Tracking Down Info on Our First Landlord

by , under, Census, Newspapers, Northeast Ohio, Obituaries

My wife MJ and I were talking about our first residence today, and we were trying to remember the details.

MJ remembered that we dealt with Mrs. Wirth beginning in the spring of 1960-to about 1965, living at two addresses on Westlake Ave. in Parma, Ohio. We didn’t remember her first name, but MJ did remember that her son’s name was Robert.

MJ remembers talking with her new employer, Dick Davis, head of the music department for the Parma Schools system (she was hired to be an elementary music teacher), about where to look for an apartment. He steered her to Mrs. Wirth, because her son Robert worked for the school system, and Mr. Davis knew she had an apartment to rent. When we contacted Mrs. Wirth, she was happy to rent to a teacher in the Parma Schools.

Could we learn any more about the Wirth family? And exactly what the address was where we lived? We could drive down Westlake Ave. and check the house numbers, but I wanted to see what I could learn online about where we lived 56 years ago.

A Google search for “Robert Wirth” turned up this obituary:
Robert L. Wirth, 86, of Parma, died Feb. 2. [2013]

He was a U.S. Navy World War II veteran who served on the U.S.S. Randolph.

Mr. Wirth was the husband for 61 years of Bette L. (nee Auping); father of Gayle Kadlec (John), Robert Jr., Susan Wirth-Racela (David) and William; grandfather of Jessica Kadlec, Kathryn Doran (Dr. Michael), Lauren and Taylor Racela; brother of the late Frank A.; uncle of many.

Cremation was by Busch Crematory, and a Memorial Gathering at the Busch Funeral Home [Parma] is planned for the spring.

That obituary was published in the Sun News on February 09, 2013 at 7:29 AM.

This looked like a promising lead, but our Mrs. Wirth would have been older. I decided to try another online search, this time using to search in the 1940 Census.

Here I found Robert Wirth, age 39; with Therese Wirth, age 40, Robert G. Wirth, age 13, and Franklin Wirth, age 2. They were living at 7106 Westlake Ave., and in fact, were living in the same house in 1935. This more likely was our landlady and her family, including her son Robert. The enumerator indicated that Therese was the informant for the enumeration.

This find improved our recollection of the address of our first residence: It was in fact 7106 Westlake Ave. And after a few months living in the upstairs apartment, Mrs. Wirth invited us to move next door into her much newer duplex. In talking about this, we now recalled that our second address was 7110 Westlake Ave. It was only about a mile from MJ’s place of employment: Thoreau Park Elementary School, and it was very convenient for me to ride the bus downtown to my new job at Penton Publishing Co.

So with a little online investigation, we were able to accurately record our first home after being married on 25 Jun 1960. We’ll write more about our wedding later.

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