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

To jump straight to photographs, click here: pics

Lou or his wife or 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; 1956 Aug 31 Irene 

Louis John Pfleger

1-10-1883 to 3-20-1960



c. 1878-Henry Pfleger

1880-Oscar 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

married 6-7-1905


Gert Bornhofen





  Marie Pfleger (Traut)

Catherine Pfleger (Seaman)

  Leona Pfleger (Brennan)



Lou's mother-in-law,

Catherine Merten,

was sister to Margaret Merten Eck, whose son wed 

Coletta Falkenthal Eck (see their pages for connections) and Catherine's half sisters

(see Utschig page)

seem to have connected somehow to the Wirtz family (in-laws of Lou's brother Oscar). See photo at

Bornhofen's 50th


Johann Pfleger


Maria Grimm

spouse's parents:

John Bornhofen


Catherine Merten

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 any photo to enlarge. Once enlarged, to zoom, move cursor to right of image, back onto image, and click again. More photos on pages for Gert and the girls. Photos with * loaned by one of Marie Traut's daughters.

The Pfleger family. From left: Henry, mother Maria Grimm Pfleger, Dell, Lou (toddler boys wore dresses), father John with Oscar at his knee c. 1886

photo postcard addressed to his sister, Dell, 1907. Think it's Lou on the right, though it could be his brother Henry

6-7-1905, Lou & Gert's wedding party. Standing fr L: Hilda Grimm, ?, Dell Pfleger, Herb Jann, Gert, ?, ?. Sitting Ed Eck, Irene & Lou Pfleger, ?, ?

Lou & Gert's wedding party again. Hilda is his cousin, Ed Eck and Herb Jann are her cousins. Irene and Dell are his sisters

labeled by Uncle Harry

bride Gert Bornhofen Pfleger

*c. 1917: Gert Bornhofen Pfleger w. Leona on her lap. From left Joe Bornhofen, Marie Pfleger, John B., Catherine Mertens B., Catherine P., Lou P.

*from left: Joe Bornhofen, ?, Lou seated, Father ? and Piggie the dog, Al Mann behind Harold (Franzen?), John Bornhofen (Lou's father-in-law)

label of previous

May, 1930 full caption below photo gallery, but Lou 2nd from right, Gert and daughters the females not on the edges

label for previous photo written by one of Marie Traut's daughters.

caption below ("long shot") but Bunny and Marie on left, Gert 4th from left, Lou on far right

Lou and Gert 3rd and 4th from right standing. Next shot is same with labels.

same as previous, labeled

April, 1929, Bornhofen's 50th anniversary. Follow link below photo gallery for labeled version of photo

Lou's death certificate 1960

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

above Lou and Gert's tombstone, this marker has John and Catherine Bornhofen on the reverse

To see photo of his in-laws golden anniversary gathering with labels, click here: Bornhofen's 50th

May 30 Dixon to Rockford group photo, from left: Lou's sister Dell Pfleger Wachdorf, Edward Pfleger (son of Lou's brother Oscar), Gert behind Catherine, Marie behind Leone, Lou's brother Oscar, Lou, and Oscar's daughter Eleanor

longshot, from left: Bunny Traut, Marie, Eleanor, Gert, Edward, Harry & Dell, Annie & Oscar, Lou


Louis John Pfleger, born 1-10-1883 in Jackson, Michigan. 1900 census he's in Jackson, Michigan, in the household of his father, John Pfleger, a butcher. He is 17, and his occupation is listed as bookkeeper.

At some point shortly after 1900 the Pfleger family moved to Chicago, oldest sons included.

On June 7, 1905 Lou married Gertrude M. Bornhofen of Chicago. The wedding photos show his sisters, Irene and Dell, as bridesmaids, along with his cousin, Hilda Grimm. Two of the groomsmen have been identified as Herb Jann and Ed Eck, cousins of the bride.

Oct. 2, 1908 advertisement in the paper currently called the Southtown Economist (also called the Suburban Economist or just The Economist or the Daily Southtown): "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: In the household of John, Catherine and Joe Bornhofen (Gert's parents and brother) is Louis J. Pfleger, 27, married 5 years, a cashier, born in Michigan, father born in Germany, though he slips and puts his mother's birthplace as Iowa, with wife Gertrude, 25, born in Illinois, of a father born in Michigan and a mother born in Wisconsin, plus daughter Marie, age 2, born in Illinois.

In January 1912, LJ Pfleger of 7429 Harvard was the informant listed as the source of information on the death certificate of his father, John Pfleger.

In 1915 Lou was godfather of his sister Irene's son Arthur Wachdorf (the godmother was her husband's sister, Clara Roster).

In 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, Chicago, 7429 Harvard: still in the Bornhofen household with John, Catherine and Joe. Lou now lists his parents as born in Bavaria and Ohio, his occupation as: book keeper--factory. Gert now lists that her father was born in Coblenz and her mother in Wisconsin. Marie is 11, Catherine 7, Leona 3 years and four months.

1930 census, Chicago, 7429 Harvard: It's still John and Catherine Bornhofen's house (Lou rents for $40/month) but Joe has moved out (yet a 1951 reference in the Southtown Economist refers to him as Joseph Bornhofen of 7429 Harvard). Lou, age 47, married at 22, lists his profession as accountant for a woolen goods manufacturer. Gertrude, married at 19; Marie C., 21, profession: teacher--dramatic arts; Catherine: 17, Leona A: 13.

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."

Southtown Economist newspaper 10-23-1940

Honor John Melsheimer

at Party on Birthday

Mrs. Kathryn Melsheimer, 5833 Shields ave., was hostess last week at a surprise birthday party held in honor of her brother-in-law, John Melsheimer. Among her guests were Mr. and Mrs. Louis Pfleger, 7429 Harvard ave, Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Huguelet, 5831 Wells st, Mrs. Mary Jann, 7927 Green st, and D.J. O'Dea of the Plaza Hotel. (note Kathryn Melsheimer was Gert's cousin, the daughter of her aunt Maria Utschig Jann, who is probably the "Mrs. Mary Jann" of Green st)

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

Gert died August 8, 1945, of coronary thrombosis, 7 months duration, and myocarditis, one year duration. 

Lou's death certificate, 3-20-1960 mistakenly lists that his mother's full maiden name was Katherine Grimm. Gert's mother was Katherine. Lou's mother was Mary/Maria. At the time of his death Lou was living with his daughter, Catherine Seaman, at 100 Talcott Road, and working as office manager at a mattress company (his brother Oscar also worked at some point as manager of a mattress company). Cause of death: subarachnoid hemorrhage on March 17.

Oral history: Mom remembers her Uncle Lou fondly. She said whenever she said, "How are you, Uncle Lou?" he always answered, "Beeeautiful."

A side note on photo labels--some old photos are incorrectly labeled by Uncle Harry, who occasionally crossed Gert Pfleger and Gert Wirtz Wiedman (Oscar's sister-in-law).