[home]       [Pfleger Family tree]       [Pfleger index]       [surname index]

To jump straight to photographs, click here: pics

Gert, Lou, or their daughters are spoken of in the following letters: 9-9-1932 Wachdorfs; 9-30-1932 Irene; 10-13-1932 Irene; 11-4-1932 Irene; 11-18-1932 Irene

Gertrude M. Bornhofen Pfleger

8-13-1885 to 8-5-1945





  plus 2 more who died


Joe's info is on the Bornhofen page.

John is on the 1880 census but not the 1900, in which his mother lists herself as mother of 5, two surviving

married 6-7-1905


Lou Pfleger

1-10-1883 to 3-20-1960




  Marie Pfleger (Traut)

Catherine Pfleger (Seaman)

  Leona Pfleger (Brennan)


Gert's mother,

Catherine Merten Bornhofen

connected via sisters

and half sisters to the

Bitner, Eck, Jann, and Utschig families.

 I also suspect a connection to the Wirtz family, but have been unable to track it down.

See photo at

Bornhofen's 50th


John J. Bornhofen


Catherine A. Merten

spouse's parents:

Johann Pfleger


Maria Grimm

maternal grandparents:

Joseph Merten & Gertrude Schmitz

(after Joseph's death she married August Utschig)


paternal grandparents:

unknown of Coblenz, Germany

maternal aunts & uncles:

(her mother's twin) Margaret Merten Eck & Christian, Emma/Anna Merten Voell & Paul, Theresia Utschig Gesellchen & Peter, Maria Utschig Jann & Johann, Veronica Juliana Utschig Bittner & Benedict, Anna Gertrude Utschig Jann & Frederick, Anthony Utschig & Christina Rothgary, Gertrude Utschig (died 1916)


paternal aunts & uncles:


Click on any image to enlarge. Once enlarged, to zoom, move cursor to right of image, back onto image, click again. * photo loaned by one of Marie's daughters


bridesmaids on left are Lou's cousin Hilda Grimm and his sisters Dell and Irene (seated). Last name of one of the groomsmen is Jann, I think

bridesmaids from left are Hilda Grimm, Irene Pfleger, Dell, and unknown. Groomsmen unknown

*clockwise from left: Gert's brother Joe, daughter Marie, father John, mother Catherine, daughter Catherine, husband Lou, herself, with daughter Leona

from left: Dell, Ed (Oscar's), Gert behind Catherine, Marie behind Leona, Oscar, Lou, Eleanor (Oscar's)

Emil Wiedman?, Bernard Traut, Marie, Oscar, Gert, Lou, Dell & husband Harry Wachdorf. Seated: Oscar's wife Annie & kids Eleanor and Edward

from left: Bernard Traut, Marie, Oscar's Eleanor, Gert, Oscar's Ed, Harry & Dell Wachdorf, Annie & Oscar, Lou

her parents' 50th. 4/1929. See link below photo gallery to go to labeled version of this photo

1-6-1934 her nephew's wedding. Next shot is same with everyone labeled.

same as previous, with labels. Gert is #36

same occasion, slightly less blurry shot

Gert's death certificate 1945

Her obituary

Gert & Lou's tombstone, St. Mary's Cemetery, Evergreen Park, IL

Commemorative marker over the tombstones. It says Bornhofen on the other side.

To go to labeled version of her parents' golden anniversary photo, click here: Bornhofen's 50th


1900 census, Chicago, Ward 5, Southtown, 27th St.:

John Bornhofen, born March 1849 in Germany, immigrated 1865, married 21 years, carpenter

Wife Kate, 41, born Dec. 1858 in Wisconsin of parents born in Germany, mother of 5, two surviving

Daughter Gertrude, 14, born August 1885 in Illinois

Son Joseph, 6, born May 1894 in Illinois.

6-7-1905 Gert married Lou Pfleger. In the wedding photo, one bridesmaid is unidentified, but the other three are the groom's sisters, Irene & Dell Pfleger, and his cousin, Hilda Grimm. Two of the groomsmen are the bride's cousins, Herb Jann & Ed Eck. The others are not currently known.

