Lee-O-Netto’s Housekeepers – Part 1

First I would like to apologize to my readers for my long absence.  It seems life and responsibility keep getting in the way of my research. I do have records to share, but recently have not been able to set aside the blocks of time needed for the background research and post writing. I am not giving up the blog, but it looks like this situation will continue until after the holidays. Posting will be erratic for a while longer so please, bear with me.

Today I am exploring Mrs. C. B. Mosman who filed a claim against Lee-o-netto’s estate stating she provided “work, labor, and services” to Dr. Lee for 26 years without pay. I need to investigate this woman and her family on the off chance someone is related to Lee-o-netto in some way.

Good research requires numerous side trips to explore all the people connected to our research subjects. I recently noticed some genealogy folks referring to this research technique as “cluster genealogy”. Now it has a fancy name, but I just think of it as common sense research. When you are looking for something – look everywhere it could possibly be!

Even though good research requires me to look everywhere, I must be practical about it. I constantly have to adjust my research plan to focus on where I am most likely to find the most valuable data. It is always a balancing act between money, time, and the potential value of the document(s) I am trying to retrieve.

The best way to start my research of the two housekeepers (Mrs. C. B. Mosman and Gertrude Fowler) would be to get copies of all documents related to Lee-o-netto’s probate case since this is where I first encounter them. However, this will be more costly and time consuming then I am willing commit to at this time.

For now I will be satisfied in gathering basic family information. If I discover a family relationship in this preliminary step, I can go on to more in-depth  research. If nothing of interest turns up now, I will at least know all the names, time periods, and locations of the family members in case I run into them at some other time or place.

Another good reason for this research step would be to track down living descendants. Both women appear to have had an intimate relationship with Lee-o-netto. Either of them could have kept memorabilia relating to Dr. Lee and passed it down to the next generation. I will leave this part of the research for the Kanistanaux descendants to work on.

Mrs. C. B. Mosman

1934_OleanNY_Mosman

1934 Directory listing for Allegany, NY, pg. 416

A little online research suggests this woman is Eula A. (possibly Humphrey) Mosman born c.1887 in Pennsylvania. She was the wife of Charles B. Mosman born c.1879 in NY of German ancestry. This couple are found in the Olean Directories over a period of years living at 12 East Main St. in Allegany while Nettie is located at 54 West Main Street. Period maps suggest they are about 4 or 5 blocks away from each other. The 1934 directory entries (shown above) for the Mosman’s read

  • Mosman Chas B. (Eula A; Mosman’s Sanitary Cider Mill) paint contr 12 E Main h do
  • Mosman Ellsworth C pntr Chas B Mosman r12 E Main
  • Mosman’s Sanitary Cider Mill (Chas B Mosman) 12 E. Main

The cider mill was a seasonal business and not mentioned in other directory years. Checking local newspapers does show the business advertising in the fall over a period of many years. A newspaper ad from November 1922 states their cider “has the worms, rot and dirt removed with our new rotary drum apple washing process.” Another ad from this same year claims the equipment was recently installed.

Charles’ father was Matthias Mosman b.c1834 in Bavaria. Matthias immigrated with his parents to the US about 1846 and they are found together in Concord, Erie Co., NY in the 1855 New York State Census. Matthias was living at Humphrey, Cattaraugus Co., NY from 1860 to 1892 and at Allegany in 1900 and 1910. Charles’ mother was Mary E. [–?–], b.c1842 in New York. I would feel better if I knew a bit more about her.

The 1907 marriage record for Charles and Eula was found in Wellsboro, Tioga Co., PA and it names her parents as Moses and Mary K. Humphrey. A Mary L. Humphrey is living with Charles and Eula as his “mother-in-law” in a number of census, so this verifies the marriage record information. Eula’s father was born in New York according to her census records. She and her mother were born in Pennsylvania. I was not able to learn anything more about Moses Humphrey.

At the time of marriage in 1907, Charles is a photographer and Eula is a dress maker. In directories and census, Charles is referred to as a painting contractor. The family appears to have remained in the Olean region of NY.

Charles and Eula Mosman had the following children;

  1. Ellsworth C. Mosman (1914-1986), m. Valeta [–?–] and had a son Donald b.c1938.
  2. Harold Mosman (1921-1995)

I can only speculate, but Mrs. Mosman is perhaps a friend of the family because she attended the funeral of Nettie’s sister, Carrie Horton in 1931 at Randolph. However, it is possible she did not know Carrie and was just accompanying her friend, Lee-o-netto, to the funeral.

Those attending the funeral from away were; Dr. Lee O. Netto, Mrs. Mossman and Mr. Hall, Allegany;

Randolph Register, Vol. 72, No. 12

Tioga Co. PA is where Isaac J. Kanistanaux (aka Kindness) is last found about 1901. Isaac and Lee-o-netto were married at one time. Eula was living in Tioga Co. when she married in 1907. It is possible she or her parents knew Isaac. I found no additional connection for either Mr. or Mrs. Mosman to the Kanistanaux family, the Moultons, or to Lee-o-netto.

Mrs. Mosman filed a claim in December of 1940 (one year after Dr. Lee’s death) against the estate of Lee-o-netto for 26 years of unpaid service. The documents I have do not explain the exact nature of the services provided. The claim was denied by the court. Since Lee-o-netto was certainly not destitute, I find it hard to believe Mrs. Mosman was an employee working without any compensation for almost 3 decades. It seems far more likely the two women traded their services. Perhaps Eula received Lee-o-netto’s medical services and medicine at no cost.

One day I may be fortunate enough to get more information from the probate court, but for now I will have to be content with my speculations. I do encourage the Kanistanaux descendants to follow up on this in case Mosman descendants have additional pieces of the puzzle or memorabilia from Mrs. Mosman’s time with Lee-o-netto.

See the Kanistanaux Home Page for more.
See the Kanistanaux Map at Google.
Do you have any information to add or questions?
Please leave a comment.

Canyon Wolf 
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