TSGS Cruiser Blog

Friday, May 1, 2009

"The Kiefer Mystery Case"

Frank Vincent Kiefer
Yesterday for Tombstone Thursday we featured the grave marker for Frank Kiefer. Several odd pieces of information has made him a bit of a mystery. The marker states he is an actor... so one would wonder, what type of actor - and was he local, regional or on a larger stage? That is just mere curiosity, however. The mystery is a little more than that. His marker states he was born on"Friday May 26, 1873" & died on "Friday May 26, 1933" - for any genealogist this looks suspicious and sticks out like a sore thumb! One of those "Friday May 26" engravings is probably incorrect! Now, Brenda Jerome reported that the 1930 Census lists a Frank Kiefer who would be about the right age living with his family on Emmett Street in Evansville, Indiana. Now, in the Browning Obits Database there is a Frank Kiefer age 79 that died in 1955 with the similar survivors as the Keifer family in the 1930 Census living at 1303 Emmett Street. At age 79 in 1955 (if that is the right age) this Frank Kiefer would have been born about 1876 (close enough to suspect he is the same man).
So, what is the scoop on this guy? Genealogists, historians, mystery lovers... I challenge you to unraffle this man's life so we will know his story! Write to me or comment on this blog. Here is my email addy: jgw.mylines@gmail.com
- Submitted by JGWest


Chris Myers said...

I do not believe them to be the same man with a wrong death date.

We can check St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery for Frank Kiefer who died in 1955. Browning shows Frank's middle initial as W. See obit for William F. Kiefer. But then again every third card has a typo.

The day and dates are correct for 1876 and 1933. May 26 was on a Friday in 1876 and in 1933.

I've tried googling Frank Vincent Kiefer several times of the past few years and have not come up with anything.

Browning Obits show that Jos. H. Kiefer was a Vaudville Performer, I bet Frank Vincent Kiefer was also.

John G. West said...

Thanks, Chris... good work! Can anyone add to this?

Jim Keffer said...

I believe Frank and Joseph are enumerated together in 1930 as brothers-in-law with Peter and Tillie Rehn in Evansville.

This should make them the sons of August Kiefer and Catharine Neufeld.

In 1880 Catharine is widowed in Mt Vernon, Posey County, with six children, including Matilda, Joseph W. and Vincent.

Tri-State Genealogical Society said...

Thanks, Jim Keffer for your comments on this family. The 1880 Census for Posey County, IN lists Kate Kiefer & her six children including a Matilda, Joseph W. & Vincent [Age 8]. In the 1930 Census that Jim mentions list Joseph A. & Frank V. (both Single) as Jugglers with Joeseph in Theatre & Frank on Stage.

Jim is your last name "Keffer" a variation of this family name of "Kiefer?" Is this part of your family? John G. West