George Mette I
(Abt 1802-1879)
Annie Elizabeth

Michael Mette


Family Links

Anna Kearns

Michael Mette 335

  • Born: 7 May 1852, Balhorn, Germany 13,38,365,369
  • Marriage: Anna Kearns in 1867 in Baltimore, , MD 363
  • Died: 16 Jan 1929, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA at age 76 40,370
  • Buried: 19 Jan 1929, Bethania Cemetery, Justice, Cook, IL 38

bullet  General Notes:

Mike Mette spoke German, according to the 1910 census.

Does not appear in 1920 census, despite lengthy search which includes scouring of Ward 5 through district 240.

Is Michael the same as William Mette? No. See Wm. Mette's listing.

His death cert. says he's lived in Chicago for 55 of his 76 years, which would have made him 21 years old when he arrived in 1874. However, this could be incorrect because it was information given during the time of stress (at death) by his daughter. Names & birthplaces of his parents, and maiden name of his mother were reported as "unknown."


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Alt. Birth: Baltimore, , MD. 38 According to his death certificate signed with information supplied by his daughter, Minnie Mette Gavin, he was born in Baltimore, but one has to question her knowledge of her father because she supplied so little information about him: his father & mother's names, where they had been born, & what year Michael arrived in Chicago.

Immigration: ship Columbia from Bremen to Baltimore, MD, 18 Nov 1856 arrival, Baltimore, , MD. 371,372 Place of origin -- Hessia, type of ship -- bark, destination -- Cinncinnatti. Age 5

