FIVE: ACH DU LIEBER LUDEKE
"ALLS" stands for Ada Louise Ludeke Smith: Ada Ick in childhood, Ick at college, Icky to her husband, Mom to her daughters, Louise to her in-laws, Momine or Grandma or Goppy to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Smitty as a senior citizen. Her informal memoirs were written 1983-96, including the Sketches of Family Members [SFM] below.
"HAM" stands for Hamilton (in the Images of America series) by Cheryl Bauer and Randy McNutt (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2005).
Internet sources are indicated by tildes (e.g. ~internet). A complete list can be found on the Sources page. Due to the transient nature of Internet entries, only a few hyperlinks will be provided to outside webpages; such as ~a (www.ancestry.com), ~f (www.familysearch.org), ~g (www.findagrave.com), and ~w (www.worldvitalrecords.com). The United States Federal Census records for 1850 through 1940 cited below are available at ~a (except for 1890's, which was badly damaged in a 1921 fire and later quietly destroyed).
L-3 The Ludekes
● "Little Famous Wolves" of Hanover
The surname Ludeke (pronounced LEW-dicky), like its variants Luedtke, Lüdtke, Luedke, Luedeke, Luedecke, etc. is a North German pet form of the first name Ludolf/Ludolph ("famous wolf"); as per the Dictionary of American Family Names (Oxford University Press, available via ~a) which mentions that Luedtke "is a frequent name in East and West Prussia and the Ruhr."
And also in Hanover, which grew from a medieval village on the River Leine to a thriving trade center to a fortified city, residence of the Duke of Brunswick and Elector of Hanover, who in 1714 became King George I of Great Britain. He and his heirs remained monarchs of Hanover for the next century and a half. Salic Law barred Queen Victoria from taking the Hanoverian throne, which in 1837 went to her uncle Ernest Augustus, the notorious Duke of Cumberland, who'd been accused of everything from incest with his sister to murdering his valet. Hanover would have preferred his brother Adolphus the Duke of Cambridge, their longtime viceroy and far more popular than autocratic Ernest, who began his draconian reign by dissolving Parliament, suspending the constitution, and expelling university professors (including Jacob Grimm) who refused to swear an oath of allegiance to him. He did go on to provide the densely-packed, "irregularly built old town"* with a new residential quarter, gas-lit streets, modern sanitation, and the "Loco-Motive Machines" (as he called them**) that turned Hanover into a major railway junction and manufacturing hub. Despite his illiberal nature, the King was able to quell upheaval during the revolutionary year of 1848 by threatening to let Hanover be swallowed up by neighboring Prussia. Ernest Augustus kept his crown and stuck around till his death in 1851; but others departed, including a family named Ludeke.
● Louis and Sophia
ALLS stated that her grandfather August H. Ludeke was born in 1846 in Hanover and came with his family to the United States circa 1850. "Landed where? When to Ohio and why? All unanswered!!"
From the evidence presented below, we now know that August was the son of Louis Ludeke (presumably born Ludwig Ludeke: c.1810—Oct. 15, 1869) and Sophia Caroline Whittikind aka Whitlikind (c.1815—Feb. 18, 1891); that August had two older sisters, Louise Charlotte Ludeke Eisel (born 1840) and Rachel Louisa Ludeke Peterson (born 1843); and apparently a younger sister, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Ludeke (born c.1854).
~f's database of "World Miscellaneous Births and Baptisms, 1534-1983" includes an entry for Heinrich Ludwig Lüdeke, born May 2, 1840 and christened June 7th in Hanover's Linden district. His parents were listed as Ludwig Lüdeke and Louise Wedekind—raising the possibility that these were Louis and Sophia (garbled), making Heinrich Ludwig their elder son and a future "Henry Louis" in America. However, we have documentation that their daughter Louise Charlotte was born on or about Sep. 22, 1840: too brief an interval after Heinrich's birth. Which demonstrates that Ludeke was indeed a "frequent name," and reminds us not to jump to genealogical conclusions (as happens too often in online webgens).
● From Bremen on the Bark Alfred?
On Oct. 29, 1851 a ship from Bremen docked in New York. It was the Bark Alfred ("bark" or "barque" being a small ship; "in earlier times, a general term for all sailing vessels of small size" [OED]) and on the first page of its passenger list the following were listed:
~ Louise ~ 11 F Fredericke ~ 9 ~ Auguste ~ 6 ~
The date of arrival looks right; the father's name (Ludwig = Louis) and age look right; Louise is there and at the proper age; "Fredericke" could occupy Rachel's slot; August is only a year off what we've been led to expect. And if his name has the suffix -e, leading the manifest-writer to squiggle a ditto-dash below Louise's "F" gender-designation, let us remember that August's future bride Louise Wuechner would be recorded as "Lewis (male)" in the 1860 Ohio census (as shown in Chapter L-1).
Far more troubling is the absence of a Frau Ludeke. Where her name ought to be is that of a man, Lorenz Ludeke, ten years older than Ludwig yet ditto'd beneath him. Could Ludwig have been a widower, coming to America with three motherless children and their Uncle Lorenz as sidekick? Might Ludwig/Louis have then married Sophia in Ohio, making her the children's Stiefmutter? Or would this not be another example of stretching supposition too far—and the passengers on the Bark Alfred were simply a different Ludeke family with similar names, who emigrated about the same time as our Louis/Sophia/Louise/Rachel/August? Regrettably, that appears to be the case; and ALLS's questions "Landed where? When to Ohio and why?" remain "all unanswered!!"
● The Whittikinds/Whitlikinds/Wittekinds
~schmitt and ~henn give Sophia Ludeke's maiden name as "Whitlikind"; ~schumacher gives her full name as "Sophia Caroline Whittikind (Whitlikind)"—explaining why Louis's burial record at ~greenwood states his wife was named "Carrie": another example of German-born ladies flipflopping between their first and middle names.
Whittikind—like Wittikind, Wittekind, Witekind, Widdekind, etc.—is a variant on Wedekind: a popular North German name (widu + kind, i.e. "wood child") taken from the Duke of Lower Saxony who opposed Charlemagne: as per ~a's Dictonary of American Family Names. Dramatist Frank Wedekind (1864-1918), who created the "Lulu" plays Erdgeist (Earth Spirit) and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora's Box), was born in Hanover.
Intriguingly, A History and Biographical Cyclopedia of Butler County, Ohio (Cincinnati: Western Biographical Publishing, 1882: available via ~a) notes that "Mr. John Whittikind, a German, has a country store in the village [of Tylersville in Union Township]; the business of the place, however, has decreased."
The 1870 census of Butler County's Union Township (now renamed West Chester) includes a Wittekind family: John aged 54, "Mercht. Groceries & Ret." and wife Catharine aged 52, both from Germany, with daughters Regina (aged 21, Ohio-born) and Frances (aged 18, Kentucky-born). The 1880 census of Union Township shows John (aged 66, retail grocer) and Catharine (aged 61, keeping house)—both listed as coming from Belgium, with Belgian parents. ~f's database of Ohio County Death Records reports that "Catherine Wittikind" of Tylersville died aged 67 on Mar. 11, 1887, and "John Wittikin" of Tylersville died aged 78 on Dec. 26, 1892. Curiously, John's occupation appears as shoemaker rather than grocer—so perhaps his country store's business kept decreasing till he had to switch trades.
Since Tylersville is only ten miles east of Hamilton, it's a powerful temptation to presume that John Whittikind was Sophia's brother or cousin, if not the reason why the Ludekes chose to settle among other German immigrants in Butler County OH. A Mr. Whittikind or Whitlikind is mentioned as "visiting" (whom?) in the Dec. 25, 1890 Hamilton Telegraph (glimpsable at newspapers.com). But we can't even be sure whether this was John the Tylersville grocer/shoemaker, given the elasticity of his surname spelling.
● The Ludikers/Leiderchers (and Lizzie)
The 1860 census of Hamilton OH's 3rd Ward, enumerated on July 31st by Assistant Marshal J.K. Webster, includes "Louis Ludiker" (aged 50) from Hanover, a carpenter with $500 in real estate; "Sophia Ludiker" (aged 45), also Hanover-born; and "August Ludiker" aged 15, who attended school that year. No daughters are listed as living with the "Ludikers," though Louisa did not marry till 1861, Rachel till 1863, and Lizzie would have been only aged six. Was this because the girls were not considered of sufficient importance to be reported? Or (like many Ohio census takers seemed to be, prior to 1880) was J.K. Webster simply overwhelmed by all the German names and accents? We might imagine him asking: "So, Mr. Um Er Uh 'Ludiker,' any children?" and Louis replying, "Ja, zere ist mein poy OWWgooste"—causing the Assistant Marshal to flee before hearing about OWWgooste's sisters.
Louis Ludeke died aged 59 on Oct. 15, 1869 and was buried a day later in Greenwood Cemetery's POT (Pottenger Triangle) 936, the family plot where he would be joined by most of his Protestant descendants. ~schumacher remarks that Louiis and Sophia are interred to the left of son August, but without headstones; explaining why they don't appear in ~g.
"Sopha Leidercher" (aged 55) would be head of the 3rd Ward household in 1870's census; she is again noted as Hanover-born—a rare case of census consistency—and possessor of $3,000 in real estate and $100 in personal estate. Living with her is "Gust Leidercher" (aged 25), a Hanover-born American citizen with $200 in personal estate; his occupation is "'jour' carpenter"—the 'jour' in quote marks on the census form—indicating he was a journeyman who had served his apprenticeship, but now worked for others rather than as his own master.
Also in the household is "Lizzie Leidercher" (aged 16), an Ohio native whose parents were foreign-born; her occupation is "helps mother." No other trace of an Elizabeth Ludeke has been found: this census entry is the sole evidence of her existence. Had she died as an unmarried daughter—or, just possibly, have been August's short-lived and soon-forgotten child-bride first wife (helping her mother-in-law)—we would expect to find her among the Ludekes in ~greenwood. If, as Louis and Sophia's youngest child, she got married after 1870, her maiden name didn't get recorded as "Ludeke" (any more than Louisa "Leudiger" or Rachel "Ludiker"), and without some hint of her married surname, Lizzie is lost to us: her life and fate remain unknown.
● Private "Lutiger": Drum and Fife
In a late SFM on her grandfather, ALLS wrote:
When he was fourteen years of age, the Civil War was a great temptation for him to join the Army, so he ran away from home to enlist. Being too young, he was put into the band, beating a drum. He remained in one camp in Ohio for the duration of the war, but he always felt better for having to join the effort. Years later, when I lived in my Grandma's house, I found a fife in the attic. She couldn't answer my question, "Why a fife instead of a drum?"... Many years later (in the 1940's) while vacationing in Hamilton, Ohio, I visited the Soldiers and Sailors Monument located at High & Monument Streets. I read this information inside the monument first:
Wetzel-Compton Post — No. 96 / Dept. of Ohio — F.C.L. / Organized July 14, 1861
I searched every marble wall in the building, and could not find August Ludeke's name. Finally I called in a loud voice, "Is anyone here?" A guard came out of his office, and I explained my dilemma. He too checked all the walls, and also could not find the name. Then he asked what rank my Grandfather had in the Union Army. When I told him he was in the band, he replied, "Oh, that name would be elsewhere on the wall where the musicians are listed." So at last we found the information on the right side wall, over the stairway:
August LUTIGER / 167th O.V.I. (Ohio Volunteer Group) / Company F - MUS (musician)
How ironic, his name is misspelled, and forever chiseled that way on a marble wall...
Butler County OH's database of veterans (~butler/vets) tells a less romantic story: "August Lutiger" did join Company F of the 167th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, but not until May 2, 1864; he mustered out as a private with the rest of his company on Sep. 8th. Meaning he took part in one of Summer 1864's "100-Day Regiments" (of which more in Chapter B-6)—indeed the same regiment as Samuel Wikel, First Corporal of Company G (of whom more in Chapter P-3). The 167th, organized in Hamilton as a National Guard unit, guarded supply trains and stores in West Virginia. If August did enroll three years earlier as a young drummer boy, it must have been recorded under a surname even further removed from Ludeke than "Lutiger." (Or he might simply have been an 18-year-old fife player.)
The 1871 Hamilton city directory lists "Ludeker August H. carpenter" as living on the northeast corner of 2nd and Vine. 1873's show both August H. and Sophia Ludeke ("widow") at the same location. 1874's has two entries—one for "Ludeke A.H. carpenter" and one for "Ludeker August H. carpenter"—both boarding at "Chas. F. Eisel's," i.e. his brother-in-law, residing on the north side of Dayton between Front and 2nd Streets. The 1875 directory returns A.H. Ludeke to the northeast corner of 2nd and Vine—and startlingly resurrects "Ludeke Louis, carpenter" to live at the same address, though he'd died in 1869. A fleeting hope that this Louis might have been the Heinrich Ludwig Lüdeke born in Hanover in 1840 (too soon before Louise Ludeke Eisel) is dashed by the lack of any further manifestations, in Hamilton OH or elsewhere.
● August and Louise: Ich Liebe Dich
ALLS, knowing nothing about her great-grandparents Louis and Sophia, wrote an inventive memoir-essay titled "Ich Liebe Dich":
In the 1800's, after the snow and winter weather had passed, a young man went to Hamilton, Ohio seeking employment. Since this city had a large settlement of Germans living there, he was told that he might have a better chance to obtain work. His name was August Ludeke, and he had been born in Hanover, Germany in 1846, and came to America when he was four years old. Coming to this country was a challenge since he spoke little English, but the young have no fear.
Later he met an older man, Michael Wuechner, a builder, who hired him as a helper, and gradually taught him the trade, His first important job was helping to build a large three story red brick home for Mr. Wuechner on North Front Street. Mr. Wuechner had four daughters, and one in particular attracted the attention of young August (Gus) Ludeke. Louisa was a beautiful blue-eyed blonde, and by the time the family home was completed in several years, Gus and Louisa were engaged. After they were married in 1875, Gus built a small wooden house for his bride next door to the Wuechner home.
They enjoyed a happy marriage, and in time had seven children. Two died from childhood diseases, Louis and Caroline. When the youngest child, Edward, was only two years old, Gus died, leaving Louisa a widow, to raise her five children with only a small widow's pension to help her. But she was a courageous woman, and managed to survive using the "make do" system. In time, the oldest son William left High School and obtained work, which helped his mother also. Later on two other sons, Robert and Edward, and a daughter, Frieda, all found employment, easing their Mother's burden a great deal. The other daughter, Irma, remained at home to help with the housework.
