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Clara Louise Foss

Clara Louise Foss

Female 1879 - 1941  (61 years)

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  • Name Clara Louise Foss 
    Born 15 Nov 1879  Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 9 Nov 1941 
    Person ID I49262  Whipple Descendants
    Last Modified 20 May 2011 

    Father Robert Harmon Foss,   b. 28 Jun 1836, Saco, York, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Dec 1924  (Age 88 years) 
    Mother Abbie Ellen Whipple,   b. 13 Apr 1855, Hamilton, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Apr 1901  (Age 46 years) 
    Married 25 Apr 1878  Providence, Providence, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F22330  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Karl Stephen von Herrmann,   b. Mar 1876, Brandon, Rutland, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 5 Jun 1899  Hamilton, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Divorced Yes, date unknown 
    Last Modified 3 Dec 2018 
    Family ID F22332  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 William M. Windsor Grayson,   b. 29 Jan 1873, , , Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Mar 1956  (Age 83 years) 
    Married Abt 1921 
    Last Modified 3 Dec 2018 
    Family ID F22333  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 15 Nov 1879 - Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 5 Jun 1899 - Hamilton, Essex, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Clara Louise (Foss) von Herrmann Grayson (1879-1941)
    Clara Louise (Foss) von Herrmann Grayson (1879-1941)
    Clara Louise Foss, Saturday Evening Post, 2 Nov 1902. Art by Harrison Fisher
    Clara Louise (Foss) von Herrmann (1879-1941) with Karl Stephen von Herrmann (b. 1876)
    Clara Louise (Foss) von Herrmann (1879-1941) with Karl Stephen von Herrmann (b. 1876)

  • Notes 
    • !SOURCE: Handwritten descendancy chart of Matthew Whipple by Shirley Whipple Adams (swagene@rangeley.org), mailed to Weldon Whipple Oct 2000. Shirley created the chart "20 yrs. ago in Ipswich [Massachusetts] at the library using Hammatt & Darling papers, Ipswich V[ital] R[ecords], Hamilton V[ital] R[ecords] & cemetery records." Gives date of first marriage 1911.

      !SOURCE: Email from Luis Asencio Camacho (undisclosed at example dot net) to the Whipple Website, 18 May 2011. Gives name Karl Stephen Herrmann. Writes the following:
      I am currently working on a Spanish edition and translation of Karl Stephen Herrmann's 1899 book "From Yauco to Las Marias," Herrmann's memories about the Puerto Rican campaign during the Spanish-American War. While researching his life, I learned he was married to a certain "Clara Louise," from Hamilton, Mass., whose maiden name I had not found out until yesterday. This very morning (this has been a truly exciting and productive day!) I continued my research into Clara Louise, having learned that she was the daughter of the Foss Family, and that her mother's maiden name had been "Whipple," and came across your page. Very interesting indeed. Keep up the excellent work.

      From what I have been able to glean during my entire research, Clara Louise Foss was born in 1879, the youngest daughter of Robert Foss and Abbie Whipple. Sometime, probably before 1899, she became a model (or at least posed) for the highly acclaimed artist Harrison Fisher, thus coming to be known as a "Harrison Girl." In June 1899 she married Karl Stephen Herrman ... The 1900 census of Mass., has both Herrmann and Clara Louise lodging at Simeon C. Bailey's estate.

      What I know about Herrmann at the time is that he was working as an editor for a literary magazine. Sometime between 1902 and 1903, it seems that Clara Louise introduced her husband to Julia Marlowe, a very famous Shakespearean actress, and Herrmann became the actress's press agent, not long afterward becoming romantically involved with her. Clara Louise filed suit for divorce, but Herrmann was able to break loose. Mind that at the same time, both his editor and publishing house had come under another lawsuit on account of some comments he made in his book, supposedly giving too much information away about the "dirty laundry" within the Puerto Rican Campaign. Inasmuch as I have not been able to find out the outcome of such a lawsuit, it appears that Herrmann and company ended up fine. In a future correspondence I can provide you more details about such case.

      It appears that Clara Louise was apeaced, but Herrmann allegedly continued his shady businesses with Marlowe and widowed New York socialite Maud Thorburn Backus, until once again in 1908, Clara Louise filed another divorce lawsuit, with both ladies as co-respondents. In a few days after the lawsuit, her lawyer was able to reach an agreement with Marlowe's and drop both teh actress's name and Backus's off the lawsuit, leaving only Herrmann's. (Herrmann, at the time, styled himself as "von Herrmann"; therefore, you will see Clara Louise styling herself as so, too.) I regret to say this is as far as I have been able to trace both Herrmann and Clara Louise, but from ... your document, I can assume she got her divorce. Clara Louise's lawyer stated that he had known the Herrmann matrimony, and that he could vouch for Clara's allegations of cruelty from her husband's part, not to mention that Herrmann was a drug user (I assume he meant alcohol).


