Prompted by the question, I did a bit more digging around. Maurice H. Richman married Bella Haupt in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 9, 1904. I don’t know how or when he ended up in Pittsburgh, but by then he was working as a dry goods merchant. In 1900, he had already left his family in Cleveland, but I haven’t tracked him down in the 1900 census. His new wife, Bella, was born in Hungary in 1882, the daughter of Harry and Rosa Haupt. Maurice and Bella remained in Pittsburgh, where a stillborn infant was born to them in 1913. As far as I know, they had no other children.
By 1918, Maurice and Belle had moved to New York, where he completed his Registration Card for the military draft for World War I. He was apparently trying his hand at the finance industry on Wall Street, and he and Belle were living on West 107th.
One month later, on October 13, 1918, Maurice died, possibly of influenza during the Spanish flu epidemic. He was 36. With all of this information about Maurice Richman, how could I be sure this was the right man? His headstone in the Homestead Hebrew Cemetery outside Pittsburgh confirms his Hebrew name from his birth record, “Moses Leiser son of Samuel.”
It’s no wonder my grandmother was unclear about the relationship of Aunt Belle. She couldn’t have known her uncle much at all, since she was twelve when he died, and she grew up in Cleveland. But Belle apparently remained in touch with the Richman family. By 1920, she was working as a secretary in a corset house in New York, and through the years, she remained connected to the clothing business. In 1930, she’s listed as a “ladies wear executive” in the census records, and by 1940, working in a dress shop. She never remarried, and lived to be 101 years old, passing away in November of 1983.