Owner and submitter:
Leona Gustafson

Photo History
The attached picture is of my maternal grandparents, Fred and Teresa
(Sandtner) Steinke.  The two photos in one appeared in a Denver newspaper
(I'll have to find that info--title, date, etc.) on Labor Day, 1906.
My grandmother was a charter member of the laundress' union (had worked hard
for it's acceptance) and was an "ironer" in a Denver laundry at the time. 
She was also engaged to be married.  Being a very devout Catholic young woman
she knew that she had to be married in the Church.  But her fiance wasn't
Catholic so she was already in hot water with the Church and her parents. 
Fred was a hard working young man who was trying to save enough money to buy
his lady a wedding band before they could be married.  All the labor unions
in the Denver area got together and decided to pick a pretty young union
member to be married on Labor Day, 3 September 1906, at Elitch Gardens.  The
bride and her groom would be supplied with gold wedding band, three rooms of
furniture, and a few other similar items that I don't recall.  When Teresa's
name was drawn as the lucky winner her husband to be said that he would take
the wedding and the rings, but he would never have it said that he couldn't
support his wife and supply all her needs.  In other words, he refused the
furniture and all the other prizes except the actual wedding and the rings.

The event was big news in the pro-labor newspapers and the pictures
accompanied one of the stories (I have the whole story in my files).  It
garnered less space in the major papers, but it did appear.  Many, many years
later, when I was in my teens, my grandfather told me the stupidest thing he
ever did in his life was refusing those prizes.  He called it his stupid
German pride and stubbornness (both his parents were immigrants).

Teresa might have converted Fred to Catholicism except for one thing.  Her
parish priest made her stand before the congregation and publicly "confess"
to the sin of marrying outside the Church.  One week Grandpa might have
forgiven, but Grandma had to do that at each mass for six weeks.  Grandpa
could never forgive anyone who would humiliate his wife in that way.  It
never occurred to him that she did it of her own free will.  That was his
German pig-headedness.
I got this photo from the microfilm version at the Denver Public Library,
Western History Department many years ago.  It was a negative image and not
very good.  I played with it tonight in my photo program (Corel Photo House)
and came up with a not too terrible picture.  I hope it travels well <g>

The caption above the pictures says, "THE UNION COUPLE WHO WILL FORM A NEW

Click on Full Photo below for larger photo.

Full Photo ( may take a minute to load. Large Photo)

Colorado Photo Index

Denver County Photo Index Page 1

Denver County Photo Index Page 2

Denver County Photo Index Page 3

Denver County Photo Index Page 4

Background by A&J Creations © 1998-1999