Honoring Ancestor’s who died too young: Hugo Kaiser

Hugo (year unknown)

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.

Grandpa and Hugo around 1918

If you would like to learn more about the Influenza epidemic of 1918/1919 go to:



Tombstone Tuesday: Which Eliza is this?

This tombstone is in St. Clement Church Cemetery in Terrington-St Clement, Norfolk, England.  It belongs to Eliza Bowers.  The rest of  it is unreadable from the picture so I don’t know the dates.  Eliza Bowers my great-great-great grandmother had a daughter Eliza.  So I’m not sure which Eliza this belongs to.

Eliza the daughter was born on June 18, 1827 and died on June 21, 1827.  She only lived 3 days.  Would they have given her such a big tombstone?  Eliza the mother died January 22, 1831.  I believe the tombstone most likely belongs to Eliza the elder.  It looks like the word Wife might be on there but can’t quite make all of it out.

A photographer friend of my son took this picture for us.  He lives in England and was photographing Churches so took this for us.  The picture of the church can be seen on my Gail Grunst Genealogy Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GailGrunstGenealogy?ref=hl

Sunday’s Obituary: Genevieve Bowers

One of the saddest Obituaries, I have come across while researching my ancestors is the one for Genevieve Bowers.  She was only 21 years old when she died of appendicitis.  I had an obituary that my grandmother had saved from a newspaper.  Genevieve was an Aunt of my grandmothers.  The obituary that my grandmother had saved said Genevieve had her trunks packed as she planned on visiting friends or relatives in Colorado.  Unfortunately the paper was so old that it disintegrated and I no longer have it.  I made a trip to Ottawa, Illinois where she lived and died to get a copy of the obituary.  I went to the Lasalle County IL Genealogy Guild Library and found two obituaries for her, but neither mention having her trunks packed for a trip to Colorado.    I also tried the public library and they had the same ones as the Genealogy Guild.

I’d like to know if she was going to visit friends or relatives because I have hit a brick wall when it comes to her mother Alexena Frazier, born in Nassagaweya, Ontario, Canada.  It seems I cannot find Alexena’s parents or a record of her birth.  I thought if it were relatives she was visiting in Colorado, perhaps it was her mother’s family.  I have no idea if Alexena had brothers or sisters.

I found it sad that she only lived to age 21 and had not had a chance to experience all that life has to offer.  She did not yet fall in love, get married, or have children.  Obituary on left is from the Ottawa Journal dated July 3, 1898.  The Obituary on the right is from the Republican Times dated July 4, 1898.

Family Recipe Friday: Grandma’s homemade noodles

I remember going to grandma’s when she was making her homemade noodles.  The dining room table would be full of noodles drying out.  Then she would make homemade chicken soup.  There was nothing like her homemade chicken soup with her homemade noodles.  Sorry to say that I don’t have her recipe for homemade chicken soup, but I do have the recipe for her noodles.  I’ve made them a couple of times, but it has been many years since I made them.  Maybe writing this will prompt me to make them again.

4 cups sifted flour

1/2 teas. salt

6 eggs

6 to 8 tbsps. water

Put into large bowl 4 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, add eggs one at a time and mix slightly after each egg, add 6 to 8 tablespoon water.  Mix well to make a stiff dough.  Knead 5 to 8 minutes by folding back half of the dough toward you and using the heel of your hand to push dough away from you.  Give dough a quarter of a turn and repeat kneading for 5 to 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.  Use as little additional flour as possible.  Roll 1/3 or 1/2 of the dough about 1/8 inch thick on floured cloth or table.  Let dough dry on both sides until dough does not stick together when folded over to cut.  Start at narrow edge and cut into strips 1/4 inches wide.  Let stand on floured cloths or table for 2 to 3 hours or until dry.

Add noodles to boiling water, add a tablespoon of salt. and boil rapidly for 10 minutes or until tender.

Workday Wednesday: The Dispatcher

Grandpa worked for Texaco, first as a truck driver and then as a dispatcher.  He started there before WWI.  He went into the Army during WWI and returned to Texaco after the war.  He retired from Texaco in 1963.  I wonder if anyone stays at a company that long anymore.  Below is a picture of him at his desk.  Look how neat it looks!  That was my Grandfather everything had a place.  The photo isn’t dated but I’m guessing it is the late 40’s or early 50’s.  We know the time was 3:55 (I’m assuming it is PM) by the clock on the wall.  I wonder what all those slots contained.  It looks like a CD rack.  I also wonder what his day was like from start to finish, but I’ll never know now.  I don’t remember him talking very much about his work.  It’s good to see him young and healthy in this picture.  Grandpa died when he was 84 and had Alzheimer’s Disease.  One of the last times we visited him in the nursing home, he thought my husband was someone he worked with at Texaco.  He asked him how things were at the plant.  We just played along with him because there was nothing else we could do.  The last time I saw him was the night before he died and he was curled up in the fetal position unaware that we there.  So I like this picture because this is the way I’d like to remember Grandpa.