Brewer’s Daughter; Coal Miner’s Wife; Baker; Laundress

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.

Martin and Angelina Palisch
Martin and Angelina Palisch

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).

Concordia Palisch baptism record Christ Jacob IL

Concordia Palisch baptism record 2 Christ Jacob IL
Concordia Palisch baptism record – Christ, Jacob, IL

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.

Concordia Palisch 1900 census Murphysboro IL
1900 census – Murphysboro, IL

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.

Martin Palisch family

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.

Ralph Baker 1900 census Murphysboro IL
1900 census – Murphysboro, IL

When Ralph had his World War I draft registration completed, he was shown to be a shoe worker for Brown Shoe Company.

005248456_02017
Ralph Baker – WWI draft registration

The photo below was taken inside the Murphysboro Brown Shoe Company building.

Brown Shoe Co. Murphysboro IL 1917

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.

Concordia Baker 1920 census Murphysboro IL
1920 census – Murphysboro, IL

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 Baker 1930 census Murphysboro IL
1930 census – Murphysboro, IL

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.

Concordia Baker 1940 census Murphysboro IL
1940 census – Murphysboro, IL

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.

Ralph M Baker military death information

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.

Ralph Baker gravestone Normandy American Cemetery France
Ralph M. Baker gravestone – Normandy American Cemetery, 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.

Concordia Baker desendants 1

This second one includes Dolly (Baker) McLeod and some of her family members.

Concordia Baker desendants 2

Later in her life, this photo was taken of Concordia (Palisch) Baker.

Concordia Palisch Baker
Concordia (Palisch) Baker

Concordia died in 1980 at the age of 88.  A notice announcing her funeral was printed.

Concordia Baker funeral notice

Concordia is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Murphysboro.

Concordia Baker gravestone Immanuel Murphysboro IL
Concordia Baker – Immanuel, Murphysboro, IL

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.

 


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