The lovely old brick house still stands in the same location, at 124 N. Front St. It is now painted white, and occupied by a family, but it stands tall and proud, defying all to demolish it. Even now after many years, proving its strength is as proud and strong as its ancestors. I realize how very fortunate I am to have had the opportunity to be raised in that same home, by my Grandmother Louisa.
~f's database of Ohio Marriages shows August Ludeke marrying "Louisa E. Wenchner" on Mar. 30, 1875. (ALLS dated the wedding Mar. 31st.) The bride was in fact Louisa Elizabeth Wuechner, second child of Michael Wuechner and Elizabeth/Catherine Miller; born Feb. 14, 1855, she was generally known as Louise or Lou. She and August lived at 120 North Front Street, a small cottage next door to the Wuechner home at #124 that August had helped Michael build in 1865. And the Ludekes appear (with a correctly-spelled surname for the first time) two households away from the "Miechners" in the 1880 census of Hamilton's 3rd Ward:
* August Ludeke (aged 30 [sic]) Ohio-born [sic] with German-born
parents, occupation "works in a planing mill"
* Leuisia [sic] Ludeke (aged 25) Ohio-born with Bavarian-born parents, occupation keeping house
* Carrie Ludeke (aged 4) Ohio-born, as were both parents
* Ermin [sic] Ludeke (aged 1) ditto birthplaces
In 1880 "Sophie Ludiker" (aged 65, born in Hanover as were her parents, occupation housework) was boarding with another widow, Barbara Schreiber (age 52) on the south side of Buckeye Street in Hamilton's 3rd Ward. The city's 1888 directory finds "Ludeke Sophie, widow of Louis," residing at 108 Dayton with her daughter Louise and the Eisels. An end-of-year retrospective by the Daily Democrat for 1891 mentions "Death of Mrs. Sophia Ludeke" on Feb. 18th; ~greenwood agrees with this date, adding that Sophia was buried two days later with Louis in POT 936. (~f's database of Ohio County Death Records shows multiple variations: "Sophina Ludeke" rather than Sophia, born in Germany c.1819 rather than c.1815, and dying in Hamilton on Mar. 25, 1891 rather than Feb. 18th.)
Hamilton's 1888 directory includes "Ludeke August H carpenter res 120 N Front." August died on Mar. 15, 1893, and the next day's Daily Democrat ran this obituary:
Gustavus Ludeke, one of our well-known citizens, died at his home on north Front street at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, of lung disease. He was born in Germany forty-seven years ago and came to this country with his parents when but 5 years of age. The deceased was a member of Hamilton Lodge No. 572, K[nights] of P[ythias], Hamilton lodge, K[nights] of H[onor], and of Wetzel-Compton Post No. 46, G.A.R. He leaves a wife and six children, with whom a large circle of friends sympathize in the loss of a devoted husband and loving father. The funeral will take place from the family residence, No. 20 [sic], north Front street, at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon, Rev. C. A. Herrman officiating. The services will be under the auspices of Hamilton lodge No. 572, Knights of Pythias.
All local Pythians were requested to assemble at the Castle Hall "at 1 o'clock sharp" on Mar. 19th, "to attend the funeral of Brother August H. Ludeke" at Greenwood Cemetery. This "was very largely attended," according to the next day's Daily Democrat (calling him "the late Gus Ludeke"). ~greenwood errs on the death date (saying the 18th rather than the 15th) but matches the 19th funeral date, saying August was buried in the family plot at POT 936, and that his parents were "L." and "S." Ludeke. In June 1893, August's Pythian lodge "decorated the grave of their only deceased brother"; and in December he was memorialized along with other expired members of the GAR's Wetzel-Compton Post in its annual "Taps Have Sounded" service. Two grave markers are pictured at ~g: one is a weathered upright tombstone, reading "AUGUST LUDEKE / CO. F. / 167TH OHIO INF."; the other resembles nearby markers for August's wife and three of his children, indicating all were installed at the same time decades later: each shows only first name, middle initial, last name, birth year, and death year.
August's survivors appear in the 1900 census as:
* Louise E. Ludeke (aged 44) born Feb. 1856 [sic] in Ohio to German-born
parents; widow who'd been married 25 years [figure crossed out] and had seven
children, five living [both figures heavily emended]; housekeeper;
* Irma M. Ludeke (aged 21) born Sep. 1878, clerk
* Frida [sic] Ludeke (aged 19) born Aug. 1880, bookkeeper [the original entry looks like "zookeeper"]
* Wm. M. Ludeke (aged 17) born Aug. 1882, timekeeper
* Robert Ludeke (aged 13) born Mar. 1887 [the original entry looks like "Nov. 1857"], at school
* Edward Ludeke (aged 9) born Jul. 1890, at school
In 1900 Louise's mother Catherine/Elizabeth Wuechner and Aunt Annie Koeppendoerfer were still living next door at 124 North Front Street. By 1910 that house would be owned by Louise's sister Maggie Latterner, but Louise still had most of her brood at home in the cottage:
* Louise E. Ludeke (aged 55) widow, five children (four living) [sic],
* Irma M. Ludeke (aged 31) teacher in public school
* Freda [sic] Ludeke (aged 29) occupation "none"
* Robt. Ludeke (aged 23) clerk in an office
* Edward Ludeke (aged 19) occupation "none"
Subsequent Ludeke censuses, following the addition of a grandchild to the household, can be found in Chapters L-5 and L-6.
● Carrie: To What Is Our World Drifting?
August and Louise's eldest child was Caroline Anna Wilhelmine Ludeke. Born circa May 11, 1876, she achieved prominence at Hamilton High School and St. John's Church: offering a German essay at the former's 1892 Christmas exercises, a recitation at the latter's Washington's Birthday service in 1894, and the lead oration at the school's celebration of William Cullen Bryant's 100th birthday. But Carrie had a fun-loving side as well—she helped throw a surprise party for classmate Arthur Seidensticker in 1893; gave an 1894 picnic at Lindenwald Park for the "A class" (newly-promoted seniors); and that same year was herself feted:
A PLEASANT SURPRISE. Miss Carrie Ludeke, of North Front street, was the victim of a very pleasant surprise last evening in honor of her 18th birthday. The young folks met at the home of Miss Minnie Eisel and then proceeded to the home of Miss Ludeke. The surprise was complete. The evening was spent in games and music and a fine lunch was served. Those present were: H. Herrman, Earl Wehrhan, Lou Peterson of Cincinnati, Art Seidensticker, Coy and John Burnett, Alvin Long, John Clayton, Frank Schweinfest, Clarence Hardkoff, Wm. Fischer, Ed Carl, Lettie Rich, Lillian Baker, Anna Buechner, Hattie Schweinfest, Gusta Eisel, Hermine [K?]etterer, Emma Doell [of] Trenton, Gay Dorris, Emma Neiderauer, Louise Decker, Minnie Eisel, and Gusta Hosfeld.
So reported the May 12, 1894 Daily Democrat. Carrie was mentioned several times by the Daily Republican during May and June 1895—as "Carrie," "Carrie A.," "Caroline A.W.," and "Caroline Anna Wilhelmine"—concerning her graduation from Hamilton High School in the German-English (as opposed to Latin-English) course. On June 1st Principal W. P. Cope announced those who'd scored "the highest averages of the class in recitations and deportment," and Carrie finished third (behind Mabel Fenneman and Mary Gaff). Commencement took place June 13th in a "SPLENDID PROGRAM"†† at the Globe Opera House, where graduates "will be Presented With Diplomas and Begin the Battle of Life in Earnest." Carrie was among those speaking at the ceremony; she offered an essay titled "To What Is Our World Drifting?" On July 18th she appeared in the Daily Republican's Personal Mentions ("A Brief Record of the Coming and Going of Well Known Folk") which announced that "Misses Carrie Ludeke and Anna Beckner have returned from a delightful visit at McGonigle Station."
Carrie died less than six months later, aged nineteen, on Jan. 8, 1896.
She was buried four days later in POT 936 at Greenwood
Cemetery, and noted as "deceased" in an
1897 list of recent Hamilton High School graduates (~hamiltonhigh/1897).
Her grave marker at
~g reads "Carrie A. Ludeke." Of her, ALLS knew no more than she "died quite young"; evidently her loss
was so painful that Carrie was seldom or never spoken of. But she would twice
be remembered in "40 Years Ago This Week" columns: the Mar. 5, 1932
Evening Journal recalled a school program given by Carrie and five other
girls, while the the Jan. 11, 1936 Daily News Journal mentioned: "The high school class of which Miss
Carrie Ludeke was a member arranged to form a double quartette including Prof.
John L. Gottschalk."
● Aunt Irma
Irma Marie Ludeke ("Ermin" in the 1880 census; "Emmy" to great-niece Mila Jean) was born Sep. 13, 1878. According to the 1940 census, she left school after seventh grade (so c.1891). ALLS called her "a tiny, quiet little soul, never 'making any waves,' [she] stayed home, helping Momma with the housework—she always seemed a typical 'old maid' and surprised everyone when she finally married Walter Charles in 1917"—on Nov. 15th, in the Ludeke living room. "I was ten years old and remember how excited I was about the wedding—even better was going to the railroad station that night to throw confetti and see them off for California... Of course [Walter] had 'courted her' for years and she was 39 years old when she finally said 'yes'! [Walter] was a musician, played trumpet and piano in several bands; directed one band; also conductor of the orchestra in Hamilton Movie Theatre—also gave music lessons in his home. He was a 'gruff' individual and scared me when I was a child—so I was afraid he was mean to my sweet Aunt Irma—but later I realized he adored her, and giving her orders was the only way she managed to exist..."
Walter and Irma moved into the Charles family home at 715 Heaton Street after his parents departed for Los Angeles (about which see more below). "Walter wanted no part of living in California—[I] think he was relieved to be far away from his mother—they never got along." Mila Jean remembered Walter as being a small man but imposing, who "scared the beejesus out of little kids"; but she always thought there was more to him than that. He died aged 80 on July 30, 1959 and was eulogized as "a prominent musician," cornet player in the Hamilton City Band for many years. His widow spent the remainder of her life in Hamilton's Logsdon Rest Home, "living in her own little world... She was never known to 'make waves.'" Irma Ludeke Charles died aged 85 on Feb. 10, 1964 and was buried in the family plot at Greenwood Cemetery; she and Walter share a single grave marker, viewable at ~g.
In her late SFM on Irma, ALLS wrote:
She was petite, only about five feet tall, with brown hair and grey eyes. She was always smiling, and always willing to help anyone. Extremely quiet, efficient, thoughtful, kind and loving. She seemed to be the helper for all of our family, especially for her Mother (my Grandmother) in the various housework duties. Much later in life (in her forties) she married a strong willed man, who became a Mother substitute. She seemed perfectly happy with her husband, Walter Charles, a musician, living an uncomplicated life, but never acquiring abilities to assume making decisions or accepting any important responsibilities.
The death of her Mother and sister Frieda were great shocks to her, but fortunately she had her husband for support. However, much later in life, her husband's health failed, and after lingering for several years at home attended by his loving wife, he died. Darling little Irma collapsed mentally very soon after, and she lived her last years in a Nursing Home, in a fetal position, thumb in mouth, sleeping away each day, still making no trouble for anyone, as usual.
In a summary, I think she was an emotionally suppressed woman, intelligent but possessing a deficiency of emotional maturity. This personality defect drove her to be as invisible as possible in her interaction with others. Her passive nature made her never assertive, and she avoided attention to herself always. Now that I am older, I have often wondered if she ever felt frustrated with her life, or did she just passively accept what was offered to her, and dealt with that the best way she knew how.
● Lida Belle and the Charleses
Walter B. Charles (born June 16, 1879) was the son of Daniel W. Charles (born 1852 in Pennsylvania) and Lida Belle Sullivan (born June 6, 1857 in Ohio), who married Sep. 12, 1878 and had a younger son, Clifford C. Charles (born June 13, 1884).
ALLS: "Dan had owned a grocery store for eons in Hamilton... Grandma [Ludeke] did not 'trade' at this grocery, being a bit far from our home (five-six blocks†). We lived just one block from High Street (the MAIN DRAG) so shopped on that street... But we always bought out nuts and candies for the Holidays at Charles Grocery and guess who tagged along with Grandma and helped(?) fill her large basket with the goodies?? Ha!..." Though the censuses show Lida Belle as Ohio-born (albeit with a father from Maryland), ALLS said: "She was English and very fond of tea—the first tea 'cozy' I ever saw was in her home." And when her sons would return from school in search of a snack, "her pat answer would be, 'Heat some water and make yourself some tea'—Ha!!... Walter said as a child his mother never cooked an honest-to-goodness meal (DAN did most of the cooking)... I imagine Walter felt like he was in heaven in his later years to be a guest at the 'Ludeke Groaning Board'!... Also—Lida Belle was the first woman to ever drive a car in Hamilton! Dan bought a car—the salesman took it to the Butler County Fairgrounds (edge of town) and Lida B. taught herself to drive—by going around and around the racetrack—crazy?" (See Chapter L-4 for ALLS's adventures with Lida Belle during the Great Flood in 1913.)
"For many years each winter," ALLS recalled, "Dan and Lida Belle would go to California for their vacation... Dan bought up land [there] and 'hit the jackpot' because this very location became Hollywood later on!! His profit was mind boggling!! So—eventually, when he retired from business in Hamilton they bought a home" in the Los Angeles area."
The 1920 census locates Dan W. and Lida B. Charles in L.A. at 1728 Ivar Avenue. By 1930 Lida Belle was a widow, though in a home (1763 Vista Del Mar) valued at $14,000: not too shabby at that time. She died aged 88 on Nov. 6, 1945 in Los Angeles—"and would you believe, a shyster lawyer [had] latched onto Lida, to handle her affairs after her husband's death and bled her dry... Lida Belle depended entirely on him in money matters." Her son Cliff, who'd helped run the Charles Grocery in Hamilton and took it over when his parents moved to California, arranged Lida Belle's funeral—"(Walter did not go)—and I think it was at this time when both sons realized the seriousness of everything... the disappearance of all money and property... Of course L.B.C. had signed things right and left, so all was nice and legal—such a pity!"
