Friday, October 24, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 1: Minnie Nosler, (1883-1969)

I'm a little late for "The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" challenge, but hey, better late than never!  My weeks will be numbered differently than those who started in January.

Minnie one of my great grandmothers.

Minnie Etta Nosler was born January 10, 1883, in Healdsburg, Sonoma, California, to William Henry Harrison Nosler (1840-1914), a Union veteran of the Civil War, and Esther Loretta Rittgers (1844-1887).

Her mother Esther died November 15, 1887, in San Diego, when Minnie was just 4 years old.  I'm not quite sure what father William was up to, as he seemed to spend time between his Iowa Slough residence in Coos County, Oregon, and work as a carpenter and expressman in San Diego (he also became an Oregon representative two separate times for Coos County, 1878 and 1897, as a Populist).  In 1894, when Minnie was 11, he married Amanda Simmons and lived in "Jamacha" which seems likely to be in the Dehesa area, or maybe Spring Valley?

It is unknown to me what her relationship with her father and stepmother was like.  She had no relationship with any of her grandparents (paternal grandparents John Nosler and Nancy Hibbs, and maternal grandparents Jacob "Jake" Rittgers and Hester/Esther Patterson) as they all died well before her birth, and I do not know what she knew of them.  She was the second youngest child of William and Esther, with Eugene "Gene" Elmer Nosler and half-brother William Nosler as younger siblings.  Her oldest sibling, Alva Asbury Nosler, was 16 years older than Minnie.  I think Minnie was likely closest to her middle siblings, especially Israel "Iz", Alberta "Birdie", and Sarah Anna, but in the end it is only speculation on my part.  Edited to add:  I have gone back to her mother's siblings and remembered that Esther Loretta had a sister Sarah Rittgers who married Samuel M. Good, and Aunt Sarah lived in San Diego as early as 1900 (possibly a bit earlier) after she and her husband left Iowa.  Minnie is mentioned in Sarah's obit in 1919.

[Minnie, lower right.  I believe these are likely her sisters Mary, Birdie, and Sarah (I don't know who is who, though). Probably about 1900 or so. From my personal collection.]

In the 1900 Census Minnie was 17 and living in "Mission", San Diego, with her married sister, Sarah Anna (Nosler) Morrison and her husband, Arthur Thomas Morrison.  I'm not sure where Mission was but it seems likely that it was either in Lakeside or Dehesa, or in the Grantville area/Mission Valley.

I am unsure what Minnie did between 1900 and 1906.  It doesn't appear that she went to college as she gave the 1940 Census the info that she had only completed her second year of high school.

[Minnie Nosler, 1906.  From my personal collection]


The family story is that Minnie met her future husband, George Henry Hartley, through his sister Mary.  Mary was a graduate of State Normal School (later California State University, Los Angeles) in 1893, and taught in the Dehesa area between 1897 and 1901.  At some point during that period Minnie was a student of Mary.  George had married Jennie Denby in 1901, but she died in 1903, leaving George a widower with a 3 month old son, James Denby Hartley.

Minnie and George married in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California, on May 9, 1906.  Minnie was 23.  Mary Hartley (George's sister and Minnie's former teacher) was a witness, as well as Iz Nosler, one of Minnie's older brothers.  It is unclear to me why they married here, but they immediately moved up to Riverton, Coos, Oregon.   I am not sure where her little stepson James Hartley was, but assume he was being brought up by his grandmother, Mary Jane (Tibbetts) Hartley and various aunts and uncles, where he was found in the 1910 Census.  My grandfather, George Hartley Jr, was born in Coquille (or perhaps Riverton) on September 1, 1907, when Minnie was 24.

[Minnie and her son George Hartley, Jr, my grandfather, about 1907.  From my personal collection]


In the 1910 Census Minnie was 27, and they were living in a rented house at Johnson's Mill, where George worked as a bookkeeper.  I think this was land owned by Minnie's father William, as Bureau of Land Management records show that his land was right in that area.

Minnie's second child, Mary Esther Hartley, was born January 12, 1911, 2 days after Minnie's 28th birthday.  George bought a small ranch in Lakeside, San Diego, Callifornia.  In 1914 they were living at 161 Second street, Lakeside/Santee (a ranch).  By 1915, when Minnie was 32, they were living back in the city, at 4204 10th street (a small house on the west edge of University Heights, that has a view to what is now the 163), after he decided that he wouldn't be able to sustain himself and family on the ranch.

From 1916 to 1919, they were living at 3819 Herman St.  That house has been replaced by a parking lot for CVS, and is across from North Park Self Storage.  This was in the Hartley's North Park area.  After living here for a few years they moved about every year, fixing up homes.

[Minnie, center, with her brother-in-law Paul Hartley, mother-in-law Mary Jane (Tibbetts) Hartley (seated in car), stepson James Denby Hartley (at right), and children George Hartley, Jr and Mary Esther Hartley.]


In the 1920 Census, when Minnie was 37, they were living in a rented house at 1372 7th st (now most certainly 7th avenue, as Ash st was very close).  The house has been replaced by the Red Roof Inn, and is across from the El Cortez hotel (which was built 1926-1927).  According to wikipedia Ulyssess S Grant Jr's (the son of the general) home had been where El Cortez now stands.

1921 they were living at 2241 4th St, about 9 blocks north of their 7th street home.  The address is still valid, although it looks like a modified apartment complex now.

1922 they were at 3942 Alameda Dr, in Mission Hills.  That house is now gone and was replaced in 1935 by the current home.

