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The information on this page and the Utschig pages comes from Mary Utschig Read who thanks and credits: Alice Erdmann, Raymond and DeAnn Meysing, David Jann CA, David M. Jann, Marion Melsheimer Czachor, and John H. Traut. See Utschig page for more.

To jump straight to photographs, click here: pics

Catherine Merten Bornhofen

12-17/18-1855/58 (Wisc) to 7-20-1930 (Chicago)



 twin Margaret Merten Eck

 Emma/Anna Merten Voell

 Theresia Utschig Gesellchen

 Maria Utschig Jann

 Veronica Juliana Bittner

 Anna Gertrude Utschig Jann

 Anthony Utschig

 Gertrude Utschig


Margaret and Emma/Anna are full sisters by Joseph Merten; the rest are half-siblings by August Utschig


Margaret listed her parents as born in Cologne, Germany

married 4-13-1879


John Bornhofen

(source for marriage date is

Mary Utschig Read)




 Gert Bornhofen (Pfleger)

 Joseph Bornhofen 

 plus 2 more deceased

John Jr. appears in the 1880 census, but in the 1900 census Catherine lists herself as mother of 5, two surviving (Joe & Gert)



Joseph Merten


Gertrude Schmitz

(after his death she remarried to

August Utschig)

spouse's parents:




maternal grandparents:


paternal grandparents:



Catherine was born in Wisconsin, daughter of Joseph Merten & Gertrude Schmitz. In the 1860 census she is shown with her parents and twin sister, Margaret. By the 1870 census her mother and sister are with her stepfather, August Utschig. By her obituary, she moved to Chicago in 1875, and married John Bornhofen in time to show up as his wife in the 1880 census. Where she was between 1860 and 1875, I do not know.

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

John and Catherine Merten Bornhofen ctr of back row with son Joe (uniform) and daughter Gert plus Gert's husband and children

April 1929, 50th anniversary of John and Catherine Merten Bornhofen. see link below gallery to go to photo with people labeled

Katherine Merten Bornhofen between (prob.) half sister Julia Btitner & half sis Mary Jann with Bitner girls behind her incl Joe's wife in necklace

To go to the labeled version of the shot of the 50th anniversary gathering, click here: Bornhofen's 50th

1860 census, Fond Du Lac County, Wisconsin, Calumet Township, post office: Marytown

Merten, Joseph, age 34, farmer, born in Prussia

Wife Gertrude, age 26, born in Prussia

Daughter Catherine, age 1, born in Wisconsin

Daughter Margaret, age 1, born in Wisconsin


1870 census for Brothertown Wisconsin, Calumet County, Post Office: New Holstein

Utschig, August, age 39, farmer, born in Bohemia

Wife Gertrude, age 38, born in Prussia

Daughter Anna Merten, age 11, born in WI

Daughter Theresa Utschig, age 5, born in WI

Daughter Maria, age 3

Daughter "Faliana"  (Juliana) age 2

Daughter, Anna, age 4 months (notation born in Feb)

Where is Catherine?


1880 census, Chicago:

John Bornhofen, occupation: carpenter, age 30, born in Germany

Wife Kate, 21, born in Wisconsin of parents born in Germany

Son John Jr. 11 months (the 1890 census did not survive, and by the 1900 census, there is no John Jr. in the Bornhofen house either. No idea what caused his death, but by 1900 his mother lists that she has given birth to 5, two surviving, and those two are Joseph and Gertrude).


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.

1910 census, Chicago, 7429 Harvard: same essential information, 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.

1920 census, still 7429 Harvard: essentially the same information, but John 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.

On Gert Bornhofen's death certificate, her mother's hometown is listed as Neilsville, Wisconsin (her son-in-law, Lou Pfleger, provided the info for the death certificate). Searching on the internet, I found posts by Mary Utschig Read regarding, "information on John Bornhofen and his wife Catherine Merten... All I have is John's name, married 4-13-1879, no place... His wife, Catherine Merten was born Dec 17/18, 1858 in Marytown, Fond Du Lac, Wisc... Her parents are Joseph Merten and Gertrude Schmitz (Catharine is a twin)... Catherine Merten's mother, Gertrude Schmitz, remarried after her first husband died; she married August Utschig..."

On the 1930 census, Catherine's twin sister, Margaret Merten Eck lists her parents as being from Cologne, Germany.

Obituary from Southtown Economist Friday, July 25, 1930 (with misspellings left in place): Requiem high mass from Mrs. Katherine Bornhofen, 7429 Harvard ave., who died suddenly Sunday morning, was sung at the St. Carthage church, 7316 Yale ave. Wednesday morning. Mrs. Bornhofen was born in Maytown, Wis, in 1860. She moved to Chicago 54 years ago, and the last 24 years has lived at the same address on Harvard ave. She married John Bornhofen and they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in April, 1929. She was well known in church circles, having been a member of the Altar and Rosary society of St. Carthage church, the Catholic Order of Foresters, and the Luxenberger Sisters' society. Surviving her are her husband, one daughter, Mrs. L.J. Ffleger, and one son, Joseph J., both living at the address above. She also leaves to mourn her five sisters, Mrs. C.J. Eck, 7335 Vernon ave., Mrs. Anna Jann, 7419 Perry ave., Mrs. Mary Jann 5709 Wood st., Mrs. Benedict Bitner, Mt. Calvary, Wis., and Mrs. Paul Voell, Spokane, Wash., and one brother, Anthony Utschig, also of Mount Calvary, Wis. The burial was at St. Maria's cemetery.

I have, at this point, no photos that I know of showing Joseph Merten or his wife, Gertrude Schmitz Merten Utschig.