30 October 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Henry Wersel

In several of my posts I've written about Henry Wersel, my great grandfather. As I was gathering material for my genealogical research, a picture of this man was emerging that honestly surprised me. My mother didn't know her grandfather, just as I didn't know mine, so I think that the surprise was more that she knew nothing about him, or said that she remembered hearing nothing about him. The piece that stunned me was the obituary that was written for him; it was filled with fascinating tidbits of information, some of which I've used to further my research. From the Cincinnati Enquirer, September 22, 1936 (p 9 22:5) in its entirety:

 O'er For Wersel
Veteran Enquirer Employee
Stricken on Street Car.
Editor of "Why and Wherefore"
Column Is Victim of Attack
On Way to Work

  Henry Wersel, an employee of the composing room of The Enquirer for the last 54 years and editor of "The Why and Wherefore" column, suffered a fatal heart attack when on his way to work yesterday.
  In Mr. Wersel's pocket was his last column, one which will not be published, but which contained the lines:
"For, alas! alas! with me
The light of life is o'er."
  They are from Edgar Allan Poe's "To One in Paradise.
  Mr. Wersel was 71 years old. He had been an employee of The Enquirer since he was 17 years old. He lived at 3715 Woodland Avenue, Hyde Park.
  Becoming ill on an Oakley street car, Mr. Wersel was placed in a police patrol at Madison Road and Woodburn Avenue and taken to General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
  One of the first residents of Hyde Park, Mr. Wersel had lived at the Woodland Avenue address since 1890. He was a native of Cincinnati.
  Mr. Wersel was one of Cincinnati's best-informed men on the history of Cincinnati and its people. He was an ardent student of history. Among other volumes he collected rare books on the history of Ohio.
  At one time Mr. Wersel was day foreman of The Enquirer composing room. In recent years he had been a proof reader and compositor. For the last 12 years he had edited "The Why and Wherefore" column as a hobby. He was a member of the Typographical Union No. 3.
  His widow, Mrs. Laura Richards Wersel; a daughter, Mrs. Virginia Baer, wife of C. S. Baer, President and Treasurer, Baer-Bigler-Van de Mark Advertising Company; three sons, Victor H. Wersel, Brokau, Wis., and Horace R. Wersel and Roger R. Wersel, both of Cincinnati; a sister, Miss Stella Wersel, La Habre, Calif., and three brothers, Frank, Charles, and William Wersel, all of Cincinnati, survive him.
  Rites will be held at Rohde's funeral home, 3183 Linwood Road, Hyde Park, at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon. Burial will be at Maineville, Ohio.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! The obituary contains so many interesting details.


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