Salome “Sally” Lauffer Groshans 1850-1898

Salome Groshans was the Great Great Grandmother of my children.  Fact finding for her life story has been challenging and my research is spotty and incomplete. I have hit “brick walls” while searching for something (anything) that would tell me a story about her.  My hope is that someone reading this article will have more information and answers to  many of my questions.

So, what do I know?  Facts on ancestry sites about Salome’s life are almost NONE.  I was only able to understand some of her story through the history of her husband and her 8 children and those 8 children’s descendants.  Salome and Gottlieb immigrated to the United States having arrived from Alsace ( an area in Europe that sometimes belonged to France and at other times to Germany.)   Illinois was the place that Salome and her husband Gottlieb Jack Groshans settled in.  They moved to a region in Illinois that was known for the coal mining industry. In fact, many of the men in this extended family, worked as coal miners.

I started the research by looking at  the 1900 census. Salome’s husband, Gottlieb Groshans, is listed as head of household in that year.  At the time of the 1900 census he was 50 years old. Salome is not listed in the 1900 census as she had died in 1899. In the census, Gottlieb states that  his birth was in France in October of 1849. He states that he immigrated to the United States in 1886.  Gottlieb lists his occupation, for that year, as Farm Laborer.  In this 1900 census his home is listed as 6th Street in the town of Bruce, LaSalle, Illinois.

It appears that Salome only lived to the age of 47 and yet still bore 8 children before her death in 1899. I believe she was born on 30 June 1851. Her children were:

1st child – Caroline “Carrie” Groshans 1869-1936.  Birth on 14 May 1869 in Alsace-Lorraine, France.  Death on 3 May 1936 in Streator, LaSalle, Illinois. Caroline married Alvin Weber in 1888.  Caroline states that her immigration to the states was in 1887 (a different date than her father had listed). Like her father, Carrie is buried at Riverview Cemetery, Streator, LaSalle, Illinois. Carrie Groshans and  Alvin Weber had these children:

  1. Charles Frederick “Freddie” Weber, 1891-1915. Married Ida May Weber. In the 1910 census he lived at W. Barber Street, Streator, Illinois.  His occupation was coal miner in 1910.  In 1920, his occupation is worker in a factory. In the 1930 census, his occupation is listed as truck driver for a bakery.
  2. Walter P. Weber, 24 July 1893-16 Oct. 1955. Married Marie Wilhelmina Erle. He worked as a carpenter for the railroad.
  3. Ernest E. Weber, 1895-1983. He married Zelma. In 193o census he is a proprietor of a bakery.  Ernest is also a WWII veteran.  He too is buried at Riverview Cemetery, Streator, Illinois. ernest-e-weber
  4. Louis Weber, 30 Sept. 1897 – 18 Feb. 1973.  Married Lillian M. Kettman.  In the 1930 census his occupation is baker in a bakery shop.
  5. Reita Weber, 26 Sept. 1901 – 24 January 1983.  Death in Los Angeles, CA. Possible spouse, ? Beuscher.
  6. George A. Weber, 1904-? In the 1930 census he states that he is a single man working as a truck driver for a bakery.
  7. Norma Kathryn Weber, 28 Feb. 1905- 17 Nov. 1994.  She married Harry Hoagland. In the 1940 census, her husband lists his occupation as salesman.
  8. Bertha F. Weber, 11 Feb. 1907-3 Jan. 2003.  Bertha married Andrew J. Hudachko. In the 1930 census, Bertha lists her occupation as salesperson in a bakery.
  9. Hazel Weber, 1910 – ?.

2nd child- Maria “Mary” Rosina Groshans 1869-?  Maria was born in Germany. In 1888, Mary married Theodore Oeser, 14 Dec. 1866-31 Oct. 1946.  Their family moved to California at some point. Theodore lists his occupation in the 1900 census as coal miner.  Mary and Theodore had these children:


  1. Frank Oeser, Nov. 1890-1909. He died at age 19. He is buried at Riverview Cemetery
  2. Albert G. Oeser, 5 Dec. 1892-6 Dec. 1958.  Albert married Jean Brown.  They had daughter Alma J. Oeser 1915-2007 and son Arthur J. Oeser 1917-? As you can see, he lists his occupation as coal miner.


  1. Alma E. Oeser, 1894-1904.  She died at age 10.
  2. Carl Arthur Oeser, 26 Aug. 1896 – 4 March 1923.  He died at the age of 26. He married Irma Johnson and had three children: Carlye Arnold Oeser, 1919-? ,  Reita Arline Oeser, 19 August 1919 – 17 March 2008, and Amanda Oeser, 11 August 1921 – 17 July 2009.


  1. Edwin F. Oeser, 1898- 25 Oct. 1992. He married Grace E. Dayson. They had a daughter, Barbara Marie Oeser, 27 Sept. 1926 – 29 April 1998.  Edwin was the president of Acme eyelet and stamping company.
  2. Henry Theodore “Heini” Oeser, 2 March 1901- 16 June 1932.

