The Ehlschlagers

This gorgeous headstone is set in the middle of Section 9, somewhat hidden. I think I’ve seen it before, but until I got up close, it didn’t pop for me.

The family was originally from a part of the Austrian Empire that is in modern Romania. They emigrated from their homeland in 1905, after all five of their children were born. Oldest Mina was married and immigrated with her husband Carl, possibly while she was already pregnant with daughter Minnie.

The 1910 census shows the two families living all together in adjacent flats on W. 21st Place. with Mina, her husband, and three young daughters in one household and her parents Johan (1852 – 1924) and SusannaSusanna Gorski (1857 – 1913), her three younger brothers John (1884 – 1957), Rudolph (1888 – 1980), Matthew (1892 – 1962), and youngest sister Susie (1897 – 1910) in another.

Just a few short months later, however, the family was struck by tragedy, losing Mina’s two younger daughters, Mary and Ida, in the space of three days with her youngest sister Susie following a few days later.

In the span of eight days, all three girls were lost. All were buried at Concordia, though it’s unclear where the little girls are. This headstone, though, was clearly put up in Susie’s honor, the lovely statue topping it representing her and originally there was also a cameo portrait of Susie but that has worn away over time.

Susanna died just three years later, and the family seems to have stayed close together to withstand all the losses. From some context clues, it appears as if Mina and her husband may have separated at some point before 1920 because though she still listed herself as married, she and Minnie are living with her father and youngest brother Matthew. Carl was no longer listed as living next door and he disappears into a sea of Carl Meitners at that point.

John and Rudolph married and moved away to their own homes, but Matthew – back from serving in WWI as a corporal in the army – had found a good job at Western Electric as a glazier which he would hold for the rest of his working life. His retirement was written up in 1957 with glowing words for his skill and excellent safety record.

In 1924, Johan passed and joined his wife and daughter. I can’t find a 1930 census for Mina, Matthew, and Minnie, but my suspicion is that they remained living together. Mina passed away in January of 1940, and a bit later that same year, Matthew and Minnie are on the census together.

Matthew passed away in 1960 and joined his parents and little sister on this lot. His name and dates are inscribed on the family headstone and he also has a separate military marker. Minnie lived to a good old age, passing away in 1989 just shy of her 84th birthday and is buried on an adjacent lot with her mother. Brother Rudolph and his wife Anna are buried on another adjacent lot. I did find a death record for John but it did not indicate where he was buried though I wouldn’t be surprised to discover him on yet another adjacent lot when I next go back to visit.

RIP Ehlschlagers

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