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

Naughty Great-Grandpa part 2

A while back I wrote about my great-grandfather Rudolph Kaiser who may have left a family in Germany when he came to the United States and started a another family here. For back ground to this post you might want to read my original posts about Rudolph Kaiser at Naughty Great Grandpa and Letter’s from Germany to Rudolph Kaiser.

I just had the second letter from Germany transcribed.  It is dated 13 November 1910 and is written by his son this time.

Letter Transcribed:

Page 1

Allenstein, 13 November 1910

Mr. Kaiser,

After many efforts, we were able to determine your valuable address.  We only found out from Mother this year that our father is in America.  So we decided to write a few lines.  Hopfully, they will be received with pleasure.  Things are currently very bad for us.  Mother is alone with Ida because I have been drafted into the

Page 2

Military, Infantry Regiment 146. 6  Allenstein Company.  As a result, it has not been possible for me to work as I must now serve two years.  Ida works in a factory in Berlin.  Unfortunately, her earnings are very meagre.  Mother has been sickly of late so she is no longer abler to earn any money.  I Rudolf, have decided to move to America after my service.  Dear Father, write

Page 3

To me please and tell me how you are and how it is in America.  Hopefully, it is better than in Berlin because everything is expensive here and work is hard to come by.  Therefore dear Father, we ask you kindly, please reply.

Warmest regards

From your children

Sent

From afar

 

Rudolf                                                                                                                   Ida

Inf. Regt. 146.                                                                                                    Berlin S.O. 33

5th Company                                                                                                       Skalitzerstr. 54a

Allenstein

 

Page 4

Musketier [private]

Rudof Pielenz

Inf. Regt. 146.

6th comp.

Room 22

Allenstein

I have two more letters that I want transcribed and will do as I can afford it.  I am hoping one of them contains answers to all my questions that I have about these circumstances.  I can’t say it any better than I did in my previous post about my feelings toward this woman and her children and my great-grandfather.  I can’t help wonder about my great-grandmother in all this.  Did she know?  If so what did think or do about it?  Did this cause a riff in there marriage?  Did my grandfather know?  If he did, he never told anyone.  It was kept a secret, I think, except for the buried letters.  By the time they were found there was no one around that could read, write, or speak German.  Years ago my mother asked a German neighbor to read them and tell her what they said.  The neighbor did not transcribe word for word, but just gave my mother a summary of the letters so we had an idea of the information contained in them.  

Here’s my mother’s notes:

Mom's notes about German letters

Mom's notes about the German letters 2

 

I have a letter dated 1914 which corresponds to the note “wounded in Russia 1914 discharged”.  Story to be continued when next letter is translated.

Copyright © 2020 Gail Grunst

 

 

Favorite Picture

Dorothy in Center, Left her grandmother (Eva) on right her mother (Helen)

The theme this week for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is favorite picture.  This fits in nicely with what I have been doing lately and that is posting pictures and telling a story to go with the picture.  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. [1] Eva came to the United States when she was almost two years old.[2]  Her brother John was born on the boat.[3]  Her first home in the United States was in Amana, Iowa.[4]  They spent a few years in Amana and then moved to Ottawa, Illinois where Eva grew up with her brothers and sisters.[5]   Eva grew into a young woman and sometime around 1896 she married Robert Bowers also of Ottawa, Illinois.[6]  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.[7]  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,[8] Helen in 1898[9] and Frances in 1900. [10]  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 kids.  She raised the three kids alone and I believe this made her a strong woman.

My grandmother and mother did not have easy lives and to survive all their trials and tribulations they had to be strong.  My grandmother died at age 82 and my mother at age 62.  I believe my mother’s early death was caused by some of the problems in her life.

Copyright ©2019 Gail Grunst

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[1] Certificate of Death for Eva Bowers;  State of Illinois, Department of Public health, Division of Vital Statistics, Springfield, Illinois, Registration Number 34633. Date of death: December 23, 1941; Place of death: County of Cook, City of Chicago.

