Favorite Picture: Three Generations 1938

Eva, Dorothy, Helen

I have many favorite pictures so it was hard to pick just one. This happens to be one of my favorite pictures because it is three generations of strong women.  The picture  was taken in 1938.  From the left is my great-grandmother, Eva Bowers, my mother, Dorothy Kaiser (age 14), and my grandmother, Helen Kaiser nee Bowers.  I think the picture was  probably taken in front of my great-grandmother’s place in Chicago.  By 1938 my grandparents were living in Villa Park, Illinois and this is not their home.  I wish I could have been in the picture to make it four generations, but I was not born yet and by the time I came along, Eva had already passed away.  I never knew Eva, but heard a lot about her from my mom and grandma.  Eva was born in Heidelberg, Baden, Germany to Johann Konrad Reinhardt and Anna Maria Schwebler on February 14, 1877. Eva came to the United States when she was almost two years old. Her brother John was a baby. Her first home in the United States was in Amana, Iowa.  They spent a few years in Amana and then moved to Ottawa, Illinois where Eva grew up with her brothers and sisters.  Eva grew into a young woman and sometime around 1896 she married Robert Bowers also of Ottawa, Illinois. The family story is that Robert and Eva ran off to Chicago to be married.  I have never been able to find a marriage record for them in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. According to family stories, Robert’s family never accepted Eva as his wife or acknowledged that any of the children were Roberts.  I started to wonder if they were ever really married and that is why Robert’s family didn’t want anything to do with Eva or their children.  However, when Robert’s father died, Robert and Eva as his wife signed a quit-claim deed to a piece of property to Robert’s mother.  I was told that if they were not married, Eva would not need to sign the quit-claim deed.  Perhaps they were married somewhere other than Chicago.  Robert and Eva had three children, Ralph born in 1897, Helen in 1898 and Frances in 1900.  Shortly after Frances was born Robert left Eva.  Again family stories say they were divorced, however I have never found divorce records for them.  In 1900 Eva was on her own and had to make a living for her and her three children.  She raised the three children alone in a time when there was no financial support for women. Robert did not have to pay child support and there was no welfare. Eva relied on family to babysit her children while she worked. She worked a milliner and seamstress for many years. She moved to Chicago away from her support system in Ottawa, Illinois. There were probably better job opportunities in Chicago. She had a couple of long relationships with men, but I can find no proof that she married them. She always kept the surname Bowers. Eva passed away on 23 December 1941 in Chicago, Illinois.

My grandmother married in 1923 to Fred Kaiser. Because of her upbringing with no father in her life, she was determined to have a long marriage and raise her children in a home with both a mother and father. She had my mother in 1924, a son in 1930 that lived only 11 days, another son in 1931, and a stillborn son in 1933. The son born in1931 was premature, weighed 4 lbs 2 oz and fit into the palm of her hand. She had a strong belief in God and I am sure that is what got her through those years in the 1930’s. Her premature baby boy survived and died at 80 years old. Grandma witnessed the depression during the 30’s and WWII. She was a true homemaker of the day, a good cook, seamstress, and housekeeper. She had a successful long marriage that ended in October 1980 after 57 years with the death of her husband. She only lived four months after the death of her husband and died at age 82 in February 1981.

My mother’s life was probably the easiest of the three. She married George Manfroid in 1945 and had two children. She was also a homemaker of the time. The depression of the 30’s affected my father’s family more than it did my mother’s, because of my father’s experience it made him determined that his family did not go without. He bought things that they really could not afford. My mother was the one that tried to keep things in check and watch the money. They were always living paycheck to paycheck. My mother was the worrier and this bothered her a lot. In spite of my father’s foolish spending, they were happily married. Once my brother and I were old enough she went to work. She worked part-time as a cashier for Walgreens, and went to night school to learn bookkeeping. She then found a job working as bookkeeper for Slater’s Shoe Store. This was a huge help to their financial situation. My mother was healthy during her life time, but not my father. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1967, my mother took good care of him through his treatments and worried she might lose him. He survived it and lived another 17 years. In 1984 he was diagnosed again with cancer this time with lung cancer, and he only survived a couple of weeks after diagnoses. My mother who had never been ill with more than a cold, died suddenly three years later from a brain aneurism.

All three women had their trials and tribulations and managed to stay strong and keep going in spite of them. In-between the hard times were good times too. My grandmother looks so happy in the picture above. They all had a hard life, but it was also a good life. I think for all of us life is full of those hard times, but it is our faith and family that get us through those times.

Week 3 Favorite Picture 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Copyright © 2022 Gail Grunst

Favorite Genealogy Find: Ancestor Killed in Wisconsin

John Desens Farm 2015

Of all my great genealogy finds, I think this one was my favorite. The family story was that some ancestor was killed by Indians in Wisconsin. That did not turn out to be true, but an ancestor was killed in Wisconsin by his neighbor. I first published this story in 2015 and here it is again today.

On a June day in 1907 John Desens was working on his farm in Clark County, Wisconsin near the town of Greenwood, when he noticed that something had eaten his grain.  He did not own any cattle and the only cattle nearby belonged to his neighbor Fred Zell.  John was walking his horses out to the pasture, when he saw his neighbor, Fred, on the road.  John called to Fred and said, “Your cattle have been eating my grain.”  Fred asked him, “How can you say my stock is eating your grain?”  John replied, “Come and see for yourself, you can see the grain is eaten off.”  Fred yelled to John, “You son of a bitch.  You come on the road and I will fix you!”  John said, “No, I don’t want to fight, I am an old man, and all I ask of you is to keep your stock out of my grain.”  John heard the gate open, and the next thing he knew Fred had him by the throat, choking him, and pushed him up against the fence post.  John took out his knife and tried to cut himself loose.  He cut where ever he could.  John fell and Fred fell on top of him. John didn’t want to get his eyes cut so he managed to roll over.  John woke up lying in the field and an officer was talking to him.  John said to the officer, “Leave me lie here a little longer and I will die.  I do not want to go to jail.”  The office told him that he wasn’t going to take him to jail, but to a doctor.  When the officer found John, he had been cut and bleeding.  John stated that his side hurt and asked for some water.  The officer got him some water and noticed that John was covered with dried blood and flies.  The officer also saw that there was blood oozing from John’s leg and at first thought that John had been shot.  He ripped the pant leg and saw that he had a gash on his leg.  The officer and some other men got a wagon, filled it with hay, got some blankets from John’s house, and took him into town to the doctor.  Later that day the officer got a call to take John to the local hotel.  He had taken Fred Zell there earlier that day.  There was only one room available so he put John in the same room as Fred.   This was in place of a hospital as there was no hospital in the town.  Two days later John went by the officer’s house and said he was going to walk home.  The next day Saturday the officer and district attorney went out to John’s house.  They showed him a knife they had gotten from Mrs. Zell and asked him if that was his knife.  John said that it was like his except that he had a piece of wood in it so that he could open it easier and this one had the tip of the blade broke off and a small piece of the blade was bent over. A week later on July 6, 1907 John succumbed to the stab wounds in his chest and died alone in his house.[1]

