Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Pauline Ilg: Brave & Courageous - Part 5

     Pauline and her kids were getting settled into their new normal way of life. Her husband's kids were mostly grown when she came into the picture, so they all didn't live with their dad. In 1910, only one of Jacob's kids was living with them. They lived at 509 W Tesson. By now, Pauline's oldest son William was able to work. So there were three incomes being brought into the house. Definitely better circumstances. Jacob was also known as John in many records.

1910 US Federal Census
St. Louis, Missouri

     While on the surface things seemed better, underneath there were some issues. How do I know that? Well about five years later, Pauline and her children were not living with Jacob anymore. Her oldest son William was the only one with steady work, so Pauline and her three other children moved in with him. There is no indication of a divorce, but they surely were not together. Pauline went by her maiden name of Ilg in some records and Jacob went back to being considered a widower. Even on his death certificate from 1938 mentions his previous wife as his spouse. No mention of Pauline. I have some speculations of what happened, but obviously nothing concrete. The only thing that can be said for sure is Pauline and her three youngest sons left Jacob to move in with William at his address of 7923 Virginia Ave.

1917 City Directory
St. Louis, Missouri
7923 Virginia Ave

     In 1917, all of Pauline's sons were finally working it appeared. William was a waiter and his three brothers were all laborers. They were all doing their best to care for their mother so she didn't have to worry anymore. But once again, just as they were getting settled into their new normal, everything was about to get shaken up once again. Did you notice the year? Well on April 6, 1917, the US declared war on Germany, finally drawing the US into The Great War. According to the Selective Service Act, also known as the draft, all men above a certain age were required to register. There would be three drafts in total to call soldiers to fight for their country. William registered for the first draft on June 5, 1917, and waited patiently for the lotto which occurred that same day.
     There were mixed emotions about this. Some were excited about this great adventure. The chance to serve your country. Defend the nation from the enemy. But some were not so excited. They wanted peace. Leaving family behind with the thought of never returning wasn't exactly a joyous idea. And I believe Pauline and her children felt the same way. On William's draft card, he wrote that he is the "sole support of mother" as his reason for being exempt. While it seemed to keep him out of the first round, he wasn't so lucky for the second round. In June of 1918, William's draft number was called.

If you would like to read more about William's life and his experience relating to the war, click here to visit the blog post: 

     Pauline's heart must have sunk when she heard this news. Her oldest son was going to be going off to war. While I'm sure she was proud of him, she was scared to death of losing him. Tragedy had just struck the family again a few months after the first draft. On November 11, 1917, Pauline's second-oldest son, Otto died of Pneumonia. The circumstances surrounding his life was unknown. On his death certificate, it states that he was unable to work so he helped at home. Did he have an accident of some kind? It is unclear at this time. Another child gone... All she has left is William, Joseph, and John. Now William is being called to war. What was she going to do?
     A month after the draft on July 6, 1918, William was inducted into the United States Army. Just after the Fourth of July Celebration. Would their hometown of Carondelet do anything special before their men were shipped off to war? I'm sure during this time, William had to prepare his two remaining brothers to take over as caregivers to their mother. Since Otto passed away, the next oldest child after William was my 2nd great-grandpa Joseph.
     Before Pauline knew it. the time had come to send her baby away. I'm sure she hugged him like she was never going to see him again. She probably told him with tears in her eyes that she would pray for his safety. She would have made him stand in the bright light so she could gaze upon his face one more time. She wanted to take in every inch of his face that she could. He would have told her he would write the soonest chance he got. William would have taken a train from Union Station in downtown St. Louis. So he packed up his gear. gave one last hug to his mother and left. He was off to serve his country.
     Soon after William left, the draft was ready to call more numbers. This time, the two sons that were left behind would have to register. Here we go again she must have thought. Although Joseph had a birth defect that kept him from being able to serve. My mother told me he had a sixth toe on the bottom of one of his feet. That caused him to be classified as 4-F. He was safe from going to war. And John was never called. For now, she still had two sons at home, and one serving over there.
     Over the next few months, Pauline would have followed William from his letters that he would send and from the newspaper articles talking about the war. I'm sure she clung to every letter she received. Longing for the day she would hug him in place of those letters. He probably wrote her when he got to Camp MacArthur in Waco, Texas. He may have written to her when he got to New York. Sailing from the same area that Pauline arrived a little over 30 years ago. He also probably wrote to her when he got to France in September 1918. I do know he did write her about his battle in the Argonne Forrest.

Newspaper Archive
St. Louis, Missouri
Dec. 20, 1918

     The battle of the Meuse-Argonne was the final major battle of The Great War which led to a United States Victory. On November 11, 1918, at 11 am the Armistice that was signed went into effect. That's it! The war was over! The celebrations at home began as soon as the Armistice was announced. Parades, dancing, singing, etc. Here is a copy of a newspaper article from the Cardondelet News dated November 15, 1918. I got this copy from the Carondelet Historical Society. It talks about the celebrations going on in Willie's hometown.

