Ancestor Bio – Louise Lenz (1880-1949)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-35
by Don Taylor

Louise Lenz was a true Chicagoan.  She was born in Chicago, grew up in Chicago, married a Chicagoan in Chicago, had five children in Chicago and she died in Chicago. She is buried just outside of Chicago in Fairmount-Willow Hills Memorial Park.  

Durand–Wilhelm 2018 – Ancestor #7

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Louise Lenz
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Ferdinand J. Lenz
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: William Lenz

Birth

Louise was (probably) the fifth of nine children of the Immigrants Ferdinand J and Lena Schwartz Lenz. All of the children of Ferdinand and Lena were born in Illinois, and most probably in Chicago.

The eight siblings of Louise included three that were older, William (b. 1870-71), Mary Minnie (b. 1872), and Emilia/Emma (b. 1877). Her four younger siblings were Millie (b. 1882), Herman (b. 1886), Annie/Anna (b. 1890), and Joseph (b. 1894). The final sibling’s name and sex is unknown. There is a gap of five years between the births of Mary and Emma so that is the most likely birth period for this child. If so, she must have died before the 1880 census.

Childhood

One of the most significant events of Louise’s late childhood was when she was 19 and 20, the Chicago River’s flow was reversed from flowing into Lake Michigan to flowing away from it into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, to the Des Plaines River and west to the Mississippi River. This allowed for Lake Michigan water, the source for Chicago drinking water, to clean up.

The 1900 Census found Louise living with her parents and four younger siblings at 1319 West 50th Street, about a mile and a half south of the South Fork of the Chicago River. Her father was a day laborer as was she.  The house the family was renting is no longer present and is a vacant lot with some trees.

Marriage & Children

Louise married Jacob Frederick Wilhelm on 18 March 1903, the year that the Chicago White Stockings became the Chicago Cubs. The Wilhelm’s had five children:

NameBornMarriedDied
Elizabeth04 Jan 1904Harold WoolrichUnk.
Dorothy Amanda10 Jul 1907Richard Earl Durand1973
Edward Clarence20 Oct 19111996
Robert Louis29 Oct 1923Merla [LNU]2006
Lois M.21 May 1927Charles Jordan1987

There is a twelve-year gap between the births of Edward and Robert, however, I have not found any evidence that Louise had additional children during that time.

Adulthood

The 1910 Census finds the Wilhelm couple owned the home at 5249 Carpenter Street. Living with Jacob and Louise were their two children, Elizabeth and Dorothy. Also living with them was Jacob’s brother, George. Jacob was a foreman at a packing house and George was a laborer.

By 1918, when Jacob registered for the draft, he was a saloonkeeper at 2901 N. Kedzie Ave and the family lived upstairs of the saloon.

2901 Kedzie Ave. Today

The 1920 Census finds and Jacob and Louise still at 2901 Kedzie. Prohibition began on January 1st, 1920 and saloon became a grocery store. Jacob was a storekeeper, daughter, Elizabeth, was a stenographer. Dorothy and young Edward were attending school. Living at the same address was another family, Theresa Jansmiller, a widow, with her two older sons, Walter and Alfred (ages 22 and 19).

The 1930 Census still finds Jacob and Louisa at 2901 Kedzie with three of their children, Edward, Robert, and Lois.  The property owner, Dora Leicht, along wither her daughter, Elsie, were living there also. Additionally, two other families were living there, Nilsien Granland, with his grandchildren Clifford and Fern, and a Ruth Pierson with her “partner,” Hattie Rick. “Partner” was lined out and “Lodger” added instead.

In 1940, the Wilhelm’s were still at 2901 Kedzie. Robert and Lois were still at home. Elsie Leicht is now the owner and Edward Parquetta, with his wife and three children made another household and Elizbeth Jarger with her daughter made another household. Jacob is still a store keeper of a retail grocery that he owns.

Louise’s husband, Jacob, died on 23 June 1943 at the age of 67. He and Louise were living at 2938 N. Sawyer Ave., which is about a block and a half away from 2901 Kedzie.

