Alice (Jindra) Zell

written by Ellen Rohr, additional information added by family members 

Alice K. Jindra, daughter of Georg Jindra and Maria Lenhardt, was born on 30 Apr 1891 in Wisconsin. Alice had a love for teaching others. At age 17 or 18 (about 1909) she applied to the Manitowoc County Normal School. Manitowoc County Normal School began around the turn of the century as a school to train rural teachers. It was a one year training school course and focused on the needs of rural education, unlike many teaching facilities of that era that focused upon city grade and high school teacher training. In 1904 the requirements for graduation from the Training School were raised to two years of schooling beyond the eighth grade, before that the applicants only had to hold an eighth grade diploma. [see more about Manitowoc County Normal School].

In 1910, Alice graduated from Manitowoc County Normal School. After graduation, according to her obituary, she taught for two years at Rangeline School, but this is now believed to be incorrect. Family members remember that she taught at Sandy Hill View next to the Meineke farm, and had some of the Meineke boys in her class. Her brother, Alvin, probably met his wife Leona Meineke through this connection.

In 1911, Pastor Edward Fredrich Zell, son of William Zell, began his 47 year serve of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Mishicot and the Lutheran Church at Rockwood (Kossuth). He also served Jambo Creek Church until 1949 when the church disbanded. Pastor Zell received 3 calls to leave the congregation but was dedicated and remained to serve the people of Mishicot.

Edward was born was born on 30 Oct 1888 in Oak Grove, Dodge Co. WI.  He spoke fluent German. Before 1920, all of the services of St. Peters were spoken in German. It was decided in 1920, that once per month, services would be spoken in English. As the population of the area grew, more and more people began speaking English, and leaving their native tongues. By 1930, the congregation voted to hold 3 church services in English and only 1 in German.

During his first year in Mishicot Pastor Zell was unmarried and lived at least for a while with Diedrich and Sophia Wenholz. Pastor Zell traveled the area in a horse and buggy. The horse named EZ (same initials as Edward Zell), was purchased in Juneau, Wisconsin. He fell in love with the horse when he first saw it and later purchased it. It took three days to travel from Juneau back to Mishicot. It is no doubt the buggy, pulled by EZ, was used to court Alice Jindra.

On 16 Jun 1912, Rev. Edward Fredrich Zell and Alice Jindra were married in St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Mishicot, Manitowoc County, WI. We do not believe Alice taught after she was married, it would have been unusual during this era. It was believed that a teacher could not concentrate on her students if she kept the company of a man.   In 1920, Edward’s father was living with them in their home in Mishicot.

Edward and Alice had six children many of which are still living. He served St. Peter’s Church until he took ill with heart trouble. The congregation went three months with a temporary pastor. (see more on the history of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Mishicot). Edward, died on 28 Feb 1958 at age 69, and was buried in Mishicot Public Cemetery, Mishicot.

Alice died in Aug 1973 in Mishicot, Manitowoc County, WI at age 82, and was buried in Mishicot Public Cemetery, Mishicot.

Obituary of Alice Jindra Zell

Source: Herald Times Reporter (Manitowoc, WI) 1973 August 25


Mrs. Edward Zell, 82, Village of Mishicot, died Friday at Memorial Hosptial, Manitowoc.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Monday at St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mishicot, the Rev. Herbert Kesting officiating, with burial in Mishicot Public Cemetery.

Born April 30, 1891, in the Town of Mishicot, daughter of the late George and Mary Lenhardt Jindra, Mrs. Zell was graduated from Manitowoc County Normal School in 1910. She taught for two years at the Rangeline School before her marriage to the Rev. Edward Zell June 16, 1912 at St. Peter Church. She was a lifetime member of the church and organist for 60 years. Mrs. Zell also was a charter member of the Ladies Bible Hour Society.

Survivors include sons and daughters. a brother, a sister, grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Her husband preceded her in death in 1958. She was also preceded by a daughter, a sister and five brothers.

Friends may call at the Lambert Funeral Home, Mishicot, after 3 p.m. Sunday. The body will lie in state at the church from 10 a.m. Monday until the time of services.

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