John Baptist Dumler was born in Germany in June 1847 to John Baptist Dumler and Anna Theresia Kopp. According to later census records, the family emigrated to the United States in 1848. John Jr. became a naturalized citizen in 1876.

In 1860, John, along with others, founded the Washington Dramatic Club (changed in 1886 to the St. Joseph’s Lyceum Club), at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the first young men’s society there. His theatrical bent was a precursor to his life-long occupation as a salesman. He also later became the president of the Knights of St. Joseph where he attended church all his life.

On 14 January 1873, John married Louisa Gamers at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 11th and Biddle in St. Louis. Together, they had five children: Franz Xavier Joseph, born 12 December 1873; Theresa Agnes, born 3 January 1876; John August, born 17 October 1879; Frederick William, born 22 August 1881; and Joseph Aloysius, born 10 March 1886. All the children were baptized at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

In July 1874, John was the baptismal sponsor for his wife’s niece, Agnes, at St. Joseph’s. One month later on 20 August their son, Franz Xavier, died.

On 10 September 1888, while living at 1442 N. Sixteenth Street, his wife Louisa died from consumption. Four years later. John’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Theresa Agnes, died on 25 October 1892. Earlier in 1892, his forty-one-year-old sister, Barbara passed away.

At St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on 9 February 1893, John married Theresia Lautenbacher, the daughter of George Launtenbacher and Anna Brendel. It was her first marriage. Prior to the marriage, she resided at 1223 North 11th Street.

In 1900, John, his wife, his three sons, and his eighty-year-old mother, Therese, were renting at 1519 Cass Ave. John was a salesman for a millinery business as was his son John, while Frederick was attending school. John’s youngest son, Joseph, was not at school and was not able to read, write, or speak English according to the information in the census.

On 29 July 1908, Frederick passed away, with burial in Calvary Cemetery, and survived by his father, stepmother, and brothers.

The 1910 census shows that John was still renting on Cass Avenue with Theresia, his wife. He was still a millinery salesman as was his thirty-year-old son, John, while youngest son, Joseph, aged twenty-four, did not work. Then, on 24 August 1915, Joseph passed away. His father was the informant on the death certificate stating that Joseph “was an invalid all his life.”

The 1920 census shows John and his wife renting on Cass Avenue. He was working as a salesman at a “hat house.”

While still living on Cass Avenue, John died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 18 February 1921 with burial at Calvary Cemetery. He was survived by his second wife and only surviving child, John, who died on 22 October 1938, plus a single sibling, Miss Mary Sporleder. He was a member of the Catholic Knights of America, St. Joseph’s Benevolent Society, St. Joseph’s Acolyte Society, and St. Joseph’s Dramatic Club.

Submitted by Joe Armour
June 2020

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Last Modified: 29-Jul-2020 12:05