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Louise was mentioned in many letters from California to be added later. For now, she is mentioned in the following: 9-1932 circular letter; 9-21-1932 George Pfleger ; 10-13-1932 Irene; 1953 Dec 14; 1954 Jan 5; 1955 Nov 26; 1955 Dec 14 (also mentions her sister Kate); 1956 Aug 1 Irene; 1957 Jan 2; 1957 Feb 21; 1957 Apr 3 Char; 1957 April 11; 1957 May 17; 1957 June 5; 1961 May 2 Irene, her death mentioned in letter 1966 Dec 10 Galligan 

Letter fragment actually BY Louise: 1957 Apr 17 by 3

Louise Frances Lift Pfleger

1881 to 1966




  Edward Lift

  George Lift






Henry Pfleger






  George Pfleger

Edward is only known because he was mentioned in his father's obituary, and because in the 1910 census Louise is mother of one, with 0 surviving

George entered the seminary at Mundelein, then withdrew, married, and was killed in France during WWII. No one can remember his wife's name, only that Louise was set against her, regarding her as the hussy who kept him from the priesthood.


Joseph Lift



spouse's parents:

Johann/John Pfleger


 Maria Grimm

maternal grandparents:


paternal grandparents:



Her parents listed that they came to the US from Germany in 1881, the year she was born.

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

Henry Pfleger and Louise Lift, I think, top half of 11x14 original labeled "Before and After"

bottom half

Louise Frances Lift and Henry Pfleger

stereopticon slide I think is Henry's wedding reception, caption beneath this photo gallery

Louise's son, George Pfleger, in uniform. Rest of caption below photo gallery

Irene Pfleger Wachdorf on left, Louise Lift Pfleger on right, Lawndale CA 1957

Louise with Walter Bahr 1957

label of previous

Louise and ? 1958

Louise and ? (note photo of her deceased son George on table behind her)

Louise and same unknown child with Fr. Millin

label of previous photo

The Lift tombstone, St. Mary's, Evergreen Park

on the reverse of the Lift tombstone, Henry and Louise

Caption of stereopticon wedding photo: I believe it's Henry kneeling with his back to the camera, in front of Louise. On the far right of the image the fierce man with the mustache looks like Johann Pfleger (Henry's father) beside his sister Dell, and the girl leaning her head to another girl looks like Henry's sister Irene. There are lots of other people in the shot that look like I could maybe name them (perhaps Hilda Grimm, etc) but the guesses are too tentative.

Caption of George Pfleger's wedding photo: the bookend groomsmen are Frank Wachdorf and Jerry Wachdorf, two of the sons of Henry's sister, Irene Pfleger Wachdorf. George is in uniform and the names of all others are unknown, including the name of his bride. Is there anyone out there who can put a name on her?

Based on photos from the 1960s, and letters, my grandmother and Louise had a close relationship, but others remember Louise as capable of fierce moods. They would see her coming and say, "Look out. Bedelia's on the warpath again." Another quote about Louise: "When she wanted, she could charm the birds out of the trees."

Her sister-in-law, Irene Pfleger Wachdorf, noted in her calendar on Nov. 8, 1910, "Edward Wachdorf cut his first tooth, found by Louise." She named Louise the godmother of her son, Jerry, in 1919 (the godfather was Henry and Irene's cousin, Louis Grimm Jr.). Jerry was later groomsman to Louise's son George. Irene also writes to her daughter, in 1932, speaking of Louise, "I have to leave her read all of your letters as George's are also few and far between this year." A letter from George, reproduced and transcribed on the George Pfleger page, gives a good feeling for what the family was probably like, with casual use of German phrases, references to his mother, and a mention of his ability to play sax, oboe and clarinet.

Irene and Louise stayed close throughout their lives, and there are many references to her visits in letters from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as more photos to be scanned in batch two. There were also many references to Louise in letters written from California. Here is just one example (I will add more when I get to them), written by Irene's husband when Louise visited them in Lawndale (he's writing to his kids, so when he says "Mom" he means Irene): 11-26-1955 "Louise keeps the garden clean of flowers. Every room in the house has a glass or something filled with flowers, some even with lovely geraniums. She is quite a nut on flowers and is afraid the kids will pluck one and get away with it...Yesterday we took in the Rose Bowl at Pasadena and some church at Altadena which was visited once by our present Pope...Mom and Louise went into the Rose Bowl to gander around and also brag about how they set foot inside. Also had Louise to Capistrano where the pigeons knew Louise and proceeded to welcome her in a regal manner. Four at a time sitting on her shoulders and hat. Mom had one pretty nearly fly away with her hair net."

12-14-1955 by Ed Wachdorf again to his children ("Mom" = his wife, Irene Pfleger Wachdorf): "We put Aunt Louise on flight 94 Monday morning 8:15 a.m. Dec. 12 and was she reluctant to leave. But...she was constantly being reminded by her sister Kate that all was not well at home and that she should return immediately to superintend repairs to her house, especially the plumbing. (details frozen pipes bursting)...She really cleaned out my garden. We had flowers in every room and in every glass and mug, all garnished with ferns, wax leaves and tea leaves. She was up at the crack of dawn, out scouting to see if any new rose buds had opened...She was confoundly disappointed because the lilies refused to bloom while she was gardener...As I write this I am sitting between two bouquets of flowers on the dinette table, also one behind me and two to my right in the living room. I'm afraid when Jinny comes out all she can use for decorations is grass clippings and dried leaves. (Regarding Christmas presents) Mom got some new aprons, which Louise bought goods for and made. New curtains, her old clothes altered. Mom showed Louise the fabric yardage place and WOW. Kept me in high gear every time we went riding answering her queries if we were going to pass the yardage place. Had her up in the hills where I threatened to toss her off if she mentioned yardage again..."

1900 census, Chicago, 447 W. 58th St. (near the Wachdorfs) (Dates appear to be at least partly inaccurate for births)

"Luft", Joseph F (may say Jr.): age 41, born Nov. 1858 in Germany, immigrated in 1881, married for 19 years, blacksmith

Wife Eva, age 43, born May 1857 in Germany, also immigrated in 1881, mother of 7, all 7 surviving

Daughter Louise, age 18, born June 1881 in IL, occupation: dressmaking

Daughter Annie, age 16, born Dec. 1883 in IL, at school

Son Edward F. age 11, born Feb. 1889 in IL, at school

Son George J. age 9, born Nov. 1890 in IL, at school

Daughter Catherine age 7, born April 1893 in IL, at school

Daughter Lena age 5, born April 1895 in IL

Daughter "Sousana" age 1, born April 1899 in IL


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


11-28-1911 birth of George Pfleger


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 optician, but a clerk at City Hall. Louise, her father Joseph, and  17-year-old George all list "none" for occupation.



Connection: Louise's sister-in-law was Irene Pfleger Wachdorf