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Lincoln's Home

April 5, 2017

The Germans are coming.  To My Grandsons: PART B of the Germans are coming:


After being gone 13 years, Carl Blase Sr. (my great grandfather) returned from Germany in 1904 with his parents, their destination was Springfield Illinois not Alton Illinois where they had originally settled.  Why was this?  What was the attraction to Springfield?  What happened to the rest of the Blase family?  Why Springfield?  Where was Carl's youngest sister Lena while mom, dad and her brother were in Germany?  She was only 3 when they left, and was 16 when they returned!  On May 8, 2017 I discovered that there are two differed records of Blase passengers on the Kronprinz Wilhelm in 1904.  As I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog, there were just 3 Blases on the return trip with both parents listed as senile.  This "senility" is now in question as explained below when I discuss John Maslo.  The newly discovered, completely handwritten ships record looks as follows and lists "Lina"  (Lena of course)


Lots of questions, not many answers.  Mary Steinmeier, (Carl Frederich Blase's step daughter) had of course married John Holder.  Being a railroad man, starting out in Alton Illinois, John worked for the "big 4" railroad company before and after the merger of these 4 companies.  The 1900 census records John & family living at 1730 East Edwards in Springfield.  The 1904 ship passenger list indicates several interesting bits of information.  FIRST:  The Blase family was returning to Springfield, not Alton (their original destination in 1881).  SECOND:  Carl Frederich & Ilsabein were now under the care of the son, Carl H. Blase Sr., who at age 23 was now fully grown and completed his education in Germany.  "Lina"  (aka Lena) as shown above was 16 years old. 



Perhaps the attraction to Springfield was the connection to President Abraham Lincoln.  All the older generations are buried in the same Oak Ridge cemetery, not 500 feet from good old Abe.  When I spent the weekends with my Mom & Dad I lived in an apartment next door to Abe's home.

Photo by Joon Han Contact: onejoon@hotmail.com -

Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 


When the Blase family moved to Springfield they all lived in houses on EAST EDWARDS STREET.  Carl Frederich & his wife Ilsabein lived on 1722 E. Edwards, Carl H. Sr., lived on 1703, John Holder & Mary (Steinmeier) lived on 1730.   John Maslo and wife Lena Blase lived with Carl Frederich.  Maslo sailed to America aboard the SS Kroonland in 1902, arriving October 18th.  The ship sailed from Antwerp, Belgium.   Maslo declared his intent to become a citizen the 21st of January1908.  This was witnessed and signed by Carl Frederich Henry Blase.  It appears his original petition was made in 1904 but was refused because he was not 21 years of age.  The document in my possession that contains all of this data is dated April 14, 1914.  2 pieces of information appear incorrect.  First John states he was born in Koenningsburg  Germany.  Second he says his last place of residence of Akal Germany.  Neither exist.  Since this document was typed (by a government employee I presume) it was probably misspelled.  


John Maslo was a coal miner by trade.  Sometime after Car Frederich passed away in 1910, John & Lena moved to another residence at 2001 E. Laurence street.  This according to his WW1 registration.


Why did they live with her father?  Most likely the oldest Blases were unable to take care of themselves in 1904.  John & Lena took care of them!  This was all according to the April 1910 census.  In July of that year my great great grandfather would pass away.  All of the immediate family shares a plot in Oak Ridge cemetery, not 500 feet from Lincoln's tomb!  (the Holders, Blases & Maslos.


By 1920 George R. Holder, born 1895, the eldest son of John & Mary, had married Dora, bought a house on 1716 E. Edwards Street and had a slew of kids.  He was a fireman on a "steam railroad" most likely the Wabash - same company as his dad!


George R. had an older sister named Mary, born  in1891. She married Guy Rhodes. The 1930 census shows they bought a house on E. Jackson Street, one street over from E. Edwards!  They probably wanted to live on Edwards but no homes were available!!


 Heinrich Henry Blase, (his family at left) born 1872, the first child of Carl Frederich, remained in Alton Illinois for a time and in 1895 married Sarah.  They had three children.  Of course their youngest and only son born in 1899 was named - what else?   Carl H. Blase.  Not much is know about this part of the family other than young Carl died tragically June 1,1936 in an automobile accident while passing through  Taylorville, Illinois. The sad circumstances record that he & his wife Elsie were on their way home (to Alton) for a visit.  They had moved to the Chicago area from Alton and he was a salesman.  He died in the accident but his wife survived with little or no injury.  He is buried in Alton. 



Heinrich (Henry) Steinmeier is the last of the small group that Carl Frederich brought with him 1881.  Born the first and only son of Katherine Ilsabein Haerstemeier Steinmeier, he may have lived with his sister Mary for awhile.  Perhaps he traveled back to Germany when his mother and stepfather took Carl H Blase Senior back for his 13 year education.  No evidence has been found to support either idea.  I would speculate the latter for a few logical reasons. 


1.  He never shows up in any census through 1940.

2.  A few documented family pictures show him visiting his mother and half brother and sister. 

3.  An excellent picture of him later in life appears to be taken in Germany. There is a woman and two your boys also pictured with him. 


to be continued...........................






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