Friday, August 31, 2012

DIES WITH CHILD CLASPED IN HER ARMS - Paulina Dasing Klein and Paulina Sophie Klein

Every once in awhile you come across a tombstone where you just know the story is going to tear at your heartstrings.  The very day in July of 2011 I first photographed the Frank Campbell tree tombstone (see previous post) I found this stone, also in Rosehill Cemetery:

It's never a good sign when more than one person has the same date of death.  This would often be the case when a women died in childbirth, but Paulina Klein Jr. was nineteen months old.  The death certificates for the two Paulina Kleins were not on Family Search because they were Coroner's Death Certificates.  But thanks to an angel I was able to get copies:

Paulina Klein Sr's cause of death was ruled "Suicide - From asphyxiation caused by inhaling illuminating gas with suicidal intent." Not good news - but what about Paulina Jr:

Paulina Jr's death was ruled a "Homicide - From asphyxiation caused by her mother turning on the gas."

Here's where the records get confusing.  The entry at the top of both certificates says that the bodies were found at 842 Lincoln Avenue, but that the "Place of Death" at the bottom of each certificate was listed as 932 Noble Avenue.  The newspaper account says they died where they had been living, 932 Barry.  The 1900 Census shows the Klein family living at 932 Noble Avenue.  In 1909 Chicago changed its street numbering system, and 932 Noble, 932 Barry and 842 Lincoln no longer exist as they were in 1901.  932 Noble is now 1444 Noble, an industrial building.  932 Barry is now 1430 Barry:

1430 W. Barry (former 932 Barry) Chicago
and 842 Lincoln is now 2927 Lincoln:

2927 N. Lincoln (former 842 Lincoln) Chicago

According to the Chicago Daily Tribune for September 19, 1901 here's what happened:

Turns On the Gas in Her Apartments and Dies With Child Clasped in Her Arms.

Separated from her husband and with a 19-month-old baby to care for, Mrs. Pauline Klein, 22 years old, found life too much of a burden, and yesterday morning took her life and that of her infant daughter.  Mrs. Klein lived at 932 Barry avenue, occupying two rooms.  She plugged all avenues where the odor of gas might escape and reveal her intention, and then opened the gas jets.  When discovered by the Sheffield avenue police, mother and child were dead, the latter in the arms of the former.  Mrs. Klein was married about three years ago.  Julius Klein, her husband, is said to be employed by G.F. Hummel & Co., 169 South Water street.  Friends say grief over separation from her husband, which took place about three months ago, prompted the woman's act.  She left a note charging him with causing her sorrow and saying she did not care to live any longer.  Explaining why she also took the life of the child, Mrs. Klein said in her note:  "You must excuse me because I'm taking my child with me,  But what shall the innocent child do here on earth when it has no mother and its own father disowns it?" 

A tragic story, to be sure.  Let's see what we can find out about the Klein family.

Julius Klein was born 28 August 1873 in Wurttemberg, Germany.  He was the son of Christov and Frederiche Klein.  Julius arrived in the US on November 16, 1891, landing in Philadelphia.  

Pauline Rosine Dasing was born in January of 1879, also in Wurttemberg.  She came to the US on the Saale - Bremen to New York.  She arrived on 29 May 1894.  

Julius Klein and Pauline Dasing were married on 25 March 1899 in Chicago.  They were married at the German Evangelical Zion Church by Paul Forrester, a "Minister of the Gospel".  

Their daughter, born Paula Sophie Klein, was born 6 January, 1900.

Did Julius Klein suspect from the beginning that the child might not be his?  What other reason could he have for "disowning" an infant?

We can only speculate as to the behavior of Julius and Paulina Klein during that spring and summer of 1901.  But we do know that they separated in about June of 1901 and that Paulina Sr. felt the necessity to take her and the baby's life on September 18, 1901.

Now - what about Julius - what did he do after this tragedy?  Did he swear off marriage and children and spend the rest of his life as a bachelor?  Far from it.

Julius Klein remarried on 4 October 1902, just slightly over one year after the death of his wife and daughter.  This time the wedding was in South Germantown, Wisconsin, the home town of his second bride:  Katherine (Katie), (Kate) Schneider.  Kate Schneider was born 2 May 1876 in South Germantown, Wisconsin, one of eleven children born to Phillip Schneider and Frederiche (nee Witzleb).  

We don't know when or how she met Julius, but apparently Kate was not put off by what had happened to Julius' first wife and daughter.   Julius and Kate went on to have two daughters of their own:  Laura, born in 1904, and Margareth, born 10 November 1913. 