[2] Ira A. Glazier and P. William Filbry, ed., Germans to America: List of passengers arriving at U.S. ports, Volume 34 October 1878 – December 1879; ( Wilmington, Delaware, Scholarly Resources,1993), Page 106.

[3] Ibid

[4] Conrad Reinhardt household, 1880 U. S. Census, Amana, Iowa; Roll 345; Family History Film 1254345; page 146D; Enumeration District 201; Image 0155.

[5] From family stories told to this author.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Quit-claim deed record from Robert Bowers and Eva Bowers, his wife to Alexena Bowers, City of Ottawa, County of LaSalle, state of Illinois; deed book 448, page 167.  LaSalle County Illinois Genealogical Guild collection.

[8] Eva Bowers household, 1900 U. S. Federal  Census, LaSalle County, Ottawa township, ED 76, line 37, page 6, dwelling 557, fmily124, National Archives film publication T623, roll 317.

[9] Delayed Record of Birth for Helen Bowers, State of Illinois, Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Statics, LaSalle County, City of Ottawa, State of Illinois, Date of Birth: December 3, 1898, Dated August  7, 1957.

[10] Eva Bowers household, 1900 U. S. Federal  Census, LaSalle County, Ottawa township, ED 76, line 37, page 6, dwelling 557, fmily124, National Archives film publication T623, roll 317.

 

Christmas 1960

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

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Christmas 1960

Family photo from Christmas 1960.  Back left:  Ralph Bowers (grand Uncle), George Manfroid (father), Fred Kaiser (grandfather). Next row: Martha Treppa, Elizabeth Farrell (great aunt), Dorothy Manfroid (mother), Helen Kaiser (Grandmother), Helen Bowers (grand aunt).  Front:  Ronald Manfroid (brother) and me (Gail).  Notice the Texaco Truck in front of my brother. My grandfather worked for Texaco for 45 years, and was still working for them when this picture was taken.  He retired in 1963. It was unusual to have Ralph and Helen Bowers, Martha Treppa, and Elizabeth Farrell in our family pictures.  They were with us on some holidays, but not all.  I think this picture was taken at the last minute before they left because of the shopping bags and boots on Aunt Helen.  Missing from the picture is my Uncle Russ, but he appears in the next one and I am missing from that one.

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Uncle Russ is sitting on the arm of the sofa.

 

Family Pictures: Smoking

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything.  I have been busy with other things, and I’ve been scanning family pictures that I inherited from my mother and grandmother.  Since I ran dry on family stories, I’ve decided to post a picture and describe it or tell a story that may go with it.  Sometimes no words or few words.  After all a pictures worth a thousand words.  Right?  Here is the first of many.

Russell and Barbara 1940

This is my Uncle sitting on the steps with his cousin smoking candy cigarettes.  The house was in Aurora, Illinois.  My uncle became a life-long smoker.  I don’t know if the cigarettes killed him or not.  He died at the age of 80 from a multitude of problems, but Cancer was not one of them.  Of course maybe the smoking caused some of the other problems.  I had candy cigarettes as a kid too, but never became a smoker.  So I am not saying that candy cigarettes cause someone to start smoking.  It is clear to me from this picture, that they were obviously imitating the adults.

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

 

Grandpa’s Work

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks topic this week is work.

The one person who comes to mind for this topic is my maternal grandfather.  He worked for Texaco his whole life.  He went to work for Texaco in 1915 before the United States entered into WWI.  He left Texaco to enter the Army in 1917 and returned to Texaco after the War was over.  Texaco let  him retain his seniority.

texico-truck-fred-kaiser

Grandpa sitting above wheel.

He started out as a truck driver and moved up to dispatcher.

Grandpa at work (Texico)

Grandpa at work (Texaco)

Grandpa worked steady even during the depression.  He didn’t believe in taking a day off for a head cold.  He said the way to get rid of a cold was to work it off.  I don’t think he ever missed a day of work because he was sick or just didn’t feel like going in.  When I was young they had a dog, a Boxer, named Ken.  Ken knew what time grandpa would come home and about five minutes before Grandpa arrived home, Ken would go out on the front porch and wait for Grandpa. I guess you could say, we could set the clock by Grandpa’s work routine.

