|Birth: ||May 13, 1911|
|Death: ||Mar. 10, 1912|
Yes, his name was spelled without the "e" at the end - that is how his father wrote it in the family record. Claud Morton Helfrich was my maternal grandma's brother. He was the youngest child born to William H. Helfrich and his wife Cora Ellen Schollenberger Helfrich. His siblings were Grace Myrtle, William Ellsworth, Harold Henry, and my grandma, Melva Ellen Helfrich.
Claud Morton was named for two of his mother's brothers, Claud and Morton Schollenberger.
According to a family photo album in my grandma's writing, Claud Helfrich died when he was 10 months old.
I had assumed young Claud had died of one of many of the childhood diseases prevalent during the years of his youth. Thus, it came as a surprise to me to learn otherwise when I spoke with one of my mother's cousins in May of 2012. The lady who would have been Claud's niece (daughter of Claud's sister Grace) told me Claud's passing was not much spoken of, but that she had heard his death came about as a result of scalding by boiling water when laundry was being done. She did not know if he somehow got into the tub or if it had spilled, but she had heard his death had something to do with this combination of elements.
His death certificate tells a different story - that he passed of lobar pneumonia. Perhaps he was already ill from the accident and the pneumonia followed, or maybe the story is in error. Either way, the loss of a child not yet even a year old is tragic.
A copy of Stark's Daily Hand-Book, essentially a prayer book, was used by our Helfrich branch to record some births and deaths. In there, Claud's dates are recorded as May 13, 1911 to March 10, 1912 so grandma's photo album note of "ten months" is correct. My grandma would have been about 9 years old when Claud died, so she must have had living memory of him, and certainly her older siblings would have as well.
Claud's place of burial was not known initially. The family was in McAdoo, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, when my grandmother was growing up, so it had been suspected Claud was interred near there. Then I found his grave in Allentown in Lehigh County. So far as I know, the family did not come south to Allentown until my grandma was close to high school age which would have been about 1918, but here was Claud's 1912 grave in Allentown, so I thought I was wrong- that the family had moved sooner than I thought. In September 2012, I found Claud's place of death on the state index as McAdoo. Then it all fell into place... "Oh my, they had him moved." Well, yes, he was a baby who had died only a few years previously; they weren't going to leave him alone up there, so good for them.
When you look at the larger picture, at this branch of the Helfrich family, you do see a string of tragedy. Claud of course, and... His mother died relatively young. His father died in a terrible accident on the stairs, and his grandpa grew up an orphan for reasons not known, other than that his grandpa's mother was an inmate in the poorhouse. A sad line in many ways, but also full of vital, determined people.
William H Helfrich (1867 - 1939)
Cora Ellen Schollenberger Helfrich (1874 - 1920)
Grace Myrtle Helfrich Peters (1900 - 1989)*
William Ellsworth Helfrich (1901 - 1964)*
Harold Henry Helfrich (1902 - 1982)*
Melva Ellen Helfrich Ettinger (1903 - 1977)*
Claud M. Helfrich (1911 - 1912)*
Claud Morton Helfrich (1911 - 1912)
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Sep 21, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42203524