Monday, September 13, 2010

Beulah Was a Milliner

On the 1910 census Beulah Mae Gerner, my grandmother, was listed with 4 other children and a grandchild living with her parents, Fred and Elvira Bartley, in Fairview Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  The census report reads like this:
Beulah, daughter, female, white, 21 years, single, born Penna, father born Germany, mother born Penna, milliner, works in millinery store, works on own account, can read and write.
A milliner!  She was a milliner!  She made, trimmed, designed, or sold hats.  Which of those did she do?  Or maybe she did all of them.  If she trimmed hats in 1910, I wonder if they looked like the ones below, found at the Digital Library of the New York Public Library.  Was there much call for such highly ornamented hats in little Fairview Township?

Beulah married a year and a half later, in December 1911, and had twins in February 1913.  Leila, one of the twins died within days.  Beulah, herself, died soon after, when she was 24, much too soon and much too young.  She left behind her husband, Gust Doyle, and 5-week-old twin, Lee, my father.  I'm sure Gust mourned Beulah's death, but I believe my father silently grieved the loss of a mother most of his life.

Happy Birthday, Gramma Beulah!  This post is to honor your memory.  I hope you have a wonderful birthday.


Copyright © 2010-2015 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. What a great birthday tribute. Happy Birthday, Beulah!


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