Tuesday, March 19, 2013

1880s Autograph Album of Clara Henriette Boericke of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


1880s/1890s autograph album presented to Clara Boericke of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by her father, homeopathic physician Dr. Francis Oscar Boericke.



I think the 1846 on the page above represents a street address, as it was also used by one of Clara's brothers, though the page is so faint it's very hard to read.

Clara herself signed her name on a page in the album and inscribed a message to future signers on another page.  She also made a few notes throughout the album as to signers' marriage and death dates.




The album is approximately 6-1/4" x 4" and contains nearly 40 pages signed by Clara herself, her relatives and friends, plus several illustrations of butterflies and flowers interspersed throughout.  An alphabetical list of signers appears at the end of this post.




From online research and from the clues of family members who signed pages in Clara's album: [corrections and additions welcome]

Clara Henriette Boericke was born 15 February 1870 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Dr. Francis Oscar Boericke [Franz Oskar Boericke] and his wife Henrietta (Jaenig) Boericke.

Her parents were both immigrants to Pennsylvania from Saxony.  They had at least five children: Clara Henriette, the album owner; Selma; Oscar E.; Jessie G.; and Alexis Edward.  Both Oscar and Alexis became involved in medicine, either as a doctor or a druggist.

Dr. Boericke was apparently married before and had at least one child from that first marriage, William Boericke, who became a homeopathic doctor at San Francisco.

Clara's uncle, Dr. Francis Edmund Boericke, was also a noted homeopathic practitioner, as well as a druggist and publisher.

Clara's brothers William Boericke and Oscar Boericke shared a page in her album, signed at San Francisco, California, on 1 March 1899.



Brother Oscar E. Boericke had earlier signed a page by himself, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 1 January 1888.



Clara's sister Selma Boericke signed two pages, one of them undated and one signed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 20 December 1880.





Clara's brother Alexis Edward Boericke signed two pages, one of them very faint and signed in 1891 and the other signed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 29 February 1896, Leap Day.




Clara's sister Jessie G. Boericke signed a page on 29 February 1892. [A coincidence, or was Leap Day meaningful to this family?]



Several of the signers indicated they were in the Class of 1888 at G.N.S., which was a Normal School, presumably in the Philadelphia area.  

Laura Bridger of the Class of 1888 at G.N.S. signed a page on 11 June 1889.  Clara added a note that Laura died on 24 February 1891 [the last digit of the year is smeared, so it might not be 1891.]



In the 1900 Census, Clara was working as a bookkeeper, possibly in one of the businesses of her extended family.

On 15 September 1902 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Clara married Adolf Theodore Liebert, son of Charles Henry Liebert and Wilhelmina (Landenberger) Liebert.  Adolf was born 7 January 1882 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Adolf was worked as a drug salesman and may have met Clara through her extended family's businesses.  Clara and Adolf had at least two children, a son and a daughter.  Adolf died in 1955, and Clara died in 1957.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Alphabetical list of signers: [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]


  • Bella G., signed at G.N.S. on 19 May 1886
  • Carrie, signed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 18 May 1886
  • Initials C. H. B.; written on one of the several illustrated pages interspersed throughout the album
  • "Dick, your loving dove"; signed in 1886.  Dick signed on one of the pages with an illustration of a pond scene with a water lily, cattails and butterflies
  • "Sister" Blanche, signed on 16 September 1890
  • Laura K. Baker, signed at G.N.S. in March 1887
  • Rhoda Bareford, signed at G.N.S. on 14 March 1887
  • Lillie Barnes signed facing pages on 10 June 1889 and drew a sketch of pansies on the left page
  • Laura C. Barnes, Class of '88, G.N.S., signed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 11 June 1889
  • Ella Barnett, Class of '88, signed at G.N.S., on 11 June 1889
  • Agnes J. Biggerstaff, Class of '88, G.N.S., signed on 10 June 1887 [or 1889] "Last day"
  • Clara Boericke of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; album owner.  The album was given to her by her father Francis Oscar Boericke.  Clara signed her name on one page and inscribed a message to future signers on another
  • Francis Oscar Boericke signed the presentation page
  • Alexis Edward Boericke, signed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 7 February 1891.  He also signed the following page on 29 February 1896.  He was Clara's younger brother
  • Selma Boericke, Clara's younger sister
  • Jessie G. Boericke, signed on 29 February 1892; Clara's younger sister
  • Oscar Boericke shared a page with his brother William.  They signed at San Francisco, California, on 1 March 1899.
  • William Boericke shared a page with his brother Oscar.  They signed at San Francisco, California, on 1 March 1899.
  • Selma Boericke, "your loving sister", signed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 20 December 1880
  • "Your Brother O. E. B., signed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 1 January 1888.  Has date of 11 December 1885 in lower left corner.  Oscar E. Boericke
  • Helen V. Bowman, signed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 21 March 1887
  • Laura Bridger, Class of '88, signed at G. N. S. on 11 June 1889
  • Corinne Buchanan, signed at G. N. S. on 13 June 1889
  • Gertie Butterworth, signed at G.N.S. on 28 March 1887
  • Anna Esslinger, signed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 14 October 1884
  • Lizzie Geisz, signed 14 October 1884
  • Bertha Katz, signed on 10 October 1884
  • Lillie Krouse, signed on 14 October 1884
  • Julia Little, signed on 16 October 1884
  • Walter S. March, signed on 21 January 1886
  • Laura Miller, signed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 14 October 1884
  • Bertha Steffelin, signed on 24 September 1884
  • Daisy Sylvester of Madelia, Minnesota, signed on 8 September 1890.  Clara, presumably, added "Married Sept. 17, '90"


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


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