There are many documents establishing Julius Vahlteich and Carl (Karl) Julius Vahltich but never together. Is it the Superman/Clark Kent logic? If they are never seen together, they must be the same person?
Carl Julius, after a career in controversial German politics, emmigrates, not wholly by choice, to the US, 26 Jun 1881 and so does Lina Vahlteich apparently at the same time on the same boat. Both name the “Greek” as the passenger ship on which they arrived in New York. A passenger manifest from the ship shows Mr. Julius Vahlteich and Mrs ditto ditto (no name)…ages 41 and 20. Birth dates from other sources confirm these ages right for Carl Julius and Lina in June of 1881.
The Vahlteich “husband/wife” team of photographers however, exists in only one document out of more than fifty found mentioning them. In the 1887 Chicago Lakeside city directory they are shown at the same address, 292 North Avenue, Chicago, as photographer/artist. The two following years, Julius is listed as photographer but no mention is made of Lina. All other mentions of Lina Vahlteich have her living alone or with a couple boarders.
Lina was probably pronounced “Lee-Nah” resulting in being spelled “Lena” in some documents. But she spells it "Lina" when she signs papers.
Her marital status varies from document to document. In the 1900 US census she is living alone but “married” and in 1910 she is still living alone but then she is “Single”.
In the 1920 US census she is now a “widow” although the census date was 22 Jan 1920, and Carl Julius Vahlteich didn’t die until 15 Feb 1920. This would make one suspect again that Carl Julius and Julius might have been two separate people. But considering all the other inconsistencies in their records, this is probably just another one.
Census details show Lina as “no occupation” from 1920 to her death in 1937. In the period from about 1890 to 1920, Lina and Julius don’t seem to be living together; in fact Julius does not even appear anywhere in every census and city directory that Lina does.
Documents on Carl Julius Vahlteich and Julius Vahlteich are numerous but there is little to show that the two names are the same person. Only in the case of his two passport applications, ten years apart, do the two meet. The first in 1903 is signed Carl Julius Vahlteich and the second in 1913 is signed Julius Vahlteich. Otherwise the two signatures appear identical. Also the facts stated on the two applications are identical.
It is clear that Julius did little if anything in the photography business after 1889 as he was quite active in politics. In 1906 became editor of New Yorker Volkszeitung the longest-running German language daily labor newspaper in the United States of America, established in 1878.
His activism was probably why he does not consistently appear in city directories and the census. He apparently moved around a lot.
In 1891 there was a disruption in the Turnerbund, a German social organization in the US. Carl Julius was a member of a Chicago chapter of the Turners. The local chapter did not like his outspoken anarchistic political views and wanted to oust him. It was against the National Turners bylaws however. The Chicago chapter then disassociated with the National group so they could vote Carl Julius out. This was after all, basically why he was banished from Germany in 1881. For instance, in 1873 to 1875, he worked as a paid agitator of the SDAP (Social Democratic Worker’s Party). The growing political climate in Germany didn’t want to deal with an anarchist.
John R Vahlteich, according to the US census of 1910, appears to be the son of Karl Julius Vahlteich but not the son of Lina Vahlteich. Records show that John was born about 1865 when Lina would have been only three years old.