     Can you imagine how  Pauline felt, hearing the news? Being woken up in the middle of the night to the sounds of noisemakers, yelling, celebrating, etc. Thinking, “Oh my gosh, my son will be coming home...” That last line in the article really got to me. "Never again will a nation so thoroughly celebrate any occasion unless it is when the two million young American soldiers return to their homes."
     But William would not be among those two million American soldiers returning home. And Pauline wouldn't know about it until over a month later. She finally received a telegram informing her of the death of her oldest son, William Ilg. He was killed instantly on the battlefield during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive on November 8, 1918; just three days before the end of the war. Oh, how she must have cried. She lost another child... She would never hold him again. Would never be able to look upon his face again or hear his voice say, I love you.

     While William was gone, Pauline's youngest son lived at his place of residence on Virginia Street. Pauline stayed with Joseph at his place located at 229 Courtois. When William died, they all moved in with John at William's old house. The next couple of years were agony for Pauline. They were doing all they could after the war to give the soldiers a proper burial. William was disinterred and reinterred at the Argonne American Cemetery (#1232) in Romagne, Meuse, France in 1919. The government offered to bring soldiers back home to be buried near family, and Pauline took that offer. She wanted her son home. That was going to take some time.

1920 US Federal Census
St. Louis, Missouri

     In early 1920, Pauline, Joseph, and John were still living at 7823 Virginia Street. Joseph, being the oldest, he was the sole support of his mother. I wonder if the pressure got too much for him. Trying to care for his mother. Help her with paperwork for William. Look out for his younger brother. His only escape would be his girlfriend, my great-grandma, Maggie Buer. Well, one thing led to another and she wound up pregnant. So soon after this census was taken, Joseph and Maggie went up to Detroit, Michigan to stay with a relative of Maggie's. On July 23, 1920, Joseph and Maggie were married. She was seven months pregnant in her photo, but you couldn't tell by all the flowers in her lap. They stayed up in Detroit until sometime after my grandma was born in September 1920.
     Pauline was left behind with her last remaining son, John. She was still doing all she could to bring William back home to be buried. While I was researching William Ilg, I came across his burial case file. This file contained documents filled out and signed by Pauline. Original documents that she actually held. I wanted to cry when I held these.
Request to send soldier home

     William was finally shipped home on July 25, 1921. He arrived in St. Louis on October 11, 1921, and was picked up by Joseph Fendler and Son undertaking. They would have a visitation at Fendler Chapel on Michigan Ave in Carondelet, then they would have the funeral itself at St. Boniface Catholic Church. Once the funeral was over, he would be then taken to Mount Olive Cemetery on Lemay Ferry for a proper military funeral. He was buried right next to his brother, Otto.
     William was finally home. By now, Joseph had returned home with his new wife and daughter, my grandma. Pauline had a grandchild! Her first! This photo was probably taken on the day of the funeral for William.

Joseph, Ruth, John, Pauline Ilg

Pauline & Ruth Ilg

     This would be the last photo taken of Pauline. Three years later, Pauline's health took a turn for the worse. She was admitted to St Mary's Infirmary in early 1924. She was having some heart problems and was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. This explains some of the health problems she had in her life, including the partial blindness. Without having actual medical records, it's hard to tell what all they did or what they were trying to do. At some point, the doctors felt that surgery was going to be necessary. They knew her chances of survival were decreasing.

     On March 20, 1924, she would undergo surgery for her condition. Unfortunately, whatever they tried to do, would not work. Pauline's poor body would finally decide it had had enough. On March 24, 1924, at 5:10 am, Pauline went home to be with the rest of her family. Fifty-nine years of ups and downs, tragedies and celebrations, and pain and suffering had come to an end. She was finally at peace. Her official cause of death was listed as Thyroid Toxicarsis and Myocarditis Chronic.

Pauline's Death Certificate
St. Louis, Missouri
March 24, 1924

     She lived such a short life, but it definitely was full. She experienced more during her time here on earth than most people do in a few lifetimes. She lived through the loss of seven of her children and the loss of her first husband. She survived a few depressions, a devastating tornado, and the 1918 Spanish flu. She trekked across her homeland to take a journey to an unknown world to start a new life. She kept her head high, kept pushing forward, and would not give up for the sake of her children.
     Before she passed, she drafted a will on March 1, 1924. They were probably aware of the chances that she would not survive. Based on her life, I am not surprised by the meager possessions she had listed. She barely had anything. But the thing she had listed had me intrigued. As you can see, Joseph was the Executor.
     She was buried a few years later in Mount Olive Cemetery next to her two sons, Otto and William. Fendler & Son Undertakers handled the affairs. The same that handled her two sons. To this day, there is no headstone to mark her grave. The only one of the three buried in that row that has a headstone is William because it was provided by the government. Pauline would not be alive to see it placed as it did not happen until 1931. Later on, her son John, his wife Leona, along with his daughter Anna Marie and her husband were buried right across from Pauline and her two other sons. She is surrounded by her family. When we visit, we always take flowers for everyone along with a Gold Star for Pauline.

