Saturday, March 24, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 12

When I saw the writing prompt for this week, misfortune, I immediately thought about my paternal great-grandfather, Albert Hungler. Born in Covington, Kentucky on 17 October 1869 to John Hungler and Anna (Hightower) Hungler, Albert was the oldest of two boys born to this couple. (Anna died fairly young, and John went on to marry Mary Elizabeth Carver in 1892. They had twelve additional children.)

Catherine Cramer ~1887
Albert married Catherine Cramer on 3 July 1894 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Catherine, daughter of Michael Cramer and Anna (Williard) Cramer, was born in 1877 in Cincinnati. Albert was 24 and Catherine 17 when they married. Their daughter Lillian, my grandmother, was born in 1895, son Corry in 1897, and twins Alice and Albert in 1898. Unfortunately, Albert died at birth.

Catherine contracted tuberculosis and died 16 April 1900. She was just 22 years old. At the turn of the century, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the United States. It was also referred to as TB, consumption, phthisis, and the white plague. Cincinnati had the first publicly funded tuberculosis sanatorium in the country. Between 1900-1903, 1,253 residents of Cincinnati died from TB. Sadly, Catherine and Albert’s son Corry also succumbed to tuberculosis on 10 October 1900. He died at the age of 3, just six months after his mother passed away.

Albert was no doubt still grieving the death of his wife when his only living son was also taken from him. One can only imagine what it would have been like to lose two important family members in such a short time period. I’m certain that Albert never imagined himself a widower at age 30 trying to adjust to the death of a wife and child while attempting to deal with his two remaining grief-stricken children. Lillian was only 5 and Alice just 2 at the time. That was a whole lot of misfortune for a young man to deal with on his own.

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