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  • Connie Adler Brady & Mark Adler

Recollections on Louis Adler

Recollections from Connie Adler Brady, granddaughter

Louis Adler was born on 28 February 1889 in Francisco Indiana. He was the fourth

child of George P. Adler and Anna Schenk, and he was the grandson of Mathias Adler.

He left Francisco to homestead in Montana with his older brother, William Simon Adler.

With the outbreak of WWI, he enlisted in the US Army at age 28 on 12 December 1917 in Denver, Colorado and was sent to France.

While serving in France, he met Adrienne Marie Coutant, probably when he was on

leave. She was born in the small village of Cheffes France in the Loire Valley on 17

January 1894. When they met neither spoke each other's language. They were married on 19 May 1919 in the city of Niort in western France. Family lore has it that the banns for Catholic marriage had to be announced on three consecutive Sundays and that they could not do that to get married in the Church (probably due to Louis’s military duties) so they were married in a civil ceremony with a group of couples on the court house steps in Niort, France. My brother Don Adler has the two small English to French, French to English Dictionaries that were in Grandpa Louis's belongings. I have the immigration papers for Grandma Adrienne Marie Coutant Adler.

(See the following recently discovered article that was written in 1920 about the

courtship of Louis and Adrienne Adler from the Evansville Courier and Press.)

Adrienne came to the USA through Ellis Island as a war bride, never to see her parents

again. She traveled separately from Louis. She did correspond with her family in the

French language and we have copies of some letters somewhere in our family

belongings. She died at age 56 in 1950 of pancreatic cancer and we lost contact with

her family at that time because of the language difficulties. Adrienne was a milliner and

tailor by trade and when she came to Evansville they lived on Bedford Avenue.


sewed for many of the well-do-do families of Evansville. She learned to speak better

English by walking to the movie theaters and taking Dad (Alfred Adler) when he was old

enough to go. Dad often told us of their walks to and from the movies and how

Grandma "Ditty" (the nickname we knew her by) would look in people's windows on the

way home to see how they "decorated." Dad had stories of how Grandpa Louis would

play cards with his buddies in the evening when he and his mother went to the movies.

Grandpa Louis was a steam and pipe fitter by trade. After Adrienne died he came to live

with us; first on Tupman Road and then on Boehne Camp Road. Grandpa helped to

build the home on Boehne Camp and did all the heating. I was about four at this time

and Don was born shortly after Grandma Ditty died. I have memories of having to stand

on a chair beside Grandma Ditty's bed when she was very sick and I would turn around

very slowly so she could see how I was dressed. I also remember she had a little bell by

her bedside that she would ring when she needed something. It seems we were all

there for a vigil and that she died at home, but I am not real sure about that memory.

During WWII Mom (Wilma “Billie” Adler) lived in Evansville with Louis and Adrienne

Adler while Dad served in the navy. Grandma Ditty taught Mom how to sew beautifully

and Mom made a lot of my clothes as a little girl, did the alterations for friends, and even

sewed vestments for priests. Dad was a tool and die maker (a type of machinist) and

worked for 44 years at Bucyrus Erie in Evansville. He retired when he had a heart attack

on January 12, 1980. He lived for many years in retirement.

He and Grandpa Louis loved to garden and they planted a big one every year on the lot

next to our house on Boehne Camp Road. We had fresh vegetables and beautiful

flowers (to decorate graves) from that garden. Mom did a lot of canning and preserving

of food and our fruit cellar was always full of food for the winter. Dad liked to BBQ and

they made their own BBQ sauce. I remember that often on Sundays in the summer

Grandpa Louis ("Pop") would buy a slab of ribs or chicken halves or both and Dad

would fire up the concrete block fire pit he built in the back yard and Dad would BBQ the

meat. We had lots of neighbors and friends to join us as we enjoyed the fresh BBQ. We

often ate at a picnic table in our back yard. I still have the big round aluminum tray that

Mom would stack high with the BBQ meat that we all enjoyed.

Grandpa Louis also loved to pick wild blackberries and he would find as many as he

could, come home and cook them down himself, strain the cooked down berries and

make jelly. The only help he asked for was for Mom to put the hot paraffin wax on top of

the jelly to seal it. It was really good!

Grandpa Louis "Pop" loved to drink Double Cola and Ski. We would buy it by the

wooden case. It was in returnable glass bottles. Grandpa was supposed to limit his

consumption for some medical reason and I remember the story that Mom would catch

him in the basement hiding in the shower behind the curtain drinking his Double Colas.

