51) is also from Arnsberg, as well as her parents, and she is keeping house. His siblings in the home are Henry (17) as a clerk in a store, Elizabeth (16), Louisa (13), and Jannie (8). There are two farm laborers in the home. John’s parents were from Amecke, Arnsberg, Arnsberg, Hochsauerlandkreis, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
In the 1881 St. Louis City Directory, John Geile is listed as a blacksmith living at 1014 Mound, bds for “boards” being room and board. He was 21 years old. This address is now a vacant lot near the intersection of Highway 44 and Highway 70 near the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.
From History of Southeast Missouri, The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1888: John F. Geile, blacksmith at Silver Lake, is a native of Perry County, born in 1860. He attended the public schools and worked on the farm with his father until attaining his eighteenth year, when he began learning his trade. After completing his apprenticeship he worked in various cities, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Gardner, Dak., until 1883, when he formed a partnership with his brother at Silver Lake. In 1885 he took full charge of the shop, and has since been sole proprietor. In February, 1886, he was united in marriage with Mary Baudendistel, and to their union have been born two children: Anna and Edward.
The Perryville Sun, Friday, July 20, 1883, mentions blacksmiths at Silver Lake, which would have been the partnership of John and his brother. John would become sole proprietor of the business in 1885. John's father, Joseph, had operated the blacksmith shop in Silver Lake and later John's brother, Frank, would work in the shop with their father. I believe John joined his brother Frank in the business when their father retired. Frank's history is that he was a wagon wheel master, but injured his leg with an ax blade, thereafter becoming a miller (local mill operator) and also the Silver Lake postmaster from 1875-1885. Frank also made coffins and his wife Fannie lined them with cloth.
John went into the surrey business with Lorenz. In a Deed of October 10, 1884, Perry County Recorder of Deeds Book 31, Page 556, John Lorenz purchases a half interest in and to the Grist and Saw Mill in the Town of Silver Lake with the land on which they stand and cover, commonly designated and known as the “Silver Lake Mills.” On the same date, by Deed recorded in Book 31, Pages 459 and 460, John F. Geile purchases his first land in Silver Lake. There exists a 1903 letter from Leo Schindler to John about a surrey. I would imagine that John Lorenz provided the wood for manufacturing the surreys and John F. Geile provided, as a blacksmith, the wheels and metal parts for manufacturing the surreys. I believe this is a photo taken in St. Louis of John F. Geile in a surrey the two men manufactured around the same date of 1903. I wonder whether John is delivering a surrey that he has sold, running a delivery service for items sold at a general store, or learning the trade of surreys as an apprentice.
Click to see a photo of 1903 Farrar, St. Louis, Missouri, which looks to be the same building as in the photo above. The occupant worked in the "harness" and "carrier" business, both of which would relate to a surrey.
Mary S. Baudendistel & John F. Geile
John and Mary were married February 16, 1885 per marriage record at St. Rose of Lima Church in Silverlake. He was 24 years old and she was 19 years old.
John and Mary's marriage announcement in The Perryville Sun, February 27, 1885 reads:
“On Monday, February 16th, 1885, Mr. John F. Geile, was married to Miss Mary Beaudendistel [sic], both contracting parties are from Silver Lake. The marriage ceremonies were performed in accordance with the usages of the Catholic church, by Father Foley, after mass, in the church at Silver Lake. After the ceremonies, all repaired to the home of the brides parents, Mr. Ferdinand Beaudendistel [sic], and there partook of a sumptious [sic] dinner. The evening hours were whiled away at the new home of the bride and groom, where the light “fantastic” was stepped to the hearts content of the large number of friends and relatives present. The Sun wishes the young people a long, happy and prosperous life, and that their trouble be none, except a father and motherly care.”
John and Mary's first child, Annie Sophia Geile, was born December 17, 1885. She was baptized December 25, 1885, and her sponsors were Joseph Henry Geile & Mary Sophia Baudendistel. She died August 18, 1896, at the age of 10 years.
Birth announcement of Edward Henry Geile in The Perryville Sun Friday, December 16, 1887
John and Mary's second child (my great grandfather), Edward Henry Geile, was born October 27, 1887. He was baptized November 11, 1887, and his sponsors were Henry Geile & Etta Cissell. He would marry Olga (Ollie) Agusta Reitz and have two sons, Harold Edward Geile and Robert Geile (my grandfather). Edward worked at the Central Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, Missouri. Edward would die September 17, 1959, at the age of 71 years.
