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Worcester Historical Museum: Temporary Home and Day Nursery Collection

Worcester Historical Museum: Temporary Home and Day Nursery Collection

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Published by: bnjeans on Jun 03, 2009
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Worcester Historical Museum: Temporary Home and Day Nursery Collection 2004.

04 Your Name Chanan Moffitt


Family Name Tortorello

Envelope # (2004.04-Box Number-Envelope #) 2004.04-5.177

Text on Envelope’s Outside 1924 Tortorello October 6th Louise Celara Mary

Home & D.N.

Free # of cards in the envelope 2 Other contents, if any 4 News Paper Clippings (Children to be Taken by the State, Babies Cry for Mother While Father Seeks Police Aid in Finding Wife, Leave Children With Tortorello, Missing Mother) 5 Referral Slips

Main card: FRONT Children Names Louise Clara Mary

Date of Birth Nov. 1 1919 June 25 1922 July 30 1923

Place of Birth

Nationality Italian Italian Italian

Admission Date Oct 6 1924 Oct 6 1924 Oct 6 1924

Date of Leaving Dec 13 1924 Dec 13 1924 Dec 13 1924

Parents Father Name Rocco Residence 14 Cross St. Nationality Italian

Mother Margaret 14 Cross St. Italian 1

Father Place & Date of Birth Italy 1894 New Haven, Conn. Dec 16 1918 Butcher by trade Sick at present Place & Date of Marriage Occupation Earnings Characteristics Married-Divorced Deserted-Separated

Mother Italy Dec 1901 New Haven, Conn Dec 16 1918 New England Biscuit Co.

Other children in family No other children

Main card: REVERSE Reasons for Admission Man sick in City Hospital, has a complication of diseases. Woman would rather go to work, if she can place the children, than to be helped by the City. She is to work for the New England Biscuit Co. and come here either Friday nights or Saturday mornings to take her children home for the weekend. 2. We find that family has been helped by the Overseers of Poor. They first applied for aid in Dec. 1920. At that time Mr. Burbank visited home and learned that family consisted of man, wife, and only one child instead of two children as was told by Mrs. Tortorello. She told an untruth when she said she had baby born Nov. 1 1920, and admitted this to Mr. Becker later; she also said husband was sick in bed and when visitor called man was not in bed and not at home. Associated Charities had been helping family but decline to aid more. On Dec. 31 1920 family again went to Mr. Becker for aid and City declined to aid for present. Sept. 30, 1921 State authorized aid not to exceed $4.00 per week in groceries. Case to be closed when man obtains employment. May 5, 1922 – Case closed. Sept. 27, 1924 – Mrs. Tortorello again applied for aid. Mr. Tortorello been sick two months and at present is in City Hospital. Before illness was working in White, Perey & Dexter. Action deferred pending investigation. Oct. 1, 1924 – Mr.Burbank again called at home to investigate conditions. A man whom Mrs. Tortorello claims to be husbands brother was in the house. Mr. Burbank smelled strong odor of wine coming from cellar. Mrs. Tortorello when asked to open door said landlord had not given her any key so she could not open door. Action deferred for week or two. O. of P. notified when children were taken into the House. Nov. 1924 – Man discharged from City Hospital but complains all the time of not feeling well. Not able to work, and says he is not able to care for children. Children were to go home first of December but their tenement is being painted and for this reason were kept in the House ‘till the odor of paint was gone. 2

Who Brought?

Who recommended? Miss. Powers Miss Little of Dist. Nurse Society

Agrees to Pay

Relatives? Nearest telephone Mr. Danziko C-6035M 25 Cross St.




How Many:


Associated Charities of Worcester Date(s):

Known to:

Confidential Exchange of the Associated Charities Date(s):

Registered by:

Social Service Exchange of the Associated Charities Date(s): Registered by:

Other (please list): Date(s): Jan 8 1937 Jan 31 1939 Oct 6 1932 June 28 1937 Aug 20 1938 OTHER CONTENTS What 4 News Paper Articles Notes

Notes: Referring Agencies District Service #2 (Re-Inquiry) Chief Probation Officer (Re-Inquiry) District Service 5 Fresh Air Fund Fresh Air Fund (Re-Inquiry)


