Charles Henry Straub, son of Christoph Straub and Henrietta Louise Klocke, was born at home in Kirkwood on 8 January 1888. Baptized at Concordia Lutheran Church as Heinrich Karl, he was known as Charles Henry or more commonly Charley.

Charley was just three years old when his father died in 1891 and raised by his mother and siblings. He attended Kirkwood public schools and graduated from Kirkwood High School in 1906. At the age of seventeen, he was confirmed at Concordia Lutheran Church.

He first clerked in the grocery store in Webster Groves established by his eldest brother, William Straub. He registered in the World War I draft on 5 June 1917, then enrolled in a military course offered at the Y.M.C.A. by the St. Louis Training School.

Charles was twenty-nine and Edna Caroline Schulz twenty when they married on 19 September 1917 at the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church. They honeymooned in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Charley and Edna then moved into the Schulz home at 60 Marshall Place in Webster Groves because Edna’s mother had recently died, leaving her as housekeeper for her father, Henry, and young sister, Harriet Schulz.

On 15 June 1918 at the arsenal in St. Louis, Charles enlisted in the U.S. Army and was inducted into Company B of the 14th Ammunition Train as a private. By September 1918, he had risen through the rank of corporal, to supervisory sergeant. In November 1918 at Camp Custer in Battle Creek, Michigan, he was thought to be near death. His service record shows no injuries, so possibly he caught the flu in that year’s worldwide epidemic. The World War I cease-fire having been signed during his illness, Charles was honorably discharged on 28 January 1919. After that, family described Charley as “never very strong . . . the war took its toll of him.” For the remainder of his life, Charley was active in American Legion Post 172.

Charles accepted his father-in-law’s offer of work at the Schulz Feed Company, beginning as a vice-president and floor clerk. Charles and Edna may have discussed renting the house next door, which Henry Schulz owned for rental income. But Edna evidently felt seven-year-old Harriet still needed a mother-figure as well as a father. Harriet said, “Charley was always very kind to me and put in a good word when I wanted to do something and Edna didn’t agree.” Charley and Edna added two children—Eleanor and Henry Straub—to the Schulz-Straub family unit.

In the 1930s, Charley rose to manager of the feed company, then in 1934 to president, when Henry Schulz retired from active participation. Charley gained additional responsibility, and, under his direction, the company survived the Depression. He went about the arduous task of converting the company to moving and storage, during which time, his wife contracted encephalitis. Not surprisingly, photographs suggest Charley was showing stress and aging rapidly; he appeared older than his mid-forties.

On 20 November 1935, family and friends were shocked to learn Charles H. Straub had died at age forty-seven. He was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Kirkwood in the Schulz family plot.

Written by Carol Whitton
April 2017

© 2017 St. Louis Genealogical Society


Charles Straub, 1923
Charles Straub in 1923
Photo in the collection of Carol Whitton
Used with permission
Charles Straub, 1934
Charles Straub in 1934
Photo in the collection of Carol Whitton
Used with permission

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Last Modified: 25-Oct-2018 21:26