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Katherine Gilcher Kreischer
Birth: May 30, 1856
Kuseler Landkreis
Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Death: Nov. 29, 1923
Onondaga County
New York, USA

She crossed an ocean to make a better life for herself and her family.

Catharina Gilcher was born on 30 May 1856 in the small rural village of Rathsweiler in the Glan River Valley, in the district of Kusel, west of the Rhine in the Pfalz (Palatinate), in southwestern Germany. She was the fifth of seven children to be born to Abraham Gilcher (1822-1893) and Luisa (1823-b.1888) (Haesel) Gilcher. Her father and his father (Johann Peter Gilcher, 1792-1865) had been born in Rathsweiler and were farmers; her great-grandfather, Johann Abraham Gilcher (1750-1832) had been born into the Johann Adam Guelcher family of nearby Oberalben, but he had relocated when he married Maria Catharina Drumm, daughter of a prominent Rathsweiler farming family, in 1778.

Catharina Gilcher was christened on 15 June 1856 at the Flurskapelle of Ulmet (Lutheran Evangelische church adjacent to Rathsweiler). Her godparents named at the ceremony were Philipp Hertel from Rathsweiler, Jakob Schuck from Rathsweiler, (her aunt) Maria Elisabetha daughter of Peter Gilcher from Rathsweiler, and Juliana daughter of Jakob Schreiner from Ulmet. From the ages of six to 16 Catharina attended the local schools and earned her diploma with the marks of "Excellent" in Religious education and Reading, and "Very Good" in German language, Penmanship, Spelling, Grammar, Oral calculation, Written calculation, Social studies, Drawing, and Needlework.

At the age of 26 years, while single and living at home with her parents and siblings in Rathsweiler, Catharina gave birth to a son on 15 September 1882, whom she named Carl, after her youngest brother. Three of her Gilcher family members stood as godparents at Carl's baptism on 10 October 1882. The following spring Catharina, baby Carl, and Carl's father, a cabinetmaker from the nearby village of Kirrweiler named Johann Jacob Kreischer, left their homes to emigrate together to Syracuse, New York. Their ship, the Norddeutscher Lloyd steamship "Elbe," left Bremen, Germany on 30 May 1883 (Catharina's 27th birthday) and arrived in New York City on 9 June 1883; the threesome traveled as steerage passengers with three trunks. Catharina and Jacob were married five days later in Syracuse, New York, on 14 June 1883, at the home of her cousins, Jacob and Caroline L. (Grub) Kohl, early Syracuse German settlers, who ran a lager beer saloon and restaurant on North Salina Street. Pastor Emil Henckell of St. Peter's Ev. Lutheran Church performed the ceremony.

The Kreischers purchased and settled in their home on the south side of Putnam Street in southwest Syracuse, where Jacob set up his cabinetmaking/carpentry shop. (It was 16 and/or 14-1/2 Putnam before the address numbers changed in 1888; after that it was 221 Putnam). He supported the family by making furniture and working as a carpenter. Catharina had two more sons while living on Putnam Street, Otto (born in 1884) and Alfred (born in 1886). Known then as Kate or Katherine, she also had two younger brothers, Jacob Gilcher (1859-1926) and Carl (Charles) Gilcher (1862-1949), who had also immigrated to Syracuse. Jacob Gilcher lived and worked as a barber on Butternut Street on the north side of the city, while Carl Gilcher worked as a shoemaker and lived with his wife and family not far from the Kreischers on Putnam. Both Carl and Katherine's families attended St. Paul's German Lutheran Church at the corner of Oswego and Shonnard Streets. Jacob Kreischer during these years served as a deacon at St. Paul's church (1890-1893) and was a member of the Syracuse Saengerbund (German singing society).

On 25 September 1888 Jacob Kreischer became a naturalized U.S. citizen. According to the laws at the time so then did his wife and children through him gain their own U.S. citizenship.

Around 1895 the Kreischer family moved north out of the city and ended up purchasing a 37-acre parcel of land in Lot 92 of Cicero Township, situated just to the east of the village of North Syracuse, in the location then known as Taft Settlement (today, along the east side of Church Street, generally between Hamilton and Taft Roads). The family became farmers. It is thought that they raised corn, tobacco, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, beans, carrots, squash, eggs, and fruit, to sell at the farmers' market on Syracuse's north side.

