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Caesar Seghers (1857-1892) and his family

Caesar Seghers was born in Belgium, probably in Hamme, in East Flanders, in 1857.  He came to the United States perhaps around 1863.  His mother Cecilia, who was born in Hamme, also came to the United States. 

On October 7, 1879 Caesar married Sophie Margarethe Engel Schmeltekop in Chicago.  She had been born in Sternshorn, Germany, in the Diepholz area of what was then the Kingdom of Hannover, and is today the Land Niedersachsen, on January 21, 1860.  She came to the United States when she was fourteen years old.  In 1880 the census found them on Ashland Avenue in Chicago.  Caesar was a traveling agent for medicine at the time.

Caesar and Sophie had three daughters and four sons.  They later lived on Myrtle Street in Chicago.  That street is today the block of South Seeley Avenue just south of Taylor Street, near the hospitals.   Caesar sold sewing machines and was listed on Myrtle Street in a Chicago commercial directory in 1889.  Caesar died in February, 1892 from pneumonia that he got riding in a carriage.

Sophie lived on until December 1, 1906, working as a practical nurse.  All of her children died in childhood except for two daughters, Antoinette (my grandmother), and Johanna.  Although she was born and confirmed a Lutheran she raised her children as Catholics, and both daughters spent some time in Catholic orphanages in Chicago because Sophie could not raise them in her own household, since she was in service to another family. 



Sophie Schmeltekop Seghers and her husband Caesar Seghers, probably photographed in the 1880s.

tintype of Caesar Seghers

with attached note:

"Dear Nettie:

This picture of your father is from Johanna.

She thought perhaps you would not have one like it - your boys will want it some time.

One of several that mother did not want years ago -- and Jo saved them for her self.


(probably from Nettie Schmeltekop Tunsberg, Sophie's first cousin)