Friday, June 16, 2017

Gone too Soon: Little Esther Grosser

     Esther Grosser was the last child of my great grandparents, Elcon and Jennie Grosser.  She was born on May 2, 1909, at the family's home at 814 S. 4th St in Philadelphia [1].  She was remembered by her older sister, my grandmother, as a happy child.  By 1920, the family had moved to 344 South St, where Elcon had a retail store selling hardware items.[2]
814 S. 4th St Philadelphia, taken Nov 2015

      According to my grandmother, On October 31, 1920, Halloween, Esther was in her costume.  As it was dark, she reached to light the gas lamp, and her costume caught fire.  The death certificate says her clothing caught fire, not specifying a costume, but agreed with the gas lamp lighting.  She was burned over most of her body (flameproof childrens' clothing was not the norm at the time).  She was taken to Pennsylvania Hospital, about one mile away, where she died on November 1, 1920 [3].  She was buried at Har Nebo Cemetery in Philadelphia on November 2, 1920[4].

1. Ancestry. com, Pennsylvania Birth Records, 1908-1909 (Lehi, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2015), Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Birth certificates, 1906–1909; Box Number: 240; Certificate Number 79776. Record for Ester Grosser

2., 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc., 2006), Database online.Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 3, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1387; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 48; Image: 797. Record for Colkin Grosser.  

3., Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1924 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2014),, Record for Esther Grosser.

4.  Ibid.