Phyllis Richter was born on October 22, 1886, in Cleveland, OH, to Mary Mellon of New York and Andrew Richter of Germany.
When Phyllis was eight years old she gained a step-father when her mother married Thomas Richardson, from England, on November 15, 1894.
In June 1900, Phyllis was 13 years old, enrolled in school and lived with her mother, step-father and sister Kate at 2020 Booth Street in Cleveland, OH. The census listed her name as Philomena and stated that her father was born in Pennsylvania.
Ten years later, the 1910 census showed Phyllis living at 8005 Tangney Avenue in Cleveland, OH, with her mother, her step-father, and her nephew Thomas O’Neil. Her name was listed as Philomela. She was 23 and worked as a restaurant waitress. Her father is listed as English but this is most likely because the census worker filled out the document using her step-father’s birth location, which was indeed England.
Her step-father passed away on February 13, 1916.
At some point before July 1917, Phyllis moved to 4126 E 59th Street.
On July 19, 1917, Phyllis married William Reese. She was 30 years old and did not appear to have an occupation at the time of marriage. I wonder if Phyllis and William met at work…the 1910 census recorded her a waitress and he was a bartender at the time of their marriage…or perhaps he was her customer? Maybe they had known each other from school or maybe seen each other around town…
Eight months after their marriage, on March 16, 1918, they had a daughter named Phyllis.
In 1920, the couple was pregnant with a son and resided at 7017 Clement Avenue, Cleveland, OH. Phyllis prematurely gave birth at seven months on December 21, 1920. Unfortunately Baby Reese lived only 20 minutes. Five days later, on December 26, 1920, Phyllis passed away with complications from childbirth. She lived a very short life of just 34 years.
Phyllis is buried at Harvard Grove Cemetery, in Cleveland, OH (Plot Sec 6, Lot 35, Grave 2S). William Reese eventually remarried and his son, William A. Reese, who was born almost 23 years after Phyllis’ death, told me that he could “remember as a child going to Harvard Grove Cemetery pulling a wagon full of geraniums and a shovel to decorate Phyllis’ grave.”
The picture above was provided by Phyllis’ grandson, my uncle, Paul Duetemeyer.
Who is she buried near?
Where is her birth certificate?
Can we find the 1890 census, she would have been 3 and kate would have been 5.
Can we find the 1920 census with her and William?
Wish I knew:
Did she know her birth father, Andrew Ricther?
Was she close to her step-father Thomas?
How long did she attend school and did she like it?