The Perry County Sun, June 15, 1889
John and Mary's third child, Louise (Lou/Lulu) Mary Geile, was born January 6, 1890. She would marry George Mainner and live to the age of 94 years, having no children. Her baptism was January 26, 1890, sponsors Ferdinand B. & Louise Geile.
John F. Geile circa 1890
John and Mary's fourth child, Francis Louis Geile, was born October 16, 1891. His baptism was on October 25, 1891, and his sponsors were Frank Hunold and Kathryn Baudendistel. He would marry Laura Anderson and have two children, Gladys L. and Laura, and would live to be 81 years old. He ran a general store and was the postmaster of McBride, Missouri.
John and Mary's fifth child, Rosa Eveline Geile, was born August 23, 1893. She would marry Christian W. Schneider and have one child, Robert Jules Schneider. Rosa lived to age 85 and her baptism was Aug 30 1893, sponsors Josephine Geile & Henry Doll.
John and Mary's sixth child, Clemants Frank Geile, was born September 3, 1895. He was baptized on September 15, 1895, and his sponsors were Rev. Moenig and Lizzie Hunold. He died on October 9, 1895 at the age of 1 month, 6 days. His stone reads at the bottom, "Sleep on sweet babe and take the rest God called thee home; he thought..."
On July 18, 1896, John and Mary's first daughter, Annie, died. The Silver Lake area news section of the July 24, 1896 Perry County Sun does not list the cause of death, but several notes before there is mention of a sickness among the children.
John and Mary's seventh child, Emmett Andrew Geile, was born October 10, 1896. The name on his baptism record is Edmund Andrew. He was baptized on October 18, 1896, and his sponsors were Andrew Doll and Kate Baudendistel. Due to his mother's death when he was two months old, he would live with his Baudendistel grandparents, Ferdinand and Mary, until the age of 7 and only spoke German. He would marry Agnes Banasak and have one child, Gerald Geile, and live to be 91 years old.
Perry County Sun, January 8, 1897
Mary Sophia Baudendistel Geile died December 27, 1896, at the age of 31 years, and is buried at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Cemetery in Silver Lake, Missouri. Mary Sophia Geile's obituary reads:
“Just at the noon hour on Sunday, December 27, 1896, while all faces in our little town of Silver Lake wore a smile of joy and gayety, there was a sudden change, and all seemed sad and thoughtful. The cause of this change was the news of the death of one of our most esteemed and respected ladies, Mrs. John Geile.
On Monday morning our little church changed its gay attire to the black veils of mourning and the joyous Christmas mass to the mournful chant of the requiem mass. The remains were followed by a large procession of sorrowing relatives and friends to the last resting place in our little cemetery.
She leaves a husband, five children, a father and mother, four sisters and two brothers, besides a host of other relatives and friends to mourn her death. The entire community deeply sympathizes with the berieved [sic] ones of her home and near relatives.
Though our home is made desolate,
Though our hearts are made sad,
The thoughts of your happiness
Still make us feel glad.
Mary is buried next to her newborn son Clemants and her ten-year-old daughter Annie at St. Rosa Lima Cemetery in Silver Lake. Mary's gravestone reads, "Mary, wife of J.F. Geile, born 6/2/1865, died 12/27/1896, aged 31 y 6 m 25d, As a wife, devoted, As a mother, affectionate, As a friend, ever kind & true."
Mary's gravestone reads, "Mary, wife of J.F. Geile, born 6/2/1865, died 12/27/1896, aged 31 y 6 m 25d, As a wife, devoted, As a mother, affectionate, As a friend, ever kind & true."
John married Mary's sister, Katherine M. Baudendistel, on October 3, 1898, per marriage record and marriage license at St. Rose of Lima Church in Silverlake, Missouri. He was 38 years old and she was 24 years old, being born January 17, 1874. The marriage license spells her name as "Catharine M." Sometimes her name is spelled with a ‘C’ and sometimes a ’K.’
