Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part X: A Son’s Loving Tribute to His Mother

This is Part X of an ongoing series of posts based on the family album of Milton Goldsmith, so generously shared with me by his granddaughter Sue. See Part I, Part II, Part IIIPart IVPart VPart VI, Part VII , Part VIII,  and Part IX at the links.

This is by far the sweetest and saddest page in Milton Goldsmith’s album, a page dedicated to his beloved mother, Cecelia Adler Goldsmith, who died in 1874 when Milton was thirteen years old:

It reads:

Our beloved Mother, who alas, passed away too early and whose death brought not only sorrow, but all kinds of misfortune.

She was the only child of Samuel and Sarah Adler, was born in Germany, but arrived in Philadelphia at the age of one year.  She grew to womanhood, a very beautiful girl;- rather short in stature, round in figure, a head of brown ringlets, – a belle among the Jewesses of her day and circle. She had many admirers.  Father proposed to her over a plate of ice-cream on “Simchas Torah”, a Jewish holiday.  It was in every way a “Love-match” which was only terminated at her death.  She died of peritonitis, which to-day would be called Apendicitis [sic]. A perfect wife, – a wonderful mother, – A woman whose children call her blessed.

She died Nov. 8th 1874, at the age of 35 years. I was 13 at the time of her death, the oldest of six children.

It’s interesting to read what Milton thought was the cause of his mother’s death, which conflicts with her death certificate. According to the death certificate, she died from apoplexia nervosa:

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-69HW-K75?cc=1320976&wc=9F52-L29%3A1073307201 : 16 May 2014), 004010206 > image 874 of 1214; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

In the upper left corner, Milton inserted a piece of Cecelia’s wedding veil:

In the lower right corner, he inserted a piece of fabric from one of her ball gowns.

What a sweet and sentimental thing for a son to do. How devastated he and his father and siblings must have been when Cecelia died.

 

27 thoughts on “Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part X: A Son’s Loving Tribute to His Mother

    • That’s a good question, Debi. He was 13 when she died, but I believe he put together the album as an adult, given some of the later contents. So I would say long after his mother died. Exactly when is hard to say, but certainly after 1908 when his stepmother Frances died. He would have been in his 40s by then or even 50. He was almost 100 when he died in 1957 so it could have been anywhere in between 1908 and 1957!

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  1. Milton was very in tune with his emotions. Saving a piece of his. Mother’s gown and veil were ways to keep a tangible connection to her. This reminds me of the 19th century custom where a lock of hair from the departed was saved and kept inside a locket. Thete is also a quality in his albums that reminds me of scrapbooking.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part XI: Tributes to His Father Abraham | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  3. Pingback: Milton Goldsmith’s Family Album, Part XII: The Mystery of His Stepmother Francis | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  4. Pingback: Milton’s Family Album, Part XIII: The Creative Talent of Milton Goldsmith Himself | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  5. Pingback: Milton’s Family Album, Part XIV: Teasing His Little Brother | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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