Death & Burial

Louise (Lenz) Wilhelm died nearly six years later, on 17 March 1949. She was living in an apartment at 2648 North Hoyne Ave, which is along the banks of the North Branch of the Chicago River. She was interned at Fairmount Cemetery (Now Fairmount-Willow Hills Memorial Park) in Willow Spring, Illinois. She was survived by her five children, and seven grandchildren.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • I have a Find-a-Grave photo request outstanding for Louise’s marker. Incorporate that image if it becomes available

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Sources

  • Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994, Family Search, Louise Wilhelm – 17 Mar 1949. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2M4-5BWR.
  • “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSQ5-T2G : accessed 17 August 2018), Ferdinand Lenz, Precinct 24 Lake town Chicago city Ward 30, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 913, sheet 16A, family 301, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,282.
  • United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MK8Q-56T : accessed 1 May 2016), Jacob Wilhelm, Chicago Ward 29, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1281, sheet 15A, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,288.
  • S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Ancestry.Com, Jacob Fredrick Wilhelm. Registration State: Illinois; Registration County: Cook; Roll: 1613896; Draft Board: 64.
  • “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJQY-D31 : accessed 1 May 2016), Jacob Wilhelm, Chicago Ward 27, Cook (Chicago), Illinois, United States; citing sheet 7B, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,340.
  • “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJQY-D31 : accessed 1 May 2016), Jacob Wilhelm, Chicago Ward 27, Cook (Chicago), Illinois, United States; citing sheet 7B, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,340.
  • 1930 Census (NARA), Com, 1930 Census – Jacob Wilhelm – Chicago, Cook, Illinois. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census.
  • “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KW1F-5CX : accessed 1 May 2016), Jacob Wilhelm, Ward 33, Chicago, Chicago City, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 103-2062, sheet 2B, family 64, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 987.
  • “Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQPK-RR8 : accessed 1 May 2016), Jacob F. Wilhelm, 23 Jun 1943; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,953,885.
  • “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2M4-5BWR : 17 May 2016), Louise Wilhelm, 17 Mar 1949; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference, record number, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm.
  • Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), Com, 1949-03-19, Page 12 – Wilhelm, Louise. Newspapers.com.

Ancestor Sketch – Deborah Buel Maben

Brown/Sanford/Parsons/Maben Line
52 Ancestors – Week 2018-29
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Like many of my ancestors, Deborah Buel Maben, was a pioneer wife. She was born, raised, and married in eastern New York (Greene County). After she married she headed west with her husband to Michigan Territory. She was there when Michigan become a state. She passed away and was buried in Benton, Washtenaw County, Michigan, in the land she and her family settled.

Continue reading “Ancestor Sketch – Deborah Buel Maben”

Schools I’ve Attended – Chapman College & Chaminade

My Life
Those Places Thursday
By Don Taylor

USS Kitty Hawk (Official Navy Photo)

Life aboard the Kitty Hawk didn’t support taking college courses very well. While at sea, my group typically worked 12 and 12. The birthing compartments really didn’t have anything that could be used as a study area. While in port, nobody wanted to do anything except get off the ship, so, it was typical to either be on duty and have a watch or be off the ship. After three and a half years on the Kitty Hawk, I think I only completed two or three courses. They were all part of the PACE – Program for Afloat College Education. The classes I had were sponsored by Chapman College, in Orange, California. Luckily, they all were transferable later on.

After my time aboard the Hawk, I went to a Navy School in Northwest, Virginia which is a tiny town in the southeast part of the state along the North Carolina border, just east of the Great Dismal Swamp. Nineteen weeks of school there prepared me for my next duty station, NAVCAMS EastPac. I arrived there shortly after Naval Communications Station, Honolulu was officially renamed Naval Communication Area Master Station, Eastern Pacific. There I worked in a funny little place we called the “Dinosaur Cage.”

NAVCAMS was a great duty station. It was located in the central valley of Oahu bordering the Eva Forest Reserve. After being on the housing waiting list for a few weeks, I was able to bring my wife and son to live with me in a Navy Housing community called “Camp Stover.” To get to Camp Stover you had to drive through the gate at Wheeler Air Force Base (Now Wheeler Army Air Field) then south through an Air Force housing area to the Naval Housing at Camp Stover. With the small navy base and housing, the larger Wheeler Air Force Base, and the huge Schofield Barracks across Kunia Road, there were many opportunities to take college courses. Chaminade University in Honolulu sponsored the classes and with a stable work environment, I was able to take quite a few courses, both lower and upper division. My lower division classes, such as Marine Biology and Oceanography, transferred to Anoka-Ramsey Community College. My upper division classes, such as Philosophy of Law, 430, later transferred to Metropolitan State University.