Grandpa also loved to watch wrestling matches. He would get all excited at the drama

and his face would get red as he cheered on his favorite wrestler.

We had lots of little family customs. During Lent when it was the Catholic rule not to eat

meat on Fridays, Grandpa would take the whole family to a little tavern/restaurant called

Dutch and Mary's and pay for us all to have a fish dinner. We didn't eat out much at all

in those days, so needless to say, Lenten Fridays were not such a sacrifice in our

family! Grandpa also went to church with us every Sunday morning. Our Dad (Alfred)

did not go to church after WWII until after his heart attack in 1980. That being said,

Mom, the three of us children, and "Pop" would be regulars at Corpus Christi Church in

Evansville. Grandpa was a much loved member of our family. Everybody at church

knew and loved Pop. He helped me out many times during my dating years when I

didn't make curfew by taking the string of bells off the front door so I could get in quietly

and maybe not get in trouble.

Grandpa Louis was also a very prayerful man. He said his rosary every day either in the

back yard in a lawn chair under a shade tree or in his room sitting in his chair. He never

dated another woman after Adrienne died and he was so good to Mom and us kids. He

would buy Mom things she wouldn't buy for a set of prayer books or

something else that she thought was too expensive. Mom and Dad took good care of

Grandpa and he was so good to us too. It was a treasure to have him in our family

home. My brothers have lots more stories about Grandpa Louis Adler and it would be

great if they would have time to commit them to paper.”

Recollections from Mark Adler, grandson

Louis and Adrienne Adler raised Alfred on Bedford Avenue in Evansville. Grandpa

worked as a plumber/steamfitter for the H.G. Newman Plumbing Company for 42 years

and I have a photo that shows Grandpa threading a pipe by hand. Grandma Adrienne

(whom I never met) died in 1950 three years before I was born and she was a furrier/

seamstress by trade and was apparently well known as she made all of the party

dresses and finer clothing for the wife of the owner of Mead Johnson whose name was

D. Mead Johnson. Grandpa Louis lived with us after Grandma died and he would tell

stories and let us feel his skull where a scaffold board fell and hit him in the head

from his working days. He always said he had the first hard hat as Grandma would

take the welding/fitters hats she made and would sew a metal plate in the hat to

protect the soft area of his skull. Dad (Alfred) worked for Bucyrus Erie here in

Evansville for 42 years as a tool and die maker and we grew up at 408 North Boehne

Camp Road.

I don’t really know where Grandpa and Grandma went to church but when Grandpa

lived with us we all went to Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Grandpa always went to

church with Mom and us kids. But Dad never did and, in later years when we were all

grown and gone, that’s when Dad started to go back to church so Mom wouldn’t have to

go alone. Dad was a very good man but had his ways as far as how he wanted things.

Growing up, Dad never went to church but was really good friends with our parish

priest, James J. O’Conner, as Dad and Father O’ Conner went fishing and boating many

times and just enjoyed each other’s company. Dad did a lot of donated work for Father

O’Conner and Corpus Christi Church.

Editor’s note:

This is a wonderful remembrance of romantic love and Christian faith from a line of the

family that we only recently re-discovered after the records from Germany were found.

My own interest in the family genealogies actually began when I found a letter from

Wilma “Billie” Adler signed as “Mrs. Alfred Adler” to my father thanking him for sending

her his copy of the Nicholas Adler descendants listed for the 1959 Adler Family Reunion

and inviting him over to their house to visit Grandpa Louis.

It was a remarkable day when I met Mark Adler and his sister Connie Adler Brady for

the first time last summer and we drove out to look up their 88 year old cousin Norwood

Adler in Mackey, Indiana. Norwood had the records that confirmed that Mathias Adler

was indeed their great great grandfather and was the brother of Nicholas and Juliana

Adler. So that is how the idea of this year’s coming reunion in Haubstadt got started and

is on the way to fruition.

I surely hope that somewhere we can find more stories and pictures of Mathias Adler’s

many descendants. Please visit the website at to view portraits

of Louis, Adrienne, Alfred, and Billie Adler as well as the photo of Louis Adler’s siblings.

For all of the romantics out there in the family, the enduring love story of Louis and

Adrienne Adler in a foreign land torn apart by a devastating world war is truly an

inspiring tale!

-John Adler

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