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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Willian Paul Merzke

William (Bill) Merzke
William Paul Merzke was the twelfth child.  He was born at home on February 5, 1907, the first of the children to be born at 181 Weaver St.   He was baptized May 16, 1907 at Concordia Lutheran Church. William’s sponsors were William Main, Paul J?, and Mina Bonke.  He was confirmed on May 20, 1921 at Concordia Lutheran Church.

Bill, Billy John & Sadie
William, who was known as Bill, married Sadie Elizabeth Bark who was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  They were married on July 4, 1925 by Rev. Harry Long, pastor of Bethel Full Gospel Church on 20 Ripley St., Rochester, NY. Their first home was with Sadie’s parents at 80 Medfield Drive.   For a short time they lived at 101 Woodbine Avenue. They moved to Irondequoit and lived there until moving to 38 East Park Road, RD 2, Pittsford, Monroe County, New York. Bill and Sadie had one son, William John (Billy John) Merzke who is still living.

Bill & Sadie
Bill worked as an auto mechanic for several years.  Sadie worked as a bookkeeper. Bill then went into building. However, during World War Two when home building was at a standstill, he worked as a foreman for the Eastman Kodak Company.  Following the war he went back to building.  He formed William P. Merzke & Son, Inc. Bill had wonderful and innovative ideas that made him a well respected builder.  Most of his building was done in the Pittsford, NY area.  His houses are among the finest of their time.

Sadie died on January 6, 1975. Bill died October 11, 1984 in Lake Worth, Palm Beach, Florida.  They are buried in White Haven Memorial Cemetery.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Henry Carl Merzke, Jr.

Henry (Hank) Merzke
Henry Carl Merzke, Jr. and Ruth Maria Merzke were the tenth and eleventh children.  They were born at home at 208 Berlin St. on June 6, 1902.   They were baptized July 6, 1902. Henry’s sponsors were Maria’s older brother, Henry Smarcz and Johanna Regner. Ruth’s sponsors were August Brickert and Almine Sick. Ruth died November 10, 1902 at four months and 4 days of Gastro Euteritis. She is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery.  Hank often introduced his youngest brother, Floyd as his twin brother. Though misleading, it was technically true.  They were twins and they were brothers.  They just happened to be born ten years apart.

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Henry was known as Hank married Beatrice K. Koester on May 18, 1926. Their first home was at 66 Lang St.  They moved to 826 Joseph Avenue in 1933 and lived there until 1967. Hank and Beatrice had two daughters.  Betty and Gladys who are both still living

Betty Merzke
Hank worked as a presser for Hickey Freeman Clothing Manufacturer.  Beatrice, like many other members of the Koester family, worked in several bakeries.  One such place was Johnney’s Bakery on Joseph Avenue.  They made wonderful light rye bread and delicious sheet cakes.  Those sheet cakes were often included on the menu of the Merzke Family Reunions. 
Gladys Merzke

Hank died January 21, 1967. Beatrice died June 8, 1991.  They are buried in White Haven Memorial Cemetery.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Albert Henry Merzke

Albert Merzke
Albert Henry Merzke was the ninth child.  He was born at home on July 24, 1900, the last of the children to be born at 39 Henry St.   He was baptized August 4, 1900. Sponsoring Albert were his uncle, Albert Smarcz and Maria Krapp.  He was confirmed at Concordia Lutheran Church.
Albert, who was known as Ep, married his childhood sweetheart, Leona Caroline Berndt. They were married on December 31, 1921 in Concordia Lutheran Church, Rochester, NY.  They lived at 106 Cinnabar Road in Irondequoit, NY and than moved to 5036 St. Paul Blvd. in Irondequoit where they lived for the rest of Ep’s life. Ep and Leona had two children. Elvira Leona Merzke and Gilbert Merzke. Both are still living.
Leona Berndt Merzke
Ep’s first jobs were for oil companies. He was a manager at the Monroe County Union Oil Company and than became a manager for the Colonial Beacon Oil Company where he worked for several years. Ep was eventually hired by the Eastman Kodak Company and worked “B” trick there until his death.  After the children were grown, Ep and Leona opened their home to many foster children.  Some of the children were only there for a short time, but five of the boys were there for many years.  They included two sets of brothers and John “Joey” Carmen. 
Albert died of cancer on October 7,1964. At the time of his death, Leona did not know how to drive a car and had never had a job outside of the home.  Her brother-in-law, Floyd taught her how to drive.  She took a job doing what she knew best.  She was hired by a young couple with a new baby to care for the child while they worked.  They both were school teachers, so Leona had her summers free.  She finally retired from this job when the couple’s fifth and final child was in school full time.  Leona died June 5, 1995 at the age of 91.  Leona and Albert are buried in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, Rochester, New York.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Walter Henry Frederick Merzke

Walter Henry Frederick Merzke, the eighth child, was born at home at 39 Henry St. on March 28,1899.   He was baptized May 28, 1899. His sponsors were Dora Smarcz, Fr. Tomaschke and Fr. Gabbie.Walt, who was known as “Scoop”, married a widow, Muriel Hazel Dake on July 5, 1927  in Concordia Lutheran Church. Attending them were Scoop’s brother, Erwin Merzke and Nellie Scheik. 

