1917: The Death Of Kasper Rzeszut

In the April 25, 1917 edition of The Hartford Courant it was reported that the day prior Mrs. Casper Zessnt was taken to the hospital suffering from pneumonia. Unfortunately the reporter didn’t get the facts quite right. It was actually Mr. Kasper Zesut who was taken to the hospital.

Kasper Rzeszut Is Taken To The Hospital April 24, 1917

SOURCE: Glastonbury, The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, April 25, 1917, page 17


Mrs. Casper Zessnt has pneumonia and has been taken to a hospital.


The following day the April 26, 1917 edition reported that Kasper had died.


Kasper Rzeszut Has Died April 25, 1917

SOURCE: Glastonbury, The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, April 26, 1917, page7


Kasper Jesut, who was sent to the Hartford Hospital Tuesday morning, died of pneumonia yesterday morning. He was 47 years old.


The April 28, 1917 edition gave a description of Kasper’s funeral.


Kasper Rzeszut’s Funeral

SOURCE: Glastonbury, The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, April 28, 1917, page6


The funeral of Kasper Zessut was held at 9 o’clock yesterday morning at St. Paul’s Church. Rev Denis F. Baker officiated. The bearers were Jacob V, Frank R, John Wilk, Joseph Kondal, Anthony K. The members of Lodge No. 311 Three Rose Slavonic Society, of Glastonbury, attended in a body. Burial was in St. Augustine’s Cemetery, South Glastonbury.

I didn’t realize Kasper had such Glastonbury clout to warrant three separate mentions in the Hartford Courant. I’d never really considered that he’d have friends or belong to an ethnic society of any kind. It also opens the door into further research.

His was the first family death the family experienced while living in America.

He passed away in Hartford, CT but a copy of his death certificate was made and sent to the Glastonbury, CT town hall. I located the copy there. Following is Kasper’s death certificate, click on it to view a zoomable version.

Kasper Rzeszut Death Cert - 1917

SOURCE: The State Of Connecticut Bureau Of Vital Statistics. Standard Certificate of Death. City of Glastonbury. 1917. Volume 11. Page 29. Certificate D3-68 .

State Of Connecticut Bureau Of Vital Statistics

Medical Certificate Of Death

  • 1. Full Name Of Deceased: Kasper Zesut
  • 2. Primary Cause Of Death: Lobar Pneumonia
  • 3. Duration: 4 Days
  • 4. Secondary Cause Of Death: Alcoholic Poisoning
  • 5. Duration: blank

This portion of the certificate is dated April 25, 1917 and was signed by Kasper’s doctor at Hartford Hospital. This certificate is a copy of the certificate sent to Glastonbury from Hartford and does not have actual signatures on it.

Undertakers Certificate – Personal & Statistical

  • 1. Full Name Of Deceased: Kasper Zesut
  • 2. Place Of Death – Town: Hartford – Hartford Hospital
  • 3. Number Of Families In House: blank
  • 4. Residence At Time Of Death: Glastonbury, CT
  • 5. Occupation: Factory Hand
  • 6. Condition: Married
  • 8. Date Of Death: April 25, 1917
  • 9. Date Of Birth: 1871
  • 10. Age: 46
  • 11. Sex: Male
  • 12. Color: White
  • 13. Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: Austria
  • 14. Father’s Name In Full: Adam Zesut
  • 15. Father’s Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: Austria
  • 16. Mother’s Maiden Name: Don’t Know
  • 17. Mother’s Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: blank
  • 18. Place Of Burial: Glastonbury, CT Cemetery: St. Augustine’s
  • 19. Name Of Informant: Anthony Zesut Address: 53 Concord St. Glastonbury
  • 20. Was Body Embalmed : Yes If So, Name Of Embalmer: Eugene Charbonneau License No. 626

Certificate is signed by undertaker Peter Talarski at 150 Governor St.

From the Wikipedia entry for Pneumonia:

A lobar pneumonia is an infection that only involves a single lobe, or section, of a lung. Individuals with underlying illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, tobacco smoking, alcoholism, or immune system problems are at increased risk for pneumonia. These individuals are also more likely to have repeated episodes of pneumonia.

  • The personal information on the certificate was provided by Kasper’s oldest son Anthony who was 21 years old at the time.
  • We learn that Kasper was born in 1871 and the his father’s name is Adam.
  • Anthony did not know Kasper’s mother’s name.
  • Anthony did not know Kasper’s birth town or the month and day of his birth and considered Kasper’s birth country to be Austria.
  • Prior to this document we only knew Anthony and his wife Victoria were living on Concord St but did not know the street number. This certificate confirms his address as 53 Concord St.

Without firsthand or anecdotal knowledge it’s difficult to gauge the impact Kasper’s death had on the family. Based on documented records we know that he left behind:

His wife Anna – age 46.

His Son Anthony – Age 21

His daughter Julia Pendrok – age 18

His son Joseph – Age 17

His son Michael – Age 16

His son Frank – Age 8

His son William – Age 7

His daughter Mary – Age 3

We can only speculate on the difficulties Anna would face while raising a number of young children without the primary bread winner around.

In the fall of 2007 I went to St. Augustine’s cemetery because I had read that there were Zesut’s interred there. I never found a marker for Kasper but did find the Zesut family plots. I drove up the street to St. Augustine’s office to ask about the location of Kasper’s plot because his death certificate indicated he was buried there. The office clerk found the index card indicating that Kasper was indeed buried in the Zesut family plot but that there was no headstone. I would learn that his was one of four unmarked graves at the Zesut plot.


St. Augustine Cemetery - Glastonbury, CT


Zesut Family Plot Marker - St. Augustine Cemetery


Kasper Rzeszut


3 Responses to “1917: The Death Of Kasper Rzeszut”

  1. Carol Thibeault Says:

    Wow – This is powerful stuff.

  2. Lenora Thibeault Says:

    Nice job, Elliot.

  3. Carol Thibeault Says:

    Just reread the Wikipedia part about pneumonia. I also wonder if there is something about pneumonia that might be hereditary. After all, I had pneumonia in my 20s, Elliot had pneumonia as a teen, and I think other members of my family also had pneumonia (Lenora?). From what I can tell, none of us are alcoholics! ; )

    When we look back at our ancestors it’s difficult to think that they had lives other than just being home and going to work. It’s nice to know that Zesuts had friends, too! Imagine that!

    All this new information, Elliot – just when you thought you were going to eventually run out of things! You are amazing. Thank you.

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