The Merzke Family

The Merzke Family
Henry & Maria Merzke Family Circa 1925 - (front) Maria, Henry, Marjorie & Floyd. (rear) Lillian, Rose, Erwin, William, Marian, Charles, Albert, Walter, Henry, Jr., & Ella

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rose Bertha Merzke

Rose Bertha Merzke, the third child, was born on December 15, 1891 at home which was probably located at 82 Henry St.  She was baptized December 17, 1891. Her sponsors were Bertha Sleingernder, Fr. Missel, and Bertha Gutmann.  Rose was the oldest (living) girl in the family and she liked having fun. She and her sister Lill were very close as girls and remained that way all of their lives. The older, seemingly old-fashion Aunt Rose we nieces and nephews knew growing up was apparently not the young woman she once was.

Rose married Samuel Charles Jacques on July 22, 1914 in Concordia Lutheran Church. Attending them were Fred Phelps and Kittie Conrad the wife of the minister. Charlie Jacques worked as a conductor and later as a salesman. From what I've been told, Charlie Jacques was an easy-going and fun-loving fellow and all the ladies liked him. Marrying Charlie and getting away from a house filled with children and chores must have seemed very appealing to young Rose. They lived in a house at 99 Weyl St. just one street away from the Merzke homestead. Regretfully, the fun did not last. Their marriage ended in divorce. Charlie Jacques later married a woman named Jennie.

Rose spent some time working as a tailoress and lived at 7 Maria St. She was a very stylish woman in her day and wore lovely cloths.

Rose married Henry C. Smidt of 45 Crombie St. on September 2, 1925 in Concordia Lutheran Church. Attending them were Rose’s sister, Marian Merzke and Henry’s brother, Louis C. Smidt. Henry was a wholesale salesman selling imported foods such as teas, candy and cookies to small neighborhood stores. He was a kind and jovial kind of man.

Rose and Henry lived at 12 DeJonge St.  They had one daughter, Ruth M. Smidt born January 4, 1926. Grandpa Merzke would tease that Henry was the better man because all of Grandpa’s children took nine months to be born, but Henry produced a child in just six months. By all accounts the teasing was all in good fun and no one held anything against Henry. Indeed, everyone was very fond of him.

Henry Smidt died April 15, 1969 at age 84. Rose died March 13, 1984 at age 92. They are buried in White Haven Cemetery.

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