John and Katherine's first child, Julia Clara Geile, was born August 6, 1899. She would never marriage and lived to the age of 81 years. He was baptized August 13, 1899, sponsors Frank & Lizzie Hunold. She was a telephone operator with Southwestern Bell.
Perry County Court Record, Volume 13, p. 229 & 534; Courtesy of the Perry County Historical Society’s Genealogical Research Library & Archives
John began his political career on January 23, 1900, by the appointment to the Board of Commissions for Road District for a one-year term. He was appointed to the Board again, for a three-year term, on February 6, 1901. John’s political career would last 18 years.
Click to read the Perry County Court Records 1900-1914 which include the 14 years of John's political career.
In the June 7, 1900 census, St. Mary's Township, Perry County, Missouri, John (40) is born May 1860, and has been married 1 year (to his second wife), is a blacksmith, can read, write, and speak English, owns a farm with a farm schedule of 59. John's step-mom, Katie M. (28), was born June 1881, and has 1 child who is living. The children are Eddie (12) born Nov 1887, Lulu (10) born Jan 1890, Louis (8) born Oct 1891, Rosa (7) born Jan 1893, and Julia (9/12) born Sept 1899, all having attended school six months of the year. John's brother Frank is listed at the bottom of the page, living nearby.
Left to right: Nellie (Schindler) Geile holding Suzanne Geile, Placid Geile, Kathryn Geile, Katherine Geile, John F. Geile, 1937
John and Katherine's second child, Placid J. Geile, was born October 5, 1900. He would marry Nellie Schindler (cousin of Fannie Schindler) and have two children, Kathryn Rose Geile and Suzann Marie Geile. He would live to the age of 73 years. He was baptized October 7, 1900, sponsors Silvenius Layton & Minnie Baudendistel.
LEFT TO RIGHT Louis (standing), John (father), Placid (baby), Edward (standing), Julia (standing in back), Louise (standing in front), Katherine (John's second wife), and Rose. Placid was the first child by his second wife, Kathryn, born October 05, 1900, which places the date for this photo.
In 1901, John moved his family to a farm in Bois Brule Township (from his obituary) at the age of 41 years. He would remain on the farm until elected Sheriff in 1904. After his death, his son Emmett would remain on the farm until it flooded in the 1940’s.
In the August 27, 1903, Perry County Republican, it is announced that John and Katherine have a baby girl. The date of publication is a Tuesday, the baby girl being born the Wednesday prior on August 21, 1903.
In the Thursday, September 24, 1903, Perry County Republican, it was announced that John and Katherine's baby girl died of whooping cough at the age of 4 weeks the Wednesday prior on September 16, 1903. According to the 1910 census below, Katherine has lost one child.
Perry County Court Record, Volume 15, p. 97-98
On Wednesday, November 9, 1904, John F. Geile was elected Sheriff of Perry County, Missouri. He ran as a Republican and he won the election with 1696 votes. The opposing party received 1540 votes.
In the January 19, 1905, Perry County Republican, John moves his family from Bois Brule Bottoms to the city and the newly married Pouyer's reside on the farm in Bois Brule Bottoms.
Perry County Court Record, Volume 15, p. 271 | Courtesy of the Perry County Historical Society’s Genealogical Research Library & Archives
On Friday, August 11, 1905, John F. Geile was appointed the Perry County Superintendent of Engine and Pump. The entry reads: “It appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that it is necessary to have some experienced machinist to superintend the management and working of the Gasoline engine and the well pump, it is therefore ordered by the Court that John F. Geile be and he is hereby appointed Superintendent of the same and requested to assist the Janitor whenever it is necessary.”
Newspaper article about Sheriff Geile, courtesy Perry County Republican, September 20, 1906.
Perry County Court Record, Volume 15, p. 501, Courtesy of the Perry County Historical Society’s Genealogical Research Library & Archives
In 1906, John was re-elected to the office of Perry County Sheriff receiving 1731 votes. His opponent received 1543 votes.
John and Katherine's third child, Caroline M. Geile, was born February 27, 1906. She would marry Lewis H. Kuhn and have two children, Carol Ann and Richard Kuhn. She would live to be 92 years old.
Newspaper article about Sheriff Geile, courtesy Perry County Republican, September 20, 1906.
