Friday, June 17, 2016

Here Lies Theresa ... I Think

N1/2 35, Section B Lutheran Cemetary, Sheboygan, WI
If you want to do any kind of family history work, you will have to visit a cemetery or two -  or 20. I've been to a few myself - 3 in Zion, 4 in Kenosha, a couple in Sheboygan, Montello and Mecan, New Ulm, Bismarck, Decorah, Boston, Prescott, Toronto, Scotland, England, just to name a few. In spite of what some might think, this is not at all depressing, morbid, or creepy. They are usually very beautiful places (except in England), well kept, quiet and peaceful. Back in the day when I worked for the Benton Township Highway Department and spent my day driving my roadside mowing Ford tractor around the outskirts of Zion, I would occasionally take my lunch break at Mt. Olivet. I would eat my sandwich and cookie and chat with Gramma and Grampa Dolan. (You see, I've had this problem for a number of years now!)

Gravestones can be interesting and they tell stories - if  you look and listen. I haven't seen too many like this, but try "googling" tombstone epitaphs and have some fun. Some of my favorites:

"Here lies good old Fred - a great big rock fell on his head."
"I'm dead and I approve this message."
"She finally shut up."
"He loved bacon."
"I told you I was sick." and then.."
"Na, Na, Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Goodbye." (Probably a White Sox fan.)

And then there's Theresa. She would be my Great Aunt. My Gramma Haubrich had 4 siblings who lived: I've told you about Uncle Gust. There was another brother, Fred, and two sisters, Emma, and Bertha. But then I found out that there were two more - but  they did not survive into adulthood. The first born was Albert and I know little to nothing about  him (that's another story). 

And then there's Theresa. Her story won't take long to tell. Theresa Anna Kroll was born on October 2, 1883. She died on December 2, 1885 and was buried in the Lutheran Cemetery in Sheboygan, WI on December 5th. The newspaper briefly noted, "A 3-year old child of Fred Kroll died and was buried in the Lutheran cemetary, Rev. Wolbrecht officiating." The cause of death according to the cemetery entry was "inflammation of the bowels."

That's it.

Of course, I had to go looking for Theresa. The caretaker of the Lutheran cemetery (some of those guys do look scary, by the way) gave me the coordinates for the  grave. N1/2 35, Section B. The Lutheran cemetery is a smaller cemetery adjacent to the larger Wildwood Cemetary on a hill on the west side of Sheboygan. If you look closely to the south you can see the property where Great Grampa Kroll made a home and where my Gramma grew up. One can only imagine how clear it must have been and how easy it would have been to see that in 1885.

Well, I couldn't find Theresa. I went back to the scary (but helpful) caretaker. He looked in the book and then mumbled to me, "just past the young monument." Thanks a lot, but I still couldn't find Theresa. Then like Jonathan Winters looking for the treasure under the big "W" in the movie "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World" (sorry for the obscure '60s move reference), I saw it!I was standing right next to it. The "Jung" monument! Next to the Jung family monument!

The "Jung" Monument and Theresa's Plot
There's no headstone for Theresa Anna Kroll - wonder why. It could be that they just couldn't afford one. Who knows. So, it's just a cemetery coordinate and a grassy piece of cemetery real estate. But I finally found Theresa.

No comments:

Post a Comment