8.27.2011

HENZE - MOORE - PILCHER

Sorting Out the Clark and Cora Avenue Connections

My mother was born and raised in St. Louis, that place which had been home to her ancestors since its days as a trading post along the Mississippi. But her favorite and most memorable days as a child were spent in nearby Webster Groves where she and her granny would visit Granny Mae's sister, Mabel Jones, who owned a 1906 two-story home on a beautiful tree-lined street named Clark.  She fondly remembered the white lace curtains billowing softly in the breeze from the second-story window as Granny rocked her to and fro. Even at age four, she loved the many stories that her granny shared in her soft, lulling voice - each historical tale beginning with the simple phrase: "I remember Mama and Papa."

My mom was an only child in this environment of three elderly sisters. Granny's older sister Mabel, who was about seventy years old, widowed, and caring for their youngest sister Beulah who also widowed but ten years younger and nearly bed-ridden. Granny Mae was the middle daughter who had stayed home to care for their father and looked after Beulah who had only been three at the time their mother died in 1890. When her father died in 1915, Granny was thirty-five. The following year she married but by time their little boy was four years old, her husband had abandoned her and she had been left to raise their son on her own. These single women were the daughters of Thomas A. Moore, a Civil War veteran, and his wife Clarissa (Pilcher) who'd attended medical school and graduated as a homeopathic doctor in 1886. Despite their hardships and losses, life was peaceful for the sisters in Webster Groves - and it was certainly the happiest place of my mother's youngest years. She loved visiting and vividly remembered the sisters congregating on the front porch when the weather was mild. As she skipped and played, she often overheard the adult conversations and though she absorbed much, the relations of some of these people met and spoken of were sometimes a mystery to a child so young. And so it was with the Henze family.

Mom never actually understood how the Henze family was related to the Moores, but she knew there was a connection. When I came across a few photos of the Henze family last week, I immediately remembered the name. Going through my files I soon came across a letter written to my mother in 1972 by Mabel's granddaughter which read: "Harry Henze is now almost 88 years old and lives with his wife in an apartment in Kirkwood." This one-liner told me Harry had been born in about 1884 and had obviously died after 1972, so I searched the Social Security Death Index which listed his death as March 1980 - and his last known residence as Webster Groves. I quickly checked my ancestral tree (I use Family Tree Legends) and placed Harry as a son of Henry and Amanda (Moore). The 1900 census, which I had located years before, listed the couple with four sons: Charles H., Willis S., Carlos L, Harry and Edward J. Henze.

I knew Amanda's full name was Cinthia Amanda Moore. She was the daughter of James U. Moore and Rebecca (Cook), sister of Thomas A. Moore, and therefore an aunt to the three sisters Mabel, Mae and Beulah. Now that I remembered the connection, I continued the search hoping to discover more about the sons. Since Missouri has an online database of the actual death records from 1910-1960, and since the family appeared to have remained in and around St. Louis, I searched that database and found the following records:
Henry Henze, the widower of Amanda (Moore), was born in Philadelphia, PA on 18 Apr 1850. He was the son of Henry Henze and his wife Elizabeth (Schueler), both of Germany. From census records I learned he was employed as a stove molder and that both his parents' were born in Prussia. The death record indicated he died at his home located at 1901 Cora Ave. in St. Louis on 23 Feb 1825 at the age of 74 years, 10 months and 5 days, and that he was laid to rest at Bellefontaine Cemetery. The address on Cora Avenue was familiar to me. I remembered seeing it on letters and envelopes such as the one included here which is addressed to T.A. Moore in care of "Mrs. Henze" - she being his sister, Cinthia Amanda (Moore), wife of Henry Henze.

I next found Charles H. Henze who was born in St. Louis on 19 Sep 1874, died at the City Infirmary on 13 Mar 1941 and was buried at Bellefontaine. The person providing the information was Edward Henze, whom I assumed was his brother. Next was Willis. I found nothing further on him after the 1900 census (he died in 1902). I also didn't find a "Corliss" whom family papers had stated was the twin of Willis, but I did find a Carlos L. Henze who appeared with the family in the census records. His death record indicated he was indeed the son of Henry and Amanda and had been born in St. Louis 13 May 1877. He also died at the house on Cora Avenue, and like his brother, was buried at Bellefontaine. His wife May Henze (Meyer) was listed as the informant on the death record.

