Monday, March 2, 2015

Fearless Females and Matrilineal Monday: Elizabeth Camilla Dienes Massmann, 1876-1946

Lisa Azlo over at The Accidental Genealogist came up with a blogging prompt for each day of March to celebrate National Women's History Month. While I can't promise to do every one of these "Fearless Females" prompts, I'm going to try to do as many as I can.

The prompt for March 2 is:  Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo? 

The photo at right is of one of my paternal grandmothers, Elizabeth Camilla Dienes Massmann, 1876-1946.  I think the photo was taken sometime around 1900, about the time she married my great-grandfather Frederick Henry Massmann.  I selected this photo because I have not posted many photographs of her (none of her alone) and have not written about her much.

Elizabeth was born September 10, 1876, in Springfield, Illinois, the ninth of ten children of German immigrants Friederich "Fred" Wilhelm Dienes (1827 – 1896) and Regina Matheis (1837 – 1916).  Seven of the children lived to adulthood.  In 1877-78, the family was living at 730 N. 8th in Springfield, and her father's hat store was at 105 N. 5th.  However, by the 1880 Census, the family was living at 193 (1031 after 1909) N. Sedgwick Street in Chicago, and the 1882 Chicago city directory lists the hat store at 267 Division.  By the time Fred died in 1896, the family had moved to 476 (1329 after 1909) N. Wells Street in Chicago.  

Elizabeth married Frederick Massmann on June 5, 1900, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago.  The 1900 Census was taken in the month of June, and that is probably why Elizabeth and Frederick don't show up on it - they were likely on their honeymoon.  Ten months later, their first child, Alfred John Massmann, was born on April 1, 1901, and  baptized at St. Matthias Catholic Church in Chicago (on Ainslie Street).

The 1901 Chicago city directory shows the family living at 311 (2047 after 1909) Cuyler Avenue, with Frederick working as a salesman at 22 N. Union in Chicago.  Their second and last child, my grandmother, Elizabeth Florence Massmann, was born on December 23, 1902.  She was baptized at the nearby St. Benedict Catholic Church on January 4, 1903.

As Frederick became more successful in business, the family moved, first to 1938 Morse Avenue (1910 Census), and then 1833 Morse Avenue (1920 Census), followed by a mansion at 7000 Ridge Avenue from at least 1927 to at least 1932, all in the Rogers Park area of north Chicago.  During this time, Frederick and Elizabeth went on a number of cruises:  from New York City to Southampton, England, and back in May 1927; from San Francisco to Honolulu and back in April 1929; and from New Orleans to Havana, Cuba, and back in April 1932.

However, Frederick suffered some losses in the Depression, and on the 1940 Census, he and Elizabeth are renting a duplex at 6620 N. Maplewood Avenue in Chicago.  Elizabeth died December 3, 1946, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is buried at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

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