Otto and Ida Woldt

Otto J. Woldt
November 13, 1875 – November 13, 1938

Ida (Soeldner) Woldt
October 1882 – July 1949

(reposted from @postsinthegraveyard with some edits, January 2, 2021)

Sometimes I’m not sure looking through my pictures why I photographed certain headstones, but researching the Woldts turned out to be very interesting.

Otto Woldt was born on November 13, 1875 in Germany and immigrated to the US in April 1895 at the age of 19 (So! Many! German! Immigrants! In! Chicago!). He became a naturalized citizen 11 years later on June 28, 1906.

He met Ida Soeldner (born October 1882 in the US), and they were married a few months before he became a citizen (December 18, 1905) when Otto was 30 and Ida 23. She was the youngest child and only surviving daughter of August and Louisa who were also German immigrants.

Otto was a varnish maker and registered for the draft on September 2, 1918 at the age of 42. This was late in World War I when the draft was including younger and younger draftees – and older ones too – to fill the ranks; however, I can find no documentation that he was called up to serve.

Otto did very well for himself, eventually becoming head of his own varnish company and having a second summer home in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin, where he and Ida visited annually for thirty years (this info from an obituary which ran in the Green Bay Press-Gazette, November 29, 1938).

They had only one child who also worked as a varnish maker as a young man but later moved to California after his mother’s death in 1949. Ida outlived all of her siblings and her husband.

My guess with this photo is that I liked the ivy decoration (#GraveSymbolBingo – ivy symbolizes immortality) and the secret society symbols (Otto was a Freemason and Ida was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star).

RIP Woldts

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