Fred Zell was seriously injured and it took him months to recover.  His hand was almost severed from his arm.  Fred did recover, but didn’t regain full use of his hand.  Fred died in 1932.  A newspaper account said that Fred Zell was resting his arm on the gate talking to John about the cattle when all of a sudden John started cutting Fred’s hand. [2]

When I first ran across this story, I had two newspaper accounts and a mention of it in a book.[3] [4] [5] I didn’t know if John Desens was my great-great grandfather or not.  His wife had the same name as my great-great grandmother (already deceased at this time) and his one son (also already deceased at this time) had the same name as a sibling of my great grandfather.[6]  I sent for John’s death certificate hoping that the informant would be some relative that I knew, but it did not list an informant.[7]  Then last summer I made a trip to Clark County Wisconsin.  I asked to see the probate file, but it was no longer kept there.  It was now in the state archives.  I then asked to see the criminal file for Fred Zell because the paper said most likely he would be charged with John Desens death.[8]  I had to pay $5.00 and they would search for it at a later date and send it to me.  Then I asked to see land records which I was able to see.  The Land records gave a legal description and I was able to locate the farm on a current day map, but it didn’t give me any clues to if this was my ancestor or not.  A few weeks later I received the criminal file.  There appears to be pages missing, but there are 21 pages of testimony from the officer who found John Desens lying in his yard that day in June.  So I only have John’s story through the officer. [9]

Fred Zell’s story is missing.  Although, the paper had Zell’s story about how John went after him first.[10]  In the end the court did not charge Fred Zell with John Desens death because lack of evidence as to who started the fight.[11]  I have some questions and they were not answered in the court documents to my satisfaction.  John was 74[12] years old and Fred was 46.[13]  It seems to me that Fred would have the advantage being younger and most likely be stronger than John.  If John cut first almost severing Fred’s hand, how could Fred have stabbed John?  Did Fred have a knife on him to stab John, or did he get John’s knife away from him and use it on John?  How did Fred get back to his farm or get help?  Why was John left to die? It sounds like he was left lying there in the field for a long time because of the dry blood and flies on him.  He was in and out of consciousness.   Paper also said Fred Zell was the worse of the two,[14] yet he lived for 25 more years.[15]  I think if the investigation was done today that they would be more thorough.

I sent to the state archives for John’s probate file and right on the first page is the evidence that John is my great-great grandfather.  It lists my great grandfather Carl Desens at 111 Washington Street, Forest Park, IL as his son.[16]  An interesting side note about the probate file.  Fred Zell was suing John’s estate for $5000.[17]  All of John’s 80 acres were only worth $1200.[18] He did not have much else and had some debts that needed to be paid out of the estate.[19]  Fred Zell received $1.00.[20]  I find this story very sad.  Although I never knew my 2nd great grandfather, I felt sad that he was left in the field to die.  I felt anger at the neighbor for his part in this and the fact that he was younger and probably stronger, and frustration at district attorney for not investigating it better.  There are so many unanswered questions.

I visited John’s grave when I was up there last summer, however at the time, I was not sure if he was my ancestor or not.  I also did not have all the details of the crime.  I would like to go back and visit his grave again and take some flowers.  I want him to know that someone cares.  That I care!

John Desens Tombstone

Week 2 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Favorite Find.

Copyright © 2015 Gail Grunst

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[1] Criminal file for Fred Zell, Clerk of the Court, 517 Court Street, Room 405, Neillsville, Wisconsin 54456.  Sent by Elizabeth Frost, Deputy Clerk to Abigail Grunst.

[2] Neillsville times(Neillsville, Clark County, Wis) July 11, 1907.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Marshfield Times ( Marshfield, Wood County, Wis) July 17,1907

[5] Hub of Clark County (1853 – 1934)

[6] United Church of Christ East Cemetery Index(formerly the German Immanuel Evangelical & Reformed Church) Warner Township, Clark County, WI, Compiled by Stan and Janet Schwarze.

[7] Death Record of John Desens, Pre -1907 Wisconsin Death Record County Clark, Volume # 01 Page # 438. Filed at the State Historical Archives of Wisconsin, Miroforms room, 816 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

[8] Marshfield Times ( Marshfield, Wood County, Wis) July 17,1907

[9] Criminal file for Fred Zell, Clerk of the Court, 517 Court Street, Room 405, Neillsville, Wisconsin 54456.  Sent by Elizabeth Frost, Deputy Clerk to Abigail Grunst.

[10] Neillsville times(Neillsville, Clark County, Wis) July 11, 1907

[11] Criminal file for Fred Zell, Clerk of the Court, 517 Court Street, Room 405, Neillsville, Wisconsin 54456.  Sent by Elizabeth Frost, Deputy Clerk to Abigail Grunst

[12] Death Record of John Desens, Pre -1907 Wisconsin Death Record County Clark, Volume # 01 Page # 438. Filed at the State Historical Archives of Wisconsin, Miroforms room, 816 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

[13] Obituary of Frederick W. Zell.  Greenwood Gleaner (Greenwood, Clark County Wisconsin) August 25, 1932.

[14] Marshfield Times ( Marshfield, Wood County, Wis) July 17,1907

[15] Obituary of Frederick W. Zell.  Greenwood Gleaner (Greenwood, Clark County Wisconsin) August 25, 1932.

[16] Probate file for John Desens filed in the McIntyre Library at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 103 Garfield Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

Our foundation: Grandpa

My Grandfather provided his family with a solid foundation on which to build our lives.  He not only provided this to his children, but also to his grandchildren.  I knew my maternal grandparents well and they influenced me in a big way.  Both of them died when I was 33 years old.  They passed away within four months of each other at ages 84 and 82.  I grew up just a few blocks from Grandpa and Grandma and I could walk or ride my bike to their house.  I spent a lot of time with them growing up.   I was just as close when I became an adult.

Grandpa was the foundation of the family. One knew where they stood with him.  He said it like it was and did not mince any words.  He was not mean, he just let you know what he thought.  He was a moral, dependable, hard-working, kind, and a good listener.  Many times, I told him my problems and he listened.  Sometimes he didn’t offer any advice, he just listened.  I found that he was the person that I liked talking to the most because he just listened.  When he did give advice, it was always solid. 

