Robert Harry Darling (1907-1969)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 34 – Robert
Harry Darling  (1907-1969)

By – Don Taylor
This is probably the most intimidating biography I have
written so far. Most if the time I know more about the individual I am writing
about than anyone else so it is easy. In the case of Robert Harry Darling.
Because Harry died in 1969, many people remember him and may have different
opinions of him and his history. I will do my best to be impartial regarding a complicated
man who lived a complicated life. If anyone, particularly his descendants, have
any different information or any anecdotal information regarding him, please
share it with me though the comment sheet below or directly to my email. In any
event, I will certainly welcome additional insight into the man.

Robert Harry Darling  (1907-1969)

Robert Harry Darling
abt 1932
Even Robert Harry Darling’s birth has some mystery. He was
clearly born on 18 August 1907, but it is unclear where. Most documents
indicate he was born in Pittsburgh, PA, however, there are several key
documents which indicate he was born in New Kensington, Westmoreland, County,
Pennsylvania, which is a town about 20 mile up the Allegheny river from
Pittsburgh. I believe he was born in New Kensington.
I haven’t found anything to suggest that Robert Harry’s
father, Rufus Harry Darling was ever in the picture. When Harry was only two
years old, the 1910 census shows Harry living with his mother and sister as roomers
in the home of Robert & Emma Hennig at 3319 Ward Street, in Pittsburgh[1]. The
house still stands today. 
Harry’s mother died when Harry was five years old on 11 July
1913. Apparently, Rufus’ father wasn’t interested in taking on the
responsibility of the Harry and his sister Elizabeth. In any event, Harry went
to live with his grandmother, Margaret McAllister. When Harry was eight, (August,
1915) his grandmother took him and his sister to England. It must have been a
scary time for the eight year old. The Titanic disaster was only a few years before
and England was involved in World War One. The U-Boats were hunting and the
Lusitania had been sunk earlier in May. The saving grace was the ship they
sailed on was probably of United States registry and the US had not entered the
way yet.
SS Philadelphia
Courtesy: Ancestry.Com
Harry was in England from Sep 1915 until 1916 and attended
school while there. The three of them returned to the states aboard the SS
Philadelphia, which arrived in New York on 23 December 1916[2] and
were probably to their residence in Brookline borough, Pittsburgh, PA by
Christmas.
Harry’s father, Rufus, died on 5 June 1917 when Harry was
only 9 years old. An orphan at nine, Harry continued to live with his
grandmother at 411 Arlington, Street in Pittsburgh[3].
Robert Harry married Nora Adaline Glies on 10 Aug 1926 in Wellsburg,
Brooke, West Virginia[4]. This
would have been a week before his 19th birthday, so it is unclear
why he apparently lied about his age for the marriage. In any event, his
marriage license indicated he was born in 1905 making him nearly 21. Also, this
is one of the very few documents that indicates he was born in New Kensington,
PA and not Pittsburgh. He and Nora divorced sometime in 1927. There is no known
issue from that marriage.
110 North Fremont Ave,Pittsburgh
“Today” Courtesy: Google Maps
In 1929, Robert Harry married Florence Wilma Huber. They rented
an apartment in a four-plex at 110 North Fremont Ave. in Pittsburgh. A building
that stands today. In July of 1930, they had their only child, a daughter. Florence died 05
Oct 1934 of bilateral pyosalpinx and pelvic cellulitis, cause undetermined. It
isn’t clear to me when his daughter from Florence went to live with her
grandparents on her mother’s side, John & Bertha Huber, but certainly sometime between
1940 and 1943.
On September 30, 1938, Harry married Mae (or May) Ada Reno in
Pittsburgh, PA[5]. They
quickly had three children the first one in June 1939, another in August 1940,
and the third one in August 1941. The 1940 Census finds the family, Robert,
wife Mae, and two daughters (one by Florence and one by Mae) living at 915
Fordham St., Pittsburgh, PA[6]. Later in 1940, Robert’s first son, Robert Harry Darling, Jr. was born, and in
1941, another girl was born.
The United States entered World War II in December 1941. It
isn’t clear why, but it is my speculation that Robert and May were divorced in
1943, which would have made him eligible for the draft. Thus, nearly two years
after the war began, on 23 November 1943, Robert Harry enlisted in the US Navy for two years. He served at NAVTRACEN San Diego and
USNHosp San Diego, CA.
Robert Harry Darling was a tall man, 6’0″, 155lbs, Blue
eyes, brown hair, and a ruddy complexion. He was discharged well before the war
ended, in September 1944. He appears to have married Florence Drexl about that
time and the two stayed in San Diego where their two children, a girl and a
boy, were born in 1945 and 1946 respectively.
Sometime between 1946 and 1951, Harry, and presumably
Florence, moved to Detroit, Michigan area, possibly to Mount Clemens. In 1965,
Harry was living at 34546 Jefferson, Mount Clemens. On 6 November 1967, Harry’s
son, Robert Harry Darling, Jr., died in Vietnam.
Robert Harry Darling died on 22 Jan 1969, in Wayne,
Michigan, USA of Pseudomonas septicemia due to chronic lymphatic leukemia at
the age of 61. At the time of his death, he was divorced from Florence although
when that divorce occurred I have not found. Harry is buried at Cadillac Memorial
Gardens, East, in Mount Clemens, Michigan. 
  
