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Personal Remembrances of the Children of Nicholas and Margaret Steckler Adler

Nicholas and Margaret (Steckler) Adler

Catherine Adler


As recounted by Marilyn Loehr Mossberger

Granddaughter of Henry and Catherine Adler Loehr

27 November 2008

Carolyn and I were two years old when Grandma Catherine (Adler) Loehr died. So our memories are not too clear except that we recall our mother’s conversations regarding Grandma Loehr as we grew up. Mom said that Grandma was an angel, very sweet and warm. She spoiled our Daddy, Eddy Loehr, because he was the youngest of 5 children. His older sisters spoiled him also. Our dad was a wonderful and funny man, which made us proud to be his daughters. We believe his sweetness came from Grandma Loehr.

As Grandma Loehr got older and became sick, the daughters and daughters-in-law all took turns caring for her, moving her from home to home. My mom had her hands full with three kids and then Carolyn and I came along, making it five kids and plenty of cloth diapers. Then when it was her turn to take care of Grandma, Mom had another one in diapers (Grandma Loehr, that is!). But Mom did not mind. She loved Grandma and Grandpa so much!

We were told that Grandma and Grandpa Loehr took turns trying to hold the two of us as newborn twins at that same time. These two wonderful grandparents were hardworking people. We were told that when Grandma Loehr died, Carolyn and I were afraid to view her in the casket laying in their home in Haubstadt on Elm Street.

Grandpa Henry Loehr was a big, funny man. He stayed a lot with us in St. Wendel. He carried a cane and used it as a stick, trying to act strict. But he was a sweet, gentle man with a smile that would melt your heart. He worked hard to support his family of five kids and loved us all so much. Grandpa was staying with us at St. Wendel when he held Carolyn and I on his lap, asking us to give him a kiss for a nickel. Carolyn was too stubborn to kiss him. He died the next morning on July 19th, 1946. I will never forget that story. Daddy always wondered if Grandpa knew he was dying.

As recounted by Elizabeth Mayer Fisher

Granddaughter of Henry and Catherine Adler Loehr

27 November 2008

Grandpa and Grandma Loehr lived in Haubstadt. There was an alley on the side of the house and a porch on the east side. After school I would visit them and help them. They were my grandparents but they believed in “no gifts!” I never received anything from them, but I did not mind because I loved them. When they had a sale on their house and furniture, my dad bought me a green salt and pepper shaker set. I still have it. It was all he could afford at the time.

Grandma Loehr had a real small rocker she called her “sewing chair.” She would sit in it and do her sewing. I still have this chair. I remember Grandpa Loehr sitting in the front yard of our house in the summer. When we would run past him, he would grab at our legs with his cane to trip us. It was fun!

When Grandma lived with us, she had Alzheimer’s Disease. We called it “lost her mind!” We would set the table and she would start picking up the plates. I would say, “No, Grandma! We haven’t eaten yet,” and a few other things. She had to do something with her hands, so we gave her old handkerchiefs so she could tear out the hems. Mom would let me feed her. If she didn’t want any more, she would hold her tiny lips real tight, and I would try to open them with a spoon. I thought it was funny! I can still see her sitting in “the chair,” watching Grandpa read the newspaper. Every word, every morning. It took him two hours. No one could touch it until he was finished with it. Grandpa was a stern but lovable man. Grandma was a timid little woman and was as sweet as she could be. I loved them dearly.”

As recounted by Carolyn Loehr Brothers

Granddaughter of Catherine Loehr

27 November 2008

What a pleasure to share memories of our grandparents! Though Marilyn and I were very young when they were living, I can still see their faces in our little white house with the white fence on St. Wendel Road (about a mile from St. Wendel Church) where they would come to stay with us. We were told that when Marilyn and I were born (identical twins!), Henry and Catherine were so proud because it was always a chore to tell us apart.

We were blessed to have such wonderful grandparents and such wonderful memories. I can still see Grandpa in his pants with suspenders and that small little lady in her long granny dresses with her hair held back with bobbie twins.

