Project Drexl 2017
By Don Taylor
I decided to go back and document the first person in my Drexl project, Florence Lillian Drexl. Florence was born in Minnesota, grew up in Missouri. She married in Missouri, divorced, and went to California during World War II. There she met Harry Darling and married him. The couple moved to Michigan raised two kids and divorced. Some time later, Florence married a third time who remained her husband until her death in 1996.
Florence Lillian Drexl[i] was born at 3:45 p.m., on 04 Apr 1920 in St. Paul Hospital, in St Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota.[ii] She was the fourth child of Nicholas E. Drexl and Hedwig Frances Stoeger.[iii]
Her three older siblings were Clarence Nick Theodore6 (15 years older), Raymond F (11 years older), and Marie (3 years older).
In the 1930 Census, Florence was living with her father and mother, her brother Clarence with his wife, Ruth, their son Donald, and her sister, Marie at 2425 Coleman Street in St. Louis.[iv] Her 21-year-old brother, Raymond, had moved out of the home by then. Today, 2425 Coleman is vacant.
Florence completed the 8th grade, probably about 1934.
On May 6th, 1936, the 16-year-old Florence took out a marriage license to marry Carl Starbeck. I presume they married because they were living as husband and wife by the 1940 Census.
The 1940 Census shows the young couple (Carl was 26 and Florence was 20) living 3608 South Compton Ave., St. Louis. Carl was a machinist at H+H Shops earning 1900 per year. [v] Florence was keeping house. Today, 3608 South Compton is boarded up.
It is not clear how or why Florence and Carl Starbeck separated. However, by 1944 Florence was in San Diego, California, where she married Robert Harry Darling. Robert was the son of Rufus Harry Darling and Hannah McAllister.
The couple had two children. First a daughter, who is living and then a son, who is also living.
In 1957, Florence and Robert were living at 19628 Salisbury,[vi] which was a small basic single family home built in 1955. It is likely they bought the house new. Robert was working in Real Estate at the time.
I’m not sure when Florence and Robert separated, but she married Leland B. Eldridge in 1972.[vii]
Florence and Leland lived in Harrison township, Macomb County, Michigan at 29586 Old North River Rd. from April 1993 until her death on 23 October 1996.[viii]
She was buried in Saint Peter Cemetery, Clinton, Macomb, Michigan.[ix]
She was survived by her husband, Leland, who died in October 1997 and her two children. She was also survived by her brother Raymond. I am not sure of the death date for her sister Marie.
Further Actions / Follow-up
- Investigate property records to determine when Florence and Robert purchased the house at 19628 Salisbury, St. Clair Shores, MI.
- Determine life events for Florence’s sister Marie.
————- DISCLAIMER ————-