Sunday, November 1, 2015

Christian Gotsche, Caroline Jensen, and their children

Christian Gotsche and Caroline (Jensen) Gotsche were my great-great-grandparents. Their son Elmer Gotsche was my great-grandfather.

Christian Gotsche Caroline Jensen Racine Wisconsin
Caroline and Christian Gotsche.
Christian Ferdinand Gotsche
born August 4, 1865 in Tersløse, Denmark
died May 19, 1925 in Racine, Wisconsin

Caroline Mary (Jensen) Gotsche
born January 5, 1867 in Sorterup, Denmark
died July 5, 1926 in Racine, Wisconsin

Christian Gotsche was the son of Ferdinand Gøtsche and Ellen Larsen. His parents were not married, and his mother later married a man named Kristen Kristoffersen. Christian arrived in the United States on June 3, 1885. His future wife Caroline Jensen, daughter of Jens Poulsen and Sidse (Larsdatter) Poulsen, had arrived with her parents and siblings on May 16, 1882. Both of them settled in Racine, and they married on Apr. 12, 1890 in Racine. Christian worked as a blacksmith and they had seven children. They lived on 12th Street until 1917 or 1918, when they moved to Quincy Avenue. At the time of Christian's naturalization in 1914, he was described as five feet and four inches tall, weighing 143 pounds, with gray hair and gray eyes. Christian and Caroline were buried next to four of their children at Mound Cemetery in Racine.

Their seven children:
  1. Elmer Ferdinand Gotsche (1891-1941)
  2. Harvey Gotsche (1894-1895)
  3. Martha Margaret (Gotsche) Smith (1896-1969)
  4. Irving James Gotsche (1900-1936)
  5. Florence Gotsche (1902-1903)
  6. unnamed infant Gotsche (????-1908)
  7. Paul Gotsche (????-1910)
Elmer Ferdinand Gotsche Racine Wisconsin
Elmer Gotsche in uniform.
1. Elmer Ferdinand Gotsche
born November 10, 1891 in Racine, Wisconsin
died Sept. 25, 1941 in Racine, Wisconsin

Elmer grew up in the family home on 12th Street. He worked as a telegraph operator for Western Union for several years before going to dental school at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He joined the U.S. Army dental corps on Aug. 25, 1917 and was stationed at Camp Funston in Kansas until his discharge on Jan. 6, 1919, after the end of World War I. During this time, he was described as tall, with a slender build, blue eyes, and light hair. While at Marquette, Elmer met nurse Elizabeth B. Blake and they were married on May 11, 1921 in Ashland, Wisconsin, after originally scheduling their wedding for the previous day in Madison, Wisconsin. Elmer and Elizabeth returned to Racine, where Elmer was a practicing dentist for many years, and had one daughter. After Elmer's death due to a heart attack, Elizabeth returned to work as a registered nurse. She died in Racine on February 13, 1953. Elmer is buried next to his parents, brothers Irving and Paul, and his unnamed infant sibling at Mound Cemetery in Racine. Elizabeth is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Caledonia, next to her infant granddaughter and son-in-law's parents.

2. Harvey Gotsche
born February 1894
died 19 Mar 1895 in Racine, Wisconsin

Harvey was thirteen months old when he died at the Gotsche family home on 12th Street in Racine.

3. Martha Margaret (Gotsche) Smith
born April 29, 1896 in Racine, Wisconsin
died July 8, 1969 in Racine, Wisconsin

Martha grew up in Racine and worked as a stenographer before her marriage to Raymond James “Ray” Smith in about 1921. Ray worked as a sales clerk for Massey-Harris Company in Racine. Martha and Ray had one daughter. Ray was described in 1942 as five feet and eight and a half inches tall, weighing 138 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion. Martha died in 1969, and Ray died on Aug. 27, 1977 in Racine. Both are buried at Mound Cemetery in Racine, though in a different section than Martha's parents and siblings.

Raymond James Smith Martha Margaret Gotsche Racine Wisconsin
Raymond and Martha's graves.

4. Irving James Gotsche
born March 25, 1900 in Racine, Wisconsin
died July 14, 1936 in Racine, Wisconsin

Irving worked as pattern maker for Wisconsin Pattern Works in Racine. He married Ethel Elsie Davis in Dubuque, Iowa on July 2, 1927 and they had two children. In 1918, Irving was described as tall, with a medium build, blue eyes, and light hair. Irving died in 1936 and is buried next to his parents and siblings at Mound Cemetery in Racine. Ethel worked as a teacher at Janes Elementary School in Racine. She died at Lakeshore Manor in Racine on July 16, 2003, at the age of 102. She never remarried, outliving her husband by exactly 67 years and two days. Ethel is buried in a mausoleum at West Lawn Memorial in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin.

5. Florence Gotsche
born Sept. 23, 1902 in Racine, Wisconsin
died January 9, 1903 in Racine, Wisconsin

Florence was born and died at the family home on 12th Street in Racine. Her cause of death was listed as spina bifida. She is buried at Mound Cemetery in Racine, though the cemetery does not have an exact location recorded.

6. unnamed infant Gotsche
born ????
died April 1908

This unnamed child was buried at Mound Cemetery in Racine on Apr. 30, 1908, in the same grave where siblings Paul and Elmer were later buried.

7. Paul Gotsche
born ????
died 1910

Paul was buried at Mound Cemetery in Racine on June 3, 1910, in the same grave as Elmer and his unnamed infant sibling.

Elmer Ferdinand Gotsche Irving James Christian Caroline Mary Jensen Mound Cemetery Racine Wisconsin Paul
The Gotsche family graves at Mound Cemetery.

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