ALLS wrote a very late SFM on Lida Belle, titled "One Liberated Lady":
Lida Belle Sullivan married Dan Charles in the late 1800s, he owned a grocery store and enjoyed this six days a week, and rested on Sunday. His wife cared little for housework and had no hobbies, so decided to buy a car! She went to the Buick sales office and asked to be shown the smallest kind, knowing no one would ride with her. She was taken to the Fairgrounds, and was shown how to drive on the race track. She soon understood how to drive and was taken back to the city, and after paying for it from her own bank account, she parked the car in the big barn on the back of their property. The day she drove through the downtown street caused more attention than any circus parade. [Followed by a retelling of Lida Belle's performance during the 1913 Flood, and concluding:] After these many years, I still remember Lida Belle Charles, and realize what a fearless brave lady she was, and am grateful for her help during a very serious time, when lives and property were lost in my city.
● Aunt Frieda
Frieda Louise Ludeke ("Sheeshy" to great-niece Mila Jean) was born Aug. 13 or 14, 1880. "A business woman—very capable in doing anything she attempted!" said ALLS. "Was asked to teach math in high school after she graduated... turned down offer—regrets later on. Had office positions. Had a tendency to take charge—which helped Grandma 'rule the roost'—but could be abrasive also. A fiery temper—which flared often! Such a surprise when she married [on July 8, 1922] at 42 years old—everyone's reaction: Why??? A real 'milk toast creature'—Edward Falkenstein. Maybe she needed one more person to dominate and care for??... I never understood why—he was such a dull tool and there was never any evidence of love between them." Compounding this, the Daily News on July 15, 1922 flubbed the bride's first name as it reported:
Miss Irma [sic] Ludeke and Mr. Edward Falkenstein were quietly married last Saturday afternoon at the parsonage of the Bethel church, by Rev. Dickman. Immediately after the ceremony Mr. and Mrs. Falkenstein accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Charles and Miss Ada Ludeke left on an automobile trip to Nebraska, where they will visit relatives. Miss Ludeke has been the popular bookkeeper at the American Laundry and Mr. Falkenstein is connected with the Miami [Laundry]. On their return from the wedding journey they will go to housekeeping on North Front Street.
Ed Falkenstein (born Sep. 1, 1872 in Millville OH) grew up in Butler County OH's Hanover Township, the son of blacksmith Jacob Falkenstein (1838-1912) and Elizabeth Diver (1845-1927). In the 1920 census, Ed (aged 47, "solicitor for a laundry") was one of three roomers at Aunt Annie Koeppendoerfer's next door to the Ludekes. By 1930, Ed and Frieda had taken over 120 North Front Street (valued at $6,000) while Louise and Bob had joined Aunt Annie next door at #124.
Frieda Ludeke Falkenstein died aged 70 of cerebral thrombosis on Nov. 16, 1950, still living at 120 North Front; she was buried at Millville Cemetery. Ed retired around this time, having worked 33 years for the Miami Model Laundry; he moved in with a sister and died aged 87 on Dec. 10, 1959. Great-niece Mila Jean would long remember Ed Falkenstein's godawful table manners, citing these in a cautionary way when her sons did anything regrettable at mealtime. She added that "Milktoast is not the word" for Ed, whom she considered unworthy of "Sheeshy." As for Frieda, Mila Jean thought she looked very much like pictures of Louise Ludeke; saying both Frieda and Irma ("Emmy") were very kind to her as a child, but both seemed very old.
In her late SFM on Frieda, ALLS wrote:
She was highly intelligent, especially in mathematics, and after graduation, she had an offer to teach it in High School, but she realized the salary was too low. Later, she found better employment in an office, earning more money and able to help with her family finances. Unfortunately she possessed an instant, fiery temper that caused her problems throughout her life. But she was kind and thoughtful always. Also, she was blessed with mechanical ability, and could have been an assistant to a plumber; she repaired most of our household breakdowns.
Much later in life, and no one could understand why, she married Edward Falkenstein. He drove a laundry truck, and was a thoughtless, stingy, uninteresting type of "Mr. Milk Toast." Few in our family liked him, and unfortunately he outlived her, and Aunt Frieda turned into an unhappy woman. Such a waste, I always thought. She had so many abilities to offer, and few were realized. The only flaw (other than a temper) she seemed to have was a great fear of hogs. One time when I was with her at the Butler County Fair in Hamilton, Ohio we went into the building where an assortment of farm animals were kept. Unfortunately, just then some hogs were being brought out to be judged and Aunt Frieda screamed, which frightened the hogs, resulting in a small stampede. I laughed heartily, which only stirred up her temper, so I seemed to get the blame for the entire scene.
● Uncle Bob: The Cheerful Performer
Robert Wuechner Ludeke was born Mar. 27, 1887, and replicated some of his sister Carrie's academic prowess. In seventh grade he won a reading certificate at the Second Ward School and as a high school freshman gave the declamation "Andre and Hale." (Also, the June 21, 1902 Daily Democrat announced that "Robert Ludeke of 120 North Front Street was the first person to hand in the correct guess in last Saturday's Democrat prize pack," winning Bob one dollar.)
ALLS remarked that Bob "had a hobby when quite young—raising bantam chickens in the back yard—oh! That backyard must have been a sight to behold. [Bob's mother] allowed her kids to build a big bunkhouse at one time and of course every child in the neighborhood gathered there also!! Not a blade of grass in the entire yard! At least [she] always knew where her 'gang' was—Ha!"±
The "Hamilton 20 Years Ago Today" column of the July 16, 1924 Evening Journal recounts a 1904 adventure outside the Ludeke yard:
There was an exciting runaway on North D street this Saturday night, Robert Ludeke and Carl Humbach were returning from camp with a horse and spring wagon. The horse became frightened at the top of the hill and ran down D street. Ludeke was thrown from the wagon, and received a severe injury over his right eye.
Bob graduated from Hamilton High in Jan. 1906 (the Jan. 31st Hamilton Sun declaring "The Class of 1905½ Commences Battle of Life") and at commencement spoke about "Political Tendencies of the Times"—i.e. placing material values above all others. "He urged the young men to take an active part in political affairs and to preserve their reputations." (Bob's speech was followed by Miss Blanche Wooley's on "Soul Music"—i.e. The Rubáiyat of Omar Khayyám.)
Recalling her beloved uncle, ALLS would remark:
I think he was a frustrated performer—but unfortunately was never able to pursue his real loves... He was interested in the stage: dancing, acting, music—but it was necessary for him to always be employed (was Secretary-Treasurer of Miami Foundry Co. in Hamilton many years and eventually moved to Miamisburg [near Dayton] to help support his Mother)... He was extremely talented and appeared in all the local amateur productions. The thrill of my life as a child was being able to watch my Uncle Bob on the stage—dancing and/or acting. He bought a piano and self-taught himself to play it. Enjoyed the social life, was the only family member to wear a tuxedo [and an opera cape], had many friends, attended all sorts of delightful functions—he dressed well, bought only name brands—was a 32nd degree Mason, member of Elks also... He financed my four years at Miami University. He was clever enough to invest his money in worthwhile stocks and bonds.
Among Bob's theatrical performances was Dolly Dimples, a charity benefit staged by the Elks and reviewed in the Feb. 20, 1914 Evening Journal: "If any professional on the stage today would make a better 'Percival' than Bob Ludeke, we don't know where he could be found." He reprised this character three years later—"Angelo Percival (Bob Ludeke), the 'teacher's pet' and a gentle little lamb, [wearing] Ibsen spectacles"—in School Days, presented at the Grand by a "company of prominent citizens... one of the cleverest bits of tomfollery [sic] ever staged by local actors" (as per the Dec. 4, 1917 Republican-News). He was also "featured in Mabel Chenault's dancing reviews... Especially is he recalled in an elaborate Russian dance with graceful Edna Bosch" (his third cousin).
ALLS: "Tragedy struck him, possibly 1918 or 1919—when the horrible flu epidemic raged throughout the U.S. He had the flu, but then became paralyzed... Specialists were brought to the hospital from Cincinnati, but lengthy deliberations caused loss in valuable time! Finally it as determined it was polio[-encephalitis]—but then treatment for it was so new! He was completely paralyzed—but fortunately there was no brain damage." (A small article on the front page of the Mar. 5, 1920 Evening Journal stated: "There was no change today in the condition of Robert Ludeke, who has been seriously ill in Mercy hospital.")
"Was a long hospital stay—then home with a live-in nurse for many months! His progress was slow—having to learn to talk, walk, use hands—absolutely all functions all over again! His sunny disposition—patience—and determination pulled him through. His speech was never fully recovered and he walked very slowly—but he was 'gutsy' enough to return to work (even having to ride the old Traction car twice a day—to and from Hamilton and Miamisburg). For some unknown reason he adored me and the feeling was mutual! When baby Jeanie arrived—his cup 'really runneth over!!!' Ha! Ha!"
Although Bob's bout with encephalitis left him handicapped, Mila Jean remembers his home as being full of gifts and fun and Major Bowes's Amateur Hour radio show. In the 1940 census he owned 124 N. Front Street, valued at $6000, but had no occupation listed.
"He never married, so was the last leaf on the tree and all alone in the big home at his death," said ALLS. Robert Ludeke died July 27, 1943, "probably [of a] heart attack" (according to his death certificate, with contributory causes "not known"). The next day's Daily News Journal had the following obituary:
ROB'T W. LUDEKE SUCCUMBS AT 56. Robert W. Ludeke, age 56, died suddenly of a heart attack at 7:30 o'clock Tuesday night in his residence, 124 North Front Street. Although a semi-invalid since 1920 when he was struck with sleeping sickness, Mr. Ludeke, always cheerful, bore his affliction with optimism and good nature... [He] leaves two sisters, Mrs. Edward Falkenstein and Mrs. Walter Charles; two brothers, William Ludeke and Edward Ludeke, all of Hamilton; two nieces, and one nephew, besides a wide circle of friends who learn with deepest regret of his sudden passing.
Another newspaper clipping added: "Before his long illness, Bob was an accountant of notable accuracy and faithful service to the late Will Cullen of the Miami Foundry. His life was full of promise and Bob met without complaint its defeat through long years of hopeless invalidism." He was buried in Greenwood POT 936 on July 30th, with Rev. H. A. Dickman officiating; his grave marker can be viewed at ~g.
In her late SFM on Bob, ALLS wrote:
Uncle Bob was the only one in our family who was a true love of all "Arts." He enjoyed the theater, symphonic music, and ballroom dancing. He attended the opera, stage productions and symphony concerts in Cincinnati, Ohio. He bought a lovely antique piano, and self-taught himself to play it. He enjoyed to be with people, belonging to the Shriners, was a third degree Mason, and also a member of the Elks club. He joined a bridge club and also a book review club. He was very intelligent, and worked five days a week in an office, eventually becoming the treasurer of the firm. But his weekends and evenings were devoted to the Arts. He was very thoughtful, always helping his family, and any friends in need of financial aid. He saved his money and wisely invested this. He provided me with a four year college education, for which I was forever grateful.
Unfortunately, in 1918 he became ill with influenza, and it eventually developed into encephalitis, a disease unknown at that time. Our local hospital and medical staff were unable to cope. A team of specialists was sent from Cincinnati, Ohio and after weeks of tests, the cause was established. By then he was completely paralyzed from his neck to his toes. Fortunately his mind was not affected, and he possessed a strong will to live. After weeks in Mercy Hospital in Hamilton Ohio, getting therapy and special medication, he was dismissed to return to our home. A private nurse was hired, and she helped so very much in the recovery program. She lived with us for months, and became one of our family. Uncle Bob was finally able to function about three fourths of his former abilities, and eventually he returned to his office position. His firm was then located in Miamisburg, Ohio about fifteen miles from Hamilton, and he managed to ride the electric transit twice every day. Fortunately he possessed extra courage, which helped him always... It seems to me he gave so much more to everyone than he himself received, but maybe that was his real wish from life.
● Uncle Ed (and Louis)
August and Louise's fifth child and second son, Louis August Ludeke, was born in 1884. He appears with brothers Willie and Bob in the 1888 photograph to the left; but died Nov. 24, 1889, aged only five, and was buried in Greenwood POT 936 on Nov. 25th. (~f's database of Ohio Deaths gives the full middle name; ALLS had only the middle initial "H.," as does Louis's grave marker at ~g).
Less than eight months after Louis's death, Edward Frank Ludeke was born on July 6, 1890. "Being the baby of the family and losing his father when very young, caused him to be spoiled by his mother, sisters and brothers. He seemed to enjoy this position—'playing it to the hilt'—so you can imagine his feelings when I appeared on the scene!" remarked ALLS. "Guess he was reduced to Number 2 position and took it very badly even though seventeen years old... At Easter, he was the first to run outside and hunt the colored eggs hidden in the yard—the sobbing child" [Ada Louise] "found none! Giving potted pansies to me was then tried—he insisted on getting the same! He cheated at all games (marking Old Maid cards etc.) so he always won—he gave away what the contents were of unopened Christmas presents—he snatched choice bits from the table (celery hearts instead of stalks—biggest piece of meat etc.) etc., etc., etc. No wonder when I was a child, I did not get along with him at all and naturally no love was lost between us. Funny thing though, in later life I liked him ever so much—loved his practical jokes he played on people ('whoopee cushion' at family get-togethers etc.). Guess growing up helped both of us—ha! He had an office position with the Champion Coated Paper Co. all of his adult life. Two wives (first one died) both spoiling him just as Momma had done!"
On June 23, 1915 at St. Peter's Church in Hamilton, Ed married Cathryn Anna Dietrich (born Sep. 4, 1892 in Grantbend, Kenton County KY, daughter of Joseph Dietrich and Agnes (aka Margaret) Reith). She died June 20, 1921 and was buried at Fort Thomas KY. "I only remember her a being a rather pretty blond... quiet and shy," ALLS would say, adding: "She and [Ed's] second wife resembled each other." In the 1920 census, Edward and "Catherine" Ludeke lived at 346 South B Street in Hamilton's 1st Ward; his occupation was "clerk in a paper mill." After Cathryn's death, Ed married Lillian Catherine Heine (born Nov. 25, 1898) on Oct. 25, 1922, with the bride and groom attended by Ed's brother Bob and Lil's sister Evelyn C. Heine (born Nov. 1, 1896). "Ed's mourning period was short," remarked ALLS. "Both [his wives] were Catholics, but Ed never converted." Evie and Lil's parents were Hamilton iron moulder Edward J. Heine (1868-1926) and Margarit Matilda Fischer (1870-1912). In the 1930 census, Edward F. and "Lilian" Ludeke are respectively shipping clerk and cutter for Champion Papers, living in an apartment on Park Avenue—albeit in Hamilton OH's 1st Ward.
