Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Martha Elisabeth Pape & Charles Joseph Bleidt

My great aunt, Martha Elisabeth Pape (1890-1981), the older sister of my grandfather Paul Robert Pape (1896-1970), married widower Charles (Carl) Joseph Julius Bleidt (1870-1959) at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Evanston, Illinois, on May 11, 1921.  According to the marriage certificate (further down this post), Paul was an official witness to the marriage, as was his and Martha's sister Rhea Maria Pape (1892-1977).  Therefore, I think my father is correct that Rhea is the bridesmaid to the far left in the picture below.  Martha and Rhea's other sister, Clara M. Pape (1889-1975) may be the bridesmaid to the right of Martha.  I'm not sure who the bridesmaid on the far right is.  It may be one of Charles' Bleidt's nieces, either Gertrude (born 1895) or Mildred Bleidt (born 1897), as they would have been about the right age.  Charles had two older sisters, but they would have been in their mid-50s at the time of the wedding.

These two photos are embossed with "J D Toloff, Evanston, Ill."  Joseph David Toloff (1888-1957) was a Russian immigrant who owned a photography studio located (at that time) at 1623 Orrington Avenue in Evanston, according to an ad on page 71 of the 1922-1923 R. L. Polk & Co.'s Evanston City and North Shore Directory:

Here is the beautiful marriage certificate for Charles and Martha:

Thanks to my cousin Bill for sharing these images of his grandparents' wedding and their marriage certificate.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Black Sheep Sunday: Wife-Killer is Bigamist

Odessa American, December 29, 1959, p. 19
Back in April, I got to attend the Texas Library Association annual conference in Houston.  I spent some extra time in town after the conference and visited the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research of the Houston Public LibraryOne of the databases they have, that I can't access (for free) outside of a Houston Public Library branch, is the Access NewspaperARCHIVE (to which I'm considering a subscription).  I spent a lot of my day at the Clayton searching this database, particularly the name of Guokas, as my great-grandfather and his kin settled in the area in the late 1890s and early 1900s.

Earlier I wrote about Gail Lee Guokas Gross (1940-1959), my second cousin once removed,  who was murdered by her husband, Harold Ray Gross, on December 26, 1959.  Imagine my surprise when I turned up the article at the left.

Turns out Mr. Gross was a bigamist - AND Gail had a son I did not know about!

Based on some of the information in this article - Gross' age, the name of his other wife, and the fact that they had two sons, plus a little research, I was able to figure out that Harold Ray Gross was born February 15, 1935, in Bell County, Texas, and died November 12, 2006, in Joshua, Johnson County, Texas.  He also apparently remarried in April, 1972 - which seems to indicate to me that he was released from prison, despite his life sentence.  Because he served in the Navy (March 1955 to July 1957), he was apparently eligible to be buried in the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

I have to admit, this bothers me a little.  I mean, the man shot Gail FIVE times, and admitted to the murder, pleaded guilty, and agreed to a life sentence - yet he's buried in a national cemetery for our honored veterans?

The other surprise was learning Harold and Gail had a son, David Henry Gross.  I wasn't able to find any information about him, however, other than the article to the right.

Note at the very end of the article, it says, "The dead woman left her 17-month-old son with her mother while she went to the theater."  This told me that David was born about July, 1958.  That hasn't helped (so far) in finding out anything about him.  I have to wonder if he was adopted by one of Gail's parents (who were divorced by that time) or by her sister Jackie and her husband.  Perhaps he has the last name of Guokas, or Payne (his grandmother's maiden name), or Allumbaugh (his uncle's name), but I have not turned up any possibilities under those names (yet) either.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(Not-So-) Wordless Wedding Wednesday: George John Arendt & Petronella "Nellie" Pape

Petronella "Nellie" Pape (1896-1930), my first cousin two times removed (she is the daughter of my great-grandfather John Pape's brother Lorenz), married George John Arendt (1893-1981) on May 18, 1920, in Nekoosa, Wisconsin.  This photo was provided by Mary Kay Schmidt, the granddaughter of Nellie's older sister Mary.

Nellie and George had three children, George Jr. (born about 1924), Agatha (born about 1926), and Petronella Mary (born about 1929).  After Nellie's untimely death (she is buried in Sacred Heart - Riverside Cemetery in Nekoosa, Wisconsin), George married Mary Schenk in 1932.  They had at least two children, Carl, born about 1935, and Mary Ann, born about 1936.

George was born in Illinois, and moved with his parents and numerous siblings to Port Edwards, Wisconsin (near Nekoosa) around 1910.  On the 1930 and 1940 Censuses, he is listed as working for the paper mill. 

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Happy Father's Day, Dad!

This is a special Father's Day. A week ago, Dad went to the emergency room at the hospital because he was short of breath, and thought he might have pneumonia again. Turns out he had heart block, and a pacemaker was put in the next day. Dad's in really good shape for age 83, and he got to go home the day after that.

Photos above are of me and my dad, Frederick Henry Pape, 1958.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

(Not-So-) Wordless Wedding Wednesday: August Peter Pape & Rose Anna Alles

August Peter Pape (1893-1947), my first cousin two times removed (he is the son of my great-grandfather John Pape's brother Lorenz), married Rose Anna Alles (1893-1929) on September 19, 1919, in Wilmette, Illinois.  This photo was provided by Mary Kay Schmidt, the granddaughter of August's sister Mary.

Rose and August had two children, Delores (born about 1926) and Charles M. (born about 1928).  After Rose's untimely death (she is buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Northbrook, Illinois), August married German immigrant Frances DeMuth in 1933.  They had at least one daughter, Lois, born about 1934.

August was born in Dusseldorf, Germany, and arrived in Boston in 1913.  He was naturalized in 1922 and became a painter and decorator.  He is buried at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Those Places Thursday: Indexing Illinois, Louisiana, and Texas

Since the 1940 US Census was released back on April 2, I've been trying to do a little indexing each week with  So far I've indexed 40 batches, between 1500 and 1600 names.  I've concentrated on the three states pictured above, because that's where most of the folks I'm looking for in 1940 will be located.  Louisiana was finished pretty quickly and is now searchable on the site.  Illinois is 33% done and Texas just moved from 40 to 41% done, changing color on the map.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Son Eric!

Eric and me, summer 1986
© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.