Sunday, February 10, 2013

Family History Writing Challenge Day 10 - Adolph and Henrietta,Their Story


At some point in time, Adolph and Henrietta met and became attracted to each other.  One story relates that Adolph had traveled to Milwaukee on business with his uncle Oscar and stayed at the Grand Hotel. Henrietta’s step-father Charley Meuller was the manager of the Grand Hotel and she probably worked there since she had left school. She may have worked as a waitress in the restaurant or at the newsstand in the lobby.  An acquaintanceship was established and Adolph even gave her a nickname based on her last name Burbach.  She became his Bockie and was called that ever after.


Adolph Halfdan Hansen married Henrietta Eva Burbach on 30 October 1907 at Gesu Catholic Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  They were married at a nuptial Mass at 11:30 in the morning.  This was unusual since at that time mixed marriages were not permitted to have a nuptial mass. Adolph was a Lutheran and Henrietta was Catholic.
The young couple probably returned to Chicago where Adolph was working for his uncle Oscar at the Oscar Daniels Company.  The company was engaged in iron work and construction all over the country and travel was definitely in the future for Adolph and Henrietta.
In the spring of 1908, Adolph and Henrietta returned to Milwaukee to act a godparents to her brother Peter’s son Herman.  Another anomaly since at that time both godparents needed to be Catholic.
 On the 26 of Dec 1908 their daughter Dorotha Eva was born in Chicago. Then in 1909 they were in New York where they met Adolph’s father Adolph who was visiting from Norway.  By 1910, Adolph was working as a timekeeper at a smelter in Tooele, Utah.  In May of 1910, their son Donald George was born.
The couple made their base in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, while their children were growing up.  They still made frequent visits to Milwaukee and eventually Eva Meuller came to live with them after the death of her husband Charley.  Adolph and Henrietta put a very high value on education, not surprising for a couple who never attended high school.  Dorothy graduated from Rosary College in 1936  with a degree in education.  Donald attended first St Mel High School and then YMCA High School where he played on the State Championship Basketball Team in 1927.
Travel continued to be part of Adolph’s career as he was in Tampa in 1920 and as late as 1942 he and Bockie were living in Adrian, Michigan.  The Oscar Daniels Company suffered during the construction downturn in the 1930s and further still with the death of Oscar Daniels in 1939. 
Adolph and Henrietta risked everything they had to rescue the company but lost it all when the company closed.  In 1942 and probably at the time of his death in 1946, Adolph was working for the L P Friestedt Company based in Chicago.
The final anomaly in Adolph and Henrietta’s marriage in the fact that he is buried in Mt Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, IL.  Once again a privilege not given to non-Catholics.

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