An American Family History

Henri Joseph Bertrand

Seraing is French speaking town in the Liêge Province of Belgium on the Meuse River. It is in the Wallonia region. It is a center for iron and crystal manufacturing.

In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.

Henri Joseph Bertrand (Henry) was born on March 23, 1856 in Seraing, Liège Province, Belgium. His parents were Francois Bertrand and Catherine Hocquette. He was a plumber and tinner. He was a member of the Red Men and the Modern Woodmen of America.

Henry married Alice Linsey on July 5, 1878 in Des Moines, Iowa. Alice was born about 1856 in Ireland.

Henry and Alice's children were:
Robert Francis Bertrand (1881) and
Margaret Bertrand Hamilton (1884, married James Albert Hamilton).

In 1880, the household was still in Des Moines and consisted of Henry Bertram (sic) who was a collier aged 23, Alice age 23, and Harry age 4 (The census described his relationship as "Ad son" which is probably adopted son. His parent's place of birth was not known.) Two unrelated men were also listed as household members: George Sides age 20 from England and John Clarkson age 18 from Scotland. They were also colliers.

Henry's niece, Emma Bertrand Smith, kept a postcard collection which includes cards from members of the Henry Bertrand family. The online collection includes both the messages and the pictures from these cards.

Alice died on December 8, 1894. She was buried in Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa.

Robert Francis (Frank) died September 18, 1897 when he was sixteen years old of lockjaw after being kicked near his left eye by a horse.
Children of Francois Bertrand and
Catherine Josephine Hocquette
  • Henri Joseph Bertrand
  • Samuel Francis Bertrand
  • Gilles Joseph Bertrand
  • Diphtheria is a serious contagious respiratory illness where a membrane attaches to the tonsils, pharynx, or nasal cavity. Diphtheria can lead to loss of motor control and sensation.
    Pertussis is also contagious and was known as whooping cough. It starts with a mild respiratory infection and the coughing develops into uncontrollable fits followed by a high-pitched "whoop" sound as the patient struggles to breathe.
    Tetanus was also called lockjaw and occurs when wounds are contaminated. As the infection progresses, muscle spasms develop in the jaw as well as other parts of the body.

    Henry Bertrand

    Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) and Woodmen of the World were fraternal organizations that offered insurance.

    A collier is a coal miner.



    Robert's Footstone

    The announcement of the death of Frank Bertrand, which occurred at the home of W. E. Graves on Saturday morning, September 18, at 5:30 o'clock, brought genuine sadness to the hearts of many friends. For some time he had been employed at Graves' livery barn. On September 2d he was kicked near the left eye by a horse and for a time he was thought to be recovering, but the wounds failed to heal on the inside and on September 9th lockjaw set in which resulted in death Saturday morning.

    Frank was a bright, intelligent, sunny-faced lad who always had a pleasant word and a smile for his acquaintances. He was honest and industrious and will be sadly missed by his associates. While it is hard to part with him it is a comfort to know that the merciful, loving hand of an all wise Father hath wrought this providence for the living. 

    Robert Frances Bertrand, son of Henry Bertrand, was born in Des Moines, and at the time of his death was aged sixteen years two months and eleven days. The father, sister, and other relatives have in this hour of affliction all the consolation human sympathy can give. Funeral services, conducted by Rev. A. R. Candle were held at the Christian church Sunday afternoon at four o-clock, after which the remains were followed by a large concourse of friends to their last resting place in the Chariton cemetery. Democrat
    September 24, 1897


    In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.

    The 1890 census materials was lost in a 1921 fire.

    Frank Bertrand  is listed in the 1889 - 1890 Des Moines, Iowa Directory as a steam fitter for Laing & Scoville and in 1891 as a plumber for Scoville Plumbing Company.

    At the time of the 1900 census he was living with his 16 year old daughter Maggie.

    Frank married Flora Fitch on May 22, 1901 in Chariton, Iowa. At the time of his marriage to Flora he lived on East Woodland Avenue in Chariton.

    MARRIED Bertrand-Fitch
    Mr. Henry Bertrand and Miss Flora Fitch were married last evening at 8 o-clock at the home of Rev. W. B. Thompson who performed the ceremony. The only witnesses were the groom's daughter, Miss Maggie Bertrand, and Mr. Joseph Bertrand. They went immediately to the groom's home on
    East Woodland Ave. where they will be at home to their friends. The bride is a daughter of Dr .Charles Fitch, dec'd and has lived in Chariton the greater portion of her life  She is in every way fitted to preside over a home, and will doubtless make a capable helpmeet. The groom has lived here five or six years.  He is engaged in the plumbing business and is an honest, industrious man. The Patriot together with their many acquaintances wishes for them along, happy and prosperous married life.