When Grandpa was very sick on his deathbed (in 1946), he told Marilyn and I that he would give each of us a nickel if we would give him a kiss. We were four years old. Well, Marilyn went and gave him a kiss and got a nickel. I was too stubborn to do it. He died the next day. I think about that a lot.

We were told that Aunt Mary Loehr Mayer, my father Edward’s sister, was a small, gentle lady just like Grandma Loehr.

John Adler


As recounted by Father Hilary Meny, age 93

Son of Katie Emmert Meny

26 November 2008

I remember receiving a nice silk shirt that was sent from Evansville to Haubstadt that Dean Adler had outgrown. My mother customized it to fit me and I wore it to Sts. Peter and Paul School. The older boys in 4th or 5th grade thought silk shirts were only worn by sissies. I became the object of their attack during a game of Crack-the-Whip. I survived the attack but the shirt didn’t. I owed it all to the Adlers.

All the Adlers were good people. I only met Nick Adler once personally as a boy. I remember being at John and Lena’s farmhouse and had to go to the outhouse to take care of the necessities. They told me to be careful because Grandpa Adler was already out there. We met as I was going and he was coming out of the outhouse. Neither one of us had much to say about it. Nick Adler was the head of the whole household and the only time I met him was going to the outhouse.

I always had a very high admiration for Uncle John Adler. He was an extraordinary farmer. He only had 60 acres, which was half of what Thomas Jefferson thought farmers needed to get by. They utilized every advantage, as good farmers, to maximize their surplus of crops and animals. Lena raised the chickens and sold the eggs. They also raised their hogs and butchered them themselves, and sold the excess meat. They had cattle and horses and sold all the cream off as profit. Cats got the milk for killing the house mice. They had a small creamery and separator. I was only allowed to help at this stage of the operation so I didn’t screw up the cream for sale.

Lena was a kind and efficient wife, a good partner for her husband. She became a typical farmhouse wife who made very good use of the house and farm. There was no furnace in the house, so it was warmed from a stove in a room near the kitchen. It was very cozy in the winter and family and guests would gather there. Uncle John would call his sons, Oscar and Edwin, to this room at the end of the work week and pay his sons in cash for their help on the farm. This was my first experience with the commercial exchange of money. These are the only people that I can remember that got paid by their father. Uncle John did not make them pay income taxes.

Uncle John had a nice car, a Durant I believe, that was so nice he built a garage for it. I rode in this car several times. It was the successor to their 2-horse surrey and 1-horse buggy. Lena wanted her family to be treated nicely and made John return them home to Haubstadt by surrey or buggy after their visits to the farm. It was very romantic riding home under the stars.

As recounted by Ruth Lee Rietman, age 81

Youngest daughter of Peter Emmert

24 November 2008

All the Emmert girls were good cooks due to their mother’s (Mary Wolf Emmert) influence. I remember visiting John and Lena Adler at their farmhouse during the wheat threshing season. I was a flower girl in Lena’s funeral in 1933. I remember Uncle John Adler as a very nice, gentle man, very tall and slim. At my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary, John and Edwin Adler attended the celebration and ate ice cream.

As recounted by Norbert Adler

Grandson of John Adler

24 November 2008

My Grandpa John Adler was a kind, easygoing person. He was a farmer most of his life. On Sunday mornings after attending Mass, his children and grandchildren would all stop for a visit with Grandpa and Grandma (Lena Emmert Adler). He farmed all of his life, taking over the farm from his father Nicholas Adler, who lived with them until his death.

As a very young boy, I can remember my Grandpa John, my dad, Oscar, and my Uncle Edwin all plowing in the field with horse drawn plows. My two brothers, Oscar Jr. and Charles, and I would follow along behind them. After Grandma Lena’s death in 1933, Grandpa John and Uncle Edwin lived together. Grandpa did the cooking and took care of the house. He liked to make grape wine and he also raised chickens. He enjoyed his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They also liked to visit with him.