Both Julius and Kate are long dead by now.  I was not able to pin down their exact dates of death due to the large number of entries in the Death Index for people with the names Julius and Katherine Klein.  For that matter Laura and Margareth are probably gone as well.  The purpose of this blog is not to pass judgement on the dead or the living.  As I said above, we will never know what happened between Julius and Paulina during their short time together.  But the fact remains that on September 18, 1901 Paulina felt her only choice was murder/suicide.  The only instinct stronger than self-preservation is the instinct of a mother to protect her children.  Paulina's life must have been a living hell for her to feel that her best choice was to take her life and kill her daughter.

We can only pray that Paulina Dasing Klein found the peace in death that had eluded her in life.

Mother & Child - Paulina Klein - may they rest in peace.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I have always been fascinated by the tombstones that are made to look like trees.  Recently I was reading a blog article about them and learned a lot of things about them that I didn't know.  First of all, I always thought they were made of cement that had been molded when in reality they are hand-carved from limestone.  I also learned that many were customized with symbols representing the life and/or death of the person buried there.  I also found out that many, but not all, of the tombstones were obtained through the Modern Woodmen of America and the burial insurance they used to sell.

Walking around Jewish Waldheim Cemetery last weekend I saw literally hundreds of tree tombstones - gray stone and red stone, tall and short, some heavily ornamented and some with hardly any ornament at all. Some had the Woodmen of America emblem carved into them - many did not. As I looked at these wonderful old tombstones I remembered that I had photographed one of the tree tombstones at Rosehill Cemetery awhile back.  Here's my original photo of the tree tombstone at Rosehill from July of 2011:

I went back this past weekend to take some more photographs and see what I could tell about the departed from looking at the stone.  The tree marked the resting place of Frank F. Campbell - the stone said:

Frank F. Campbell
Only Son of
J.L. and S.R. Campbell
Born at
Epworth, Iowa, Feby 28, 1863
Died at Chicago, Jany 5, 1883
I Was Not Afraid.

The 1880 Census shows that the Campbell family was living in Evanston, Illinois.  James L. Campbell was a Deputy-Sheriff, his wife "Phronia" (short for Sophronia) was "Keeping House", and 17 year old Frank was "At School".  Frank was an only child.  Evanston was not large enough in 1880 for the census taker to note the street address of the Campbell home (if there even was one).  The 1890 census is gone and by 1900 both Frank and Sophronia were dead.

With the information I had it was easy to find Frank's death certificate on Family Search:

Frank died just short of his twentieth birthday from an "abscess of the lungs".  He had been ill for three weeks. According to his death certificate, Frank had been an "Artist".

With the information I now knew about Frank I took another look at his tombstone - and really saw it for the first time.

I noticed that the tree had been carved with numerous symbols pertaining to the work of an artist, and even symbols of the artist himself:

Taking a closer look I saw an artist's palette hanging from a rope, with brushes stuck into the palette.  There is an easel, at the top of which is a stylized version of Frank's initials: FFC.  On the easel is a canvas that has been ripped apart - a symbol, I assume, of a life cut short, or work ended unexpectedly.

The other side of the tree had the information on Frank's parents, but no symbols other than the ivy growing up the trunk:

The Glossary of Victorian Cemetery Symbolism says that ivy symbolizes "memory, immortality, friendship, fidelity, faithfulness, undying affection, eternal life."

Frank Campbell's parents left us a wonderful testimonial to their son the artist.  Now that I know what to look for I will take a closer look at other tree tombstones I encounter and suggest you do the same.

Frank Fremont Campbell, artist - a life cut short - a work unfinished.  He was not afraid.

May he rest in peace.

There is a very informative blog that talks about what he calls "Tree stump gravestones".  It is called "Gravely Speaking":

The website that contains The Glossary of Victorian Cemetery Symbolism can be found at:

Friday, August 17, 2012


When I am looking for stories for this blog I use several methods. Sometimes I see a gravestone that looks interesting, photograph it, then do the research to find out the story.  Other times I come across an interesting story, then find and photograph the gravestone.  Neither method was used in this case.  Several years ago when I started photographing graves at Jewish Waldheim Cemetery, I would pick a section then photograph all the gravestones in that section that had photos on them.  I felt (and still feel) that everything should be done to preserve these gravestone photos, because theft and the elements have caused so many of them to disappear.  

Back in July of 2009 I photographed all the gravestones that had photos on them at Gate 16 - Anshe Knesses Israel #2.  Since then I have slowly but surely been posting all of these photos to Find A Grave.  Last Saturday I was working on a posting for Michael N. Regent (December 6, 1865-June 5, 1908).