Mila Jean never knew Ed Ludeke very well; she thought him a "very German-looking, overweight man." He died aged 74 on Jan. 6, 1965 and was buried at St. Stephens Cemetery (Section J, Lot 034-E, marker viewable at ~g); Lil followed on July 31, 1974, aged 75. Ten years later her sister Evie was living in Lil and Ed's old home; ALLS praised her as a "fabulous cook!! and really my only source of information of the old 'home town.'" Evie died aged 89 on Feb. 1, 1986.
In her late SFM on Ed, ALLS wrote:
My family had a character, and I shall never forget him. He was my Uncle Ed, my father's youngest brother. When his father died Ed was only two years old, so naturally everyone felt very sorry for him, and spoiled him too much. He was overly protected by his mother, two brothers, and two sisters, and he accepted all favors gladly. For almost twenty years he was "King Edward," and ruled the household his own way.
But eventually all good things come to an end, and then the individual's strength is tested. As the years had passed, Ed's oldest brother [Will] had married and a daughter was born later. Unfortunately [Will's] wife died, leaving him and his four [sic] year old daughter alone. So [Will] moved back to his old home again, bringing the young child with him. Now this child was the youngest in the family, and like Ed, was denied the love of a parent, so once more the family had compassion for the child, and lavished extra love and attention on her. This was a shock to Ed and he refused to accept the change, venting his anger on the child, blaming her for something she had no control over.
How do I know this? Because I was that child, and his jealousy added more troubles onto my present grief of losing my Mother and my home. To add to the conflict, my dog was a part of the package, and he too was considered an outsider, because Ed's old dog was already a part of the household. Daily dogfights plus human conflicts evolved into an unhappy family life. But my wise Grandmother once more realized the situation, and took charge of the squabbles, solving all problems. The old dog, already ailing from many physical problems, was put to sleep, so that situation was solved. She managed to divide love and attention between her son Ed and her granddaughter, so both of us felt loved and wanted. One instance, on Easter Ed had always been given a small pot of pansies to plant outside later on. So the first Easter that I lived with them, I too was given the same, and later we both planted them in the same part of our backyard. The first of many planned solutions on my Grandmother's part.
When Ed finally married, his wife assumed the role that his Mother had held, so he was "King Edward" once more. After a short happy marriage, his wife died, and when he later on remarried, he once more chose a woman who spoiled him and accepted all of his faults. In later life, I learned to love him, but I always felt he had skipped through life: always taking, but giving too little. Had he not been so dependent on females, he might have attained his true potential and become a strong male, contributing more worthwhile additions to this old world.
● Willie and His Albums
William Michael Ludeke, the fourth child and oldest boy, was born Aug. 9, 1882. ALLS: "As a child, he must have been a hellion—being the first son, he really pushed his luck impressing(?) his sisters—such as packing his nose with navy beans one time to scare them—(Grandma's salvation was a doctor just across the street from home)—another time [he] stuck a knife in his leg to scare [his] sisters... He got mad in high school because he was too big to fit behind a desk, so quit before graduation and went to work" at the Niles Tool Works, which later became the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Co. "The money helped of course and all appreciated Big Brother's ability—but such a pity to quit high school. Tall—good looking—black curly hair—blue eyes!! Beautiful disposition." In another account she said Will dropped out at age fourteen: which matches the 1940 census stating he left school after ninth grade (i.e. circa 1897). Possibly the death of his sister Carrie was a factor in Will's having to become a family breadwinner.
Will (or "Bill," as he grew older) frequently appeared on local sports pages. He played baseball for many years on an assortment of teams—school, church, industrial, and (in 1901 and '02) the semipro Hamilton Indians. This team, including "Will Ludeke, the big outfielder," displayed their uniforms in Straus's "shoe" (show?) window prior to playing "the famous Cincinnati Stars" at Moose Head Park in Trenton: "a clean and gentlemanly game of baseball for which the Indians have been noted." Perhaps as a result, the Stars defeated Hamilton 21-7. "The Indians made a nice appearance in their new uniforms, but played a very loose game." (As per the Daily Democrat for Apr. 14, May 3 and 5, 1902.)
ALLS: "[He] broke a foot one time, sliding into base, and was bedded down on the horsehair sofa—his moaning kept everyone awake, so Frieda was sent to deal with him—and fainted at the sight of his foot; so Grandma Ludeke had to deal with them both!" In 1911 he was on a Niles company team with coworker Carl Weilman, who went on to pitch for the major league St. Louis Browns from 1912 to 1920. Will Ludeke visited St. Louis at every opportunity to see his friend play; at times he even traveled with the Browns, whose manager in 1913-15 was Branch Rickey ("I have never met a more brilliant man," Will would recall).
Bob Hunter's "From the Grandstand" column in the June 2, 1974 Hamilton Journal News profiled Carl Weilman, winner of 18 games for St. Louis in both the 1914 and 1915 seasons, but who was plagued by injury and illness and died only four years after ending his baseball career. On June 9, 1974 "From the Grandstand"‡ reported that:
Ninety-one year old Bill Ludeke is a living salute to Hamilton's first successful big league ballplayer. He knew Carl Weilman better than any man, maybe even better than Weilman himself... The primary source of last week's column was a huge scrapbook on Weilman gathered from newspapers in major league cities across the nation. And that's where Ludeke enters the scene. As a close friend of Weilman's, he kept the scrapbook during Carl's playing days and gave it to Carl's family... "I was able to get off work quite a bit, and when I did I would go to St. Louis and stay with him. I'd eat meals and stay in hotels at the club's expense. That gives me a lot of old stories to tell... I told Carl that when [Ty] Cobb came to bat to tell him that he was standing too close to the plate. Then when Cobb looked down to see, throw a quick strike past him. Sure enough, when... Ty looked down, [Carl] threw a quick strike past him and Cobb was really mad. I don't think any player was called as many kinds of SOB's as Carl was that afternoon..."
Long before compiling his Weilman scrapbook, Willie Ludeke kept an autograph album in early 1891 that he sent to ALLS eighty years later, writing "THIS-WAS-A-'FAD'-AT-THIS-TIME" on the album cover. Its contents are faded and obscure, but perusal finds uplifting entries from Willie's sisters Irma (Work while life is given / Faint not though 'tis hard / Work is the will of heaven / And peace is thy reward) and Frieda (True worth is in being not seeming / In doing[?] each day that goes by / [Illegible] little good not in the dreaming / Of great things to do by and by). Toddler brother Edward supposedly contributed Brave little dandylion / Downy yellow face / Peeking up among the grass / With such gentle grace; while at the end of the album brother Bob added Way back here / Out of sight / Was the only place / Where Willie would let me write. (Three other entries are discussed below.)
June 1902 William M. Ludeke purchased lot 87 in Hamilton's Greenwood Avenue
addition for $450 from Elbert Alston, who had already sold two lots in Nov. 1901
and Jan. 1902 to Christine Schneider. Three years later, on June 27, 1905§,
Father Prosper Stemann married Will to Christine's daughter
Schneider (aka Adalaide, Adeline,
Adaline, and Annaline) at St. Stephen's Church. Will
and Addie set up house at 1106
Vine Street, a "small frame bungalow" next door to the Schneider home at 1102
Vine; and there they would be joined in 1907 by
Ada Louise Ludeke—ALLS herself.
● Louise and the Eisels
Willie's 1891 autograph album features Mar. 2nd entries from three Eisels: Minnie, Augusta, and Etta. Compliments of your cousin wrote Augusta; Minnie said the same, adding an elaborate pencil drawing of a swan on a tree-shaded lake; while Etta piously urged Cousin William to Learn your lessons well at school, /And strive to keep the golden rule.
Nowhere else is the Eisel family mentioned in Ludeke archives, and by 2008 there seemed faint hope of determining how the two families were related. But the present author, consulting Hamilton censuses, was led to the discovery of August Ludeke's long-forgotten eldest sister. Three webgens—~schumacher, ~schmitt and ~henn—augmented by info from ~greenwood and periodicals, give us a semidefinitive overview of the Eisel family.
Eisel and Eisele are derived from the Middle High German Isenlin, a nickname for those working with or dealing in iron (such as a blacksmith); or may be short forms of other German "iron" (Isen-, Eisen-) surname.
Michael Frederick Eisel was born 1809 in "Sundra" or "Sundau," Germany, the son of George W. Eisel and Anna Maria (Mary) Schnabel; he married Mary Brucks aka Martha Brooks (1806/10-1863). Their son Charles Frederick Eisel was born Oct. 8, 1838 (according to his obituary below; ~schumacher says Oct. 16th in Hesse Cassel, from which the Eisels emigrated in 1839.)
An "Isell" household, all German-born, appears in the 1850 census of Butler County's Fairfield Township: father Michael (aged 46, a carpenter with $400 in real estate), mother Mary (aged 40), and two sons George (aged 15, no occupation) and Charles (aged 10, attending school). Hamilton's 1860 census includes an "Isle" household, all German-born: Michael (aged 50, no occupation listed), May (aged 53) and Sarah (aged 23); but like the Koeppendoerfers in Chapter L-1 and far too many other Hamiltonians, George and Charles are unlocatable that year.
Charles Eisel married "Louisa Leudiger" in Butler County OH on Jan. 10, 1861, as per the original ledger of marriage records (viewable at ~f) and cited in Charles's biographical sketch below; though ~schumacher, ~schmitt and ~henn all state it was 1858, not 1861, when Charles married Louisa Charlotta Ludeke (aka Louise Charlotte Ludeke). She was born in Hanover on or about Sep. 22, 1840, the daughter of Louis Ludeke and Sophia Caroline Whittikind (Whitlikind). A wedding photo (dated 1858) of Charles and Louise can be viewed at ~eisels-wedding. Two 1869 photos, one of the couple on the porch of the house on Dayton Street, the other joined there by daughters Louise and Sophia and grandfather Michael Eisel, can be viewed at ~eisels-1869a and ~eisels-1869b.
In 1870 we find the "Eizel" family, headed by Michael (still aged 50) and Charles F. (aged 31), proprietors of a sash factory with $7,500 in real estate and $9,500 in personal estate. Michael came from "Hesse Cassel," while Charles's wife Louise (aged 29) was born in Hanover.
The 1871 Hamilton city directory has a bold black entry for "EISEL M. F. & SON, (Michael F. & Charles F.) Carpenters, Contractors and Builders, Manufacturers of Sash, Doors, Blinds, Mouldings, Bee Hives, &c., w[est] s[ide of] Water opposite Dayton." Charles lived on the north side of Dayton between Front and 2nd; Michael "res Chas. F. Eisel's." The same entries appeared in later 1870s directories; click here to see their advertisement in 1875's edition.
In the 1880 census, the Eisels—with surname spelled correctly for the first time—of Dayton Street included Michael (aged 72) and Charles (aged 42), both from Hesse and working as "S.D. & Blind Manf." Charles's wife "Leuesea" (aged 39) came from Hanover; but their eight children each show a Hanoverian father and a Hessian mother. These children were named "Leuesea" (aged 18), Sophia (aged 16), Minnie (aged 11), Charles (aged 8), Gusta (aged 6), Freddie (aged 4), Etta (aged 2), and Baby [Boy] (aged one month).
Hamilton's 1888 and 1900 directories, along with the 1900 census, spell "Eisel" correctly and locate the family at 108 Dayton, with their sash-doors-and-blinds business at 157 North Water. In the 1900 census, both Michael (aged 83, born Oct. 1816 [sic]) and "Chas. F." (aged 58, born Jan. 1842 [sic]) are naturalized citizens who emigrated from Germany; Michael’s entry says in 1842, Charles’s says 1852, but both say "48" years ago. The two Louises are gone from the household, as are all but four children: daughter "Augustus" (aged 26, born Mar. 1874, occupation stenographer); Fred W. (aged 24, born Feb. 1876, occupation carpenter); Etta (aged 20, born Nov. 1879, no occupation); and William (aged 20, born May 1880, occupation plumber). Michael F. Eisel died aged 93 on Oct. 9, 1902, and was buried three days later in Greenwood Cemetery.
Biographical and Historical Sketches: A Narrative of Hamilton and Its Residents from 1792, Volume II (by Stephen Decatur Cone, published 1901, viewable at Google Books) states on pp. 398-99 that:
Charles F. Eisel was born in Germany, October 8, 1838. At an early age he came with his parents to the United States and settled at Hamilton. After attending the public schools of this city for several years, Mr. Eisel began to learn the carpenter's trade under his father's instruction. After working in his father's employ for some years, he was taken into partnership, continuing thus for about ten years. For the past fourteen years, however, he has been in business for himself.
On January 10, 1861, Mr. Eisel was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Ludeke. From this union twelve children blessed the home, eight of whom are now living, namely, Charles, Fred, William, Louisa, Sophia, Minnie, Augusta and Doretta. An extensive business as a contractor and builder and as a dealer in lumber has been conducted by Mr. Eisel. All of his work bears the mark of superior workmanship, as the following buildings will testify to—New Second Ward school building, Fifth Ward school building and the First Ward building now being erected, besides numerous dwellings, T. V. Howell's residence and shops, Long & Allstatter's shop. Mr. Eisel is a member of the St. John's German Protestant church, Ancient Order of United Workmen and Lone Star Lodge No. 39, K. of P., in all of these organizations being a faithful and active member.
Louise and Charles Eisel's twelve children were:
* Louise Georgetta Eisel: born Nov. 1861; married salesman Jacob Benjamin Henn
(born 1858) on Nov. 19, 1884; had two children, Gertrude Marie Joanna Henn Schuttler
(Oct. 5, 1888—May 19, 1965) and Marguerite Louise Henn Schlimmer (Sep.
