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Thread: New old home

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Posts
    937

    New old home

    The house we recently moved into was built in 1899. I decided to do some research and managed to find out the following about the man who had the home constructed:

    Maurice Clemens was born in 1865 in Easton, son of a well-to-do farmer. He graduated from Lafayette college in 1888 and spent a number of years managing the family's landholdings.

    He was 34 and still a bachelor when the house was constructed. He married Sue Pomp Maxwell in 1906. She passed away in 1913, leaving behind 2 sons from her former marriage -- neither were ever adopted by Clemens and do not seem to have been part of his life.

    Clemons opened an insurance business around 1910 which was located in the First National Bank Building, on the northwest corner of the center square in Easton. By 1930 his was the town's leading insurance firm.

    Maurice was a gifted musician and studied with some NYC music teachers. He was the choir director for Trinity Episcopal Church and was involved in local theater productions. He was a Freemason and an Elk, and was active in many other local civic organizations.

    In 1923, at the age of 57, he married Elizabeth M Kindt. She was 28. He never did have any children of his own. He died at home on Saturday, July 2, 1932 after a brief illness.

    The funeral was held at the home on Cattell Street and he is buried in the Clemens family plot in Easton Cemetery.

    Elizabeth Clemens lived on in the house until her death in 1972. She was 77.

    I found a photo of Maurice in a book on Easton history in the library. Decided to combine it with a photo of the structure to make a print to hang in the house. Background sky and colorization of Maurice himself done in Art Rage, the rest is filters and layers in Photoshop.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Maurice Clemens AR.jpg 
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Size:	410.7 KB 
ID:	77394Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ClemensAR.jpg 
Views:	63 
Size:	303.9 KB 
ID:	77395

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,517
    yeah yeah. . . but did he play the bass?

    So is he a relative or did you buy his house? Wondering why the radical shift in style and subject. Certainly the tinted woodcut/engraving speaks of a bygone era. Has an illustration look I've seen before in historic contexts. I know people who regularly read the obituaries because of the historic aspect. I have to admit, this does paint a picture verbally as well.

    The death of his first spouse makes me wonder if they were caught up in the influenza epidemic or TB. Perhaps the experience so traumatized him that he married such a young woman so as to never have to go through the loss of a spouse again. I wonder what the second wife's life was like from the point of his death on to her own 45 years later. Heck, for that matter, I wonder about her life before she met him. I can almost hear the sensible, economic marriage proposal. Life is such a trip, ain't it.

    Well you did a great job on this. He sort of looks like a pillar of the community.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3,817
    A very finished decorative work. I've often meant to try that Photoshop filter and now I can see how effective it can be.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Posts
    937
    No relative, just bought the house from a later owner who had restored it. Purchased it essentially on a whim. My wife and i were not looking to move, but just fell in love with it. WAY too big for us and our 14 Y.O. son, but somehow every room has been claimed. (I now have an office, AND a studio and my son essentially owns the third floor)

    At any rate, it was done in this style because I thought it echoed the magazine illustrations from the gay 90's that I keep seeing in the antique shops that I now find myself frequenting. (Way) Prior to getting into the gaudy color thing, I did do a lot of detailed pen and ink work. Don't have time for that these days, so Photoshop's pen filter will have to suffice in a pinch. It also gave me a nice way to tie an old B&W photo in with a modern pix of the home from my iPhone -- gave them a common character before doing the composite.

    I agree about the story of the first wife -- very intriguing. Her name (maiden name?) is "Pomp" so I believe she is related to Easton's most famous 19th century preacher, Thomas Pomp. It also includes Maxwell, (first marriage name?). The Maxwells were a prominent family as well, and it looks like her sister married an independently wealthy Lafayette science professor, who built her an absolute castle a few blocks from here. Perhaps Sue died of envy. I'm digging deep at the library trying to understand the second wife's life post Maurice. Not much in her Obit. Hoping some elderly neighbor will shed light on it. Fascinating stuff.

    Since only criminally deranged people play the bass, if he did play it there is a chance she was murdered as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by D Akey View Post
    yeah yeah. . . but did he play the bass?

    So is he a relative or did you buy his house? Wondering why the radical shift in style and subject. Certainly the tinted woodcut/engraving speaks of a bygone era. Has an illustration look I've seen before in historic contexts. I know people who regularly read the obituaries because of the historic aspect. I have to admit, this does paint a picture verbally as well.

    The death of his first spouse makes me wonder if they were caught up in the influenza epidemic or TB. Perhaps the experience so traumatized him that he married such a young woman so as to never have to go through the loss of a spouse again. I wonder what the second wife's life was like from the point of his death on to her own 45 years later. Heck, for that matter, I wonder about her life before she met him. I can almost hear the sensible, economic marriage proposal. Life is such a trip, ain't it.

    Well you did a great job on this. He sort of looks like a pillar of the community.

  5. #5
    1880 census record, lists Susan B Clemons (53), Son Breuntano Clemons (19), Niece Minnie Jones (19) and Son Maurice (14), probably two servants Cathine Quigan and Mary Tobin.

    1900 census record may be the answer to where the house came from. It may have been a family home. His mother is listed as head of house, along with Maurice and two servants Elsie Burke and Eliza Huckless.

    Mr. Clemens and Susannah B Pomp Maxwell were married 10 Feb 1906 in Manhattan, NY. Her father is listed as J. Boockenrich and mother Susan B Wagren. Perhaps she was married a couple of times. His parents are listed as Charles and Rachel Snyded Clemens. (could she be Susan Rachel? or Rachel Susan? )

    1910 census record lists Susannah(49y), two stepsons, Charles P (23 y) and Jack (16 y), His mother Susan (83 years) and two servants Ellen E Maxwell (53y) and Hannah McFadden

    1920 census record, Maurice (54) is living with stepson Charles P Maxwell (32)

    1930 census record lists the second wife as being born in 1894. So she was only 36 to his 64. He was still working as an insurance salesman.

