Unraveling a Mystery: Prussia to Chicago

Category: What on Earth!?

Up late. Again. The scanner and I. I've had less time to look at stuff in the house since it is all covered up to protect it from construction.

So I pulled out something small and accessible. Postcards.

And thus began another mystery. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)



So....who is Frank Dolde? Where is this 1909 postcard from? And where is 737 North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago? (Lincoln Avenue begins at 2000 North).

I kept finding more postcards. 1906-1911. Before this house was built. All sent to Frank Dolde. But steadily moving more north on Lincoln Avenue.

The first stamp is from the Deutches-Reiche...the German Empire (Prussians) prior to WWI. The "Osterreichische Post" stamp refers to Austro-Hungary in 1910, I think. But the city of Laupheim? Where was it then and where is it today? And the postcards from Emma Dorfler and Carl in Austro-Hungary...what cities are they from?

These postcards were sent before the house was built and the last name is not familiar. The family we purchased the house from has a German ancestry...was this a relative?

The family that built the house was from Denmark and, in 1864, Denmark lost part of the country (Sønderjyllands Amt) to the Prussians (not gaining some of it back until 1918.) Are these postcards to one of their family members?

Finally, why has Frank Dolde moved from 737 North Lincoln to 739 North Lincoln to 2820 North Lincoln between 1906 and 1911?

And where is 737 North Lincoln? (Or 739 North Lincoln for that matter.)

Oh, help. Anyone adept at reading German and deciphering handwriting out there?


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Comments

Hi !
I read your site all the time, as I live in Chicago and am quite familiar with "Chicago bungalows". Anyway, to help solve part of the mystery about the address on the postcards: In 1909, the city of Chicago renumbered many many streets (not all, but a good portion). Part of the reason was to accomodate the large tracts of land (former "suburbs" in a way) that were annexed to the city in the 1880's and 1890's. So, your address of 739 Lincoln in 1906, was renumbered 2820; 737 became 2818 Lincoln. It seems that the buildings that are located at those addresses today are fairly new. Maybe the building that was there previously was an apartment building or some sort and spanned both addresses, and maybe this person just moved to a larger apartment within the same building? Or maybe they lived above their place of business? In the 1910 census, a Frank Dolde Sr. and wife, Julia, and children Elsie, Frank Jr. and Lillian were living at 2836 Lincoln! Frank was a Shoemaker who owned his own business.
Hope this helps somewhat-
Good luck!
Beth

Hi again!
I forgot to add that Frank Dolde was recorded as born in Germany and his wife was recorded as born in Austria in the 1910 Illinois census.
Beth

Wow Beth! Thank you! What wonderful information! It has helped us to piece together possibly more to this mystery which we'll be posting later in the week.

How do you know these things? It's amazing!

I agree. That is amazing. Perhaps some research could find relatives of these people. Those cards might be very important to them. Also, I'm sure they would have value to antique post card collectors. Very interesting. POPS"30"

Thanks - glad I could help.
I do a lot of genealogy, have been for years, so have accumulated lots of resources for Chicago (and other places) history and data. Actually what I found out for you last night only took about 15 minutes!
Beth

Laupheim is in Germany between Augburg and Ulm along Autobahn A8. The picture appears to me to be the Cathedral in Ulm.

That should read between AugSburg and Ulm.

I speak German (not very well), but these cards are a real challenge! That handwriting!

Anyway, the July 10, 1908 one definitely starts with "Dear brother and sister-in-law." I think I also see the word "uncle" in there, further down. And I think the Carl one includes "parents."

The one you posted on Feb. 29, that has Bleistadt pictured on the front, says something like "at this time ... in any case ... alone with Ma and Papa." So there are definitely family connections. And Bleistadt was the postmark on that Austrian postcard from Emma.

Whew. Well, I hope those Goethe Institute folks can help.

Congrats on the bathroom progress, too. I've been working on my old Chicago bathroom for, uh, almost 2 years, on and off. All my tiling is done, but the rest of the details will definitely not be done in a week! Subway tile rocks!


I speak German (not very well), but these cards are a real challenge! That handwriting!

Anyway, the July 10, 1908 one definitely starts with "Dear brother and sister-in-law." I think I also see the word "uncle" in there, further down. And I think the Carl one includes "parents."

The one you posted on Feb. 29, that has Bleistadt pictured on the front, says something like "at this time ... in any case ... alone with Ma and Papa." So there are definitely family connections. And Bleistadt was the postmark on that Austrian postcard from Emma.

Whew. Well, I hope those Goethe Institute folks can help.

Congrats on the bathroom progress, too. I've been working on my old Chicago bathroom for, uh, almost 2 years, on and off. All my tiling is done, but the rest of the details will definitely not be done in a week! Subway tile rocks!


 

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