He retired from Texaco in 1961 after 46 years of service.

46 year service award

After retirement, he took a job at the local grade school as a crossing guard.  The children loved him.  When he decided to leave that job after many years, he received lots of cards and gifts from the children.  Grandpa had Alzheimer’s Disease and it was very sad to watch him lose his memory and not know any of us anymore.  He passed away on 6 October 1980 at age 84 years, and 24 days.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

Generations Picnic at Starved Rock

My grandmother’s family was from Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois.  Near by is Starved Rock State Park, the site for our family picnics throughout the years.  Since it is summer and August, I’ve been thinking a lot about those picnics.  We would get up early on a Sunday Morning and drive about a two hours to Ottawa to meet family and friends and then drive on to Starved Rock for a picnic.  Starved Rock is located on the south bank of the Illinois River. The park has beautiful hiking trails, canyons, historic lodge, and panoramic views from tall bluffs.  “Starved Rock derives its name from a Native American legend.  In the 1760s, Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa tribe, was attending a tribal council meeting. At this council of the Illinois and the Pottawatomie, an Illinois-Peoria brave stabbed Chief Pontiac. Vengeance arose in Pontiac’s followers. A great battle started. The Illinois, fearing death, took refuge on the great rock. After many days, the remaining Illinois died of starvation giving this historic park its name – Starved Rock.” [1]  If you would like more information click the link Starved Rock State Park .

Here is a pictorial of our family history at Starved Rock.

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Mina and Rudolf Kaiser (Great-Grandparents) on Starved Rock year unknown

 

Eva Bowers (great-grandmother) at Starved Rock 1920 or 21

Eva Bowers (Great-Grandmother) at Starved Rock 1920 or 21

Fred and Helen Kaiser at Starve Rock 1923

Fred Kaiser and Helen Bowers Kaiser (Grandparents) on Starved Rock 1923

Helen Kaiser (Grandma) at Starved Rock 1923

Helen Bowers (Grandmother) at the top of Starved Rock 1923

Helen Kaiser at Starved Rock 1923 (2)

Helen Bowers Kaiser on the path to the top of Starved Rock 1923

Helen Kaiser at Starved Rock 1923

Another view of my grandmother on the path leading up to the top of Starved Rock 1923

Fred and Helen Kaiser at Starve Rock 1939

Helen, son Russell, and Fred Kaiser at the top of Starved Rock 1939

Mom, Grandpa and Uncle Russ at Starved Rock 1939

My Mom (Dorothy), Fred, and Russell Kaiser on Starved Rock 1939

Mom and Uncle Russ at Starved Rock 1939

My Mom and Uncle at Starved Rock 1939

Mom and Friend at Starved Rock 1940 (2)

My Uncle, Mom, and friend 1940

Dorothy Manfroid (Mom) at Starved Rock 1953

My Mom at Starved Rock 1953

Mom, Me, Lynn, Dad, Roy 1953

Mom, Me, Lynn (friend), My Dad and Roy(friend of family) on Starved Rock 1953

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Me, Bruce (husband), Richard (friend) and his daughter at Starved Rock 1971

I realized when looking through photos for pictures of Starved Rock that so many family members were missing from photos including my own children.  I think we will have to make a trip to Starved Rock and take pictures of all of us on Starved Rock.  A few years ago we went there with my brother and his wife.  We climbed to the top of Starved Rock, but did not take any pictures.  Now he is gone, and I don’t have any pictures of him at Starved Rock.  I guess none of us were big picture takers.  

You can see how over the years things have changed there.  Now there are stairs and wooden walk ways to preserve the stone and to keep people from falling.  The path back when my mom was young wound around the outside of the rock.  One time she tried to take me on it when I was little.  I remember the path getting narrow and narrower and below us was the Illinois River.  She said that she didn’t remember it being that narrow and we turned back.  We then went up what was then the new way at that time, but less exciting.  I am also amazed how the women dressed to picnic.  They didn’t exactly have shoes for climbing and walking either.  My grandfather would tell stories of their drive down to Ottawa and Starved Rock back in the 20’s.  He said it would take most of the day, and he would have several flat tires on the way.  Now it’s two or three hour trip from Chicago.

