Biographies   1 comment

Maria Charlotte Anna Bebensee née Sievers was born February 14, 1867 in Hamburg/Wandsbek, Germany to Heinrich and Catherine (Paap) Sievers.  She worked as a servant to the Georg Bebensee family.   She met and later married their son, Paul Heinrich Gustave Bebensee on July 7, 1888. 

She had four children:  Hans, Gustav, Margaretha and Emma.  After her husband and oldest son emigrated to the U.S. in November of 1898, she was left alone to care for her remaining 3 children.  She supported them by taking in sewing.  Maria never emigrated and her date of death is unknown.

Source Citation:  Birth, Confirmation and Marriage records obtained from the Lutheran Parish in Wandsbek, Germany

Paul Heinrich Gustave Bebensee was born August 23, 1863 in Hamburg/Wandsbek, Germany to Georg and Elizabeth (Rebensdorf) Bebensee.  He married Maria Sievers on July 7, 1888 at the Lutheran Parish in Wandsbek, Germany.  To this union 4 children were born:  Hans, Gustav, Margaretha and Emma.

P. H. Gustave Bebensee was a trained artist and worked as an interior designer.  In November of 1898 he and his eldest son, Hans, emigrated to the United States aboard a ship called the First Bismark which departed from Hamburg and arrived in New York.  They then traveled to Nebraska where his sister, Emma and her husband Louis Haack farmed.  He left Hans with his sister.  He was never heard from after 1906 and it was assumed he died in the great earthquake in San Francisco.  Wanting to prove of disprove this, his great-granddaughter, Terri Kallio, began a search that lasted more than 10 years.  In 2008 his death record was located in Seattle, King, Washington.  He had not died in 1906, but rather in 1914.  The truth was uncovered that he had deserted his family and married another woman.  At this time only her first name is known (Jennette) and that she was born in Ohio about 1878 according the census records from 1910.

An obituary was located through the Seattle Library where additional information contained reference to Gustave being a Free Mason.  It was later learned that he was a member of the Murat Temple in Indianapolis, Indiana and had lived there in 1906-1907 where he had an Interior Design business.

Gustave died December 7, 1914 in Seattle, King, Washington from tuberculosis.  His ashes were interned at the Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, King, Washington (there is no tombstone).

Source Citation:  Birth, Confirmation and Marriage records obtained from the Lutheran Parish in Wandsbek, Germany.  Death Certificate from the state of Washington.  R.L. Polk address registers from both Indianapolis and Seattle verify his residence.  The 1910 census report for Los Angeles, California indicating a wife named Jennette and an approximate marriage date of 1905.

The children of P.H. Gustave and Maria (Sievers) Bebensee were all born in Wandsbek, Germany and were baptized in the Lutheran Parish there.  Hans was born on September 23, 1888.  Gustav was born January 5, 1890.  Margaretha (Grace) was born on October 22, 1891.  Minna Emma was born October 14, 1897.

This photograph was taken circa 1914 after Emma emigrated.  Please note this photograph has been manipulated to include Grace in the photograph.  The original photo only includes: Hans, Gustav and Emma.  I photoshopped Grace into the picture.


Posted January 8, 2012 by Terri Kallio/Site Coordinator

One response to “Biographies

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  1. Beautiful photo and collage of Maria. She looks very German! Wonderful post, Terri!

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