Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past: Clara, Lee, Martha, Rhea, and Dick Pape

This is a photo, sent by my second cousin Debby, of five of my paternal grandfather's six siblings.  Because of the clothing some of them are wearing, I know it was taken the same day as another photo that includes my grandfather, who died first among his siblings, in April 1970, so I know the photograph was taken before then.

Seated in the top row are Clara M. Pape (1889-1975),  Leo John "Lee" Pape (1893-1979), and Martha Elisabeth Pape Bleidt (1890-1981). Seated in front are Rhea Maria Pape (1892-1977) and Otto Richard "Dick" Pape (1898-1972).  Uncle Dick is the only one of these I haven't written much about, so here is what little I know of him.

Otto Richard Pape was born, probably in Evanston, Illinois, on October 29, 1898, the sixth child and third son of John and Gertrude Kramer Pape.  He was baptized Otto Joseph on November 13, 1898, at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Evanston. He received his First Communion and was confirmed in this same parish, on April 22, 1911, and September 24, 1911, respectively.  Otto took Aloysius as his confirmation name.

My dad described Uncle Dick as the "black sheep" of the family, but perhaps "free spirit" would be a better term.  I thought it strange that a photo from December 1918/January 1919 of his parents and three brothers in uniform did not include him.

Imagine my surprise when I found a World War I draft registration card (dated September 12, 1918) for him - that indicated he was a farmer living in New Leipzig, North Dakota!  The date of birth matches, and he also lists his nearest relative as his father, John Pape - although he also indicated John lived in New Leipzig. 

On the 1920 Census, Otto Richard is still in Grant County, North Dakota, still a farmer, in Delabarre township.  But by 1925, he appears in the Evanston city directory again, at the family home at 1043 Sherman Avenue, with his widower father and also-unmarried siblings Clara, Lee, and Walter.

On the 1930 Census, Richard (as he now calls himself) lives in an apartment at 6319 North Sacramento Avenue in Chicago with his single siblings Rhea and Walter.  He works as a shipping clerk.  On the 1940 Census, he is living with his widower father John and younger brother Walter in an apartment at 3648 N. Hoyne in Chicago.  He works as a stock clerk and only has a 7th grade education (Walter finished two years of high school, the other siblings all graduated from high school, and Lee went to college).  Perhaps this has something to do with the "black sheep" label.

The next record I have of Uncle Dick is for his death, which occurred February 17, 1972, in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  He was living in a nursing home there at his death.  He is buried in Calvary Cemetery there.  My dad has no idea what Uncle Dick was doing in Hot Springs at this time.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.


  1. I love this photo! I live not too far from Hot Springs and it is beautiful...maybe he made a visit and stayed!

    1. Heather, I was in Hot Springs very briefly as a child. It did look beautiful and I should go back. I'm in north Texas now and it would not be too hard for a long weekend. Thanks for commenting!