He had certain beliefs that I remember to this day. You don’t take off work unless you are really sick and a cold wasn’t reason enough to take off work.  You worked through your cold; you did not take to bed. You stayed with one job your whole life.  You did not quit and go from job to job.  Children should have chores, and he would check to make sure they were done. Everyone must be home for dinner and eat together.  If you didn’t like what was for dinner you had to sit there anyway until everyone was finished.  You were not offered something else to eat.  You ate what grandma made or you went hungry, and you must eat everything you put on your plate.  There were hungry children in China. 

He was definitely a disciplinarian.  As a kid you just knew you didn’t cross him and I never tried.  I can only remember a couple of times that he had to yell at me and I was devastated.  I could not stand for Grandpa to be mad at me or disappointed in me.  I mentioned this to my brother one time when were adults and Grandpa was long gone, and my brother said he felt the same way.  

Grandpa was a steady as can be.  He held down the same job for over 40 years.  He and grandma were married 58 years when they passed away.  They lived in the same house for over 40 years.  He kept his cars for years until he had no choice but to get a new one. 

Grandpa was frugal with money. He would repair things around the house until they could no longer be repaired before he would buy new.  His parents gave them furniture for a wedding present, and they had that furniture reupholstered twice and still had it at the end of their lives. 

My grandfather was a big man, who played sports in his youth.  As he got older, he loved watching them on TV.  He bowled into his old age and he loved to garden.  He had a beautiful yard with flowers and a big vegetable garden.  He was a big animal lover and he always had a dog.  The last one was a Boxer and Grandpa would take him for walks.  He’d save his last bite of food for the dog.  The dog knew when it was time for Grandpa to come home from work and he would wait on the front porch for him.

Grandpa loved his family and he passed on his values to his children and grandchildren.  So it is for this reason that I say he was our foundation.  I married a man much like my grandfather.  They both liked each other and got along well. 

In his late 70’s he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and it was with great sadness that we watched my once vibrant and intelligent grandfather decline.  In the end he did not know us. 

Copyright © 2022 Gail Grunst

Oh, where oh where have family traditions gone?

I find each year that the younger generation seems to care less about our family traditions.  I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but I have talked with a few friends and they also say that their family traditions seem to be going by the wayside.  On Thanksgiving they are interested in eating and leaving to go shopping for deals.  They seem distracted by their phones and everyone sits looking at their phones instead of having a conversation.  If you try to tell family stories, that is old times and old stuff and no cares about the past.  They have no desire to know about their ancestors or the even my past.

Christmas 1948 Family

I came from a small family of maybe 10 to 15 people as it varied over the years.  We all got together on Christmas Eve and opened gifts. Santa would come and leave a bag of gifts on the front porch, ring the bell, and disappear.  My brother and I were the only kids in the family so Christmas Eve was at our house.  Christmas Day everyone gathered at my grandparent’s house for dinner.  The women would all contribute to the cooking, but my grandmother did the turkey and goose.  My grandfather had to have goose.  She had a stove in the basement as well as her kitchen.  She would run up and down the stairs while cooking both. My grandmother had a big heavy swinging door between the kitchen and dining room which usually remained open, but on holidays when she cooked, she closed it to keep the heat in the kitchen and the house cool.  The kitchen was so hot the women would sweat.  My job was to set the table and put the olives out.  They were lucky that there were olives left as I ate some while putting them out.  After dinner the men retired to the living room to watch TV and usually fell asleep, while the women cleaned up and did the dishes.  After dishes were done, the adults played cards while my brother and I played with our new toys.  I always enjoyed the conversations that went on and that is where I heard a lot of family stories.  After the card playing, we would have our dessert and then everyone would depart for home.  Thanksgiving was at my grandmothers and was pretty much like Christmas Day.  New Years Eve my parents often had parties and it would be mostly their friends and their kids, plus my grandparents and uncle.  New Years Day was again at my grandmothers for another big meal.  Easter I would find an Easter Basket on the dining room table and then I would hunt for eggs.  Then we would get ready for church.  Back then everyone dressed up so I always had a new dress, hat, gloves, and new shoes.  After Church we would go to my grandmothers and I would hunt for eggs again, but this time outside.  My Aunt and cousin would always bring us another Easter Basket.  There would be another big dinner at grandmas. 

After my grandmother got too old to do all that cooking, my mother started hosting the family dinners.  Grandma would still bring a dish to dinner, and she would still help clean up.  We still played cards or a board game after our dinners.  By this time, my brother and I were old enough to play games with the rest of the family.  After I married, I wanted to have Thanksgiving dinner at our house and so I started hosting Thanksgiving dinners, and my mother did Christmas.  When the children came along, I also started hosting Christmas Eve so Santa could come deliver the gifts to our house.  New Years Day and Easter were at my mom’s.  But other than the place we celebrated, everything else remained the same except for a few years when my kids were in a Christmas Eve presentation at church.  We would go to church first before opening gifts and Santa coming.   There were also a few years where we went to candlelight services at midnight. 

When my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles were all gone.  I still tried to carry on our family traditions.  There were years that it was only my husband, two kids, my brother, and I that were left.  It was up to me to do every holiday meal and plan the activities.  I always tried to find a new game every year to keep our game playing interesting.  When my kids grew up the family expanded once again.  Son number 2 married and eventually had three kids.  They would celebrate every other Thanksgiving with us and Christmas Day with us.  My brother had a girl friend he lived with for many years but never married.  Once again, we had 10 people for our holiday celebrations

At the present time it is hard to keep those traditions going because once again the family has gotten smaller.  Son number one never married and had kids.  Son number 2 got divorced and his kids are grown up now and they go their own way on holidays.  My brother passed away 6 years ago, and my husband two years ago.  I still cook for my two sons and we still play games on holidays.  I cook the same way my grandmother cooked and the same things.  But our holidays just are not the same.   They are as good as can be, but I miss those days with everyone.  I know when I am gone this family’s traditions will be gone with me. 

If they ever decide they are interested in family stories, they are all written down.  Some on this blog and all of them on paper in a book.

Seven Brides for one Brother

Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

We have all heard of the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, well this is the story of seven brides for one brother.  This is the story of my paternal grandfather’s brother.  In researching my grandfather’s brother, Theodore Arthur Manfroid, I kept finding more and more marriages. One would think that maybe I had two different people with the same name, however MANFROID is a very uncommon name especially in the United States.  I met this uncle when I was a little girl along with his wife Mabel and their daughter also named Gail.  I knew he was married at least twice, but had no idea what I would uncover. Sometimes it is difficult to understand how he could change wives so rapidly.

