May I present Rosa Leuenberger and George Edwin Hertz, my husband’s great-grandparents! Rosa’s parents were Jacob Leuenberger and Margarite Streich, both born in Switzerland. George’s parents were Henry Hertz and Amelia Florentine Probst, both born in Germany. Rosa was born March 31, 1876, and George, November 21, 1867, both in Solon, Johnson County, Iowa. They married September 28, 1898.
The proud parents were soon blessed with two lovely children – Harold, born October 1, 1889, and Esther Myra, born October 22, 1901. Yes, Harold is the one with the beautiful hair, holding tight to his sweet sister, Ritchey’s grandmother!
Rosa soon became ill with tuberculosis and the family was devastated. They eventually moved to Grainfield, Kansas, hopeful that the climate change would improve her health. It did not, and she died there March 1, 1907. Her body was brought back on the train to be buried in their hometown of Solon, Iowa.
After the death of his beloved Rosa, George and his children lived with his mother until he remarried in 1916 and moved to Missouri. The children remained with their grandmother until her death in 1920, when they moved to Kansas City, Missouri. There Esther met and married James Edwin Jolly, from Livingston County, Kentucky, September 28th, 1921. The next year, September 19, 1922, their son, Rex Edwin Jolly, was born. James Jolly left his little family shortly afterwards, never to return. Esther continued her work as a stenographer until the tuberculosis she contracted forced her to move to her father’s home, where she died May 25, 1924, in Butler, Missouri. Her body was returned to Solon, Iowa, where she was buried beside her mother.
For many years we did not know where Esther was buried. Thankfully she is among those who loved her – her parents, both sets of grandparents – Hertz and Leuenberger, and many aunts and uncles. This was a very emotional trip – for Ritchey, and for me.