As recounted by Renilda Meny Kissel

Daughter of Katie Emmert Meny

26 November 2008

Lena and John Adler were my godparents. John was a very gentle person, really nice. Lena was also a nice person. I remember walking or riding my bicycle with my cousins from our homes in Haubstadt to visit John and Lena on their farm.

Adam Nicholas Adler


As recounted by Raymond Nicholas "Nick" Adler, Jr.

Grandson of Adam Adler

20 November 2008

Grandpa Adam Adler was a gentle, generous and quiet man. During the Great Depression he extended credit to customers who needed to feed their families but had no money. They always promised to pay their bills when they had the money. Evidently, this worked to everyone’s benefit. In those days a gentleman's word was his bond. Business was conducted with a handshake.

In Depression days, one merchant had a Bakery, another had a Butcher Shop, another kept a Vegetable & Fruit stand, and lastly, a Dry Goods store. Grandpa remembered when all these were brought together under one establishment. Neighborhood grocers united to buy large amounts of can goods, jellies, cereals, etc. They got a better price buying large amounts wholesale as a group. They could anticipate what items were going to be "specials". Customers collected coupons to cut their costs. Then, the individual grocer sold these items retail to make a profit.

Adam recognized in his later years that the super markets were going to put him out of business. That is why he had sold it to Uncle Dean. Even though he was retired, he came to the store each day to work. He was a person who enjoyed listening to people. Times were considered slower then. Life occurred more in rhythm with the seasons. One grew up closer to nature. Everyday, during a certain period of his middle-aged life, he was accustomed to walk a couple blocks to the Barber and get his daily shave. When he was older, say in his 80's, he liked to smoke one cigar an evening. Television was in black & white. One had to get up to change each channel. One might watch one or two programs in the evenings. But, sitting on the front porch rocking in a rocking chair, talking with neighbors who strolled by, Adam passed the time quite comfortably.

He drank an ounce of olive oil each morning, claiming it kept his hinges from getting rusty. He was a firm believer in eating Quaker Rolled Oats every morning cooked in a double boiler; otherwise, he had a stack of pancakes cooked in butter. He drank 8 oz of Mt Valley Spring Water once a day. This water is still sold from Little Rock, Arkansas. I never knew him to drink alcohol other than a "Cherry Bounce" once in the evenings. This was made from squeezing 1/2 of a lemon in an 8 oz glass, adding 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, and a mysterious red berry cordial. Finally, he filled the remainder of the glass with water. Blackberry cordial was used for constipation. One tablespoon was enough!

He cheerfully told me of his old grocery delivery horse, Festus, who delivered a load of groceries without the driver! The wagon was full of that day’s groceries. The driver, Ernie, always took the same route. On this particular day the driver was too slow in getting on with his job. The horse walked the wagon full of groceries to the first stop. Reports were that the family recognized the wagon, went out to find their groceries labeled with the family name. They took their groceries out and the horse pulled the wagon alone to the next stop. Eventually, the horse returned to the Store on Second Ave. with the empty wagon. Each customer had collected his family's groceries. Whether, this is true, I do not know, but as a twelve year old, I was impressed with Festus.

I do recall talking to Grandpa when he was in his 90's about the USA landing a man on the moon during years past. He informed me that this was not true! “They would fall off,” he insisted. His grasp of gravity & science & technology was not the same as our university education provided.

As recounted by Ruth Lee Rietman, age 81

Youngest daughter of Peter Emmert

24 November 2008

Lonie Adler was a very pretty girl who married a very nice man, “Uncle Adam.” Lonie adored her sons, Dean, Leo, and Ray. Lonie would give nice suits of clothes to my brothers that her own sons had outgrown. None of the suits ever fit because Dean and Leo were tall and thin and my brothers were short and stocky.

My parents would travel to Evansville to buy drugs for Emmert’s Pharmacy in Haubstadt. They would always stop at Adam Adler’s Grocery to buy a quart of Thousand Island dressing. Whenever Lonie would visit her sisters in Haubstadt, they would always giggle and laugh about old times.