Some times when Starved Rock got crowded we would go to a lesser known park across the river from Starved Rock known as Buffalo Rock State Park.  It was smaller and had a couple of trails.  One trail went along the river on a bluff.  Always hated to see the day end and the good times with family and friends.  After a day of hiking and eating all the great food, I would fall asleep in the back seat before we made it home.  Now after all this reminiscing, I am ready for a picnic there soon!

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

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[1] From website:  Starved Rock State Park www.starvedrockstatepark.org/history/

Great-Grandma’s German Books

German was the predominate language spoken by my most of my ancestors.  My grandfather, Fred Kaiser, was born in Chicago, Illinois, however his parents were new immigrants when he was born, and they spoke only German in their home.  My grandfather did not learn English until he went to school.  He often talked about how he was behind in school because he did not know English.  He eventually caught up, but it sure made an impression on him.  I have a couple of books that belonged to his mother, Wilhelmina Kaiser nee Springer, that are written in German.  They are a Gesangbuch fur die Evang. Luth. Kirche[1] (hymnal).  It has her first initial and last name on the front cover (see below). 

img008 (2)img009 (2)img010 (2)

Another book from her is a small book of the New Testament[2] in German.  It was published in 1888 the year she emigrated from Germany, but I don’t know if she brought it with her or not.  She did write in it.  On the one page she wrote: “Mrs Wilhelmina Kaiser geborn Springer Dinkelsburl Bayern born 17 December 1869.  Father Karl Mother Margaret Springer.  October 31 1911.”  On the next page she wrote in German “Immigrating to America in July 1888 and arrived 3 August”  Mina Springer Dinkelsburl.” (see below). 

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Some of the words I cannot read.  If anyone reading this post can read it, I would appreciate your input. 

It’s amazing to me that these books have survived over 100 years, and that I have something written in my great-grandmother’s handwriting.  In her own little way, she was trying to let future generations know who she was, where she came from, who her parents were, and when she came to America.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks  topic is Language.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

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[1] Philadelpia:  Lutheran Publication Society, Gesangbuch fur die evangelish lutherische kirche.  For sale by German Literary Board, Burlington, Iowa.  Copyright 1902 by the by the Hymnal Book Publishing Committee of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States.

[2] New York: Americansche Bibel-Gesellschaft, Gegrunbet im Jabre 1816, 1888, New Testament.

Letter’s from Germany to Rudolph Kaiser

Rudolph Kaiser was born to Franz Keiser and Emily Klatt in Lobsen, Posen, Prussia on 5 April 1865.[1] Emily had twin sons Theodor Julius and Albert Gustav Keiser born 29 June 1862.[2] [3] They only lived two months and few days.  Theodor died 7 September 1862[4] and Albert followed two days later on 9 September 1862.[5]  A year later, Emilie gave birth to a baby girl, Emma Auguste Keyser, born 6 September 1863.[6]  Unfortunately, Emma only lived to be little over 3 years old.  Emma died 10 October 1866[7] when Rudolph was 18 months old.  If there were other children it is not known at this time.

Rudolph came to the United States when he was 26 years old.[8]  He boarded the Ship Lahn in Bremen and landed at Castle Garden, New York on 30 April 1891.[9]  On the same boat is an Anton Springer.[10]  Could this be a brother of Wilhelmina Springer (Rudolph’s future wife)?  So far I haven’t been able to find proof.  In March of 1896 Rudolph married Wilhelmina Springer in Aurora Illinois.[11]  At the time of their marriage both Rudolph and Wilhelmina resided in Chicago, Illinois.[12]  Rudolph’s occupation is listed as brush maker.[13]  John Einsiedel and Babette Steinhauser are witnesses.[14]  I remembered my mother referring to an Aunt Barbara who lived in Aurora and that she was her grandmother’s sister.  I thought that Babette was probably Barbara (Wilhelmina’s sister). I checked it out, and found a marriage record of a Babette Springer to Joseph Steinhauser.[15]  I think John Einsiedel is a cousin to Great-Grandpa Kaiser, but not sure.  I searched Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org and could not find a family connection.  Of course this does not mean that there isn’t one.

