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Henry Roster

born 12-10-1876 or 1877 in Indiana









there is an interment record at St. Mary's Cemetery in Evergreen Park dated 6-6-1906 for a Clara Roster, stillborn infant, whom I presume was a child of  Joseph because Clara herself had daughter Charlotte in 1906, and because in the 1910 census she lists herself as mother of three, all of them surviving.

married c. 1905

in Chicago to

Clara Roster (nee Wachdorf)




   Charlotte (Pekarek)

   Gertrude (Miller)



   Dorothy (Lebo)


his parents:

Michael Roster



Clara's parents:

Anton Wachdorf


 Anna Klein


His paternal grandparents:

Frederick & Barbara Roster

I need to go back and track Michael & Barbara Roster again, and Frederick & Barbara Roster, in order to add Henry's aunts & uncles. Henry's father was born in Baden and his mother in Ohio.

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

The only photo of Henry Roster I have come across. Click on it to enlarge.

Henry's daughters, with their Aunt Mae Wachdorf, and their Uncle Edward Wachdorf's kids, Ed Jr. and Irene "Sis" Wachdorf c. 1916

same group with Edward's son Art Wachdorf added

Henry's daughter Celia far right with her maternal grandmother, maternal aunts Kitty Hochertz and Madge Wachdorf, and cousins Tony and Eddie Hochertz

Henry Roster was born 12-10-1876 in Indiana, according to his draft card. From the census his parents were Michael and Barbara Roster, one born in Germany, the other in Ohio of German parents. His parents, in 1860, can be found in the census for Fugit Township, Decatur County, IN. Frederick Roster (Henry's grandfather), farmer, age 54, and wife Barbara, age sixty-something (second digit unclear), both born in Europe, live in the same household with son Michael (Henry's father), 31, farmer, born Baden, and his wife Barbara, 22, born in Ohio. Also in the house are Henry's older brothers, Joseph and Albert.

By 1880 Henry's parents are in Wheatland township, Ford County Kansas (or is that Ford township, Wheatland County?), and the family is Michael Roster, 41, farmer, wife Barbara, 32, born in Ohio of parents born in Germany, son Joseph 12, son Albert 11, daughter "Charina" 9, daughter Annie, 7, daughter Ida, 4, and son HENRY, age 3, born in Indiana.

The 1890 census is lost. Something happens between 1880 and 1900 to make Michael Roster give up farming and head for the city, because in 1900 the family is at 5918 Stewart Ave in Chicago, but Barbara is now listed as Margaret. Michael Roster's birth date is given as Nov. 1859, married 34 years, immigrated 1848, naturalized 1852, occupation: laborer. Wife "Margaret" is listed as born Nov. 1847, mother of 10 of whom 6 are living, born in Ohio of German parents. Daughter Anna is listed as born Oct. 1873 in IN, daughter Ida Sept. 1874 in IN (occupation: music teacher). Son HENRY born Dec 1876 in IN, single, occupation: steam fitter.

St. Mary's Cemetery in Evergreen Park has an interment record for a Joseph M. Roster, age 37, home address 5613 Shields Ave (that's the same St. Martin's neighborhood). Henry Roster's brother was named Joseph, and according to the census would have been 34 in 1904. The interment date was 12-1-1904. St. Mary's also has an interment record dated 3-25-1905 for Michael Roster, age 66, of 5613 Shields Ave. The date and name are right for this to be Henry's father.

1910 census, Chicago Ward 33, District 1637, 544 E. 89th St.

Henry Roster, age 31, married 6 years, molder--foundry, born in Indiana, father born Germany, mother Ohio

wife Clara, age 28, mother of three all of whom survive, born in IL of parents born in Germany (actually her mother born IL)

daughter Lottie, age 5, born in IL

daughter Gertrude, age 3, born in MO

daughter Celia, age 2, born in IL

mother Barbara Roster, age 62, widowed, married 44 yrs, mother of 10 of whom 5 survive, born in Ohio of German parents

sister Anna Roster, age 34, single, no occupation, born in Indiana


1917 draft registration, Henry Roster of 544 E. 89th St, born Indiana on Dec. 10, 1876, age 41, foreman doing structural work for Midland Steel Co of 1308 So. 54th Ave, Cicero. Nearest relative: Clara Christina Roster of 544 E. 89th St. Tall, of medium build with blue eyes and light hair. Reason for exemption: left ear affected.


1920 census, Cook County, Oak Park Township, Precinct 20 Disctrict 170, 1133 S. Taylor St. (renting)

Henry Roster, age 42, born Indiana, father born Germany, mother born Cincinatti, mother tongue--German, iron worker--structures

wife Clara, age 36, born IL, father born Germany, mother born IL

daughter Charlotte, age 14, born IL

daughter Gertrude, age 12, born MO

daughter Cecilia, age 11, born IL

daughter Magdaline, age 6, born IL

daughter Dorothy, age 3 years 3 months (census taken January 1920), born IL

mother Barbara Roster, age 72, widow, born Cincinatti, of German parents

sister Anna Roster, age 46, single, born IN, no occupation


1930 census Cook County, Oak Park Township District 2285, 1133 S. Taylor (owns, value $4200, has radio)

(birthplace info same for everyone, including Gertrude still born MO)

Henry Roster, age 53, married at 27, iron worker--structures, veteran--no

wife Clara, age 47, married at 21

daughter Gertrude, age 22, stenographer--title and trust

daughter Cecilia, age 21, assembler--electical

daughter Madeline, age 16

daughter Dorothy, age 13

mother Barbara, age 82, widow, married at 19 (maybe--it's crossed through)

A letter 9-9-1932 has passing reference to Henry and Clara's family as her brother Ed and his wife Irene both close their sections of the letter by beggin off because the Roster clan just arrived. That's the full mention, but to read the rest of the letter, click here: 9-9-1932 Wachdorfs

9-16-1932 letter written by Irene Pfleger Wachdorf (Edward's wife, Clara's sister-in-law) to her daughter, said, "We were out to Aunt Clara's last night, took Larry and Dolores along, had quite a nice visit, wanted to know how you were and whether they too could come out on visiting Sunday." (Her son, Art adds in reference to his family's new Nash automobile, "I rode home from Oak Park in it and Dad promises to let me drive it when it has gone 500 miles.") (This is the full mention of the Rosters, but to read the entire letter, click here: 9-16-1932 Irene).

When exactly Clara and Henry died, I don't know, but she was listed in the 1966 obituary of her brother Edward as "the late Clara Roster."