Left to Right, Sylvester, Caroline, Placid, and Julia Geile
John and Katherine's fourth child, Sylvester J. "Wailey" Geile, was born May 12, 1907. He would marry Lucille Imogene "Peter" Carlton. He lived to the age of 71 years and had no children.
Perry County Court Record, Volume 15, p. 617, Volume 16, p. 114, Courtesy of the Perry County Historical Society’s Genealogical Research Library & Archives
As can be seen in this March 12, 1907, and October 7, 1907, county order for reimbursement of supplies, John contributed greatly to his community by working on county buildings such as the poor farm, courthouse, court yard, pumps, and courthouse well. There are other examples in the court records of his efforts and physical labor for the betterment of Perry County, Missouri.
John F. and Katherine Geile’s home built in 1908. It was torn down April 2000 because of termites. (Photo and info provided by Katherine Geile, daughter of Placid)
I am in the process of analyzing the over 100 Warranty Deeds, Trust Deeds, and Quit Claim Deeds regarding John or his father, Joseph, to better understand where the family resided. John owned 8 pieces of real estate in 1938 (the year of his death) per the County Collector tax statement in his probate file, but only 4 remained in the Inventory and Appraisement. On July 14, 1906, John purchased Lot 4 of Popp’s Addition to the City of Perryville, along Holly and Grand Streets, along with additional section of land north of Lot 5, as marked above in blue. In his Last Will, John bequeathed Lot 4 of Popp’s Addition, his residence, to his widow, Katie. His Will also mentions a home at Holly and St. Francois Street, which is marked out as recently sold. It is possible that the above home built in 1908 was on this Lot 4 or on part of Ste. Genevieve Street as shown below in the 1920 census. It is my understanding that they also built three homes behind their home at Holly and Grand and that his sons Sylvester and Placid lived in two of those homes.
Perry County Court Record, Volume 16, pages 349, 350, 402, 405, Courtesy of the Perry County Historical Society’s Genealogical Research Library & Archives
John ran for County Treasurer in the August 7, 1908, Republication primary and won with a vote of 569. John lost the general election on November 3, 1908, by just seven (7) votes. There was an election for a new Sheriff on the same ballot, and John continues to be reimbursed for sundries and board in 1908 as Sheriff through the end of the year. John would hold no political office for the year 1910.
John and Katherine's fifth child, Gertrude Geile, was born May 9, 1909. She would marry Godfrey (Sandy) Sanders and have two children, Jack and Jane Sanders, and live to be 62 years old.
In the 1910 census, Central Township, Perryville, Missouri, Ward 2, District 0060, John (49) has been married 11 years, with an occupation of "stock buyer" at "live stock," working on his “own account” (own business), and his son is working for him as a “stock driver.” He owns his home free of mortgage. Katie (36) has had 6 children, with 5 living. The children are Louise (18), Rosa (16), Emmett (13), Julia (10), Placitus (9), Caroline (5), Sylvester (2), and Gertrude (1).
Perry County Court Record, Volume 17, p. 244-245 | Courtesy of the Perry County Historical Society’s Genealogical Research Library & Archives
On Thursday, November 10, 1910, John Geile was elected the Perry County Collector of Revenue, winning with 1649 votes.
This photograph is from the Perry County Museum photograph collection. It shows, from left to right, John Meyer and Henry Guemmer standing, and John F. Geile sitting in front. The caption gives the courthouse as the location, but it is undated.
John F. Geile served as County Collector from 1910 until 1918 (per his obituary).
This article is in the August 8, 1912, Perry County Republican newspaper. John is most likely renting his farm or allowing families to live on the farm in exchange for working the farm.
The following are excerpts from the Lillie Dobbs Diary, found in the Perry County Historical Society Heritage publication, Volume 18, Number 3, 2000:
"October 3, 1912 John Geile, Col of Perry County is here collecting taxes."
"August 5, 1914 Jim Dennis was defeated for the nominations for collector at yesterday's primaries. John Geile was the winner."
John F. Geile is shown as owning two parcels in Silver Lake in the 1915 Perry County Indexed Map, located across the street from the church, each with a building.
This article in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 8, 1916, indicates John's status in the politics of Perry County, Missouri.
