John W Lemke (1897-1919)

From LGBTQIA+ Archives

John William Lemke (December 9th, 1897 to October 19th, 1919) was born in Manhattan in the United States and lived in Flushings Queens. They were found deceased in 1919; the authorities ruled their cause of death a suicide. Lemke was possibly transgender or gender non-binary, their body was discovered wearing clothes typically worn on the opposite sex. Lemke is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

Lemke was discharged from the Navy Reserve in April or May of 1919, according to the New York Tribune, and then continued to work for their father's business Saxhauer & Lemke in Long Island.


Gallery

  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the New York Tribune first reports on the death of Lemke, continued in a second article on page four. (October 20th, 1919)
  • The above, continued. (October 20th, 1919)
  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the New York Tribune publishes on the death of Lemke.
  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the Norwich Bulletin reports a Miss Ellen Bellows identified an article of clothing possessed by Lemke. (November 14th, 1919)
  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the Evening World publishes an article describing how Lemke may have brought women's attire onto boat without being noticed. (November 21st, 1919)
  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the New York Tribune reports on the inquiry into Lemke's death.
  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the New York Tribune describes witness Mrs. Rubin suggesting Lemke tried on bloomers at a clothing attire shop. (November 22nd, 1919)
  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the Evening World describes the investigation of Lemke's sister surrounding Lemke's death. (November 25th, 1919)
  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the New York Tribune publishes an article on the investigation into Lemke's death. (November 25th, 1919)
  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the New York Tribune reports on witness Rose Manley who dated Lemke. (December 12th, 1919)
  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the Norwich Bulletin describes the suicide or murder of someone with the birth name John W. Lemke who was found cross-dressed after their death. (December 12th, 1919)
  • Library of Congress, Chronicling America, the Bridgeport Times publishes an opinion about "shocking aberrations", attributing Lemke's state of mind to their death and expression. (December 12th, 1919)