Theodore Arthur Manfroid came into this world on 19 January 1904.[1]  He was the fifth son and the seventh child born to Isidor George Manfroid and Mary Fiderius.  He came near the end of Isidor and Mary’s marriage.  By 1910 Isidor and Mary were no longer together and Theodore is found living in St. Vincent’s Infant Asylum in Chicago.[2]  In 1910, St Vincent’s was a place for unwed mothers and for children who parents could no longer take care of them.[3]  Mary remarried in 1911[4] and I assume at this time she reclaimed Theodore.  In 1920 he is 16 and living with his mother, Mary, and his step-father, Adam Beischer.[5]  In 1926 he marries for the first time to Josephine Staschak in Oak Park, Illinois.[6]  I don’t know how long this marriage lasted, but in 1931 he marries his second wife, Mary M. Freehill.[7]  Later in 1931 Theodore and Mary have their first child, a daughter, Joy,[8] and in 1933 they have a second child, Shirley.[9]  Again, I don’t know how long the marriage lasted, but in 1938 he has another daughter, Gail.[10]  Gail’s mother is Mabel Curphey.[11]  I could not find a marriage record; however, Mabel is listed as his wife on the 1940 census[12] and again in 1942 on his WWII draft card.[13]  But I did find a marriage record for Theodore and Mabel later in 1950.[14]  Perhaps they were married before Gail was born, divorced after 1942 and remarried in 1950.  The reason I say this is because Theodore had another child, a boy, born in 1946[15] and the mother is Charlotte Alberta David.  In the 1948 City Directory for Evanston, Illinois,Theodore is listed with his spouse Alberta.[16]  Charlotte continued to use the last name Manfroid for several years after she was no longer with Theodore.[17]  So I assume they were legally married even though I can find no marriage record at this time.  As I mentioned above, he married Mabel in 1950 and then in 1952 he marries Dorothy Audene Luehrsen in Texas.[18]  I find him living in Oak Park, Illinois in 1959[19] and 1960.[20] In 1960 he marries Frances Ione Stallion in Nevada.[21] This must have been a short marriage because he marries again in 1961 to Lorraine Evans Pierce.[22]  That is the last marriage I find for Theodore. 

Theodore is described as 6’1” and 168 lbs. with brown hair, blue eyes, and light complexion.[23]  During his lifetime he served in the Marine Corp during WWII,[24] work as a lubricator,[25] and he hauled freight between Chicago and Cleveland for the Cleveland-Chicago Motor Express at 1030 Washington Blvd, Chicago, Illinois.[26]  He also worked as a painter for the Layne Texas Company in Dallas, Texas.[27]

Theodore died on 14 September 1978 in a VA Hospital in Houston, Texas.[28]  The cause of death was Sepsis due to a urinary tract infection, and he also had Carcinoma of the lung and post Carcinoma of the prostate.[29]  He is buried in South Park Cemetery in Pearland, Brazoria, Texas.[30]

There is a big gap in my research from 1961 to 1978 where I can’t find any more information on Theodore. Theodore (Ted) Manfroid lived an interesting life that is for sure!  I wonder if he ever found his one true love. 


[1] “Illinois, cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1945.” Database. FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903,B8L1 : 18 May 16 2016), Theodore Arthur Manfroid, 19 Jan 1904; Melrose Park, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 20165 Cook County Clerk, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago: FHL microfilm.

[2] Year: 1910; Census Place:  Chicago Ward 21, Cook, Illinois; Roll:T624_264; Page: 16B Enumeration District:0923, FHL microfilm 1273177.  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:  Original data: Thirteenth Census of the untied States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T24, 1, 178 rolls).  Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29.  National Archives, Washington, D. C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following Nara web Page: NARA.

[3] From website: https://chicagoancestors.org/place/st-vincent-infant-asylum

[4] Adam Beischer Obituary, Oak Park, Cook, Illinois, Oak Park Leaves, 17 Ma7 1962, p.76,

[5] Year: 1920; Census Place: Forest Park, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_362; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 185

Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).

[6] “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871 – 1968,” database, Familysearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q21V-ZWM3 : 28 November 2018), Theodore Manfroid and Josephine Staschak, 11 September 1926; citing Marriage, Cook, Ililnois, United States, citing Cook County Clerk. Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 10271050

[7] Ancestry.com, Cook County, Illinois Marriage index, 1930-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, Ut, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.  Original Data: Cook County Clerk, comp, Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008

[8] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKDC-Y38M : 18 May 2016), Joy June Manfroid, 02 Sep 1931; Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 36457, Cook County Clerk, Cook County

Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.

[9] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QL99-PNK3 : 27 March 2017), Shirley Rae Manfroid, 28 Aug 1933; Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 30901, Cook County Clerk, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm .

[10] “Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVPC-4VHW : 18 May 2016), Gail Lee Manfroid, 11 Apr 1938; Melrose Park, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 88, Cook County Clerk, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 100,480,845.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Year: 1940; Census Place: Melrose Park, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00788; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 16-443.  Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.

[13] National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Illinois, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1117.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

[14] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index, 1930-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Cook County Clerk, comp. Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008.

[15] U.S. Public Records Index, 1950 – 1993, Volume 2 – Ancestry.com

[16] Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

[17] Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Marriage Index, 1949-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.Original data: California Department of Health and Welfare. California Vital Records—Vitalsearch (www.vitalsearch-worldwide.com). The Vitalsearch Company Worldwide, Inc., Pleasanton, Ca

[18] Harris County Clerk’s Office; Houston, Texas; Harris County, Texas, Marriage Records; Pages: 2.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Select County Marriage Records, 1837-1965 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

[19] Oak Park Oak Leaves, Feb 5 1959, pg.4. NewspaperArchives.com

[20] Oak Park Oak Leaves, Nov 3, 1960. NewspaperArchives.com

[21] Ancestry.com. Nevada, U.S., Marriage Index, 1956-2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.

Original data:  Nevada State Health Division, Office of Vital Records. Nevada Marriage Index, 1966-2005. Carson City, Nevada: Nevada State Health Division, Office of Vital Records.  Clark County, Nevada Marriage Bureau. Clark County, Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-1966. Las Vegas, Nevada: Clark County, Nevada Marriage Bureau.

[22] Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Marriage Index, 1960-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.  Original data: State of California. California Marriage Index, 1960-1985. Microfiche. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California.

[23] National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Illinois, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1117.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

[24] From Website: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/72930044/theodore-a-manfroid

[25] Year: 1940; Census Place: Melrose Park, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00788; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 16-443.  Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.

