Elizabeth Emma Schweisfurth, GW#96
Elizabeth was born on 18 February 1880 in Philadelphia, PA to George and Elizabeth “Lisette” (Yungst) Schweisfurth. Elizabeth was the last child born to her parents and the only one born in the United States; the others were born in Germany. Sadly, Elizabeth’s mother died in 1884 when the Gospel Worker Elizabeth was still a preschooler. It is possible that Elizabeth’s father never remarried. In 1910 he was living in the “Old Man’s Home” in Philadelphia. His location in 1900 remains unknown. However, in 1900, Elizabeth appears in the census in the home of her brother Rudolph and his family. She is working in a hosiery mill, operating a knitting machine. Apparently she wanted a more fulfilling life. In 1910 she is the matron of “Faith Home” on 2321 N. 6th Street in Philadelphia. There are only three other people living in the house. By 1913 she joined the Gospel Worker Society; she is listed in the Cleveland, Ohio city directory at 76 Public Square for that year. She appears in the 1920 Cleveland city directory at the same address but does not appear in the census at that address for 1920. Elizabeth appears in a photograph with Annie Spellman’s group, but does not appear in a census with them, either. In the 1925 Jacksonville, Florida city directory there appears an Elizabeth E Sweisfurth, working as a stenographer at a loan company. In 1926 and 1927, Elizabeth appears in the Tampa, Florida city directory as working as a teacher at Faith Mission. In 1930 Elizabeth is in Chicago with Leah Horne and Mamie Fox, working as Missionaries. She does not stay long, though, for in 1936 she appears in San Bernadino, California in the voter registration list, working as a bookkeeper. In the 1940 census she is listed as an inmate at the Home of Peace (Home for Needy) in Oakland, California (and we learn that she had three years of high school). She appears in city directories and voter registration lists in that area from 1941-1944, and listed as “companion.” At some point she lands in Warminster, Pennsylvania at Christ’s Home, an orphanage and now also a retirement community. She died there on 10 December 1963 and is buried in the cemetery there. Her occupation listed on her death certificate is Missionary at “Christ’s Church.” Were all of these findings for the same Elizabeth E. Schweisfurth? The name is unusual and quite rare, even with the variant spellings. Also, many of the entries include the middle initial “E.” It is likely that all those records are indeed the same restless person.