“Doc Ray” Adler delivered one of my children. At Lonie’s funeral, I remember Ray Adler grabbing his mother’s arm in the coffin as he broke down. It was as if he didn’t want to let her go.

As recounted by Father Hilary Meny, age 93

Son of Katie Emmert Meny

26 November 2008

Lonie Adler was a pretty girl. As the second daughter, she was more lively and outspoken than Lena. She retained a lot of knowledge of her cousins and relatives and extended family. These people were always the subjects of visits when she returned to Haubstadt from Evansville. Aunt Lonie would visit Haubstadt by “inter-urban” streetcar, a small train of two or three cars. It allowed easy access from Haubstadt to Evansville arriving every one or two hours, and was much faster than car or buggy. She visited often when she was young and enjoyed immensely her visits with her sisters and brothers. She would get off the streetcar at the station and first visit her brothers at the Emmert pharmacy, then head across the railroad tracks to visit her mother and sisters. Lonie adored her sons, especially Dean Adler. He was considered the best student at St. Anthony’s School and was the apple of her eye. He was a real dandy. I remember when he would visit us in Haubstadt, he’d bring a different girl and a new model of car to every visit. Once he even arrived in a car with a rumble seat.

Adam Adler was a very successful grocer and businessman. He would be hard to equal, and was a force to be reckoned with. He always rose to the top. He had a way of inflecting himself into other people’s lives. He was very spirited and made everyone feel that he was interested in them. He could “out-Jew a Jew.” In fact when he attended a National Grocers Association conference in Miami, Florida, in the 1920’s, the management thought he was Jewish because of the Adler last name and denied him a room. The situation was rectified when Adam and others vouched that he was a good Catholic. He was the representative of all the other grocers in Evansville and his store was considered the best in the area. He extended himself to many people in charitable ways. He was a joy to be with and we all looked forward to our visits with him and Lonie in Evansville.

As recounted by Francis Keil, age 77

Meat cutter for Adler’s Grocery Store

25 November 2008

Lonie Emmert Adler died on February 17th, 1956 at age 79. My Dad, Ollie Keil and I were pallbearers, as were Ray Wargel (who worked for Leo Adler and ran Adler’s Distributing Company during World War II), Celestine “Cel” Maurer (production manager for Adler’s Mayonnaise Plant), Delbert Adler (worked for Adler’s Mayonnaise Company and was an independent contractor for Adler’s Distributing Company), Perry Stader (had an old-fashioned general store at Fulton Avenue and Columbia Street which sold feed, hardware, and chickens; he also owned quite a bit of real estate). At the end of Lonie’s funeral, Mr. Adler opened his grocery store because he didn’t want people to go hungry that day.

Theodore Matthew (or Mathias) Adler


As recounted by Gene Adler

Grandson of Theodore and Margaret Adler

28 November 2008

Grandpa Theodore Adler was a man who enjoyed people. He would stop to talk to people, no matter how busy he was.

My dad said he was a peacemaker. Grandpa was quoted as saying the best fight wasn’t worth a nickel.

Grandpa chewed tobacco and smoked a pipe since he was 13 years old. In those days, Grandpa said you weren’t a man if you didn’t smoke or chew tobacco.

Grandpa was a farmer who raised hogs and milked cows. He was one of the first farmers in the area who had a silo made out of wood in those days. He did carpenter work at home. As a child I remember grandpa fixing barn and shed doors for my Dad Vince. He would give me something (I think it was a licorice on a stick). He would pull it out of his pocket and carve it off with his pocketknife.

Grandpa and Grandma never learned to drive a car. He owned a car, but my dad and uncles drove them where they wanted to go. Dad said Grandpa did drive one time to Grandma Martin’s house in St. Wendel. He drove over and back alright, but when he put the car in the barn, he forgot how to stop it, and pushed the dump rake out the other side and would not drive again. In the mid-1920’s, the road Grandpa lived on went from a horse trail to a constructed county road. Grandpa was asked to help sell the bonds to build the road, therefore, the road was named Adler Road.

