Rabbit Trail Tales

A Picture's Hidden Story:

Unraveling the Identity of Grandfather Kollenkark and His Mysterious Wife

An oval frame displays a vintage photo of a man and a woman
News article of an obituary

Sometimes there is more said in incomplete description than in-depth information.

Well for a story anyway. In my Memorial Day Box 2021 was a wonderful picture labeled “Grandfather Kollenkark and wife”. Now what struck me was that there seemed to be respect for ‘grandpa’ in using a more formal title. And the opposite would be true for the woman in the picture with him simply called ‘wife’. There were just too many questions to let this one slide. Who is Grandfather Kollenkark and the woman with him?

Let’s see what was to be found.

I first found that this gentleman was the second husband of Elizabeth Lombard Schlotterbeck. She and Jacob Schlotterbeck were married in 1854 in Iowa. She was 20 yr old and Jacob was 29. Jacob died in 1872, leaving Elizabeth a widow at the age of 38 with 10 children, including a little 1-year-old girl. In 1874 Elizabeth married Friedrich Kollenkark. She was 40 and he was 26. They had 3 more children. Elizabeth died in 1900. In 1902 Friedrich married Margaret Rosberg. He was 52 and she was 29. They had one child together. His obituary does not mention her by name but the child by age, 5 years old.

With just a quick search, I feel pretty sure that this ‘wife’ is probably Margaret Roseburg, a young woman with a big job as the wife of a prominent citizen’.

Margaret was buried in a different cemetery than her husband. Elizabeth and Friedrich were buried together. Jacob Schlotterbeck was buried in the same cemetery as Margaret.

Maybe I will discover who kept and labeled this photo. That is a Tale for another time.