Name: George Joseph (Jr.) Zeller
Given Name: George Joseph (Jr.)
Birth: 30 Nov 1894 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Death: 12 Apr 1954 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois of Heart attack
Burial: 16 Apr 1954 Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Worth, Illinois. Just east of the northwest corner of Section 28. Closest row to the road. 20 feet northwest of his parent's marker.
Change Date: 25 Aug 2017 at 15:23:38
Notes for George Joseph Zeller, Jr.:
A photo of George's birth certificate:
George wasn't given his first name immediately. His birth was also listed in a Chicago Register of Births, again with no first name shown (at the bottom of the photo):
A 1915 Chicago directory listed:
Zeller Geo G jr clk h 1738 W 99th
That directory printed an incorrect middle initial.
A photo taken in front of George J. Zeller Sr's hardware store and apartment above, about 1915:
That's George, Sr. standing in front of the truck, George, Jr. sitting in the truck, two store employees, George and Harry Witt, and George, Jr.'s oldest sister Mary standing in the doorway of the store. Notice the phone number on the side of the truck: BEVerly 1940. The windows above the store were the family home's living room, on the left, and the master bedroom.
On June 5, 1917, George Jr. had to fill out and sign a World War draft registration card:
He wrote that his occupation was a tinner, the color of his eyes were grey, and his height was tall. George served in Europe during the World War. There is a story that George captured fourteen German soldiers.
The 1920 U.S. census had an effective date of January first. The Zeller family was enumerated January 15th. The census page shows that 26 year old unmarried George Jr. lived above the Zeller Hardware store, at 1738 W. 99th St., Chicago, with his father, mother, and five sisters. His father George Sr. still owned the store. George Jr.'s occupation was listed as a tinsmith at the hardware store.
A photo of that 1920 census page:
The May 25, 1923 Sullivan's Englewood Times contained a story mentioning an upcoming double wedding. George J. Zeller, Jr. would marry Teresa Shanahan, while in the same church at the same time, George's sister Viola would marry Clifford Teipe. The story misspelled Teresa's first and last names:
On June 6, 1923, George Joseph Zeller married Teresa Agnes Shanahan at the St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church, at 99th St. and Throop St. That was the same church where George's parents had gotten married in 1894. A photo of the couple's marriage license and marriage record document:
About late 1926, George bought the Zeller Hardware store from his father. But young George's parents, teenaged sisters Genevieve and Lillian, and maybe their oldest sister Mary still lived above the store, while young George and his family lived elsewhere. In late 1929 the parents and teenage daughters moved from above the store to a house a few blocks away, while George Jr., Teresa and their three daughters moved into the apartment above the Zeller Hardware store.
In the years around this time, George's sister Viola and her husband Clifford Teipe were apparently half owners of a printing and gift store that was directly across the street from the Zeller store. A 1928 Chicago directory shows the name of the business was Peschel & Teipe printers, at 1739 W. 99th St.
The 1930 U.S. census had an effective date of April first. The George Zeller, Jr. household was enumerated April eleventh. The census page shows that George, 35; Teresa, 34; and daughters Rita, 5; Terese, 3 years and four months; and Georganne, one year and one month of age, lived above the Zeller Hardware store on 99th St. There was also a 16-year-old maid named Helen Shaffer living with the family. The census page includes the information that the family owned a radio.
Helen lived in the home for a few years. She cooked meals and she cleaned the home Monday through Saturday, because Teresa worked downstairs in the store.
A photo of that 1930 census page:
A late 1930 photo of George Zeller, his three children, and his in-laws:
Clockwise from upper left; Georganne Zeller; her father, George Joseph Zeller, Junior; his mother-in-law Catherine "Kate" Casey Shanahan; her husband Gregory Shanahan; his granddaughter Terese Zeller; her sister Rita Zeller.
The location was in front of the Zeller Hardware store building, and in front of the doorway to the stairway to the apartment above where the Zeller family lived. The address was and still is, as of 2015, 1738 W. 99th Street, Chicago.
A photo of the Zeller children taken in 1932, clockwise from upper left; Terese, Rita, Georganne, and George Richard:
The children of George and Teresa Shanahan Zeller:
1) Rita Marie Zeller, born September 27, 1924, in Chicago. Rita's birth certificate:
She married Donald Leo O'Connor on September 13, 1947, at St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Chicago. Rita and Don had seven children.
2) Terese Louise Zeller, born April 6, 1927, in Chicago. Terese's birth certificate:
She married James Thomas Miller on June 11, 1947, at St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Chicago. Terese and Jim had eight children. Terese Miller died at her home in Genoa City, Wisconsin, on April 21, 1980, of cancer.
Terese's FindAGrave memorial includes photos of her, and a photo of her grave marker:
3) Georganne Zeller, born March 8, 1929, in Blue Island. Georganne's birth certificate had a misspelled first name:
She was sometimes called "George", for short. Georganne chose her own middle name as an adult. She chose "Genevieve", in honor of an aunt she especially liked. Georganne married Paul Joseph Parker on October 6, 1956, at St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Chicago. Georganne and Paul had four children. They also had one stillborn son in 1963 in Long Beach, California. Georganne Parker died February 11, 2014, in Indianapolis, Indiana. More about Georganne, Paul, their family and ancestors is in this chart.
4) George Richard Zeller, born May 22, 1931, in Evergreen Park. While that was his legal name, he was called Richard.