[26] National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Illinois, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1117.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

[27] Texas Department of State Health Services; Austin Texas, USA.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Death Certificates, 1903-1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.  Original data: Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Death Certificates, 1903–1982. Austin, Texas, USA.

[28] Texas Department of State Health Services; Austin Texas, USA.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Death Certificates, 1903-1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.  Original data: Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Death Certificates, 1903–1982. Austin, Texas, USA.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

The Engraver

Phil’s house in New York

I’ve been scanning pictures of my father’s family. There are not very many, unlike my mother’s family where there are tons. I ran across one of a cute house and on the back was written, “Got these pictures year 1942 August 27. Phil home in New York. Mother and Dad were there.” Phil was my father’s uncle. I am assuming the handwriting on the back is that of my grandfather and the Mother and Dad referred to are my great-grandparents. I then did a search for a picture of Phil but could only find one and it is not very clear, and written on the back, “Georg and Muchie, Phil and Mabel and their friend. Our house on 13th Avenue, Maywood (Illinois).” I assume that this was taken before my grandfather or Phil were married as neither married a Muchie or Mabel. Out of the five children, my grandfather and Phil are the only ones who were married only once and had long marriages.

Phil is standing in the middle.

I did a search on Philip Felix Manfroid and here is a short biography.

Philip Felix Manfroid was born on 19 July 1896 in Cleveland, Ohio to George Manfroid and Mary Fiderius.[1] Sometime between 1896 and 1899 the family moved to Chicago, Illinois and then to Maywood, Illinois.[2]  Philip is described as having blue eyes, dark brown hair, ruddy complexion, 5’8” tall, and 116 pounds.[3]  In June of 1918 Philip was working for Root and VanDerVoort Engine Company in East Moline, Illinois.[4]  In 1920, Philip was Glazier for a glass place and living in Forest Park, Illinois.[5]  The 1930 census lists him as an engraver[6] and the 1940 census as a glass engraver.[7]  On the 18 March 1922 Philip married Frieda Schulz,[8] the daughter of Paul Schulz and Anna Frieda Elise Sophie Neumann born in Hamburg, Germany on 12 June 1899.[9] Frieda was a clerk at Lande’s Department Store in Forest Park, Illinois at the time of their marriage.[10]  Philip and Frieda had one child; a daughter Phyllis born on 21 November 1922.[11]   Sometime between 1930 and 1935 they moved to Long Island, New York.[12]  Philip was a very good Crystal Cutter and received Commissions from such stores as Tiffany’s, Bloomingdales, Macy’s and other places.[13] Around 1953 they moved to Palm Beach, Florida where he worked at Shuman Department Store in Riviera Beach, Florida.[14]  Philip died on 1 January 1962 at home in Florida.[15]  Frieda lived for 28 years after Philip’s death and died 29 August 1990.[16]  Both are buried in Glen Oak Cemetery in Hinsdale, Illinois.[17]  Phyllis married Jordan Rau in 1949[18] and they had two sons.[19]  Jordan died on 10 July 1997 in Florida[20] and Phyllis followed almost two years later on 9 June 1999 in Florida.[21]


[1] Ancestry.com. Ohio, U.S., Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data:  “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2011. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

[2] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Page: 16; Enumeration District: 0293; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

[3] Registration State: Illinois; Registration County: Rock Island County.  Source Information:Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.  Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.

[4] Ibid.

[5 Year: 1920; Census Place: Forest Park, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_362; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 185.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).

[6] Year: 1930; Census Place: Proviso, Cook, Illinois; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 2305; FHL microfilm: 2340241.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

[7] Year: 1940; Census Place: Hempstead, Nassau, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02688; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 30-152.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.

[8] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Marriage Indexes, 1912-1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data: Private donor.

[9]  Ancestry.com Hamburg, Germany, Births, 1874 – 1901 [database on-line], Provo Utah, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.  Original data: Best. 332-5 Standesamter, Personenstandsregister, Sterberegister, 1876-1950, Staatsarchiv, Hamburg., Hamburg Deutschland.

[10] Forest Park Review (Forest Park, Illinois) 25 March 1922 Sat. Page 1.

[11] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[12] Year: 1940; Census Place: Hempstead, Nassau, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02688; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 30-152.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.

[13] Forest Park Review (Forest Park, Illinois) 12 September 1990, Wednesday, Page 11.

[14] Obituary that appeared in Palm Beach Post on Tuesday 2 January 1962. Obtained from the Government Research Service of the Palm Beach County Library System on 3 July 2003.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014.  Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

[17] From website Find-a-Grave: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/214913183/frieda-m-manfroid

[18] New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Brooklyn.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2017. Original data: Index to Marriages, New York City Clerk’s Office, New York, New York.

[19] Personal note sent to me (Abigail Grunst) in 2003 from son of Phyllis Manfroid Rau and grandson of Philip Manfroid.

[20] Ancestry.com. Florida, U.S., Death Index, 1877-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: State of Florida. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998. Florida: Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, 1998.

[21] Obituary from St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, Florida) 11 June 1999.  

The Bookie

My father had an uncle, Arthur Manfroid, who owned a tavern in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.  My father claimed Arthur was involved with the syndicate (mob) in Chicago.  I remember my father saying that as long as Arthur didn’t cross them (the mob) he was OK.  I think that the mob may have financed his tavern and they probably owned the slot machines.  I was a kid when I heard my father talking about Arthur so I don’t remember all the details.

One time we went into Chicago to look at used cars and my father said that Arthur’s tavern was nearby consequently we stopped in at his tavern. While my parents had a beer or two, I had a coke and free snacks. 

Another time we took my great-grandmother to a shoe store in Chicago.  She was in an accident many years before that left her with one leg shorter than the other one.  She had to go to a special shoe store that built up the sole of the one shoe for her short leg.  Afterwards, she wanted to go see her son, Arthur, and by this time he was married to his second wife Josephine.  I remember there was a long flight of stairs up to their apartment, and Josephine stood at the top, while my parents helped grandma up the stairs.  I only saw Arthur and Josephine a few times and it was long ago, therefore I barely remember them.

