When Gottlieb Jack Groshans was born on 10 Mar 1878, in Sundhouse, Bas-Rhin, France, his father, Gottlieb, was 30 and his mother, Salome “Sallie” Lauffer, was 27.
In the 1920 U.S. census Gottlieb Jack (“G. Jack”) Groshans was 41 years old. In this census, he provided the date of his immigration from France to the U.S.A. as 1880 (he was only a toddler.)“Alsace is located on France’s eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to Germany and Switzerland.” At the time of this 1920 census, he listed his occupation as a farmer. He states that his wife Maude was born in Arkansas. Her father was born in Kentucky and her mother was born in Arkansas. Gottlieb Jack and Maude’s home in 1920 was in Winona, Carroll, Arkansas.
G. Jack Groshans received citizenship to the U.S. in 1886 when he was 8 years old. His marriage to Maude Lillian Meador was on 12 Jun 1912 in Carroll, Arkansas.
In the 1940 US census G. “Jack” Groshans lives in the Bruce, LaSalle, Illinois with his wife Maude, daughter Rita and son Robert Groshans.
I noticed that his wife Maude was considerably younger than G. Jack. He was born in 1878 and she was born in 1887.
His wife Maude died 17 Jan 1971 in Ypsilanti, MI. She lived to be 83 years old. She had spent 30 years as a widow after his death.
Gottlieb Groshans was the Great, Great Grandfather of my children.
When Gottlieb Groshans (or Grosshans) was born on 25 Nov 1847, his father, Jean Jacques “Jacob” Grosshans, was 39 and his mother, Marie Sigwalt Grosshans, was 30. He married Salome Lauffer in 1870. They had eight children in 17 years. He died on 25 Aug 1919, in Kankakee, Illinois, at the age of 71, and was buried in Streator, Illinois.
Recently, I have discovered that Gottlieb’s name originally was Theophile Grosshans. Theophile is a French name and means “loved by God.” When the French region of Alsace where Theophile was placed under German control, Theophile needed to change to a German name. The German name he selected was Gottlieb because it also means “one who loves God.” I find it remarkable that he kept the meaning of his name intact even though he had to make a name change! The 1871German take over of the Alsace region occurred after the German Empire was victorious in the Franco Prussian War. The German occupation lasted until 1918. So, Gottlieb was 24 when his homeland became controlled by the German Empire.
As you can see by time of the 1919 death notices below, he was using the name Gottlieb Groshans.
26 Aug 1919 The Times, Streator IL
Here are the children that I have found in my research:
THE 1900 US CENSUS (note that Salome is not listed in this census as she was deceased)
In the 1900 US census, he is listed as Gottliebes G*Shous. (Please remember that the census takers did not worry about writing what they “heard.”) In the 1900 census, we learn this information: He is the head of household with a birth date listed as October 1849. So, the there is a birth date conflict as he was actually born in 1847. Did he want to appear younger in the census or was there a poor note-taker? He states his occupation as Farm Laborer. He owns a home and it looks like it was on 6th Street in LaSalle, Streator, IL. He states that his birth place was France and that this was also the birth place of his parents. Gottlieb states that he immigrated to the USA in 1886.
In this 1900 census, Gottlieb is living with his son Louis who is employed as a coal miner. Louis’ birth date is listed as October 1872. The census states that Louis was born in France.
In this 1900 census, Gottlieb is also living with his daughter Zetmar. Her birth date is listed as May of 1877 in France. Her occupation is as a garment worker. (My other research shows she may have used the name Sarah and that her birth date may not match this census???)
In this 1900 census, Gottlieb is also living with his daughter Annie. Her birth date is listed as May 1881. She was born in Illinois. Her occupation is also listed as a garment worker.
In this 1900 census, Gottlieb is also living with his daughter Louisa who was born in July of 1884 in Illinois. The census shows that Louisa was 15 years old and still in school.
This article was written by Maude Lillian Meador Groshans who was my children’s great grandmother. Maude Lillian Meador was born on April 16, 1887, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, her father, Robert Meador, was 25, and her mother, Charlotte Shipman, was 22. She married Gottlieb Jack Groshans on June 12, 1912, in her hometown. She died on January 17, 1971, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at the age of 83, and was buried in Streator, Illinois. (note that Maude picked the name Robert Jack for her son. This must have been a namesake because her father was named Robert and her husband was Gottlieb “Jack” Groshans.)
Submitted at the usual rates by Mrs. Jack Groshans 104 Wall St. Eureka Springs, Ark.
SOMEDAY I SHALL BE OLD by Maude Meador-Groshans.
