Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Joseph Melzer

The Fond du Lac Daily Reporter, 15APR1926, pg11
"Death Summons Aged Resident of St. Kilian

Joseph Melzie (sic), 84, Washington County Pioneer, Dies This Morning.

Was Native of Austria

Joseph Melzie (sic), 84, died at his home a mile east of St. Kilian at 6 a.m. today of the infirmities of old age. He had been confined to his bed for a week.

The deceased was born July, 30, 1841, in Austria. In 1867 he came to America with his parents and settled on a farm in the Town of Wayne, Washington county, where he has since resided. On Nov. 22, 1867 he married to Miss Katherine Wondra who survives him.

Besides his widow, Mr. Melzei (sic) leaves four daughters, Mrs. Margaret Wahlen and Mrs. Barbara Kohler of St. Kilian, and Mrs. Katherine BeBoe (sic) and Mrs. Julia Schmidt of Milwaukee, on son, Frank Melzel (sic) at home, and 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. from the St. Kilian Catholic church with burial in the adjoining cemetery. The Rev. J.B. Reichel wil (sic)conduct the services."

The Fond du Lac Daily Reporter, 17APR1926, pg12
"MELZIE (sic) - Funeral services for Joseph Melzie (sic), aged resident of St. Kilian, were conducted at 10 a.m. today from the St. Kilian Catholic church. The Rev. J.B. Reichel officiated and burial took place in the adjoining cemetery."

So Joseph's surname is spelled wrong...throughout the entire obituary. At least they were consistent! They even continued to get it wrong in the burial notice. If I hadn't known his location and date of death and had been trolling the newspaper I wouldn't have realized that this was someone to look more closely at.

Something I noticed when I compared Joseph's obituary to his wife, Katherine's, her obituary it states that Joseph and Katherine were married in Austria before coming to the U.S., but in his it implies that the marriage took place in America. It's only an inference, but as you can see in the obituary above that it mentions marrying her in 1867 and then talks about coming to the U.S. in late November of that year. It could be that they arrived after a marriage in late November, but it gives me enough reason to see if the church has a record of them marrying here. Finding a passenger list would be helpful too, but so far no luck.

Another nice thing about Joseph's obituary that was not so nice about Katherine's....her maiden name is actually listed her, but was omitted from hers. Now I know her maiden name was Wondra and that's a name that I've heard mentioned once or twice by my mother-in-law. I don't know if it will be a lead that will help me figure out where/if these Melzers link into my tree, but it's something else to go on!