Week Five at BROAD STREET Magazine: Wondering About A Violent and Mysterious Death

Some of my relatives whose lives I wrote about in my chapbook Kin Types were heroic, but for week five at BROAD STREET magazine, I discuss the research for family history that is not heroic. Instead, I found it to be devastating.

The Family Kalamazoo

This is the fifth week that the beautiful creative nonfiction journal Broad Street magazine has published one of the pieces from my chapbook Kin Types along with documents and photographs that helped me piece together these old family stories.

This week is about Louise Noffke’s death and the family history (including domestic violence) that surrounded that tragic event. Read it at Family Laundry: “Half-Naked Woman Found Dead,” by Luanne Castle

Louise was buried with her husband Charles Noffke, my great-grandmother’s brother. The “together forever” headstone is a bit ironic considering one of the newspaper articles that I uncovered.

This next is the headstone of the daughter of Louise and Charles. She is also mentioned in the Broad Street article.

The first feature article is “Family Laundry: “An Account of a Poor Oil Stove Bought off Dutch Pete,” by Luanne Castle

The second feature article is Family Laundry 2:…

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Filed under Family history, History, Kin Types, Nonfiction, Poetry, Publishing, Writing

14 responses to “Week Five at BROAD STREET Magazine: Wondering About A Violent and Mysterious Death

  1. Oh my goodness Luanne, that is a harrowing story. One thing I do know for sure is that most of those born into families where alcohol and violence are the norm, grow to replicate the pattern. It makes me wonder if the son turned on his mother in the end.

    • Yes, very harrowing. I know you are right about replication. I really hope it isn’t true about Herman’s family. Maybe Mary was able to handle all those boys and they all turned out well. I don’t suspect Herman at all in the mother’s death. My belief is that he beat up his father because he was protecting his mother. And then he was married with children when his mother died. What we can’t know is if the mother had any mental illness, which is another possibility. I wish I could figure out how to find out more about the investigation and what they discovered. Probably not possible this far out.

      • I am relieved to hear your further thoughts on the family Luanne – I hope you can uncover some more about the investigation. If it was carried out there must be records somewhere. I wouldn’t know where to start. I think it is also interesting and intriguing when someone reaches through time to touch your heart and pique your interest – we all have a story! I do hope something turns up for you.

  2. What a sad–but probably not uncommon–story. I hope you’re able to find out more details, Luanne. Quite a case of indigestion.

  3. Quite a story, Luanne. Too bad there is no result of the investigation.

  4. What a story, Luanne. I can’t imagine discovering these articles.

    • Awful, isn’t it? The newspaper articles that I’ve found on this branch of the family is so different from the ones on the other branches of my family! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving, Jill. I think about you and your parents quite often. I hope they are doing as well as possible.

  5. What awful revelations, Luanne

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