John Henry Ochsner

John Henry's Tombstone in Oakwood Cemetery
John Henry's Tombstone
Maurice and Charlene Carson collection
  • March 3, 1894 - Born in Joliet, Illinois.
  • May 29, 1904 - Died of pneumonia at St. Joseph's Hospital in Joliet.
  • Buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Joliet.

The Ochsners of the 20th century were practical, hard-working people. They did not sit back and reminisce about the good old days, or tell stories about their pasts to their children and grandchildren. Perhaps, in all humility, they did not believe there was anything especially remarkable about their lives that needed to be told.

For years, the author of this web site had in her possession some professionally-made photographs of the Ochsners taken while they lived in Joliet. One of them showed both her grandparents standing in front of a house with a girl, two boys, and a baby. She knew the girl was her aunt Annie, and she always assumed that the boys were her father Charlie and her uncle Rudy, and that the baby was her uncle Hankie. The other photo showed two boys and a baby. Again, the author always thought the children were Rudy, Charlie, and Hankie. These were the only children she knew about.

Imagine the author's surprise when she was researching census records in 2008 and discovered that she had another uncle, John Henry, who died as a boy. Neither her parents, her grandmother, nor any of her aunts or uncles ever mentioned him. Now she finally knew that the boys in the photo were John Henry and Rudy, and the baby was Charlie. Hankie had not been born yet.

If your parents or grandparents are still alive, ask them about their families. Ask them when and where they were born, and ask them to tell you about all of their brothers, sisters, and children. You may be surprised what you find out.

Book Exceprts

Germany and Switzerland
Journey to America
Joliet, Illinois
Tillman County, Oklahoma

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