    On October 12, 1904 Margaret married James A. Hamilton.

    A very pretty home wedding occurred at the home of Henry Bertrand in this city last evening Oct. 12, 1904 at 8 o'clock, when his daughter, Miss Margaret Bertrand was united in marriage to Mr. James A. Hamilton in the presence of the immediate family. Presiding Elder B. F. Miller performing the marriage ceremony.

    The bride was becomingly gowned in white organdie and the groom was attired in black. Miss Louise Gleason was bridesmaid and Mr. Arthur Dalin best man. After the ceremony refreshments were served after which the newly wedded couple accompanied by their attendants went to their own home which had been previously furnished on North Main street.

    The bride is a charming young woman and for the past year has been saleswoman in McCollough & Co's dry goods store, where by her lady like ways and accommodating manners won a host of friends throughout the county, who will wish her well.

    The groom is a son of John Hamilton of Lincoln township and is a splendid young man and holds the position of brakeman on the Chariton and Kansas City branch of the Q. The Patriot joins many friends in congratulations.

    Flora died on February 28, 1921 and Henry died on January 29, 1925 in Chariton, Iowa of heart trouble. His funeral was held in the First Baptist Church of Chariton and he was buried in Chariton Cemetery. He is buried with his second wife, Flora, his brother Joseph, his son Robert Francis, and Izetta.

    Chariton is the county seat of Lucas County, Iowa and is in Lincoln Township.

    Baptist churches were found in early colonial settlements and grew out of the English Separatist movement and the doctrine of John Smyth who rejected infant baptism.

    Henri Joseph Bertrand was born in Seraing, Belgium, March 23,1856, and died at his home in Chariton, Iowa on January 29, 1925, after an illness of eighteen months with heart trouble. Deceased was united in marriage in Des Moines, Iowa to Miss Alice Linsey on July 5, 1878, who preceded him in death on Dec. 8, 1894. To this union two children were born, Robt. Francis, who passed away in September, 1897 and Mrs. Margaret Hamilton of Chariton.

    He was again united in marriage on May 22, 1901, in Chariton, Iowa to Miss Flora Fitch, who passed away at the family home on Feb. 28, 1921. He is survived by the one daughter and two grandchildren, Frank B., of Kansas City and Alice Louise of Chariton and one brother, Samuel of Des Moines and many other relatives and friends who mourn their loss.

    Mr. Bertrand, with his brother Joseph came to Chariton from Des Moines about 26 years ago, and this place has since been his home. Joseph preceded him in death on April 18, 1910.

    During his long residence here. Mr. Bertrand had won the confidence and esteem of all with whom he came in contact by his upright dealings and courteous manners. He was a plumber and tinner by trade and was engaged in this business here for many years, until his health failed. He was a member of the Red Men and the M.W. A. orders.

    His demise is deplored by all and the sympathy of the community will be extended to the bereaved daughter and other relatives. Funeral services, conduced by J. A. Riggs, assisted by Rev. W. B. Thompson, were held at the First Baptist church on Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock after which the remains were laid to rest in the cemetery. Among the number in attendance at the last sad rites from out of town were his brother, Samuel Bertrand and wife of Des Moines his niece, Mrs. Dave Higgins and husband of Ottumwa; his nephews, Joe Bertrand of Carlisle; Messrs., Merle and Ralph Bertrand of Des Moines, Latta Acheson [married Lenora Bertrand] and Frank Ball, of Commerce.

    Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) and Woodmen of the World were fraternal organizations that offered insurance.


    James A. Hamilton, beloved husband of Margaret; fond father of Alice (Robert) Cromie and Frank; grandfather of six; great-grandfather of eight; brother of Carrie Williamson, Agnes Osgood, Rev. Charles, Louis and Dan [sic]. Visitation in Krislan Funeral Home, 533 N. Lake St., Mundelein, from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday. Memorial services 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, at Ivanhoe Congregational Church. Interment Chariton, Ia. Please omit flowers. Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.

    Chicago Tribune
    Monday, 04 Oct 1971

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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