Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents

Talked with Aunt Lucille today (May 27, 1999), her memory is still very sharp. She is 91 her birthday is in October. Think we have that already, but she confirmed what I’ve said Dad was born in 1906… The date on the tombstone is wrong. She also said he was born at Graf, Iowa not Farley. They lived on a farm near Farley. Before she was born Grandpa and Granma had moved to Eugene, Oregon. They only lived there a short time, Granma got pregnant with her while they lived there, but had moved back to Farley before she was born. Grandpa was a telegrapher in Iowa, and had been transferred to Oregon. For a few minutes she couldn’t think of where but then she said Eugene, Oregon.

Lucille (Borchardt) Harn [1908–2001]

I asked her about Wilmington, Illinois she said they never lived there don’t know where Fran got that idea. Said she knows Granma and Grandpa were married April 25 or 26th in 1904 or 1905. Considering Catholic, my guess would be 1905 and dad was born February 6th of 1906. She also told me that Donald the baby brother who died, died on dad’s birthday, she said he was 2. I had always heard about five, but like I say she is still sharp so I tend to believe her. She was 16 when they moved to Chicago. She said Grandpa’s name was Gustavis

Epsworth is where Granma Elizabeth was born, and lived in the general area all her life. From conversation with Aunt Lucille found out that my Dad and her were born at Graf, Iowa and all the other brothers were born in Farley. Baby brother Donald died and is buried at Farley, as I think the great-grandparents are also. Only one set of greatgrand parent, the Franklin side, not sure at this point where the other side are at, may never know as I think they were dead possibly before Dad was born. The family moved to Chicago when Aunt Lucille was 16, think she is 2 years younger than Dad. She said right after that, Dad, Uncle Jack, and a friend left to go to Oregon, to see the Uncle Frank (Granma’s brother) who had gone out at the time Grandpa and Granma had moved out there, he didn’t come back and was never heard from again. So to me this explains how Uncle Jack ended up in South Dakota. He and his wife Lucy lived a block west of where we lived on West 5th Ave. They had twins, a boy named Marvin and his sister La Verne. Marvin is deceased and as far I knew some years ago La Verne was in California, but never knew her married name. They were about three years older and myself.

Helen (Mackey) Borchard & Grandma Elizabeth (Franklin) Borchardt

Don’t know if Grandpa Gus worked other job before but do know he worked for the post office and think he retired from there before died. Dad’s brother Fran also worked for and retired from the downtown post office in Chicago. Fran (name is Francis) and his wife Marie are still living in Chicago area along with Aunt Lucille who now lives in a nursing home.

Leo (Chick) had lived in Thornton, CO since the early 1950’s and I went to see him once when Dondrae was a baby. In fact, Terry, Julie and Steve & families all went to see him. Don’t remember the year he died, but it’s been 7 or 8 years ago I think. He has 2 children, David Borchardt and Judy. Don’t know Judy’s married name. Both live in Denver area. Leo used the name ‘Chick’ Edwards, as he was golf pro and taught lessons for a living. Granma never forgave him for changing his name. David would be about 10 years younger than me and Judy was about 4 or 5 years younger than her brother. (Leo Borchardt is buried in the cemetery at 120th& I25 in Thornton, CO) Leo’s wife Marge is also dead; Harold and his wife Aline are also gone. Harold died the year Terry and Karen were married, the day after the wedding. Mom called me while I was there.

5 Harn Sons (Jerry, Ron, Dale, Jim & Bob)

After Grandpa Borchardt died, Uncle Fran stayed and took care of Granma until she died in 1966. Several years after her death he met Marie, who was a widow that lived next door. They were married; he was 56 at the time and had never married before. They celebrated their 25th anniversary in Oct of 1997.

Aunt Lucille is now living in a nursing care facility, physically not in good shape but her memory is still very sharp. I plan on making a trip up to see them in June. She has 5 sons, Bob & Jim live in Ocala, Fl, Ron and Jerry lived in Chicago area, and Dale in Valparasio, Ind. Aunt Lucille always reminds me I was the one who gave her engagement ring. Her husband ‘Chick’ had it around a package of LIFESAVERS and said if I would take it to her she’d give me the candy.

Chick was killed in 1955. He drove a gasoline (airplane fuel) from the terminal to where he worked to Midway Airport in Chicago. One morning at 5 o’clock a.m. he was headed there with a full load when a drunk, off duty, Policeman ran a red light and hit the tanker mid section. It jackknifed and exploded…. At that time Lucille had all five of the boys and all were little. She had a tough life raising the children, and worked up until about 15 years ago.

If you’re interested in further genealogy research on the Stelzer or Borchard(t) families visit our Rootsweb Page. We have over 1900 individuals and 670 Surnames in our tree so far! Stay tuned for more from Grandma Bonnie.

If you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane, please recommend this to others. To read other stories from Grandma Bonnie follow her blog listed below.

Originally published at on November 29, 2015.

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