On the boat: Georg Mette, 54; Anna Mette, 46; Elise Mette, 16; Ludwig Mette, 14; Auguste, 8; Georg Mette, 7; Michael Mette, 5; Marie Mette, 3/4. George the father is listed as a joiner by trade. The family is coming from Balhorn, Hessia. (Now Balhorn, Bad Emstal, Germany)
Quoted from Pioneers in Service The German Society of Maryland 1783-1981:
has time and again been ignored is the fact that the great majority of needy immigrants whom the Society assisted during the 19th century were only transients in Maryland. Most of them traveled on the national turnpike to Cumberland and from there on to the Midwest. Others turned north to find employment in the industrial cities. As long as they were within the boundaries of Maryland, the Society looked after them. When it received reports that German immigrants had been grossly imposed upon by a transportation agent at Cumberland, it pressed charges against the contractor for transportation in Baltimore as well as against his agent in Cumberland for obtaining money under false pretenses. Later the German Society appointed its own representative, a Mr. Treiber, in Cumberland, who was to observe closely the transit of immigrants and report any irregularities without delay.
On the other hand, of course, it happened that many Germans remained in Baltimore even though they might not have planned to do so originally. For lack of acquaintances they found themselves unable to secure suitable jobs. In order to help such people, who often possessed skills valuable to the industrial development of the city, the German Society in 1845 established a so-called "Intelligence Bureau." Frederick Raine, publisher of the German Correspondent, for a minimal compensation offered to place this employment bureau in his newspaper office. During its first year of existence more than 2000 applicants appeared, some 600 of whom were able to find employment through the "Intelligence Bureau." In 1846 already, most of the 3500 applicants were helped in securing jobs. Soon the existence of this bureau became known far and wide outside Baltimore and in the next few years thousands of German workers were placed in shops and industrial establishments in Washington, York, Cumberland and Pittsburgh. Many factories and railroad companies availed themselves of the Society's placement bureau to find skilled mechanics or labers from among the German newcomers. By 1853 so much work was at hand in the "Intelligence Bureau" that the appointment of a full-time agent became necessary. Jacob Ober kept the office until his untimely death in July 1853, when he was succeeded by H.F. Wellinghoff who was instructed to locate the bureau at Fells Point near the landing piers of the emigrant ships. Wellinghoff retained this position for thirty years, during which time his name became synonymous with this special service of the Society. There is no record of the number of job seekers who applied at his office, but to judge from the number of applications during the first years, there must have been close to 50,000 people who sought help from him. Only when old age made it impossible for "Papa Wellinghoff" to continue, did he resign in 1883.
The Society also inaugurated an additional service for the sick who were under the care of its physicians. In 1846 Charles Caspari, a long-established apothecary, was authorized to furnish medicaments against prescriptions by the physicians at the expense of the Society. By 1849 two more apothecary shops, those of John Stehl and H.M. Koechling, were added in order to serve as dispensaries for free medicines to the poor.
Immigration increased steadily. Almost 74,000 persons from German speaking countries are listed in the official statistics as having landed in Baltimore between 1841 and 1850. Still others passed through the state in search of jobs after having arrived in New York and other ports to the north. The revolutions of 1848 and 1849 and their aftermath in Germany and Austria had given new impetus to emigration. While relatively few among the arrivals had been actively involved in the fighting, many young people were discontent with the restrictive measures that followed the failure of the uprisings. The available space on ships could hardly accommodate the swarms of those willing to emigrate. Weeks of waiting in the ports often consumed all the savings which were to help them over the first lean days in America. Vessels were overcrowded and many of the new-comers reported impositions that were thought to be problems of the past.
Louis Heuser, who later became a respected teacher in the English German schools of the city, vividly described in his diary the hardships which accompanied a voyage of fifty-five days from Bremen to Baltimore in the early fall of 1852. A virtual black market in food and drinking water aboard the vessels depleted the funds of many emigrants. Then the ocean trip alone still required four to six weeks in spring and fall and eight weeks or more in summer.
This renewed increase in immigration provided plenty of work for the German Society, which reported a membership of 169 persons in 1851. While in the past its efforts had been universally acclaimed by the citizenry of Baltimore, regardless of national background, for the first time now the German Society was confronted with public attacks and criticism. The great influx of German and other European immigrants alarmed many native Americans, especially of the lower and uneducated classes. An intense felling developed against foreigners, partly caused by the existence of numerous and very active German organizations in Baltimore. While the real reasons for this sudden appearance of xenophobia were complex and not to a small degree due to the general tension that prevailed in the decade before the Civil War, the fear that the large number of foreigners might form a state within the state, remaining aloof from the native-born citizenry, was a major contributing factor to the organization of the anti-foreigner movement, the secret order of the "Know Nothing," which spread rapidly all over the state and turned into a political party in 1854. Although the German Society had its origins in the 18th century and remained apart from the many ephemeral groups that were formed by recent German immigrants, it was frequently identified with their activities by those ignorant of its real purpose. A spirit of hatred and discrimination prevailed during the years between 1850 and 1860 which was equaled in American history only by the germanophobia of the First World War. Often the mob ruled the streets and newly arrived immigrants as well as old, established German and Irish organizations were openly attacked by rowdies.
During this trying period, the German Society accorded much help to the newcomers who were bewildered by the hateful reception which they received in the land of liberty. The Society maintained a dignified attitude knowing that the "Know Nothing" days were not to last forever. The prestige which many of its officers and members enjoyed in the public life of the city and the state contributed much toward overcoming the difficulties of the time.
In 1858 the German Society took a prominent part in the Steuben Festival, which was staged by the American citizens of German birth or descent in Baltimore to impress on the public the patriotism and loyalty of the great majority of German-Americans. General Steuben himself was in his later years the president of the German Society of New York, a sister organization with which the Baltimore Society maintained cordial and close relations throughout its history. Albert Schumacher, the chairman of the Steuben Festival in 1858, pointed out this fact when re recounted the numerous feats of Americans of German stock in defending and building the common homeland. The impressive and orderly demonstration in Baltimore had deep effects. In the face of physical threats the German-Americans rallied around the American flag.
Soon the scene changed. The great issues of the day were no longer the danger from foreign immigration but the acute danger of a division of the country over the problems of regional economic interests and over the slavery question. While the year 1860 still set a record with regard to the number of German immigrants arriving from Europe, the outbreak of the War between the States dried the flow of immigration down to a trickle. The war caught Maryland between the two camps. The sympathies of the members of the German Society were certainly as divided as those of most other segments of the population, but under the vigorous, tactful and liberal leadership of Albert Schumacher the Society remained intact. As in all phases of its history, the German Society with its great mission of charity was never influenced nor divided by political, ideological or religious partisanship. It knew only one distinction: those, who were willing to help in its humanitarian endeavors, were always welcome while those, who were apt to carry partisan interests into its ranks, were rejected."

Occupation: Mette & Schnell butcher, 1875. 127 Mette & Schnell was run by Michael Mette & August Schnell, a meat market at 404 Archer.

Residence, 1875, 24 Emerald Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 127

Residence, 1885, 1023 31st St., Chicago, Cook, IL. 85

Occupation: Meat market, 1885, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 85

Employment: Butcher, 21 Sep 1887, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 373

Residence, 1892, 2553 Sanger, Chicago, Cook, IL. 127

Employment: Laborer, 1892, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 127

Residence, 1900, 2558 Lowe Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 85

Residence, 4 Jun 1900, 2551 Lowe Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 34 Living here are "Aug" Mette, his wife Anie, (Michael & Anna Kearns Mette because Aug. Mette lives elsewhere in 1900?!) "Wiliam" Gavin and "Irine," his wife. Living next door are Henry Schensen, Magrith, and their 7 children plus "Kitie" Mette as head of household, her sisters Lillian and Margerith and Mamie, and her brother "Wiliam". Ward 5, Enumeration District 120, Sheet 3.

