Louise Anne Hiller Fenyes

By Levi Clancy for לוי on

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Louise Anna Hiller was born June 13th 1884 in New Jersey and passed away on February 14th 1954 in San Francisco.

Her parents were Fred Hiller and Emma Krauss, both from Germany. Her brothers Albert Hiller and Charles Hiller were both photographers. She worked as an assistant to her brother Albert in Pasadena, and also worked in her own capacity in journalism photography.

Louise's only child George David Wilson was born on February 6th 1919.

The father was Beulah Fenyes, who had an x-ray office downstairs from Albert's photography office. The place of birth and address of the mother are recorded as 55 East Colorado St, which was property owned by Mrs. Fenyes.

It is speculated that Louise worked for Eva Fenyes for a time.

Eva likely knew about the relationship between Beulah and Louise; nonetheless, it is believed that Louise was Eva's nurse.

Louise and Beulah were married May 14th 1930 in Santa Ana, California.

Their addresses at the time were separate. It is speculated that they lived together at the mansion upon their marriage. By 1935 their mutual address was 361 Parkwood Avenue in Pasadena.

Beulah died in 1937 following a brief illness.

Upon becoming a widow, Louise moved to San Francisco where her brothers lived. She is speculated to have inherited Beulah's things.

Louise died in San Francisco on Valentine's Day, 1954.

Mountain View Cemetery Mausoleum Louise Anna Hiller Fenyes

Her ashes are interred in a niche next to Dr. Fenyes' at the Mountain View Cemetery in the Mausoleum's Columbarium of Consolation, niche 20, row 108 (Dr. Fenyes is to the upper right, row 112).

George David Wilson

George was born February 6th 1919 in Pasadena.

The place of birth and address of the mother are recorded as 55 East Colorado St, which was property owned by Mrs. Fenyes. It was Dr. Fenyes' office. Dr. Caroline Leete was also present. In the Pasadena City Directory for 1918, Mrs. Caroline M Leete is listed as a physician at 22 N Marengo Ave #607; residing at 655 N Fair Oaks link.

There is speculation as to whether Eva Fenyes knew about the birth and may have been involved in the arrangements for George's upbringing.

George grew up in a foster home.

According to L Wilson, Dr. Leete found a home for George, living with Verna Fowler Colwell. Verna Colwell lived at 451 West Central Avenue in Sierra Madre. As George remembered, this was (and still is) across from the library; Central Avenue is now Sierra Madre Blvd. Mrs. Colwell, a widow, is recorded as then residing at Altadena and then Glendale. Verna and her husband and brothers started Fowler's bookstore in LA, founded 1888. Interesting link: latimes.com. Verna might have gone by the nickname RD. Verna and her husband had a son named Max, who was called Uncle Max by George.

According to L Wilson, Beulah and Louise would visit George and take him on outings and George was always very popular as a limousine with a driver would come pick him up and take him special places. According to L Wilson, there is a picture of George taken with/by Beulah and Louise, though they are not in the photo with him.

Adoption by Beulah and Louise.

After Eva died, Beulah and Louse were married on May 14, 1930. Beulah was willed a share of the income from his late wife's estate: ¼ of the income up to $500. According to L Wilson, this enabled them to start a savings plan for Louise's later years and also pay for George's foster care.

Other than the name of his spouse and his date and place of death, the remainder of the information below on George Wilson's life has not been verified.

According to L Wilson, Beulah and Louise took George to live with them at the big house in Pasadena. However, they did not tell him that they were his parents. A few years later (at either the Mansion or the Parkwood Ave address) he found papers or pictures and realized his adoptive parents were in fact his biological parents. It was an emotional shock; what he needed at this time was love, and he did not feel loved living with Beulah and Louise (it is unclear whether he felt unwanted due to the past, or whether they left him feeling unloved after adopting him). After just three years with them, he ran away back to the Fowler-Colwell home and stayed there until he was 16.

George returned to the foster home.