Grandpa liked to carve things out of wood. He carved birds with wings that would turn with the wind. Grandpa carved a cardinal and a parakeet that were mounted next to a board with his house number on it where he lived on Columbia Street in Evansville when he retired.

After retiring from farming and moving to Evansville, Grandpa worked for several years at Cook’s Brewery where he walked to work every day.

Grandpa and Grandma were people of great faith. When the roads were too muddy to take a car or horse and buggy, they would walk the three miles to St. James Church. After supper, they would pray the Rosary with the family.

Grandpa was 95 years old when he died on July 12, 1971.

As recounted by Shirley Adler Clements

Granddaughter of Theodore and Margaret Adler

30 November 2008

Gene said you wanted to know something about Grandma Adler. Not sure what or how much you need, but I'll just tell you something that is still stuck in my memory.

She was born Margaret Martin and lived in St. Wendel. When she married my Grandpa Theodore, they moved to where we were born and raised on Adler Road. Grandma and Grandpa used to come and stay with us for long periods of time at different times of the year. After they offered the farm to my Dad, their youngest son Vincent, they later on moved to Evansville where they lived in an attached apartment in the home of their second youngest son, Urban and his wife Marian and family.

Their daughter, Lorene, who never married and worked at Whirlpool for many years, also lived with them. When Lorene retired later on and Grandma and Grandpa needed her at home, they moved into a home at 414 E. Columbia Street where they lived until they all passed away.

Grandma was a hard-working, robust lady, who loved her grandchildren. She was a good cook and we looked forward to coming home from school to the smell of her delicious cooking saturating the air. She was a jolly lady who always had a smile on her face and a story to tell. She was always there to help us when mom had her babies at home. (Ten of us were born at home!) I can remember Mom telling us that usually when you had a baby they'd make sure you take cod-liver oil. Well, Grandma accidentally gave her camphorated oil and she felt it go all the way down.

When school was out in May, Grandma and Grandpa would let us take turns staying a week with them at their house for vacation. She was a wonderful, lovable Grandma.

Henry Benedict Adler


As recounted by Elizabeth McGough

Family friend of Henry and Verona Adler

30 April 2008

I knew Mamie (Verona), Henry, and Ta (Claire) Adler quite well. I attended St. Benedict's School in 1953 (Sister Mary Cuthbert was the the 6th grade teacher), and I used to stay with Mamie after school until my mother picked me up on the way home to Newburgh. I also remember Vera (who lived in St. Louis), and Art, and Jan Harns, who gave me her set of Little Colonel books. I remember Mamie's canary singing on the sun porch, and her African violets, and the mean rooster in the chicken yard they had in the back. Mamie and I would have popcorn as an after-school snack while she listened to Our Gal Sunday, One Man's Family, and some other radio soap operas, the names of which escape me now. At that time, Henry was still running his grocery store. I also remember that they had an old-fashioned ice box, and would put a placard in the window to indicate how much ice they needed. Mamie also crocheted booties for my baby dolls, and made some wonderful clothes for my Toni doll. My own grandparents lived on the East coast, so Mamie and Henry acted as surrogates.

Ta (Claire) lived with my family for a number of years, first in Fond du Lac, WI, and then in Newburgh, IN. I plan to stop in Newburgh and see what is left that I can show my husband. It has really changed in the last 50 years.

I vaguely remember once being at the store where Henry worked, but have no idea of the location. I think it was within walking distance of their house, but I am not certain.

Frank Simon Adler


As recounted by Barbara Adler Oberst

Granddaughter of Frank Adler

20 November 2008

My memories of my grandparents’ personalities are hard to remember a lot because I was so young when Grandpa died, however I do remember him as being fun loving and always played with Linda and I. He would lie on the couch and pretend to be the patient and with our doctor kits we would take his tonsils out. He was a good patient. I also remember him taking us to his basement when he chopped the chickens’ heads off and I thought it was so funny to see them run around.

My memories of Grandma were mostly of her baking in her kitchen. When we would go out there on Sunday her tables and cabinets were full of her pies and cakes. She wasn't as much fun as Grandpa. She was quiet.