Harry Henze, who was aged 88 in 1972, would not be found in the death records as he died prior to the 1960 cut-off date of Missouri's on-going digital database. This left me with the census records. I located Harry in the 1920 census residing in Webster Groves where he was working as a bookkeeper for a machinery company. I then located him in 1930 living at 616 Clark Ave, Webster Groves ... just a few houses down from Aunt Mabel's home which was also situated on Clark Avenue. He was then listed as a Title Examiner for land titles and his household included his wife Elsie and sons “Ellsworth” and May L. Henze. A subsequent search for the son indicated Elsie's maiden name had been Meyer. The death record also indicated he had been a draftsman, born 11 May 1912. He had not yet reached his nineteenth birthday. "Ellsworth" died at the age of 18 years, 10 months and 21 days of pneumonia on 24 Mar 1931, and at the time he and his family were still residing on Clark Avenue. As with the other family members, he was laid to rest at Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Edward Henze, the youngest son, was also located in the 1930 census. He had been listed as a Dept. Mgr. at a bank, married at the age of twenty-two, but was already widowed . Since Edward's wife died within the range of available death records, I went to the Missouri database and located her death record. She had been born in St. Louis on 04 Jun 1890 and died on 25 Aug 1928. Her death record stated she was the daughter of Thomas F. Eustace and Nora (McMahon), both of Ireland. Although there were other Margarets of the same name, I was able to verify her as the wife of Edward by the address given at the time of her death which matched the address Edward had given as informant on his brother Charley's death certificate in 1941.

Although I've yet to discover much about Henry Henze and his wife Mary Elizabeth Shuler, I know they had at least four children besides Henry. His sister, Anna Marie, was born in in St. Louis on 08 Jul 1860 and was the wife of Montgomery Warren Kalb - who was the nephew of Clarissa (Pilcher) Moore. In other words, Henry Henze's wife Amanda was the sister of my 2nd great grandfather, Thomas A. Moore, and Henry's sister Anna Marie (Henze) was married to the nephew of T.A. Moore's wife, Clarissa. Perhaps now it is understandable why my mother, at so young an age, had trouble grasping the relationship between the Henze, Moore and Pilcher families.

Knowing the Henzes were laid to rest at Bellefontaine Cemetery, I knew I could once again turn to my good friend Connie Nisinger. Without hesitation, she sent me the Henze burial information - and headstone photos. So although I find myself saying this often, I will happily say it again with as much sincerity as the first time - Special thanks to Connie who has been so helpful to me time and time again!

As always, thanks for taking the time to let me share my research with you. Hopefully it will offer a tip or two or encourage you to research your own ancestors. To my many viewers in the non-English speaking countries, thanks for visiting! I hope the Google Translator has been a helpful tool. I sincerely enjoy hearing from each of you, so please feel free to email or leave comments.

Many thanks!
Notes:

Elizabeth's maiden name has been spelled Shuler, Schuler and Schueler.

Our family history passed down from Mabel (Moore) Jones indicate Willis and Corliss were twins. Although Corliss appears to be the same as Carlos, and the 1900 census supports this fact by listing them both born in September of 1876 - the death record for Carlos lists his birth as 13 May 1877, so further documentation is in the works to verify their dates of birth.

As a child my mother was known as Jeanne Lane (1942-1999), and was named after her granny, Mary Jeannette "Mae" Lane.

Links:

Henze Burials at Find A Grave contributed by Connie Nisinger

Photos:

1st Photo: (L-R) Beulah (Moore) Vosburg; Mrs. Wulverson; Mabel (Moore) Jones congregating on the porch at the Webster Groves home. [Vosburg also spelled Vosburgh]

2nd Photo: Letter Addressed to T.A. Moore at 1901 Cora Ave. in care of "Mrs. Henze"

3rd Photo: Ellsworth Henze, son of Harry and Elsie (Meyer) taken in Colorado in 1930 - a year before his death.

4th: Headstone of Henry Henze and Amanda (Moore) at Bellefontaine Cemetery, photographed by Connie Nisinger.

No comments: