Family:John Becker and Sophia Polkow (2)

Facts and Events
Marriage[1][2][8] 13 Mar 1895 Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
Residence[10] 6 Apr 1906 Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States5045 S. Justine


John and Sophie lived their adult lives on the south side of Chicago. John Becker was living at 5946 Laflin when he died.

When she died, Sophie lived at 7000 S. Maplewood. This isn’t far from the Laflin address. It is just about a mile further southwest. Sophie’s daughter Charlotte would much later spend a few years living just a few blocks south of Marquette Park. Charlotte and oldest daughter Olga also spent many years living on Ashland Avenue, near Foster park. Her grandchildren would also live in this area. Charlotte’s son Bill lived in the O’Halloran park area and her son Mick lived near Marquette Park. Daughter Adele and grandson Lewis lived around Oak Lawn IL, at around 90th and Cicero.

Memories of grandson Lewis Ahner

Lewis Russell Ahner Jr, grandson of John and Sophie remembers that the Polkows came from a region in Germany near the Polish border. He remembers going to visit Polkows in Ohio as a boy.S7 Further research has shown that this was his Uncle Louis Polkow, in Mahoning. Louis is Sophie’s younger brother.

Memories of grandson Bill Black

Grandson William "Bill" Black provides some anecdotes in an interview.S6

  • When Bill was 8 years old Grandma Becker (Sophie Polkow) came to live with them so that his mother (Charlotte) could go to work. In the few years she lived with them she taught Bill how to play Poker, Pinochle, and Solitaire. Bill would help with his grandma when she sick, playing cards with her. She later moved out and lived with Bill and Olga Thomson.
  • Aunt Adele, Alma, and Olga all tried to spoil Bill as much as possible. He would ride out on his bicycle to see Adele and Lew Ahner Sr. who lived in Oak Lawn, have lunch with them, spend the day and then ride back home. Aunt Becky (Alma) lived in Oregon and Bill would spend the summers from age 13-15 with her and Uncle Jack (Reed). Jack Reed was a real character. They lived on a hill and Jack would sit there, playing the organ and their Doberman Pinscher who would howl along with him. The two together were quite a sight. Jack's aunt was Belle Starr (a famous outlaw). His brothers had a big ranch in Wyoming. His other brother had a big ranch in California that Bill got to go to. City slicker Bill learned a lot on the ranch. He learned how to ride a horse, how to rope a calf, how to cut & bale hay, and how to slop hogs and feed chickens. Uncle Jack was very big on manners. When Bill came back from a summer with them his mother was amazed at his behavior. In the 3 summers Bill spent out there with them Aunt Becky taught him how to drive a 1935 Chevy Pickup with a stick shift on the floor.
Image Gallery
  1. Cheryl Ahner. Charles Cunningham Black Family History: Transcribed by Cheryl Ahner. (E-Mail, Fri Oct 4, 2002), 2002.
  2. John Becker - Sophie Polkow Marriage Certificate. (Marriage Certificate), 1895.
    Marriage Certificate
  3.   1900 US Federal Population Census: Chicago Ward 30, Cook County, Illinois, 1900.
  4.   1910 US Federal Population Census: 29-Wd Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, 1910.
  5.   1920 US Federal Population Census: Chicago Ward 31, Cook County, Illinois, 1920.
  6.   William (Bill) Black. William (Bill) Black Interview. (Interviews, 1998-2002), 2002.
  7.   Lewis Ahner Interview. (Lewis Ahner, 1999), 2005.
  8. Illinois State Archives Polkow Marriages, 1895.
    Marriage Record
  9.   Chicago Tribune. Becker Polkow Wedding Announcement, 1895.
  10. Charlotte Becker Black Birth Certificate, Name Of Person: Charlotte Becker. (Birth Certificate).