Emil Lowengut/Amil Lovinguth, 1854–1922
Johan Emil Lowengut was born on 26 May 1854 in Manhattan, New York City, in the 11th Ward area known as “Beerdom” due to the large number of Germans living there. His immigrant parents were Joseph Loewenguth (1816–unk.) and Madeleine Magdalena Mack (1827–1902). Joseph immigrated in 1849 from Schwabwiller, Bas Rhin, Alsace, with his two sisters: Catherine and Genevieve. Meanwhile, Madeleine Magdalena Mack arrived in New York City in 1852 from Haguenau, France. Joseph and Madeleine were married 28 August 1853 at St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan.
Emil was baptized on 25 June 1854 at St. Nicholas with likely relative sponsors of Ignatius and Françoisca Lowengut. Emil’s next three siblings were also born in Manhattan: Louise Philamena “Minnie” (1857–1943); Josephine (1858–1933); and Joseph (1860–1861). By the 1862 birth of Joseph John Lovenguth (1862–1940) they were residing in Bloomington, Illinois, where Emil’s two youngest siblings were born: Anna Rosina (1863–1946) and Charles R. (1868–1945). Several related Lovenguths moved from New York City to the Bloomington area, while the immigrant Joseph’s brother Georges and family moved to the Rochester, New York, area, keeping the surname Loewenguth.
Emil lived in the Bloomington neighborhood named “Butchers Alley.” The area had several slaughterhouses and was slightly southwest of the town center near the old Springfield road. Emil became a butcher and was followed in that occupation by many relatives and descendants. Emil moved to the Carondelet area of St. Louis by 1876, his first documented St. Louis area of residence.
Sometime during his life in St. Louis his name began to be spelled Amil Lovinguth, including on his gravestone. (Editor’s note: As with many immigrants, names changed based on pronunciation. The German “w,” pronounced as a “v” likely led to the change of Amil’s surname, and the “e” on his first name, pronounced as a “long a,” would have led to the spelling change of his first name. In addition, the German vowel combination of “oe” often became simply an “o” when Anglicized.)
Photo in the collection of Tom Lovinguth
Used with permission
Amil married Dorothe Emelie Schilling (1861–1941), daughter of Gottlieb Schilling and Catherine Elisabeth (maiden name unknown), all three being born in Germany. Amil’s marriage was likely in the late 1870s, although documentation is still being sought. However, his first child, Elise Amalie Dorothea “Lizzie,” (1879–1928), was baptized at the Carondelet United Church of Christ on 1 January 1880, with her date of birth recorded as 11 November 1879. Four other children were born to the couple: Joseph Charles, (1881–1949); Charles Joseph, (1884–1966); Anna R., (1885–1968); and possibly Walter, (1895–1895).
Amil’s two younger brothers, Joseph John and Charles followed him to the Carondelet area by the mid-1880s, with both later moving to Los Angeles. The three brothers established several butcher shops in Carondelet and then later on Lafayette Street, Grattan Street, and Clayton Avenue. By 1900, Amil had purchased a building at 1927 Goode Avenue in the Ville neighborhood that housed a grocery store on the first floor, with living quarters on the second floor. Amil’s two sons followed him in the butcher/grocery business at this and other locations, as well as his grandson, Edward Amil Lovinguth, (1912–1998). Amil died on 14 November 1922 at 4623A Kennerly with burial at Valhalla Cemetery on 18 November 1922. Emelie died 27 September 1941 with burial in the same plot at Valhalla Cemetery.
Written by Tom Lovinguth
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