1875 – Carl Albert Baer

Carl Albert Baer was born October 27, 1875 in Highland, Helvetia Township, Madison County, Illinois to Jacob Beer and Mary Ammann. He was baptized at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church as Carolum Albertum Beer on May 16, 1875.

Jacob was born Giachen Martin Beer in the village of Surrein near the town of Sedrun in Canton Graubünden, Switzerland on March 18, 1814.

Mary was born Anna Maria Josepha Regina Ammann on March 23, 1837 in Küssnacht, Canton Schwyz, Switzerland.

Jacob and Mary met in Highland, Illinois after they each had emigrated to the United States—Mary in 1847 and Jacob in 1854. They were married in Madison County in February 1856. He was 41, she was 20.

1877 – Julia Clementz

Julia Clementz was born July 30, 1877 in Highland, Helvetia Township, Madison County, Illinois to Valentin Clementz and Luzia Lorenz.

Valentin was born December 1, 1833 in Praden, Canton Graubünden, Switzerland. Luzia Lorenz was born May 17, 1835 also in Praden. They were married on March 12, 1855 in Praden. Two weeks later, they sailed for the United States.

1880 – 1889

In the 1880 census, Carl Albert Baer was living with his parents and five older siblings at 285 “Pitzoltzi” (Pestalozzi) Street in Highland. (Today this is 9th Street.)

1890 – 1899

Unfortunately, no census record is available for 1890. The Federal Census of 1890 was destroyed by a fire at the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C. on January 10, 1921. The surviving fragments of 1,233 pages list only 6,160 of the 62 million people counted.

Julia Clementz

Carl Albert Baer married Julia Clementz on September 1, 1896 in Highland, Illinois. He was 21 years old and she was 19. Carl was working as a barber in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Julia and Carl had nine children. The first two were born in Highland:

  • Adele (Girlie) Baer, born July 31, 1897
  • Raymond Charles Baer, born February 4, 1899

None of the girls were given middle names, while most of the boys were.

1900 – 1909

The 1900 census tells us that Carl (25) and Julia (22) Baer lived at 388 Jefferson Street in Highland with their two children, Adele (2) and Raymond (1). (Today Jefferson Street is 13th Street.) Carl Albert Baer was employed as a barber.

About this time, the family moved from Highland, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri where their third child was born.

  • Elmer Valentine (he was known as Valhis or Valle—pronounced Vallie) Baer, born January 4, 1900 in St. Louis, Missouri

There is a bit of a mystery here. The 1900 census which counted the family in Highland was taken in June. Elmer should have been six months old at the time, but he is not included in the household. Also, his birthplace is reportedly St. Louis, not Highland.

Three more children were born in St. Louis during the first decade of the 20th century:

  • Homer Charles Baer, born August 26, 1903 at 802 Ann Avenue (L. Stevens was the midwife at his birth)
  • Wilbert George Baer, born January 22, 1906
  • Lucille Baer, born February 15, 1909

In 1901 Charles Baer operated a barber shop at 2119 South Ninth Street across from the Lafayette Elementary School in the Soulard area of St. Louis, just south of downtown. (This building has been torn down and replaced.)

Soulard is one of the oldest neighborhoods in St. Louis with homes dating from the mid to late 1800s. The area was named for a French surveyor, Antoine Soulard, who surveyed the area for the King of Spain while St. Louis was under Spanish control from 1763 to 1800. During that period, St. Louis was a part of the “Ylinneses” region of the province of “Luisiana.” The Soulard community was annexed by the city of St. Louis in 1841.

800 Ann

In 1903, Charles’ barber shop was located at 1025 Ann Avenue at Menard Street, and the family resided at 800 Ann Avenue, between South Seventh and South Ninth streets.

Meet Me In St. Louis poster

From April 30, 1904 to December 1, 1904. the Louisiana Purchase Exposition was held in St. Louis, celebrating the centennial of Thomas Jefferson’s major addition to the territory of the United States. The World’s Fair was located on the present-day grounds of Forest Park and Washington University, and was the largest fair to date with over 1,500 buildings. Exhibits were staged by 62 foreign nations, the United States government, and 43 of the 45 U.S. states. The Fair also hosted the 1904 Summer Olympic Games, the first Olympics held in the United States. These games had originally been awarded to Chicago, but when St. Louis threatened to hold a rival international competition, the games were relocated.