Note: There is family legend that Harry had another child,
named “Dee Dee” or possibly Diana about 1940. It is unknown if this child was
born out of wedlock or between the marriage to Florence Wilma and May Reno.
More research is needed on this topic.
I thought about Robert Harry Darling a lot yesterday, which
was the 107th anniversary of his birth.
Further Actions:

Determine ship, and registry, that Harry took to England in 1915.
Find out more regarding the Divorce from Nora Giles.
Find out particulars regarding marriage to Florence Huber.
Find out about the Divorce from May Reno.
Find out marriage details regarding Florence Drexl
Find out divorce details regarding Florence Drexl 
Research “Dee Dee” Darling

List of Greats
1.    
Rufus Harry
Darling
2.    
Rufus Holton
Darling
3.    
Abner
Darling

Search Civil War Records - Fold3

[1] 1910 Census, Year:
1910; Census Place: Pittsburgh Ward 4, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll:
T624_1300; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0330; Image: ; FHL microfilm:
1375313.

[2] New York Passenger
Lists, 1820-1957, Ancestry.com,
Year: 1916; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm
Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll
2507; Line: 4; Page Number: 140.     . http://search.ancestry.com/
[3] 1920 Census,
Year: 1920; Census Place: Mount Oliver, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1515; Page: 6B; Enumeration
District: 258; Image: 549. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1920usfedcen&h=112552856&indiv=try.
[4] West Virginia,
Marriages, 1854-1932, FamilySearch.org,
“West Virginia, Marriages, 1854-1932,”index, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XRH5-82V : accessed 31 March 2012),
Robert Harry Darling (1926).
[5] Pennsylvania
County Marriages, 1885 – 1950, FamilySearch.org,
“Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885 – 1950,”index and images,
FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VFQZ-TCV : accessed 6 April
2012), Robert H. Darling (1938).
[6] 1940 Census, Ancestry.com, Birth date:  abt 1908 Birth place:  Pennsylvania Residence date:  1 Apr 1940 Residence place:  Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United
States.

Florence Wilma Huber Darling (1908-1934)

52 Ancestors #16 – [Florence Wilma Huber Darling (1908-1934)

Bio – Florence Wilma Huber Darling

Florence Huber
Approx. 1924 (Age 16)
Florence was born on 23 April, 1908 in Wisconsin, the first
child of Johan (John) and Bertha Trümpi Huber.[i] At
the time her parents probably lived near Primrose, Dane County, Wisconsin and
were part of the Swiss immigrant population in that area. [ii]
Shortly after her birth the Hubers moved to Elberta and
Josephine, Baldwin, Alabama where her brother Clarence was born a year and a
half later.[iii]  This
is a very unusual migration route and it prompted me to look further at
possible reasons for the relocation there. 
It appears that the Hubers had succumbed to advertising that was
targeted to the Swiss Colony folks in Wisconsin and Minnesota which provided
inexpensive trips to southern Alabama in February and March to promote land
sales.
By the time Florence was 12 the family had relocated back north, this time to Saginaw, Michigan. [iv] In the school year 1920-1921 she, and her brother Clarence, had perfect attendance, missing no days of school.[v]            
It is unclear how or where Florence met the divorcee, Robert
Harry Darling. Harry had been married in 1925 to Nora Glies and divorced in
1926.  He married Florence in 1929 and
located to  110 N. Fremont. Ross, Allegheny
County, Pennsylvania by the 1930 census time. 
It appears that the apartment that was at that location was replaced in
1950. Later in 1930, Florence had a daughter.
425 Charles St., Pittsburgh, PA
Today
Thanks to Google Maps
Florence died on 5 October 1934 of Bilateral Pyosalpinx,
Pelvic Cellulitis, cause undetermined. She lived at 423 Charles, Pittsburgh, PA
at the time of her death.[vi]
According to her death certificate she was buried at Zion
Memorial Cemetery. A Find-a-Grave photo request has gone unanswered since May
2013.

Further Research

Determine date for her marriage to Robert Harry Darling.
Get photo of her grave marker.

 Sources:

[i] Pennsylvania Death
Certificate, Certificate #89399. Florence Darling (Robt H. Darling – Informant).
[ii] 1905 Wisconsin
State Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Huber, John. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi­bin/sse.dll?
h=1552251&db=WIstatecen&indiv=try.
[iii] Lutheran
(Alabama), Baptism Certificate, Ancestry Family Trees
[iv] 1920 Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com,
James, Saginaw, Michigan – John Huber.
[v] Saginaw New
Courier, Genealogy Bank, 1921-07-21 – Page 11 – Nine Hundred Children in Rural
Schools Not Absent Nor Tardy in Past School Year. http://phw01.newsbank.com/cache/arhb/fullsize/pl_004152014_1553_00585_70.pdf.
[vi] Pennsylvania Death
Certificate, Certificate #89399. Florence Darling (Robt H. Darling –
Informant).

Florence Darling – Death Certificate

(Modern) Google photo of
423 Charles, Pittsburgh, PA

I received Florence Darling’s Certificate of Death from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. (See my previous blog for details on ordering PA Death Certificates.)  The certificate included some interesting information and insights.

Her husband, Robert H. Darling was the informant. He provided Florence’s birthdate of Apr. 23, 1908.  (New Information) He also provided their address of 423 Charles (30th ward) in Pittsburgh.  It is interesting that Harry did not know his wife’s mother’s maiden name of place of birth.  

Original UPMC South Side Hospital
South Side Hospital (Demolished in 1982)

Florence died October 5, 1934, at the age of 26, at South Side Hospital of bilateral pyosalpinx (a collection of pus in an oviduct. [Merriam-Webster]) and pelvic cellulitis of “undetermined cause.” Contributory cause of death was peritonitis. She had been in the doctor’s care for seven days before her passing. I’m sure it must have been seven days of agony. Sadly enough, penicillin, which was discovered in 1928, wasn’t in use until in the 1940. Penicillin probably could have saved her.

According to the certificate, she was buried at Zion Memorial Cemetery on October 7th, 1934. I have created a Find-A-Grave memorial for her and have requested a photo.