Walt worked for some time in tailoring and then as a truck driver for White Linen Supplies Laundry.  Muriel worked as a re-winder for Eastman Kodak Co., and in a bookbindery.  Walt and Muriel’s first home was located at 133 Fairfax Road. They moved to 1000 Clinton Avenue North. Later they moved to 49 Moulson St. and then to 32 Rosalie Drive, Greece, N.Y.

Muriel’s first husband was Fred Daub.  Together they had a daughter Hazel P. Daub who is still living. Fred Daub died January 14, 1923. Walt and Muriel had one child together, a son, Gerald Donald Merzke who is also still living.  Walt died May 19, 1962. Muriel died eleven years later on August 20, 1971.  They are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Penfield, N.Y. along with many other members of the Dake family.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Luella "Ella" Merzke

Luella “Ella” Merzke, the seventh child, was born at home at 26 Alphonse St. on November 23, 1897.   She was baptized December 19, 1897.  Her sponsors were Maria’s half-brother, Otto Smarcz, Augusta Regginor and Rose Merzke.  Ella married Norman W. Tallman in Concordia Lutheran on December 10, 1919.  Attending them were Louisa Guenther and Ella’s brother, Albert Merzke.  Ella worked for some time as a tailoress and later was as a worked in the Ruler Factory.  Norm was a World War One Army veteran and was working as a streetcar conductor when he met Ella.  After they married he worked as a fireman at a mill and later as a machinist in the Ruler Factory.

Ella and Norm’s home was at 20 Cummings Avenue in Silver Springs, Wyoming County, New York. Their home was warm and comfortable and everyone in the family loved to come and visit.  Ella’s youngest brother, Floyd often spent his summers there.  In the early years Merzke Family Reunions were held in Silver Springs and they were fun filled three-day affairs. 

The Cummings Avenue home was situated on a double lot.  The house  was on the corner lot and the adjoining lot was a grassy patch with featured a large rose garden.  Norm’s roses were famous attracting the attention of all the neighbors.  He had the only hybrid tea roses in the area.  At that time, hybrid tea roses were too tender to survive the cold winters of Silver Springs.  Norm overcame that problem by sheltering each plant during the winter by placing heavy mulch around them and covering each one with a garbage can held in place by heavy rocks.  This gave the added warmth needed for the bushes to survive.

Ella and Norm had two daughters. Areta Pearl Tallman and Evelyn Ada Tallman.

Norm Tallman died suddenly and peacefully on September 23, 1970 while sitting on the side porch having a bedtime snack of milk and cookies.  Following Norm’s death, Ella moved to Rochester to be near her daughters and grandchildren.  She died December 24, 1985.  Norm and Ella are buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Wyoming County, New York.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lillian Martha Marie Merzke

Lill Merzke
Lillian Martha Marie Merzke, the sixth child, was born at home at 26 Alphonse St. on July 7, 1896.   She was baptized June 17, 1896. Her sponsors were Henrietta Shippin, Fr. Merzke and Martha Lott. Lill was particularly close to her sister Rose and the two of them spent lots of time together. Apparently they both liked nice cloths and stepping out in the evening. At one time they even lived together preferring to be out from under papa's watchful eye and free from caring for younger brothers and sisters. This arrangement did not work out well for either of the girls. Both ended up in situations that lead to heartache and pain. Eventually both girls settled down and because wives and mothers.

Chuck, Cliff & June
Lill married Charles Short on March 9, 1918 in Concordia Lutheran Church. Attending them were Lill’s brother, Walter Merzke and Charlie’s sister, Loretta Short. Lill worked for some time as a tailoress and later was a housewife.  Charles drove a delivery truck for the Genesee Brewing Company.

Lill and Charlie’s house was at 86 Weyl St., the house once occupied by Chul and Nora Merzke and directly behind Lill’s parent’s home on Weaver St.  Lill and Charlie had three children.  Clifford Raymond Short was born May 29, 1919.  June Marie Short was born December 27, 1921.  Charles August Short was born October 23, 1923.  Lill died November 23, 1970.  Charlie remarried.  He died October 13, 1989.  They are buried together in White Haven Memorial Cemetery.

Cliff & June (front) Lill, Chuck & Charlie (rear)