George returned to live at the foster home. RD was the woman who he loved and made him feel loved. He lived with her until he joined the army in 1941, but he also lived on his own in the Hollywood Hills for some time.

He left the foster home circa 1935 at the age of fifteen/sixteen.

He left high school around that age, too. He lived on his own in the Hollywood hills and worked odd jobs.

He went into the military shortly after.

When he was 18 he joined the military and went off to war.

He married Esther O'Hauge.
He passed away in 2007.

Hiller-Fenyes family tree

  • Frederick Hiller (? [Germany] - ) and Emma Krauss (1843 March [Germany] - )

    • Emma immigrated in 1868.

    • Charles M Hiller (1867 Oct [New York] - )

      • Married by 1900 to Emily (1863 Sept [New Jersey] - )

      • Elsie Hiller (1887 May [New Jersey] - )

      • Emily Hiller (1888 Nov [New Jersey] - )

      • Edna Hiller (1893 Feb [New Jersey] - )

    • Edward Hiller (?)

    • Albert Hiller (1877 July 26 [New Jersey] - 1944 Dec 14 [San Francisco])
      (his place of birth is somewhat ambiguous; the exact date even more so, 1877 or 1878 and June or July)

    • Louise Anne Hiller (1884 June 13 [New Jersey] - 1954 Feb 14 [San Francisco])

      • Married 1930 May 14 [Santa Ana, CA] to Beulah "Adelbert" Fenyes (1863 [Arad, Hungary] - 1937 [Pasadena, CA])

      • George David Wilson (1919 Feb 6 [Pasadena] - 2007 March 31 [Salinas])

        • Married 1945 Sep 17 [Los Angeles] to Esther O'Hauge (c 1922 - ). Her parents were John William Hauge and Clara Schiller

        • John William Wilson (1950 Jan 31 - )

          • Married ???? to ??

          • Elizabeth Wilson (1976 Mar 15 - )

            • Married ???? to ??

            • Zachary William Tarek Badaouie (2002 Sept 22 - )