1923-1924, when Minnie was 40, they were at 2903 28th St, where they could overlook what is now part of the Balboa Park golf course, just north of Switzer Canyon.  It was replaced in 1945 with the current home.

1924-1926 they were at 3730 Villa Terrace, in North Park.  By July 1925 they were selling it, as evidenced by this ad in the classifieds:

San Diego Union
5 Jul 1925
page 38
Owner's Sacrifice
Bungalow at 3730 Villa Terrace for sale.  Living room and dining room combined, 3 bedrooms, nice kitchen and breakfast room:  furnished or unfurnished, and will make the price attractive.  If interested see Geo. Hartley at 1028 Second street, or any realtor.

While still at Villa Terrace, Minnie threw a bridal shower for her sister Birdie's daughter, niece Marvel Skeels:

San Diego Union
29 Jul 1929
page 9
Miscellaneous Shower Brings Many Presents
A miscellaneous shower was given by Mrs. George Hartley, Villa Terrace, yesterday afternoon, in honor of her niece, Miss Marvel Skeels, bride-elect, who is to be married early in August upon her return to her home in Coquille, Ore.
The bride-elect received many beautiful gifts, after which refreshments were served.
Among the invited guests were: Misses Marvel Skeels, honoree; Marian Hartley, Dorothy Dee Stevens, Virginia Reed, Mary Esther Hartley and Thelma Reichert.
Mrs. I. R. Nosler, Mrs. A. A. Nosler, Mrs. J. C. Hartley, Mrs. W. J. Stevens, Mrs. Harry Nosler, Mrs. Jeff Hite, Mrs. Arthur Nosler, Mrs. Fay Jones, Mrs. O. L. Nossler(sic), Mrs. Arba Nosler, Jr., Mrs. Eugene Scharr, Mrs. M. J. Hartley, and the hostess Mrs. George Hartley.

The Mrs. M. J. Hartley mentioned above was Minnie's mother-in-law, Mary Jane "Jennie" (Tibbetts) Hartley.

[Minnie with daughter Mary Esther, probably late 1920's.  From the Beckley/St Clair Family Tree on Ancestry.com]


1928-1930, when Minnie was 45, they were living at 3765 Herman St.  Only a block away from their first Herman home, this one still stands today.

By 1932 they were living at 2542 Third.  The Ohr Shalom Synagogue now stands there.

By 1934 they were living at 2424 C St, in Golden Hill.  An apartment complex now stands there.

In 1935 Minnie and George leased an estate on 4th and Nutmeg st (2720 4th Ave), which they converted into a restaurant, called "The Hartley House" (this small area is now called Cambridge Square, an apartment complex, on Google maps).

[Minnie with son George.  This is  his 1937 graduation from the University of Chicago.  From my personal collection.]


In 1937, when Minnie was 54, she and George divorced, although they appeared a number of years together in the city directory and through the 1940 Census.  Daughter Mary Esther and her husband Graydon Treadgold were living with them in the 1940 Census, as well as Graydon's brother Robert Manton Treadgold, and several roomers, including Edith H Britain (school teacher), Florence Nachtsheiger(sp?) (secretary), Florence Bradley (piano teacher), and Mary S Sundy (widow).  Certainly they were no longer living together by the time George remarried in November 1943.  Minnie took in borders.

[Minnie, about 1940, likely in San Diego.]


In 1943 the restaurant was force to close due to WWII food rationing.  Minnie was 62.

In 1948 Minnie was living at 2051 West California St in Mission Hills, which was built in 1930 and still stands.  My father has taken me to see this several times, as he has some memories of the place.

In 1950, at age 67, Minnie opened a children's shop, "The Dee Anne Shop" in honor of her granddaughter, Mary Esther's daughter.  The first "Dee Anne's Children Shop" was located on Mission Blvd., in Mission Beach. In order to accomodate all her stock, clothing as well as dolls, she moved her shop to Hornblend St., in Pacific Beach.  Minnie lived on Randolph St, across the street from Francis Parker school during that time (until 1959).  She retired and closed the successful shop in 1958, at age 75.

About 1959, Mary Esther, Dee Anne, and Minnie moved to La Jolla at 339 Coast Blvd South.  Her daughter Mary Esther and her granddaughter came to live with her in 1960.

At age 78, Minnie married widower Cyrus Jacob "Cy" Fuhrman on April 18, 1961 in San Diego, after "having survived a heart attack and mastectomy" (per Dick Dunlop, family historian).  Minnie and George had known Cy and his wife Josie when they lived in Oregon.  Cy was a pharmacist and owned 2 stores, one in Bandon and one in Coquille.  Minnie had met up with Cy during a visit to Oregon shortly after his wife had died in 1960.  According to Dee Anne, "They had quite the romantic courtship, albeit long distance, and after a few months Cyrus flew down to meet the family, and ask permission to marry "dear Minette" (which she preferred to her given name of Minnie Etta)."  They married at the house of Minnie's son George, in La Jolla.  After marriage they drove up to live in Coquille, Coos, Oregon.  Again, Dee Anne: "Namo missed her family, and they her, so it was decided that they would rent an apartment in La Jolla during the coldest part of the year (Nov.-March), and return to Oregon for the remainder of the year.  This happened for two years until they decided to make a permanent move to San Diego.  Cy sold their house and bought a brand new home in newly developed "Rancho Bernardo", where they lived until 1969."

[Cy, Paul Hartley (Minnie's brother-in-law), and Minnie, likely at my parents' wedding in 1966.]


Minnie died January 7, 1969, in San Diego, 3 days before her 86th birthday.  Cy died January 20 of the next year.



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