Friday, April 13, 2018

Update on search for Estella Mabel Colwell

On the 3rd of July in 2017, I wrote about my search and lack of results in searching for more information on Estella Mabel Colwell, who had married George Moreland in 1919 when she was thirteen years old.  I know that "Mabel" and George divorced between 1921-1925, when George remarried, but I had never found any records of Mabel after the 1920 Census.

A couple of weeks ago, a hint on Mabel showed up on the site. It wasn't her, but it led me to do a search again, and, lo and behold, a new marriage record for her showed up.  Then I found a couple of listings from Elmira, New York City Directories.  Mabel's mother and brother had moved to Elmira, so apparently after Mabel and George Moreland divorced, Mabel went out to Elmira.  In 1924 and 1925, she was listed in Elmira, New York as Estella M. Moreland working as a telephone operator. In the 1925 New York Census, she was listed as Stella Moreland, age 23,  a lodger and a machine operator.

I haven't found her in any 1930 Census yet.

Mabel married Elwin Dossow on the 14th of June in 1932 in Kalispell, Flathead County, Montana.  Mabel was twenty-six years old and Elwin was forty-three years old.  Both were divorced, but each listed that they had not been married before on the marriage certificate.  Mabel was listed as Stella M. Collwell.  I knew it was her when I saw that her parents were listed as Charles Collwell and Rosa Patterson!

Elwin Dossow enlisted in the Army in 1940 and stated that he was single. So more searching for Mabel...

I found Mabel again, in the 1940 Census, living in Spokane, Washington.  She was listed as Stella M. Dossow, age 34, had completed seventh grade and was working as a cook at a restaurant.  But here's the big surprise....she had an 11 year old son listed with her: Clare E. Dossow, age 11, in the fourth grade, and born in Pennsylvania.

Now the question is: was Clare actually the son of Elwin Dossow?  He and Mabel didn't marry until 1932, and Clare would have been born in 1929. Was Clare born before they married, or did Elwin adopt him?

Elwin Dossow died in 1976.  Neither Clare nor Mable are mentioned in his obituary. I have not been able to find any death record of Mabel at this time.   And I certainly wonder how she ended up in Montana!

As of this writing, I haven't found any more on either Mabel or Clare. But I was pleased to at least learn a little more about Mabel's life.

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