The warning whistle of “fair, slim, and forty”, bids me STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN. FOR THE ENGINE OF OLD AGE IS THUNDERING JUST BEYOND THE CURVE.
Now I have an ambition to be a healthy, happy, likable old lady. For some reason the opinions of the aged seem to set like concrete, therefore I will warn myself of the pitfalls before that time comes.
These are rules and regulations to guide me when I find myself “not so young as I was”.
Do be scrupulously clean physically. A dirty old person is an abomination. A soiled baby is sometimes cunning -an elderly person never. Bathe daily and see that the linen next your skin is spotless. Watch for bodily odors – and use a deodorant. Thus you avoid disgusting your friends.
Be careful of your appearance. I hope my grandchildren will be proud of “the way grandma looks”.
Keep the mind dressed in up to date ideas. You are as young as your mind; read new books, see new plays, hear new music, see new pictures-and do it with an unprejudiced mind -strive to get the modern viewpoint. Don’t let your mind stay in a rut twenty years behind the times.
don’t condemn present styles; they are as beautiful as what you wore thirty years ago and likely more sanitary. If you do not believe it, get out the fashions and examine the hats, skirts, sleeves, shoes, and think it over.
NEVER under any provocation offer advice. Keep still. You had to learn, and it developed you, didn’t it? Why deny others the chance to grow? Besides, people do not really want advice. They tell you their troubles and say “What would you do?” Honestly now, how many ever followed your advice? Can you recall one? And was your advice wise? Free advice is not valued highly. If the case is really serious, send them to a lawyer if it is legal, to a doctor if physical or mental, to a minister if spiritual, and to other professions if technical. At least you will be free from blame if their case is not rightly diagnosed. In the same way, avoid seeking advice from any except those competent to give it, and our friends seldom are – the very fact that they are friends may blind or bias their judgement.
Keep family affairs to yourself. You may be wrongfully treated, but it is human nature to take the side o the absent one (mentally, if not audibly). Besides it is undignified. If you have to live with the younger generation, your years should have taught you the art of adjusting yourself. Surely, you should be wiser than they. Loyalty is a wonderful thing. If you live with an in-law whom you detest, keep it to yourself. Don’t tell your children if you dislike their mates. There is a possibility they dislike you, too, you know, and it isn’t making it any easier for criticism to creep in.
Don’t, please don’t, advise young mother how to rear their children. They invariably resent it and modern methods are different to what they were when you reared yours. “The world do progress”. Besides their mistakes are a help to them. And never correct other people’s children. So many old folks have the annoying habit of admonishing “Now, now, you mustn’t do that. Nice little boys don’t do that”. “Why, Susie, that isn’t polite. What would Miss Blank think if she saw you do that?” Oh, but the children hate it and I have inwardly marveled at the control of the children in not answering as rudely as the questioner deserved . After all, if your grandchildren, or your friend’s offspring are rude, ill-mannered, ill-tempered nuisances, you are not responsible, and so why worry, and why annoy the mother by criticizing?
Don’t begin by being imposed upon by your married children. Taking care of the kiddies while parents take a vacation, or for the afternoon while mother goes to a party or lecture can soon become slavery and your time is no longer your own. There is a conspiracy among young folks that their parents never have anything they are interested in which they cannot leave without warning. They take it for granted that “Mother will be glad to keep the children”. Does the prospect appeal to you? Want all your time mortgaged? Well, I don’t. If you, at the beginning, let it be known that you ‘ll enjoy having them unless you have another engagement, or there is something else you would rather do, the children will soon learn that you do it as a favor. They will find a way to manage without making a drudge of you. Sounds selfish but to offset this, I say there are times when parents should sacrifice to help their children. If daughter is recovering from a wearing illness, or son has had a nervous breakdown and grandmother could keep the children a few weeks, it would be a duty shirked not to lend a hand. What I contend is, young people need the responsibility, as well as the joy of a family and you rob them of character development if you let them shift the load on you .
Get an interest in life – a hobby . Start a collection of something and learn all you can about your collection and similar ones. Study butterflies or birds – keep a record of kinds seen, time of arrival and departure, habitat. Photography may be as placid or as strenuous as you wish. Grow a special flower or vegetable; raise chickens or ducks or squabs or goldfish – do something that interests you. It will help to keep you fit physically, fresh mentally, probably keep you out of somebody’s way.
The most difficult accomplishment to acquire is that of being an intelligent listener.
We all like to talk but don’t we treasure that friend who by cleverly placed question or an apt answer makes us forget how we are monopolizing the conversation? And what a subtle way of acquiring reputation for wisdom.