Just on a whim I checked to see in Family Search had a death certificate for him.  Luckily, they did.

I saw that Michael Regent had been a physician.  What was the cause of death?  It looked like "Uraemia and Ptomaine Poisoning - Source of same unknown.  Probably due to eating ???? ???? sandwich."  What kind of sandwich?  I couldn't decipher the handwriting.  I'm glad someone else could.  There was a second death certificate posted for Michael Regent:

This one was easy to read:  "Uraemia and Ptomaine Poisoning due to eating affected caviar sandwich."  After reading this, I decided that Michael Regent's story would be interesting for the blog - a physician who ate tainted caviar, when he should have known better.  But when I checked the Chicago Tribune archives for Michael Regent I saw that there was much more to the story.

From The Chicago Daily Tribune, October 27, 1899:

Three Officers of Knights and Ladies of Security Arrested  on  Charges of Mrs. Anna Kerous.

Dr. Michael Regent was arrested yesterday by detectives from the Maxwell Street Station and taken before Justice Dooley.  He gave bonds in the sum of $1,000.  Warrants had been issued for the doctor and for Mrs. Della Mahoney and Miss Margaret Sheehan, the three being officers of the Illinois Lodge, Knights and  Ladies of Security of Kansas and parties to a suit now being brought against them by the grand lodge in Justice Woods' court.  It is said the amount of insurance money involved is nearly $25,000.00.

Mrs. Anna Kerous, 634 West Eighteenth street is the complainant in the case in which these arrests were made.  Miles J. Devine, her attorney, says he has evidence that the officers of the lodge collected $2,000 on  a policy taken out by the mother of Mrs. Kerous that they represented to the beneficiary that her mother's standing was not good and paid her but $400, stipulating that she should not mention the matter to anyone.

The Illinois lodge has been drawing heavily upon the funds of the grand lodge for death losses and it is asserted that  many checks have been cashed by Dr. Regent.  Dr. Regent said when arrested yesterday that he was the victim of enemies (emphasis mine) and that he was innocent of  the  charges.  Attorney Devine says Miss Sheehan told how·operations were carried on, claiming she did not receive her share of the  profits.    ·

And it got worse.  It even made the New York Times of July 22, 1900:

"Demonstrators' Association of Chicago" Said to Dictate Prices

Chicago's latest trust is no longer the Bachelors' Trust, but the Corpse Trust.  This gruesome discovery has been made by the State Attorney's Office, and will, it is said, be revealed Monday at the trial in the Criminal Court of  Michael N. Regent, Delia Mahoney, Margaret Sheehan, Nora O'Brien and James O'Brien (Ed. Note:  What's a good Jewish doctor doing among all those Irish???)  on a charge of conspiring to defraud the beneficiary order of the Knights and Ladies of Security out of $1,000 by "faking" dead bodies.  Before the organization of the trust the demand so far outran the supply in the local market that competition often put the prices on corpses away up.  Only the rich buyers of bodies could get any.   

Experience taught the medical colleges to form a combine, it is said, and the result was the organization of the Demonstrators' Association, of which Prof. William T. Eckley is the President and Distributing Agent.  The object is said to be the gathering of all corpses that are for sale in Chicago, and the allotment of them among the medical colleges according to the just dies of each institution on a one price basis.  

Regent and the others are accused of getting a corpse from the association under false pretenses. 

The trial of Dr. Regent and the others electrified the nation during the summer of 1900.  To recount everything that happened would take an entire blog of its own, but a look at the headlines gives a good idea of what was taking place:









Judge Orders the Physician and Delia Mahoney to Prison for the Insurance Fraud
Fines for the O'Briens
Case, Which Has Occupied Twenty-three Days, Ends in a Speedy Verdict of Guilty
State Announces Its Intention to Push the Remaining Cases Against the Convicted Defendants

Dr. Regent was fined $1,000.00 and sent to prison for an "indeterminate sentence".  After his conviction, an unflattering portrait of Dr. Regent was published in the Chicago Tribune:

He Was Born in the South of Russia and His Progress, Up and Down, Has Been Rapid.

Dr. Michael N. Regent is of Russian Jewish parentage and was born in the south of Russia in 1864.  When 18 years old he came to the United States, landing in New York, where for a period he worked on the streets at $1.50 a day.  Later he came West, to Oshkosh and other small towns of Wisconsin, where he got work on country roads and also with track laying gangs of railways.