Gold Star Mothers
St. Louis & The Great War

     Things are not always what they seem. Lives don't always work out the way we expect. And what we once thought was good, ends up being bad. Pauline's life has been a prime example of taking two steps forward just to take three steps back. Every step she took, every corner she rounded, brought her to new trials and tribulations. Just when you think things are finally looking up, life likes to hit you with a 2x4 to knock you to the ground. But no matter how many times Pauline was knocked over the head, she got back up and fought. She fought for her children. She fought for her life. And even though her life was cut short, she made it the best she could. For without her, I wouldn't be here today. I look at her life and I'm encouraged. I'm encouraged to keep moving forward every day, step by step. And even though life will continue to knock me down, I will get back up. For the same blood that made her strong and courageous runs through me as well. And just like her, I will not give up until it's time for me to be called home. Grandma, I hope I have given your story justice. While I have not learned everything that there is to know yet, I hope what I have learned and shared has made you proud. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for the sacrifices you made so I could be here today. You will never be forgotten again.

We visited her grave in memory of the day she passed away. Watch the video now.
Thank you for reading about my 2nd Great Grandma Pauline Ilg. 

[a]: Ancestry.com
[b]: Newspapers.com
[c]: Newspaper Archive - Missouri Library & Research Center
[d]: St. Louis & The Great War by S. Patrick Allie
[e]: Carondelet Historical Society
[f]: William Ilg: the gone but not forgotten uncle by Jen Rickards
[g]: Missouri Digital Heritage - Missouri Death Certificates
[h]: Substreet - 1920s Janesville Gazette
[i]: Personal photos from Ruth Wheeler
[j]:  National Archives St. Louis
[k]: Personal Knowledge from Maggie Fuchs
[l]: Mayo Clinic - Hyperthyroidism

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

WWAD Wednesday: What to do while quarantined?

     If you are like most people, you are spending a lot more time at home thanks to the outbreak of COVID-19. While it's great to be home, too much of one thing can be, well, too much! You might have kids at home driving you nuts. Your husband or wife might also be getting on your nerves. And how many times can you clean the house from top to bottom? So I pose a question to you. What Would An Addict Do? Genealogy Addict that is. I mean cause that's what we are right? We can't get enough of it. But what if there isn't anything to research right now? *gasp* I know! What do you do? Well for this WWAD Wednesday, I'm going to give you some ideas of what you can do during this time to (hopefully) keep your sanity.

1) Sort & Digitize Family Photos
     Ever since I started doing research in 2012, I've had boxes of photos that I have yet to sort and scan in that belonged to my grandma. So yesterday I decided this would be the perfect time to get started on that. But before I even started scanning, I had to sort my photos. When I got these from my grandma, they were just all thrown into a box. All mixed up. So through the years, I've been slowly sorting by date (or roundabout date if there wasn't any), event, and if they didn't go with anything else by person. I will go into more detail in another post about how I matched up photos with others.
     I shared this idea in our Facebook group Genealogy Addicts Anonymous Dark Room (GAADR). This group is all about genealogy photos from questions to restoration. Lissa DuVall shared a wonderful tip with me. Scan them in according to Archival Standards.
See Image Below:

     If you have hundreds of photos like me, do this in batches. You will get burned out. I saved these photos in a folder naming who gave it to me. So it's in the subfolder Ruth Wheeler in the main folder Collections. Once you do that, go through and add metadata to the photos. Any information you have from names, dates, location, author, etc. If you are unsure how to add metadata, I recommend looking up tutorials based on the software and computer you currently own. There are many different ways. On my windows laptop, there is an option to add properties (or metadata) to files. So that's how I do it.
     You can see my Metadata on the right-hand side. I was able to add in the date it was taken, tags, comments, title, etc. I might do a video on this later at some point to show you more details about how I do this. This is definitely time-consuming, but worth it in the end.

2) Make a Scrapbook About This Event
     This is something you can do with the kids. Whether we like it or not, this has affected our day to day lives all around the world. This is going to be in the history books for sure. So why not save some things for posterity. Have your kids join in on the fun. They can make their own scrapbook. Add photos, newspaper clippings, stories, thoughts, etc. You can go online and print out news stories or you can pick up some newspapers. The possibilities are endless.

3) Journal Your Thoughts & Experiences About This Event
     How many times have we relished the idea of finding a journal written by our ancestors about their experiences? Why not start keeping a journal? Make it funny, serious, whatever suits you. Everyone always has things to say on the internet, jot down your own. Then put it away for your grandchildren to look back on. You can tell them about The Great Toilet Paper Shortage!