20, 1894—Sep. 15, 1975); moved from Hamilton to Evansville IN between 1900 and
1910; Louise died aged 49 on May 25, 1911 in Evansville and was buried there at Oak Hill Cemetery; husband Jacob followed on July 16, 1918;
click here for Notes
* Sophia Marie Eisel: born Oct. 1, 1863; left school after eighth grade (as per the 1940 census); married Frank J. Deutschman (June 3, 1863—July 20, 1953) on June 3, 1890; had two children, Carl F. Deutschman (died July 1, 1894, aged 7 months) and Irma Marie Deutschman Bovard (July 20, 1896—Oct. 15, 1998); Sophia died aged 83 on Mar. 25, 1947 and was buried at Greenwood, as was husband Frank; click here for Notes
* Caroline W. Eisel: born Mar. 24, 1868; died Feb. 12, 1870; buried at Greenwood
* Charles Eisel: born circa Apr. 1868 (Caroline's twin?); died aged 8 months and was buried at Greenwood on Dec. 14, 1868 (with ~greenwood claiming his father was Michael F. Eisel)
* Wilhelmina "Minnie" Eisel: born Jan. 1, 1870, married Valentine V. ("Val") Steinle (Dec. 6, 1868—May 7, 1932) on Sep. 25, 1895; had two children, Howard Vincent Steinle (Jan. 8, 1899—Apr. 18, 1975) and Jessica C. Steinle Reekie (1901—July 7, 1954); Minnie died in Spokane WA aged 92 on Jun. 29, 1962 and was buried on Aug. 11th at Cincinnati's Spring Grove Cemetery, joining husband Valentine (as per ~g and ~springgrove/minnie); click here for Notes
* Charles Michael Eisel [not Charles F. Eisel Jr.]: born Dec. 29, 1872; left school after sixth grade (as per the 1940 census); married Louisa (Louise) E. Reiner (c.1875—Dec. 14, 1957) on July 27, 1898; had a daughter, Melva Marie Eisel Wheelright (June 6, 1899—Apr. 29, 1994); Charles died Oct. 26, 1960 and was buried at Greenwood, as was wife Louise; click here for Notes
* Augusta Martha ["Gussie"/"Gusta"] Eisel: born Mar. 1874; left school after sixth grade (as per the 1940 census); married Charles Hanky Brockardt (born Apr. 4, 1877) on July 31, 1901; moved from Ohio to St. Petersburg FL by 1945; Charles died in Pinellas County FL in 1946 (as per ~a's Florida Death Index); Augusta died aged 76 in 1950; click here for Notes
* Frederick Mortimer Eisel: born Feb. 1876; lived with father in 1910, working as a house carpenter; killed May 1, 1916 when run down by a train (click here for Notes) and was buried at Greenwood
* Doretta Amelia ["Etta"] Eisel: born Nov. 1879; left school after tenth grade (as per the 1940 census); married Charles Warrington McClung (July 29, 1857—Dec. 21, 1937) on Apr. 11, 1916; as "Cousin Etta," sent ALLS congratulations in 1932 when daughter Mila Jean Smith was born; Etta died aged 80 on Jan. 27, 1960 and was buried at Greenwood, as was husband Charles; click here for Notes
* William Louis Eisel: born May 11, 1881; left school after third grade (according to the 1940 census); moved to Indiana by 1935; died Jul. 25, 1965 and was buried at Greenwood; click here for Notes
* Infant Son Eisel: stillborn May 13, 1883 and was buried at Greenwood
* Bertha "Birdie" Eisel: born 1884, died Dec. 24, 1887 and was buried at Greenwood; click here for Notes
A formal 1887 photo of nine Eisel children with their parents can be viewed at ~eisels-children. Each family member is identified—Louise as "Mrs. Charlotte Eisel."
Two other glimpses of Louise Charlotte Ludeke Eisel: the Sep. 24, 1892 Daily Democrat reported: "SURPRISED THEIR MOTHER. Mrs. J. B. Henn, Mrs. Frank Deutschman and Miss Minnie Eisel surprised their mother Thursday afternoon by inviting a number of her friends at the former's home on Ninth street. It was in honor of her 52nd birthday anniversary"—meaning that was on or about Sep. 22nd. Among those present were "Mrs. A. Ludeke" and her mother "Mrs. Wuechner." This was followed by mention on Dec. 16th that "Mrs. Charles Eisel has returned from a visit to friends in Cincinnati."
She died aged 53 on Oct. 5, 1893, six months after her brother August. ~greenwood says Louise was buried Oct. 7th in the Eisel plot 1E 322, adding that her maiden name was "Endike" and her parents were "L. Endike" and "S. Emdike" [sic]. Charles died eighteen years later, almost to the day, and his obituary appeared in the Oct. 5, 1911 Butler County Democrat:
CHAS. F. EISEL PASSES AWAY. The highly respected contractor and builder, Charles Frederick Eisel, died at his home, 17 High Street, at 7:45 o'clock Wednesday [Sep. 27th] morning of heart trouble, following stomach and bowel complaint, with which he had been afflicted since last Sunday evening. At the time of his death Mr. Eisel had reached the age of 72 years, 11 months and 11 days [implying a birthdate of Oct. 16, 1838], and during all of this time he lived in Hamilton except for six months. He was born in Germany and came to America with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Eisel, at the age of six months. He attended the schools in Hamilton and when he grew to manhood assisted his father, who conducted a door and sash factory in North Monument avenue, and which was later taken in charge by Mr. Eisel himself.
Mr. Eisel was preceded in death by his wife 18 years ago the coming fair week[,] and recently by a daughter, Mrs. John B. Henn, who died four months ago. He is survived by seven children, namely Mrs. Val Steinle of Winston Place, Mrs. C. H. Brockardt of Wheeling, W.Va., Mrs. Sophia Deutschmann, Doretta Eisel, Charles, Fred, and Will Eisel, all of Hamilton, who have the sincere sympathy of their large circle of friends and acquaintances in their loss of a kind and indulgent father... Mr. Eisel was married to Miss Louisa Lldege [sic], January 10, 1861, and from this union twelve children blessed the home. Of these children seven survived the father. Mr. Eisel did some extensive building for the city, the new Second ward school building, the old Fifth ward school building and the First ward school house, the Howell residence, Long & Allstatter shops and other buildings which testify to his superior workmanship as a contractor. Mr. Eisel was a member of St. John's church.
per usual, the obituary doesn't altogether jive with preceding censuses—nor with
~greenwood, which says Charles died Sep. 29th.
His original death certificate (viewable at
~f) confirms the Sep. 27th date, adding that the cause of death was
valvular heart disease.
Charles was buried Sep. 30th in Greenwood's plot 1E 322, with Louise.
● Rachel and the Petersons
"Lou Peterson of Cincinnati" was a guest at Carrie Ludeke's 18th birthday party in 1894. Two years earlier, the Oct. 3, 1892 Daily Republican remarked that "Louis Peterson of Cincinnati spent Sunday with Chas. Eisel and family." In 1926, "Mrs. Lou Peterson of Cincinnati" was a guest at Doretta McClung (née Etta Eisel)'s party for Marie Wuechner Martin. And "Louis Peterson" was one of Louise Wuechner Ludeke's six pallbearers in 1930—along with two of her sons, two sons-in-law, and a great-nephew. All this would argue that Lou Peterson was a close connection of the Ludekes, if not a family member; but not till 2011 was that connection confirmed.
Louis E. Peterson, born Mar. 1, 1868, was the second child of Rachel L. Peterson. She in turn was born Sep. 17, 1843—in Hanover (according to 1870-80 censuses); as were her parents (as per the 1880 census); and they immigrated in 1851 (as per the 1900 census). In ~f's database of Ohio Deaths (which provides her birthdate) Rachel's parents are [blank] for father and "Ludeke" for mother. Her son William's marriage record shows "Rachel Ludeck" as his mother's maiden name; William's own death record shows "Rachel Ladeke."
From this evidence the present author was able to deduce that Rachel L. Peterson came to America with, and as part of, Louis Ludeke's family. Being August's sister would make her an aunt to his children, and Louis Peterson their first cousin. The June 12, 1895 Hamilton Daily Republican reinforced this by noting that "Mrs. Rachel Peterson and Miss Laura Reutte [sic] of Cincinnati will be here tomorrow to attend Commencement exercises"—i.e. Carrie Ludeke's high school graduation, which took place the next day††. A year later, Laura Reuter would become Mrs. Lou Peterson. ~petersons would conclusively connect Rachel Louisa Ludeke to her parents Louis and Sophia.
Rachel, like her sisters Louise and Lizzie, does not appear in the 1860 census. On Sep. 2, 1863 as "Rachel L. Ludiker," she married Isaiah B. Peterson (born c.1836 in Seven Mile, Butler County OH, son of carpenter Isaac H. Peterson [1809-1883] and Caroline Bryant [c.1810-1873]). Also in 1863, Isaiah registered for the Union Army: his occupation then, as it had been in 1860 and would again be in ~f's Ohio Deaths Database, was "painter." However, in the 1870 census "Isaaiah" (transcribed as "Isnanh") worked as a Hamilton OH night watchman. He died in Hamilton on Sep. 9, 1872 and was buried at Greenwood Cemetery (as "Isaih" in ~greenwood).
The widowed Rachel moved to Cincinnati before 1880. In that year's census her sons Charles Peterson and Louis E. (aged fifteen and twelve) both worked in a carriage factory; at home they'd been joined by William Peterson (aged eight) and Augustus Peterson (aged two—which would seem to rule out Isaiah's being his father). In Cincinnati's 1895 city directory, "Rachel wid. Isaiah" lived at 405 Race near 12th; as did lettercarrier Louis. (Nothing further has been discovered about Augustus, other than the 1900 census's reporting that Rachel four children were all still living; and ~petersons stating he was born Aug. 25, 1878 in Cincinnati and died between 1907 and 1942.)
On Oct. 21, 1896 Louis E. Peterson married Laura Margaret Reuter (born Sep. 10, 1876 in Cincinnati: daughter of Ernst Reuter of Baden [1846-1919] and Louisa W. Stegemeyer aka Louise "Stegmayln" of Cincinnati [1853-1922]). During the Spanish-American War, Lou served as 1st Sergeant of Company H, First Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He would later be prominent among Ohio's Spanish War Veterans, being elected their state Adjutant in 1915 (as per the June 24th Daily Republican News); by 1931 he would be their Past Commander and Distinguished Guest at the Hamilton Soldiers and Sailors Monument (as per the Jan. 14th Evening Journal).
In 1900, Lou worked as a mail carrier; he and Laura lived in Cincinnati at 747 Betts Street, with son LeRoy B. ("Roy") Peterson (born Aug. 8, 1897) and Lou's mother Rachel. ~f's database of Ohio Deaths states that Rachel L. Peterson died aged 63 on July 1, 1907 in Madisonville, a Cincinnati neighborhood.
In 1910 "Louis B." and "Laura N." Peterson lived in Columbia Township, Hamilton County OH, with son Leroy B. and daughter Marjorie Louise Peterson (born Dec. 19, 1900). On Apr. 7, 1919 Marjorie married Alton Eastburn Booth of Montgomery, Alabama: born Nov. 25, 1896, son of Knox Booth (1870-1915) and Ella Virginia Eastburn (1872-1941). Marjorie and Alton, a drugstore salesman, would appear in Montgomery's 1920 census; that same year her parents Louis and Laura lived in Cincinnati at 5726 Adelphi Street, with son "Roy B. Peterson" (salesman, machine tools) and Roy's wife Maidee Louise Booth Peterson (Alton Booth's younger sister: born in Alabama on June 8, 1898). According to ~a's database of Ohio Soldiers, LeRoy enlisted in the Ohio National Guard during World War I, serving 1917-19; he was discharged as a sergeant first class. Alton Booth (whom Marjorie had divorced by 1940) died aged 68 in Sep. 1965; Maidee Peterson died aged 57 in Memphis on Apr. 25, 1956 and was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Prattville AL. (As per ~coile-carroll and ~a's database of Tennessee Deaths.)
In 1930 Lou Peterson was a Cincinnati post office foreman; he and Laura lived at 3542 Trimble Avenue with daughter "Margery" and son-in-law Alton E. Booth. Both were drugstore clerks, and they had a six-year-old son Knox L. Booth (transcribed as "Ana L. Booth") who was born Aug. 15, 1923 in Alabama. In 2012 the present author found photos of an "all day picnic at the Petersons, Cincinnati O" on July 27, 1935; these photos included "Uncle Bob [Ludeke] and Cousin Laura"; Laura and Lou's daughter "Margery"/"Margy"; and her son Knox.
By 1940 the Petersons were living at 7136 Wallace Avenue in suburban Madeira OH (rented for $30). 72-year-old Louis E. and 62-year-old Laura were listed without occupation; both had left school after sixth grade. Divorced daughter Marjorie Booth, aged 40, made $780/year as a clerk in the public library; she was a high school graduate. 16-year-old son Knox Booth had finished tenth grade, and worked six hours a week as a drugstore delivery boy.
Laura Reuter Peterson died aged 64 on Mar. 5, 1941, and her husband followed on Apr. 29, 1958:
LOUIS E. PETERSON SUCCUMBS AT 90. Louis E. Peterson, 90, native Hamiltonian and a member of an old Butler County family, died Tuesday in Veterans Hospital, Cincinnati. He lived at 5005 Stewart Ave., Cincinnati. Born in Hamilton on March 1, 1868, the son of Isaiah and Rachel Ludeke Peterson, he attended local schools. A veteran of the Spanish-American War, Mr. Peterson was a retired U. S. postal clerk. He leaves a daughter, Mrs. Marjorie Booth; a son, Roy B. Peterson, both of Cincinnati; a grandson, Maj. Knox L. Booth; a great-grandson, Bobby L. Booth, and many other relatives and friends in Hamilton and Cincinnati.
Lou was buried at Rest Haven Cemetery near Sharonville OH. His daughter Marjorie Booth, a librarian and divorcée, died aged 85 on Oct. 23, 1985 in Madeira OH. Her son Knox L. Booth enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942, eventually retiring from the USAF as a lieutenant colonel; he married Josephine A. [surname?] by 1960, when living in Montgomery AL. Knox died aged 80 at the American Consulate in Manila, the Philippines, on Mar. 31, 2004 (as per the Social Security Death Index).
Lou's older brother Charles Wesley Peterson was born Dec. 2, 1864
in Hamilton, leaving school after third grade (as per the 1940 census).
