Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: John & Gertrude Pape

My great-grandparents, John and Gertrude Kramer (or Cramer) Pape, are buried in Lot 18, Block 6 of St. Henry's Cemetery on Chicago's north side.

Gertrude Kramer or Cramer was born January 9, 1859, and baptized January 11, 1859, at Sankt Servinus Katholisch [Catholic Church] in Calle Meschede, Westphalia, Germany. Her parents were Joseph Cramer and Catharina Becker, and she had two sisters and one brother. She attended a boarding school in Paderborn, Germany, when she was 18 years old. In 1885 or 1888 she emigrated, and married John Pape in 1888. They had seven children. It appears that she lived almost all her life in the United States in Evanston, Illinois. She may have had family in Fowler, Indiana. She died of liver cancer on August 20, 1919.

John (Johannes) Pape was the oldest of four living sons of Jacob Pape and Maria Elisabeth Gierse. He was born October 25, 1851, and baptized October 28, 1851, in Boedefeld, Westphalia, Germany. John came to the USA in 1880. At least one brother stayed in Germany and at least one other (Anton, along with first wife Regina and son Hugo) also came to the United States.

John became a US citizen on August 15, 1892. Gertrude Kramer/Cramer was his second wife; his first wife and two daughters by her died in Germany. His third wife was Hedwige Agnes Reimer? who died May 16, 1937. John was a carpenter and later a dry goods merchant (Singer & Pape) in Evanston and north Chicago. He died on March 9, 1945, at age 93 from liver cancer, chronic myocarditis and arteriosclerosis.

© Amanda Pape - 2010


  1. Fascinating! Have you ever looked for the passenger manifest of the ship John Pape came to America on? A real treasure if you can locate it. Ancestry.com would be the place to look, since Ellis Island didn't exist in 1880. There might even be a photo of the ship.

  2. JamaGenie, I have been looking on Ancestry.com for John Pape's ship but I haven't found it yet. However, I have found two of his three brothers, although one of those brothers may have just been bringing his sons over, as his wife was listed as the contact back home on the 1913 manifest.

  3. John and Gertrude had 7 children between 1890 and 1901. Leo b.12-27-1894 married Gretchen Reis an artist. She was a friend of my Grandmother, Amy Zender Windler of Ridgeville, Chicago. I have a painting Gretchen did in 1908 and gave to my grandmother. It is beautiful. I have always been looking for another of her paintings. I wondered if any of the family would have one? Thank you.

  4. Hi Awin! Thank you so much for commenting! Leo and Gretchen Pape are my great uncle and great aunt. Leo is the older brother of my grandfather Paul. There is a photo of them here. I will check with my father and see if he has one of Gretchen's paintings or if he knows if anyone in the family has one. Please stay in touch!