The click-clack of the steel wheels as they struck the wells connecting the rails formed what was an escape route of sorts! Mae Hrebec and Henry Joseph “Harry” Breen eloped on this streetcar to St. Charles, Missouri, where they were married. It seems the Bohemian relatives of Mae did not want her to marry an Irishman. Even in 1918, love was stronger than the desire of forbidding parents.

Mae was born to Mathias Hrebec and Anna Bokor on 8 June 1897 in St. Louis. Mae and Henry made their home in the upstairs flat from her parents, Matthias and Anna. Their own children would be born there: Mona Mae in November 1920 and June on 29 March 1924.

Harry worked as an order clerk at a chemical company and later served as a foreman at a wire manufacturing company.

Mae’s first job was at Johansen Brothers Shoe Company, pulling a wagon through the factory. Her brothers were also employed at this company. After her daughters were born, Mae did not work. In her later years, she lived at Bethesda Dilworth, a skilled nursing home facility in St. Louis County. Mae attended church at Oak Hill Presbyterian Church.

Mae died on 3 April 1977 and had a private funeral. Her final resting place is Sunset Burial Park. Mae left her husband, two daughters, and two grandchildren, Dan Teich and Debbie Zehnder.

Submitted by Judy Broleman
June 2020

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Last Modified: 05-Oct-2020 10:45