The Lutz Sisters

HattieJuliaAnnaMelanieLutz

Sisters Hedwig, Julia, Anna, and Melanie Lutz, ca. 1900, Minnesota; digital image 2010, privately held by Melanie Frick, 2013.

Julia, Anna Marie, Hedwig “Hattie” Eulalie, and Melanie Veronica Lutz were the daughters of French and Polish immigrants, respectively Joseph and Hedwig (Cichos) Lutz of Minnesota Lake, Faribault County, Minnesota.1 By the time that this photograph was taken, circa 1900, Joseph had passed away, and Hedwig had remarried and given birth to five additional children.2 Her eldest daughters must have been close, however, as they chose to have a photograph taken of just the four of them.

Standing with her arms protectively behind her seated sisters is Hattie, who would have turned nineteen in the year 1900.3 Although her position suggests that she was the eldest, she was not; it’s possible that she may have been the tallest, however, if the photographer were to have posed the sisters based on height. She is also the only sister wearing a dress with a white collar, offering contrast; the other sisters seem to be wearing their good black dresses. None of the dresses, however, are alike, each having unique decorative pleats, panels, and/or bows. The collars are extremely high, perhaps an example of what would have been known as “officer’s” collars.4

Julia is seated at right, her dark eyes serious. She would have turned twenty-four in 1900, and was the eldest of the sisters.5 Seated at the center is Anna, who would have turned twenty-two that year.6 Melanie, the youngest, is at left; she would have celebrated her sixteenth birthday in 1900.7

At this time, all four sisters had left their mother’s household.8 Julia was married with two young children at home; she and her husband kept a hotel,9 and Anna was employed as a servant there.10 Hattie lived with her elderly maternal grandparents.11 As Melanie cannot be located in the 1900 U.S. census, she may have been away at school, where she trained to become a teacher. Later in life, Julia, Anna, Hattie, and Melanie made their homes in four different communities across three different states, but their sisterly bond is apparent in this photograph of them as young women.



SOURCES
1 “Minnesota, Marriages, 1849-1950,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 15 Nov 2013), Joseph Lutz and Hedwig Joice, 19 April 1875. Cichos was likely transcribed incorrectly as Joice.
2 1900 U.S. census, Faribault County, Minnesota, population schedule, Minnesota Lake, enumeration district (ED) 92, sheet 10-B, p. 4834 (penned), dwelling 178, family 178, Hattie Rendfleisch; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 November 2013), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 763. Rendfleisch was a variation of Rindfleisch.
3 “Minnesota, Births and Christenings, 1840-1980,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 15 Nov 2013), Hedwig Lutz, 06 September 1881.
4 Joan Severa, Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900 (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1995), 526.
5 “Minnesota, Births and Christenings, 1840-1980,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 15 Nov 2013), Julia Lutz, 13 December 1876.
6 “Minnesota, Births and Christenings, 1840-1980,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 15 Nov 2013), Anna Lutz, 12 May 1878.
7 “Minnesota, Births and Christenings, 1840-1980,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 15 Nov 2013), Melanie Veronica Lutz, 28 May 1884.
8 1900 U.S. census, Faribault Co., Minn., pop. sch., Minnesota Lake, ED 92, sheet 10-B, p. 4834, dwell. 178, fam. 178, Hattie Rendfleisch.
9 1900 U.S. census, Nobles County, Minnesota, population schedule, Adrian, enumeration district (ED) 209, sheet 2-B, p. 43 (penned), dwelling 29, family 29, Julia McColm; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 November 2013), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 778.
10 1900 U.S. census, Nobles County, Minnesota, population schedule, Adrian, enumeration district (ED) 209, sheet 2-B, p. 43 (penned), dwelling 29, family 29, Anna M. Lutz; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 November 2013), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 778.
11 1900 U.S. census, Faribault County, Minnesota, population schedule, Minnesota Lake, enumeration district (ED) 92, sheet 5-A, p. 4719 (penned), dwelling 73, family 73, Hattie Lutz; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 November 2013), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 763.

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  1. Pingback: A Prayer Book from Home | Homestead Genealogical Research

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