In the 1920 census, Perryville, Perry County, Missouri, District 0066 | Page 2, John (60) owns his home free of mortgage at 416 Ste. Genevieve Street, and is a "live stock dealer." Catherine (46) is a housekeeper. Lulu (30) is a stenographer for salary. Rosa (25) is a telephone operator for salary. Emmett (23) is a laborer for wages. Julia (20) is working at home. Also in the home are his son Placid (19), daughter Caroline (14), son Sylvester (12), daughter Gertrude (10), and granddaughter Laura (3).
The 1915 plat map included Ste. Genevieve Street (as in the 1920 census) and I discovered that it has been renamed as a continuation of Grand Street. There is a 416 Grand today, but it is on the wrong side of Magnolia. Based on the census, after the listings for Magnolia, the house numbers begin in the 300's and then the 400's. I believe the house would have been in the second block on Grand from Magnolia. The house numbers are 406, 407, 408, 409, 415, and 416.
Also, in the 1915 Plat Map is John’s farmland in McBride as marked above. John purchased the section along the St. Louis San Francisco Railroad on October 24, 1912, and owned the same at the time of his death. The children retained the farm until after his widow’s death for the purposes of her income. This property was in the Bois Brule Township of Perry County and also commonly known as “The Bottoms.” The farm was off of Highway H and across from the airport.
Perry County Court Record, Volume 21, p. 545, Volume 16, p. 114 | Courtesy of the Perry County Historical Society’s Genealogical Research Library & Archives
On February 20, 1920, John was appointed as overseer to Drainage District No 1 in Perry County, for a period of one year. In 1921, John was ordered as overseer to assist in strengthening the levee by closing the spillway to give relief from “this condition;” that being, a previously ordered cut as follows: “between Lithium and Claryville Road and Frisco Railroad dump, and had built in said cut a concrete spillway, thus causing water supposed to be carried by drainage ditch to flow over said spillway and overflow a great deal of land between this point and Lang Pond ditch and other parts of the bottom.” The cut had been ordered so as to give to keep levee near Frisco railroad dump from breaking. There are various claims for cost reimbursement by John with regard to the Drainage District found in the Perry County Court Record.
This advertisement appears in the 1921 Centennial History of Perry County Missouri. John's mother-in-law is Marie Sophia Schumer (married to Ferdinand Baudendistel), indicating this was a family business. John's probate file indicates he owned 20 shares of Illinois Company stock and 25 shares of Illinois Refining Company stock. John’s son, Placid, went into the oil business, so it is likely his business. His gas station was at the intersection of Highway 51 and 61. Placid supplied fuel for the construction of what is now Highway 55 and fuel oil to all of Perry County, including gasoline to all the farmers and their tractors in the county.
Corporate Seal of Keifner & Geile Construction Co. courtesy of Tom Kiefner, Kiefner Brothers.
In 1923, at the age of 63 years, John F. Geile began a road building career as engineer by forming a company with Charles Edward Kiefner (1869 – 1942) and his son, Edwin Luckey Kiefner (1898-1972). The company was incorporated in 1925 as Kiefner & Geile. Some of John’s brothers were involved in the company as well. A listing of many of the roads built in Perry County are found in John’s obituary below.
In the October 29, 1925 issue of the Perry County Republican, John F. Geile is listed as being a member of the Board of Directors of the Home Trust Company in Perryville. Home Trust Company ads from Perry County newspapers can be seen below. His obituary states that, in 1930, he joined the stockholders of Home Trust Company, and as the new secretary of the depository, was a key leader in reinstating hope and trust in banks in Perryville during the Great Depression. As a stockholder, he was instrumental in reorganizing and refinancing the failed institution which had been closed by the State, thereby saving the deposits of money in the Bank for individuals and businesses in the community. John’s son Placid would later take over John’s banking interests in the Home Trust Company, which is currently located at 100 E Sainte Marie Street, Perryville, Missouri.
The Great Depression was from October 29, 1929 through 1941.
Here's a photo of the Home Trust Bank vault that I took in 2018. John would have been involved with the bank when this vault was installed, and I understand it was a big deal to order this vault from Germany at the time. This gigantic piece of man-made glory, I understand, was moved from one bank location to another new location and that there is a photo of it on a truck in the newspaper. It was quiet an ordeal. It weighs 52,000 pounds and is 22 inches thick and 9 feet high.
