Saturday, July 17, 2010

Charles Moser and Elizabeth


1900 U. S. Census


The 1900 Census almost provides more questions than answers. From this one document, we can conclude the following:
  • Charles and Elizabeth are still living in the family home at 218 W. 6th Street in Covington.
  • They have been married for 13 years.
  • They got married in 1887, two years after the death of Francisca.
  • Elizabeth claims to have had two children, only one of whom is still living.
  • Charles was 47 and Elizabeth was 30 years old when they got married.
  • Charles is listed as a naturalized citizen from Germany who came to the United States 35 years earlier.
  • His occupation is listed as a "cabinet maker", but he has not worked during the previous two months.
  • They have one child, Harry, who is listed as being born in September 1882. It would make sense that this was the one child Elizabeth mentions, but I know for a fact that her entire estate was willed to her son, John E. Smith -- so I'm confused.
By this time Anna was married to August VDH and they were already parents of one-year old Virginia. Her younger brother, Henry, would be 21 years old and is not listed as a member of this household.

I know from Aunt Evelyn's recollections that Anna ended up living with her grandparents next door. But there is ample evidence that her father was clearly in the court of his second wife. The fact that his first wife died of cirrhosis of the liver at age 39 leaving him with young children may say something about their marriage, but I found irrefutable evidence of the tension in the family because of a short article published in the newspaper.

Charles died of pneumonia February 1, 1915. Four days later, this short article was published in the Kentucky Times Star.

I couldn't help but try to find a copy of the will. Sure enough -- not only was Elizabeth the beneficiary of the entire estate, but the will includes this section:
If any one of my children should be dissatisfied or endeavor to contest this will, I direct that $5.00/100 Five Dollars shall be paid him or her for his or her share in my estate.
I guess no one contested the will, because upon Elizabeth's death from diabetes in 1925, Charles children finally got their "inheritance" -- if you believe they were only entitled to $25.

In Elizabeth's will, all of her estate was willed to her son John E. Smith of Ft. Thomas. (I've yet to figure out where John came from). Elizabeth's will included this section:
Item II. I give and bequeath to my three step-children, Fred Moser, Joe Moser, both of Chicago, Ill., and Anna Vonderheide of Wyoming, Ohio, twenty-five ($25.00) Dollars each.
Boy, am I underwhelmed. At least we know that by 1925, only three of the children of Charles and Francisca are still alive. I do not know what happened to the others.

Charles and his second wife, Elizabeth, are buried in marked graves at the Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate (Newport), Kentucky in Section 31. Here are pictures of their markers.

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