In 1905, Charles was listed as a barber with a residence at the rear of 802 Ann Avenue.

In 1906, Charles was no longer a barber. Now he was listed as a laborer, still living at 802 Ann Avenue.

1910 – 1919

802 Ann

The 1910 census reports that Charles A. Baer (34) and Julia (32) were living at 802 Ann Avenue, between South Seventh and South Ninth Streets. The household included their children Adell [Adele] (13), Raymond (11), Valhis [Elmer Valentine] (9), Homer (7), Wilbert (4), and Lucille (1). Charles was a laborer at a blacking plant—the New England Blacking Company, a manufacturer of bootblack or shoe polish.

Living at the same address was Henry Ammann (36), his wife Mary (27), and their two children Rosie (3) and Henrietta (1).

The last three of their nine children were born later in the decade:

  • Ruth Baer, born March 7, 1912
  • Charles Albert Baer, Jr., born July 7, 1914
  • Viola Baer, born November 15, 1916

Charles and Julia’s eldest son, Raymond, served as a Private in the US Army during World War I. His military service lasted from December 2, 1917 to April 4, 1919. Raymond was 18 when he entered the Army and 20 when he left.

1039 Allen

In September 1918 at age 43, Charles Baer registered for the draft. His home address was now at 1039 Allen Avenue, between Menard Street and South 11th Street in Soulard. He listed his birth date as October 27, 1874 instead of 1875. His employer was G. R. Cummings, 2545 Sullivan Avenue, where he worked as a “mixure.”

At one point, Charles worked for a tannery at 2302 South Third Street.

Sometime during this decade, Raymond, married his first wife, Valentina Eva Gansmann. She was born on August 20, 1890 on South Broadway in St. Louis. Raymund must have married and divorced before the 1920 census because by 1920 he was already married to his second wife, Mary Lammert. Perhaps he married his first wife before or during his military service. We have no record of how long the first marriage lasted.

Sts. Peter and Paul

Raymond Baer married Marie Elise Lammert at Saints Peter and Paul Church, a Roman Catholic congregation founded in 1849 to minister to German immigrants. Located at 1919 Seventh Street at Allen Avenue, the German Gothic structure was built in 1875. The church, with a steeple more than 214 feet high, was built to seat 1,500 people.

1920 – 1929

The 1920 census shows the Charles Baer family now living at 1039 Allen Avenue, between Menard Street and South 11th Street. The household contained 11 people including Charles (45) and Julia (42) and their children Homer (16), Wilbert (12), Lucille (11), Ruth (7), Charles, Jr. (5), and Viola (3). Their son Elmer (Valle) (19), his wife Sarita (nee Aubuchon) (20), and their grandson, Raymond (1) also lived with the family.

Charles Baer Sr. was working as a laborer at the New England Blacking Company and Homer, age 16, was working as a messenger for a railroad. Elmer Valentine was unemployed.

Adele Baer must have been married by this time. She also was married twice. We have no record of her first husband’s surname, so we can’t find the 1920 census record for them.

809 Allen

Raymond Baer (20) was living with his second wife, Mary (17). (Mary was born in 1905, so although the census says she was 17, she was really about 15.) They lived with Mary’s mother Mary Lammert (nee Outten) (39) and her paternal grandmother Elizabeth Lammert (nee Krueger) (73) at 809 Allen Avenue, between South 8th and South 9th streets, just two blocks from Raymond’s parents.

Sometime about 1920, Homer Baer married his first wife, Elizabeth (surname unknown). Homer would have been about 16 or 17 years old at the time. They had a daughter, Hope Baer, in 1920 or 1921. She died from a brain tumor sometime around 1924. Homer and Elizabeth divorced and Homer later married Susan (surname unknown).

Ruth Baer married Raymond Gosik about 1928. Their twin sons, Ramond and Robert were born on May 4, 1929. Later, they had four more children: Richard, Ronald, Roger, and Judith.