On Mar. 26, 1891 he
married Bertha Elizabeth Dews (born Oct. 2, 1874) and they had
seven children, of whom five were living in 1910: Earl Peterson (born
June 1894 in Ohio), Leslie Peterson aka William Lester
Peterson (born Apr. 27, 1896 in Ohio), Helen Peterson (born Sep. 1899
in Kentucky), and Indiana-born Charles A. Peterson (Dec. 20, 1901—May 23,
Donald H. Peterson (Mar. 28, 1908—Feb. 3, 1915).
Two other children were born and died during the 1890s. Charles and Bertha
later adopted Edwin Starker aka Edwin Ralph Peterson (born
Dec. 30, 1910 in Norwood, Hamilton County OH). Charles Sr. was a wheelmaker for over twenty years; his
family lived in Covington KY in 1900 and Aurora, Dearborn County IN from at
least 1910; in censuses his mother's birthplace consistently appears as "Germany"—except 1920, when it's entered as
"Hanover." By 1930
Charles Sr. was a chairmaker in a
chair factory, where Charles Jr. worked as a carver; their household had
dwindled to Bertha and Edwin, and all still lived together in 1940. Charles died May 6, 1942 and was buried at
Aurora's Riverview Cemetery; Bertha joined him there after her death on Apr. 11,
1948; sons Charles A., Donald, and Edwin were also interred there (as per
Lou's younger brother William F. Peterson was born Sep. 14, 1871; he and his mother Rachel had the same address in 1898's Cincinnati city directory (as per ~petersons). Not found in the 1900 census, William married Aggie Mae [surname?: born in Ohio to Irish parents] c.1902 and lived in Cincinnati through 1920, with William working as a newspaper solicitor/collector. His mother was listed as coming from "Germany" in the 1910 census and "Hanover" in 1920's, but his father mysteriously appeared as Swedish-born in both. On Apr. 12, 1921 William married Frances "Fannie" Boebinger Becker (born 1884, daughter of Jacob Boebinger and Margaret Lorenz/Lawrence). In 1930 they lived in Cincinnati at 325 Milton Street, with Fannie's children from her previous marriage to Fred Becker: printer Charles Becker (born c.1910), stenographer Margaret Becker (born c.1913), and George Becker (born c.1915). The 1930 census listed William's father as Ohio-born—but his mother ditto, rather than German. William F. Peterson died aged 66 on May 16, 1938 and was buried in Section 3, Lot 819A, Grave 2 of Cincinnati's Second German Protestant Cemetery. This was renamed Walnut Hills Cemetery in 1941—as per ~walnuthills, which shows William's parents to have been "Isiah [sic] & Rachel Peterson (Ludeke)."
* Baedeker, Karl. Northern Germany:
Handbook for Travellers (Leipzig: Karl Baedeker, 6th ed., 1877), p. 85.
** Van der Kiste, John. George III's Children (Wolfeboro Falls: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1992), p. 176.
† Though ALLS mentioned "blocks" in her story about the Charles grocery, she separately wrote that in Ohio "square was always used instead of block... When I came to Missouri, no one knew what I meant [when I said] 'She lives just one square from here.'"
± In the very late memoir-essay "Louisa's Flowers," ALLS wrote: "April with beautiful flowers from many sources reminds me of one story my Grandmother Louisa was happy to tell anybody. When her three sons were young, they were given permission to build a bunk house in the back yard to hold meetings in. They used wood found piled in back of stores uptown, and now the boys managed to build a sturdy place that even kept out rain. Their mother always knew where they were! With school opening soon, the building had to be taken down and piled by the back fence... Louisa's children decided a windowbox across the front window would help. So with the saved wood, a long box was built and filled with rich dirt from a neighbor's chicken yard. Then they collected pennies from the family, and gave these to their Mother to buy something to plant. She visited the Farmer's Market uptown one Saturday and bought a group of red geraniums, very inexpensive, and placed them in the white painted box, making a perfect sight."
‡ Bill mailed this clipping to his daughter ALLS on June 22, 1974, saying: "The Carl Weilman article was very much a surprise to me, as I had given the 'scrap-book' to his daughter many years ago. She in turn gave the news reporter access to this and he told her that he would like to meet me. I called on him and had quite a chat with him, never dreaming that he would follow up with the news article that he did." Bill's interest in baseball never flagged; on Aug. 21, 1974 he wrote ALLS that "the K.C. team and our 'Reds' are both trying to reach first place in their respective leagues and I do hope they will be successful."
§ ALLS said her parents were married on Nov. 23, 1902, but ~f's database of Ohio marriages shows "27 Jun 1905" for William M. Ludeke and Adelaide M. Schneider. This is confirmed by the Hamilton Sun's "Licensed to Wed" column for June 28, 1905, listing "William M. Ludeke, 22, clerk, Hamilton, and Adelaide M. Schneider, 22, Hamilton, Rev. Prosper." And the 1910 census (enumerated Apr. 19th) says the Ludekes had been married for four years. Could Nov. 23, 1902 have been their engagement date?
†† Rachel Peterson and Laura Reuter's coming from Cincinnati for Commencement appears in the June 12, 1895 Daily Republican's "PERSONAL MENTION" column: "A Brief Record of the Coming and Going of Well-Known Folk. Vistors and Visited. People in the City Calling on Old Friends and Renewing Old Acquaintances—Those Absent on Business or Pleasure. All Gathered Under One Head." This is on the same page reporting: "SPLENDID PROGRAM To Be Carried Out Tomorrow at the High School Commencement [at] THE GLOBE OPERA HOUSE," including Carrie Ludeke's essay "To What Is Our World Drifting?"
ALLS, on the title page of her collected "Sketches of Family Members," wrote:
— meaning little people — a pet form of LUITO." No source for
this, or other reference to "Luito" as a personal name, has been found.
● The Oct. 29, 1851 manifest of the Bark Alfred is available in ~a's database of "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957." On a previous voyage from Bremen, the Alfred had arrived in New York on Jan. 20, 1851 with the same Master (transcribed by ~alfred as "D. Punell"; also decipherable as "D. Pundt") and the same 415-ton "burthen." On its January voyage, the Alfred had fifteen cabin passengers and 172 in steerage; three babies were born during the passage (one was two months old at arrival) and four other children died.
● ~phaneuf shows a Francis or Frances Wittekind born to unknown parents in Kentucky on Aug. 17, 1851; she married John Brown Ivins (1846-1924), had two children, and died in Butler County OH aged 62 on Nov. 16, 1913. This would certainly seem to be John and Catharine Wittekind/Whittikind's younger daughter. Nothing further has been found regarding her older sister Regina.
August and Louise and the Rev. Mr. Hermann
● The Soldiers, Sailors, and Pioneers Monument—aka the Memorial Building, at 1 South Monument Avenue—is Hamilton's most recognizable symbol. It was dedicated by Ohio Governor Andrew L. Harris (a Butler County native) on July 4, 1906.
● ~f's database of Civil War Pension Index Cards includes the correctly-spelled August H. Ludeke (Co. F, Reg 167, OH Infantry).
● Frederick Bosch, father of future Hamilton Mayor Charles S. Bosch, also did 100-day service in the 167th OVI's Company G: as mentioned in Chapter L-1.
● To find "Gust Leidercher" (and incidentally Sophia and Lizzie) in the 1870 census, the present author had to scroll through all male Hamiltonians born in the 1840s. "Leidercher" was apparently beyond the reach of ~a's Soundex search feature.
● All three of August's fraternal organizations met at the Knight of Pythias Hall (Beckett's Block, north side of High Street between Second and Third: visible on the 1875 map as Becketts Hall). The Wetzel-Compton Post of the GAR met alternate Tuesday nights; the K of P's Lone Star Lodge every Wednesday evening; and the Knights of Honor every Thursday evening. The K of H, founded in 1873, "held to the theory that true charity should not be confined to any society or creed, and during the yellow fever epidemics in the 1870s and 1880s, large sums of money were distributed by the agents of the order to sufferers outside the organization." (As per Wikipedia and Hamilton's 1888-89 city directory.)
● August Ludeke may have been the Republican candidate for Hamilton's 3rd Ward Assessor in 1889. At any rate a Ludeke lost that election, 324 votes to 235 (as per the Apr. 2, 1889 Daily Democrat.)
● ~f's Ohio Deaths and Burials database says August died at the age of 47; ~greenwood says 46.
● August's death made the Daily Democrat's "Society Gossip" column on Mar. 17, 1893, when "Mr. and Mrs. Will Martin of Omaha" (Louise's sister Marie) were mentioned as guests of Mrs. Wuechner, "having been called here to attend the funeral of Gus Ludeke."
● St. John's Evangelical German Protestant Church (according to the 1900-01 city directory) was on the "southeast corner Front and Sycamore streets, East Hamilton." This is actually southwest of the Wuechner/Ludeke homes, at 412 South Front. Its pastor from 1855 to 1875, and again from 1877 till 1903, was Reverend Charles (C. A.) Hermann. He married Louise Ludeke's sister Sophie to Ed Stepp in 1889; as "Rev. C. A. Herrman," he officiated at August's funeral in 1893; and as "Rev. C. A. Herman of St. John's Church" he buried Daniel Schwab's son Henry in 1900. Born in Reutlingen, Germany in 1835, Hermann came to America in 1853 and settled in Hamilton in 1866. "He was for a long time President of the Conference of the Cincinnati District of the German Protestant Evangelical denomination and his labors in not only religious but educational channels have caused him to be well and widely known in many cities. He has served for many years as a member of the City Board of School Examiners and most of the time as its president and he has always been a patron and promoter of the public schools and the best and highest class of public education... The Rev. Mr. Hermann is a man of fine scholarship, a profound biblical student, is well versed in and abreast of current events and is a speaker of much force and power. He has ever been open-hearted in his hospitality and in his dispensation of charity and he is yet in the full vigor of his mental and physical faculties, is loved and respected by his congregation and all who know him and has many years of usefulness yet before him." (Biographical and Historical Sketches: A Narrative of Hamilton pp. 403-04, which includes a photo. Two years after its publication, C. A. Hermann died at the age of 68.)
● Hamilton's 1900 city directory notes that "Rev. Chas. A. Herman" was the pastor of "St. Johns Evangelical Protestant Church (German) and "St. Johns Evangelical Protestant Church (E.Hamilton)," as well as president of the Germania Publishing Company. He and wife Anna resided at 416 South Front Street.
● The May 8, 1893 Daily Republican mentioned that the Knights of Honor had paid Louise the $2,000 insurance on her deceased husband's policy.
● The Pythians decorating Gus's grave, and the memorial service given by the GAR, appeared in the Daily Democrat for June 6th, Dec. 13th, and Dec. 27, 1893.
● The Jun. 15-17, 1895 issues of the Daily Republican listed A.H. Ludeke among "Deceased Knights" whose memory was honored by local Pythians.
● Living with Sophie Ludeke and Barbara Schreiber in 1880 were the latter's children Lizzie Schreiber (born circa 1859), Jacob B. Schreiber [Jr.] (born circa 1861), and Louis Schreiber (born circa 1865). Barbara is shown as coming from "Ribison" in Germany; her late husband came from Hesse-Darmstadt. Unfortunately, 1880's Lizzie Schreiber can't be equated with 1870's Lizzie Ludeke. She, Jacob, and Louis all lived at 109 Vine in Hamilton's 1888 city directory. ~g shows Jacob (Oct. 31, 1861—Feb. 22, 1934) as buried at Greenwood, the son of Jacob Sr. and Barbara; Louis (Nov. 11, 1867—May 18, 1938) is also buried there. ~greenwood adds that Barbara (died Feb. 21, 1886) and Jacob Schriber Sr. (died Nov. 24, 1879) occupy the same lot as Jacob Jr.; but there is no Lizzie or Elizabeth, implying that she married and was buried another another surname.
Carrie, Irma, and Frieda
● Carrie Ludeke's academic and social achievements were documented by the Daily Democrat on Dec. 22 and 31, 1892; Jan. 5, 1893; June 24, 1893; Feb. 21, 1894; Jun. 23, 1894; Jul. 19, 1894; and Nov. 1, 1894.
● Carrie's friend and high school classmate Arthur Seidensticker was born Aug. 19, 1876, the son of jeweler G. K. Albin Seidensticker (1846-1884) and Caroline Rupp (1850-1909). An illuminated "Seidelsticker [sic] Watches" sign can be seen in the "Night View of High Street" postcard. On Oct. 12, 1898 Arthur married Russie C. Dick (1877-1920); Arthur then married the memorably-named Happie Strudel (June 16, 1902—Nov. 7, 1983). Arthur died aged 53 on Sep. 3, 1929 and was buried with his parents and first wife at Greenwood. Happie's second husband was Lorenzo "Larry" Gimbel (1903-1981); they moved from Hamilton to Cincinnati by 1935 and then to Springfield MA by 1940, where they spent the rest of their lives.
● "Miss Carrie Ludeke" was mentioned as late as 1964-65, in Irma's and Ed's obituaries, which noted that Carrie had predeceased them.
● The Aug. 24, 1892 Daily Democrat told of a children's party, including Irene [i.e. Irma] Ludeke, "Freda Ludeka," Etta Eisel, Nettie Rupp, and Emma Huber. (The last-named was not a child of Dr. William Huber of 127 North Front St., but of William Huber the blacksmith.)
● Hamilton newspapers were regularly baffled by Irma's first name: she was "Emma" at Arthur Seidensticker's 1893 party (also attended by "Ella" Eisel); "Erma" at a May 1893 party (attended with Frieda and cousin Etta); and "Erna" when she spent a June 1894 day in Middletown.
● Walter Charles's birthdate was confirmed by his World War I Draft Registration Card, found at ~a.
● The 1900 Hamilton city directory gives business addresses for "Ludeke Freda book-keeper" (326 Market) and "Ludeke Wm timekeeper" (609 N. 3rd). Irma is not shown as having an occupation.
● A 1902 photo of the St. John's choir, with Frieda and Irma Ludeke in the front row flanking Maggie Schmuck, appears on page 35 of HAM. The same photo can be seen at ~stjohnprot, illustrating a Butler County Historical Society article. Also pictured in the choir's front row is the Rev. C. A. Hermann.