Arthur Anton Manfroid arrived on 5 January 1901 to George I. Manfroid and Mary Fiderius.[1]  He joined his 4 siblings in their Chicago home.[2]  His father was an iron moulder while his mother kept house and raised the children.[3] Two-and-half months after Arthur was born, his brother, Isidor, died of a pneumonia at two years old.[4]  A few years later, two more boys were added to the family.  The last one born in 1907.[5]

Somewhere between 1907 when the last child was born[6] and 1910,[7] Arthur’s parents divorced.  In 1910 Arthur is found living at the St. Mary’s Training School for Boys in Des Plaines, Illinois.[8]  St. Mary’s Training school for boys housed orphans left without means of support by the death of one or both parents, and children whose parents were unable to give them the necessities of life.[9]   Arthur’s younger brother Theodore is found in 1910 living at St. Vincent’s Infant Asylum (orphanage) in Chicago, Illinois.[10]  Apparently, Mary was unable to support her two youngest children after the divorce.  There was no back up for single mothers in those days.   The father was not required to pay child support and there was no assistance from the government. It was through the charity of the Catholic Church that Mary was able to find help.  In 1911 Mary married Adam Beischer,[11] and I assume sometime after her marriage to Adam she was able to be reunited with Arthur and Theodore.   In 1920 both Arthur and Theodore are living with Mary and their step-father Adam.[12] 

Arthur had a car accident on September 27, 1923 in borrowed car.  The newspaper account reads as follows:

“Anton Manfroid, a young man living at 148 Lathrop Avenue, and until recently employed in the Ed Roos Factory, driving Clarence Troost’s car in Madison Street near Ferdinand Avenue, Thursday evening, struck and seriously injured William Kreino 510 Ferdinand Avenue, a truck driver for Standard Oil Company, was walking across the street.  Manfroid had borrowed the car a few minutes before the accident happened.  After Kreino was taken to Oak Park Hospital, Manfroid drove himself to police station and gave himself up.”[13]

William Kreino survived the accident and died in 1950.[14]  The car owner Clarence Troost was involved with local politics in Forest Park, Illinois.[15]  I was curious about the Ed Roos Factory and thought it might give me some insight to Arthur’s occupation in 1923.

The Roos Manufacturing Co. of Chicago was established in 1871 by Edward Roos, who died in 1906 when two sons Edward and Otto took over the business.  In 1916. Edward split with his brother and started his own company, which made cedar chests.  The Ed Roos Building at 7329 Harrison in Forest Park, Illinois opened 1918 and hit its peak in the 1930’s.  The company used 3 million feet of cedar per year and produced 200 chests per day.” [16]  

Unfortunately, I still don’t know what position he might have held at this factory.

On 28 September 1929 Arthur married Isabelle Kiniec.[17]  Arthur worked as a book maker (bookie) for a sports restaurant and Isabelle worked as a telephone operator.[18]  They lived at 6256 Wabansia Ave., Chicago, Illinois.[19]  In 1942, Arthur’s draft card lists his employment as the Kildare Club at 1550 N. Kildare, Chicago, Illinois and his employer’s name as Joe Nicholson.[20]  I found a matchbook for sale on Ebay with horses racing on the cover.  It lists the address as 1550 N. Kildare at Grand and North Kildare.[21]  I’m sure it was a place where people bet on horses.

I believe that it was during the 1930’s and early 1940’s that Arthur worked as a bookie, probably at the Kildare Club and maybe other places too. 

“The Torrio-Capone organization expanded its limited gambling operations, especially after Prohibition. Mobsters took over the slot machine business. In the 1940s, the mob forcibly took over the racing wire service, and some policy operations as well, though it never achieved total dominance. Mob gambling reached Chicago HeightsBrookfieldGlenview, and other suburbs by 1940. In 1959, the Chicago Tribune reported that 10,000 employees worked at 1,000 gambling establishments in Cook County. Postwar Chicago gangsters profited from gambling in many other cities.”[22]

Arthur was short at 5’4” and weighed 120 lbs., and he is described as having a ruddy complexion and gray eyes.[23]

I have often wondered why Arthur chose book making as a way to make a living.  I wondered if his early life in a boy’s school and being separated from his mother and siblings affected him.  The other brother that was in St. Vincent’s Infant asylum had many problems.  The older boys who were probably working by the time the parents divorced seemed to lead more normal lives.  It appears the Arthur was able to stay out of trouble with the law and the mob.  His name did not come up in any of my searches through newspapers except for the accident he had in 1923. 

I don’t know what happened to his first wife Isabelle. Arthur never had any children with either wife. Arthur passed away on 19 August 1967 in Chicago, Illinois[24] and is buried at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois.[25] His wife, Josephine, passed away many years later on 10 June 1992 in Virginia.[26]


[1] Birth Certificate for Arthur Anton Manfroid, 5 January 1901, Registration number 72637, State of Illinois, Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Springfield, Illinois.

[2] 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T623 256; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 293.  Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623,

[3] Ibid.

[4] Death Certificate for Isidor Manfroid, 22 March 1901, Registration No. 12247, Department of Health, City of Chicago, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Chicago, Cook, Illinois.

[5] “Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925.” Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 6 April 2021. Catholic Church parishes, Chicago Diocese, Chicago.

[6] “Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1925.” Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 6 April 2021. Catholic Church parishes, Chicago Diocese, Chicago.

[7] Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA

[8] Ibid

[9] Maryville History https://www.maryvilleacademy.org/about/our-history/

[10] Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA

[11] Oak Park Oak Leaves (Oak Park, Illinois) 17 May 1962, p. 76, “Adam Beischer dies from stroke: Services held Friday”, location Newspapers.com.

[12] 1920; Census Place: Forest Park, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_362; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 185

[13] Forest Leaves (Forest Park, Illinois) 3 October 1923, p.12, “Borrowed car hits man”.  Location Google Books.

[14] Chicago Tribune, (Chicago, Illinois), 21 December 1950, P. 18, Obituary for William Kreino.  Location Newspapers.com.

[15] Forest Park Review, (Forest Park, Cook, Illinois), 3 March 1923, p. 4.

[16] From website: Chicagogeek https://chicagogeek.tumblr.com/post/60752283932/the-roos-manufacturing-co-of-chicago-was

[17] National Archives at Chicago; Chicago, Illinois; ARC Title: Petitions for Naturalization, 1906-1991; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21

[18] 1940; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00994; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 103-2256

[19] Ibid.

[20] The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Illinois, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1117

[21] From Ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/KILDARE-CLUB-1550-North-Kildare-Avenue-Chicago-IL-1940s-Front-Strike-Matchbook-/251236281701

[22] From Website Chicago History: http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/496.html

[23] The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Illinois, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1117

[24] Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908-1988.  Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.Original data – Cook County Clerk. Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008.Original data: Cook County Clerk.

[25] Chicago Tribune, (Chicago, cook, Illinois), 21 August 1967, P. 6, Obituary for Arthur A. Manfroid. Location: Newspapers.com.

[26] Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014:  Source Information

Ancestry.com. Virginia, U.S., Death Records, 1912-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.  Original data: Virginia, Deaths, 1912–2014. Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia.

