A few weeks ago I wrote about Genevieve Bowers who died at age 20 of appendicitis. A lot of people seemed to relate to this story. This got me to thinking about other ancestors who died at a young age. Of course they are not direct line ancestors as most of these people died before they had a chance to marry and have children.
Today I decided to write about my grandfather’s brother.
Hugo Emil Kaiser was born on January 26, 1899 in Chicago, Illinois to Wilhelmina Springer and Rudolf Kaiser. Hugo died on April 11, 1919 of Influenza during the third wave of the Influenza epidemic. His secondary condition causing death was Bronchial Pneumonia. More people died during this epidemic which started in 1918 than died in World War I. Hugo was working in a cigar factory at the time he contacted the Influenza. Once again a young person struck down by an illness before he had a chance to live his life. One wonders what his life might have been like or how his life would have influenced other lives had he lived. I knew my Grandmother’s brother and sister. What would it have been like to know my grandfather’s only brother? Would he have married and had children and what would they be like? Maybe he would have stayed single and been a bachelor uncle. Who knows what he might have done. What was his personality like? Was he like my Grandfather? My Grandfather never talked about him. All I ever knew was that Grandpa had a brother who died when he was young. That was where the story started and ended. No information was given about Hugo. Maybe it was too painful for Grandpa to talk about. I can only imagine how his parents grieved at the loss of a son so young. They probably thought about what might have been. How very very sad for them and Grandpa too. Hugo is buried in Eden Cemetery in Schiller Park, Illinois alongside his mother, father, and brother.
If you would like to learn more about the Influenza epidemic of 1918/1919 go to:
4 thoughts on “Honoring Ancestor’s who died too young: Hugo Kaiser”
I did not know that more people died from influenza in 1918 than in WWI. Very interesting. And I love that you are writing up these short lives and keeping their memories alive. 🙂
How very sad for your grandfather’s family! And like Anne said, I think it’s great that you are honoring your ancestors who died so young.
Pingback: Follow Friday — Senseless Vandalism and Other Posts to Make You Think « finding forgotten stories
Thank you for sharing this story! It would be sad for his life to not be remembered.