The most difficult class I had in college was through Chaminade. It was “American National Government.” For the final, the professor handed everyone two blue books to write our answers in and told us to let him know if we needed more. The test only had ten questions. I’ll remember that first question forever. “The office of the president of the United States consists of 12 major functions. Explain those functions and how they came to be either through law or tradition. Yes, the rest of the questions were like that too. I pretty much filled my two blue books and had to turn in my books when he called “Time.” I left feeling like I might have passed, but probably not. My hand was sore and cramping after two hours of writing when I left. Luckily, I did pass; I so didn’t want to have to retake that class.

After my three years in Hawaii, I decided to leave the Navy after 10 years/10 months active duty and return home to Minnesota. There I would make use of the GI Bill.

Today, the Kitty Hawk is decommissioned and destined to be scrapped. There is some activity to try to make it a museum ship. I would like to see that happen, but I doubt it will. The Kitty Hawk was the last of the aircraft carriers to run on oil and is one of the last two carriers that could be made into a museum. I understand that nuclear carriers are not candidates to become museums due to the destructive dismantling necessary to remove their reactors.

The Northwest, Virginia base has been renamed and is now the “Naval Support Activity Norfolk, Northwest Annex.” The equipment I was trained there to work on is long gone.

The base in Hawaii is repurposed and renamed. Google Earth shows that the equipment I worked on there is also long gone. (Although, it appeared some of it was still there in 2002 when I last visited Hawaii.)

Although I never took classes on the Chapman College campus, I look at it as the place I began my college education. Chapman College became Chapman University in 1991 and is highly ranked among master’s level universities in the west.[i]

I only one class on the Chaminade campus. There was a Marine Biology class that required lab work and labs for the class were on campus. The campus was only about 25 miles away from the base. All of the lectures were in Wahiawa. While I attended Chaminade it added graduate programs and changed its name from Chaminade College to Chaminade University.[ii]


ENDNOTES

[i] Wikipedia: Chapman University – Rankings and titles. History https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapman_University#Rankings_and_titles.

[ii] Wikipedia: Chaminade University of Honolulu History https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaminade_University_of_Honolulu#History.

The 1820 Census and Robert Maben

Brown/Sanford/Parsons/Maben
Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Following families through the pre-1850 Census is always a challenge. I was researching my 4th great-grandmother, Deborah Buel Maben. She married in 1824 and I’ve been able to follow her through her husband in the census records during her married life. I began working to find evidence of her in the 1820 Census. I knew she was married in Greene County, New York and I quickly found what appeared to be her father, Robert Maben (Mabin in the census Record).

Next, I mapped the family out with what I believed I knew about the family. Do the children I know about fit the Census record?

1820 Census – Robert Mabin [Maben]

Robert Mabin   2 1 1 1 1 – 2 2 – 1 –

<  10               = 2      Presumed to be Addison T,. Age 3
Presumed to be John, Age 9
10-16             = 1      Unknown Child –
16-18             = 1      Presumed to be James, Age 17
16-26             = 1      Duplicate of above person (James)
26-45             = 1      Presumed to be Robert Maben, Age 39
Over 45 –

<  10               = 2      Presumed to include Mary E. Maben, Age 5
Presumed to include Electa Maben, Age 2 months.
10-16             = 2      Presumed to Include Deborah Buel Maben, Age 15
Presumed to Include Sarah, Age 13
16-26 –
26-45             = 1      Presumed to be Electa, Age 38
Over 45 –

In this case, every child I know about appears to be enumerated along with Robert Maben and his wife, Electa, fit the age ranges given in the census. Now, I’m confident that the Maben family was in Lexington, Green County, New York in 1820.

