Decendants of Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Stelzriede


This page describes some of the tragedies that have occurred in the family. There may be others that should be added.

Infant Mortality -

One of the striking things noticed while compiling this family tree was the large numbers of babies and children who died. Some families were much luckier or healthier than others. It helps remind us that the medical care we take for granted today was not available not so very long ago.
Martin C. and Belle Stelzriede lost six young children in Illinois in the late 1880s. They are buried in Richview Cemetery.
In Germany in the 1830's and early 1840, Carl Franz Heinrich and Christine Marie (Horstman) Stelzriede lost three of four children at birth. The surviving son, Carl Friedrich August and his family were later murdered in 1874 at Saxtown, IL.

Accidents & Disease -

Life could be tough even for adults. In Illinois in 1887 Louise Krueger, the first wife of my great grandfather Fred Stelzriede, died after being kicked by a calf at the young age of 29. She left four young children, the oldest being 9 years old. Then in 1901 at the age of 53, Fred Stelzriede died, probably of pneumonia, leaving his second wife with four children of her own.

Murders -

In 1874 in Saxtown, Illinois the Carl Friedrich August (Frederick) Stelzriede family of five, including an infant daughter and 3 year old son, was murdered. Newspaper accounts and notations on property rolls of a "massacre" describe the deaths. A map (large file 900 kb) of the farms is available online. The Stelzriede 60 -acre farm is located in block #33 in the bottom part of the map. The label "massacre" is both on the map and in the property records. It appears that they were murdered for money (an inheritance from Germany perhaps), about $100 (worth at least $1,500 in today's dollars). The murder was never solved.

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