3rd child- Louis Christian Groshans, 5 October 1872- 9 July 1944.  Louis was born in France. Louis married Elizabeth. Family hand written notes say that he was an auto garage manager.  He was deafened by a coal mine accident at age 15.  He died in the mid 1940’s from being hit by a car.  Our notes say this happened in Cincinnati, OH. The children of Louis and Elizabeth were:

  1. Lewis Eric Groshans, 1872-1944,
  2. Lillian Reita Groshans,  1919-2001,
  3. Howard F. Groshans, 1923-1980,
  4. Donald Ray Groshans, 1926-2001
  5. Dr. Russell G. Groshans, 1929 – 2015
  6. Sharon Groshans, 1931-?

Louis Groshans and Elizabeth Bosse

Louis Groshans and Elizabeth Bosse

4th child-Sarah Groshans 1875-1965. Born in Sundhouse, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. Spouse August Benson.  She lists her occupation as garment worker.

30 Mar 1965 death of Sarah Groshans Benson The Times, Streator, IL

30 Mar 1965 The Times, Streator, IL

Groshans and Benson 31 Oct 1901 The Streator Free Press, IL

31 Oct 1901 The Streator Free Press, IL

5th child-Gottlieb Jack Groshans, 10 March 1878 – 28 July 1941.

Gottlieb Jack Groshans


 Gottlieb or “G. Jack” is our family’s direct ancestor.  He is the Great Grandfather of my children.  He was born in France and died in Bruce, Streator, LaSalle, IL. At the age of 34, he married Maude Lillian Meador in 1912 in Carroll, Arkansas. His 3 children were all born in Arkansas. Family legend is that he had been apprenticed in Streator to be a boiler maker, but left that profession to run a farm.  I am not sure when he left Arkansas to return to Illinois.  He was 48 years old when his youngest son Robert was born in Arkansas.  The next residence reference I found was from 1935 (he was 57 years old) was living in Bruce, LaSalle, IL. The children of Gottlieb Jack Groshans and Maude Lillian Meador were:

  1. Rita Elizabeth Groshans, 16 January 1920-12 April 1997.  She was born in Eureka Springs, Carroll, Arkansas.  Rita was the Great Aunt to my children.  Records indicate that she also lived with her family in Streator, Il. She married Henry Tonjes Baumann on 12 July 1943. The marriage took place in Ypsilanti, MI. They had one daughter, Barbara Anne Baumann who married Daniel Walter.
  2. Robert Jack Groshans, 14 April 1926- 17 March 1984.  Robert is our family’s direct ancestor and was the loving grandfather of my children.  He was born in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. As a child, he moved with his family to Streator, IL.Robert married Madeline Mary Bravin in Washington, DC on 19 April, 1952.  Shortly after their marriage, they resided in Ypsilanti, MI. Later, Bob and Madeline moved to Saline, MI. Robert passed away at the age of 57 and continues to be greatly missed by the family.
  3. Charlotte Zelma Groshans (infant death, died at 3 days old).  I do not know the birth order for Charlotte.

6th child- Louise Groshans, July 1884-1969 Louise was born in Illinois. She married Joseph Mueller. The children of Louise Groshans and Joseph Mueller are:

  1. George J. Mueller born in approx. 1906 in North Dakota.
  2. Louise Mueller born in approx. 1907 in North Dakota.
  3. John D. Mueller born in approx. 1909 in North Dakota.
  4. Jacob Mueller born in approx. 1910 in Cameron, Ward, North Dakota.
  5. Mary Mueller born in approx. 1912 in North Dakota
  6. Donald Richard Mueller born 8 August 1918 in Ryder Ward, North Dakota.  Died 20 December 1987 in Streator, Il.
19 Oct 1969 death of Louise Spokane, WA

19 Oct 1969 Spokane, WA

7th child- Phillip August Groshans, 9 April 1887 -22 May 1952.  Was born in Streator, IL. In the 1930 census he states that his occupation is repairing furniture. His burial is at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Streator, IL. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

draft card for Philip Groshans

veteran headstone for Philip GroshansPhilip Groshans 1900 census

Philip Groshans find a grave

Groshans from 1943 Streator Illinois City Directory

8th child- Jacob “Jake” Groshans.  No birth or death information.  Possible spouse is Lillian.

As you can see, there are few facts that I have found on Salome.  One family treasure is a set of  hand-written notes that I believe were composed by my brother-in-law, Dan Groshans.  These notes provided me with names that helped my research.


Click on this link if you want to read a previous blog I wrote on  gottlieb-jack-groshans









1 thought on “Salome “Sally” Lauffer Groshans 1850-1898

  1. Norman Jensen

    This is the first time I have run across this site. I just googled Ryder, ND, Groshans and this was one of the hits. I have done quite a bit on my wife’s genealogy. Salome Laufer is her great grandmother. I found a guy in Alsace who could push back Salome’s family one generation and the Groshans family to a man named David Grosshans who was born in 1658 in Switzerland and migrated to Alsace. My wife is Sara Mueller Jensen and grew up in Streator. I have a picture of Salome. My email is Why don’t you contact me via this email. I am not sure what you name is. Maybe you are already in my database. A lot of the people you mention are in it.
    Norman Jensen



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