And what so often happens with records, there are new questions. Who is the unknown male child from 10 to 16 years of age? I know of no child in the Maben family who fits that criteria. Could this be a cousin, an adoptee, or a child of Robert and Electa? I don’t know yet, but it will definitely cause me to keep an eye out for other records that suggest another child.

A child between 10 and 16 in 1820 had to have been born between 1803 and 1810.

  • James was born in 1803
  • Deborah in 1805
  • Sarah in 1807 and
  • John in 1811.

The only gap in that series is 1809. So, I suspect this unknown boy living in the household of Robert Maben is a heretofore unknown son. I’ve added him to my tree as a hypothesis with the above information. It is certainly possible that this person is possibly some other and I will keep that possibility in mind.

So many possibilities exist. Another one revolves around Robert & Electa’s eighth known child, Charles B. Maben.  It is possible I have his birthdate wrong and he was really born much earlier than the 1824 date, I have for his birth.

On to the 1810 Census….

 

Navy Education

Schools I’ve Attended

My Life
Those Places Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Grace-Lee Products, Inc

After I graduated from high school, I moved to Northeast Minneapolis and got a job at Grace-Lee Products, Inc., 1414 Marshall Avenue in Minneapolis. They manufactured and packaged industrial chemicals. My job was to move 55-gallon drums of chemicals from one place to another. Grace-Lee was a dangerous place to work, but it paid reasonably well for unskilled labor. I recall that a drum of caustic potash (Potassium hydroxide) accidentally opened and the powder came up into the person’s face. He lost an eye and I realized this was an extremely hazardous place to work. Shortly after that, Honeywell hired me to work in their Golden Valley plant.

Honeywell

At Honeywell, I worked in the paint department racking and stacking thermostat rings to go through the paint booth then taking them off the fixture and packaging them. Those thermostats haven’t changed much since 1968 when I work there. I knew that I didn’t want to follow my step-father to be an assembly-line painter, so I decided to join the Navy. I enlisted under a 120-day deferment program where I enlisted in September, saving me from the draft but not going active duty until January, after the holidays.

A-School

Me on barracks steps c. 1969 (This barracks was torn down several weeks after this.)

After Boot Camp, I was enticed to sign a “promissory to extend” in order to go to “A” School and learn a trade. I agreed to do so and went to about a year of electronics training, first eight weeks in San Diego, then 42 weeks at Treasure Island (San Francisco). I was in a really smart class. Nearly everyone in my class received very high grades. After school, your next duty station depended upon where you placed in your class.  I think I was 8th in a 20, so I knew I was going to sea. After I realized that, I took an administrative assignment for a few weeks, which put me into another class. In that new class, I was number one. As number one in the class, I was able to select the best duty station offered–a tour at Boardman Bombing Range, Boardman Oregon. Two years in Oregon sounded great, so I took it.  I thought, “Hopefully the Viet Nam war would be over by the time my duty in Oregon was complete.” No such luck.

Boardman Bombing Range, Boardman, Oregon

QM56 – M56 with gun removed, remote control radio tower and reflector screens installed

In Oregon, I was a bomb spotter most of the time. I worked on transmitters and receiver equipment used to talk with the aircraft doing their bombing runs. Also, the base had M56 90MM Mobile Guns that had their gun removed and then converted to remote control. We would operate them remotely as mobile targets for the aircraft to bomb. In both cases, the electronics seldom broke down, so time was spent on preventative maintenance and repairing the mobile targets. I had no formal training or education while at Boardman.

CTMS – Cryptographic Technical Maintenance School, Mare Island (Vallejo. California

KY-8 – photo courtesy NSA, NSA Museum

After two years in Oregon, it was time for sea duty, and I received orders to the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). On my way there I was sent to CTMS Mare Island (Vallejo, California) and attended a “C” school for eight weeks. There I learned to the KY-8, shipboard crypto equipment used on ships for secure voice communications with aircraft. It was a challenging class (understanding how crypto works can be a challenge) at a big building with no windows on Mare Island.

These Navy schools did what I was hoping for. I learned the basics of a vocation, electronics maintenance and repair, that gave me the fundamentals of electronics that carried me through the rest of my life. Navy Schools were a great beginning, but I wanted more. The USS Kitty Hawk and the Program for Afloat College Education would help me further my education.