4) Teach Your Kids How Ancestors Survived Hardships
     We are doing our best to grasp this situation as best as we can right now, but our kids don't know what to make of it. Their worlds are turned upside down. Normal is not normal right now. And while we have never dealt with something like this in our own lifetime, you know who has? Our Ancestors. They lived through Pandemics, Wars, Depressions, etc. Share this with your kids. Let them know that as a human race, we have survived many different catastrophes. Show them the things they did to survive. There are many videos on Depression Cooking on YouTube. Show them some recipes and if you feel adventurous (and you have the ingredients) give it a try. I read a book about the Great Depression that included stories from those who survived. The one common theme in the book was family. How their family pulled together to do everything that was necessary to survive. Kids say they felt loved and safe because of their parents. That's what we need to focus on right now. So let's make this interesting and fun.

5) Make Craft Relating To Family History/Genealogy
     Do you know how many craft ideas are on Pinterest? Too many to count. Look for some craft ideas relating to family history or genealogy. These you can even do with your kids. There are tons of YouTube Tutorials as well. If you are looking for ideas, head over to our Facebook page Genealogy Addicts Anonymous Arts & Crafts (GAARC).

6) Document Your Family Heirlooms
     I'm going to film an Auntie Jen's Two Cents about this topic so I am just going to briefly touch on this at the moment. We all have heirlooms that have been passed down from our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. But do you remember the story behind that heirloom? Was it passed down from many generations? Why not take some time and document all these items in a binder? At least go around and take photos right now. Then once you are done, upload them to a photo site like Shutterfly and order prints from them. They offer great deals for 4x6 prints. And you don't have to go out to get them. Just have them sent to your house. Once you receive them, then start working on the Heirloom Binder. Here is my video on Heirloom Binders:

7) Watch some Genealogy YouTube Videos
     Every day more and more videos are being uploaded to YouTube that talk about Genealogy. Have you checked it out? I will share a few down here you absolutely need to check out.

     Now I know there are more channels out there, but these are just some that I subscribe to. I've even worked with a few of them on a collaboration in the past. Check them out and subscribe.

8) Play Find a Grave
     This one requires you getting out of the house, but you should be fine visiting a cemetery. You can even take the kids with you to help and it gets them out. You find a cemetery near your home, look up on Find a Grave if there are any photo requests, and then see if you can find them! If there aren't any requests, look at the memorials listed for that cemetery and see if there are any that don't have photos. You can tell them it's like Pokemon Go. You gotta find them all.

9) Buy Yourself a One Month Subscription to Ancestry
     We don't know how long this is going to last, so why not treat yourself to a one month subscription to Ancestry.com to give yourself something to do in the downtime. See if there is anything you have put off researching because you didn't have a subscription. Make some new discoveries. Connect with cousins virtually. Have you checked out the Yearbook section? Try to find your parents or grandparents!

10) Attend #AncestryHour or #GenChat on Twitter
     #AncestryHour happens once a week and #GenChat is usually once a month. It's a great time to discuss our common addiction: GENEALOGY. It will help you get out of your head for a while and just may answer some questions you may have been having about your research. Those two chat feeds are the reason I joined Twitter in the first place. Click on the links below to learn more.

     So there you go! Ten things you can do to keep yourself occupied during this Pandemic. Have you already done some of these? Do you have any suggestions? Leave them in the comments below. We can all help each other get through this terrible crisis if we stick together... well... digitally. Keep up with the #SocialDistancing and the #SelfQuarantining. Whatever you do, document all you can about this event to add to your tree. Oh hey! There's another idea!

Bonus: Work on your own personal timeline!
     You can even have the kids work on a small timeline for their lives.

Stay safe all!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Pauline Ilg: Brave & Courageous - Part 4

     If you skipped the last entry, here is a short recap so you are caught up. If you did read the last entry, then you can skip on ahead. Pauline really went through a tough 10 years in the last post. After she got married to Frank, they had a total of eight children, with only three surviving by 1900. She faced a great depression that swept the country and a cyclone that attacked the city of St. Louis. So this story will be picking up in 1900. And unfortunately, things are not going to get better.

     If you haven't figured out yet why I call my 2nd great-grandma, Pauline Ilg, brave and courageous then this next part will surely show you her strength. In 1900, Frank and Pauline Ilg were living at 8027 7th Street in Carondelet, St Louis County, Missouri, with their three surviving children: Willie, Otto, and Joe. Frank was working as a shoemaker, which according to the Report on the Statistics of Wages in Manufacturing Industries by Joseph Dame, a shoemaker was a stable job, but didn't pay the most. could range from $1.00 to $3.00 a day for the lower positions. Hours could be 9-14 hours a day. My goodness...

