Thelma's mother, Augusta "Gussie" Knittle, was born on December 21, 1874 in New York City. Gussie's parents, Robert and Anna Knittle, were both from Germany and she was one of six children. The family moved to Emporia, Kansas in 1876. After divorcing Clifford in 1905 Gussie was given full custody of Thelma. In 1909 she began having a romantic relationship with Dr. Guy Black. When his wife found out she confronted Gussie on the street and started a fight. The incident made headlines in Emporia. Soon after Gussie and Thelma moved to California to open a cafe. After Thelma died in 1938 Gussie remained in California. She passed away on December 12, 1954 (Thelma's birthday) at the age of seventy-nine.
* I am currently searching for any photos of Gussie and Clifford Hillerman. If you have any please email me at ClassicActress@gmail.com *