Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Peter H. Thielen, Mary Anne Kurten, and their children

Peter Thielen and Mary (Kurten) Thielen were my great-great-grandparents. Their son Mathias Thielen was great-grandfather, and his son William Thielen was my grandfather.

Peter H. Thielen
born April 5, 1862 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died October 15, 1935 in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin

Mary Anne (Kurten) Thielen
born July 26, 1869 in Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin
died March 22, 1941 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Peter Thielen was the oldest of eleven children born to Henry Thielen and Gertrude (Thelen) Thielen, both German immigrants living in Racine, and was baptized at Saint Mary's Catholic Church. He worked as a bricklayer and mason for his entire life.

Mary Kurten was the daughter of John Hubert Kurten and Theresa M. (Becker) Kurten, who were also German immigrants. The Kurten family first lived in Racine, briefly moving to Appleton before returning to Racine. They were early settlers of both cities, and Mary's nephews Russell and Louis Kurten founded the Kurten Medical Clinic in Racine. Before her marriage, Mary worked as a sewing machine operator and shoe vamper.

Peter and Mary were married on October 21, 1890 at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Racine and had thirteen children together. They made their home at 814 Jackson Street. Peter died at the Wisconsin General Hospital in Madison, where he was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. Mary died at Saint Mary's Hospital in Racine. They are both buried at Old Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Racine, alongside their grandson Richard Thielen, Mary's parents, and several of her siblings.

Their thirteen children:
  1. John Hubert “Jack” Thielen (1891-1965)
  2. Henry Thielen (1892-1960)
  3. Peter Thielen (1894-1967)
  4. Mathias John “Matt” Thielen (1896-1960)
  5. Anna M. (Thielen) Campbell (1898-1988)
  6. Marie E. Thielen (1900-1974)
  7. Michael William Thielen (1902-1988)
  8. unnamed infant daughter (1904-1904)
  9. Cecelia Elizabeth Thielen (1906-1907)
  10. Viola Elizabeth “Vi” (Thielen) Atkinson (1908-1990)
  11. Charles Patrick “Chuck” Thielen (1910-1981)
  12. Eugene Henry Thielen (1912-1985)
  13. Jerome Joseph “Jerry” Thielen (1913-1989)
1. John Hubert “Jack” Thielen
born March 22, 1891 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died November 3, 1965 in Racine County, Wisconsin

Jack, who lived his whole life in Racine, worked as a trunk maker for Racine Trunk Company for many years, then for Greene Manufacturing Company. He married Pearl Paula Olson, a Danish immigrant, in about 1913. Jack and Pearl had two sons, Robert and David. After Jack's death in 1965, Pearl moved to Union Grove, Racine County, Wisconsin. She died December 2, 1973 at Saint Mary's Hospital in Racine. Jack and Pearl are buried at West Lawn Memorial Park in Mount Pleasant, Racine County, Wisconsin.

2. Henry Thielen
born September 16, 1892 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died December 19, 1960 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Henry worked as a trunk maker for Racine Trunk Company, just like his older brother Jack. He later worked for the North Shore Railroad and Walker Manufacturing Company. Henry married Helen Emelia Phillip on September 28, 1914 in Waukegan, Lake County, Illinois. They had six children: Norma, Raymond, Eileen, Henry Jr., Jack, and James. After their son Henry Jr.'s death in World War II, Helen was active in the Gold Star Mothers along with Henry's brother Matt's wife, Emily. Helen was visiting patients at the Wood Veterans Hospital in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, with the Gold Star Mothers when she became sick and died there on August 19, 1949. Henry lived another eleven years until he died in 1960 at the Racine County Hospital. Henry and Helen are buried with their son James at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Racine.

3. Peter Thielen
born August 17, 1894 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died November 15, 1967 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Peter worked as a machinist for J. I. Case Company and as a steamfitter for Feichter & Netzinger. He married Mable Anne Pedersen in about 1916, and they had one son, George. They lived in Racine for their entire lives, Peter dying in 1967 and Mable dying on November 18, 1986 in Racine. Peter and Mable are buried at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Racine.

4. Mathias John “Matt” Thielen
born February 23, 1896 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died February 12, 1960 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Matt was named for his mother's brother Mathias John Kurten. Like his siblings, he grew up and lived in Racine his whole life. Matt worked at J. I. Case Company from the age of twenty until his death, starting as a timekeeper in the blacksmith shop and rising to the position of foreman. He married Emily Etta O'Connor on May 2, 1917, at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church in Racine. Matt and Emily had two sons, Charles and William. After Charlie's death in World War II, Emily was active in the Gold Star Mothers along with Matt's brother Henry's wife, Helen. Emily also was active in the Navy Mothers Club. Matt died of rectal cancer, for which he was being treated by his cousin, Doctor Louis Kurten, at Saint Mary's Hospital in Racine in 1960. He continued to work at Case Company until one month before his death. Emily died of breast cancer on July 1, 1974, also at Saint Mary's Hospital. Matt and Emily are buried at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Caledonia, Racine County, Wisconsin, with their granddaughter Mary Beth Thielen and their daughter-in-law's mother.