    I tend to have a bit of a genealogy history addiction... his picture seemed to ask me to find a bit of info. Took about an hour....

    It takes a bit of creativity to find some records. Figuring out how many different ways someone could transcribe a name in error. I enjoyed the picture and the info. Unfortunately, I couldn't seem to locate records of death for Maurice and Sue, it becomes difficult to find information regarding death after about 1970. Pennsylvania has always been a bit challenging for me so I enjoyed the practice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Rome (Italy)
    Posts
    24,113
    A quite interesting illustration and story concerning Your new (old) mansion, dear Al.
    I confess I smiled a little bit to the thought of a 1899 built house considered old over there, found intriguing Magensparks police-like information collection on the life events of the people around that house. But talking of past lives of substantially common people may be a good tribute to them and to the value that our ephemeral existence may have nonetheless, whenever memory and compassion revives people and makes us affectionately share our human condition, while, for that building, which seems to have a wooden structure, walls and roof, a century or more is certainly a respectable age to reach and I'm glad to know they kept it in good shape. Sadly enough past are the times when they used to build for eternity.
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Posts
    937
    Wow Megan!!

    What a fantastic amount of additional information

    This helps paint a clearer picture and also suggests some new questions

    I've been walking around the house trying to imagine it filled with Maurice, his wife , two stepsons, his mom and two servants

    I work with the local paper and have been able to find some obits for Charles and his second wife. Still trying to get Susan's. Now I can look for his mom and brother and sister. Im also curious what happened to the younger stepson after Susan's death.

    Can't thank you enough for taking the time to do this research!

    Al



    Quote Originally Posted by MagenSparks View Post
    1880 census record, lists Susan B Clemons (53), Son Breuntano Clemons (19), Niece Minnie Jones (19) and Son Maurice (14), probably two servants Cathine Quigan and Mary Tobin.

    1900 census record may be the answer to where the house came from. It may have been a family home. His mother is listed as head of house, along with Maurice and two servants Elsie Burke and Eliza Huckless.

    Mr. Clemens and Susannah B Pomp Maxwell were married 10 Feb 1906 in Manhattan, NY. Her father is listed as J. Boockenrich and mother Susan B Wagren. Perhaps she was married a couple of times. His parents are listed as Charles and Rachel Snyded Clemens. (could she be Susan Rachel? or Rachel Susan? )

    1910 census record lists Susannah(49y), two stepsons, Charles P (23 y) and Jack (16 y), His mother Susan (83 years) and two servants Ellen E Maxwell (53y) and Hannah McFadden

    1920 census record, Maurice (54) is living with stepson Charles P Maxwell (32)

    1930 census record lists the second wife as being born in 1894. So she was only 36 to his 64. He was still working as an insurance salesman.

    I tend to have a bit of a genealogy history addiction... his picture seemed to ask me to find a bit of info. Took about an hour....

    It takes a bit of creativity to find some records. Figuring out how many different ways someone could transcribe a name in error. I enjoyed the picture and the info. Unfortunately, I couldn't seem to locate records of death for Maurice and Sue, it becomes difficult to find information regarding death after about 1970. Pennsylvania has always been a bit challenging for me so I enjoyed the practice.

  8. #8
    Familysearch.org has a lot of information to give out for free. You have to take some of it with a grain of salt as with any genealogy website. They rely heavily on volunteer workers to transcribe the information and sometimes errors do happen.

    I've gotten so used to looking things up (going on my 8 year of genealogy addiction...) that a general cursory glance at what history you gave me was able to pull him out pretty quickly. I am glad the information helps and perhaps the names will help you find more information or even perhaps a relative of theirs who can tell you more about them. Maurice's mother must have lost her husband early on in their lives. She was alone with two sons most of the time marked as Widow.

    Either way it's a nice image and I had fun digging up a little info. Genealogy seems to be an ongoing lesson in human history and human understanding.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    brighton uk
    Posts
    12,838
    I like the look of the house even if its as near as i'll ever get to one like that I can dream can't I SLAINTE

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Easton, PA
    Posts
    937
    Some further info I found out today

    Maurice's mom died on Dec 23 1913. She had been ill for 6 weeks after suffering some kind of heart issue while on vacation in Virginia in early November. She was transported to New York City and spent over a month convalescing in a hotel. She was finally able to return to the home, only to suffer a fatal heart attack about a week later.

    His first wife died the following year on April 10 1914, 10 days after having minor surgery at Women's Hospital in New York. She was recovering nicely and Maurice left he bedside and boarded a train to return to Easton. Shortly after he left she took a turn for the worst and the doctors telegraphed Maurice to return to the hospital. Before he could get back she died.



    Quote Originally Posted by MagenSparks View Post
    Familysearch.org has a lot of information to give out for free. You have to take some of it with a grain of salt as with any genealogy website. They rely heavily on volunteer workers to transcribe the information and sometimes errors do happen.

    I've gotten so used to looking things up (going on my 8 year of genealogy addiction...) that a general cursory glance at what history you gave me was able to pull him out pretty quickly. I am glad the information helps and perhaps the names will help you find more information or even perhaps a relative of theirs who can tell you more about them. Maurice's mother must have lost her husband early on in their lives. She was alone with two sons most of the time marked as Widow.

    Either way it's a nice image and I had fun digging up a little info. Genealogy seems to be an ongoing lesson in human history and human understanding.

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