29 April 2013

Geiszler Family History: Death and Drinking Problems

You might remember that I have shared the brief history of George Joseph Geiszler and Evaline Townley Peak. This is another installment of that story.


Maggie and Henry Geiszler
Marguertia Magdalena Hoppe and her husband Henry Geiszler
of Columbus, Ohio c. 1920

In 1931, George's father Henry died. After ten years without his wife Maggie, his drinking problem got the best of him. Henry was struck by a trolley car on 24 Mar 1931 in Downtown Columbus. He was intoxicated at the time. Three days later, he died under the care of a physician at University Hospital. 

Post card of Linden Street car from Columbus, Ohio


He should be buried in the Oak Grove cemetery in Georgesville. He was not buried beside his wife Maggie in the Green Lawn cemetery. Maggie was buried on her sister Annie Hoppe Ross' lot. Henry is supposed to have been buried on his mother and step-father's lot (Michael and Caroline Billman). There is no grave marker and the cemetery records were destroyed in a fire. Henry's father Joseph had died in 1863 and was buried in the poorly cared for Catholic Cemetery of Columbus which no longer exists.

William Geiszler tombstone
William Joseph Geiszler
buried at East Lawn Cemetery
Find A Grave Memorial # 93026471

To add to George's grief, his estranged brother William died on 10 Nov 1935. However, since the brothers were so estranged, one would have to wonder the degree of grief he felt.

With all of these tragedies and an alcoholic for a father, the memory of George's daughter Margie isn't surprising. Margie remembers her father's pay day was on Friday. After work, George would take his money and head to a bar. After having a few too many drinks, he would walk home. As he walked home, he would toss coins on the ground. The coins were the money needed to run the family. His wife Evaline knew this and would follow along after George and pick up the coins. As was a teenager in the 1930s, Margie may have seen him engaging in this habit. Unfortunately, Margie has passed away and gathering more particulars about this story have died with her.

 
George Geiszler with his daughter Margie and her husband
Harry Dale Wasson c. 1970



It's possible that George could have let alcohol ruin his life the way it ruined his father's but, this seems to not be the case. George must have conquered the alcoholism beast at some point. George's daughter Margie remembers her father drinking, but his grand daughter Nancy Wasson does not. Nancy was 20 when her Grandpa died. Her Grandpa George had always lived with Nancy, so her memory would be very good. 

Harry Dale Wasson and George Geiszler
Harry Dale Wasson (center) and George Geiszler (right)
playing Aggravation on Thursday nights. c 1970


Nancy remembers her grandpa being a very fun loving guy always willing to do silly things and playing games every Thursday night with family over. It's nice to know that he conquered the bad habit. Sure he still had pipe tobacco, but mastering alcoholism is such a blessing.




I had never heard of the game Aggravation until I married my husband. It seems to be a Lee Family tradition. Thought my father forgot to carry on this Geiszler tradition, I'm glad the Lee's have taught me this game and I'm now teaching it to my children. It connects them to their Lee and Geiszler lines.

2 comments:

  1. How sad-- glad that George seems not to have allowed drink to get the better of him-- and how much he looked like his father!

    Alcoholism runs in my family too-- both sides. It is such a demon. I had a 3rd great-grandfather whose cause of death was "intemperance and exposure"-- he evidently headed home from the pub one night (February 13, 1860) and fell unconscious in a snowbank in the woods. According to a newspaper blurb that I found online, his friends sent out a search party the next morning when he had failed to return home. They found him in the woods, barely alive, but he died before they could get him home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, thank you for sharing your family's story. Alcoholism is such a beast. And I'm so glad George seems to have mastered it. I think my father also mastered it, but I don't know all the details.

      I've never touched alcohol, and I'm so very, very glad. I know others may be able to handle the drink, but given my family history, I don't think it's wise to consume.

      And thanks for recognizing just how much George and his father look alike. I think the same thing. But also, George and his son Robert Sr and his grandson (my dad) Robert, Jr all look so similar. My brother has the 'Geiszler' look as well. Ha!

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