This is my third post for Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. You can read more about the Challenge, and find other bloggers’ submissions linked on Amy’s blog No Story Too Small.
I’m behind… what’s new? I’m going to blame serendipity again. This tale, what little I know of it thus far, was meant to go out last week. You’ll understand at the end, perhaps. This one is a little lengthy. Click on images to see them enlarged.
Caroline “Callie” Hassner, my husband’s Great Great Grandmother, was born on December 16th, 1862 in Wellsburg, Brooke County, in Virginia. Just a few short months later, on June 30th, 1863, Brooke County was included in the newly formed state of West Virginia. Caroline was the daughter of Charles William Hassner, Jr., a Grocer according to her birth record, and Ophelia Deighton (Dayton). Charles William and Ophelia were blessed early in their marriage, as they had married that February 13th (1862), when just 22 and 20 years old, respectively. Caroline was the first of at least seven children born to the couple, five girls and 2 boys.
- Caroline, born 1862
- Decima, born 1864
- Sarah, 1867-1868
- William, born 1868
- Maude, born 1872
- Gertie, born 1876
- Charles Frederick, 1881-1955
The young family is found in the 1870 Census still residing in Wellsburg, Brooke County, West Virginia. Wm [William] Hassner is the head of household, age 31, employed as a County Assessor, and wife Ophelia, age 27, both born in Virginia. Their children, all born in West Virginia, are Callie, 8, Edessa, 6, and Wm [William], 3 years old. I assume that they are renting their home at the time as no real estate value is listed, they do, however, have $1000 value in their personal estate.
In the 1880 census, we see the family has moved from Wellsburg, West Virginia, to LaGrange, Jefferson County, Ohio. Charles W Hassner, 41, is now keeping a hotel with his wife Ophelia, a 38 year old “Land Lady.” Five children are listed living with them: Callie, 17 years old; Decima, 16 years old; William, 12 years old; Maude, 8 years old; and on the following page is Girtrude, 7 years old.
Less than two years later, Caroline marries Henry Roessler, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their marriage license was signed on 27 Jan 1882 in Jefferson County, Ohio. They married two days later on 29 January, 1882, a Sunday, by a minister named D. M. Hollister. I’d love to learn how they met… it must have been a relatively short courtship, at least by today’s standards, as Henry is listed in the 1880 census (dated 9 June 1880) still living with his parents, Christ and Louisa, in Pittsburgh.
Unfortunately, I know little of their life together outside of the census and city directory information I have found on their family. Caroline and Henry became parents to 4 children, as seen in the 1900 census:
- Christopher William, born Aug 1882, just 8 months into their marriage.
- Ophelia “Phe,” born Jun 1884
- Ralph Elwood, born May 1887
- George, born Apr 1890
The family address is listed as 1108 West Fifth Street in 1900, and Fifth Street is where they stayed. Starting in the 1910 census and through the 1940 census, they reside at 1109 Fifth Street. I have found the home on Zillow.com, and the house is a split residence, offering two units, 1107 and 1109. I’m not sure if the residence has always been split, there was no entry for 1107 West Fifth Street in the 1910 census, but it was a nice income property for the couple in their later years, the renters in the 1930 and 1940 censuses report paying $30 per month in rent.
Just a few short months after the 1940 census, Caroline was left a widow at the age of 78. Her husband of nearly 59 years passed away following a short, but serious, illness according to his obituaries. After Henry’s death, Caroline went to live with her daughter “Phe” and family.
Caroline “Callie” Hassner Roessler passed away on 7 Feb 1947, following a short illness (arterio sclerosis, according to the death register I received from Marion Public Library). Her Obituary was found in two newspapers indexed by the kind volunteers at the Marion Public Library, The Marion Indiana Chronicle on 7 Feb 1947 (page 1, column 4) and The Marion Indiana Leader Tribune on 8 Feb 1947 (page 1, column 1). A testament indeed to make the first page, I think.
I started doing genealogy on my family rather seriously in 2005, when I moved to Arizona from Ohio, after our January wedding. I didn’t start on his line right away, and honestly didn’t put a lot of effort into it until recently. Sure, I’d gotten quite a bit, enough to get me a few generations back on each side. But putting meat back on these bones? Nope, hadn’t done much, still have a long way to go.
When we were expecting our first child in January 2007, we had the usual battle over names. We had a short list of possibilities, but my husband had honed in on one girl name that I wasn’t exactly sold on… Callie. Now mind you, he grew up not really knowing any of the names mentioned above, besides George, his great grandfather, who passed away over 6 years before he was born. I had only seen the censuses listing Caroline as Caroline. Callie was not in our lexicon of family names. Even Scott’s grandmother, Ruth, had not known Caroline as Callie.
We named our daughter Callie, not knowing it was a family name. She was born on 7 February 2007, after being 9 days past due. Sixty years, to the day, after Caroline “Callie” Hassner Roessler’s death.
My Wishlist for Caroline:
- Try to learn more about who she was as a person. Do you have stories of Grandma Caroline?
- Get a photo of her final resting place in the IOOF mausoleum, as well as the other Roesslers I know are also nearby.
- Transcribe and post the letter she wrote to her son George following the death of his wife.
- More photos! Surely there are more photos of her, she lived until 1947.