29 September 1844 – 20 April 1929
24 October 1849 – 19 May 1921
The Soeldners were German immigrants who came to the US as young people and met and married in Chicago. The couple had seven children, three suriving them. Two sons tragically died as young adults and two daughters died in childhood. Their son August Jr lived with his parents his whole life until their deaths. He first worked as a tinsmith and then as a janitor in the building his parents appear to have owned. He never married.
The surviving Soeldner children were their three youngest, Theodore (1875), August Jr (1881), and Ida (1885). Theodore married, and he, his wife, and their infant son are buried nearby. In 1905, Ida married a very successful man named Otto Woldt, who ran a varnish business. After their father’s death, August Jr. lived with Ida and her husband and only son. I suspect that either August Jr. may have suffered from longterm ill effects of his initial occupation as a tinsmith, either lead poisoning or some other debilitating health issue caused by exposure to the chemicals and processes used in tinsmithing which of course at the time had no safety gear to protect the worker. By 1930 when he’s living with his sister’s family, he no longer is working though he was only 49, and he died just three eyars later at the age of 52.
August Sr. appears to have been an enterprising man, coming to the US and starting out as a laborer, by the 1900 census he owns his own saloon; in 1910, he owns a fruit stand, and by 1920 he was able to retire and live off savings or the income from his property holdings.
Sadly, Ida’s husband passed away in 1938, the same decade she lost her father and brother, leaving her widowed relatively young at 53. The 1940 census, following her husband’s death, shows she and her son doing well, and Ida did not need to go to work to support herself. Her brother Theodore passed away in 1943, leaving her the last survivor of her immediate family. Her son married sometime after the 1940 census and she was able to enjoy being a grandmother for a few years before she herself passed in 1949 and was buried beside her husband.
The entire family is buried together at Forest Home (though I didn’t realize the Woldts were related to this headstone’s family, so there’s only the edge of Ida’s husband’s headstone visible in one picture).
Please visit my Instagram for any questions or comments on this post!