Monday, May 18, 2009

Spring Grove: Dannenfelser

One of my favorite monuments at Spring Grove is the Dannenfelser Monument in Section 73, Lot 307. Charles “Carl” Dannenfelser, born December 3, 1854, came to the United States in 1871. In 1877, he married Louisa Meyer who also came from Germany in 1871.

Carl was a noted wood carver and furniture maker and he is credited by Walter Langsam as the craftsman for the library woodwork in the Charles Phelps Taft home, now the Taft Museum, and the woodwork in the Marcus Fechheimer Residence on Garfield Place.

Carl and Louisa Dannenfelser had six children: Leo Philip, Selma, Louisa, Karl, Elsie, and J. Caesar. By the 1900 Census, Carl is listed as an “Art Cabinet Dealer” while oldest son Leo P. is listed as “Carver Wood”. By 1910 all the children except youngest Caesar have moved out of the family home on E. Ridgeway Ave. in Norwood. Philip continues in the ‘wood’ business as noted in the 1910 Census and even Caesar is listed as a “designer” in the furniture industry in the 1930 Census. Patriarch Carl died October 2, 1916. Matriarch Louisa died on April 11, 1936. (Spring Grove records are great because you can learn things like Carl died of Cancer of the Rectum – not so great for him – and Louisa was living at the St. Leger Apartments in Evanston at the time of her death. How different those apartments must have been in 1936!)

I would assume the monument of the kneeling woman at a chair is significant given the family’s connection to the furniture making industry. Just an educated guess though.


Lindsey said...

I was very excited to stumble upon your blog. Carl was my great great grandfather. His daughter, Louise is my grandfather's mother. We have a few pieces of his furniture in my house. He was very talented. I have never seen his grave site and I am going to print this and show it to my grandfather. Thank you!!! Lindsey Gilmer

John said...

Lindsey, as it seems your GGGF Carl carved the ambo at Mother of God Church in Covington where I recently started lectoring, I am honored to read at his creation. Especially since I have a good bit of German ancestry myself. Carl's talent lives on... even so long after he created it.
John Morrison

John said...

As a new lector at Mother of God, for me the ambo your GGGF crafted lives on. It is an honor to read from such an ambo. I will soon photograph and study the panels; one person has already photographed on of the panels:
In the spring, I hope to find your GGGF gravesite in Spring Grove, which I have visited once.
Thanks for sharing your history!