Charles Robert Bartholomew, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Charles Robert Bartholomew


Submitted by Charles Michael Bartholomew

The Valparaiso family headed by Charles Robert Bartholomew, funeral director, can be traced back to southwestern Pennsylvania in the late 1700's -- as can several of the Bartholomew families in Porter County.

Jeremiah Bartholomew, who came to Valparaiso in 1835, was a farmer and merchant of English descent. He moved with his parents to Licking County, Ohio, in time to enlist to fight in the War of 1812. In 1817 he married Rebecca Skinner, also of English descent. They settled in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1828, where Jeremiah kept hotel and laid out the northern portion of the city. They moved to Michigan City in 1833, and the next year he bought about 500 acres in Washington Township in Porter County. The following year, he took up residence in Center Township, where he died in 1841.

Washington Stevens Bartholomew, the second of Jeremiah's six children, was born in 1820. His older brother, Artillus V., helped found the Republican Party of Porter County and later served in the State Legislature. Washington married Caroline Stevens, a native of England, in 1849. They had five children: Charles Washington, Artillus, Albert, Elma, and Dora.

Charles Washington Bartholomew was born in Valparaiso on May 30, 1853. In his early years he was a farmer, and later he entered into partnership with Shed Herrick as a merchant. He subsequently became a commercial traveler for a wholesale grocery house. He engaged in the furniture business in 1890 on South Franklin Street at the present location of The Court restaurant. In 1892 he began an undertaking firm, which he moved to North Washington Street, at the current site of Superior Cleaners, in 1909. The firm, known as C. W. Bartholomew & Son, later was located across the street where Temple Israel now stands. Charles Washington married Margaret Eason (Poor), who was also a native of Porter County. Four of their children survived to marry: Charles Leroy, H. L. (who moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Alia (wife of Arthur Runyon), and Charlotte (wife of Jack Burt). He died here on November 29, 1925.

Charles Leroy Bartholomew was born in Valparaiso on November 15, 1877. Educated in the city's public schools, he entered the Chicago College of Dental Surgery and received his D.D.S. in 1909. He established a practice in Valparaiso, later moved to Chicago, and then returned. He then discontinued his practice to enter the undertaking business with his father. He married Cora Louise, daughter of Alfred and Octavia (Hawkins) Bannister of Valparaiso, in 1912; Cora was a graduate of the department of music at Valparaiso University, and she was a founder of the local Tri Kappa chapter. Charles Leroy entered local politics and served as mayor from 1935 to 1943. He retired from business in 1950 and died December 18, 1960. Cora followed on July 15, 1972.

Charles Robert Bartholomew was their only child, born December 19, 1921 -- the same day of the year as his mother. He graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1940, having attended Kemper Military Academy in Booneville, Missouri, briefly. For two years he attended Valparaiso University before enlisting in the U. S. Navy. He served until 1948, and was stationed on Saipan for six months. On September 26, 1943, he married Irene Florence, daughter of Marcel and Sophie (Szlegier) Borkowski of New Bedford, Massachusetts; Irene received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Valparaiso University. C. Robert entered the funeral business in 1949 after graduating from the Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago, Illinois. He is a member of the National Funeral Directors' Association, the Indiana Funeral Directors' Association, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Elks, Masons, and the Loyal Order of Moose. Irene has taught at Morgan Township High School since 1968. He and Irene have four children: Charles Michael, a graduate of Wabash College and the University of Maryland College of Journalism; Robin Dale; Stephen Paul, a graduate of Worshaw Mortuary College and Valparaiso's first registered Emergency Medical Technician; and John Christopher.

Stephen Paul Bartholomew has entered the funeral business with his father at the firm's present location (since 1946) at the corner of Indiana and Monroe. They currently conduct over 120 funerals a year and maintain an ambulance fully equipped for transport of emergency cases.

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 79

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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