Sunday, May 27, 2012

80 YEARS ARE ENOUGH - Chaia (Ida) Vision

Usually when looking for material for this blog I see an interesting gravestone then look for the story behind it.  This time, however it was the other way around.  First I found the story, then I went looking for the grave.

When I was searching through an online archive of Jewish records a couple of months ago I saw an interesting article:

Jewish Woman, 110 Years, Oldest in Chicago, Dies

Chicago, III, Mar. 3 (JTA) – (Jewish Daily Bulletin)  Mrs. Chaia Vision, 110 years old, said to be the oldest person in Chicago died at the Orthodox Jewish Home for the Aged here.
As she lay on her death bed, Mrs. Vision repeated what she had often said: "I am ready to die. I have lived. Eighty years is enough for anybody--and I have had a hundred and ten."
Mrs. Vision has lived in the Home for the Aged for sixteen years. She had taught the "younger" women at the home a philosophy of contentment, one that said, "Eighty years are enough."
She is survived by three sons, Abraham, Daniel and Solomon, all old men; twenty-seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren, and ten great-great-grand-children. Burial was in Waldheim cemetery.
Jewish Daily Bulletin - March 3, 1928

Of all the posts in my blog (46 as of this date) the one that has received the most hits is the story of Lazarus Finkelstein who died in Chicago in 1918 at the age of almost 110.  It looks like Chaia Vision beat Lazarus' record.

What can we find out about this remarkable woman?  In the 1920 Census she was already living in the Orthodox Jewish Home for the Aged (Beth Moshav Z'keinim) at Albany and Ogden in the predominantly Jewish (at the time) Lawndale neighborhood. 

(Photo courtesy

Chaia is of course retired and a widow, and came to the United States in 1905.  She was born in Russia and her native language was "Jewish".  Not too much information there.  Let's go back to the 1910 Census.

In 1910 Ida Vision was living at 618 W. 13th Street with her husband "Mike".  He was a "Notions Peddler".    They had been married for 49 years in 1910 and had 4 children, all of whom were still alive in 1910 (but not living with their parents).  Today, 618 W. 13th Street is a parking lot for the UIC Pavilion, but it is interesting to note that it is just one short block from Maxwell Street, the heart of Jewish life in Chicago the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The writeup from the Jewish Daily Bulletin said she was buried at Waldheim, so on one of my Find a Grave photo trips there I stopped in at the office to see where the grave was located.  To my surprise the response was "She's not here."  I assumed they weren't trying to tell me that she had risen from the dead, but that she had not been buried there in the first place.  Just to double check, I stopped in at the office of Silverman and Weiss who manage a small part of Waldheim.  Again the response "She's not here."  I showed them the obituary as one of the groundskeepers happened to be passing by.  "Maybe she's up the street at Forest Home."  Forest Home Cemetery is a large and historic cemetery literally just up the road from Jewish Waldheim.  In fact, Forest Home in German is "Waldheim".  I responded that I wasn't aware of any Jewish graves at Forest Home, and he told me that there is one small section of Jewish burials.  It's surprising that a Jewish person would not have used one of the 300+ burial societies at Jewish Waldheim, but that may have been the case.  

So I drove up the street to Forest Home and the very nice lady at the office there told me the same thing: "She's not here."  What to do now?  I decided to get a copy of the death certificate to see what burial information was there.  

Ida's Place of Burial is listed in Box 19 of the death certificate:  "Knova - Forest Park."  Knova is actually a name for Gate 45 Kovner Congregation Section at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery.  I checked again with the office at Waldheim and asked them specifically to check records for Gate 45.  They told me they had a "Marks" Vision who died in 1914 but that's all.  The records at Waldheim are very good, but they aren't perfect so I decided to go see for myself.  There in the shade I found the grave of "Marks" Vision.

There is a place for Marks' wife to be buried next to him, and a place on the tombstone but Chaia (Ida) does not appear to be there.

Here's the death certificate for Marks (Max) Vision:  

I tried to find the burial records for Ida's sons, Abraham, Daniel and Solomon thinking she might be buried next to one of them, but no luck.

So, unless any of my readers has a suggestion I am stumped.  I will have to subtitle this listing:

"Where in the world is the burial place of Chaia (Ida) Vision?"

Frustrating, to say the least, but this may just have to be one of those unanswered questions I am always talking about.

I know there are some very astute genealogy researchers who read this blog, so if any of you can think of an avenue I should pursue, please let me know.

In the meantime, may Mike---Marks---Max Vision, buried at Jewish Waldheim rest in peace and

may Chaia (Ida) Vision, once the oldest woman in Chicago, rest in peace wherever she may be.


  1. oh my- where has she gone??! This is a puzzle. I do hope you are able to locate her- and I hope to read about it one day in this blog of yours.

    My gr-gr grandfather is buried somewhere in Chicago-- he was Carl (Charles) Franz Teuber- he had several different names depending on which record you looked at (census, death cert, directory, etc)- not sure why their names fluctuated so much back then (in the late 1800's) His death certificate says he was buried at Graceland- have you heard of that cemetery? Had you heard of any Jews being buried there? My gr-gr grandfather was said to have been a Jew.

  2. Maybe she was buried next to her husband, but no one paid to have the gravestone updated.

  3. Possible but unlikely because the cemetery has no record of her being buried there. Waldheim's records are very good, for the most part.