Photos: 1914, 1937
This is John’s grandmother, Charlotte Meisel. She was born in Zwickau, Germany on this day in 1890. She joined the LDS Church in Plauen (baptized by Adam A. Keller 25 July 1908) and came to America through Ellis Island on July 17, 1909 at age 19.
Ellis Island Passenger Record:
DOA: July 17, 1909
Age, 19, Single
Port of Departure: Cuxhaven
Manifest Line Number: 0012
On 28 May 1913 she married Phillip Raleigh Conley in Salt Lake City. They had 2 daughters, Ruby b. 1914 and Catherine “Peggy” b. 1920. They later divorced and Phillip married Charlotte’s younger sister, Ida in 1925.
Here is a bit about Charlotte as reported in the Life Sketch at her daughter Peggy’s funeral:
Catherine Elizabeth Conley was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 12, 1920 to Charlotte Meisel and Philip Conley. Her mother Charlotte and the entire Meisel family had immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1909 after joining the LDS church. At an early age, Charlotte decided that Catherine looked more like a “Peggy” and the new name stuck. It probably made sense given her older sister’s more playful name “Ruby.”
Without a father in the home, the burden and blessing of raising Peggy rested with Charlotte and Ruby. There is no doubt that the hardship of a sacrificing mother supporting a family during the depression played a large part in shaping mom’s gentle but resolute personality. Although they lived modestly, Charlotte gave the girls all the love any child could want and imparted much of her German heritage to Ruby and Peggy by making pfefferneuse and streussel treats on special holidays and taking trips up the canyons to walk in the woods or sit by the creek.
Charlotte and her two daughters moved to Los Angeles in the Fall of 1927, living with relatives or renting homes until Charlotte’s salary as a seamstress enabled them to buy their first home in the Wilshire area in 1935.
Charlotte and Katherine Meisel in 1916.
Charlotte below, holding Peggy’s oldest daughter, Christine in 1941:
Charlotte died at age 60 of breast cancer on 1 February 1951 in North Hollywood, LA. She is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale. Pictured below: John and his sister, Barbara with our 3 children at Forrest Lawn in 1996.