Sunday, October 31, 2010
Alma Johanne Albertina Merzke
Alma Johanne Albertina Merzke, Maria and Henry’s fourth child, was born at home at 26 Alphonse St. on March 28, 1893. Her grandfather, Julius Smarcz, his wife Albertina and their children were living in the same house with the Merzke’s at the time of Alma’s birth. Alma was baptized April 22, 1893 at Concordia Lutheran Church. Her sponsors were Johanna Missel, Albertina Smarcz (Maria’s aunt/step-mother), and Maria’s brother Herman Smarcz
The Merzke family moved to 39 Henry St. in 1898. Early the following year, Alma became ill with Diphtheria. Maria was six months pregnant at the time with a busy household to manage. Normally she would have nursed the child on her own, but this was a special case in Maria’s eyes. Maria had already lost her first-born daughter and Maria’s half-sister, Anna had died of Diphtheria in Maria’s home a few years earlier. Anna was about the same age as Alma at the time of her death. Maria was so worried about her daughter that she called for the doctor. He came but was unable to save the child. Alma died at home on January 12, 1899. Alma was buried January 13th in Mount Hope Cemetery.
That was the last time Maria called for a doctor when the children were ill. She nursed them all through their childhood illnesses believing she could do a better job than any doctor. What became of the child she was expecting at the time of Alma’s death? Walter H. Merzke was born March 28, 1899 - Alma’s 6th birthday.