Tuesday, July 1, 2014

More on Mrs. Hausdorf, an 1883 Legal Case

Yelling insults in the street?
Yesterday, I wrote about an item that appeared in the June 30, 1883 St. Paul Daily Globe. I was more interested in the story of Joseph Carp, who said that his "passions were unlike those of other men." Just to give some flavor to the piece, I noted some of the other people who came in front of the judge that same day.

A friend of mine wondered more about the argument between Mrs. Hausdorf  and Mrs. Reimer. I considered them amusing but ancillary, and didn't follow up on them at all. But I could.

Here's the full account, giving more than I gave yesterday:
Mrs. Hausdorf, living near the corner of Isabel and Stryker streets, abused Mary Reimer in an unladylike manner with her tongue, to which suitable replies in the estimation of Mrs. Reimer were hurled back. Bonds were required of each to keep the peace.
It's not a lot to go on, but it's enough to find her.

Mary Hausdorf lived at 77 West Isabel Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota. She would have been about 38 years old when she had her day in court, as she is 40 two years later in the 1885 census. Her husband, Col. Charles F. Hausdorf, was a bookkeeper. They had three children, Anna, Frank, and Emma. This must have been a great embarrassment to Mr. Hausdorf, as it seems the family aspired to a bit of social prominence. Earlier in the year, the Misses Hausdorf, then aged 16 and 8, if I'm reading the crossed out number on the census correctly, were among the young ladies on the decorating committee for Memorial Day.

Mary Hausdorf in a
happier moment
Mr. Hausdorf was a Civil War veteran. He had been a member of the First Minnesota Regiment, Company A, and had attended a reunion of his regiment in 1882. He would later go on (in 1885) to be secretary of the reunion committee.

The other Mary, Mrs. Reimer, was (according to my best guess), Margerite Reimer, the wife of one August Reimer, a blacksmith. Goodness me, the accountant's wife yelling at the blacksmith's wife. What would the neighbors say?

Both Mr. and Mrs. Hausdorf and Mr. and Mrs. Reimer had something in common: they were all from Germany. By doing some research on the Ancestry site, I was even able to find a photo of Mrs. Hausdorf, which solidifies my belief that they were prosperous. Once again, quite an embarrassment for poor Mr. Hausdorf, though he seems to have survived it.

One of them had clearly travelled for this argument, since August Reimer lived at 729 7th Street, quite a distance away. Of course, the article gives no indication of where the argument happened or what it was about.
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