In the 1930 census, Perryville, Central Township, District 0009, John (69) owns a home valued at 3500. He owns a radio set. He is a "contractor" in the "road construction" industry. He is not a veteran. Katheryn (56) has no occupation. Sylvester (22) is a "laborer" in road construction. Laura (13), a granddaughter, is also in the home. John's son, Louis Frank Geile, had a daughter named Laura.
John, along with his business partner, Charles E. Kiefner, were members of the Old Age Assistance Board. This is yet another testimony to the benevolent characteristic of John for his community of Perry County, Missouri. This article was pieced together from The Republican, Caruthersville, August 12, 1937, and it reads:
“This new commission replaces the Old Age Assistance Board which went out of existence when the new state social security law went into effect.
The provisions of the new law state that the duties of the county commission are advistory in nature and that the members shall serve without compensation, although the law does provide that the members will be paid for their traveling expenses and other necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
The types of benefits falling under supervision of the local commission are pensions or old aid assistance; aid to dependent children or public relief in cases of public calamity; money or services available for child welfare services or any other grant, aid, pension or assistance administered by the State Commission.
Members of the former Old Aid Assistance Board…
Other Southeast Missouri county commissions include: …Perry - Harry Phillips, Charles E. Kiefner, Iddy Layton and John F. Geile, all of Perryville.”
In 1936, John’s heart must have been heavy when the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Silver Lake that his father had given the land to build, where John had wed and baptized his children, had been gutted in a fire. I would imagine that John contributed greatly, along with the other parishioners, neighbors, and friends, to restore the church. Unfortunately, John would die before the re-dedication in 1939.
John F. Geile (Photo courtesy of Robert Schneider)
John FrederickJohn Frederick Geile died March 3, 1938, at the age of 77 years, 9 months, and 2 days, and he is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Perryville, Missouri. He had 7 children with his first wife Mary Sophia and 6 children with his second wife, Katherine. His death certificate gives a cause of myocarditis, as he was found dead in a field from over exertion. His profession is "banker."
John F. Geile Funeral Card
Will of John F. Geile, #1334 | Courtesy of the Perry County Historical Society’s Genealogical Research Library & Archives
In addition to the home and McBride farm as mentioned above, John owned two sections of farmland in Sereno at the time of his death. His obituary indicates that he died in a field in Sereno. This property was in the Bois Brule Township of Perry County. The Sereno land was used as a grazing farm for Angus cattle.
I have often driven through Sereno on Highway 51 and wondered where the farm was located. This is my best guess based off the 1915 Plat map using the gis website of today in 2019. The old plat map is not to scale of today, but the diamond shape is clearly visable to locate the land.
Real and Personal Property of John F. Geile in his Probate
$2,500 Lot No. Four (4) Popp’s Addition
$1,144.05 Cash in Home Trust Company of Perryville
$1048.96 Account against Emmett Geile
$2,480 31 shares of Home Trust Company of Perryville shares @ $80 per share
$1,579.59 12 ½ shares of Perry Co. Savings & Loan Ass’n Stock
$40 20 shares Illinois Company stock @ $2.00 per share
$1 10 shares Illinois Refining Company Stock #4564 @10¢ per share
$1.50 15 shares Illinois Refining Company Stock #7300 @ 10¢ per share
No value 1 share Mississippi Valley Stockyard Company stock
$1,150 + $35.08 interest One note signed by Sylvester Geile, dated 3-29-37
$1,500 One note signed by Sylvester Geile, heir, dated 9-23-37
$7.60 + .15 interest One note signed by Wm. H. Sommers, dated 11-23-35
$5.00 + 05 interest One note signed by Clyde Clampig
$11.20 + $1.60 interest One note signed by Albert Favier and John V. Hoen, dated 2-26-31
$35.00 + $4.39 interest One note signed by Edwin L. Kiefner dated 6-5-37
$50.00 + $7.69 interest One note signed by Thomas A. Boyd and wife dated 5-16-36
$271.00 + 2.37 interest One note signed by R.H. Rauh and F.G. Rauh dated 1-31-33
$5.00 + .48 interest One note signed by V.A. Feltz dated 1-8-37
$700 + $26.25 interest One note signed by August Miget, secured by deed of trust dated 8-15-35
$1,100 + $20 interest One note signed by Joseph J. Moranville dated 6-17-36 secured by deed of trust
$223.00 One note signed by Anthony Moranville dated 8-11-30
One Willys Sedan 1937 Automobile
Stalk cutter, manure spreader, farm wagon, two plows, coulters, and doubletrees, wheat binder, mower, wheat drill, corn planter, riding cultivator, walking cultivator, 1-horse plow, 1-horse shovel plows, low wheel wagon & hay frame, sulky plow, pulveriser, feed cutter, hay rake, two harrows, two sets of team harness, complete
4 mules, 10 fat hogs, 7 hogs, 2 gilts, 1 sow, 10 stears, 2 milk cows (one-half interest)
One lot of corn, about 900 bushels (one-half interest)
One lot of hay (one-half interest)
30 acres growing wheat and barley (one-half interest)
13 acres growing alfalfa (one-half interest)
Total amount of appraisement $13,504.46
In the 1940 census, Perryville, Central Township, Catherine (66) is living in the home alone. The home is valued at 4000.