A sunny natured old person is a joy. Not one of those determinedly jolly old duffers who meet you with a slap on the back and a “Fine day. Ha! Ha!” manner. Just simple good humor.
Don’t talk of aches and pains. All old people seem to have them. People hate to listen – and they seldom care. Tell it to your doctor. He is probably bored stiff but at least he can charge you for listening. ·
Avoid food which you know is injurious to you. Take care of your health. sleep long hours – rest in the middle of the day (a nap is better); drink large quantities of water; eat simple foods; don’t worry about other’s affairs. Life will continue when you are gone.
Cultivate friendships with younger generation, then when contemporaries pass on, there remain strong links with the present and you are getting a new viewpoint.
Save enough to be modestly independent. If you need care in old age, having the money to buy service takes away that humiliating feeling that your relatives are discommoding themselves and families doing what you should have had the foresight to avoid. Better to spend less now and have more later. “If youth but knew what age would crave, it would both make and save”.
So many old folks give away, or sign away their independence to someone on the promise of having a home and care as long as they live. DON’T DO IT. I have never yet seen it work successfully . Keep what you have and pay as you go. Then if you are unsuited you can go elsewhere. This is the most serious fault of the elderly, and I think someway ought to be devised by law to avoid it being done.
I should like to grow old gracefully – no, placidly, and they are not synonymous. Not from a desire to fool the public about my age. Who cares how old I am, anyway? Besides it is a waste of time to lie about your age in your home town. There is always some old woman to tell on you. We all know her. She begins sternly “She is fifty-four, I remember she was born the August after my Benny in June and he was fifty-four the fourteenth.
Don’t take root in a place. All of us are familiar with a pathetic old mother grieving herself to death for her old home and old friends. The prospect of settling down for life sounds peaceful, but we are not masters of our own destiny and changes may come that make it imperative that a change be made. How much better to teach ourselves to be adaptable and enjoy the move than to go mooning around, making everyone miserable around us over the unavoidable.
If you want to be a healthy, happy old person, begin now to lay the foundations. The cheerful, resourceful aged are not sudden products – they developed slowly from youth.
You cannot be a glutton now and otherwise abuse your body and be a hale old person, anymore than you can make a cesspool of your mind now and have a sane, clean outlook in later years. Nor can you let your spiritual life fester with doubts and “isms” and meet death tranquilly.
Be tolerant of other’s ideas and opm1ons. Taboo religious arguments, or political differences . Among women don’t discuss age, weight, or diet! don’t reminisce about yourself. Don’t talk of the good old days – “Today is the best day the world has ever seen, tomorrow will be better”. Don’t express the idea that young people are fools and immoral – our grandmothers said the same of us.
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:
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.
Walter P. Weber, 24 July 1893-16 Oct. 1955. Married Marie Wilhelmina Erle. He worked as a carpenter for the railroad.
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.
Louis Weber, 30 Sept. 1897 – 18 Feb. 1973. Married Lillian M. Kettman. In the 1930 census his occupation is baker in a bakery shop.
Reita Weber, 26 Sept. 1901 – 24 January 1983. Death in Los Angeles, CA. Possible spouse, ? Beuscher.
George A. Weber, 1904-? In the 1930 census he states that he is a single man working as a truck driver for a bakery.
Norma Kathryn Weber, 28 Feb. 1905- 17 Nov. 1994. She married Harry Hoagland. In the 1940 census, her husband lists his occupation as salesman.
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.
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:
Frank Oeser, Nov. 1890-1909. He died at age 19. He is buried at Riverview Cemetery https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=79621855&ref=acom
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.
Alma E. Oeser, 1894-1904. She died at age 10.
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.
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.
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:
4th child-Sarah Groshans1875-1965. Born in Sundhouse, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. Spouse August Benson. She lists her occupation as garment worker.
30 Mar 1965 The Times, Streator, IL
31 Oct 1901 The Streator Free Press, IL
5th child-Gottlieb Jack Groshans, 10 March 1878 – 28 July 1941.
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:
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.
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.
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:
George J. Mueller born in approx. 1906 in North Dakota.
Louise Mueller born in approx. 1907 in North Dakota.
John D. Mueller born in approx. 1909 in North Dakota.
Jacob Mueller born in approx. 1910 in Cameron, Ward, North Dakota.
Mary Mueller born in approx. 1912 in North Dakota
Donald Richard Mueller born 8 August 1918 in Ryder Ward, North Dakota. Died 20 December 1987 in Streator, Il.
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.
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.