Anna Marie Schwebler’s Life

In the small village of Bairertal, Baden, Germany, Anna Marie Schwebler was born on 20 January 1855 to Peter Schwebler and Friederike Liecht.[1]  Baiertal is a village in the district of Heidelburg in Baden (now Baden-Wurttemburg) in Southwest Germany.  Baden-Wurttemburg contains Germany’s largest continuous forest area, the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), which spreads westward to the banks of the Rhine River.[2]  This is where Anna was baptized Lutheran on 29 January 1855,[3] and where she grew up, married, and her first two children were born.  Anna was 22 years old when she married Johann Konrad Reinhardt on 26 April 1877 in Baiertal.[4]  Nine months later their first child, Eva Friederike Reinhardt, was born on 14 February 1878.[5]  A year and a half later their son, Johann Konrad Reinhardt, was born on 9 August 1879[6] (the birth record says Johann was born on 9 August 1879, but in all other documents he is listed as being born on the 10th.)  Shortly after Johann was born Anna and her husband left for America.  First, they traveled 284 miles through Germany to Antwerp, Belgium.[7]  Today it is a 5-hour trip,[8] but in 1879 it was much longer. It is unknown what form of transportation they used from Baiertal to Antwerp.  The Reinhardt’s probably left Antwerp somewhere between 19 November 1879 and 25 November 1879 on the ship Belgenland I (1878 Red Star Line).[9] The ship was 403’ x 40’ and went 14 knots,[10] and it was placed in Antwerp to New York service in 1879.[11]  The trip from Antwerp to New York was 3,827 nautical miles.[12]  If the ship went an average of 10 knots the trip would take about 16 days, and if it went top speed of 14 knots all the way it would take 10 days.[13]  The Reinhardt’s arrived in New York on December 5, 1879.[14]  At that time, they would have been processed through Castle Garden Immigration Center.[15]  Seventeen days later, on 22 December 1879 they arrived in Amana, Iowa.[16] Amana was the home of Johann’s aunt, Elizabeth Schuh.[17]

“The Amana Colonies are seven villages on 26,000 acres located in Iowa County in east-central Iowa.  The seven villages consist of Amana (or Main Amana), East AmanaHigh AmanaMiddle AmanaSouth AmanaWest Amana, and HomesteadIn 1714 in Southwestern Germany two men started a religious movement which later became known as the Community of True Inspiration.  A group of people from this movement came to the United States in 1842 settling in the vicinity of Buffalo, New York.  They built four villages known as Middle Ebenezer, Upper Ebenezer, Lower Ebenezer, and New Ebenezer in New York State.  They also built two villages in Canada.  The Buffalo area was becoming quickly urbanized so the group sought land to west, and in 1854 purchased the sight of the present-day Amana Colonies in Iowa.”[18]

“After arrival in this county, the group adopted a religious-communal way of life, with all property held in common and with all church and secular decisions being made by the same leadership.  The communal way of life lasted nearly a century until the people voted separation of church and state in 1932 adopting the free enterprise way of life that surrounded them.”[19]

“Mother and baby stayed home until the child was two and went to Kinderschule.  The child would be in school from 8AM to 11AM and then would be home for lunch with the mother, not the communal kitchen. After lunch Children went back to Kinderschule. The Children went to Kinderschule until age seven.” [20]

The Reinhardt’s settled in South Amana.[21]  Johann Americanized his name and went by Conrad.  Conrad worked as a shoemaker in Amana.[22]  Anna would have been at home and not working in the communal kitchen because she had two children under two.  On 10 February 1881, Anna gave birth to another daughter, Elizabeth, born in Amana.[23] Reinhardt’s decided that Amana was not for them and left there in April 1883.[24]  In 1885 they settle in Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois and joined the Zion Evangelical Church in Ottawa.[25]

At this time, it is not known where they may have lived between 1883 and 1885.  In 1886 another daughter, Emma, is born in Ottawa Illinois,[26] followed by a son, Frederick, born in 1887,[27] Anna born in 1889,[28] and Agnes, 1891.[29]  Anna spent the rest of her life in Ottawa raising her children and keeping house.  My grandmother often visited her grandparent’s in Ottawa, but she didn’t tell us many stories about her grandparents.  Although, there were not many stories handed down about Anna and Conrad Reinhardt, there were traditions that were handed down.  I visited Amana, Iowa and ate at one of the many restaurants.  The food is served family style and when I took a bite, it was like being back in Grandma’s kitchen.  Apparently, Grandma learned to cook from her mother and grandmother.  In the museum, there were quilt’s just like the ones handed down to me that were made by my great-grandmother.  

Quilt made by my Great-Grandmother Eva Reinhardt

The family referred to their daughter Annie as being slow.  No one elaborated more than to say she was slow.  Anna Marie had a nervous breakdown sometime between 1900 and her death in 1910.  There is a gap in children between 1881 – 1886 so I wonder if she lost one or two in that time period.  It probably wasn’t easy in those days to have a mentally challenged child, and the possibility that she may have lost one or two children may have contributed to her nervous breakdown.  Plus, we will never know what else was going on in her life at that time that may have contributed to it.   

Anna Marie passed away on 11 June 1910[30] at age 55 years, 4 months, and 22 days.  She is buried in the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois.[31] A long way from Baiertal, Baden, Heidelburg, Germany. She shares her birthday January 20 with her 4th great granddaughter.

Other Ancestors born in January

George Manfroid – 1 January 1892

Arthur Manfroid – 5 January 1901

Charles Bowers – 7 January 1784

Johann Friedrich Reinhardt 10 January 1814

Mary Bowers – 13 January 1792

Sarah Bowers –13 January 1792

John Bowers – 22 January 1786

Hugo Kaiser – 26 January 1899

Augusta Gabbi – 28 January 1859

Copyright © 2021 Gail Grunst


Citations

[1] Ancestry.com. Baden, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1502-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.  Original data:Mikrofilm Sammlung. Familysearch.org. Originale: Lutherische Kirchenbücher, 1502-1985.

[2] https://www.britannica.com/place/Heidelberg

[3] https://www.britannica.com/place/Heidelberg

[4]  Germany Marriages, 1558 – 1929,  LDS Library, Salt Lake Ciry, Utah, microfilm # 1272787.

[5] Ancestry.com.  Baden Germany Lutheran Baptism, 1502 – 1985[database on-line]. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.  Original data:  Mikrofilm Sammlung. Familysearch.org.

[6] Ancestry.com. Baden, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1502-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.  Original data: Mikrofilm Sammlung. Familysearch.org. Originale: Lutherische Kirchenbücher, 1502-1985.

