|When Grandpa Joseph Feipel settled
in the greater Hampton, Minnesota area, there were a bunch of families
arriving at the same time who propagated and thrived there, mostly by
farming. Their descendants can be found today at the local schools, churches,
and bars. This is a story of a latter day interconnection of those families.
Note: Grandpa Joseph Feipel did some farming, but was mostly known for being the Hampton town constable and saloon keeper at a place called "Tates". It was in the upper apartment at "Tates" that my mother was born.
We, my brother Norman, his wife Barbara, and I arrived simultaneously at MSP on a Saturday afternoon from different locations. We rented a car and headed south to Farmington where we had lived and been schooled. Sunday night we would present the Oscar J. Lubke Award to an outstanding scholar-athlete from the Farmington High School Class of 2008 at the annual Senior Athletic Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet. We wetted the whistle at the Eagles Club which is now the gathering place in Farmington. A big fire out at the Legion gutted that establishment and it is now undergoing a million-dollar rebuild. There is a reward out for the "perp" who was smoking in the basement and tossed a cigarette into the ventilating system.
We left Farmington and headed east toward Miesville to join our sister Mary coming over from Faribault for dinner at Wiederholt's (restaurant). We passed through Hampton and paused for a moment of nostalgia in front of "Tates". We moved on to New Trier where our Uncle George had been born. New Trier is famous for St. Mary's Catholic church which sits on a hill dominating this quaint German settlement. We stopped at the Trophy House (restaurant) to once again, slake our thirst. The Trophy House would be doing the catering for Sunday's banquet in Farmington, so we thought we'd check out the menu.
Since the bartender, Robert N. Reinardy, was FHS Class of '65, and a former baseball player, we had to get through all those connections before I could ask him if there were any folks dining that night that would recognize the name "Feipel". "Sure", he said, "that table against the wall has two 'Rother' couples and a 'Peine' (Piney) couple." Moving on over, I introduced myself and found that I was in the presence of a couple of uncles of my FHS '57 classmate, Jerry Rother. After a warm round of banter, one of the Rothers pointed to an adjacent table saying that the lady in the flowery blouse was Jerry's daughter. We chatted.
Fast forward to the Senior Athletic Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday evening in the Farmington High School cafeteria.
The student welcome and invocation was given by Callie Doffing, a Senior Athlete. I thought her words were remarkable and motivating, so after dinner, I pulled up a chair at her table where she sat with her mother, introduced myself, and asked for a copy of the speech. "Doffing" is another one of those names like "Reinardy", "Feipel" and "Rother" that have mixed and mingled in these neck of the woods since white man first arrived. After going over the names of some of the Doffing offspring from my generation, Mrs. Doffing offered that she was a "Peine" (Piney) and asked me if I knew any Peines. "Not until last night", I said.