Minna (Mueller) Ewert was born in Germany and came to the US around 1866. Her oldest, daughter Karoline (Lena) may have been born in Germany just before her parents left or in Illinois – there are conflicting reports – but her younger son Fritz (Fred) was definitely born in Chicago (1869).

The first person interred on the family plot was her daughter Lizzie’s first husband, Julius Schalk (m 1895) who sadly died in 1902 after only 7 years of marriage (and 3 surviving sons). The next to pass away was Lena at only 37, leaving behind 5 surviving children (of 6) and husband Theodore (Wegner). 3 years later, Fred died in 1906 having never married.

Minna herself would live another 10 years, showing up on the 1910 census living in a house she owned along with her widowed daughter Lizzie, Lizzie’s 3 sons, and Lena’s middle son William E. “Bill” Wegner (b 1889). Lizzie remarried in 1914 and Minna passed away in 1916 at 74 and joined her children and son-in-law.

Just about a year after his grandmother’s death, Bill – single and 28 years old – enlisted in the army. Just about another year later in the summer of 1918, he was wounded in France and died on 9 August of his injuries. It seems this is a burial and not a cenotaph, and this is likely due to Bill’s having died in a hospital (though it seems he had still been in France).

His headstone is extremely worn and sinking into the ground. Only the faintest inscription of his name can be read.

I was unable to find out what happened to either Minna or Lena’s husbands. Theodore was glimpsed with youngest daughter Lydia still at home in 1910 and was mentioned in a transportation record for Bill in 1918, but that was the last information I could find for him. He likely lived past 1920 and my guess is he ended up buried with one of his other children in a different cemetery, possibly having moved away from Chicago entirely by that time.

RIP Ewert-Wegners

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