Sunday, September 23, 2012

Church Record Sunday: St. Nicholas Records, 1888-1929

Here are some Pape family records I found from the early years of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Evanston, Illinois, mostly through FamilySearch.org.

The earliest family record - and the third recorded marriage at the church - is the second third marriage of my great-grandfather John Pape's brother Anton, to Catherine/Katherine Regina Hoffman on May 8, 1888:

Next, on August 15, 1889, there is the baptism of John and Gertrude Kramer Pape's oldest daughter, Clara Martha.  Catherine Hoffman Pape was her godmother:

This was followed a little over a year later with the baptism of second child Martha Elizabeth on October 26, 1890:

Then Maria Gertrude (always known as Rhea) on September 18, 1892; Catherine Hoffman Pape's sister Maria was her godmother:

Then the first son, Lee Henry, on January 7, 1894 (Catherine Hoffman Pape's sister Cecilia was his godmother; godfather Henry Hoffman is probably related too):

Followed by my grandfather, Paul Jacob (known as Paul Robert) on July 12, 1896 (Jacob Hoffman, probably kin to Catherine Hoffman Pape, was his godfather):

Then by Otto Joseph (known as Otto Richard or Dick) on November 13, 1898:

Notice the change in priests between 1896 and 1898?  According to the July 8, 2012, church bulletin, "In 1897, July 9 was a Friday, and the thermometer in Chicago reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Newspapers of the day noted that throughout the Midwest, people suffered 'prostrations' and even 'hysteria' from the heat. Father Otto Groenebaum, since 1887 the founding pastor of ...St. Nicholas..., died suddenly. He was 59. His death was attributed to the heat."  Also, on February 3, 1898, the original church building burned, so Otto/Dick was baptized in some other building.

Youngest son Walter Frank was not baptized at St. Nicholas; instead, he was baptized at St. Philomena in Chicago.  By 1899, John Pape was in business with Frank J. Senge at 883/885/889 Armitage Avenue in Chicago, Senge & Pape dry goods merchants.  On the 1900 census (taken in June), the family has rented out their home at 1043 Sherman Avenue in Evanston and are renting a home in Chicago, close to the store.  Two months later, Walter is born and baptized at St. Philomena with Frank Senge as his godfather. Oldest child Clara probably had her first communion at St. Philomena as well. 

The May 1904 issue of The Clothier and Furnisher indicates that Senge bought out John Pape at the Armitage address.  Therefore, I expect that John Pape and family had left Chicago by then, if not sooner.  Sure enough, they show up at 1043 Sherman in the 1904 Evanston City Directory, and second child Martha has her First Communion at St. Nicholas on May 29, 1904.  Younger brother Lee's First Communion is also recorded in this spread of the church register, on April 22, 1906:
Martha Elisabeth Pape on her First Communion Day, May 29, 1904

Meanwhile, Hugo Aloysius Pape, the son of Anton Pape from his first marriage to Regina Elisasbeth Allers, marries Josephine Didier (daughter of Michael and Margaretha Didier), on June 20, 1905, at St. Nicholas.  Jacob Hoffman shows up once again, this time as a witness:

Maria (Rhea) Pape and Paul Pape celebrate their First Communions on April 22, 1906, and May 2, 1909 (the Feast of St. Joseph, then celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter, which fell on April 11), respectively:

The four oldest Pape children (Clara, Martha, Rhea, and Lee) were all confirmed at St. Nicholas on October 28, 1906.  Note their confirmation names and sponsors below.  Clara's sponsor was her older first cousin, Emma Genevieve Pape, daughter of Anton and Regina.  Martha took Regina as her confirmation name; it was also the middle name of her sponsor, Anton's second wife (and by now his widow; Anton died about 1893), Catherine Hoffman.  Catherine's sister Cecilia Hoffman was Rhea's sponsor, who took her name as her confirmation name.  And Jacob Hoffman (probably kin to Catherine and Cecilia) was the sponsor of Lee, who took the name John as his confirmation name:

On January 22, 1911, August S. Childs, future husband of Emma Pape, received his First Communion (probably shortly after his baptism; he was an adult convert to the Catholic faith).  Later that year, on April 22, Otto (Dick) Pape's sixth grade class and Walter Pape's fourth grade class at St. Nicholas received their First Communions:

August Childs and Emma Pape were married February 22, 1911, at St. Nicholas.  Emma's brother Hugo Pape and their first cousin Maria (Rhea) Pape were the official witnesses:

Paul and Otto (Dick) Pape were both confirmed at St. Nicholas on September 24, 1911.  Paul took Robert as his confirmation name, while Dick took Aloysius:

Finally, Walter was confirmed on May 10, 1914.  He also took Robert as a confirmation name.  His sponsor was Joseph A. Reis, the father of Gretchen Anna Reis, who later became Lee Pape's wife:

As noted on her baptismal record above, Martha Pape was married to Charles J. Bleidt at St. Nicholas on May 11, 1921.  Their son, my dad's first cousin John "Jack" Charles Bleidt, was baptized at St. Nicholas on March 3, 1929. 

I had hoped to find some death records for Regina Allers Pape (I think she died March 14, 1887) and for Anton Pape (who died about 1893), as they apparently lived in Evanston from 1883 on.  However, the first page of the death records for St. Nicholas in FamilySearch has a handwritten note that "Previous death records, viz. from foundation of Parish cannot be found."

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

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