● Margaret "Maggie" Schmuck, "widow of Valentine," lived at 217 Dayton in 1900; the 1902 city directory showed her as being a clerk, and sharing 264 Hanover with saleslady Carrie J. Schmuck and Amelia (widow of John) Schmuck. An Amalia Fuhrman Schmuck (1845-1932) is buried at Greenwood, as per ~g.
● "CHARLES DAN W." appears in bold black capitals in the 1900 city directory: "Dealer in Groceries, Queensware and Table Cutlery, n[orth]w[est] c[orner] Third and Court."
● Walter Charles's obituary refers to his mother as Lydia Sullivan. Her father was Maryland-born in the 1900 and 1920 censuses, but Pennsylvania-born in 1910 and 1930.
● In the 1940 census, Irma and Walter Charles's house on 715 Heaton is valued at $4,770. Walter, a high school graduate, has no occupation listed.
● The Charles home at 715 Heaton was sold on May 24, 1961 for $90,075. Irma's obituary mentioned her love of needlework and flower raising.
● In the 1904 directory, "Freda" works as a bookkeeper at 326 Market; "Erma" has no listed occupation.
● In 1905-06 Frieda Ludeke was a (losing) contestant in the Hamilton Sun's yearlong Put-it-Bay Trip contest (whose prize was a vacation at "the famous Hotel Victory" on Put-it-Bay Island).
● Frieda's marriage record at ~f spells her mother's maiden name Wenchner. (Will's second marriage record spells it Wilchner. Ed's second marriage record spells it "W...Echner" [sic].) On Frieda's death certificate, "Louise Eliz. Wuechner" is entered.
● Jacob and Elizabeth Falkenstein married circa 1862. Besides Ed, they had nine other children: Louisa Falkenstein (born c.1866), Catherine Falkenstein (born c.1868), Charles Falkenstein (born c.1870), Albert Falkenstein (born 1875), Calvin Falkenstein (born 1879), Joseph L. Falkenstein (born 1881), Edith Falkenstein (born 1886), and two others who died by 1900. That year granddaughter Mabel L. Falkenstein (born 1883) was living with Jacob, Elizabeth, Ed and four of his siblings. By 1910 all the little Falkensteins had flown the coop, leaving Jacob and Elizabeth by themselves in Hanover Township.
● By the 1940 census, the Falkensteins owned 120 N. Front Street (valued at $4000). Ed, who left school after fifth grade, worked a 51-hour week as a laundry truck driver at age 67, for $1040/year.
Bob, Ed, and Will
● Bob Ludeke's academic achievements were mentioned by the Evening Democrat on July 8, 1901 and June 7 and 21, 1902.
● ~a's index misdates Bob's 1914 performance in Dolly Dimples as "1941."
● The quote about Bob's dancing career was taken from his obituaries, which confirmed his membership in the Elks, Shriners, Knights Templar, and Hugh L. Bates Lodge of Masons.
● "Hamilton Stage Talent Sparkles in Fine Show Sponsored by the Moose," reported the Feb. 13, 1920 Daily News, calling Betty Who? "another feather in the bright cap of the tireless director and clever actress, Mabel Chenault." Earlier the Dec. 20, 1911 Evening Journal mentioned that "Mabel Shepherd Chenault was formerly the talented leading woman in a first-class traveling repertoire company. Her husband, F. X. Chenault, is an actor in musical comedy and burlesque."
● On Bob's 1942 draft registration card, there are only check marks for "Employer's Name and Address" and "Place of Employment or Business." His 1943 death certificate shows "accountant" at "Miami Fdy. Miamisburg, Ohio," but "20 yr. ago" for "Date deceased last worked at this occupation."
● Bob's death record in ~f's database spells his mother's maiden name "Fuchner," but the original death certificate has Wuechner.
● An Ohio County Burths record in ~f states that "Edward J. Ludeke" was born Jul. 6, 1890 to "Augustus Ludeke" and "Louisa Weichner."
● Ed's obituary said he was employed by the Champion Paper mill from Nov. 6, 1910 to Aug. 1, 1958; also that, like his brother Bob, he was active in the Hamilton Elks Lodge.
● On Ed and Cathryn's marriage certificate, the bride's birthplace is Alexandria KY and her occupation is "paper assorter." They were married by Rev. F. B. Weil (or Veil).
● Cathryn Ludeke's death was recalled in the Jun. 20, 1931 Evening Journal's "10 Years Ago Today" column.
● Evelyn aka Evelin(e) and Lillian Heine had several younger siblings: Mary E. Heine (born 1901, married Wilbur C. Sloneker in 1924, died before 1974); Edward J. Heine (born c.1904, died before 1974); Louisa M. Heine (born 1906, married Robert Brown in 1928); Antonette D. "Nettie" Heine (born 1909, married Delbert McLaughlin of Greenwood AR); and "Wessel Geo. Antony Heine" (July 2, 1911—Dec. 14, 1911). The family lived at 729 Second Street in 1900, and at 158 Washington St. in 1910 and 1920.
● Lil Heine was a cutter for the Champion paper mill in 1920; "paper cutter" is her occupation on her 1922 marriage certificate. She and Ed were married by Rev. George J. Mayerhoefer, a Catholic priest.
● "Ludeke Edw F (Lillian C)" lived at 121 Park Avenue, Apt. 14 in the Hamilton city directories from 1938 through 1946; at 143 Hueston in 1947, and 423 Millikin in 1951. Ed advanced from clerk to "interviewer" for Champion Paper & Fibre (CP&FCo); Lil was again employed there after World War II.
● A 1910 photo of Park Avenue on Hamilton's west side, featuring "stately, well-maintained older homes," can be found on HAM page 114.
● The 1940 census transcribes Edward F. and Lillian C.'s surname as "Lude??" Both worked 40-hour weeks at the paper mill, Ed making $1920 as a clerk and Lillian $900 as a "cutter-woman"; she had left school after fifth grade, while Ed went on to graduate from high school. Their apartment rental at 121 Park Avenue was $35.
● The Apr. 25, 1895 Daily Republican listed Arbor Day celebrations at local grammar schools, including William Ludeke's recitation of "The Oak Tree."
● An early-1900s photo of the Niles Tool Works factory interior can be found on HAM page 71, along with one of strikers gathered in front of the factory on Oct. 29, 1915: "Niles was a major Hamilton industry and Hamilton a microcosm of growing American industrial might."
● Besides the dates mentioned above, William's sports career made the Daily Democrat on Nov. 28, 1900; Dec. 13, 1900; Mar. 26, 1901; Jun. 15, 1901; and Apr. 28, 1902.
● Since Will and Addie, coming from different religious backgrounds, would not have become acquainted at church or school, the present author speculates whether Addie might have been "baseball mad," like Katie Casey in the original 1908 version of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," and first saw Will playing outfield for the Hamilton Indians.
● In the 1904 directory, "Wm M" works as a clerk at 609 N 3rd.
● Henry Prosper Stemann OFM (Order of Friars Minor) was born Oct. 14, 1874 in Cincinnati. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1898, served as assistant pastor of Louisville's St. Joseph and Hamilton's St. Stephen, then as pastor of Peoria's St. Boniface and Chatham (Ontario)'s St. Joseph. During World War I he was an army chaplain; later pastorates were in Cincinnati, Oldenburg IN, Emporia KS, and Garden Plain KS. He died aged 92 at Cincinnati's St. Francis Hospital on Dec. 30, 1966. (As per ~friars. "Henry Prosper" appears on his World War I draft registration card.)
● The Oct. 14, 1972 Journal News included a photo of the Hooven-Owens-Rentschler Co. baseball team, champions of the Industrial League from 1911 through 1913. Bill Ludeke is seated in the front row. (Hooven-Owens-Rentschler manufactured steam and diesel engines in Hamilton, and was frequently known as "H.O.R." In 1928 it merged with the Niles Tool Works to form the General Machinery Corporation, though still manufacturing diesel engines under the H.O.R. brand. It "supplied many of the power plants for United States submarines and liberty ships during World War II. H.O.R.'s double-acting engines, particularly those of USS Pompano, gained notoriety for their unreliability in the submarine force, where they were nicknamed 'whores.'" (As per Wikipedia.)
● The May 5, 1919 Republican News reported: "Inter-shop games were held at the Fair Grounds Saturday and Sunday between four departments of the Niles plant. With Bill Ludeke on the mound[,] the office boys beat the fitters 13 to 12 in a grand swatfest." Bill was placed on the Industrial League's arbitration committee in 1926, 1928, and 1930.
● Some details about Carl Weilman (1889-1924) were taken from ~baseball/weilman, which reports he was "one of the tallest pitchers of his time, standing 6'5½."
● Will Ludeke's purchase of Lot 87 appeared in the Butler County Democrat's classifieds on June 19 and 26, 1902; his future mother-in-law's purchases appeared back on Nov. 21, 1891 and Jan. 16, 1892.
● See Chapter L-4 re: Will and Addie Ludeke's address on Vine Street.
Louise and Charles Eisel
● Astronaut Donn F. Eisele, who flew on Apollo 7, was born in Columbus OH.
● ~schmitt and ~henn says Michael F. Eisel's wife was named Martha Brooks; ~greenwood shows "Mary" as Michael's wife and Charles F.'s mother; Charles's death record in ~f says his mother was Mary Brucks; ~schumacher shows all these variations, plus "Marie Brick." She is not recorded in Greenwood burials as either Mary or Martha.
● Charles and Louisa were married by the Rev. Otto Gustav Heinsch.
● If Sarah "Isle" (born circa 1837) was Michael F. Eisel's daughter, why did she not appear with the "Isells" in the 1850 census? As for George "Isell" (born circa 1835), there are two or three possible future traces in Ohio and Maryland, but none with sufficient data to verify identity.
● The 1870 census says Charles F. Eisel was born in Ohio rather than Germany.
● The Hamilton Examiner for June 11, 1874 reports that "The Second National Bank has awarded the contract for their new building, to M. F. Eisel & Sons for $12,000... The way this bank 'slings' money around begets a suspicion that its directors have got a loan of the Washington machine for making 'graybacks.'"
● Hamilton Republican articles on Aug. 17-18, 1894 and Apr. 3, 1895 tell of a lawsuit between Martin Seifert, executor for the late Gabriel Huber, and Michael F. Eisel aka Eisle. This involved appraisement of real estate and "water rent under a certain lease" owed to the Hamilton & Rossville Hydraulic Company.
● Michael F. Eisel's 1880 occupation as "S.D. & Blind Manf." is actually entered on the line above his—belonging to four-year-old Charly Gfroerer (or so the surname is transcribed).
● In the 1880 census, Louisa Ludeke Eisel's first name is spelled "Leuesea," as is her eldest child's; while her brother August's wife's name was spelled "Leuisia" in the same census.
● The Aug. 4, 1894 Daily Republican reported that the German Benevolent Society was celebrating its 55th anniversary; of its charter members, only "Mike Eisel" was still living.
● Business ads for "CHAS. F. EISEL" frequently ran in Hamilton newspapers. An example from the Oct. 5, 1910 Evening Journal: "Miami Planing Mills, dealer in Lumber, Lath, Shingles, etc., Sash, Doors, Blinds and Mouldings. Sawing and Planing done to order. Office [at] Dayton and Monument Ave."
● "The personal goods and chattels belonging to the estate of Charles F. Eisel, deceased" were put up for sale in April 1912. "Said property includes a lot of lumber, sash, doors, window and door frames, window blinds, window glass, builders' mill work, lot of glass. Dry shed, planing mill machinery, including mortisers, planers, rip, cross, and band saws, wood worker, etc., etc." (as per the Apr. 5, 1912 Evening Journal). This evidently led to a family breach; two years later son Charles M. Eisel, plaintiff, was engaged in a lawsuit against his sister Sophia Deutschman "et. al.," defendants (mentioned by the Apr. 8-13, 1914 Evening Journals).
● The Mar. 6, 1935 Hamilton Daily News Journal's "Here and There" column asked, "Do You Remember when Charles F. Eisel, contractor, builder and manufacturer of sash, doors and blinds, had a plant at North Monument avenue and Dayton street?"
The Eisel Children
● All but one of ~greenwood's records for the Eisel children show "Charles" as their father's name, but vary on their mother's. Charles [Jr.] and Etta have "Charlotte Ludeke Eisel"; William has "Charlotte (Ludeke)"; Caroline and Infant Son have "Louisa"; Birdie has simply "L." (Sophia has "Elizabeth Eisel" in ~greenwood and "Elizabeth Leudke" in ~f; while Frederick's record lists his grandparents, Michael F. and Mary, as his parents.)
● An undated (early 20th Century?) photo of five Eisel sisters—Sophia, Louise, Augusta, Minnie and Doretta—can be viewed at ~eisels-sisters.
● In the 1900 census, Louise G. [Eisel] Henn lived with husband Jacob, a salesman, and daughters Gertrude and Margaret at 428 North Ninth in Hamilton's 5th Ward; Jacob's parents John Henn and Magdaline Henn and sister Lena Henn lived next door at #432. Jacob's death date and place were found in ~a's database of Indiana deaths.
● The birthdates of Louise's daughters Gertrude and Marguerite were confirmed via ~a's Social Security Applications and Claims Index; their death dates via ~g (both sisters buried at Evansville's Locust Hill Cemetery). ~schumacher added that Gertrude married Julius Schuttler (1881-1914: a factory bookkeeper who died of tuberculosis) on Nov. 25, 1908; while Marguerite married Henry Philip Schlimmer (1892-1951: a railroad clerk/accountant) on Aug. 17, 1915; they had four children.
● In the 1900 and 1910 censuses, Sophia [Eisel] Deutschman (transcribed "Dieutschman" in 1900) lived with husband Frank, a house painter, and daughter Irma at 17 High Street in Hamilton's Second Ward. In 1910 they shared this house with Sophia's father Charles, her sister Doretta, and their brothers Fred and William. By 1920 Frank and Sophia moved to 519 South Third, down the street from Sophia's sister Etta McClung at #513; the Deutschmans have an Irish-born roomer named Shea (first name unclear). By 1930, Frank J. and Sophia shared 1018 Tiffin Avenue with Irma and her family: husband Willard S. Bovard (1895-1937: a millwright at a paper mill) and daughters "Maratha J." aka Martha Joan Bovard (born 1927; correctly named in the 1940 census) and twins Marilyn Bovard (1928-1985) and Carolyn Bovard (born 1928). By 1940, the widowed Irma was head of the 1018 Tiffin household, living with her three daughters—plus parents Frank and Sophia.