        • David Wilson

Hiller-Fenyes studies

Albert Hiller photo
California deaths, Louise Anna FenyesProvides her birth and death information: born 1884 June 13 in New Jersey; died 1954 Feb 14 in San Francisco. Provides her mother's maiden name is Krauss, and her father's surname as Hiller. Her middle name is recorded as Anna, not Anne like in the docent manual.
George Wilson - Esther O'Hauge marriage recordThis document provides their 1945 Sep 17 marriage date and names for both spouses, plus their parents' names. It also explicitly lists George's parents as Adelbert and Louise.
David G Wilson birth recordBirth record for 1919 Feb 6 with mother's last name as Hiller and no paternal information. Provides name as David G Wilson.
Grave of George D WilsonThe exact same birthdate as David G Wilson helps me confirm that that George's birth certificate reverses his first and middle names as he used them throughout his life.
Fenyes - Hiller marriage licenseProvides their marriage date as 1930 May 14 in Santa Ana, Orange County, CA and the spouses' parental information (including first names and places of birth). Her parents were from Germany; his from Hungary. Confirms they were both Pasadena residents and that she was from New Jersey and he was from Hungary. His address was 170 N Orange Grove Ave, Pasadena; hers was 336 S Hudson Ave, Pasadena. This was his second and her first marriage. Her name is recorded as Anna Louise Hiller. The marriage was witnessed by Ruth Bower Johnson and Albert Hiller, both of Pasadena. direct image link
1900 censusLocation was ED 106 Precinct 2 Elizabeth city Ward 7, Union, New Jersey, United States. Provides months and years of birth. Shows that Louise and Albert were living with their brother Charles and mother Emma. Two strange things: Emma immigrated in 1868 to the United States. However, Charles was born 1867 in New York. Furthermore, Albert was born 1878 June in Germany (though something is crossed out next to his birth year, so perhaps an error was made). Charlie was working as a photographer. Albert was working as a day laborer.
1885 censusLikely identified as the family of interest. Location was Elizabeth, Ward 03, Union, New Jersey. No dates are provided. Lists Frederick, Emma, Charles, Edward, Albert and Louisa Hiller.
1940 census, Albert HillerRecords Albert Hiller lived in Hampshire Arms Apartments. His last place of residence was Pasadena. His birthplace was New Jersey, which contradicts the 1900 census but makes much more sense. He worked as a photographer. direct image link
1940 census, Louise FenyesLouise lived alone on Washington Street in San Francisco. Her last residence was Pasadena. She was widowed. Her highest education was the 4th year of high school.
WW II draft card, Albert HillerAddress was 1334 Van Ness, Hotel Madison, San Francisco, CA. Mailing address was 1117 Geary St, San Francisco, CA. The mailing address was also the address for Charles M Hiller, who was his point of contact, employer and place of work. Birth was June 26, 1877 in Dresden, Germany. direct image link
California deaths, Albert HillerBorn 1877 July 26 in New Jersey, died 1944 Dec 14 in San Francisco. The mother's maiden name is Kraus and father's is Hiller, which affirms that this is the correct record. There are inconsistencies about his place and date of birth in different documents, but this record is estimated as the most accurate date and place.
Albert Hiller's photographyAn abundance of Albert Hiller's photographs are found by searching for his name.
Articles on Fowler BrosThere are two articles: 1988 06 08 and 1994 03 23.
1935 Pasadena directoryBeulah and Louise lived together at 361 Parkwood Avenue.
Public records indexHe lived 1935 - 1993 in Salinas, CA. An address is provided: 24260 Pheasant CT, Salinas, CA, 93908-9349.
1910 census,
Louise, Albert, Emma
Pasadena Ward 2, Los Angeles, California. Lists Albert's birthplace as New York. He was a photographer in his own shop. Louise was a photographer doing journal work. Emma was not working. It is difficult to read, but I believe it says that her immigration year was 1859.
Fowler-Colwell linksVerna Elizabeth Fowler (born circa 1872) and William Addison Colwell (born circa 1863). Married 1897 Jun 23. link; link; link Their son Max Fowler Colwell (born c 1902) married Ruth Halliwell Chamberlain (born c 1903) on 1925 Aug 29. link Their address at the bookshop was 111 W 2nd St in Los Angeles. link Perhaps they had a daughter: Verna Fowler was born 1901 May 28 and died 1966 April. Her last place of residence was Sierra Madre. Her SSN was 563-14-8891. link The bookstore was originally Fowler & Colwell. link
Verna Colwell in Sierra MadreAccording to L Wilson, Verna ran a foster home in Sierra Madre for about twelve boys; the home was across from the library and was originally built as Sierra Madre's first hotel. The 1920 census lists Verna Colwell (head of household), Maxwell Colwell (her son) and an eight-year old Francis Mertz (as a lodger). The address was 451 West Central Avenue. This is indeed across from the library: the library's address was 442 Central Ave; it became 440 Sierra Madre Blvd when the street named changed in 1936. Looking at telephone directories for Sierra Madre: 1921 February I found a V E Colwell (no honorific) at 451 W Central with telephone number Black 77; 1921 November, 1923 August, 1924 June, 1925 April, 1926 February, 1926 December have a Mrs. V E Colwell at same address and number; 1927 September, 1928 May have the telephone number as Green 206; 1933 January has the number as 206-2; 1933 May has her crossed out of the directory, and next to it written T E Colwell at 158 E Central Ave. In the 1934 January and henceforth directories, she is absent from the Sierra Madre telephone directories. The first hotel in Sierra Madre was the Tourist Hotel (renamed the Hotel Shirley in 1906 and still existing) on Baldwin Ave; thus, Verna's address was not the site of the first library. There is no indication that it was ever the site of any library.
William Addison ColwellAccording to a matching ancestry.com tree, he died in 1914 in Sierra Madre.
Verna FowlerIn 1935 she lived in Altadena and in 1940 she lived in Glendale. Verna Colwell Moon died in 1960 and had a cousin Max Colwell; this does not seem like the same person link.