      !SOURCE: 30 Jun 1880 federal census of District 218, Lynn, Essex, County, Massachusetts, p. 11, living at 88 1/2 Market St., dwelling 79, family 117:
      • Foss, Robert, 43, Keeper, Billiard Hall, b. ME, parents b. ME
      • Foss, Abbie E., 25, wife, keeping house, b. MA, parents b. MA
      • Foss, Clara L., 7/12, b. November [sic], dau, b. MA, father b. ME, mother b. MA
      • Caswell, John F., 35, lodger, clerk in store, b. MA
      • Aborn, Samuel, 45, lodger, works in shoe factory, b. MA


      !SOURCE: 1 Jun 1900 federal census of District 467, Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts, sheet A1, dwelling 3, family 3:
      • Foss, Robert, head, b. 28 Jun 1836, age 63, married 23 yrs., b. ME, parents b. ME, farmer
      • Foss, Abbie E., wife, b. 14 Apr 1855, age 45, married 23 yrs., b. MA, parents b. MA
      • Foss, Clara L., dau, b. 15 Nov 1879, age 20, married 1 yr., b. MA, father b. ME, mother b. MA, at home
      • Foss, Robert A., son, b. 14 Sep 1881, age 18, single, b. MA, father b. ME, mother b. MA, farm laborer
      • Foss, Lawerence M., son, b. 1 Aug 1889, age 10, single, b. MA, father b. ME, mother b. MA, at school
      • Whipple, Sarah B., servant, b. 13 Apr 1868, age 32, single, b. MA, parents b. MA, housemaid
      • Canon, William, servant, b. 4 Jul 1855, age 45, single, b. MA, father b. Ireland, mother b. England, farm hand
      • Andrews, Geo. W., servant, b. 19 Jun 1834, age 65, single, b. MA, parents b. MA, farm hand


      !SOURCE: Jun 1900 federal census of District 1325, Boston Ward 12, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, sheet 6B (p. 12), living at 15 Greenwich Park, dwelling 39, family 83:
      • Bailey, Simeon C., head, b. Sep 1844, age 55, married 30 yrs., b. ME, parents b. ME, Hair Dresser
      • Bailey, Mary E., wife, b. Jul 1848, age 51, married 30 yrs., b. ME, parents b. ME, House Keeper
      • Seabourn, Florence, lodger, b. Nov 1868, age 31, single, b. Canada, father b. England, mother b. Canada, Music teacher
      • Cramer, Carrie C, lodger, female, b. Mar 1867, age 38, married 7 yrs., b. MA, parents b. MA, Stenographer
      • Hale, Mary, lodger, b. Apr 1859, age 41, single, b. Canada, parents b. Canada, Dressmaker
      • Millbury, L. Emma, lodger, b. Apr 1875, age 25, single, b. Canada, parents b. Canada, Dressmaker
      • Starrett, Julia R., lodger, b. Dec 1870, age 29, single, b. Canada, parents b. Canada, Dressmaker
      • White, Mabel, lodger, b. Jan 1875, age 25, single, b. MA, parents b. MA
      • Herrman, Karl S., lodger, b. Mar 1876, age 24, married 1 yr., b. VT, father b. Germany, mother b. VT, Editor
      • Herrman, Clara L., lodger, b. Nov., 1879, age 20, married 1 yr., b. MA, father b. ME, mother b. MA
      • Wright, George, lodger, b. Mar 1872, age 28, single, b. ME, parents b. ME, Salesman [...]
      • Davis, Blanche, lodger, b. Apr 1872, age 28, single, b. IL, father b. MA, mother b. IL


      !SOURCE: 22 Apr 1910 federal census of District 486, Wenham, Essex County, Massachusetts, sheet 6B (p. 12), living on Cherry Street, dwelling 142, family 154:
      • Foss, Robert, head, 73, widowed, b. ME, parents b. ME, Gardener, house [?]
      • Foss, Robert A., son, 28, single, b. MA, father b. ME, mother b. MA, Photographer, Picture house
      • Von Herman, Clara L., dau, 30, married 10 yrs., b. MA, father b. ME, mother b. MA


      !SOURCE: 19 Jan 1920 federal census of District 158, Lynn Ward 4, Essex County, Massachusetts, sheet 17B (p. 34), living at 1 Atlantic Street, dwelling 262, family 460. (Family 459 lived in the same dwelling):
      • Foss, Robert, head, 83, widowed, b. ME, parents b. ME, (occupation: none)
      • Von Herrmann, Clara L., dau, 40, single, b. MA, father b. ME, mother b. MA, bookkeeper, rubber company


      !SOURCE: 17 Apr 1930 federal census of District 111, Clayton City, St. Louis County, Missouri, sheet 22A (p. 45), living at 6409[?] Clayton Road, dwelling 398, family 509:
      • Grayson, William W., head, 57, age 48 at 1st [sic] marriage, b. VA, parents b. VA, Manufacture [?] Agent, Railway Supplier [?]
      • Von [Grayson,] Clara, wife, 50, age 41 at 1st [sic] marriage, b. MA, father b. ME, mother b. MA


      !SOURCE: Scan of page from "Marriages Registered in the Town of Hamilton for the Year eighteen hundred and ninety-nine," submitted by Luis Asencio Camacho (undisclosed at example dot net) to the Whipple Website, 18 May 2011. Gives marriage date and place, groom Karl S. Herrman, resident of Hamilton, age 23, Author, b. Grandon, VT, son of Charles [Herrman] and Florence Coates, first marriage; bride Clara L. Foss., resident of Hamilton, age 18, at home, b. Lynn, dau. of Robert [Foss] and Abbie Whipple, first marriage. Marriage performed by Jesse G. Nichols, Minister, Hamilton.

      !SOURCE: Email from Luis Asencio Camacho (undisclosed at example dot net) to the Whipple Website, 19 May 2011: "I would also recommend checking out Harrison Fisher's paintings, where--I'm sure--there must be a painting of Clara Louise. In its edition of 8 April 1908, The Washington Post, covering the divorce scandal, described her as "young and pretty, and a former artists' model" (p. 1)."


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