02 October, 2013


Although Muriel is an favored subject, I also have a soft spot for Mathilde McCormick Oser. She was the youngest of Harold & Edith's children, and perhaps the one who gave her parents the most trouble - of the social sort.

In July 1922 she hit the Chicago papers again with speculation of whether or not she was traveling to New York (the start of a trip to Europe) to meet her father in Paris, or travel on to Switzerland and marry Max Oser. She left Chicago alone, and she had no intention of giving anyone the reason for her departure. As she walked the platform to her train, she simply smiled at the barrage of press reporters and shook her head.

Max Oser, March 11, 1922 with his horse Taligny and his dog Feusi.

Mathilde posing with her horse in Hot Springs, VA in 1922.

The situation was thus; Mathilde had turned 16 that April. Max Oser, her Swiss riding instructor, was 44. Her mother Edith was none too amused, to the extent that she sought guardianship in court that previous May in order to block the impending wedding. Edith's arguments were many, but the primary one was that Max was, "without regular or certain income" and that his marriage to Mathilde would, "imperil certain property rights." She also cited the disparity in age, and she asked the court for a restraining order against, of all things the wedding itself. This was in response to the fact that Mathilde had applied for appointment of her father as her guardian. In court Edith my have stalled things, but ultimately she failed.

As Mathilde sailed for Europe aboard the Majestic, she sent out the following wireless message, "Mathilde McCormick wants the whole world to forget her and her affairs. America must quit bothering about me. Others have a right to do what they please and why should I not have the same right?"

Mathilde & Max visit her grandfather John D. Rockefeller in the 1930's with their children.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this.. Max Oser was my dad's uncle so it's very interesting to hear about the scandalous back story!