Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Marriage of Charles C. Gross and Rosina Becker

According to the Restored Hamilton County Courthouse Marriage License Book, Charles C. Gross and Rosina Becker were married on January 21, 1864.  The Archdiocesan Archives was not able to easily identify the Church where they were married.  However, the Cincinnati City Directory lists their address as 122 W. 5th Street.  Charles was working as a baker. The Archives was able to supply baptismal records for three of their children from St. Francis Seraph Church on Liberty Street.  As the family always lived in the 5th - 6th Street area, I was surprised that they would find a parish home several blocks north. 

By the 1870 Census, Charles was the Proprietor of his own bakery.  He and Rosa were the parents of four living children:  Julius - Age 5, Rosa - Age 4, Julia - Age 3, and Catherine - Age 1. He had a net worth of $600, more than any of his neighbors. Life for these first-generation Americans appeared to be on track.

Then tragedy struck.  According to the Case History of Male and Female Patients for the Longview Asylum, Charles became insane.  He was admitted to the hospital on May 8, 1876 as the result of an illness now in its fourth year.  His condition upon admission is as described:
The duration of the present attack is four years, this being the 1st attack.  The supposed cause of insanity is some four years ago, he was overheated at his work and since then has been an invalid. Patient has hallucinations described as follows:  Imagines that he must kill himself and family, can't sleep of nights and roams around the streets coming home always in an excited condition of mind.  Patient has shown a disposition to injure himself and others, but not to be destructive.  He has made two attempts to hang himself.  He has not been addicted to the intemperate use of alcoholic drinks.  Has not been subject to epilepsy.  The disease is not hereditary.  (Typed as recorded).
No record of treatment is included between May and September 20th.  It seems as if Charles suffered greatly from his kidney disease for three days in September.  His medical record includes the following:        
September 20, 1878 - Complains of a very severe headache and pains in his bowels.  He has likewise considerable difficulty in passing his urine, which is very high-coloured and has a strong ammonia odour.
          September 21, 1878 - Has had no passage from his bowels for a couple of days.       
September 22, 1878 - Had one operation this morning.  Has less difficulty in passing his urine and it is more natural in appearance.  His face is pale and very much puffed-up and so it is with his hands and feet.  Eats well and sleeps quietly. 
The next entry in Charles' record is a notation that he died in the evening of January 3, 1879 at 9:00.  Cause of death:  Bright's Disease.

The 1879 and 1880 Cincinnati City Directories list Rosa as living at 288 1/2 W. 6th Street. Her occupation is listed as "widow selling confectioners articles." Once again one of my female ancestors is listed as a widow by about the age of 40 with the total responsibility for the care and raising of four children. As I've said many times before. I am descended from a long line of STRONG women.

Note to family:  I have copies of many documents related to the above post.  Let me know if you have need of them.


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