Today’s birthday girl can be described using so many names, as indicated in the title of this post. That list is not even complete, as you will later read. This girl’s family could trace their ancestry back to the Gesellschaft in 1839, but by the time of her birth, her parents were living across the river in Jackson County, Illinois.
Concordia Martha Palisch was born on July 31, 1891 in Jacob, Illinois. She was the daughter of Clement Martin and Angelina (Frenzel) Palisch. A story was written about Concordia’s parents on this blog titled, Enjoying a Red Seal. Here is a photo of Concordia’s parents.
Concordia’s mother had the middle name of Concordia, and Martin had a sister who had that middle name as well, so maybe those women inspired Martin and Angelina to name this baby Concordia. She was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob. Below is her baptism record (in two images).
When Concordia was quite young, her family moved to Murphysboro, Illinois where her father worked in a brewery. We find this family in the Murphysboro 1900 census.
The brewery that employed Martin was likely the Rudolph Stecher Brewing Company, which became well-known in that area for producing Red Seal Beer. Thus, Concordia became a brewer’s daughter.
The photograph below was taken when Concordia was rather young. She is the middle one standing in the back row.
On January 11, 1912, Concordia Palisch married Ralph Sydney Baker. Ralph was born on August 14, 1892, and was the son of Simon Peter and Katie (Breeden) Baker. This may be the first person I have run across that has the name Simon Peter, other than in the Bible. Simon Peter was a teamster in the 1900 census for Murphysboro.
When Ralph had his World War I draft registration completed, he was shown to be a shoe worker for Brown Shoe Company.
The photo below was taken inside the Murphysboro Brown Shoe Company building.
The first census in which we find Concordia and Ralph was the one taken in 1920. Ralph was listed as a coal miner. Quite a few of the entries on this page of the census showed the men as being coal miners. So now Concordia is also, not only a Baker, but a coal miner’s wife. By 1920, there were 3 children in this family.
Three more children were born in the 1920’s, including a set of twins in 1927 named Donald and Dolores. However, it must not have been long after those twins were born that Ralph and Concordia were divorced. We find Concordia listed as divorced in the 1930 census. There is a Ralph Baker on this entry, but that was the name of their eldest son, who was just 16 years old at the time. Concordia now has an occupation, and she was a laundress. She probably had to take on a job in order to support all of those children by herself.
Concordia’s ex-husband, Ralph Baker, died in 1933 at the age of 40. He was buried in the Mount Carbon Cemetery in Murphysboro. Interestingly, there are two stones which are now shown on Findagrave.com which mark his grave. One of them even looks like a regular stone. Here are photos of them.
By the time of the 1940 census, Concordia was living with just one of her daughters. She is also described as being a widow.
In 1944, Concordia became what we often refer to nowadays as a Gold Star Mother. Her son, Ralph M. Baker, was lost in the Battle of Normandy, probably on D-Day. The military record shown below lists him as missing. The death date is given as June 23, 1944, not June 6th, but that is probably because they gave up on finding him on that date.
The 1940 census indicates that Ralph was married to a girl named Laura before he went off to war. Concordia’s son has a grave marked in the Normandy American Cemetery in France.
I did locate a couple of photos including some of Concordia’s other children. The first one includes her daughter Dorothy (Baker) Young with some other family members.
This second one includes Dolly (Baker) McLeod and some of her family members.
Later in her life, this photo was taken of Concordia (Palisch) Baker.
Concordia died in 1980 at the age of 88. A notice announcing her funeral was printed.
Concordia is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Murphysboro.
I find it very interesting that her name was spelled Concardia on her gravestone, but I have no idea why. I know that all the census records shown in this post call her Cordie or Cardie.
Concordia experienced some very difficult situations during her lifetime. Yet, I see evidence that she remained faithful to her children and to her faith until she died.