Continuing on the theme of focusing on females for Woman's History Month:
In the center of this picture is a great-great-grandmother, Minna Freicke Massmann, flanked by her daughters Minnie Clara Massmann Petersen on the left, and Frances Massmann on the right. My notes say the photograph was taken sometime between 1895 and 1917.
I don't know much about these ladies yet, but here's what I do know: Minna was born around February 10, 1847, in Germany, and married Heinrich Carl Massmann on January 4, 1870, in Hanover, Germany. They had eight children, the first three being daughters who all died before age 5.
Frances was the next oldest. She was born July 16, 1874, in Hanover, Germany, and baptized Johanna Ernestine Liena Franciska. She never married, but stitched lace curtains and table linens for the wealthy on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, and took care of her parents. She died of breast cancer in Forest Park, Illinois, on July 6, 1958.
Minnie was the next-to-youngest child. She was born April 22, 1878, in Hanover, Germany, and baptized as Maria Elisebet but went by Minnie Clara. She married Anton M. Peterson, who was a few years older, on June 23, 1909. They later divorced and she married his nephew, Arthur M. Peterson, who was 14 years younger. She had no children, and died in Chicago from a stroke on January 29, 1938.
Minna had three other children, all boys, including my great-grandfather, Frederick Henry Massmann. Minna died from diabetes in Chicago on March 14, 1917. All three women are buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in what is now Skokie, Illinois.
© Amanda Pape - 2010