● Irma Deutschman Bovard's vitals were taken from ~a's Social Security Death Index; she died aged 102 in Grove City PA. The shortlived Carl F. Deutschman's vitals came from ~greenwood, which spells his name Deutschmann (but gives "F." and "S." as his parents's initials).
● Irma's twins Marilyn and Carolyn Bovard graduated from Hamilton High School in 1946; in their yearbook, Marilyn was described as "quiet but nevertheless noticeable" and Carolyn as "just as sweet as her twin."
● The names of Minnie and Gussie/Gusta/Augusta Eisel often appeared in the Daily Republican's society pages during 1894-95: e.g. their "most delightful and unique party" where friends, after being "generously welcomed by the hostesses," were "given hats, bits of lace, ribbon and flowers and they proceeded to trim an Easter bonnet. Ed Steffe received the first prize, a silk tie, for being the most accomplished milliner, while Charles Schweinfest was consoled with a booby prize for his manly but difficult attempt" (Apr. 4, 1895).
● In the 1900 census, Minnie [Eisel] Steinle lived with husband Valentine, a foreman painter, and baby son Howard in Winton Place Village, Millcreek Township, Hamilton County OH. By 1910 they (including daughter Jessica) were living on Edgewood Avenue in Cincinnati, where Val was a varnish salesman. Ten years later, son Howard was working as a soap factory laborer. In 1930 he was gone from the parental home; Val painted public buildings and owned the house on Edgewood (valued at $15,000), while daughter "Justa C." was a music teacher in public school. Howard's vitals were taken from his World War I draft registration card and the Florida Death Index, both found at ~a; he died in Polk County FL.
● Jessica Steinle married Richard Douty Reekie MD (born c.1900) and had two children, Donna Reekie (born c.1935) and Richard James Reekie (1939-1998): as per ~reekie and the 1940 census. In 1935 the Reekies lived in Ann Arbor MI, as did Jessica's widowed mother Minnie; by 1939 all had moved to Spokane, in Dr. Richard's native state of Washington. Richard and Jessica remained in Spokane for the rest of their lives; as did Minnie, according to ~steinle/dolfen and ~springgrove/minnie, which provided her birth and death dates.
● The Aug. 5, 1960 Spokane Spokesman-Review (viewable at Google News Archive) reported that "On July 30 a daughter, Karen Marie, was born to Mr. and Mrs. W. Peyton Greenough. She [Karen Marie's mother] is the former Donna Reekie. Mrs. Richard D. Reekie is [sic: Jessica had died in 1954] the baby's grandmother and Mrs. Minnie Steinle the great-grandmother."
● ~schmitt and ~henn call the Eisels's eldest son "Charles F. Eisel Jr.," but the middle initial "M." appears both in censuses and ~a's Ohio Deaths. ~schumacher gives the correct full name.
● Like his father and uncle, Charles M. Eisel married a Louisa/Louise. Her maiden name is Reiner in ~greenwood but "Reimer" on her daughter's death record. In the 1900 census, house carpenter Charles lived at 518 North Sixth Street in Hamilton's 5th Ward with wife Louise and baby Melva. In the 1910 census Melva's name appeared as "Melba," but ~f's database of Ohio Marriages confirms that Melva Marie Eisel married Robert Evans Wheelright on Feb. 21, 1918; ~a's database of Ohio deaths provides Melva's vitals. By 1920 Charles and Louise were alone at North Sixth; Charles's occupation was carpenter/house builder. In 1930 they owned a house valued at $6,000 in Ross Township, Butler County OH, and still lived there in 1940. The Wheelrights and their two sons lived in Butler County OH's Ross Township in 1940; both Robert and Melva would be buried at Greenwood.
● In the 1920 census, Augusta L. [Eisel] "Brockard" and husband Charles, a steel mill foreman, lived on Ohio Street in Wheeling WV. By 1930 they moved to Steubenville OH, where Charles worked in a steel mill's coupling shop; the Brockardts had a lodger named Vernon Moon, laborer at the steel mill. In 1940 they lived on Sunset Boulevard—though in Cross Creek Township, Jefferson County OH, where Charles was again a steel mill foreman.
● "Fred Eisel, who was somewhat hard of hearing[,] was run down by a C. H. & D. train near Williamsdale, and was killed," appeared in the May 1, 1926 Evening Journal's "10 Years Ago Today" column. A lengthier and more lurid account was offered by the May 4, 1916 Butler County Democrat: "FRED EISEL IS KILLED... [he] was found dead along the C. H. & D. railroad track... with both legs broken below the knees, a cut to his face, his scalp torn and skull fractured... Fred Eisel was somewhat hard of hearing and it is presumed that he did not hear the approach of the train which hit and killed him... He had a number of relatives, one being a sister, Mrs. Doretta McClung, wife of Fire Marshal Charles McClung, who is much grieved at the sad end of her brother. How the accident occurred may never be fully explained."
● ~schmitt and ~henn say Etta Eisel's first name was "Donetta"; but "Doretta" appears in ~schumacher, the 1910 census (when she worked as a private nurse), ~f's 1916 marriage record, the 1920 and 1940 censuses, and ~a's database of Ohio deaths. In 1920 Etta and Charles lived at 513 South Third Street (where a party noted in Chapter L-4 took place). By 1930 Charles had retired from the Hamilton Fire Department, but the McClungs had a fireman lodger named John Ketter. In 1940 the widowed Doretta's home was worth $3000.
● ~miamivalley/mcclung's 1919 minibiography of Charles W. McClung says he was born in 1857 on a farm in Liberty Township, Butler County OH, the son of Methodist minister John McClung and wife Elizabeth McClung. (John came from the Maryland branch of the far-flung McClung family.) Charles worked as a farmer till 1891, then as a butcher for six years in Bethany OH. He joined the Hamilton "fire laddies" as a driver in 1897, was promoted to captain in 1903, to marshal in 1905, and department chief on Jan. 15, 1918. Mention is made of his marriage to "Doretta Eisel, daughter of the late Chas. F. Eisel, one of Hamilton's leading business men."
● When Doretta married him, Charles W. McClung was a two-time (grass?) widower. He married first wife Valarah Beatty (born July 20, 1858) c.1878; she was the mother of Lulu Hope McClung (born July 14, 1880: graduated with Frieda Ludeke in Hamilton High School's Class of 1898) and Webster Dyke McClung (born Sep. 11, 1886). In 1900 the four of them lived at 519 South Fourth Street. By 1910 mother and children were gone (see next Note) and Charles had been married for five years to Hattie [surname?]; they lived at 206 Charles Street. Hattie died Sep. 27, 1913. Third wife Etta seems to have had a rejuvenating effect on Charles: in the 1920 census his age slipped by two years, to 60 instead of 62; by 1930 it had only advanced to 63.
● Valarah Beatty McClung, aged 57, married George Bicker on Mar. 4, 1916, according to ~f; presumably post-divorce. She died as Mrs. Bicker on Aug. 17, 1919. Her daughter Lulu McClung married Harry G. Emerick on Nov. 27, 1901. Lulu and son Marion Emrick aka Myron Emrick (born c.1904) lived with mother Valorah and brother Webster in Hamilton's 1910 census; both Valorah and Lulu were listed as "widowed," but "Lulu H.M. Emrick" appeared in the 1920 Columbus OH census as divorced (working as a stenographer for a plumbing contractor). She should not be confused with a Lulu May Emrick, also born c.1880, but as an Emrick and in West Virginia.
● In the 1920 census, Sophia Eisel Deutschman's father was born at "High Sea"; Doretta Eisel McClung's paternal birthplace was simply "Hesse."
● Youngest son William Eisel appeared as one-month-old "Baby" in the 1880 census. In 1900 he worked as a plumber. In 1910 still lived with his father Charles F., sister Doretta and brother Fred; both he and Fred were house carpenters that year. His 1917 draft registration card spelled his middle name "Lewis," said he was born May 11, 1880—awfully soon after Doretta's Nov. 1879 birth—and was employed by Beckett Paper Co.; his sister Sophia (Mrs. Frank Deutschmann) was his nearest relative. By 1920 William was a lodger at 124 Monument Avenue North and works as a laborer in a paper mill. His 1930 whereabouts are uncertain; he moved to Fayette County IN by 1935, and on to Brookville, Franklin County IN by 1940, when he worked as a farm hand. William's 1942 World War II draft registration card showed a more-likely-looking birthdate of May 11, 1881.
● Under "Local Happenings," the Dec. 24, 1887 Daily Democrat callously reported: "The three-year-old child of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Eisel, of the Third Ward, died this morning." (This alongside "A lot of spoiled fruit was offered for sale this morning in the market," and notice of a meeting by the Water Works's Board of Trustees.) The age and dates of the unnamed, ungendered child match Bertha Eisel's in ~schmitt, ~henn, and ~schumacher; ~greenwood shows her buried as "Birdie" Eisel.
● ~schmitt and ~henn give Charles and Louise another daughter, Elizabeth Eisel, with no other data; ~greenwood says she died Sep. 20, 1881, daughter of "H.I." and "C." Eisel. ~greenwood identifies this couple as Henry F. Eisel (circa 1854—1926) and Catherine Eisel (circa 1859—1932). The 1900 census says Henry emigrated from Germany in 1875; 1920's census says 1878; while ~greenwood says the German-born Elizabeth Eisel was 9 months old when she died in 1881.
● Louise Ludeke Eisel's birthday party appeared on "WOMAN'S WORLD: Where Hamiltonians are and who Hamiltonians are Entertaining—The Latest Society Gossip—Teas, Dinners and Parties—A Page of Matter Especially Prepared for our Lady Readers." (Besides the usual announcements, there was also a small article on "Danger in Hammocks... In one case death itself was the result of what would seem to be the most harmless of play, a young girl being swung violently out of the net and hitting her head against the post of the veranda.")
Rachel and the Petersons
● The Oct. 3, 1892 Daily Republican's mention of Louis Peterson's visit to the Eisels appears directly below "Mrs. Gus Latterner and son Stanley of Middletown will spend next week with Mrs. C. Wuechner."
● ~f's database of Ohio deaths says Isaac H. Peterson was born 1809 in Warren County OH; he lived in Hamilton, Butler County, from at least 1840 to his death on Feb. 20, 1883. The 1880 census said Isaac's father was born in New Jersey and his mother in Maryland, with no indication that the Petersons originally hailed from Sweden.
● Besides Isaiah, Isaac and Caroline had a son named John W. Peterson. He was born c.1841; married Mary S. Thompson in 1869 in Mason County KY; worked as a Hamilton OH artist in 1860, a Hamilton OH police officer in 1880, and as a watchman at the Washington DC Treasury Building in 1910. He had a daughter Mabel C. Peterson (born c.1875) who married Solomon A. Smith of Indiana. In 1880 Isaac Peterson and Mary's father Joseph Thompson, both widowers, lived with John's family.
● In the 1850s, another member of Isaac Peterson's household was an individual born c.1838, who appeared as Frances M. Bowens (male) in 1850 and Francis Bowers (female) in 1860.
● "Rachel L. Ludiker" and Isaiah Peterson were married by "Rev. Wm. MacMillan" (or some other variation on that handwritten name).
● Laura Reuter Peterson's 1876 birthdate was taken from ~f's database of Ohio deaths; the 1900 census showed "Sep. 1877."
● Marjorie Louise Peterson's middle name was taken from ~f's database of Ohio marriages (which says her mother's maiden name was "Louise Margaret Reuten.") Marjorie's middle initial was "G" in the 1910 census and "P" in ~f's database of Ohio deaths.
● Laura Peterson and Marjorie Booth's death records were found in ~f; Lou Peterson's came from ~a.
● LeRoy (Roy) B. Peterson served in Machine Gun Company 1 of the Ohio National Guard during World War I, discharged with the rank of sergeant; as per ~a's database of "Ohio Soldiers in WWI."
● Roy B. Peterson of Washington DC (born Aug. 8, 1897 in Cincinnati) left Southampton for New York on the Europa on Dec. 11, 1945, arriving on Dec. 17th; as per ~a's database of New York Passenger Lists. Where and when he died has not been discovered; ~g does not show him as buried with wife Maidee in Prattville AL's Oak Hill Cemetery.
● While working a restaurant employee in Aurora IN, "Wm. Lester Peterson" registered for the draft in 1917; as per ~a. (His name was "Leslie" in the 1900-10 censuses, and "William L." in 1920's.) According to ~tree/cannon-reno, William Lester Peterson married Mary Alta Reno (1898-1987) and had three children; he died in St. Petersburg FL aged 91 on June 21, 1987.
● ~g related that Charles A. Peterson worked as a spindle carver; his death "was a accident involving an Aurora [Indiana] city hose, resulting in a cranial fracture." His adopted brother Edwin's ~g entry states he was "the son of Charles and Bertha Dares [sic] Peterson"; Edwin married Violet H. Neal (1920-2006) and died in Indianapolis of heart problems.
● Apart from the 1910 census, nothing has been found concerning Charles and Bertha Peterson's children Earl and Helen.
● Frances "Fannie/Fanny" Boebinger married Fred Becker on Feb. 6, 1907; he died of tuberculosis on Oct. 11, 1916. Frances Becker Peterson died aged 76 on Oct. 31, 1960 and was buried at Walnut Hills Cemetery with both her husbands (as per ~walnuthills).
● ~schumacher, which is authoritative about Louise Ludeke Eisel and her descendants, goes off on several tangents regarding "Rachel (Friedericke) L. Ludeke"—showing her as born in Mecklenberg-Strelitz on Nov. 11, 1836, then living in St. Louis MO in 1860, then dying in Berlin, Germany on June 3, 1868, then resurrected to be living in Penzlin, Germany in 1900. These tangents all lean heavily on the supposition that Rachel was the "Fredericke" who sailed on the Bark Alfred from Bremen to New York in 1851. The 1860 census does show a "Fridericka Ludecke" living in St. Louis, but the head of her household (and father?) is 40-year-old shoemaker Charles Ludecke, who appears to have taken a second wife (29-year-old Louisa Ludecke) and had a son by her (3½-year-old "Louy" Ludecke). Charles and Fridericka both have Mecklenberg-Strelitz as their birthplace; little Louy was born in Missouri.
Proceed to Chapter L-4
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