Caroline Sibÿlla Kaiser, daughter of Philipp Jakob Kaiser and Catherine A. Walter, was born on 4 March 1848 and baptized at the Evangelical-Reformed Church, Edenkoben, Rheinland-Pfalz. Caroline’s father died in December 1848 when she was less than a year old. Her mother remarried a year later to Charles Füßer (Fuesser), who raised Caroline, along with her Füßer half-siblings. At the end of eight years of school, Caroline was confirmed in Edenkoben on 24 March 1861.

The family emigrated from Hamburg, on the SS Saxonia, arriving in New York City on 28 December 1865 and then traveled to St. Louis.

The 9 April 1868 marriage of Caroline S. Kaiser and William F. Yaeger at the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church was that church’s first. William and Caroline initially lived with the Boedge family in Kirkwood. By 1875, they had built on their own property in Webster Groves at Big Bend and Sylvester in the estate of Caspar Yaeger. Initially members of St. Johns Evangelical Church, Mehlville, in the 1880s they transferred to St. Lucas Evangelical Church, Sappington, which opened closer to their home.

A woman of pleasant countenance, an avid cook, and homemaker, Caroline also was skilled in the German craft of Klöppeln, or lace making. She handed down to her family a star-shaped lace table mat she created.

In 1912, Caroline’s husband William died. She retained the family home and successfully converted his Civil War pension to a widow’s pension, earning a small stipend of $12 per month initially. It was increased to $40 per month in 1928.

In 1915–16, daughter, Mathilda Yaeger Schulz, was diagnosed with cancer. Caroline moved temporarily to the Schulz household and became the family caregiver, teaching her nineteen-year-old granddaughter Edna Schulz to cook and keep house for her father Henry and four-year old sister Harriet. Harriet Schulz McMillan remembered “Grandma [Caroline] Yaeger must have lived [with us] on Marshall Place when mother [Mathilda] was sick and after she died in 1916.”

In 1920, Caroline sold the four-lot family homestead on Big Bend and Sylvester for $2,400. She moved to live with her other daughter Kate Yaeger Ruehmann and family, then in Uniondale.

By 1930, eighty-two-year-old Caroline again had her own home at 150 Selma Avenue in Webster Groves, near where the high school is located today. She continued to be a caregiver. Great-granddaughter, Elly Straub Wright, remembered “Grandma [Caroline] Yaeger volunteered to care for various friends and relatives when she lived at the little house on Selma.”

Caroline Kaiser Yaeger again lived with daughter Kate when, on 3 February 1939, at age ninety, her long life ended with old age and flu. Parker and Company in Webster Groves conducted the funeral with burial in the Yaeger plot at Oak Hill Cemetery in Kirkwood.

Written by Carol Whitton
April 2017

© 2017 St. Louis Genealogical Society


Caroline Kaiser
Caroline Kaiser Yaeger
Photo in the collection of Carol Whitton
Used with permission
Caroline Kaiser Lace
Lace table mat created by Caroline Yaeger
Photo in the collection of Carol Whitton
Used with permission

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Last Modified: 25-Oct-2018 21:23