Monday, December 28, 2009

From Whence I Came...George Wellhausen

My great-grandfather, George Wellhausen, was born December 28, 1869 in Detroit, MI to Carl Wellhausen and Christina Grauman. He would become the father of my paternal grandmother, Ella Wellhausen Schulte.

I know very little about this great-grandfather, he died long before my birth and while I knew my great-grandmother (his wife), she never spoke about him in my presence. My grandmother did talk about her father from time to time to say that he was a good man but not a healthy man as evidenced by his death in 1938 at the age of 69 from longstanding abdominal ailments.

What I do know I have learned from discussions with my uncle, some cousins and from plain old research.

George Wellhausen was born in Detroit but the family later settled in Clinton Township, Macomb County, MI where he met his future wife, Amelia Schluessler (how they met is not known to me). They were married on February 14, 1895 (Valentine's Day-perhaps he was a romantic man!) and they owned a General Store at Van Dyke and 24 Mile Road in Utica, MI.

Together they had 3 children - daughters Gertrude and Ella and son, George, Jr.

I do know that my great-grandfather enjoyed hunting and fishing as my uncle, Melbourne Schulte, relates that his grandfather taught him both sports which were activities that my father was definitely not interested in. Obviously George enjoyed his hunting with his younger brother Edward as well, as these photos depict.

George was particularly fond of his granddaughter, Alvis Jean, who was born to his son, George, Jr and wife, Eleanor. I have several photos showing Alvis with her grandpa and I have been told that he was particularly fond of this child.

Alvis Jean Wellhausen with
grandpa, George Wellhausen
July 1, 1935

George Wellhausen, Jr. holding son, Lynwood
Alvis Jean with grandpa, George Wellhausen, Sr.
ca 1935

George & Amelia Wellhausen with grandson, Lynwood,
and son, George Wellhausen, Jr.
ca 1935

Tragically, Alvis would pass away at the age of 5, and I have been told that her death greatly affected George, perhaps contributing to his own death a few years later.
George Wellhausen passed away on April 8, 1938 in Utica, MI and is buried with his wife, Amelia, in Utica Cemetery, Utica, MI.

Following George's death, my uncle asked his grandmother if he could have his grandfather, George's, car which he desperately wanted. George had taught his grandson, Melbourne, how to drive and had let him drive this car around their property on different occasions. Amelia agreed to sell the car to Melbourne for $300 but not until Melbourne had proved to her that he had the money readily available. We have had some laughs about that remarking "that definitely sounds like great-grandma!"

A few years ago, my uncle, Melbourne, submitted the story about his purchase of his first car, along with a photo, to Reminisce Magazine who selected the story and photo for their yearly calendar. He was mighty proud of this selection and the memories of his grandfather that this evoked.

Above photos from personal collection of Cheryl Schulte


T.K. said...

For not knowing much about him, Cheryl, you managed to write a good post anyhow!

This was a great series. I'm always amazed at how you put a story together. I'm glad you have a little time now to get back to doing that, and looking forward to whatever you're going to do next!

Cheryl said...

Thanks, TK, I found that I had more photos than I had thought I had of George Wellhausen. I did enjoy doing this 12 part series of posts and now it is...onward!