A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

History: Millicent Macaroff Heuser (1885-1965) of Matawan

Millicent Macaroff Heuser was the first president of the Matawan Junior Women's Club, according to the 19 August 1965 edition of the Red Bank Daily Register (see pg 18, col 8).

Her parents, Nicholas (Nichols) and Nancy (Anastasa) Macaroff (Macarowf), were Lithuanian Jews living under Russian rule when they married in 1906. One record suggests that Nicholas came to the United States soon after their marriage, while Nancy came the next year, after Millicent was born. Another says they all emigrated in 1907 after Millicent was born. It's important to note that about 20% of the population of what is now Lithuania fled between the famine of 1868 and the beginning of World War I in 1914, many to the United States.

The family settled in New Haven, Connecticut and were all soon naturalized as Americans. Nicholas found work as a draftsman for an engineering company and had a couple more daughters.

Nicholas A Macaroff, born 6 May 1883 in Uzova, Russia, was living at 307 Concord Street in New Haven, Connecticut when he became a naturalized US citizen on 18 September 1913 (Certificate # 340198). Currently, Uzova is a village in the Malaryta region of southwestern Belarus, but in the 19th century it belonged to Russia. Catherine the Great absorbed the territory after the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth collapsed about 1795 and it remained Russian until the formation of the Soviet Union.

In the 1910 and 1920 Federal Censuses, Millicent's father was a draughtsman working for an engineering company, first in New Haven, and then in Queens, New York. He was a civil engineer in Matawan in the 1930 Federal Census.

The name Millicent was likely an Americanized version of Lyudmila. It carries Russian nicknames equivalent to Lucy and Millie in English.

Millicent appeared as Milla Macarowf, age 3 born in Russia, in the 1910 Federal Census. She was living with her parents, Nichols Macarowf, age 28, and Anastasa Macarowf, age 25, and a younger sister Lidia aged 1 year 1 month and born in Connecticut. The eldest three all spoke Lithuanian and were from Russia.

Millicent appeared as Millie in the 1920 Federal Census living in Springfield, Queens, New York. She was a 12 year old girl said to have been born in New York to Russian parents. Millicent was living with sisters Lydia and Florence, ages 10 and 9, respectively. Both, like Millicent, were said to have been born in New York.  It's apparent that none of the girls were actually born in New York State, despite this official document saying so.

Millicent appeared as Millison in the 1930 Federal Census. This was probably the enumerator's attempt to render Millicent. The census taker in Matawan had all sorts of difficulties with names, based on my initial review of actual images of the census documents. Millicent was 22 years old and born in Russia. She had a sister Florence age 19 born in Connecticut. Lydia was no longer at home.

Millie and her sister Florence played guard on the Matawan High School girls basketball team, according to the 26 December 1924 edition of the Matawan Journal.

The Junior Women's Club selected its president, Millicent Macaroff, to represent the club in Atlantic City for the spring gathering of New Jersey junior women's clubs, according to the 20 March 1925 edition of The Matawan Journal. The club also voted to hold its next meeting at the natatorium in Asbury Park. In other words, they were heading to an indoor pool.

Millie was among four students who graduated Matawan High School in the Classical Course on 23 June 1925, according to that Friday's Matawan Journal. Ralph Heuser was one of five, including Karl Heuser, to graduate in the Scientific Course. Millie was accepted at the Savage School of Physical Training (an unfortunate name), according to the 18 September 1925 edition of the same paper.

The 19 June 1925 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that Miss Millicent Macaroff and Ralph Heuser were among the 35 members of the Matawan High School Debating Club to attend their annual banquet at Ocean Grove the previous week.

Millicent's mother attended the Home Economics Exposition in Long Branch with Mrs Richard Heuser, according to the 31 July 1925 edition of the Matawan Journal.

The 17 October 1930 edition of The Matawan Journal notes that Miss Milly Macaroff and Ralph Heuser were among those who attended the Brown-Princeton game that week.

Millicent delivered a 5 lb baby boy at Perth Amboy Hospital on 10 July 1935, according to The Matawan Journal of 12 July. The article identifies her as the former Millicent Macaroff of Cliffwood and her husband as Ralph S Heuser, a partner in the law firm Heuser and Heuser. Millicent and Ralph lived in Matawan at the time.

The 15 May 1947 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that Millicent's father, who lived at Ravine Drive and Aberdeen Road, had required a visit from the first aid squad, which gave him oxygen. He died seven years later on 29 November 1954, according to the 23 December 1954 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 2. Her mother survived him.  The Ravine Drive & Aberdeen Road intersection was referred to in several pieces of official business in The Journal (1930s and 1940s) as the Macaroff Corner.

There was a party for Millicent at the Don Quixote Inn on Route 34 on 6 January 1965 in honor of her 80th birthday, according to the 14 January 1965 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 5.

Millicent's obituary appeared on the front page of the 5 August 1965 edition of The Matawan Journal:

Mrs. Ralph S. Heuser Sr. Dies At Home In Matawan

Mrs. Millicent (Macaroff) Heuser, wife of Ralph S. Heuser Sr., 322 Main St., Matawan, died at her home on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 1965, after a short illness.

Mrs. Heuser had lived in the Matawan area most of her life. She was the daughter of the late Nicholas Macaroff and Mrs. Nancy Macaroff, Matawan. Mrs. Heuser was the first president and a charter member of the Matawan Junior Woman's Club. She also was a former member of the Matawan Public Health Association.

Surviving in addition to her mother and her husband, are a son, Ralph S. Heuser, Jr., magistrate of Matawan Borough; a daughter, Miss Millicent Heuser, at home; three grandchildren and two sisters, Mrs. Fred Allen Jr., Matawan, and Mrs. Ronald Provost, Teaneck.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Bedle Funeral Home, Matawan. Interment will be in Old Tennent Cemetery, Tennent.


  1. Christian Heuser was elected mayor of Matawan in 1927. Could he have been Ralph's father or otherwise related to Ralph? My mother, who lived in Matawan between 1920 and 1930 on the Ravine Road farm, told me recently that she remembers playing the piano at the Heusers' house. She would have been too young to know Ralph or Karl, though.

  2. The 1920 Federal Census shows Christian (45 NJ) and Mary (44 NY) Heuser residing at 322 Main Street in Matawan with children Christian R (13), Ralph S (12) and Margaret I Heuser(10). Head of household was in the wholesale produce business. His parents were both from Germany and spoke German. Her parents were Irish.

    The 1930 Federal Census shows Christian (56 NJ) and Mary (54 NY) living at 328 Main Street with children Randolph (24), Ralph (22), and Isabell (20). The eldest and youngest had taken their middle names. Head of household was a wholesale produce merchant. His parents were German. Her parents were Irish and English. They had a servant, Helen Guire (21 PA). Her parents were Austrian.

    The 1940 Federal Census shows Ralph (32 NJ) and Millicent (32 Russia) Heuser living at 1 Church Street with son Ralph (4). His brother Randolph (34) was enumerated next at 2 Church Street with his wife Ruth (30) and children Constance (6) and Randolph Jr (2). Ralph was listed as lawyer in a law office. Randolph was listed as an attorney in general practice.