Walter and Anna Van Dyke Grandpa was a Dutchman Grandpa Walter Joseph Van Dyke was a Dutchman. He was born in The Hague, Southern Holland, in the Netherlands on December 29, 1835 when the average male life expectancy was thirty-six. Not an average guy, Grandpa lived to ninety, he was healthy, active, working and driving his Ford Model T up to time he died. Emigration, Marriage and Family Walter Joseph's grandsons said he spoke seven languages, among them Dutch, German and English, which came in handy when he immigrated to the U.S. in 1872. Walter married Anna M Thomas in Philadelphia. Their son Martin was born on Oct 30, 1873. Walter filed his Declaration of Intention to become a citizen of the United States on Oct 3, 1874. Their daughter Anna was born in 1877. The Move to Ohio The family moved to Cleveland Ohio, where their daughter Elizabeth, nicknamed Lizzie, was born in March 1880. The 1880 census listed Walter's occupation as an Engineer, Anna's occupation as Keeping House. On June 5, 1880, Walter was 43, Anna was 38, Martin was 6, their daughter Anna was 3 and baby Elizabeth was 3 months old. Walter became a naturalized citizen on October 13, 1884. His citizenship petition stated he was still working as an Engineer. Tragedy Strikes Daughter Lizzie died on November 24, 1880 from Diphtheria of the Larynx. Lizze was only 8 months old. Daughter Anna died on January 5,1881 from Paralysis. Anna was three years old. Happier Times On March 8, 1882, another daughter was born. They named her Anna. On December 25, 1884, their son Walter was born. More Sorrow On March 29, 1886, when he was 15 months old, baby Walter died from Lung Fever. On June 12, 1893, Anna, age 50, died of cancer. When Anna died, Walter bought a plot at Monroe Street Cemetery for Anna and himself. Three of their five children were already buried at Monroe. Their graves a short walk from where Anna would be buried. A New Occupation After wife Anna died, Walter changed occupations. The 1900 Cleveland City Directory and the 1900 Census listed Walter's occupation as a Fish Peddler. In the early 1900's, the meat man, the bread man, the iceman, milkman and fishman, all made their rounds in horse drawn delivery wagons. Their wagons would come down the street and the peddlers would sell their wares from house to house. A Second Marriage On December 26, 1893, Walter married his second wife, Alberta Bom. Abbie had two sons from her first marriage, John, age 21 and Cornelius, age 12. Son Martin Walter's son Martin married Daisy on June 10, 1895. On August 4, 1896, daughter-in-law Daisy gave birth to a baby girl. The baby was premature and too young to survive, she died that same day. On April 19, 1897, Daisy gave birth to a second premature baby girl. Martin made a modest living then and money was tight. Walter arranged to have both babies interred with their Grandmother Anna. The next years were happier years as Daisy gave birth to four healthy sons. Then on Feb 23, 1904, tragedy stuck again when Daisy gave birth to a stillborn baby boy. Walter again arranged for this baby to be buried with his Grandmother Anna. During the years, 1905 to 1909, Daisy had four more healthy sons. Daughter Anna On March 8, 1900, when she was eighteen years old, Daughter Anna M. married John R. Hawk. They moved to Seneca County, Oh where they raised their three children, two boys and a girl. Walter's Second Marriage Ends Walter and Abbie were married for seventeen years when their marriage ended in divorce on June 1, 1911. Abbie's two sons lived with Walter and Abbie during those seventeen years. Walter's Third Marriage Begins When Walter was 65 years old he married a 53-year-old widow named Mary Jane Mathys. Mary Jane was widowed in May 1910. Walter and Mary Jane were married on June 30, 1911. Walter's Grandchildren Daisy had three more boys between 1911 and 1915. With 11 boys at home their home was a happy and active one. His grandsons remember a salve their Grandfather made and sold to his neighbors. Whenever one of his 11 Grandsons had a cut, Grandfather Walter would apply this homemade salve. It was great for healing cuts. Grandfather Walter left no record of what went into this salve or how he made it. Walter's Last Years Walter's daughter-in-law, Daisy died on Aug. 16, 1916. Daisy's youngest child William, then age 2 went to live with Walter and Mary Jane. The 1920 census shows William was still living with his Grandfather Walter and Walter's third wife Mary Jane by January 3, 1920. By then Walter was 85, Mary Jane was 62 and William was 6 years old. Walter was still working as a Fish Peddler in 1920. In December 1925, Walter and several of his friends drove to Sandusky Ohio. On the way home Walter's Model T got a flat tire. Walter, being the fittest of the bunch, got out of the car and changed the tire. With rain soaked clothes, ninety-year-old Walter drove home in that open car. The next day he took sick. On January 2, 1926, Walter died, of Lobar Pneumonia. Walter and Mary Jane had been married 14 years. He was buried in Monroe Street Cemetery in the plot with his first wife Anna and their three grandchildren. Walter's Third Wife Mary Jane died in 1938. She was buried with her first husband, John Mathys in Brooklyn Heights Cemetery.
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