1900 US Fed Census
Carondelet, St. Louis, Missouri

     To say that times were tough would be an understatement. At the start of 1901, Pauline would find out she is pregnant with her 9th child. What a great way to start the new year. Her last few children had survived, so she had hoped this one would too. I'm sure she spent the next few months planning, getting ready to celebrate bringing another baby into the world. Money was tight, but as long as they had a steady income, they could make it. Right? Everything was going to be alright, right? Like I usually tell my husband, as long as we have each other, we can get through anything. Well, the worst was yet to come.
     On April 25, 1901, Pauline was informed of a horrific accident that occurred at 9:30pm at the Provident Chemical Company. Her husband was injured in an accident along with a fellow co-worker. He was rushed to the Alexian Brothers' Hospital where it was determined he had a skull fracture. According to the newspaper clipping:
"Two men narrowly escaped serious results owing to the slipping of a windlass at the elevator in the Provident chemical works in Carondelet last night, and one of the men may die...Frank Ilg and Thomas Dax were lowering barrels from the second to the first floor of the works...with Dax nearest the elevator windlass. His hand slipped and as he lost control of the lever the crank-handle flew around with rapid speed and struck Ilg on the head and Dax on the arm." - St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 26, 1901
St. Louis Globe-Democrat
April 26, 1901
St. Louis, Missouri

     How horrific! The man you love, the man you share a life with, the father of your children is laying dying in a hospital. I can't fathom that. I don't want to fathom that. She must have been wondering, "Can they fix this? What if they can't? What am I going to do?" Remember, she is currently four months pregnant. And she has three children at home under the age of seven. Talk about feeling helpless. She can't work. There were not a lot of options for women as far as jobs go in the 1900s. Especially for women who were pregnant, had children at home, as we will find out soon, was not in the best health herself. It appears Frank was working two jobs just to support the family. He was working not only as a shoemaker but also as a laborer at this Provident Chemical Works. I wish I could say this ended up being a happy ending, but unfortunately, twelve agonizing days later, Frank Jacob Ilg, passed away from his injuries on May 7, 1901.

Death & Burial Certificate
Frank Ilg - May 7, 1901

     Frank was buried at Mount Olive Cemetery two days after he passed. This is where two of Pauline's children were buried as well. And just like her children, there was no headstone placed for Frank. That was just an expense that could not be afforded. How could she with three children and one on the way? Oh, this child would never know his father. Such a depressing thought. But there was no time to feel anything. She had to figure out how they were going to survive. The first order of business, finding somewhere cheaper to live. The family ended up moving to 416 E. Marceau in Carondelet. This area has been redeveloped since they lived there, but looking at the map, it appears it was close to the Mississippi River and railroad tracks. Probably the cheapest place available.
     No time to get settled. Pauline's ninth and final child was born on September 24, 1901. Just four months after his father died. His name was Johann Georg Ilg (John George). He was baptized in St. Boniface Catholic Church, just like his siblings, on October 6, 1901. Pauline stayed strong for her family and did all she could to care for her four sons.
     The next couple of years were not easy on them. With failing health and the inability to work, their situation was becoming more hopeless. In 1903, they were still living on E. Marceau in Carondelet. The local paper, Carondelet News, ran a story in November and December mentioning their circumstances in hopes of getting them the help they needed. This really broke my heart to read.

Carondelet News
Nov 14, 1903

Carondelet News
Dec 19, 1903

     This is the first mention of how poor Pauline's health really was. Not only was she ill, but she was also practically blind. My grandma told me a story once that after she was born, Pauline would hold my grandma up to the window for the light to shine on her face so she could see her. So this matches up with what is published here.
     So they were low on food, fuel and winter clothing. The weather wasn't bitterly cold, thank God, but still, it was winter. Christmas would be fast approaching and there would be no presents. There would be no tree. If they were lucky, they would have food to eat and coal for heat. As a mother, this has got to be the most torturous thing in the world. Watching your children suffer and not being able to do a thing about it. The nights she must have cried herself to sleep. The days she had to put a smile on her face for her babies. The times she went without so her children didn't have to. How long would they have to endure this? She must have questioned God many times. Why was this happening? Why did Frank have to die? What is going to happen to her babies? How would she continue?
     Well, life did continue. The following year brought some excitement at least. The 1904 World's Fair opened it's doors to the city of St. Louis (and the world) in April 1904. The Fair was located at what is known today as Forest Park which is currently home of the St. Louis Zoo, the Science Center and the Art Museum. The 1,200-acre fairgrounds contained approximately 1,500 buildings that in the months that it was open, would have close to 20 million visitors. According to the Atlantic:
"On display were marvels of technology, agriculture, art, and history, and there were amusement rides and entertainment to be found in a section called “the Pike.” The fair introduced a huge audience to some relatively new inventions such as private automobiles, outdoor electric lighting, and the X-ray machine—as well as foods from across the United States and around the world. The exposition also had a focus on anthropological exhibits—with an approach that is shocking by today’s standards: In some cases, organizers brought people from the Philippines, the Arctic, and elsewhere to the fairgrounds as set pieces among re-creations of their home environment or villages." [a]
     What an amazing event to be able to attend. The sights to be seen. The food to taste. The sounds of all the different languages and music from around the world. The beautiful architecture that still stands today. I don't know how Pauline was able to swing it, but based on this photo it appears she took her two youngest children for at least one day.

