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To see photos of Harry on this page, click here: pics

He is also in the crowd in group shots on the following pages: Bornhofen's 50th and Wirtz 50th

There are two more photo galleries on separate pages as well: Harry in WWI and Harry in Effingham 1945


Good references to Harry in letter 11-25-1932 Irene (about losing his garage to the Great Depression). Letter 1954 Feb 13 mentions picking up his things from his widow, Lydia, and talks of taking her out to dinner, etc. She is also mentioned in letters 1955 Apr 27; 1955 May 15; 1957 June 5


Henry H. "Harry" Wachdorf

8-2-1886 to 9-30-1953



  1883-Clara Roster

  1884-Kitty Hochertz

  1888-Edward Wachdorf

  1892-Joseph Wachdorf

  1895-Lettie Myers

  1897-Mae Wachdorf

  1899-Frances Stevens

  1902-Madge Wachdorf


Harry and his brother Edward married sisters

Dell & Irene Pfleger

married c. 1924-25


Dell Pfleger Wachdorf


2nd wife: Lydia Harnois


no children


On some official records

 Harry's middle initial is

 given as 

T instead of an H

his parents:

Anton Wachdorf


Anna Klein

Dell's parents:

John Pfleger &Maria Grimm

Lydia's parents:

Hubert Harnois & Margret?

His maternal grandparents:

John Klein and Christina Alberg Klein


His paternal grandparents: unknown

His maternal aunts & uncles:

Mary Klein Falkenthal & Charles, Henry Klein, Catherine (Sr. Mary Anthony), Christina Klein Lehman & George, George Klein & Laura

Click on image to enlarge. Once enlarged, to zoom, move cursor to right of image, back onto image, and click again. There are two additional photo galleries of Harry at Effingham 1945 and in WWI

Kitty, Harry, and Clara around 1887

the back of the previous photo

Harry and his little brother Edward (with tambourine) around 1890

Harry, probably Fran and Madge, Joe, Ed in front of their first 58th St. home, possibly on sister Clara's wedding day c. 1905

same day, same outfits, in the Pierce auto

the Pierce auto and its chauffeur, Harry, in front of the Pierce shop. Don't know who the customers are.

the Pierce auto, Harry 2nd from right amid bumpkins with pumpkins

Lettie, unknown, Kitty, Dell (Harry's future wife), Harry behind Tony Hochertz at Kitty and Tony's wedding c. 1911-12

"carte postale" of himself Harry had taken in France

Decoration Day 1921 (Memorial Day) from left: unknown, maybe Mae, Dell, Harry, and it looks like Lillian Sharp Grimm and Louis Grimm

matches photo that follows labeled 50 miles from Crown Point 1924

same as previous, labeled

labeled Sept 24, 1924 50 Miles from Crown Point--could this be when Dell and Harry married?

from left: Harry, brother-in-law Oscar Pfleger & Oscar's son John, Oscar's bro-in-law Edwin Enk or a Wirtz brother, Oscar's bro-in-law Emil Wiedemann

Harry on right, his brother-in-law Oscar Pfleger on left, unknown man standing

From left, back: Sis Wachdorf, Eleanor Pfleger, Ed Wachdorf Jr. Front: Emil Wiedemann, Dell, Annie & Oscar Pfleger, Harry

Harry, his wife's nephew Eddie Pfleger, his wife's sister-in-law Annie Pfleger, his wife's aunt Kittie Grimm, and his wife Dell Pfleger Wachdorf

Harry with woman who may be Lydia Harnois, his 2nd wife

in front of his house in California

Memento mori

Ed tending Harry's grave in California

Always listed on the census as "Henry" Wachdorf but always called Harry (or "big Harry" once his brother, Edward, created a "Little Harry" by naming his son Henry and also calling him Harry).

1900 census, Chicago Ward 30, District 945, 418 W. 58th St.

Anton Wachdorf, age 39, born May 1861, married 18 years, immigrated 1865, naturalized, engineer-loco

wife Annie, age 39, born May 1861, mother of 8 of whom 8 are living

daughter Clara, age 17, born June 1883, milliner

daughter Katherine, age 15, born Aug 1884 (no profession listed, nor "at school")

son Henry, age 13, born Aug 1886, at school (Harry)

son Edward, age 11, born Aug 1888, at school

son Joseph, age 8, born June 1892, at school

daughter Coletta, age 5, born May 1895

daughter "Mary," age 2, born July 1897 (Mae)

daughter Frances, 10 months, born Aug 1889

(NOTE: neighbor is John C. Miller, policeman, with sons John F. born in 1887 and Andrew born in 1894. John F. is witness on marriage certificate of Edward Wachdorf and Andrew is witness on marriage certificate of Joseph Wachdorf)


1910 census, Chicago Ward 31, District 1338, 316 W. 58th St.

Anton Wachdorf, age 45, in 1st marriage 25 yrs, column for immigration year says "?", naturalized, engineer--bridge co

wife Anna, age 45, mother of nine of whom 9 are living

daughter Catherine, age 25, packer--Stone Bros.

son Henry, age 23, chauffeur--automobile (Harry)

son Joseph G, age 17, messenger--railroad

daughter Coletta, age 14

daughter "Mary" A, age 11 (Mae)

daughter Frances B, age 9

daughter Magdalena, age 7

(Note brother Edward is living at 355 W. 58th with his new in-laws, the Pflegers.)


3-29-1910 Racine Daily Journal, Racine Wisconsin

The following are the Wisconsin and Illinois guests at the local hotels today...Belvidere--H. Wachdorf...


