Blickensderfer and related families - Person Sheet
Blickensderfer and related families - Person Sheet
NameBeatrice Mary BERNHARDT
Birth17 Jul 1909, Duluth, St. Louis County, MN
Death17 Jan 2008, Duluth, St. Louis County, MN
FatherJoseph BERNHARDT (1886-1929)
MotherIda Emeline SCHLENDER (1886-1967)
Birth22 Jun 1906, Chicago, Cook County, IL
Death25 Jul 1998, Duluth, St. Louis County, MN
FatherFrank William MARTIN (1873-1963)
MotherViolet MILLER (1871-1956)
Marriage24 Jun 1932, California, USA
Notes for Beatrice Mary BERNHARDT
How did Beatrice Bernhardt meet Clifford Martin?

by Emily Martin Clary

On July 7, 1928, Bea was just nineteen years old. A young woman had be careful and Bea wanted to go out and stroll on the public beach nearby. Her cousin Mildred was a very close friend and could always be counted on to keep her company. It was a hot, muggy evening, a typical Chicago night in mid summer. As the two young ladies strolled along the beach, two young men approached them. One of these men, a handsome, smiling Tommy Cosgrove, took it upon himself to introduce Clifford and himself to the young women. Clifford was the other man, the one who didn't smile so easily, though he was rather dark and mysterious looking. Bea gave him a cursory glance, but was intrigued with Tommy, who ordered Cliff to walk with Mildred. Tommy was definitely interested in Bea. She secretly admitted that his auburn hair, dark brown eyes and infectious smile made her heart skip a beat. But wait, this is not the story. Bea had heard about Tommy Cosgrove, all the girls chased him because he was so cute. As the hour grew late, the four of them returned to Bea's house. Since her parents were at home, listening to the radio, they all gathered on the back porch and exchanged more stories and laughter. When this intoxicating night finally ended, both young men expressed the hope that they would meet the ladies again soon.

Not long after this evening, Bea heard from Tommy that Cliff had told his frather that he was going to marry her. This news was a surprize to Bea and upsetting for Cliff's family because Bea was a Catholic. And being Catholic was not in her favor. But this was a time to be young and as the summer advanced, Tommy faded from the picture and Clifford began his courtship of the reluctant Beatrice. They enjoyed walks on the beach and talked and Cliff took her with him when he reported to the Armory on Friday evening for Army Reserve meetings. Cliff was not a very talkative man but he had several things in his favor. He had a car, his father's, and he had started a career working for the Post Office. In 1928, a young woman needed a man to depend on and Clifford was trying to show Beatrice that he was someone she could always count on.

The following year, in May, something horrible happened to the Bernhardt family which affected Bea for the rest of her life. Thomas Bernhardt, her beloved father, was killed in an automobile accident, hit by a drunk driver. Bea's life had been in an upheaval since before they moved to Chicago. Her father had lost his job and was unable to find work in Duluth, where she had grown up. She had dropped out of school and had gotten a job to help her family. But now she was trying to finish high school and graduation was only a month away. Bea was a strong determined woman and did graduate, unfortunately, without her father to share in the happy day. Then, from June of 1929 to June of 1932, Bea sold hats at Carson Perry, in Chicago, making $80 a month, to help her mother.

Bea had another boyfriend at this time, his name was Henry Hoffman and he was a Catholic and he wanted to marry her. So, was it only Clifford's persistence that won Bea's heart? Did she just want someone who would take care of her? I remember my grandmother telling the story of how Bea and Cliff were to be married when Cliff abruptly left for California with his mother. When Bea learned of this, she was shocked. She knew that her future mother-in-law didn't like her but that was not what she and Cliff had planned. He had even taken religious instructions in order to embrace her Catholic faith. Surely that meant he was serious about marrying her. Why did he leave without her? Grandma recalled how extremely upset Bea became when she heard the news. How she screamed with impatience and frustration and resolved that she and Cliff would get married. If Henry Hoffman loved Bea, perhaps he wanted her to have the man she wanted and Bea wanted Clifford. If was 'dear' Henry who took Bea to the bus station where she began her trip west. When Clifford and Beatrice were reunited in Los Angeles, love won the day. They were married on June 24, 1932. The ecomony was taking a serious downturn in the US. Before they returned to Chicago, the banks went broke and the depression had begun. The newlyweds began their life together living with Bea's mom, Ida Bernhardt, until she gave them money to put down on a house.

Luckily for these young people, Cliff had a good job with the Post Office which he was to keep for 35 years. They were to have nine children and move back to Duluth, Minnesota and raise their family.

Last Modified 15 Jul 2010Created 17 Aug 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh
This collection of files last generated on 17 Aug 2021.
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