Ancestor’s Anniversary – August 24, 2013 – Laura Belle (Wetzel) Klinger

Laura Belle Wetzel was born in Trevorton, Pa. on August 24, 1870, daughter of Henry and Catherine (Kissinger) Wetzel whose children were as follows: Nelson, Laura (married Landis Klinger), Harriet (married Charles Murray), Carrie, Howard, Weimer, Harry, Mildred (married Frank Evans followed by William Patterson) and Grant (died young).


Laura gave birth to her first child, Ada Mae, on November 19, 1891; this first child was born illegitimate and the father’s name kept a secret and remained unknown to the family until 2012 when baptism records were found showing the father to be a man named Richard Williams.


In 1900, Laura moved to Philadelphia and married Landis Klinger.  January 1, 1903 brought the birth and death of the couple’s first son, Russell.  In April of the following year, Laura gave birth to Landis and a year later to their son Ralph.


Laura (Wetzel) Klinger holding young Marlin Strausser (c.1909)

Laura (Wetzel) Klinger holding young Marlin Strausser (c.1909)

Upon moving to Philadelphia, Laura and Landis settled in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city and it is there that she lived in the same Gordon Street house for the next sixty-five years.


Laura was very close to her younger brother Howard so the siblings always made sure to get together to celebrate their birthdays, which were a day apart.  The pair continued to celebrate their birthdays together up to and including when Howard passed away during their annual birthday gathering in 1957.


Howard Wetzel and Laura (Wetzel) Klinger celebrating their birthdays together

Howard Wetzel and Laura (Wetzel) Klinger celebrating their birthdays together

Not only was Laura close with her brother Howard but also his youngest son Royal.  Royal grew up spending much time with his aunt, including spending summers with her and her family in Philadelphia.


Ralph Wetzel, Lillian (Murray) DeConcini, Elizabeth (Osman) Wetzel, Royal Wetzel, Laura (Wetzel) Klinger, Landis Klinger Sr, Howard Wetzel

Ralph Wetzel, Lillian (Murray) DeConcini, Elizabeth (Osman) Wetzel, Royal Wetzel, Laura (Wetzel) Klinger, Landis Klinger Sr, Howard Wetzel

On January 8, 1965 Laura died and was buried with her husband Landis and son Ralph at Whitemarsh Memorial Park.  Laura is now buried with her husband, three of her children, and two of her grandchildren; one day she will be joined by a great grandchild who was born a decade too late but loves her none the less.


4 Responses

  1. I was so thrilled to come upon this posting. I was the Klingers next door neighbor on Gordon St. They were the most wonderful, kind people. I loved them like family. Landis and Mrs. Klinger called me Toots. I was at their house everyday, enjoying Mrs. Klingers company and playing with Dickie, her parakeet. My family and I were always included in the Klinger get togethers. It brought tears to my eyes to see them in a photo after so many years. Landis was such an important man at the bank. He could have lived in a mansion but stayed on Gordon St. where his mother was happiest. My parents thought the world of the Klingers. They all had class but were down to earth and friendly I remember playing with Royal, Darlene and Laura Mar. I hope they are all well. I wish I could turn back the clock and be with them again. Thank you for sharing your precious memories.


    • Thank you so much for your kind words and warm memories. I cannot wait to call my grandmother, Laura’s granddaughter Peggy, and Royal tomorrow to tell them about your post. Royal will especially be thrilled, he talks very highly of times he spent on Gordon Street. Unfortunately, I have only come across one photo showing part of the back yard/porch area. I would love to hear any memories of the area or people that you would like to share. Please feel free to email me directly at I can also connect you with Royal, if you would like.



      • Thank you so much for responding. I just saw your message and hope you find mine. I’m trying to figure out how to retrieve your email address. Computers are not my strong point at all. I did leave a message today about Thelma Rothman. What a lovely lady! I’ll keep searching your site for your email

        Thanks, Toots


    • I just remembered this and thought you might enjoy hearing about Landis’ garden. Landis was very proud of his garden. He called it his 40 acre farm. He was always taking care of his beautiful climbing roses that grow along the fences. Everyday after work, he’d relax in the garden, smoke his cigars and chat with my father and tease me. He was so kind and funny. We were so poor and we all had such respect and admiration for Landis. He was really an important man at the bank and that meant a lot in those days. Landis was one of the few people who had a car then. He used to take us (my mother, father,sister and me) for rides often. He’d drive through the fancy neighborhoods of the Main Line and go right up the driveways of the biggest mansions, screaming out the window, “Get the table set. We’re coming for dinner!” We’d all be howling in the car and scared we’d get in trouble. But we weren’t too scared because we knew Landis could handle any problems. I have so many great memories. Those were the happiest times of my life.
      Thanks, Toots.


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