Wilhelmina Springer was born on 17 December 1869 to Carl Springer and Margarete Burkhardt in Dinkelsburh.[16]  She arrived in New York aboard the Ship Lahn from Bremen on 3 August 1888.[17]   In September of 1896 a son Fredrick was born to Rudolph and Wilhelmina.[18]  In 1899 another son, Hugo, is born.[19]  Rudolph and Wilhelmina resided in Chicago, Illinois at 180 Mohawk,[20] and 2333 Winnemac,[21] and 4154 Irving Ave.[22] Hugo died during the Influenza epidemic in 1919.[23] [24] In January 1901 Rudolph declared his intention to become a citizen.[25]  On the 17th of September 1906 Rudolph became a citizen of the United States of America.[26]  Wilhelmina automatically became a citizen at the same time as Rudolph because she was his wife.[27]

I have some letters that were written in German address to my great-grandfather, Rudolph.[28]  They were found in my grandparent’s house when my mother and I were cleaning it out, after both my grandparents went to a nursing home.  My mother had a neighbor who was from Germany read them.  Apparently, they were written by children of Rudolph’s that he had in Germany.  They were not transcribed word for word, but the theme of the letters is that the daughter and son want to come to America and are wondering if their father would sponsor them.  They know he has wife and children here and do not want co cause him trouble.  The boy wrote letters from the service and wondered why he never answered them.  The neighbor that read them for my mother said, “It could be a scam, that when people wanted to come to America they would do this.”  But I tend to believe these are Rudolf’s children.  For one thing the letters are dated 1910, 1914, 1918, and 1920.  That is a long time to try to scam someone.  The time line works out too. They were born 1890 or earlier.  There is a letter from the Consulate of Switzerland in Chicago, Illinois dated August 25, 1920.  The Letter states, “We have been requested to get in touch with one Mr. Rudolf Kaiser, born April 5, 1865 at Lobson, province Posen, Germany.  Kindly acknowledge receipt of this letter at your earliest convenience, and should you be identical with this gentleman, we would ask you to call at this consulate or let us know your present address.  (our office hours are from 10 – 3, Saturdays 10 to 1 o’clock).” [29] The names of the children are Gertude Pielenz and Rudolph Pielenz.  The letter from the Switzerland consulate has the name Mrs. Ida Wiesen nee Pielinz written at the bottom. So apparently the children never took their father’s last name.  It doesn’t sound like Rudolph married their mother if they did not take his last name.   I also don’t think they would contact the Switzerland consulate if this was a scam.  There were never any family stories or rumors about this.  So I do not know if my grandfather knew about it or not.  My grandmother said that Rudolph Kaiser was a kind man; however his wife was mean and treated Rudolph badly.    I thought my grandmother just didn’t like her Mother-in-law.  Now I wonder if Wilhelmina found out that he had another family in Germany, and if that is why she wasn’t very nice to Rudolph.   If this is true, why would he leave his family in Germany and never send for them or write to them?  This is what bothers me.  I would love to know the story behind this but will probably never know.

Rudolph died on 6 January 1933 of Prostate Cancer.[30] Wilhelmina died on 6 July 1953 from Chronic Myocarditis and Arteriosclerosis.[31] Both are buried at Eden’s Cemetery in Schiller Park, Illinois.[32]

Note:  The name Rudolph is spelled Rudolf or Rudolph in places.  I tried to spell it like it was spelled in documents.  I have always spelled it Rudolph when referring to him.  Kaiser was spelled three ways Keiser, Keyser, and Kaiser.  Again I tried to spell it how it is spelled in documents.  Here in America he used Kaiser and his descendants used Kaiser

Copyright © 2016 Gail Grunst

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[1] Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, database,FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NDSP-9XP :, Rudolf Otto Keiser, 18 Apr 1865; citing ; FHL microfilm 245,514, 245,515, 245,517.