As recounted by Linda Adler Schmitt

Granddaughter of Frank Adler

22 November 2008

When I saw the old pictures of Grandpa Frank and Grandma Mary, I immediately could smell the fresh baked cookies and kuchens from Grandma's kitchen on Olmstead St. She was a quiet woman with a gentle smile and I believe she greatly enjoyed baking, cooking, sewing for her family. The picture of her & Grandpa in the garden reminded me of her hands and the hard work she did.

Grandpa always seemed to have a "twinkle" in his eye and was also quiet, like Grandma. He, though, liked to tease us as I remember quite vividly when he killed chickens in the basement and let them run around squirting blood after cutting off their heads. He may have been my first patient as a nurse when he let me "take care of him" in later years (I was almost 5). Many years later, Grandma came to live with us. She seemed so sad most of the time and didn't want to join in with anything we did. Her last days were spent at the Little Sisters of the Poor.

As recounted by Diana Adler McGrath

Granddaughter of Frank Adler

22 November 2008

We lived across the street from them on Olmstead and so we were always walking over to see "Grandma across the street" as I always called Mary. Frank died when I was just 6 and my memories are only of a quiet but happy man. Their house always seemed very neat and orderly but very dark. As usual most activities centered around the baking in the kitchen.

Margaret “Maggie” Adler Kuhn


As recounted by Mary Ann Kuhn Schapker

Granddaughter of Margaret Kuhn

20 November 2008

I did not know my grandmother Margaret Adler Kuhn because she died when my dad, Victor, was 9 years old. I have been told she became pregnant as a result of being forced to drink alcohol and was raped by a man in Haubstadt. Her father, Nicholas Adler, disowned her and forced her to leave home even though he knew of the circumstances. She went to live with a married sister (Catherine) until being asked by George Kuhn to marry him. George adopted the 6-month-old child. They moved to Evansville and had 3 more children-2 sons and 1 daughter. They lived near the packinghouse in Evansville and went to stay near St. James in the summer since the air was much fresher at the end of the traction line. They always kept the doors locked because of the vagrants getting off the traction. She died at age 31 in St. James of tubercular pneumonia.

George came from Germany and stayed with a Lutz family in Haubstadt and later stayed with Julius Stunkle and helped raise his children because their mother had died. After marrying Margaret they moved to Evansville where he worked at the Evansville Packing Company where he slaughtered the livestock. He was asked to go to Joplin, Missouri to drive back some livestock to the local stockyard and packing company. It had been said he had a very humane touch with the killing of the animals and became the head person doing it.

George was left to raise the four children and kept them all together. The children were always very grateful he kept them together since many children were split up after a mother died. My aunt always said, “Poppa worked hard to keep us together and we were thankful throughout our lives.” The four stayed a very close-knit family and would take care of each other even though all had married and had families of their own. George did the best he could. He knew of the man who raped Margaret before he married her and supposedly told him at a later date she was a very good girl and had married a nice gentleman and now has a son of her own. A friend supposedly told George that he better be careful with him or he would “get his block knocked off!” George married Margaret Singer when the children were practically raised. I remember her as “Grandma.” They later moved from Evansville to Haubstadt and lived in the big red house by the mill with the wrought iron fence in front of the house. The train track was in front of the house and we always listened for it and the engineer would blow his whistle and wave. Grandpa George liked to sit in his rocker in front of the radio and listen to Jack Benny on Sunday evening. He died in l951.

Mary Appolonia (later Margaret) Adler Ziliak


As recounted by Mary Louise Ziliak Titzer

Daughter of Mary Adler Ziliac

28 November 2008

My mother Mary Adler Ziliak was a very quiet, simple person and she had a very good personality. She was a good homemaker and a very good quilter.

My father Tony Ziliak had a great sense of humor and loved to talk a lot to everyone. He never met a stranger! He was a farmer for a few years. Later he went into being a carpenter, repairing old homes and building new ones.

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