He died at the age of 2½ on November 3, 1933, of leukemia. The cause of death as written on his death certificate (below) was "acute aplastic anemia." That's a rare disease in which the bone marrow doesn't make enough blood cells.
He had a death notice in the May 5, 1933, Chicago Tribune, which was unusual for a child:Photo
The boy was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery because his still living grandfather Gregory Shanahan had previously bought a large plot there.
The birth and death certificates of George Richard Zeller:
5) John Joseph Zeller, born May 31, 1933, in Evergreen Park. John's birth certificate does not show a middle name:
He attended the Marmion Military Academy, in Aurora, Illinois, which was a Catholic high school for boys. John's mother was the president of the Mother's Club at the school. John served in the military in Alaska. Later, he worked as a tradesman in the construction industry. John J. Zeller married Eileen Margaret Crowley on March 24, 1956, in Chicago. John and Eileen had five children. John Zeller died July 3, 2011, in Illinois.
John's FindAGrave memorial includes photos of him, and a photo of the columbarium niche cover, behind which are the cremated remains of he and his wife, Eileen:
George J. Zeller, Junior slept in the front bedroom, and Teresa slept in the second bedroom, because George snored so much. The three daughters shared one bedroom.
George and Teresa went to the horse races sometimes, but George was not a big gambler.
The 1940 U.S. census had an effective date of April first. The George Zeller, Jr. household was enumerated April twelfth. The census page shows George, 45; Teresa, 44; and their children Rita, 15; Terese, 13; Georganne, 11; and John, age six. They still lived above their Zeller Hardware store. Teresa was the person who stated the family's information to the census taker, as indicated by the x in a circle next to her name. She stated that she and George had 8th grade educations.
A photo of that 1940 census page:
On April 27, 1942, at the age of 47, George had to sign a World War 2 draft registration card:
George and these other 45 to 64-year-old men were not going to get called for military service. The purpose of the registration was to document the mens' skills for possible use in the United States, later in the war. The card shows that George's phone number was BEVerly 1940, which was the phone number for the Zeller Hardware store. His physical description was given as 5' 9½" tall, 148 pounds, with gray eyes, brown hair, and a dark complexion, and that he wore glasses.
Back in the day, sometimes even the most mundane events would get printed in a newspaper. The September 15, 1943 Southtown Economist printed the following item:
RETURN FROM VACATION
Mr. and Mrs. George Zeller and
family, 1738 W. 99th st., have re-
turned from a vacation spent at
Twin Lakes, Wis.
George didn't trust banks. He kept money in socks that were hidden in places in the basement.
A photo of the George J. Zeller, Jr. family, apparently taken Christmas Eve or Day, 1948:
Back row left to right: Jim Miller; Georganne Zeller; John Zeller; Don O'Connor.
Front row, left to right: Terese Zeller Miller; George J. Zeller, Jr., holding Rita and Don's son Don O'Connor; Teresa Shanahan Zeller, holding Terese and Jim's son Tom Miller; Rita Zeller O'Connor.
At some point in the first four months of 1952, George sold Zeller Hardware to Frank Bert Gradolf. The store name became Gradolf Hardware. A sign showing
GRADOLF & SON
was still painted on the side of the building six decades later. An even older
PAINTS & GLASS
painted sign was on the top of the side of the building. It was very faded, but the name Zeller was still barely readable as of 2009.
Black and white photo
After Mr. Frank Gradolf died in November of 1979, the former Zeller and Gradolf hardware store space became Video Junction.
Here's a comparison of how the front of the building looked about 1915 and in 2004, using two black and white photos:
A comparison of how the building looked in 2004 and in 2015, using two color photos:
An "artists conception" showing the Zeller's as they were in 1915, standing in front of their building as it looked in 2004:
The one story building right next to the Zeller store, which in the photo has an orange awning, used to be Loving Bros. grocery store in the late 1920s and in the 1930s.
In 2013, the former Zeller Hardware store and residence building (plus the brick garage in back and the property it all sat on) was put up for sale. The realtor photographed parts of the buildings. After the exterior photos were taken, the east side of the building (the long brick wall) had lumber removed, and was sandblasted and tuckpointed. There is almost noting left of the painted "Zeller HARDWARE" sign at the top left corner of the brick wall. Here are some of those photos of the outside of the building (before the sandblasting) and the inside of the vacant first floor commercial space (recently a doctor's office) and the second floor three bedroom apartment:
After George sold the hardware store/apartment building during the first four months of 1952, he, Teresa, and Georganne moved to a two-year-old house at 8640 S. Honore St., Chicago. (John was in the Army.) A transcript of George's 1954 death certificate shows that location as his address.
A photo of George's death notice in the April 15, 1954 Chicago Tribune:
George's FindAGrave memorial includes photos of him, and a photo of his grave marker. The marker shows 1894 as the year of birth for Teresa, but the correct year was 1895:
More photos of George (and others) are included in this collection from albums kept by his wife Teresa:
Teresa Agnes Shanahan Zeller photo album images
Father: George Joseph (Sr.) Zeller b: 28 Jul 1869 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois c: 29 Aug 1869 in St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Chicago
Mother: Mary Nettie Duesmann b: 11 Dec 1873 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Teresa Agnes Shanahan b: 18 Oct 1895 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois c: 17 Nov 1895 in All Saints/St. Anthony Catholic Church. Chicago
6 Jun 1923
in Chicago, Cook, Illinois
- Georganne Genevieve Zeller b: 8 Mar 1929 in Blue Island, Cook, Illinois