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Marie Wilder
born: April 8, 1900
died: December 16, 1966

Click here for the family tree   Click here for the Marie Wilder descendant family tree

Left: Marie Wilder and
Henry Ashworth on
their wedding day,
July 4, 1918


Right: Henry Ashworth Sr.
gazing adoringly at his
bride, Marie Wilder,
around the time of
their marriage,
July 1918

Clockwise from upper left: Minnie, Marie and Maryann

Photo taken at some occasion, about 1916

George and Marie

Henry and Marie,
with Henry Lowell Ashworth, circa 1928


Left, from left: Ivan, his wife Ella, Walter (holding baby Henry), Marie, unknown
guest, and Maryann

Photo taken after Henry's baptism, in 1927


Right: Charles and Marie at
their parent's 50th wedding anniversary, August 7, 1943

Family Stories from Cindy and Diana

I mentioned to Diana that I was surprised that my maternal grandmother referred to the Wilders as "the Iowa farmers," since Cicero is a thriving suburb of Chicago. This is her response:

Cicero may be a suburb of Chicago, but when the Iowa farmers moved there it was prairie. Vi says that they raised cattle and the cattle roamed all over. The "house" was a farm house.

During the years of the WPA, men were hired to jack the house up and add a big basement. They also enclosed the back porch making it the kitchen and added a new back porch. The basement was used for living space during the heat of the summer because it stayed cool. There was also a coal room down there because the house was heated by a coal furnace.

When my father and his brothers lived there after his mother Marie inherited the house, they raised goats that they used for milk. The boys were raised on goat's milk and appreciated the goats keeping the lawn chewed down. Marie waited so long for children and was so happy to finally have some that she did everything possible to keep them healthy. She enrolled in well-child clinics and they stressed milk. Goats were a way to get it.

As houses finally began to arrive in the area my Grandparents kept the lot next door to their property. They wanted space somehow. When the house sold, the lot next door was actually two lots. 


The house in Cicero, from the Illinois Land Records

Marie loved to swim too and she was quite the picture of silliness  on the beach in some of the home movies we have of her.



Marie was not a great beauty and all her life she battled her weight, but she was very popular. Her personality was so great that everyone loved her and she never lacked for young men in her life.


Marie looked like a stern woman, but she really wasn't from my memories. She passed away of cancer in the mid-60s. I have some memories of her. She had really, really green eyes. When she came to visit she always gave us each a quarter and a pack of Wrigleys Doublemint gum. (Back in the 60's a quarter bought a lot of penny candy!)

She always wore black shoes that laced up and had a bunch of eyelets, like orthopedic shoes.

I remember going to her house. My sisters used to play checkers with Our Uncle Charlie but I didn't know how to play yet. He always looked forward to our visits because a lot of children were afraid of him because of his limping walk and garbled speech but we weren't afraid of him. (Remember he had cerebral palsy).

If Grandma offered ice cream, she didn't just give you a bowl of ice cream, she'd take a 1/2 gallon out of the freezer and cut it in 3rds and you'd get a huge slab of ice cream! She was a farm woman at heart and always expected us to eat huge helpings of food. She just looked stern because of her downturned mouth.


Diana and I were discussing why my maternal grandmother had kept her country of origin secret. Here's Diana's response:

When Henry and Marie married on July 4th, 1918, one of the big issues was citizenship. At that time if you married a non-citizen you also became a non-citizen. At their marriage Marie lost her US citizenship. When Henry completed whatever he needed to do and applied to become a US citizen, so did she. Al has their citizenship papers. It might be that Kay didn't proclaim her Canadian citizenship for this very reason.


It's pretty hard to conceive that Grandma Kay may have kept her Canadian origin a secret out of concern for George...