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Mentioned in the following letters: 9-1932 circular letter; 9-21-1932 George Pfleger; 10-13-1932 Irene

Henry John Pfleger

7-21-1877/78/79 to 8-23-1948



1880-Oscar Pfleger

1883-Lou Pfleger

c.1885-Dell Pfleger

1888-Irene Pfleger

"Arthur" who died in 1893

        at 11 months or 2 yrs

plus two more who died


all born in Jackson, Michigan

but moved to Chicago c.1891



his sisters, Dell & Irene, married Wachdorf brothers



Louise Lift






  George Pfleger



No one within the family knew of an Edward, who is only mentioned in Henry's obituary. The only other evidence of him is the 1910 census where Louise is mother of one, with none surviving

George first entered the seminary at Mundelein, then withdrew, married, and was killed in France during WWII.


Johann Pfleger


Maria Grimm

spouse's parents:

Joseph Lift



maternal grandparents:

Frank Grimm and Katerina Lukener


paternal grandparents:

Jean/Johannes Pfleger & Katherina Walter

maternal aunts & uncles:

c.1852-Peter Grimm & Kittie (in Jackson, Michigan); c.1858-Louis Grimm & Rose (her husband after 1892 was Charles Weren); Kate Grimm (Endres) (in Germany)


paternal aunts & uncles:

1841-Walter Karl; 1842-Katharine; 1844-Karl; 1845-Johann (died as infant); c.1849-Franz Pfleger; 1850-Elizabeth (died at 4); 1852-August; 1854-Peter; 1856-Elisabetha (Schaeffer); c.1860-Lena Pfleger Philipp & August (NOTE: ONLY LENA IN THE US)


For his full Pfleger lineage going back to the 1600s, click here: Pfleger Family tree

Click on image to enlarge. Once enlarged, to activate zoom, move cursor to right of image, back onto image, and click again.

The adults are Johann and Maria Pfleger, so presume kids from left are Henry, Dell, Lou, and Oscar. Yes, young boys wore what looked like dresses

10-1902 Mary Wirtz Enk, Annie Wirtz Pfleger, Henry, Oscar Pfleger, Dell Pfleger, not sure of last man or kids (at Oscar and Annie's wedding)

probably Henry

11x14 top half, "Before and After" which is Henry and I presume Louise

bottom half

stereopticon slide of Henry and Louise's wedding reception, I think. Caption below photo gallery

same as half of previous, labeled.

Louise Lift & Henry Pfleger

Henry's draft registration 1918

his son George's wedding. Bookend groomsmen Bunky and Jerry Wachdorf, sons of Henry's sister Irene, others (bride included) not known

Henry at his nephew Harry Wachdorf's wedding, June 1948 (he's dead in August)

Henry's obituary (and only mention, perhaps mistaken, of a son named Edward)

Henry's death certificate 1948

Henry & Louise on the reverse of her parents' tombstone (Joseph and Eva Lift), St. Mary's Cemetery, Evergreen Park

Caption of stereopticon wedding reception: Henry kneeling before Louise with his back to the camera. On the far right (half cut off on left side, but visible on right side) the fierce man is probably the groom's father, Johann Pfleger. The little arrow points to Henry's sister, Dell, and the girl just to the left of her, leaning to put her face next to another girl, is Irene. There are others in the photo who I would guess are Hilda Grimm and sisters, etc, but the label would be too tentative.

Henry, firstborn of Johann and Maria Grimm Pfleger, was born in Jackson, Michigan July 21, 1878 (or 1877 by his draft card, or 1879 by the 1900 census). His father was a butcher, born in Germany. His mother was apparently born in Ohio of German parents who then moved the family back to Katzenbach, Germany, and Maria returned to the US as an adult. So in the 1880 census, there is Henry, age 1, born in Michigan, with parents John, 32, butcher, born in Germany, and mother Mary, 28, born in Ohio of parents born in Germany.

1900 census: Henry is still with his parents in Jackson, Michigan. His birth month/year are listed as July 1879. Occupation: optician.

In roughly 1905 Henry married Louise Frances Lift, probably in Chicago.

At some point between 1905 & 1910, Henry & Louise had and lost a child, probably the Edward mentioned in Henry's obituary.

1910 census, Chicago, Lafayette Ave

Pfleger, Henry J, age 31, born in MI of a father born in Ger and a mother born in OH, married 5 years, "optitian" in department store.

Wife Louise, age 24, born in IL of parents born in Germany, mother of 1 with none surviving

Boarder Howard Linch or Zinch, age 24, single, Ohio-OH-OH, bookkeeper in railroad office

Nov. 28 1911 Henry and Louise had son George.

1920 census, Chicago, 7929 Harvard Ave

Pfleger, Henry J, age 38 (note the 7 years in a decade), owns home with mortgage, both parents now German, optician.

Wife Louise, age 38 (only 4 years in a decade for her!) otherwise same as 1910

Son George, age 8, born in IL

Same address, new head of household: Lift, George, J, renting, age 28, optician, same info as Louise

Wife Helen, age 26, born in IL of parents born in IL

1930 census (not in the index for some reason, but p. 25 or enumeration district 653, Chicago, or look up Edward and Irene Wachdorf and go forward two pages--they're right under the Stalzer* family) Henry and Louise are at her father's house (her mother died in 1919) at 347 W. 58th. Another casualty of the Great Depression? Henry is no longer listed as optitian, but a clerk at City Hall. Louise, Joseph Lift, and  17-year-old George all list "none" for occupation.

In 1932 Henry's son George attended Mundelein Seminary, but did not ever become a priest. In Nov. 1932 Henry was named godfather to his nephew (Irene's son) Jerry Wachdorf. A letter that George wrote in 1932 is reproduced and transcribed on the George Pfleger page which gives incidental knowledge of the Pfleger life: he drops German slang, and refers to being in more than one orchestra, playing clarinet, oboe and sax. Music was very important to the Pflegers.

A blurb in the Daily Southtown Economist on 11-22-1943 referred to guests of "Dr. and Mrs. H. Pfleger, 7929 Harvard."

At some unknown date before August 1944, Henry's son George married, though no one remembers the bride's name (maybe Isabel?) because Louise was against her (she wanted George to be a priest). George was killed in action in France, WWII.

8-29-1948 Henry died. By his death certificate (in photo gallery above) his cause of death was carcinoma of left lung, pulmonary emboli, fracture of right leg (deceased fell on N.E. corner of Washington and Wells accidental on 7-31 at 11PM). His occupation at the end was messenger for C&E Marchall & Co. The informant was Louise Pfleger, still at her father's address (and her father outlasted Henry).

Note on address oddities: in 1920 Henry is at 7929 Harvard. In 1930 he's at her father's house. In the 1943 blurb from the Daily Southtown, they are at 7929 Harvard. Upon his death, she at least is at her father's house. Comparatively, Henry's brother Lou lived at 7429 Harvard in 1910 and 1930, but in 1920 was listed at his father-in-law's house.

At some point Louise at least temporarily chucked Henry out, because his niece remembers his sister, Irene, cooking meals for him and sending the children to deliver them when he was down on his luck.

Last note: on his death certificate, his mother's birthplace (as given by Louise) is listed as "Canal Dober, Ohio."

*I have a few photos of and by Richard "Hertzy" Stalzer, and according to letters in the 1960s would guess that he took many photos of the Wachdorfs. If any kin of Hertzy Stalzer ever stumbles onto this...

Connection: Henry's sisters Dell & Irene married Wachdorf brothers Harry and Edward