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Cora Ellen Schollenberger Helfrich
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Birth: Sep. 16, 1874
Drums
Luzerne County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Oct. 23, 1920
Allentown
Lehigh County
Pennsylvania, USA

My great grandmother Cora Ellen Schollenberger was the daughter of Thomas Schollenberger and Maria Rarich. She was a sister to Morton, Claud, Della, William H., and Harrison. The marriage license for her daughter, my grandma, states that Cora was born in Drums, Pennsylvania.

The state index confirms the date and place of death, and soon the death certificate should tell us more. Cora's stone erroneously says she died October 23 while the state index has her passing on the 22nd, as does her death certificate.

Cora married William H. Helfrich and had children William Ellsworth ("El"), Harold (Hans), Grace Myrtle Helfrich Peters, and Melva Ellen Helfrich Ettinger. She also had a son who lived only 10 months, Claud Morton Helfrich, who was named for two of her brothers.

Cora was born and spent much of her life in northeast Pennsylvania's coal regions, and she had aspirations for her children; she told her husband "I will not have my daughters marrying coal-crackers" which led to the family leaving McAdoo in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, and moving to Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania sometime between 1910 and 1920. I'm not sure what her issue with coal-crackers was, though possibly it had something to do with their primarily being Slavic or Italian, Catholic, or non-English speakers, all of which were foreign to her. Her issue may have been strictly economic, wanting her daughters to "marry well" to men of good incomes.

Whatever her motivation, in the long run the move was a good thing, because it led to her daughter Melva (my grandma) marrying Henry Ettinger and later having my mom (and her three siblings).

Our family still has some of Cora's handmade lace packed gently away in black tissue paper. In tribute to her getting the family to Allentown where her daughter could marry my grandpa, I had some of that lace pinned inside my wedding dress when I went down the aisle.

Cora passed away relatively young at age 45, though the cause was not known to living family. Her death certificate says she died (oddly, at home), of "post operative shock" with "acute intestinal obstruction" as secondary. When I read this, the warnings of her daughter, my grandma came back to me in a rush. My grandma was almost obsessive about bowel movements. She was a big believer in enemas which thankfully, I don't think she ever gave to me. But she was methodical about food; if you ate X you should then eat Y. I remember after eating cheese she'd tell me to have some grapes for roughage. As a kid, to me her preoccupation seemed odd, an old person fussing too much. Perhaps there was more behind her worry than I knew.

Further, my grandma's favorite aunt, her mom's sister, Della, lost her husband fairly young; he too passed of an obstruction. This must have made a further impression upon my grandma.

I do know that after Cora's passing her husband William remarried, unfortunately setting up an "evil stepmother" situation for my grandmother and her siblings. The stepmom may not have actually been evil, but it is an uncomfortable thing to see your father marry another woman, particularly one so unlike the mother you knew. Worse yet, the actions of that stepmom, while certainly accidental, led to the death of my grandma's father.

 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Thomas M. Schollenberger (1856 - 1929)
  Maria Alice Rarich Schollenberger (1856 - 1918)
 
 Spouse:
  William H Helfrich (1867 - 1939)
 
 Children:
  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)*
 
 Siblings:
  Cora Ellen Schollenberger Helfrich (1874 - 1920)
  Della M. Schollenberger Woertz (1882 - 1971)*
  William H Schollenberger (1884 - 1983)*
  Claude Rarich Schollenberger (1885 - 1963)*
  Harrison Morton Schollenberger (1888 - 1973)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Greenwood Cemetery
Allentown
Lehigh County
Pennsylvania, USA
 
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Aug 28, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41249256
Cora Ellen <i>Schollenberger</i> Helfrich
Added by: sr/ks
 
Cora Ellen <i>Schollenberger</i> Helfrich
Added by: sr/ks
 
Cora Ellen <i>Schollenberger</i> Helfrich
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Linda Hayward
 
 
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- Maja
 Added: Oct. 24, 2013
Thinking of you this day...
- Diane Miller
 Added: Oct. 23, 2013
Happy Birthday Cora...
- Diane Miller
 Added: Sep. 15, 2013
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