For Future Generations
As told by Bernadine Marie Waldorf Wank in 1991.
A tribute to a great man, August Robert Waldorf, who was my Papa.
If among future grand children, is born one with great artistic talent, loves books and music, and sings like an angel, this child has inherited his great grandfather's genes.
August Robert Waldorf was the son of Frederick Von Waldorf and Wilhelmina Luseusky Waldowski VonWaldorf. Robert August had three half sisters, Ida Sieloff, Matilda (single) and Anne Counard. He also had a half brother, Adolph Waldowski, who was married to Minnie. They had one daughter Gertrude. The lived in Chicago. There were also relatives living in the Buffalo area by the name of Schoenwetter.
Family information, says that Frederick's last name was Von Waldorf and that he and Wilhelmina had changed the name when they left Germany. The way Robert August told the story to me was that Wilhelmina's children by a previous marriage were adults and all ready established in the United States. The four children, Adolph, Ida, Matilda, and Anne, sponsored the pair to enter the United States. When Frederick ran into trouble with the German Army, he took the name of his step children, (Waldowski) to get out of Germany.
August Robert was born either in Germany or on the ship coming to the United States. His mother had his clothes in the drawers of a cherry wood chest. Robert August slept in one of the drawers of the chest.
August Robert was very secure living in America. His sisters pampered him, his mother gave him her constant attention, but according to the story his mother told, he was a very good boy. When she went to the store, she left him playing his violin, and when she returned, he still was on the stool playing his violin.
August Robert had a few years more than the average grade school education. He also sketched for magazines and gave violin lessons.
I neglected to tell you earlier that Frederick and Wilhelmina came from a long line of Martin Luther followers, they were a very strict Lutheran family.
When August Robert told his parents he was going to turn Catholic, his little secure world crumbled around him. his mother bitterly said words that echo in my ears to this day. At this point he was disowned. It is hard for us in this day and age to imagine how all this happened.
August Robert went to Buffalo, stayed with relatives and learned to upholster furniture. It was here that he was baptized in the Catholic Church and became Robert August Waldorf. The priest made a slight mistake, it was suppose to be August Robert, but since he was baptized Robert August, I call him Robert. (I named my own son Robert for him, and he also then named his son Robert.)
Now August came back to Detroit. He built the house on Canton Avenue, married Theresa Marie, then after one, two, three, or four children, August and Theresa were back in his parents good graces.
I remember the first time I saw Frederick and Wilhelmina. They sat in two huge rocking chairs on each side of a huge stove. Auntie Tillie, the single sister, kept house and took care of her parents. Tillie had poor eyesight. This could account for the time she made us some fish soup. A bar of hand soap fell in the soup. She didn't notice it until some one said something is wrong with the soup. Then they noticed the bar of soap was gone. I was glad I didn't have to eat that soup.
Frederick and Wilhelmina never came to Papa's house, but my parents went to see them as often as possible. They were called "Car Grandma and Grandpa" because we had to go by street car and later drive the car to this place that was like a foreign country, called the West Side. Grandma and Grandpa Waldorf (Wilhelmina and Frederick) never spoke English, so they were quite different than my other grandparents on the East Side.
A Tribute To A Beautiful Lady - Theresa Wolschon Waldorf
As told by Bernadine Marie Waldorf Wank in 1991
Grandma Waldorf leaves for future generations her famous phrase that will solve all their little problems, "Take an Aspirin and forget about it!"
Grandma Theresa Wolschon Waldorf was born in Detroit, Michigan to Charles Wolschon and Emma Getz Wolschon.
Charles Wolschon was a plumber and was born in Alsace Lorraine are of Germany. He had a brother Anthony Wolschon who had two sons and one daughter.
Emma Getz Wolschon was born in Dresden, Germany. She had one sister, named Molly. She married Grandpa Wolschon in Germany. Grandpa Walschon came to America first, then Grandma came later.
Besides Theresa, there were four other children in the Wolschon family; Charles, Paul, Mamie and Emma. Charles had two children, names unknown to the writer. Paul married Francis and had two children, Carl and Mildred. Mamie married Leo Swiskofski and had one daughter, Agnes. Emma marrie Paul Klewer, their children were Donald and his twin Sister Delores, Richard (Dickie) , and Leonard.
As a child, Grandma Theresa lived on Rivard Avenue in Detroit and went to Sacred Heart and St. Anthony Schools. Judging from pictures, Theresa grew up in a fun loving family. Sundays meant lots of company; the side board filled with pies and cakes.
The courtship of August Robert Waldorf and Theresa Wolschon must have been more than a little trying. Grandpa Wolschon allowed no shows, no dances, no parties; only with the family. It was Frank Schoenwetter, from Buffalo, that brought August Robert to the Wolschon home.
August and Theresa were married in Detroit in St. Elizabeth Parish on September 1, 1904. Theresa made her wedding dress. After a short trip to Buffalo, they came home to the house Robert August built on Canton Avenue.
In this house began many happy days for Theresa. Here she gave birth to four healthy children: Wilfred, Clarence, Nestor, and Bernadine. She almost lost all four once when they became asphyxiated from a gas water heater while Grandma was in Church, but Uncle Charlie, Grandpa, and Grandma worked on them and brought them through.
It was in this house Theresa let Bernadine take Clarence for a ride in her doll buggy. The Ditch Band came marching and playing down the boulevard. Bernadine followed the band, forgot about Clarence. Hobo's liked to lounge on the grass. One picked up Clarence and took off with him. A neighbor saw him, Theresa took after him, across the fields, grabbed the baby and ran home.
Soon the Waldorf family moved to 1193 Sheridan Avenue. Here times were changing fast. Raymond, Lawrence, and Marcele were born. Grandpa bought a car. The children went to St. Anthony School. Soon Theresa realized that six boys needed more room. (The fact that Uncle Bill chased Nestor around the house and broke Theresa's beautiful red lamp, might have made her decide to move out to Eleven Mile Road in Roseville, Michigan.)
Living in Roseville was different for Theresa after living in City life. This was living in the country. She became involved with the school children. She taught them to can the food they grew. She helped in school and Church and kept her sanity with ten children to care for.
It was while Theresa lived here the World War ended. It was at this time there was a very bad flue epidemic. Grandpa Waldorf was sick, Theresa was sick and the little kids were sick. No one to go to the store. It was decided that big brother Bill would stick the pig, so Theresa could make sausage. Bill tied a rope on each leg of the pig. Each kid had a rope at the first sound of a squeal, when the pig was stuck, each kid let go the rope and ran! Leaving Bill alone with a stuck pig. Grandpa Waldorf had to get out of his sick bed to help.
Soon after this came the depression. Theresa and August had subdivided their land and had sold lots. Then during the depression, no one could pay the taxes on the lots. So , they lost all of their property. But soon the boys were grown up. They all worked and helped to buy the property in Amsden, Michigan..
note added by Linda Waldorf Rich ( This is the property on Amsden Road in Fenwick. There was once a store on the corner of Amsden and M-57, but it is not there now.)
From here Theresa and August Waldorf celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They renewed their wedding vows in St. Anthony Church. The party was held in Knights of St. John's Hall. August belonged to the knights of St. John. Many friends came to congratulate them. Mary Louise Kelly, daughter of Bill Waldorf, was the first grand child. Nancy Waldorf, daughter of Alvin Waldorf, was the 50th grand child.
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