1904 Worlds Fair Co.
Joseph & John Ilg

     I found this beautiful photo in my grandma's collection. It was horribly faded, but thanks to some friends, they enhanced it for me. This picture is of Pauline's two youngest children: Joseph (my great-grandfather) & John. I wonder how they enjoyed the day. Were they just able to walk around? Did they try any food? What was their favorite site? Did they ride the Ferris Wheel? I hope after so much tragedy that they made some happy memories. And things were about to get better! On December 7, 1905, an announcement was made in the Carondelet News and this time it was good news!

Carondelet News
Marriage Licenses
Dec 7, 1905

Missouri Marriage License
Jacob Baumgartner & Pauline Ilg
Dec 7, 1905

St. Boniface Church
Marriage Register
Dec 9, 1905

     That's right! Pauline found love again. On December 9, 1905, Pauline married Jacob Baumgartner at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Carondelet. How did they meet? Maybe it was at church since that's where they were married. Jacob was a widow with four kids. So all together they had eight children. Talk about a huge family! Would things finally look up for Pauline? She has a family and a new husband.

What is next for Pauline? 

Here are some photos of the family.

From L to R:
Joseph, John and Otto
Carondelet, Missouri
abt 1906

School Photo
Carondelet, Missouri
abt 1905

[a]: The Atlantic
[b]: Carondelet News - St. Louis County Library Headquarters
[c]: Ancestry.com
[d]: St. Louis Marriage Records - St. Louis County Library Headquarters
[e]: Personal Collection
[f]: Newspapers.com
[g]: Report on the Statistics of Wages in Manufacturing Industries by Joseph Dame
[h]: Mount Olive burial records

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Pauline Ilg: Brave & Courageous - Part 3

*Disclaimer: The following story contains sensitive information that may be triggering to some people. If you feel you can not handle certain sensitive topics such as infant loss, skip this part and go to the next chapter.

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today
Mark Twain & Charles D. Warner [b]

     With words like these and all the advertisements that were being circulated in Germany, it's no wonder people flocked over to Missouri. Many communities did all they could to draw more people to their towns. They promised opportunities, happiness, freedom, safety and whatever else they could to get people to come. Agents were appointed to go over to Europe to offer deals and encourage immigrants to come to their community. They played into all their desires as well as their fears. Basically, you were a fool if you didn't take this opportunity. So millions left Europe for a better life. Just the same as Frank & Pauline Ilg.
     They made the journey and were beginning their new life together in America. Frank was, at the time, a bookkeeper, taking work anywhere he could to make money for his new wife and for their baby that was on the way. Starting all over in life is not easy, but they were hopeful. They lived in downtown St. Louis at 16 South 20th Street, in the rear of the building. Rent during that time was around $15 a month for four rooms. [a] That's quite a lot of money. It's possible they rented a room at this address to start out since it was only the two of them. That would have been a couple dollars a week per person. Plus all the other expenses. Whatever the case, they were starting their lives together.
Map of St. Louis 1880-1910
Red X marks the approximate address
16 South 20th Street

Downtown St. Louis
Early 1900s

Washington & N 6th
Downtown St. Louis
Early 1900s

     So three months after Frank & Pauline were married, their first daughter was born on Saturday, February 22, 1890. Her name was Sophia. Hey, she shares the same birthday as George Washington.  The register I found that mentions her birth doesn't actually have her name. They must not have decided on a name until later. The register also says the place of birth was their home. I wonder how that must have been.
City of St. Louis - Register of Births
Sophia Ilg's entry is at the bottom

     As wonderful as this is, and how happy they may have been, it wouldn't last. Sadly, two months later, on April 20, 1890, Sophia passed away from Infantile; a typical cause of death for infants in those days. She never even got the chance to be baptized. I can't imagine how Pauline must have felt. Losing her first child. I know it was common for children to not survive infancy during those years, but that doesn't diminish the pain that Pauling probably felt. No woman ever wants to go through the loss of a child. She was buried at Holy Ghost Cemetery the day after she passed.
Sophia Ilg Death Certificate

     I wish I could say things got better for Frank & Pauline, but they did not. Over the next couple of years, Pauline would give birth to two more children that did not survive to their first year. Their second child was another girl, Rosa Paulina, and the third child was their first boy, Franz Jakob Jr. Rosa was born on February 15, 1891, and baptized on March 1st in the same church they were married; St. Nicholas Catholic Church. She survived longer than her sister, living eight months, passing away on October 1, 1891, from Meningitis. When this happened, Pauline had just become pregnant with their first son. He was born on May 15, 1892, and was also baptized at the same church on June 5, 1892. He did not survive as long as his sister, passing away only four months after his birth on September 20, 1892. At this time, they lived at 812 S. 18th street, once again in the rear.
     The most heartbreaking of this was poor Franz's cause of death. It is written that he died from Inanition, also known as starvation. I know Pauline did everything she could to care for her son. Breastfeeding was the main source of food for infants, and if you can't produce milk or get the infant to latch, the risk for the child dying of starvation increases. I know this from experience. I could not breastfeed my daughter. I had so much trouble to the point she was starving. I was grateful to have the options I do today to feed my daughter. Pauline would have been helpless. I just want to weep for her...
Rosa Ilg Baptism Record

Rosa Ilg Death Record

Franz Ilg Birth Record

Franz Ilg Burial Certificate

     Both of these babies were buried with their sister at Holy Ghost Cemetery within days of their deaths. As if burying your first three children wasn't heartbreaking enough, having to rebury them would be gutwrenching. By 1893, the city had forbidden any more burials at Holy Ghost Cemetery, also known as Pickers Cemetery. The property had begun to fall into disrepair and many bodies were beginning to be moved to other cemeteries. This information is taken from the St. Louis County Library:
"As far as possible, all lot owners were notified and given a deadline. Many bodies were moved to Zion, New St. Marcus, Bellefontaine, St. Peter's Evangelical, and Independent German Evangelical Protestant (now Gatewood Gardens) cemeteries. When the Holy Ghost Cemetery property was sold to developer Richard C. Spackler in Jan. 1917, all remaining bodies were moved to Zion cemetery, 7401 St. Charles Rock Rd. A permit dated April 10, 1922 permits a 3 story school to be constructed on the site. Though large numbers of remains were removed, it is unlikely that all were, and there are probably some remains left under the grounds of the high school and residences now located on the property. There have been no records of these removals known to exisit."
     As it states above, there are no known records of these removals to exist. I am sure they were notified of what was happening. But with the lack of funds, I doubt they would have done anything to have their children moved to another burial location. So it's possible they were moved to Zion Cemetery. There is no proof of this though. And it's possible since they were infants, they could still be located on the site where the school now stands. I can't even begin to process this fact. Poor Pauline...
     After losing Franz, I'm sure Pauline was scared to try again. Scared to have hope. Scared that she would have to bury yet another child. Even so, she did become pregnant again. With mixed emotions, she prepared for the birth of her next child. Two months before her son was born, records show her mother, Friederike Wilhelmina passed away on May 14, 1893. I don't know if she was still in Germany or if she had come over to America. I have yet to find any other information about her. I only know about her death from the little datebook that was passed down from Pauline. Could anything else go wrong? So much death... would her soon-to-be-born child survive this time? We were about to find out. And so it goes, on July 24, 1893, she gave birth to their second son, William Christian. Yes, the same William Ilg, I wrote about before. Turns out, this child would be the strength of the family.  If you would like to read his story, click here: William Ilg, the gone but not forgotten Uncle.
     The stress of having a child (and keeping him alive) was only compounded by the fact the country was about to go through a great depression that started with the Panic of 1893.
"The depression that occurred in the United States in 1893 was the worst in the nation’s history. As the economy became more integrated and centralized, fewer businesses and workers operated outside the influence of national markets and were therefore more vulnerable to the effects of a national downturn. In April 1893 the U.S. Treasury’s gold reserves fell below $100 million, setting off a financial panic as investors, fearing that the country would be forced to abandon the gold standard, scrambled to sell off assets and convert them to gold. This surge of selling rocked a market already unsettled by the spectacular failure of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad in February; the collapse of the National Cordage Company on 4 May exacerbated the crisis. Banks everywhere began frantically calling in loans, and western and southern banks withdrew substantial deposits from New York banks. Bank failures spread rapidly; some six hundred occurred in the first months, especially in the South and West, rising to four thousand by the end of 1893. An estimated fourteen thousand businesses collapsed during the same period. [c]
St. Louis Post Dispatch
July 6, 1904

     Yes, there was another depression besides the one we are all familiar with that occurred in the 1930s. For a family that was already struggling, this must have just been a devastating blow. Sometime at the end of 1893, Frank, Pauline & their new son, Willie, moved to 8503 South Broadway in Carondelet. The new Union Station was going to be built right where their residence was located [d] so they had no choice.  Finally getting settled into a new home, Pauline must have felt so much joy when it came time to celebrate their son's first birthday. I know fear must have still lingered in the back of her head, but for now, she was going to revel in the happy moments. Not to mention, she learned around this time, she was pregnant again. Frank had a new job working in a shoe factory, which earned a great living around this time. They must have been hoping that things were finally starting to get better.
     On Jan 19, 1895, their next child, Frank Joseph, was born. He was then baptized on February 10, 1895 in St. Boniface Church in Carondelet. I wonder if he looked like his father, Frank. Or did he look like his brother Willie. The family must have been overjoyed. Willie was an older brother now!

     They still lived at 8503 South Broadway in Carondelet. Carondelet is a small town just 12 miles west of downtown St. Louis. It is still located on the Mississippi waterfront and still considered part of St. Louis. Why am I going into detail explaining the location of this little town in regards to downtown St. Louis? Well if they would have lived at their old residence, they would have been closer to the destruction that fell upon St. Louis on May 27, 1896.
"St. Louis, May 28.--Death and destruction reign supreme in St. Louis and vicinity at 1 o'clock this morning as the result of the most terrible storm that ever visited this region of the country. So widespread is the destruction in both St. Louis and East St. Louis that it is impossible to estimate the amount of damage and the loss of life. Buildings of every description are in ruins and as a result hundreds of people are reported dead and injured. But until daylight comes and order is restored it will be impossible to make a definite estimate." - Daily Republican, Decatur, IL 28 May 1896 [e]
     I am sure they are counting their blessings that they did not live at their old residence. The tornado would have surely caused some destruction to their residence. Where the cyclone hit, there was horrible destruction. The tornado was an F4 on the scale, leveling buildings, uprooting trees and taking lives as it went along. Fires broke out, the hospital was overrun with patients, and the city was just in shambles.

Map of the Cyclone Path
May 27, 1896 [f]

     If you look closely at the map, you can see Carondelet on the left-hand side. That's where the family lived. Now if you look just to the right of the destructive path, you will see Union Station. Remember, I told you that they had to relocate because the city was going to build Union Station right where they were living. While it was just outside the path of the cyclone, there still would have been substantial damage. Here is a newspaper headline published the day after the event.

     By the grace of God, they were spared from this tragedy. Which is great because Pauline was 7 months pregnant with her next child. Even with all the stress and heartache, the city was going through, Pauline stayed safe and healthy. Then on July 27, 1896, their third son, Otto Karl was born. Right in the heart of Summer. He was then baptized on October 4, 1896, in St. Boniface Church, just the same as his brother Frank. Three sons now! What a very joyous time.
     On December 29, 1897, their 7th child was born, Pauline Caroline. A girl! Oh how happy Pauline must have been. A beautiful little girl. She was baptized on January 2, 1898, at St. Boniface Church, just like her siblings. Soon after her birth, the family moved again. This time to 8116 Michigan Avenue. They were still in Carondelet, but probably needed more room for all the children. But soon things took a turn for the worse. Soon after moving, Pauline's son, Frank Joseph got sick with pneumonia and died on March 4, 1898, at the tender age of three. Then if that wasn't bad enough, a few days after the 4th of July, their new baby, their only daughter, passed away as well. She died from Entero-Colitis, an infection in the intestines. Devastating... completely devastating. Both children were buried at Mount Olive Cemetery.

Burial Permit Notice
St. Louis Post Dispatch
March 8, 1898

Pauline Caroline's
 Death Certificate & Burial Permit

     Oh, the grief the family must have been going through. Five children gone... Five children she would never get to see grow up. Five children she would never hold again. William, the oldest surviving son was only four years old. Instead of having three younger siblings, he had one. For now... you see, Pauline would have found out not long after she lost her last daughter that she was pregnant yet again. I can not imagine the mixed emotions she would have been going through. Grieving for the loss of her only daughter, yet joyful at the thought of another child to add to their family. Would she have to bury any more children? How much more can she take? But she would continue to be strong for her family. Strong for the two sons she still had, and for the new one on the way. I wish I could say her troubles were over, but they are not. I will say, the next child she gives birth to, does survive. That would be my great grandfather, Joseph Melchior. And there would be one more child after that: John George, who also survived. But there will be a tragedy that strikes before the last child is even born.

Continue to read more about Pauline's life 
in the next post...

Side Note:
I will say this was the hardest information I had to research about my family. I originally learned about all these children thanks to the records that Pauline kept in her little datebook. That little datebook has been such a treasure trove of information. She kept track of all her children's births and death. She also included information about her immigration to the US. Below are copies of some of the pages that she wrote.

     This is what started me on my journey to find all these children, their records, and where they were buried. Pauline took the time to record all these children. I wanted to be sure they all were accounted for and remembered. As I said before, the children buried at Holy Ghost cemetery are lost forever. We will never be able to visit their graves. At least they are recorded. But for the two children, Frank Joseph and Pauline Caroline, I was able to find their burial plots at Mount Olive Cemetery. They are buried in a section designated mainly for infants. Neither plot has a headstone. The documents at least will lead us to the general area when we visit the cemetery.

Frank Joseph Ilg
Burial Information

Pauline Caroline Ilg
Burial Infomation

Map of Mt. Olive Cemetery
Lemay, Missouri
Section O.S.S

     Pauline Caroline and Frank Joseph will be included in a new video series I am working on for my YouTube Channel. I will be visiting cemeteries where my family buried and videoing the location of the graves along with how to get there. Check it when it comes available.

[a]: Report on the statistics of wages in manufacturing industries by Joseph Dame
[b]: The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today by Charles Dudley Warner
[c]: Encyclopedia – Panic of 1893
[d]: Union Station (St. Louis) Wikipedia
[e]: St. Louis, MO Tornado, May 1896 - Cyclone Horror
[f]: Map of Cyclone Path - Wikipedia