Click here to read Perry County Case No 7136 Action in Partition whereby John's son Louis brings an action in April 1942 against his siblings to partition the real estate that was previously probated. John's widow, Katie, enters the case as intervener. The case was dismissed by agreement of the parties in October 1942. Click here to read Perry County Case No 7137 partition action regarding personal property brought by John's son Louis against his siblings. Click here to read additional documents from Perry County Case No 7137.
Language in John's Will is as follows: "All the rest . . . I give to my following names children to be divided equally among them: Edward, Lulu, Rosa, Emmett, Julia, Placid, Caroline, Sylvester, and Gertrude Geile. Excepting that Six Hundred Dollars be taken out of Louis Geile's share and divided equally between his daughters, Gladys and Laura Geile." Other than the residence, no provision was made in the Will for Katie's living and maintenance, so all siblings came to an agreement to provide for Katie by her staying in the home and receiving income from the farming real estate. It was agreed that the land would be divided upon the death of Katie. Katie agreed to this arrangement in exchange for renunciation of her right to a 'child's portion" of the estate as provided by law. This agreement dated July 10, 1938, is in writing on page 11 of the probate .pdf above and states that it shall continue until one or more of the heirs desire a division. That heir requesting the division was Louis. A stipulation was entered that settled both court cases that Louis would receive $2,500 as his right, title, and interest as heir.
Katherine Baudendistel died on December 19, 1966, at the age of 92 years and is buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Perryville, Missouri.
Obituary in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dec 20, 1966.
Katherine M. Geile (nee Baudendistel), fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church, wife of the late John Geile, dear mother of Julia, Placid, Sylvester Geile and Carolyn Kuhn and Gertrude Sander, stepmother of Louise Louis and Emmet Geile, Rose Schneider and the late Edward Geile.
Burial at Perryville, Mo., Thurs., 10 a.m., at the Church of St. Vincent de Paul. A member of the Daughters of Isabelle.
Kathryn Geile, daughter of Placid Geile, who I met and corresponded with in 2000 and 2001. She previously corresponded with my Grandpa. I smile every time I recall her calling John “Gran Geile.”
James Tobin, grandson of Frank Geile & Fannie Schindler, who corresponded with me in 2000 and whose gedcom I used as a basis to build upon as my own database.
Robert J. Schneider, son of Rose Eveline Geile, who I corresponded with in 2000. He did, however, give credit to Katherine Geile for his information.
Kenneth P. Zahner, who walked up to me at the St. Rosa Lima Cemetery in 2000 to ask how I was related to the gravestone I was viewing. He invited me to his home and shared with me many photos and documents of my ancestors, identifying them for me. My only means of duplication was a copy machine and thereafter I returned the originals to him. I believe the photos were in the possession of Jane Mary "Jennie" Geile or Louise Geile, who married, and had no children. Ken had inherited them from another family connection and had been hoping to find someone related to share the photos.
Meghan Helm Welker, Director of the Perry County Historical Society’s Genealogical Research Library & Archives who was a great help to locate and copy additional documents in 2018.
This photo was taken about 1890. Front Row: Jane, Fannie Schindler (standing, Frank's wife), Louise, Joe, Mary, and Lizzie. Back Row: Joe, Frank, John, Henry, Theo, and Lizzie Schindler (Theo's wife).