Alice Seaver Thanisch

A note by my first cousin twice removed, Henry Morse Seaver (1873-1947), about his sister Alice Seaver Thanisch (1878-1918) and her husband Otto Thanisch (1877-1909). He does not mention that Marion Hibbard (1882-1978), their first cousin and also my first cousin twice removed, married Otto’s brother Rudolph Thanisch (1881-1948) in 1906.

A Seaver Family Note, H. M. Seaver

What City Life can do to a family:

My sister Alice E. Seaver married about 1904 [in fact, 18 October 1904] a very nice young man of Jamaica Plain a graduate of M.I.T. Otto C. Thanisch whom we all had known for some time and admired. I do not know how has job was had but believe Alice wanted nothing less than New York life. He was a civil engineer in the first tunnel under the Hudson River and worked under air pressure that was not as well understood as later. I believe he had some preliminary “bends” and should have quit at once but continued till it was found he had nephritis badly. They lived in a small apartment on 111th street and I am told Otto drank a lot of coffee and that their meals were sketchy. Father went down when Otto was very sick and the doctor told him how serious it was but Alice was not told, even up to a few minutes before Otto died. Otto wanted so much to get home to West Roxbury and my mother, his mother being dead, so that they did get him to a night Shore line train and to West Roxbury where he arrived at home before eight I think and got to bed. I think in about an hour as mother was with him he said it was so good to be at home, and he then had a convulsion and was dead at about 1 P.M., mother the only one with him. That was Mar 24 1909.

Alice was bound to continue to live in New York, got a position with the State B’d of Charities a Case Worker or similar, had an apartment all to herself and knew no one in the house but the janitor. Sept 27th 1918 she was found dead on the floor of her bathroom and no one knows when she died. She had had a doctor who had not followed up and had written father she had grippe and was getting better.

Otto was 30 [years] old and Alice was 39 [years] old. [Actually Otto died the month before his 32nd birthday.]

I always thought that if they had lived elsewhere and a better way, they would have lived to normal old age or more. It seems such a waste that a man with his character and ability should be so wasted and that Alice should have insisted on living that way where she cut free from all help in case of sickness.

Henry Morse Seaver’s family notes:
Charles Morse Seaver (father) and his family including Susan Hibbard (mother)
Walter Hibbard Seaver (older brother)
Alice Seaver Thanisch (sister)
Philip Seaver (younger brother)