Monday, May 24, 2021

Amanuensis Monday - The Death of Joseph Blatt (1894-1895)

 Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Today I share a newspaper account and death certificate for Joseph Blatt, the infant half-brother of my great grandmother, Anna Blatt. The newspaper account is in German, but I took an OCR (optical character recognition) transcript and input it into Google Translate. The translation is likely not exact, but close.

Morris Blatt, who lives in house 2312 Franklin Ave, visited family friends who lived in house 1213 North 7th St. yesterday afternoon with his 18 month old son Joseph Blatt. While the child looked out of the window, he lost his balance and fell deep into the courtyard. He hit his head and suffered a broken skull and a concussion. Dr. Friedman, 809 Carr Str. And Dr. Frumson, 905 North Broadway were called, but could do nothing more for the child, who died about an hour later from the injuries suffered.

Anzeiger des Westens (Scoreboard of the West)
St. Louis, Missouri
20 Sep 1895, Fri - Page 8

City of St. Louis
Health Department
Certificate of Death

This Certificate must be fully and accurately filled out in ink as provided by Section 392 Revised Ordinance, 1893

Name of Deceased: Joseph Blast
Age 1 Years 6 months
Male, White, Single
Place of Birth St. Louis
Residence in St. Louis 2312 Franklin Ave
Place of Death: 1233 N. 7th Street
Exact Locality of Death
Ward No. 4
Date of Death Sept 19 / 95
Cause of Death: Fracture of Skull, Account of Fall (Accident)

I Certify that the person above named died of the disease stated on the dat above named.

Burial Permit
Office of Health Department
St. Louis Sept 20, 1895

I CERTIFY that the intended place of burial for the body of the above named person is Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery - D. Goldberg


1) The newspaper says the house the Blatts were visiting was 1213 North 7th Street. The Death Certificate states 1233 North 7th Street. Without any other evidence I would go with the death certificate, but either could be wrong. I will try to figure out who was living at both residences and see if I recognize the names. Of course, if the child falls off a balcony and dies in a courtyard, the courtyard could be for both addresses. 

2) I have retrieved the exact plot location for the burial from the cemetery. There was no marker, and the child was buried in a charity section for infants. I will try to locate the plot on my next visit to the cemetery.  David Feinstein (1895-1896), the infant brother of my great grandfather, Herman Feinstein, is buried nearby in another unmarked grave. He died of pneumonia.

3) I am reminded of this news story from October 1904. Pearl Cruvand, the wife of my great grandmother's first cousin, witnessed a 6 year old fall off a balcony and rushed the child to a hospital.

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