The four oldest children of John Pape (1851-1945) and Gertrude Kramer Pape (1859-1919) are identified at the bottom of the photograph. From left: Rhea Maria Pape (1892-1977), Clara M. Pape (1889-1975) holding Leo John "Lee" Pape (1893-1979), and Martha Elisabeth Pape Bleidt (1890-1981). A note on the back of the photo says "1894-1895," so Clara would have been about age 5, Martha 4, Rhea 2, and Lee age 1.
The only one of these four that I haven't written much about in the past is Clara, so I will tell what I know here. She was born August 12, 1889, in Illinois, probably in Evanston, and baptized three days later at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Evanston. She was baptized Clara Martha (hence the middle initial M.), but apparently rarely used her middle name. She was also confirmed at St. Nicholas on October 28, 1906.
Clara never married and lived with her family of origin through at least 1910. On that U.S. Census, she is living at the family home at 1043 Sherman Avenue in Evanston, and is a stenographer for an insurance office.
By 1912, though, Clara is in Sioux City, Iowa, according to that city directory. She is a stenographer at S C Brew Co., and boards at 1218 Douglas. In 1914, Clara appears in the Mason City, Iowa, city directory, rooming at 314 Swasey with her younger sister Rhea. Both are stenographers. In 1915, the city directory shows Clara back in Sioux City, a stenographer for Davidson Bros. Co., boarding at 115 12th.
The 1920 and 1930 U.S. Censuses show Clara still in Sioux City, and city directories for intervening years as well as 1931 and 1932 place her there too, still working as a stenographer (and, by 1931, as a secretary) for Davidson Brothers department store, but living at various addresses.
|Clara Pape and her nephew Jack Bleidt,|
"San Francisco - Roof of 2905 Van Ness", February 11, 1956
In 1933, however, Clara can be found in the Des Moines, Iowa, city directory, listed as a private secretary to the State Auditor, and later (1940-1944) as a statistician in his office. Clara continued to live in Des Moines through at least 1946. Through 1941, she lived at 1338 Capitol Avenue, Apt. 6; from 1943 through 1946, she was sharing her home with niece Pat Pape. Clara may have left Des Moines after that, as she does not appear in the 1947 or 1949 Des Moines directories. It will be interesting to see where she was when the 1950 U.S. Census is made available in April 2022.
Clara next appears in San Francisco, California, in its 1955 city directory, living at 2905 VanNess Avenue, Apt. 302. She's also at this address in 1959 and is listed in the city directory as an employee at the Presidio. By 1968, sister Rhea had joined her in San Francisco, after Rhea's only daughter Pat Pape Parks died in an automobile accident. Clara appears again in the 1970 and 1974 San Francisco city directories, living at 935 Geary.
At age 85, though, Clara apparently went home to Illinois, and moved in with her younger widower brother Lee at his home in Wilmette. She died there on November 25, 1975.
© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.