The Ganschow Mausoleum

William Ganschow
25 December 1843* – 6 February 1904

Carolina Consoer Ganschow
January 1848 – 5 December 1924

I became interested in William Ganschow and his family when I discovered his daughters’ stories while researching the Moldenhauer Mausoleum last week ago.

His mausoleum is far more mysterious than that of his daughters, grandson, granddaughter, and sons-in-law but it also occupies a more select location up near the front of the cemetery in what is a sort of mausoleum row.

He was a bit difficult to track down since his birth date isn’t easily available, but I finally tracked him down in the records.

Both William and Carolina were German immigrants, but do not seem to have met until after coming to the US. They married on 20 October 1872, and their first child, Lillian (Sylvia’s mother) was born less than a year later, basically a honeymoon baby.

Ganschow was a machinist and seems to have had a very successful business of his own. It was located at 31 S. Canal which is still industrial but now just a massive, featureless pole barn looking building. The probate documents filed a month after his passing cite an estate value of $56K in 1904 which is comparable to at least $1.5 million today. Plus also, just look at that mausoleum!

The 1900 census lists all of their children except already-married Lillian still at home on Noble Street — a location that seems to have been completely transformed by time and technology. A bit more digging reveals that they lost that house to a sweeping act of civic transformation when dozens of families had their properties condemned in 1907 to make way for construction of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company Grounds.

The children at home in 1900 are in age order: William, Jr. (a bookkeeper); Ernst (in the family profession as a machinist); Alma and Lina, and a youngest daughter Elsie who is thirteen (and who is properly named Elsa per later records).

William passed away on February 6, 1904. His obituary gives no cause of death but does include the surprising (to me) information that he is the grandfather of the young man whose headstone I use for my @PostsInTheGraveyard Instagram icon, William Omar Ganschow.

In 1910, Carolina and Elsie are still living on Noble St., the wheels of civic change turning slowly, but in the intervening ten years, Elsie marries and has two daughters.

Carolina makes no appearance in the 1920 census that I can find but was living on Central Avenue in what looks as if it was a fairly new house at the time (a lovely brick two-story with a craftsnam feel) when she passed away in late 1924 at the age of 76. She is also interred in the Ganschow Mausoleum though it is unclear who else might be. I suspect William, Jr., and his wife Anna who died in 1931 and 1933 respectively may be there as they are listed as being interred at Concordia but there is no separate findagrave.com record for them.

Carolina outlived her husband by more than twenty years and also outlived a daughter and several grandchildren. William Omar, William, Jr.’s only child who was seven years old on the 1910 census, passed away before 1920 which is also the span of time during when Lina and her infant son were lost.

Ernst also had two daughters, and he and his wife are buried in their own plot at Concordia as well. So the family lived on but the Ganschow name, at least for this family, ended with William and Ernst.

RIP Ganschow Family

*birthday calculated by specifics given in obituary

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