[7]Maps, Google. “Google Maps Heidelburg to Antwerp.” Google Maps, Google, 2021, http://www.google.com/maps/dir/Antwerp,+Belgium/Heidelberg,+Germany/@50.2921341,4.2755556,7z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x47c3f68ebfc3887d:0x3eaf448482a88ab8!2m2!1d4.4024643!2d51.2194475!1m5!1m1!1s0x4797c1050eccdccd:0xefe6ea0044243ad7!2m2!1d8.6724335!2d49.3987524.

[8] Ibid.

[9]  Germans to America(Vol. 34). (1993). Wilmington, DE, DE: Scholarly Resources.

[10] Smith, Eugene W. Passenger Ships of the World: Past and Present. George H. Dean, 1978.

[11] Smith, Eugene W. Passenger Ships of the World: Past and Present. George H. Dean, 1978.

[12] “Port of Antwerp, Belgium to Port of New York, United States Sea Route and Distance.” Ports.com, ports.com/sea-route/port-of-      antwerp,belgium/port-of-new-york,united-states/.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Germans to America (Vol. 34). (1993). Wilmington, DE, DE: Scholarly Resources.

[15] “Castle Garden”. Castlegarden.Org, 2021, http://www.castlegarden.org/.

[16] Amana Church Membership Records, in archive collection of the Amana Heritage Museum, Amana, Iowa.

[17] Amana, Iowa,  Amana Heritage Museum, Anderson Cards, the Koch Verzeichnis

[18] Bourret, Joan Liffring-Zub and John Zug, Amanas yesterday: a religious communal society: a story of seven villages in Iowa: historic photographs 1900 – 1932. IA City, IA: Penfield Press, 2003

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Year: 1880; Census Place: Amana, Iowa, Iowa; Roll: 345; Family History Film: 1254345; Page: 146D; Enumeration District: 201; Image: 0155.  1880 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ancestry.com. Iowa, U.S., Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data:  “Iowa Births and Christenings, 1830–1950.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

[24] Amana Church Membership Records, in archive collection of the Amana Heritage Museum, Amana, Iowa.

[25] Daily Republican Times, Ottawa, Illinois,Vol XXXII no. 291, 13 June 1910, Pg 4.

[26] Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1871-1998,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVRN-D8VZ : 16 March 2018), Emma L Mataway, 18 Aug 1956; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference , record number , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm .

[27] “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6DL-3XZ : 12 December 2014), Fred Reinhardt, 1917-1918; citing La Salle County no 1, Illinois, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,614,034.

[28] Illinois Births and Christenings, 1824-1940,” database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2LZ-4LN : 12 December 2014), Anna Reinhardt, 28 Apr 1889; Birth, citing Ottawa, La Salle, Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,710,998.

[29] Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014.  Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

[30] Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, Ottawa, LaSallle, Illinois cemetery records, Cemetery card CCY-TS, Burial Location BU, 47C (N ½) Record # 5856.

[31] Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, Ottawa, LaSallle, Illinois cemetery records, Cemetery card CCY-TS, Burial Location BU, 47C (N ½) Record # 5856.

The Winter of My Life

Bruce and I on our 25th Wedding Anniversary 1996

Since my husband passed away last June, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my my life before I knew my husband and our life together. I found a post on Facebook that described how I have been feeling since June. I don’t know who the author is so I can’t give him or her credit. It is something for both young and old to think about.

And then it is winter you know . . .time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of passing years.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day. And taking a nap is not a treat anymore . . . it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will . . . I will just fall asleep where I sit.

It seems like yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But here it is . . . the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise . . . how did it get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter so so far off that I could not fathom it or fully image what it would be like. But here it is . . . my friends are retired and getting grey . . . they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better shape and some are in worse shape than me , , , I see the great change . . . not like the ones I remember who were young and vibrant, but like me their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we use to see and never thought we would be.

And so I enter into this new season of life unprepared for all the aches and pains and loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I done but never did. But at least I know that though the winter has come and I am not sure how long it will last . . . This I know that when it is over on this earth . . . it is not over . . . a new adventure begins.

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done . . . things I should have done, but indeed there are many things I’m happy to have done. It is all in a lifetime.

So if your not in your winter yet . . . let me remind you that it will be here faster than you think. So whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly. Don’t put things off too long! Life goes by quickly. So do what you can today as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you will see all seasons of your life . . . so live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember . . and hope they appreciate and love you for all the things you have done for them in all years past.

Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one. Live well and enjoy today! Do something fun! Be Happy! Have a great day! Remember it is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. Live happy in this year and every year.”

I love and miss you!

I haven’t posted in awhile.  My husband was sick for several years and in the last two years I became his full-time caretaker.  He succumbed to his illness on June 8, 2020.  Since his passing, I am having hard time getting back to my genealogy and this blog.  This last week I have worked on genealogy again.  Today I thought I would do a short post to let everyone know I am still here and hope to post more often now that I have more time and things (I hope) have settled down.  

We had a nice grave site ceremony for my husband with the Marines and a flag ceremony.  Afterwards, we had a picnic lunch at the state park near our home, one of my husband’s favorite places. 

He loved the outdoors and nature.  Before he got sick our favorite thing to do was to go camping in our trailer and before that in our pop-up trailer, and tent camping when we were young.  

He also loved cars and all things mechanical.  His first car was a 54 Buick that he inherited from his father.  When I met Bruce he owned a ’69 Plymouth Barracuda and ’69 450 Honda Motorcycle.  I have many fond memories of our motorcycle adventures.  He noticed me because of my ’69 Camaro Convertible. 

We traveled all over the United States and saw many of the National Parks. Our favorite is Glacier National Park in Montana.  We have been to most states.  Our plan was to drive to Alaska when I retired, but it was not to be.  By the time I retired there was no way that Bruce could have endured a trip like that.  But I have many good memories the trips we did take.

Bruce loved sports and played baseball, softball, tennis, and ran. He was an avid sports fan of the White Sox, Cubs, and Bears. He enjoyed working on his own cars and machines. He was very handy around the house building us a fireplace and cabinets. His last few years his physical activity was diminished until he was unable to walk. It was so sad to watch my once athletic husband unable to do things for himself that he once enjoyed.

We were together 49 years and hoping for 50.  If you count the year we dated, we were together 50.  

On Bruce’s last day I told him that we didn’t have an easy life, but we had a good life.  He told me he was happy and thank me for taking care of him.  There was no need to thank me, I would do it all over again. As he took his last breath, he held my hand and squeezed it. It was his last “I love you” to me.   I love him and miss him, but at least he suffers no more and is at peace.