As we saw in my last post, the years after the Civil War were years of both personal and financial growth for H.H. Mansbach and his family. The first decade of the twentieth century presented many changes and challenges for the Mansbach family, some happy, some not. Here again is a family sheet for H.H.:
On January 8, 1902, the third daughter Bertha Mansbach married David Loewenstein of New York. David was a German immigrant who was in the clothing business. From the wedding announcement I am inferring that he had a brother Charles and sister Rose, but I’ve not been able to find out much else about him or his family.
David and Bertha were married in Cumberland followed by an “elaborate supper.” According to the wedding announcement in the January 9, 1902, Baltimore Sun (p.10), at that time Bertha’s sister Fannie and her husband Daniel Broh were living in Akron, Ohio. The wedding announcement also indicated that Bertha’s sister Hattie and her husband Milton Hirschman were still living in Morgantown, West Virginia, in January, 1902.
Missing from this list of guests was Isaac Mansbach, Bertha’s younger brother. By 1902, Isaac Mansbach had joined his parents and sister May in Cumberland, Maryland, where he was practicing law, according to the 1902 Cumberland directory. Why wasn’t he listed at his sister’s wedding? More on that below.
In October, 1903, Charles Milton Mansbach married Regina Rosenbaum in Cumberland. Once again, it appears to have been quite an elaborate occasion.
In 1905 Charles was working as a bookkeeper in the Hirsch family business (his mother’s family) in Cumberland.
That made six weddings for the Mansbach siblings between 1893 and 1905, three of them in the last four years. Only Isaac and May had not yet married.
In 1907 Fannie (Mansbach) and Daniel Broh were living in Fairmont, West Virginia; according to the 1907 Fairmont directory, Daniel was in the shoe business. George and Bessie were also living in Fairmont, though George was still in business with his brother Louis; perhaps he ran the family store in Fairmont. Thus, in 1907, two of the eight Mansbach children were still in West Virginia.
Two other siblings had moved to Norfolk, Virginia by 1907. Louis and his wife Clara were in Norfolk in 1907 as were Charles and his wife Regina. Charles and Louis owned a clothing store in Norfolk called The Hub that was in business for many years.
Meanwhile, H.H. and Nannie continued to live in Cumberland, Maryland, with their youngest child, May, in 1907.
I could not locate the whereabouts of three of the eight Mansbach children between 1902 and 1907: Bertha (also known as Bertie) Mansbach Loewenstein, Hattie Mansbach Hirschman, and Isaac Mansbach, the son who had become a lawyer. I learned where Bertha and Hattie were living in 1907 when I found this sad article:
Mrs. Nannie Mansbach, wife of Mr. H.H. Mansbach, died suddenly this morning at 6 o’clock at the Mansbach residence, No. 8 Park street.
Mrs. Mansbach was slightly indisposed some two weeks ago, but had recovered and was feeling in her usual good health when she retired last evening.
This morning at 5:30 o’clock Mrs. Mansbach aroused her husband, saying that she was suffering considerable misery. A physician was hastily summoned, but to no avail, as Mrs. Mansbach passed away a few minutes later. Death was due to heart failure.
Mrs. Mansbach was 60 years of age and was a Miss Hirsch prior to her marriage.
Mrs. Mansbach’s death came as a great blow to her husband, who is almost prostrate from the shock.
The deceased was one of the best known women in Cumberland. She was of an amiable and charitable disposition, and her sudden death caused a shock to pervade the entire community and surrounding territory, as she had as unusually large acquaintance.
The greatest portion of her life was spent in this city [Cumberland], although some years were spent in Wheeling and Piedmont, while her husband who is a tailor, was engaged in business in those places. Besides her husband she is survived by the following children: Messrs. Louis and Charles Mansbach, Norfolk, Va.; Mrs. Milton Hirschman, Morgantown; Mrs. Fannie Brode [sic[, and George Mansbach, Fairmont, W.Va.; Mrs. David Lowenstein [sic], New York city, and Miss May Mansbach, who resides at home. ….
What a terrible loss this must have been for H.H. and all of the Mansbach children.
I found a few things of particular interest in the obituary. First, the article describes H.H. as a tailor—in the present tense. Although H.H. may have started out as a tailor, by 1907 he was well-known as a very successful merchant, as the 1893 Piedmont Dispatch profile of him had reported. Second, the obituary revealed that Bertha and David Loewenstein were living in New York City, that Hattie and Milton Hirschman were living in Morgantown, West Virginia, and also confirmed the residence location of five of the six other children.
But one child is missing from the list of survivors—Isaac, the Mansbach’s youngest son who had become a lawyer. He also had not been listed as a guest at his sister Bertha’s wedding. Why would he not have been included? The one record I could find for Isaac between the date of the 1900 census and his mother’s death was the listing of him as a lawyer in the 1902 Cumberland directory. Where had he gone from there?The 1910 census provided updates on most of the family. Four of the eight Mansbach siblings were now in Norfolk, Virginia. Louis and his wife Clara were living in Norfolk in a lodging house of some sort; Louis was still in the dry goods business with his brother Charles. Charles and his wife Regina and their four year old daughter Elaine were also living in Norfolk. Fannie and her husband Daniel Broh and daughter Doris had now moved from West Virginia to Norfolk; Daniel listed his occupation as the proprietor of a dry goods business. I don’t know whether he was in business with his brothers-in-law, Louis and Charles, or in his own store.
The family patriarch, H.H. Mansbach, and his youngest child, May, who was now 23, were also living in Norfolk in 1910; although I could not locate them on the 1910 census, they were listed as living at 140 Main Street in Norfolk in the 1910 city directory. That is the same address given for Fannie and Daniel Broh on the 1910 census yet H.H. and May were not listed in their household.
The other children were more dispersed. Hattie and her husband Milton Hirschman and their children were living in New York City where Milton was a real estate broker in 1910. Bertha (Birdie) and her husband David Loewenstein and their son were also living in New York City where David was working as an underwear salesman.
George Mansbach was harder to find as for some reason he is listed as George W. Harris on the 1910 census, living in Providence, Rhode Island, working as a clothing merchant. I only concluded this was the right George based on his birth place in the census (West Virginia), his parents’ birthplaces (Germany), his age and occupation, and because I found George W. Mansbach listed in the Providence, Rhode Island, directories for several years starting in 1911.
That left only Isaac, the son who was missing from the list of those attending his sister’s Bertha’s wedding in 1902 and from the list of surviving children on his mother’s obituary in 1907. I learned of his whereabouts from the 1910 census; Isaac was a patient at the Springfield State Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Sykesville, Maryland. From later census reports through 1940, it appears that he remained there for the rest of his life.My further research of the family in 1910 revealed sad news. On October 28, 1910, Clara Nathan Mansbach, wife of Louis Mansbach, died at age 36. She died in Clifton Springs, New York, according to this death notice from the October 30, 1910 (p. 6) Baltimore Sun:
Since Louis and Clara had been living in Norfolk at the time of the 1910 census just months before, I was surprised to see this as her place of death. But research revealed that Clifton Springs was the location of a well-known “water cure” sanitarium. Clifton Springs was once known as Sulfur Springs and had become a place where people came to recover their health. Although I don’t know what ailment Clara suffered from, she apparently had been ill for some time. Perhaps she had never really recovered from the loss of her baby daughter Frances in 1899.Thus, the years 1900 to 1910 brought more weddings and children to the family, but also some losses and difficult challenges. What would the next decade bring for H.H. Mansbach and his family? More on that in my next post.