Sunday, March 25, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 12 Misfortune


mis·for·tune
ˌmisˈfôrCH(ə)n/
noun
1.    bad luck.
"the project was dogged by misfortune"
o    an unfortunate condition or event.
plural noun: misfortunes
"never laugh at other people's misfortunes"
synonyms:
problemdifficultysetbacktroubleadversity, stroke of bad luck, reversal (of fortune), misadventuremishapblowfailureaccidentdisastercatastrophe;

The topic this week is misfortune and as the definition above indicates it can take many forms and degrees of hardship or loss. This week, I decided to explore a circumstance that occurred in the life of my grandparents.

I had heard that my grandparents lost their home in an attempt to save the business of his uncle. True?  I didn’t know. I did know that when my grandfather died in 1946 he and my grandmother were living in the home of their daughter and her family. What had happened to their beautiful home on Ridgeland Ave in Oak Park?

this house is actually 1201 N Ridgeland but it was built in 1929 and is representative of what was there at the time


When my grandfather immigrated in 1894 with his sister Dagny and brother Artur, they went to live with their deceased mother’s sister Olga and her family. The 1900 census shows 20 year old Adolph living with his brother and the Pederson family. Adolph was working as a hardware packer.[i]

By the time of the 1910 census, Adolph had married and become a father. In May of 1910, Adolph and his family were living in Tooele, Utah where he worked as a timekeeper in a smelter[ii]. It is not apparent how long the Hansens lived in Utah, but they returned to the Midwest by September of 1910 when their son was baptized in Milwaukee, WI.

By 1920, Adolph was working for his uncle Oscar Daniels in his ship-building business. In fact, Adolph is counted twice in the 1920 census, once in January in Chicago with his wife and children[iii] and once in Tampa, Fl at the home of his aunt Magna and her family. The Tampa census was not taken until February.[iv]

As time went on Adolph and later his son continued to work for the Oscar Daniels Co as the company expanded into iron work and steel construction across the country. As the company moved into iron work, Adolph may have used the knowledge of metals that he learned while working in the smelter. Mainly Adolph and his family remained in the Chicago area and bought a house in Oak Park.

That the family was doing very well for the times is indicated by the fact that their daughter attended college in the early 1930s and a private school at that.
Some time in the 1940s Adolph broke his connection with the Oscar Daniels Co. He was working for the Frank P Noy company in the early 40s as a Secretary/Treasurer.

Oscar Daniels died 14 Apr 1939 in Miami Beach, FL[v]

In 1940 Adolph filed suit in Miami against the estate of Oscar Daniels asking for $10,000 for services and money advanced to Daniels.[vi]

Did that $10,000.00 cause the loss of a family home? In 1943 Adolph and Henrietta still lived in the house on Ridgeland Ave but by the time of his death, they were living with their daughter. I will probably never know “the rest of the story” as there is nobody left to ask.


[i] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 28, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 279; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0844; FHL microfilm: 1240279
[ii] Year: 1910; Census Place: Tooele, Tooele, Utah; Roll: T624_1609; Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 0175; FHL microfilm: 1375622
[iii] Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 33, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_353; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 2120; Image: 479
[iv] Year: 1920; Census Place: Tampa Ward 2, Hillsborough, Florida; Roll: T625_222; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 39
[v] https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/newspapers/image; Miami Herald page 15 15 Apr 1939