Lucille Baer married Harry C. Eckert in 1929.

Adele Baer married her second husband, Vincent Heckman, on July 30, 1929. Vincent worked at the International Shoe Company. He was born on March 13, 1904 in St. Charles, Missouri.

1930 – 1939

This was the decade of the Great Depression.

In the 1930 census, Charles (54) and Julia (52) Baer were living at 2445 South 13th Street, between Barton and Victor streets. Their son Charles, Jr. (16) and their daughter Viola (13) were at home along with their grandsons Raymond (10) and Vernon (8). The two boys were the sons of Elmer (Valle) Baer and his wife Sarita.

Charles’ occupation is listed as a “chemisty” at a blacking company (the New England Blacking Company). 16-year-old Charles, Jr. was a “shoe worker” at a shoe manufacturing company.

In 1930, Raymond (31) and Mary (26) Baer were still living at 809 Allen Avenue with Marie’s mother Mary Lammert (49) and her paternal grandmother Elizabeth Lammert (83). Raymond and Mary now had three children: Dorothy (9), Raymond (3), and Earl (1).

On November 5, 1932, Charles Baer, Jr. married Angeline D. Kovac in St. Louis.

In 1930 Lucille (21) and Harry Eckert (23) were living at 2232 Broadway with Harry’s sister Ellen (21) and his aunt Elizabeth Wineburg (40). Harry’s occupation is listed as a self-employed “huckster” which is a term used for a seller of small cheap articles, often of shoddy quality. A huckster could also be called a peddler or hawker. Years later, Harry and Lucille owned a bar in St. Louis.

In 1930, Wilbert Baer was married to Francis T. (surname unknown). Wilbert was working as a salesman for an ice cream company and Francis was working as a comptroller of a grocery company. In 1931, they had a son, Wilbert A. Baer.

On September 16, 1939, Viola Baer married Emil Ochonicky. (See Emil Ochonicky and Viola Baer)

1940 – 1949

Charles Albert Baer died on June 4, 1940 at his home at 2417 South 18th Street at Barton in St. Louis at age 64. He was buried from St. Agnes Catholic Church (now torn down), even though he never attended church. He was buried on June 7th at Resurrection Cemetery, 6901 MacKenzie Road, Saint Louis (Affton), Missouri 63123, Section 11-6. Charles died of cardiac failure and pneumonia.

When Charles died, Julia moved in with her daughter Adele (Girlie) and her husband Vincent Heckman on Sidney Street, so Viola Ochonicky, who lived in the same flat, could help with her care. (1122 A Sidney Street, between South 11th and South 12th streets in Soulard.)

Viola and Emil Ochonicky had three children in the 1940s: Joyce Elaine Ochonicky was born on March 23, 1941, Lawrence Bruce Ochonicky was born on June 20, 1943, and Jean Eileen Ochonicky was born on May 29, 1947.

1950 – 1959

Julia Clementz Baer died on July 5, 1950 at age 72 at home at 1122 A Sidney Street, between South 11th and South 12th streets in Soulard. She was buried on July 8th in Resurrection Cemetary, Section 11, 7-8.

1960 – 1969

Adele (Baer) Heckman died at age 67 on December 3, 1964. Adele is buried in Resurrection Cemetary, St. Louis, Section 11. Vincent Heckman died on March 9, 1995 in St. Louis at age 90. He is also buried in Resurrection Cemetary.

Raymond Baer died at 58 on April 1965 in St. Louis, Missouri.

1970 – 1979

Wilbert Baer died at 69 on May 19, 1975 in St. Louis, Missouri.

1980 – 1989

Ruth (Baer) Gosik died at 68 on July 4, 1980 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Lucille (Baer) Eckert died at 74 on January 21, 1984 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Homer Baer died at 82 on February 7, 1986 in St. Louis, Missouri.

1990 – 1999

Charles Albert Baer, Jr. died at 75 on April 15, 1990 in St. Louis, Missouri.

2000 – 2009

Viola (Baer) Ochonicky died at 84 on April 1, 2001 in St. Louis, Missouri.