Monday, December 2, 2019

Dr Alberta F. M. Greene

In Melson cemetery in the Acker family plot is a grave marked “Alberta F. M. Greene 1870-1948.”  Alberta Feemster Moffet Greene was an interesting person with a tie in to Delmar.  She was born in 1870 in Tennessee to Paul Silas Feemster (1840-1896) and Isabella “Bella” Rankin Wilson Feemster (1839-1920).  She had two brothers; John and Hugh and one sister; Lulu that lived into adulthood.  Her Father became a preacher in the late 1870s and the family ended up in Missouri. 

Alberta had a short-lived marriage to Edward O. Moffet which ended after she had a son (Harold LeRoy Moffet born 1891).  In 1895 she was living in Kansas city with her son and brother Hugh.  By 1900 her father had died and she and her son, her mother and brothers were living in Kansas City.  She had become a nurse and between holding a job and raising her son she attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Kansas City graduating in 1902.  The college would become part of the University of Kansas in 1906.

Dr Alberta Moffet opened the Red Cross Hospital (no relation to the American Red Cross) in 1903 in Kansas City, Missouri.  It was a 20 bed general hospital.  She continued to run the hospital until about 1909. 

In the late 1890s and the 1900s the newspapers were advertising land in Montana and Washington State.  Using the Homestead Act of 1862 one could claim 160 acres of land. 
above 1910 ad 
Dr Alberta Moffet left Missouri for Judith Gap, Montana.  She left her son in the care of her brother so he could finish high school.  From Newspaper accounts she appears to have known at least one family (the Martins) in the area so perhaps that is the reason for moving to Judith Gap.  Judith Gap was a small town that was in the Judith Gap between the Big Snowy Mountain Range and the Little Belt Mountains.  A railroad; the Milwaukee, has a line that runs the valley with a station in each of the small towns that dot the area.  The area grew Winter Wheat and raised sheep at the time Dr. Moffet lived there. 

above Judith Gap
She sit up her office and filed a homestead claim north of town.

above 1909 ad in the Judith Gap Journal

 In 1909 she had her mother and sister, Lulu, living in Judith Gap. Her sister met Henry Charles Acker in Judith Gap and married him.  Henry and Lulu had a son, Donald Charles Acker, while living in Judith Gap.   Donald would become a railroad engineer in Delmar.

About 1912 Alberta met a medical book salesman, James O. Greene (born 1862 in Missouri) from Spokane, Washington.  He was a lawyer and a rancher and he had an apple orchard farm in Granger, Washington.  He also represented the Lee-Fierbierger book company and sold medical texts to doctors.  
above 1912 ad in Judith Gap Journal

After her marriage to him in 1912 she convinced her husband to rent out his apple orchard and move with her to Madison, Wisconsin where her son Harold was attending college.  Her intent was to remain in Wisconsin until her son graduated and then move back to Washington State.  James Greene must have died between 1912 and 1917 as in the 1920 census she is in Europe with the Red Cross and is listed as a widow. 

above 1919 passport photo of Dr Alberta Greene

Her son, Harold, had enlisted in the Army and was with the 11th Engineers with the American Expeditionary Forces.   He returned from France as a first lieutenant.  He was trained as an engineer at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Pennsylvania.   Like many men who came back from the war he did not seem to want to follow his profession and for a while was a golf professional.  When he was in his 30s he decided he wanted to be an actor. 

Above Harold L Moffit

She was back in Kansas City, Missouri in 1917 and 1918.  In 1919 she went with the Red Cross to Serbia, Montenegro and Albania.   In 1921 she was working at the state insane asylum at Fergus Falls, Minnesota. She worked as a Physician and Assistance Superintendent of the State reformatory for Women in Bedford, New York in 1920 and 1925, then in New York City in 1930 to 1948.

About 1929 her sister, Lulu and her husband and son moved to Delmar, Maryland.  Her brother, John, would move to Iowa and her other brother, Hugh, would move to Baltimore, Maryland.  Her mother died in Montana in 1920.  Dr Greene made many visits to Delmar visiting her sister. 

Meanwhile Harold had become an actor.  He appeared in a number of plays in New York. 

In 1930 he married Sylvia Field (Harriett L. Johnson) an actress.  They had a daughter Sally Moffet (1932-1995).  In 1938 Harold died of heart disease.  Sylvia would remarry in 1941 to Ernest Truex.  She would go on to play Mrs. Wilson in the TV show “Dennis the Menace.”  Her daughter Sally would also become an actress.
above 1927 photo Sylvia Field

In 1948 Alberta died in New York.  Her sister had her body shipped to Delmar and buried at Melson Cemetery. 

Let me credit Kenneth Anderson for his help with this post.  Without his help I could have not listed the many places Dr Alberta worked at.

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