Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Elmwood Place -- The Move to Ohio

The 1900 Census shows 26 year-old August, 23 year-old "Annie", and 9 month-old Virginia living on Holman St. in Covington, Kentucky. August's occupation is listed as a "shoe cutter". By 1903, the family had relocated to Elmwood Place, Ohio. August went into business for himself, opening the Valley Shoe Store. One of the Vonderheide grandchildren sent me this picture taken in 1903. You can see August looking out the door of the store. I would love to know who the others are -- we speculated that the little boy might have been son, Val, because he would have been three years old in 1903. I don't know who the couple is on the left (August's parents were both dead by then). It could be Anna pictured on the right, but I just don't know.

The family lived above the store. Aunt Evelyn thinks that Anna must have helped out in the store, because she recalls that they had help looking after the children. She also told me that this picture was of his first store location and that his second location was much bigger and a couple of blocks north.

I have a copy of a newspaper article published in 1953 when August was 80 years old. It has a great summary of this first-generation immigrant's accomplishments.
One of Elmwood's most interesting business personalities, Mr. A. H. Vonderheide celebrated his birthday recently. He was 80 years old on September 1.

Mr. Vonderheide was born in Germany and at the age of 7 came to this country with is parents and twin brothers. He had a sister who had passed away before the family came to the United States.

He recalls that his first employer was Mr. B. H. Kroger of the Kroger Grocery and Baking Company and he was the first clerk employed in the first store Mr. Kroger opened. Later he learned the shoe business and was promoted to foreman of the cutters in the sample room of the shoe factory.

In 1903 he bought the shoe store at 5911 Vine Street in Elmwood Place from Mr. John Imwalle and operated a successful business until he retired a few years ago. After his retirement he enjoyed a vacation in Florida.

In the year 1917, during his career as a shoe business man, Mr. Vonderheide, with a few more business men from Elmwood Place, organized the Inter-Valley Building and Loan Association of which he is now the president.

He is a charter member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and of the Elmwood Eagles. He also a past governor of the Elmwood Moose.

Mr. Vonderheide's wife died March 7, 1931. He has two children, Val and Virginia, eight grandchildren, two of them now serving in the United States Navy and two served in the Navy in previous wars. He has 14 great-grandchildren of whom he is very proud. Everyone is wishing Mr. Vonderheide many more hale and hearty years.

August died in 1959 at the age of 85. At the time of his death he was living with his son and daughter-in-law, Val and Clara, in a home they shared at 922 Springfield Pike in Wyoming. At the time of his death, he already had 26 great-grandchildren with more to come. I was 10 years old. So what do I remember? I remember a proud man who loved his large family. I also remember that as each new great-grandchild was born, the gift from Great Grandpa was a savings account booklet in your name with a deposit of $10. (Was there a lesson in this?) Here is a picture of Roy and August (poor quality) that was extracted from a family video from Easter, 1952. Notice the cigar in August's hand.

Here is a four-generation picture of August, Virginia, Virginia and me. What a fortunate heritage I have!

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