Karl Julius Vahlteich
John R Vahlteich
Sources: US census, Chicago city directories, Wiki page biography, passport applications,
Note: some details are included just to show how inconsistent the records are
1839 Jan 30
Julius born in Germany (according to his passport application)
1845 Dec 30
Julius born in Germany (according to Lina’s citizenship petition)
Dec 15 Lina born in Dresden, Germany (according to Lina’s citizenship petition)
Germany, estimated year that John R Vahlteich is born
1880 Sep 25
Lina’s citizenship Petition - Julius and Lina marry in Leipzig, Germany
No Chicago city directory available
Lina’s citizenship Petition - Both immigrate to US
NO Vahlteich in New York City or Chicago city directory
New York, NY, city directory Julius Vahlteich as shoemaker
New York, NY, city directory Julius NOT listed
Chicago city directory - Julius as photographer at 292 North av; Lina not shown
Voter registration (1890) Naturalized this year
Chicago Lakeside city directory Julius and Lina as photographer and Artist at 292 North av
Chicago city directory - Julius as photographer at 292 North av; no Lina;
Chicago city directory - Julius as photographer at 292 North av; no Lina
1890 Oct 14
Voter registration Julius at 443 Sedgwick (res for 7 months this address)(naturalization Sept 1886)
1900 Jun 05
US census Lina Vahlteich as photographer; listed as head of household, Married but living alone; 443 Sedgwick
1903 Apr 17
US passport application: Carl Julius Vahlteich listed as editor; res 359 Frank st
Chicago, IL, city directory MRS Lina Vahlteich as photographer at 1458 Halsted (res and bus)
Chicago, IL, city directory, res and bus pages NO Vahlteich listed
Annual Factory Review - MRS Lena Vahlteich as photographer at 1458 Halsted with 2 employees
According to a German biography found on the web, Carl Julius becomes editor of New Yorker Volkszeitung, the longest-running German language daily labor newspaper in the United States of America, established in 1878
Annual Factory Review - Lena Vahlteich as photographer at 1458 Halsted
Chicago, IL, city directory NO Vahlteich listed
1910 Apr 21
Chicago, IL, US census Karl J as news agent and widowed living with John R Vahlteich
1910 Apr 22
US census Lina as photographer at 2931 Halsted st -Marital status as SINGLE;
Chicago, IL, city directory MRS Lena Vahlteich as photographer 2931 Halsted; Julius NOT listed
Chicago, IL, city directory business pages only available, no listing for any Vahlteich
Chicago, IL, city directory Business Section: MRS Lina Vahlteich as photographer at 2931 n Halsted; RESIDENTIAL section lists
John R as Druggist at 2000 n Halsted; res 732 Addison
Julius as editor; res 732 Addison
Lena MRS as photographer res 2931 Halstead
Lena WID Julius res 741 Oakdale
Note: This is the only time the listing
appeared this way
Chicago city directory - MRS Lina Vahlteich as photographer at 2931 N Halsted; res 743 Oakdale av; (Julius and John R. at 732 Addison)
Chicago city directory, MRS Lena Vahlteich as photographer 2931 Halsted, res 743 Oakdale; Julius living with John R Vahlteich who is listed as druggist at 2000 Halsted, res 732 Addison
1915 Feb 26
Chicago, IL, Illinois State Archives; Carl Julius dies at age 69; one of 12 founders of the German Socialist party
Chicago city directory - Not in business section, no residential section issued
Chicago city directory - MRS Lena Vahlteich res 743 Oakdale not in bus pages
1918, 1919, 1920
Chicago city directory - Lina NOT in business section, residential section not published
1920 Jan 22
Chicago, IL, US census MRS Lena as WIDOWED at 743 Oakdale Ave; Immigrated 1880
1920 Feb 15
Chicago, IL, Lina's citizenship petition, Carl Julius Vahltech dies AGAIN at age 75
Chicago, IL, US census Lina widowed; as no occupation at 5302 Lakewood av
1936 Feb 11
Declaration of intention naturalization Lina, no occupation, 5302 Lakewood ave
1937 Dec 12
Chicago, IL, county and state records, Lina Vahlteich dies at age 74
The cabinet card example at the top includes the monogram imprint that seems to be "J V". Quite possibly it was finished by Carl Julius Vahlteich himself but more likely actually done by Lina Vahlteich between the years 1890 and 1900.
The card at the right has no monogram imprint and was probably done by Lina Vahlteich in that same period.
The two cards imprinted 292 e North av were probably done by Julius Vahlteich between 1885 and 1889
292 e North av
near Mohawk st
from the collection of Curt J on Flickr
292 e North st
near Mohawk st
poor scan; Unknown source;
unaccredited on site where found
Like the card at the top, the card at the right has no monogram imprint so was probably done by Lina Vahlteich between the years 1890 and 1900.
443 Sedgwick st
near North av
example from Dan on Flickr
Vahlteich was at 443 Sedgwick, Chicago, definitely from Oct of 1890 to Jun of 1905, possibly a few months before or a couple years after. The card on the left was probably finished during that period.
The card on the right shows the address of 292 East North Av. The card is reported to have been made in 1892. A voter registration list shows that Vahlteich had already moved to 443 Sedgwick by Oct 1890. The address difference is quite possible as old pre-printed card stock was often used up sometimes years after a photographer had changed locations.