Posted by: George | November 8, 2016

Voting and Immigrants and My Grandfather

Henry Jensen, my grandfather, was not born at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

This needs a little explanation. He was born in Denmark. In 1884, Peter Jensen, his father, my great-grandfather, packed up the family and crossed the Atlantic to the United States. Peter became a citizen in 1890, but for some reason Henry never went through the paperwork. He was a cowboy and a pioneer. Guess he didn’t have the time to get to town much.

But he did vote, which scared the hell out of Musa, his wife, my grandmother. So, Musa, a smart woman, told him to put his place of birth down as Cook County Hospital, Chicago, Illinois.

Why? She knew there was a big fire in Chicago in 1871, which would have probably destroyed the record of my grandfather’s birth, had he actually been born at Cook County Hospital.

When I lived in Chicago, from 1979 to 1983, I worked two blocked from Cook County Hospital. Whenever Cook County came up in conversation, I would always tell people, with pride, that my grandfather was not born at Cook County.

“Huh?” they would respond. Then, I would tell them the story about my grandfather voting.

If I told this story to Donald Trump, he would probably say, “See, I am right. These damn immigrants are voting illegally. Have been for generations.”

My grandfather paid his taxes. He loved this country. He voted. I don’t think he ever threw an election one way or another. I am okay with all this.

However, here is proof that my great-grandfather voted legally. So, Donald, we aren’t all illegals.




  1. I love seeing that on your wall. Our family immigrated from Norway and Germany at the turn of the 20th century as well. I wish Inknew more about them, but I only have two aunts alive on my mother’s side and no aunts or uncles on my father’s side. I admire that you have worked to preserve your family history.


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