Employment: laborer, 1900, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 85

Residence: boarder with the Sonntag family, 23 Apr 1910, 2473 Archer Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 13 Listed as widowed, I think. Listed as "Mike" Mette. Rudolph Sonntag was a German who was listed in the 1910 census as a saloon keeper. Mike Mette was living with Sonntag's family of seven. Rudolph was the man who was a witness to the death of Henry Mette. On Henry's inquest record, Sonntag is spelled with one "n". Could this be the unidentified man in the photo outside the bottling company? Henry died at 2469 Archer Ave., and Sonntag was living two doors down.

Employment: soda water manufacturer, 23 Apr 1910, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 13 Phone # for Mette Bros. in 1914 was Yards 798. -- source: 1914 phone book.

Employment: Selling soda water, self-employed, Jan 1929, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 38

Residence, Jan 1929, 2829 S. Union St., Chicago, Cook, IL. 38 He'd been living with Minnie Mette Gavin at the time of his death.

Death: Cause of Death, 16 Jan 1929, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 38 "Chr Myocarditis" written on his death certificate. "Chr" could stand for chronic. Myocarditis is heart problems caused by a virus or bacteria. It can also be caused by alcohol.

Called an alcoholic of 20 years' standing in his divorce records of 1907. (See full record of divorce proceeding under Anna Kearns, his wife).

Burial, 19 Jan 1929, Bethania Cemetery, Justice, Cook, IL. 38 In 1894 Bethania Cemetery was established on the northeast side of the settled area. The presence of this cemetery and Resurrection Cemetery in 1904 stimulated economic growth. Picnic groves and taverns opened to cater to cemetery visitors from Chicago. In 1901, streetcars began running from Chicago to Joliet along Archer Avenue. Weekends and holidays brought crowds from Chicago to visit the picnic groves, taverns, and cemeteries. Three monument companies supplied headstones. Bethania was a Lutheran cemetery, and it abuts Resurrection cemetery in Justice.

Probate. I couldn't find any record of his death in the probate records.


Michael married Anna Kearns, daughter of Frederick Kearns and Katherine Seitz, in 1867 in Baltimore, , MD.363 (Anna Kearns was born on 4 Aug 1852 in Baltimore, , MD, USA,13,365,366 died on 25 Feb 1917 in Chicago, Cook, IL, USA 38,40,44,54,367 and was buried on 28 Feb 1917 in Oakwoods Cemetery, Chicago, Cook, IL 38.)

bullet  Noted events in their marriage were:

Divorce Filing, 6 Jul 1910, Superior Court of Cook County. 363 "Your oratrix, Anna Mette, respectfully represents unto your honors that she is now and for more than thirty years last past has been a resident of the City of Chicago, County and State aforesaid and that in the year 1867 at the City of Baltimore, in the State of Maryland, she was lawfully joined in marriage with one, Michael Mette, defendant hereinafter named, with whom she continued to reside as his wife until on or about May 1903, when said defendant deserted and abandoned (?) oratrix and since she ceased to live and cohabit with him and has ever since said time lived separate and apart from said defendant.
"Your oratrix further represents that during all the time she lived and cohabited with the said defendant as his wife that she conducted herself towards said defendant in all things as a true, faithful and dutiful wife.
"Your oratrix further states that as a result of said marriage twelve children were born unto your oratrix and said defendant of whom six are living and three of which six, namely, Katharine, who is thirty-three years of age, a chronic invalid, William, eighteen and Pearl age fifteen years, reside with your oratrix at her home.
"Your oratrix further alleges that regardless of his marriage vows duties and obligations the said defendant for more than twenty years last past has been addicted to the excessive use of intoxicating liquors and during all of said period of time has been a habitual drunkard. Your oratrix also alleges that for more than twenty years the said defendant has been accustomed to apply vile, obscene and approbrious epithets to your oratrix and her children.
"Your oratrix further alleges that although said defendant is in receipt of a large income, to wit, the sum of $30.00 per week, [for reference, that's $936/week in 2010 dollars, or $48,672/year] that for more than four years last past he has never contributed to exceed the sum of $10.00 per month torwards the support of your oratrix and her children and for more than several months last past, he has not contributed anything towards their support and that your oratrix, said invalid daughter and the two minor children of said marriage are now dependant upon the earnings of said two minor children for a livelihood and sustenance. Your oratrix is without any means or property of her own.
Your oratrix further states that she also is an invalid and for about four years last past has been confined to her home and that she is in dire need of medical attention, drugs and nursing, all of which said defendant is abundantly able to supply." [She had diabetes, and
In the end, she was granted $10/week, court costs, and her attorney's fees.

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