5. Anna M. (Thielen) Campbell
born November 17, 1898 in Wisconsin
died November 16, 1988 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Before her marriage to Raymond “Ray” Campbell in about 1920, Anna worked as a laundress and as a saleslady at the Duchmann & Son confectioner's shop. They had six children, including Raymond, George, Gilbert, Virginia, and Doris. Anna and Ray were no longer together at the time of their deaths. Ray died on May 4, 1987 in Napa County, California, and was buried at San Francisco National Cemetery in San Francisco, San Francisco County, California. Anna died in 1988 and was buried at Sunset Ridge Memorial Park in Somers.

6. Marie E. Thielen
born November 25, 1900 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died September 28, 1974 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Marie lived with her parents at 814 Jackson Street in Racine until their deaths. She worked at Hamilton Beach Manufacturing Company for several decades. At the time of her death at Saint Luke's Hospital, she was living at Saint Monica's Senior Citizens Home in Racine. Marie is buried at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Racine.

7. Michael William Thielen
born November 28, 1902 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died May 24, 1988 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Michael lived in Racine his entire life and worked as a tool and die maker for Greene Manufacturing Company. He married Margaret M. Groenke on May 7, 1923. Michael and Margaret had two sons, James and Thomas. Margaret died on March 3, 1984 in Racine, and Michael followed in 1988.

8. unnamed infant daughter
born November 6, 1904 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died November 6, 1904 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Peter and Mary had a daughter who was either stillborn or died the same day she was born.

9. Cecelia Elizabeth Thielen
born May 6, 1906 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died December 7, 1907

Cecelia died when she had just turned 19 months old. Her funeral was held at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Racine, and she was buried at Old Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Racine.

10. Viola Elizabeth “Vi” (Thielen) Atkinson
born July 17, 1908 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died August 22, 1990 in Racine County, Wisconsin

Vi married Clair James Atkinson on June 1, 1929 in Wisconsin, and they lived in Racine. Clair worked as a tool maker for J. I. Case Company and Walker Manufacturing Company. Vi and Clair had six children, including Gerald, Lorraine, Ronald, and Carol. Vi died in 1990, and Clair died at Mount Carmel Care Center in Burlington, Racine County, Wisconsin, on August 28, 1993. They are buried with their son Ronald at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Racine.

11. Charles Patrick “Chuck” Thielen
born January 27, 1910 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died January 11, 1981 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Chuck spent his career at Walker Manufacturing Company as a punch press operator and later a foreman. At the time of his father's death in 1935, Chuck was serving in the U.S. Navy. Chuck took up growing chrysanthemums as a hobby in about 1950, and won many awards for his flowers. He married Tafelia Marcella “Marcie” Norman on July 3, 1937 at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Racine. Chuck and Marcie had three children: Peter, Roland, and Diane. Marcie died on December 19, 1965 at Saint Mary's Hospital in Racine at the age of 49. Chuck later married the recently widowed Margaret Rose (Adzima) Sondergaard on August 4, 1973 in Racine County. Chuck died in 1981 and his second wife Margaret died on September 29, 1997 in Phoenix. Chuck and Marcie are buried together at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Caledonia.

12. Eugene Henry Thielen
born January 3, 1912 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died May 2, 1985 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Eugene lived in Racine and worked for Modine Manufacturing. He was engaged to Gladys M. Christensen in 1946, but it's not clear whether they were ever married. Eugene married Goldie (Langberg) Larsen on July 31, 1954, and they had a daughter. They were divorced before 1963, when Goldie remarried. She died on August 20, 1982 in Racine and is buried at West Lawn Memorial Park in Mount Pleasant. Eugene died in 1985 and is buried at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Caledonia.

13. Jerome Joseph “Jerry” Thielen
born November 12, 1913 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
died October 29, 1989 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Jerry worked in a number of different positions for J. I. Case Company, including tractor driver, elevator operator, machinist, assembler, and tire mounter. He married Mary Anne Novak and they had nine children, including Daniel, Richard, Jerome, and Mary. Mary died on January 31, 1989 in Racine, and Jerry died later the same year. They are both buried at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Caledonia.

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