More Weddings, More Funerals: The Mansbach Family 1900-1910

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.:

family-harry-h-mansbach-page-001

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.

bertha-mansbach-david-loewenstein-wedding-announcement-1902

Baltimore Sun, January 9, 1902, p. 10

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.

Baltimore Sun, October 29, 1903, p.10

Baltimore Sun, October 29, 1903, p.10

In 1905 Charles was working as a bookkeeper in the Hirsch family business (his mother’s family) in Cumberland.

In October 1905, George Mansbach married Bessie Frank of Baltimore, Maryland; they settled in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Baltimore Sun, October 26, 1905, p. 7

Baltimore Sun, October 26, 1905, p. 7

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:

Cumberland Evening Times, October 11, 1907, p. 1

Cumberland Evening Times, October 11, 1907, p. 1

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?

1902 Cumberland, MD, directory Title : Cumberland, Maryland, City Directory, 1902 Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

1902 Cumberland, MD, directory
Title : Cumberland, Maryland, City Directory, 1902
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

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 Helene 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.

George Mansbach ("Harris"), 1910 US census Year: 1910; Census Place: Providence Ward 4, Providence, Rhode Island; Roll: T624_1443; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0187; FHL microfilm: 1375456

George Mansbach (“Harris”), 1910 US census
Year: 1910; Census Place: Providence Ward 4, Providence, Rhode Island; Roll: T624_1443; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0187; FHL microfilm: 1375456

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.

Springfield State Hospital By Acroterion (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Springfield State Hospital
By Acroterion (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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:

clara-nathan-death-notice-1910

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.

Clifton Springs Sanitarium By Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States (Clifton Springs, New York) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Clifton Springs Sanitarium
By Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States (Clifton Springs, New York) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

 

16 thoughts on “More Weddings, More Funerals: The Mansbach Family 1900-1910

    • Since he was living as a boarder, my guess is that someone gave the wrong name OR he was using a less German sounding name (or less Jewish sounding?). Or someone had really bad hearing!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your mention of life in a sanitarium brought up a few thoughts. Would be interesting to know what exactly happened inside those walls (I refer to treatment), and what “conditions” people were diagnosed with in order to live there. That’s a completely different issue, but I wonder about this when family members “disappear.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those are good questions, and I wish I knew how to find the answers. When it’s a TB sanitarium, the answers are more obvious. But just what was the water cure for? I should go see what I can learn. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder if records were kept about who was in residence. ?? I doubt it, but when someone is missing from family records in a time when people were sent to places to live/heal/get better, I wonder if some may have been at a place like that. The stigmas associated with that may have prevented family from talking about it. Could be something to check. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I also sometimes think that—and sometimes I’ve actually found people as patients in such institutions, as with Isaac Mansbach. But I’ve never seen actual records from these institutions regarding the patients. I assume privacy laws today prevent that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fire? It was disheartening how many fires I read about in the late 1800s when I researched my great great grandfather’s family. House fires, businesses, and barns.

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  2. The description of Bessie’s wedding attire sounds beautiful. I hope you locate a photo some day that will add to the information you already have. She must have been beautiful!

    Nannie’s obit gives us some insights into how well thought of she was in the community. It’s a real find when little details like the ones I mention here are part of the discoveries amidst the factual data. They really help bring the spirit of the person closer to us in the present. By this I mean you can sense something about the occasion or the person’s character.

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  3. This was such am awesome moving post Amy. I am convinced I must renew my newspaper subscription now. I was so upset to read Isaac was in Springfield State Hospital in Maryland, and saddened to think that maybe no one came to see him….then there is Clara~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sharon. It was hard to read that he wasn’t listed as a survivor in his mother’s obituary. And yes, poor Clara. All the business success in the world can’t guarantee happiness.

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  4. Pingback: The Legacy of H.H. Mansbach: Motherless Boy, Civil War Hero, Father of Eight,and Successful Merchant | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  5. Pingback: My Kentucky Cousins | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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