Oct. 2, 1908 advertisement Southtown Economist

Wanted--a young man of good character, to join promising male chorus. Social and musical benefits. Dues 25 cents a month. Address or call on the president, LJ Pfleger, 7429 Harvard av.


1910 census, Chicago, 7429 Harvard: She is still living in her father's house, same essential information as 1900, but Gert is now listed as married for five years, and her husband, Lou Pfleger, 27-year-old cashier born in Michigan, and her daughter, two-year-old Marie, born in Illinois, are in the house as well.


WWI draft registration, Sept. 1918

Lou filled out his draft card with the 7429 Harvard address, listing his wife as Gertrude M. Pfleger, and his employment as Supt. at (best guess) A. Brandioline Co. of 2341 State St. Gert's brother Joe filled out a draft card as well, listing the same home address.

1920 census, still 7429 Harvard: essentially the same information, but John Bornhofen lists his birthplace not as the generic Germany, but specifically as Coblenz. Son Joe now lists a profession, which appears to be "hooker" for the steel works. Gert and family are still in the house, with two more daughters added--Catherine and Leona.

1930 census, still 7429 Harvard: John finally does not list himself as a carpenter, having apparently retired at some point between 70 and 81 years old. He repeats the immigration date of 1865. His middle initial is added (John J.) as is wife, Kate's (Catherine A.) plus their ages at marriage are given as 30 and 21. Joe has married Katherine Bitner and moved out, but Gert and Lou are still there. Lou has become an accountant for a woolen goods manufacturer. Their oldest daughter, Marie C., 21, lists her occupation as teacher--dramatic arts.

A rugged period followed for the family. In 1930, Gert's mother died, followed in 1931 by her father, and then in 1932 Leona and Catherine fell sick. Excerpts from letters written by Lou's sister, Irene, to her daughter in 1932 include:

9-9-1932: "I almost forgot to tell you--Leona Pfleger came home from the hospital Thursday night and has developed pneumonia since. I think she is pretty sick. Say a prayer for her." Three weeks later, 9-30-1932: "I am out at Aunt Gertie's...thought I would drop out and see Leona as I hadn't been to see her since she took so sick. She is feeling pretty good now and expects to go to school soon."

Leona comes out of the woods at the end September, but apparently Catherine came down sick right behind her, because Irene writes on 11-4-1932: "Arthur (Irene's son) was out to Aunt Gertie's yesterday, giving her a hand at cleaning the basement. Catherine is still pretty bad although she does have a pretty good day once in a while." Thirteen days later, things have gone downhill. 11-17-1932: "Say a prayer for Catherine as she is very sick, had the priest and doctor at 4 o'clock Saturday morning."

One last thing in Irene's letters, regarding Lou and Gert's wedding party. 11-18-1932: "Aunt Gertie called me up this morning and told me Helen Jann's father died in California and will be buried here in Chicago Monday. Daddy and I will probably go to see him as he stood up with me when Uncle Louis was married." (Helen Jann's father was Gert's cousin, Herbert Jann.)

1943: Economist listed blood donors for the war drive. Gert Pfleger was on the list 1-27 and 7-4.

Obituary, Southtown Economist 8-12-1945

Pfleger--Gertrude M. Bornhofen Pfleger 7429 Harvard ave. Wife of Louis J, mother of Mrs. Marie Traut, Mrs. Catherine Seaman and Mrs. Leone Brennan. Beloved sister of Joseph J. Bornhofen. Services held yesterday. Burial St. Mary

According to the death certificate (in the photo gallery above), her coronary thrombosis occurred in January, and she almost held out until her birthday--born Aug. 13, 1885, died Aug. 8, 1945. I tried looking up the weather for the summer of 1945, and all I could find was that the record hottest July 31st for Chicago was in 1945, so I presume it was a blistering Chicago summer. 

Connection: her sister-in-law was Irene Pfleger Wachdorf