I came across this photo today while doing a search in Allamakee County Genealogy. It is of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dorchester, Iowa, which was the church home of the Teff family for many years. Kathy Maurer posted it here on Allamakee County’s genealogy page & said it was found in her mother’s belongings after she passed away. She also found a letter from her ancestor, who was a congregation member at St. Mary’s to his cousin dated May 2, 1895 stating:
“We have a nice Catholic Church in Dorchester. New stained glass windows, also a fine new bell and a resident Priest Rev’d Francis McCullough.”
I was both surprised & very happy to notice my great great grandparents, Henry W Teff & Anna Schwartzhoff, seated in the front left of the photo.
If this photo is indeed from May of 1895, Henry and Anna had been married for just over a year, and had one child, Catherine Teff, born in March of that year (I believe Anna may be holding a baby in the photo, although the image quality makes it hard to tell for sure.) This is a photo from their wedding in May of 1894.
Henry was 33 when he married Anna, who was 23. Henry was the 3rd child of Hiller Teff & Katrina or Catherine Stetzel’s 12 and Anna was the 3rd out of 8 children born to Christian Schwartzhoff and Helena Engelken. They were both born in Iowa to German immigrants. I am fairly certain Henry’s parents, Hiller & Katrina, are the in congregation photo as well, but can’t recognize them in the crowd.
This photo is of the Teff family 11 years later, in 1906. Henry and Anna are in the back left, Anna is wearing the white blouse. Hiller and Katrina are seated center.
Henry and Anna eventually had 7 children of their own, Catherine, Hiller C., Henry Guy, Helen, Henrietta, Mary Margaret, and Christian. Christian was my great grandfather, and is pictured here with his sisters Mary & Helen.