Babies Cry for Mother While Father Seeks Police Aid in Finding Wife
His three little children pitifully crying for their mother is the sight that has greeted Rocco Tortorello of 14 Cross street, every night since the disappearance of his wife, Mrs. Margaret Tortorello, last Friday at 3:30 p.m. Rocco is a hard worker; every day, rain or shine, he goes out and does a day’s labor—work that only a man can do—swinging a pick. But Rocco didn’t mind that. Didn’t he have a pretty 22-year-old wife, didn’t he have three beautiful children, Louise, 5, Grenda, 3, and Mary, 2? He was happy. But now Rocco is sad. His wife is gone, and the sunshine that once seemed to flame into their little happy home is hidden behind a cloud of sorrow. Rocco reported to the police yesterday that his wife had disappeared. He didn’t know why, he didn’t know where, she’s just gone, said Rocco. “Maybe someone else wants her for himself; she’s a pretty girl. There’s one fellow, he’s got plenty of money to spend on pretty women. He’s been hanging around my home for a long time but Margaret, she tell him to go away and leave her alone. One time he said he’d kill her if she didn’t elope with him, and her showed her the gun, but my wife, she’s a good mother and she chase him away. Now she’s gone, my babies are crying, I can’t leave them all day alone, so I can’t go to my work. Maybe that guy he kidnap my wife,” says Rocco. “I don’t know.” So that is why the Worcester police department is doing everything possible possible to locate Margaret Tortorello, because most of them have a family of their own and know what it would be for three little children to be without a mother’s loving care.

Rocco Tortorello Forced to Give Up Three Small Daughters in Spite of Struggle

Efforts to Find Missing Woman Fail – Father Unable to Earn Enough to Support Family This morning at 8 o’clock, the three little daughters of Rocco Tortorello, Louise, 6, Corintha, 5, and Mary, 2, will be waiting, dressed in their pitiful best clothes, for someone to come with an automobile to take them away from their home at 14 Cross street. It means more than a holiday excursion. It is the final breaking up of a family and a home, for in the automobile will come one of the agents of the Commonwealth, acting in the name of charity, to snatch the children from an already broken hearted father and make them wards of the state, perhaps even finding them homes without poverty and hunger— and without true parental love. Rocco Tortorello is cruelly beaten and broken by life. Early in the fall he returned to his little house after a hard day’s toll, to find his pretty children lying on the kitchen floor, weeping disconsolately. “Mama’s gone away,” Louise sobbed. A frantic search of the neighborhood convinced him that wife, Margaret, had disappeared. Even the police have been unable to find her though she was traced for a little way. Someone had to care for the children. Tiny Mary was so young, and while Corintha and Louise were great big motherly girls of five and six years, they were hardly equal to the task of keeping the family together. The father had been sick for such a long time last year; his work was not even steady, so the city appointed a foster mother and housekeeper, Mrs. Kate Heagney, to care for them. Rocco had until last week to start paying for this service. He could not. Already he was two months behind in the rent, for he had held to the cottage in dull hope that his wife Continued on Page Five


Continued from Page One Would return and make it really a home again. His new job only a few hours a day working on a truck for a grocery at 126 Shrewsbury street, brings him hardly more than enough to feed his little brood. Last night came the letter from the state. The children must be ready to leave at 8 o’clock in the morning. When he understood the meaning of this message, the father broke down and wept, sweeping his tots into his arms and clinging to them mutely, until they too began to sob quietly in sympathy and ask again, “When is mama coming home?”

City Officials Drop Plan to Take Them Aroused to a full sense of the value of his home and children, Rocco Tortorello informed the Overseers of the Poor early today that he wanted to take care of them himself, rather than have the three tots become public charges. The youngsters, Louise, 6, Corinthia, 5, and Mary, 2, were left alone with their father, when their mother disappeared. They were scheduled to be taken by the city officials this morning but Mr. Tortorello’s action caused the city to temporarily drop the action. Mrs. Tortorello’s disappearance was in the fall. The husband returned to his little home in 14 Cross Street to find the children sobbing and prostrate with grief. Though the city was searched by the police and relatives,no trace of the mother has been found. “Mr. Tortorello,” Gerhard Becker, city alomer said today, “has informed us he intends doing something—exactly what we don’t know, but anyway, we have dropped the case, at least for now. We did intend taking the three children, and so informed the father, today, but Mr. Tortorello’s information came to us just in time for him to keep the youngsters.”


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