Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial to Aunt Clara - Clara Elizabeth Kuhn, 1894-1947

Clara Kuhn at 18 years old in her sister, Tillie's, wedding.
   Who was Clara Kuhn?  She was a grandaunt of mine and a "grand" aunt to her nieces and nephews.  The children of Harry and Tillie (Kuhn) Weber have fond memories of Aunt Clara. She touched their lives considerably.  I've chosen to remember her on this Memorial Day, 2015. Tomorrow is the 121st anniversary of her birth.
    Clara Elizabeth Kuhn was born on 26 May 1894 in Indianapolis, Indiana, the eighth child of Charles A. and Mary Anna (Risch) Kuhn.  She was the only one of Charles and Mary's six children who lived to adulthood that didn't marry.  Clara was a lifelong resident of Indianapolis, working as a forelady for Eli Lilly company for at least 33 years.  Her grandparents were Martin and Katherine (Birkenstock) Kuhn and Mathias, Jr. and Julianna (Leppert) Risch, all immigrants from Germany to Indiana.  She died on 28 August 1947 at the age of 53.  For about the last 20 years of her life she lived with her widowed sister, Julia (Kuhn) Hinz, at 1514 South Talbott Street, near the church where their father's family held a membership since its establishment in 1875, Sacred Heart Catholic Church. 
    Clara Kuhn's nieces, daughters of Tillie (Kuhn) Weber, spoke to me of Aunt Clara. Following are a few of those memories from Gin, Peg and Rose.  First I'm including excerpts from the interviews I was fortunate to have with Gin and Peg about the family's history:
During our interview I asked Aunt Gin “Do you have any particular memories of any of your aunts or uncles?” She replied, “Yes, of my Aunt Clara, our maiden aunt. She lived with her sister’s family on Talbott Street near Sacred Heart. She worked her whole life at Lilly’s and never married. She gave us things we didn’t get otherwise. She was the one who would take us  downtown and do other things with us.”
And my piece of history from Aunt Peg goes this way: "Peg recalls Aunt Clara taking her and cousin Pauline Hinz downtown to Blocks for knitting lessons. They rode the streetcar downtown for these events since that was the way most people commuted. Not too many had cars in the 1920s and 30s. Aunt Clara was somewhat of a caretaker for the Weber children; I would surmise……perhaps gave moral support and some teaching in life skills. Peg says: 'She wanted to learn to knit. And she liked to take us along.  So we got to have lessons too.' "The Kuhn/Weber family enjoyed family outings to the many parks in Indiana.  This one was near what is now Cataract Falls State Park, in Spencer County.
I also remember that my mother, Rose Weber Niehaus, enjoyed her Aunt Clara.  The photo at above is from Mom's scrapbook.  It includes a nephew, niece and sister,  clowning with Clara.  They all seem to be enjoying some ice cream and a few laughs during an outing to Owen Park (Spencer County, Indiana) in September, 1936. I'm going to make a guess that another nephew and the son of Tillie, Bob Weber, took this photo. Bob would many times have been with these folks taking the snapshots. From left to right in the group is Dick Sauer, nephew of Clara; Rose Weber, niece of Clara; Clara Kuhn and Tillie (Kuhn) Weber, Clara's sister and Rose's mother.  

      It's clear to me that Clara Kuhn left good memories with her family and friends.  To take her family history two more generations, I'm including a relationship chart onimage the right for her great grandniece, Nikki Marcum, daughter of my sister, Linda.  I've enjoyed making memories with this niece, too.  Nikki has a birthday this week, May 28, so I'd like to say: 
Happy Birthday Nicole Denise!!

Thank you for visiting Indiana Ties,

You can find more on the Kuhns at this link: Family Lines - Kuhn.
Or, Click here for another photo story about Clara and her sisters.
Copyright 2015 © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

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