Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Mysterious Death of Frederick Auclair - Phlox, Wisconsin - 1906 & Later Life of Katherine Opp Auclair

Frederick William Auclair was my great-grandfather. He immigrated from Elsass-Lothringen , Alsace-Lorraine, Germany in 1888 and settled in Wisconsin.  He married Katherine Agnes Opp on April 19, 1891 in DePere, Brown County, Wisconsin.

He died under very mysterious conditions on July 1st,1906 in Phlox, Wisconsin (see the newspaper clippings that I received during my correspondence with the librarian at the Antigo Public Library in Antigo, Wisconsin):  

Based on the article, it appears that no other investigation into his death was ever done.  So it will never be known if he truly died accidentally or if he was robbed and murdered or murdered as part of a jealous lover triangle?    The reason I note this is due to the next newspaper clipping I found also in the Antigo Public Library:

Katherine, his widow, did re-marry again very shortly to this same Mr. Fred "Fritz" Ladwig on Aug. 16, 1906 - one month after Frederick died.  They had two daughters :Martha & Anita. 

Then, Katherine is no longer living with Fritz Ladwig by 1920.

It appears they might have separated because he lived until 1930. 

Then, Katherine, is remarried a 3rd time sometime between 1913-1920 to Adolph Baade (1868-1929).  I have not yet found a marriage record for them but did find them on the 1920 Wisconsin Census - in Plover, Marathon County, Wisconsin.  

1920 CensusWI - Marathon County - Plover Township
Lists: Baade, Adolph G. - Head - age 55 - born WI
           -      , Katharina A. - Wife - age 47 - born WI
        Auclair, George F. - step son - age 16 - born Wi
            -        , Tressa B. - step daughter - age 14 - born Wi 
        Ladwig - Martha H. - step daughter - age 10 - born Wi
              -    , Anita W. - step daughter - age 7 - born Wi

However, by 1934, she is remarried for the 4th and last time, to a George J. Randl (1874-1954).  They married Nov. 26, 1934 in Antigo, Langlade County, Wisconsin.  When Katherine died in Feb. 15, 1941, her obituary does not mention George, so I'm thinking they might have separated or divorced because George was still living and did not died until Jan. 1954.

 So, I wonder if Katherine ever ended up "happy" in the end.......


  1. Linda, welcome to the blogging world! I love reading your blog, and I have chosen you to receive the "One Lovely Blog" Award. You can find out more at my blog: The Mashburn Collection.

  2. Linda, sounds like Fred's death is an awfully convenient "accident." What an interesting story!