My Maternal Great Grandmother -Emma Elsie (Claussen) Palen

Emma Elsie Claussen Palen & Phylis Adele Palen-c.1907

Emma Elsie (Claussen) Palen & daughter, Phylis Adele Palen, about 1907, Caledonia, Minnesota. My Grandmother and Great Grandmother. This is the only pic that I have of them. I treasure it, and I share it with others. Emma died before I was born. I wish that I could have known her. Her father was Henry Claussen, and her mother was Maria “Mary” (Kobel) Claussen. They emigrated from Hannover, Prussia (Germany) in 1855.

Frank Joseph Palen, in 1948, at 705 W. Third Street, Dubuque, Iowa. Great Grandsons; Mike Jackson, Pete & Bill Burgess

Monee Reservoir, Monee, Will County, Illinois


Emma Elsie (Claussen) Palen

Feb. 15, 1865

Monee, Will County Illinois, USA
Nov. 27, 1930

Dubuque, Dubuque County Iowa, USA 
 Daughter of Henry Clausenn and Mary (Koble) Clausenn both born in Germany.

Emigrated in 1855 to Illinois. There name was also spelled Claussen, and Classen. I was so excited to find Emma in the 1870 Census for Illinois, so now after 25 yrs. of searching I know who her parents and siblings were.

The 1870 Census for Illinois shows:

name: Emma Classen

estimated birth year: 1865

gender: Female

age in 1870: 5y

color : White

birthplace: Illinois

home in 1870: Illinois, United States

Household Gender Age Birthplace

Henry Classen M 43y Germany

Maria Classen F 43y Germany

August Classen M 13y Illinois

Frederick Classen M 11y Illinois

Mina Classen F 9y Illinois

Caroline Classen F 7y Illinois

Emma Classen F 5y Illinois

Louisa Classen F 1y Illinois Source Citation “United States Census, 1870,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 Aug 2012), Emma Classen in household of Henry Classen, Illinois, United States; citing p. 4, family 26, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 545791.

Emma was the sister of: August (Luehrs), Frederick, Minnie, Caroline, and Louisa Clasenn.

Emma Elsie (Claussen) Palen, beloved first wife of Frank Joseph Palen, married in 1885 in Caledonia, Houston County, Minnesota. Mother of Phyllis Adele Eugenia (Palen) Linderman, my Grandmother. I never knew my Great Grandmother, Emma because she died before I was born.

My Mother is Jean Marie (Linderman)Frederick Mancill, and she told me that Emma was Lutheran, but Frank was Catholic. And…that poor Emma had to attend her church alone, because she had promised to raise their children as Catholic. Mother also told me that Emma had heart problems.

My Grandmother wasn’t allowed to attend church with her Mother, and was forced to attend Catholic schools until she was in High School. Phylis changed spelling of her name to Phyllis, and then she begged her Father to allow her to go to Public High School. He never forgave himself for it, because she married a Lutheran not a Catholic.

Through research, thanks to LeRoy Amacher, I found out that Frank and Emma were both buried in the Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Dubuque, Iowa, beside each other, even though in those days if you were not Catholic you could not be buried in a Catholic Cemetery.
Emma was a good, loving, and kind woman. She was a homemaker. She was a large woman and had a heart condition.

Emma and Frank had four children Leo, Phylis, Hedwig, and Flossie Palen. Hedwig and Flossie died very young. They have many, many descendants. They would be proud.

One of their daughters, my Grandmother, Phyllis Eugenia (Palen) Linderman, and Harry William “Billy” Linderman, had four daughters:

Yvonne (Burgess Levesque), Yvarra “Billie” (Jackson), Jean Marie (Frederick) (Mancill), and Patricia Mae “Patsy” (Cooke), and no sons.

Family links:
Frank Joseph Palen (1864 – 1953)

Leo Frank Palen (1890 – 1971)

Fleicitas M. Palen Strueber (1892 – 1920)

Hedwig J Palen Genz (1898 – 1921)

Phyllis Eugenia Palen Linderman (1904 – 1963) 

Mount Calvary Cemetery
Dubuque County
Iowa, USA 

Created by: TEXAS TUDORS
Record added: Feb 29, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24954456

Seal of the City of Dubuque, Iowa.
Seal of the City of Dubuque, Iowa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Official logo of Dubuque, Iowa
Official logo of Dubuque, Iowa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)