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Posts Tagged ‘Paak family’

Frank Tazelaar was married to one of the daughters of my great-great-grandmother’s sister. He’s the husband of my first cousin 3x removed. Yup, that is easy to remember, right? Remember the Paak/Peek sisters and brother? Mary Peek (the spelling she used) married Richard Remine. For decades I thought there were four Remine children: Jenny, Genevieve, Therese (Tracy), and Harold. I had information for all four. But after more work, I finally found a very important divorce record and now know that Jenny and Genevieve were the same person.

This is Jenny (when she was younger) or Genevieve (once she was married to Frank Tazelaar). My grandfather identified her as Jane, so she might have used that name when she was young also. Her grandmother’s name had been Jana. I will refer to her as Genevieve because that is the name she ended up using for decades.

Here is Frank:

But why am I writing about Frank Tazelaar now? Because Sharon Ferraro is researching the effects of the influenza pandemic in 1918 in Kalamazoo. And Frank’s name is on the list as someone who contracted the illness and survived. It does not appear that he was treated at a hospital. He was ill and off work for ten days and then was able to go back to “his store.” In the 1920 census he was listed as a salesman/buyer in a clothing shop (same entry in the 1930 census). On the influenza document, his wife is listed as Genevieve and they lived at 124 N. West. Although I have verified that this information is correct, I have never heard of that street in Kalamazoo.

Genevieve was born 24 June 1881 in Kalamazoo, the first child of her parents, Richard and Mary. She was first married to a man she might have met in Chicago. His name was Harry Cohn. They were married in Paw Paw, Michigan, on 29 January 1903, when she was 21 years old. Three years later, on 23 June, 1906, they were divorced. The grounds were listed as “desertion,” but who deserted whom? If that was really what happened. Apparently, though, they had not been together for quite some time because about two weeks later, on 9 July 1906, Genevieve and Frank married in Chicago.

Frank was born in Wissenkerke, Netherlands, on 18 January 1876, to Peter Tazelaar and Adriana Bek Tazelaar. When he was a boy, his family moved from Holland to Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was a few years older than Genevieve. His native tongue was Dutch, whereas Genevieve was American-born. It’s hard to imagine what happened with Genevieve’s first marriage or how she happened to marry Frank–and what the Chicago connection was between Genevieve, Frank, and Harry. In fact, unless she went away to Chicago to school, I can’t imagine her leaving her parents’ home by the age of 21. Was she sent away for some reason? Since she never had any children, it’s less likely that she was pregnant, although always possible. 

Genevieve did not have children with either Harry or with Frank. When Genevieve passed away on 17 September 1930 of appendicitis (leading to gangrene and peritonitis), the couple was living at 423 S. Westnedge with her parents, Mary and Richard. That must have been awkward because on 21 March 1932 he married Bernice Dayton, the manager of “Lerner Shop.” Could this be the same Lerner store (part of the nationwide chain) that I grew up with? It’s likely because the Lerner Shops were first opened in 1918. (As a cool aside, the uncle of lyricist Alan Jay Lerner was one of the two founders).

Here is another photo of Frank Tazelaar, at the Whistle Stop in Kalamazoo, on 15 February 2014, four years before he contracted the flu.

Frank Tazelaar
near Whistle Stop
Kalamazoo

As with most of my other blog posts, this story is ripe for more research. In particular, I’d like to search City Directories for addresses and businesses, as well as the local newspaper for articles about the couple and, possibly, “his” store.

OK, I peeked. There are many Kalamazoo Gazette articles about Frank. In fact, there are over 50 articles! Let’s see what we can find . . . next time.

But it won’t be ready until after my son’s wedding, so I will post Frank’s shenanigans on May 1!

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I have updated and am reposting this information about Therese Remine’s house in Detroit (new info in italics):

Harold Remine’s sister Therese lived a double life, you might say. For most of her life, and with homes in both cities, she switched off between Kalamazoo and Detroit. Therese worked as a teacher in Detroit. I found information in a 1930 city directory that Therese worked at Campbell School / Webster Hall (uncertain of this exact meaning, but there was a Campbell School and a Webster Hall). Then I was aided by my friend José who can found at his blog Enhanced News Archive. He discovered a 1957 city directory which gave important information about the house, but also mentioned that she worked as a teacher at Von Steuben School. I find it interesting that census reports give occupations and the industry the occupation is in, but not specifics of school names or company names. 

Although we usually visited her at her home in Kalamazoo (by the time I knew Therese, she was retired), I do remember traveling to Detroit, entering her home, and some of our time spent chatting with her. This is her house:

The house seems to be on Haverhill, although the cross street is not visible.  Doesn’t it look here as if the front door faces Haverhill? I checked out the 1940 census, and both Haverhill and Evanston residents are on the page with Therese. Her house number is not given, so I can’t be sure which street she was on. Any ideas on this census for Therese’s address? These questions are answered below!

The back of the photo gives another clue to the location of Therese’s house.

The neighbor who took the photo kindly left his (and her) name and address. Oskar and Jolanda Mlejnek, 16003 Evanston. I love that the date was given, too: Winter 1959.

According to information I found about Oskar Mlejnek on Ancestry, he ended up moving to Grosse Pointe. These were beautiful houses on Evanston and Haverhill, straight out of 1930s and 40s movie “casting,” but the neighborhood changed over the years. According to what I see on Google maps many of the older houses are still there, but the vegetation is overgrown. It’s not even possible to see what 16003 Evanston looks like, although the upper level has been for sale, because the yard is so overgrown.

Where was Therese’s beautiful home?

I was able to pinpoint the location of Therese’s house, thanks to my outstanding blogger buddies: Karen MacArthur Grizzard, Amy, and José at Enhanced News Archive. Karen first noticed that on the 1940 census, the two women listed above Therese appeared to be lodgers who rented from Therese who clearly owned the house. This gave me the address for the house: 15941 Evanston. Amy confirmed that she also read it the same way Karen did. And José did more research where he found the 1957 city directory which did, in fact, verify that the house was located at that address.

From there, José located the correct address on the contemporary Google map. The house has been torn down, the yard is overgrown with vegetation, but as José point out to me, the other houses on the block are still there as he lined up the roof peaks from the old photo above with the new Google image.

Thanks to these smart and experienced researchers, I now know the address of Therese’s house and that it no longer exists, although the other houses do.

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