[2] Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, database,FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NDSL-18D : Emilie Ernstine Klatt in entry for Theodor Julius Keiser, 29 Jun 1862; citing ; FHL microfilm 245,514, 245,515, 245,517.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, database,FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NDSL-18Z :, Theodor Julius Keiser, 29 Jun 1862; citing ; FHL microfilm 245,514, 245,515, 245,517.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, database,FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NR18-8YY : Emma Auguste Keyser, 06 Sep 1863; citing ; FHL microfilm 245,514, 245,515, 245,517.

[7] Ibid.

[8] United States Germans to America Index, 1850-1897, Database,FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KDQD-PG6 : Rudolf Keiser, 30 Apr 1891; citing Germans to America Passenger Data file, 1850-1897, Ship Lahn, departed from Bremen & Southampton, arrived in New York, New York, New York, United States, NAID identifier 1746067, National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

[9] United States Germans to America Index, 1850-1897, database,FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KD7R-XWR : accessed 1 June 2016), Anton Springer, 30 Apr 1891; citing Germans to America Passenger Data file, 1850-1897, Ship Lahn, departed from Bremen & Southampton, arrived in New York, New York, New York, United States, NAID identifier 1746067, National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

[10] Illinois, Kane County, Marriage License and Return no 10271, Kaiser-Springer 1896, County Clerk’s Office, Geneva.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Illinois State Archives, “Illinois Statewide Marriage Index 1763 – 1900,” database, Illinois Statewide Marriage Index (http://www.ilsos.gov/isavital/marriagesrch.jsp): accessed 1 June 2016, entry for Babette Springer, 3 October 1895,  Kane County, License no. 00010043.

[15] Illinois, Kane County, Marriage License and Return no 10271, Kaiser-Springer 1896, County Clerk’s Office, Geneva.

[16] Ibid.

[17] “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” database with images,FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVSL-4BFV : accessed 1 June 2016), Minna Springer, 1888; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm .

[18] Illinois, Cook County, Return of a Birth No. 9055, Rudolph Frederick Kaiser, 12 September 1896, Vital Statistics Department, County Clerk’s Office, Chicago.

[19] United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records AdministrationM1509, 4,582 rolls, Image from Family History Library microfilm.

[20] 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.

[21] 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

[22] Illinois, Cook County, Standard Certificate of Death no. 605, Rudolph Kaiser, 6 January 1933, County Clerk’s Office, Chicago.

[23] Illinois, Cook County, Standard Certificate of Death no.11951, Hugo Kaiser, 11 April 1919., County Clerk’s Office, Chicago

[24] Influenza Encyclopedia (http://www.influenzaarchive.org/) Produced by the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine and Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, “The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918 -1919.”

[25] Illinois, Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago, Naturalization Record 1906, LDS 1024-633 Vols. 100-102, Rudolph Kaiser, Roll 102, Page37.

[26] Ibid.

[27] National Archives Website (http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1998/summer/women-and-naturalization-1.html) Prologue Magazine, Summer 1998, Vol. 30, No. 2, Smith, Marion L., Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married . . .” Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940.

[28] Letters written in German to Rudolf Kaiser from Rudolf Pieling, Gertude Pieling, and Ida Wiesen  nee pieling, dated 1910, 1914, 1918, and 1920.  Letters are in the possession of Abigail Grunst, Rudolph Kaiser’s great-granddaughter.

[29] Illinois, Chicago; Consulate of Switzerland in charge of German Interests; dated 22 August 1920, Journal no. 5318/20.  Letter in possession of Abigail Grunst, Rudolph Kaiser’s great-granddaughter.

[30] Illinois, Cook County, Standard Certificate of Death no. 605, Rudolph Kaiser, 6 January 1933, County Clerk’s Office, Chicago.

[31] Illinois, Cook County, Medical Certificate of Death No. 49, Wilhelmina Kaiser, 6 July 1953, Forest Park, German Old Peoples Home.

[32] Eden’s Cemetery, 9851 Irving Park Road, Schiller Park, Illinois, Kaiser Lot 139, Section 7.  Personal knowledge by Author Abigail Grunst.  Visited the cemetery and graves many times.