Frances was born on 27 February 1918 in the family residence at 116 E. McMicken Street in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Joseph Schauer, who died in 1965, and Clara (Bambach) Schauer, who died in 1983. Not long after, the family moved to Capac, Michigan, where her sister AnnaBell (married name Spezia) was born in 1919. (AnnaBell died in 2014). They then moved to St. Louis at the behest of Joseph’s relatives who were already living there, settling in the Hyde Park neighborhood in a three-room rear second story flat located at 1411A Salisbury Street. An outhouse was in the yard that separated their building from the one fronting on Salisbury. The family attended Most Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church at 3519 N. 14th Street, and Frances and her sister went to that parish’s school. Both buildings were just a block away from their flat and where their father worked as a handyman. Clara worked in the evenings as a janitor in a downtown St. Louis office building.

After graduating from grade school, Frances attended Hadley Technical School, majoring in secretarial courses. It was quite some time before she put that knowledge to use. Instead, she found employment as a piece worker at Bussmann Manufacturing, where she hand-assembled fuses and was paid by how many fuses she completed. She felt that favoritism was being shown, spoke up, and was fired by a company executive. Her immediate supervisor knew what a good worker she was, and Frances was rehired. She began looking for a different job and found employment in the office of Tums, a popular antacid. The building is still located downtown.

Frances married John Joyce Kleaver Jr. in 1947 and took up residence with him on the first floor of his parents’ house at 1121 Tyler Street, in a neighborhood now known as Old North St. Louis. She became a full-time homemaker once she gave birth to their only child Patrick John, being a wonderful mother to him and a devoted wife to her husband, fully supporting the latter’s financial generosity to the Roman Catholic Church. She had a wonderful sense of humor and was curious throughout her life about many things. Besides her delicious home-cooked comfort food, she was known for her delicious cakes which she donated to her son’s school fundraisers.

In 1973, Frances and her family left Tyler Street, living for a while in the what was then Laclede Town and then Dutchtown. Finally, she and her family moved to the old Plaza Square apartments downtown. In declining health and needing around-the-clock care, she moved to the Dutchtown Care and Rehab Center at 3421 Gasconade Street in south St. Louis for the last several months of her life.

Frances died on 16 November 2000 from a combination of pneumonia, dementia, and generalized arteriosclerosis. She donated her body to St. Louis University School of Medicine and her cremated remains were later interred in the plot reserved for such donors at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery.

Written by Patrick Kleaver
December 2022

© 2023 St. Louis Genealogical Society


Frances Clara Schauer Kleaver as a bride
Frances Clara Schauer on her wedding day
Photo in the collection of Patrick Kleaver
Used with permission
Frances Clara Schauer Kleaver
Frances Clara (Schauer) Kleaver
Photo in the collection of Patrick Kleaver
Used with permission

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Last Modified: 18-Jul-2023 13:22