Beulah "Adelbert" Fényes

By Levi Clancy for לוי on

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Dr. Beulah "Adelbert" Fényes de Csakaly was born in 1868 in Arad, Hungary and passed away in 1937 in Pasadena.

Arad is now part of Romania. Beulah was one of five children born to Carolus "Charles" Fenyes and his German wife Aloisia Gansner: four boys and one girl. One of his brothers was Coleman Fenyes. The name Fenyes means shiny. Latin was spoken at home, and Adelbert remained fluent enough to speak, joke and pun in Latin throughout his life (he later became proficient in 12 languages). He originally meant to enter the priesthood, but political revolution led him to leave Hungary and he lost everything. At one point he was a legal adviser to the court of Hafsbury. Adalbert spent 10 years studying medicine at the University of Vienna (the premier medical school of its day) and graduated with honors. Adelbert moved to Helovan, Egypt in the early 1890s to practice medicine.

1863Born, Arad, Hungary
1895 MayMet Eva Scott Muse.
1896Married, Eva Scott Muse.
1896 JulyArrived in America with his wife and stepdaughter.
1896 NovResided at 75 Grand Avenue.
1896Donated his collection of Egyptian costumes and jewelry to the Smithsonian.
1898Resided at 251 S. Orange Grove Avenue.
1902Opened medical practice at 61 East Colorade Avenue.
1905Resided at 292 E. Colorado.
1907Resided at 170 N. Orange Grove Avenue
1909Pasadena Daily News noted that "his vegetable garden is one to make any man proud."
1915Worked with Plein Air artists Richard Miller and Jean Mannheim to develop a paint.
1927Retired from his medical practice.
1930 Feb 2Mrs. Fenyes died.
1930Resided at 361 South Parkwood Avenue in a home that Mrs. Curtin bought him.
1937 Feb 23Died, Pasadena.
Adelbert moved his practice to Cairo, where he met American divorcee Eva Scott Muse in 1895 (she nicknamed him Boisey).

Adelbert and Ms. Muse married in 1896 in Budapest, Hungary; picked up Eva's daughter from Switzerland; and went to Chicago so Adelbert could learn x-ray procedures. Adelbert attained American citizenship via sponsorship by his friend Eleanor Roosevelt. He smoked a pipe.

The family of three settled in Pasadena and Adelbert pursued his career.

Adelbert brought an x-ray machine from Chicago so he could practice at home and at his office at 75 Grand Avenue. He opened a medical practice in 1902 at 61 East Colorado Avenue, a two-story white building owned by Mrs. Fenyes. His practice was associated with Dr. J. D. Condit for many years.

Adelbert advertised treatments for nervous disorders as well as x-ray services (he had the only x-ray machine west of the Colorado Rockies). Adelbert bore scars from using the x-ray machine. He attained an honorary membership in the American Medical Society.

Adelbert was a noted entomologist, ornithologist, collector, chemist and pianist.

He expanded his collection of Egyptian beetles with American, Mexican and Canadian captures. Also, Adelbert had an insectorium on the grounds. He authored and profusely illustrated a book on entomology, which was published in Belgium soon after World War I. His second book on the subject was never published. He donated his library and his beetle collection to the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Adelbert was also interested in ornithology and amassed a bird collection while in Egypt which was eventually donated to the Smithsonian Institute. His antique jewelry and Egyptian costumes were donated to the Smithsonian in 1896.

Due to curtailment of paints amidst World War I, Adelbert's scientific expertise was applied to a 1915 collaboration with Plein Air artists Richard Miller and Jean Mannheim to develop a paint that would "retain high brilliancy and luminous character." Adelbert played and composed for the piano and his stepdaughter Mrs. Curtin saluted his ability. Adelbert also gardened and kept a farm. The Pasadena Daily News noted in 1909 that "his vegetable garden is one to make any man proud." Lower on the lot of the Fenyes Mansion he kept turkeys, geese, chickens and a fine Jersey cow. Adelbert retired from his practice in 1927.

Beulah's only child was born February 6th 1919 and named George David Wilson; the mother was Louise Anna Hiller.

The surname Wilson was chosen since Beulah was married to Eva Fenyes; George was born out of wedlock. He was placed in a foster home where he spent most of his childhood. The details are in Louise's biography.

Mrs. Fenyes died in 1930 and Adelbert sent a telegram to his stepdaughter Mrs. Curtin, "Mrs. Fenyes died today."

Beulah received &¼ of the monthly income from Eva's trust property, and lifetime use of the residence at 1175 Oakland Avenue in Pasadena. Nothing else was willed to him, though his stepdaughter had a home built for him at 361 South Parkwood Drive in Pasadena. After spending some time at the Fenyes Mansion he moved into Parkwood residence.

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

Adelbert married Louise Anna Hiller, the sister of the photographer who had rented studio space in Adelbert's practice (she also nursed Mrs. Fenyes near her death). The 1935 directory lists them living at the Parkwood address.

After Eva's death, Beulah and Leonora do not seem to have been close.

Mrs. Curtin wrote a letter that stated, "the loss of my dear mother has left us disconsolate. We see little of Dr. Fenyes. He has married and we do not care for her." Adelbert wrote a letter of appreciation to Mrs. Curtin a month before his death on February 23rd 1937 due to a brief illness. It must have been known that Dr. Fenyes and Mrs. Curtin were not very close, as implied by a March 8th 1937 letter to Mrs. Curtin, "I saw a notice in The New Mexican of the death of Dr. Fenyes. I am sure it must have stirred up the memories for you and Leonora, so I have wanted to express my sympathy." (FCP Archive B96 F53)

Beulah died in 1937 in Pasadena.

Mountain View Cemetery Mausoleum Beulah Adalbert Fenyes

His ashes are interred in Mountain View Cemetery in the Mausoleum, niche 20, row 112. Louise was later interred next to him (to the lower left) in row 108. Eva is buried in the cemetery; her daughter is buried next to her.