Kate and Jacob became members of the Taft Settlement Grange, a local affiliate of a national farmers' educational and social society. Katherine was elected as Lecturer of the Grange for two years in 1898. She and Jacob were instrumental in helping rebuild and establish the new Grange Hall when the old one burned down on 25 June 1908. Through the following years Katherine continued to play an active role at the Grange, organizing dinners and other events, obtaining supplies and flowers, administering the applications of prospective members, and visiting the sick. In later years Kreischer Road in North Syracuse, its north end at the foot of the old Kreischer family farmhouse, would be named after her and her husband.

After Jacob Kreischer died in 1915, Katherine continued to live in the new house her husband had built for them on their farm (still standing today, a bit north on Church Street). Her oldest son, Carl, and his wife Nellie and their children had also moved to the farm and were living in the older family farmhouse; they took over most of the farming work and joined Katherine as active members of the Grange.

On 23 August 1918 Katherine attended the baptism in Syracuse of Carl and Nellie's youngest child, seven-year-old Charles Robert Kreischer. She served as his sponsor, along with Mary Elizabeth Gilcher, her brother Jacob's wife.

In 1922, after seven years of living by herself as a widow, Katherine's health began to decline, and she went to live with her son, Otto and his wife, Gladys, at their home at 719 South Salina Street in Syracuse. They took good care of her for a year and three months, as did her doctor, Dr. Nicholas W. Van Lengen, a son-in-law of Rev. Georg Merschroth, her former pastor at St. Paul's Church.

Katherine Gilcher Kreischer died, age 67 years, 5 months, 29 days, at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, 29 November 1923 at People's Hospital in Syracuse. The cause was "Cerebral apoplexy" (duration 20 days) with "hypertension" contributing (duration 5 years). Arrangements were handled by undertaker Cornell & Clement of Syracuse. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon, 2 December, at the home of her son, Carl Kreischer, on the Kreischer farm. She was buried beside her husband in North Syracuse Cemetery. Little did anyone suspect that tragically too soon two of her three sons would be joining her in the family plot: Carl in 1925 and Alfred in 1929.

At the Taft Settlement Grange meeting following her death, on Saturday, 1 December 1923, the following Resolutions were drawn up and entered into the minute book:

Resolutions on the Death of Sister Katherine Kreischer
Whereas Our Heavenly Father
has seen fit to take unto
Himself our Beloved Sister
Katherine Kreischer
Resolved that we the Officers
and members of Taft Settlement
Grange No. 473 do extend
to the Bereaved Family our Heartfelt
Sympathy and commend them to him
who doeth all things well.
Resolved that these Resolutions be placed
on our minutes and a copy be sent the Family.
Committee: John Radley, Henry Welch, Chas Milback, Emma Parish

Family links: 
  Abraham Gilcher (1822 - 1893)
  Luisa Haesel Gilcher (1823 - ____)
  John Jacob Kreischer (1849 - 1915)
  Carl Kreischer (1882 - 1925)*
  Otto Adolph Kreischer (1884 - 1936)*
  Alfred John Kreischer (1886 - 1929)*
  Philipp Gilcher (1849 - 1873)*
  Louisa Gilcher (1853 - 1856)*
  Katherine Gilcher Kreischer (1856 - 1923)
  Jacob Gilcher (1859 - 1926)*
  Charles Gilcher (1862 - 1949)*
*Calculated relationship
1. Small chunky flat marker: "CARL / 1882-1925"
2. Large marker, upright with base: "KREISCHER / JOHN J. KREISCHER / 1849-1915 / KATHERINE GILCHER / HIS WIFE / 1856-1923"
3. Small chunky flat marker: "MOTHER"
4. Small chunky flat marker: "FATHER"
Note: Wife of John J. Kreischer
North Syracuse Cemetery
North Syracuse
Onondaga County
New York, USA
Plot: Sec W1; Section 3, Lot 149, Grave 2
Maintained by: Memories of You
Originally Created by: Frank K.
Record added: Mar 06, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25096911
Katherine <i>Gilcher</i> Kreischer
Added by: Anonymous
Katherine <i>Gilcher</i> Kreischer
Added by: Anonymous
Katherine <i>Gilcher</i> Kreischer
Added by: Anonymous
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- Gathering Roots
 Added: Feb. 8, 2012
This page is sponsored by: Memories of You

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