After a few months of railroading he went to Milwaukee, where he learned cigar making.  He was in that work two years.  Saving the money he thus earned, he came to Chicago and undertook the study of medicine.  He graduated in 1896 from Bennett Medical College and later from Rush Medical College.

The name Dr. Regent was born to was Regentovitch.  When he established himself in South Halsted street he went into the County Court and got the sanction of the law in clipping off the last two syllables of his patronymic.  In the ghetto, and among those of his people to whom he has been known since he came to this country, Dr. Regent does not bear the highest reputation for probity.  On the witness stand in his own behalf he not only contradicted himself, but was flatly contradicted on statements of fact by the testimony of half a dozen witnesses.  He told the jury he was a graduate of Cracow University, Austria.  This is believed to be an untruth.  He came to this country when but 18 years old and therefore must have passed the rigid examinations of the Austrian university at a tender age.
Chicago Daily Tribune - August 10, 1900

As promised, the government went after Dr. Regent again with a second trial for fraud and conspiracy - this time in March of 1901:





CALL DR. REGENT A DUPE - March 10, 1901

REGENT IN OTHER CASES - March 13, 1901



Jurors Give Doctor Penitentiary

With that, Dr. Regent was sent to Stateville Prison in Joliet to serve his sentence.  The next mention of him in the newspapers was on June 22, 1902:

Knights and Ladies of Security Insurance Conspirator Paroled by State Board

Dr. Michael N. Regent, head of the life insurance conspiracy, and his co-conspirator, Mrs. Delia Mahoney, have been released from the Joliet penitentiary. 

The pardon board was prevailed upon by the wife of the doctor, and agreed to parole Regent, who had been in the penitentiary more than the year required by law.  The release of Mrs. Mahoney followed as a matter of course. 

Last night Dr. Regent returned to Chicago, and went to his temporary home at West Fourteenth street, where there was a joyful reunion between him and his four children.

Dr. Regent was sentenced to Joliet under the indeterminate law in November, 1900, for conspiracy to defraud the Knight and Ladies of Security.
Chicago Daily Tribune – June 22, 1902

Nothing more is heard from Dr. Regent until his untimely death in June of 1908:

DR. MICHAEL N. REGENT, 474 Ashland Boulevard, died of ptomaine poisoning, according to the coroner’s jury which investigated the circumstances of his death yesterday.  A caviar sandwich which he ate at his home Friday afternoon is believed to have been contained the poison.  Dr. Regent has been a citizen of Chicago for twenty-two years. 
Chicago Daily Tribune – June 7, 1908 

Is it really as simple as that - that he died from eating a tainted caviar sandwich?  Or, had his enemies finally caught up with him?  As far back as 1899 he was talking about the unseen enemies that plotted his destruction.  His dying from ptomaine poisoning seems a little too "perfect".  Who better to carry out a murder that looked like an accidental poisoning than another member of the medical profession?  We will never know if Dr. Michael Regent died from eating a tainted caviar sandwich, or by more nefarious means.  But thanks to the information on the Internet we can come to our own conclusions.

Dr. Michael N. Regent

May he rest in peace.  

Friday, August 10, 2012


On yet another Find a Grave photo expedition to Jewish Waldheim Cemetery I found myself in Section 111 (Lomzer) looking at a photo on a gravestone of a serious looking young man dressed in a cap and gown.

 As I looked further down the stone I saw the following verse:

A sword with the keenest edge
Could not cut the stream of water
In twain, so that it should cease to flow.
My love is like the stream that flows and
Follows you forever more.
Ever, Dolly

The stone marked the final resting place of:

Beloved Husband and Father

So I decided to check the internet and see what we could learn about Morey B. Lasky and his beloved Dolly.

Morris B. Lasky was born in 1909 to Abe Lasky, a baker and his wife Tillie (nee Pitale).  Morey was the oldest of four children:  Rae, born in 1911, Jack, born in 1912 and Sylvia, born in 1914.  The Lasky family owned their home at  3433 W. Twelfth Place, in the heart of the old Jewish neighborhood in Chicago. The home that the Laskys owned at 3433 W. Twelfth Place is gone, and has been replaced with a three story townhome built in 2000.

Abe and Tillie told the census taker that they both came to the U.S. from Poland in 1917 but all their children were born in Illinois.  Their primary language was "Yiddish" but they both spoke English as well.  It is unlikely that the children were born in Illinois because I can find no record of any of their births.  I know from my own family history that people often lied to the census taker either intentionally or unintentionally.

Morris B. Lasky married Sarah (Dolly) Peterman in Chicago on March 16, 1933.  Their daughter Gloria was born in 1936.