1917 Draft registration: Harry H. Wachdorf, age 30, of 316 W. 58th St, born Aug 5 1886, tall, stout, with brown eyes and black hair, born Chicago, mechanic--automobile, employed by MJ Nagel of 5548 Wentworth, single. (NOTE: Nagl was an undertaker, so Harry must've driven in funeral processions or...)

He did end up in the army (his military record says, "Mach Field Art US Army WWI" and he himself put on the census that asked if one was a veteran, and if so in what army or campaign, "Yes--25th." Oral history said that he brought back a scrapbook of photos from the war that was impressive, but it got lost somewhere along the line.

Note that I can not locate him in the 1920 census, and suspect he was in France as late as 1919 but there is a photograph of him back in the states in spring 1921.

Though he was paired in photographs with his brother Edward's wife's sister, Dell Pfleger, from about 1910 onward (he and Dell were godparents of Edward's first son in 1910), they did not marry until the mid 1920s, and I have never unearthed any wedding photos (nor are there any known wedding photos for Edward or Joe). The photos above labeled Sept. 1924, "50 Miles from Crown Point," may be photos of a wedding excursion, since Harry's brother Ed married in Crown Point, and the year is about right (in the 1930 census Harry lists himself as 42 years old, married at 37).

1930 census, Chicago Ward 17, Block 51, 316 W. 58th Street (owned, not rented, valued at $4000, with radio)

Anton Wachdorf, age 68, married at 21, immigrated 1866, naturalized, engineer--bridge

Wife Anna, age 68, married at 21

Grand-daughter Coletta, age 15, born IL (Joe's daughter)

daughter "Mary," age 32, general office--novelty co. (Mae)

daughter Magdalen, age 27, stenographer--Chicago Motor Co

son Henry, age 42, married at 37, auto mechanic--auto shop (Harry, whose wife Dell is with her sister at 334 W. 58th)

(Note that the neighbor is John C. Miller again--see 1900 census.  Note also that brother Edward lives just down the street at 334 W. 58th and Harry's wife, Dell, sister of Edward's wife, is living with them.)

As to the Great Depression, Harry had opened his own garage, but Irene Pfleger Wachdorf wrote to her daughter in November 1932 saying, "Uncle Harry hasn't got his business anymore as he wasn't even making enough to pay his rent so Webb is back in there again but Uncle Harry has developed into quite a chef. He makes Bisquick about every other night and sends us over a tin or two too. I told him we would be getting spoiled having hot biscuits or muffins every night for supper."

Harry and Dell had no children.

Dell died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix in 1942.

Southtown Economist 3-27-1946

Party to Climax Work

of Independent Voters

Climaxing active campaigning throughout their district, members of the third congressional district Independent Voters league will hold their first annual card party at 8 p.m. tomorrow in the Viking temple, 69th st and Emerald ave. Clifford Hazzard, 7441 Eggleston ave, is in charge of the event.

    Mr. Hazzard will be assisted by William K. Peak, 6823 Yale ave, Clyde McBride, 6130 Green st, Thomas Green, 410 W. Marquette rd, Mrs. Bertha Hunzinger, 7142 Lafayette ave, Marian Enlow, 7544 Stewart ave, and Harry Wachdorf, 5802 Princeton. (Note that the photo gallery Effingham 1945 features Harry, Cliff Hazzard, and two unknown women.)

Harry eventually moved to Long Beach, California, where he remarried to Lydia Harnois. She is mentioned in letters written from California by Harry's brother Edward. Edward mentions Frank Vrzak, Lydia and Loretta Harnois in a letter dated 5-15-1955. He says, "Hey, things are getting real serious with Frank and Loretta. In fact, they asked Irene and I to be the best people at their wedding next Saturday, May 21st at 1:30 p.m. at our church...since the courtship has been progressing we have seen plenty of them, including Lydia and ever her sister Alice from No. Hollywood..." A letter written 6-4-1955 by Edward's wife, Irene, says, "Loretta was operated on for gall stones and her gall bladder broke just before they took her up to be operated on. After only being marring since May 21st."

Harry and Lydia had no children. Harry is buried in the National Cemetery, Los Angeles, section 287, row D, site 5.


Wachdorf letters show Lydia having sisters Loretta & Alice. Loretta married the Wachdorf's California neighbor, Frank Vrzak. Note in the 1920 census the Harnois family not only live near Harry Wachdorf on Princeton ave, but Joseph Harnois is working in an auto repair shop, as did Harry Wachdorf.


1920 census, Chicago, Ward 30, 5309 Princeton

Hubert Harnois, age 52, born IL of Canadian parents, fireman

wife Margret, age 46, born Ireland

son Joseph, age 23, automobile repair shop

daughter Margret, age 19, telephone operator

daughter Lydia, age 17

son Albert, age 15

daughter Loretta, age 12

son James, age 10

daughter Violet, age 8


1910 census, Chicago West 51st st

Hubert Harnois, age 43, fireman, married 18 yrs

wife Margret, age 38, mother of 11 of whom 9 are surviving

son Robert, 17, steam fitter

son Thomas, 15

son Joseph, 13

daughter Alice, 11

daughter Margret, 9

daughter Lydia, 7

son Albert, 5

daughter Loretta, 3

son James, illegible # of months

(Loretta Harnois later married Frank Vrzak, neighbor of Harry's brother Ed in Lawndale California. SSDI Loretta Vrzak born 4-15-1907 died 1-5-1979)