1937 brought sad news, however.  On March 13 of that year, Morey underwent an operation and received a poor prognosis - the surgeons had found cancer.  He recovered from the surgery and returned to the office, continuing on the job until November of 1938.  By that time the cancer had spread and he was unable to keep working.  He declined steadily until January 26, 1939 when pneumonia set in.  By then it was just a matter of time until Morey B. Lasky died at home at 3:15 AM on February 2, 1939.

The Chicago Daily Tribune of February 3, 1939 carried the sad obituary:

Morey B. Lasky.
Morey B. Lasky, 30 years old, of 5048 Glenwood avenue, died yesterday after a long illness.  He was a member of  the law firm of Alster & Lasky, with offices at 100 West Monroe street.  Surviving are his widow, Sara, and a daughter, Gloria, 2 years old.  Services will be held at 2 p.m. today in  the chapel at 3600 Roosevelt road.

5048 N. Glenwood, Chicago
He was 30 years, four months and four days old.

We will let his beloved Dolly have the last word:

My love is like the stream that flows and
Follows you forever more.

May he rest in peace.

Friday, August 3, 2012


When I was photographing the gravestone of Mazal Tov and Yom Tov Mizrahi in the Portugese Sephardic Cemetery at Jewish Waldheim, I happened upon another interesting tombstone.  This one had a photo of a young girl flanked by angels but with a poem set into the stone as well.

It marked the burial location for Sarah Amado who died on July 4, 1941 at the age of nineteen.

I have commented on other tombstones at Waldhein that have poems on them: 

Miriam Mandel:;postID=898125431923340019

Marvin and Jeanette Schwartz:;postID=8851507794267110258

It is almost as if the grief of the survivors is so intense that they want to make a tangible public statement about it.  Here's the poem from Sarah's tombstone:

You were born in May
When flowers are in bloom,
And just like a flower,
You vanished so soon.

Your troubles began
At the age on nine,
Just when you thought
That this world was so fine.

For ten long years
You suffered much pain,
Science and medicine
They were in vain.

You have never reproached
You have never complained.
You have always managed
To smile again and again.

Your sister and brother,
Your mother and I,
Often have asked the question

Why you had to suffer,
Why you had to die?
On a memorable day
As the 4th of July?

But who are we to question
The will from above
Maybe he needed an angel
So pure and full of love.

You will be remembered by many,
Forgotten by few,
But our heart's and thoughts
Will always be with you.


Who was Sarah Amado and what caused her untimely death on the 4th of July, 1941?

Sarah Amado was born May 8, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois to David and Sophie Amado.

David Amado was born in Craiova, Roumania, while Sophie (nee Levin) was from Lom Palanca, Bulgaria.  Remembering that their daughter was buried in the Sephardic cemetery at Waldheim, it's not surprising that both David and Sarah's first language was "Spanish".  Both came to the US in 1910 and on the 1930 census were still listed as "Aliens" meaning that they had not completed the citizenship process (they did not become citizens until 1943).  David Amado owned a retail fruit store.  The Amado family lived at 4400 S. Drexel Boulevard where they rented their apartment for $50.00 per month - not an insignificant amount in 1930.

4400 S. Drexel Boulevard, Chicago
Sarah had a younger sister, Matilda (born 1925) and a younger brother Sam (born 1929).  The family name was originally "Amadu" but they went to court to have it changed to "Amado". 

Sarah's Death Certificate from July 4, 1941 tells the rest of the story. The Amado family was now living at 1445 S. Christiana Avenue in Chicago.  As with so many of the old locations, all that is left at that address today is a vacant lot.

1445 S. Christiana Avenue, Chicago
Sarah died, as her father mentioned in his poem, on the 4th of July in 1941.  According to her death certificate the immediate cause of death was a cerebral embolism, but the long term illness that had plagued Sarah for ten years was rheumatic heart disease - perhaps the result of a childhood bout with scarlet fever.

Thus ends the story of Sarah Amado.  Looking at her bright, smiling face it's heard to believe that she could be struck down at the age of nineteen.  I am sure her death left a void in the Amado home that was never filled.

In honor of Sarah Amado tell someone today that you love them - today while you still can.  One thing we know from the stories in this blog, you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Barbara LaMarr was a star of silent films.  Hearst columnist Adela Rogers St. Johns called Barbara "The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful". Like Sarah Amado, Barbara was struck down at a young age.  The epitaph on Barbara LaMarr's tombstone would be fitting for Sarah Amado as well:

"With God in the Joy and Beauty of Youth."

Sarah Amado - may she rest in peace.