Albert Gallatin Brodhead (1799-1880)

"Wheat Plains," the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

“Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

The Albert Gallatin Brodhead of this post is the uncle of the Albert Gallatin Brodhead mentioned in the previous post. (I’ll refer to him here as Albert Sr. so as not to confuse the two.) Albert Sr., child #4 of twelve belonging to the Hon. Richard B. Brodhead (1771-1843), a Pike Co. judge, and Hannah Drake (1769-1832), was born at “Wheat Plains Farm” which was established by Richard’s father Garret Brodhead after the Revolutionary War. Albert’s oldest brother was my third great grandfather — also named Garret.

The family tree:

1-The Hon. Richard B. Brodhead b. 31 Jul 1771, Stroudsburg, PA, d. 11 Nov 1843, Milford, Pike Co., PA
+Hannah Drake b. 15 Nov 1769, d. 31 Jul 1832, Pike Co., PA
|—–2-Sarah Brodhead b. 12 Feb 1792, d. 21 Jan 1879,
|—–2-Garret Brodhead b. 2 Dec 1793, E Mauch Chunk Carbon Co PA, d. 18 Jan 1872,
|            E Mauch Chunk Carbon Co PA,
|—–2-William Brodhead b. 22 Feb 1796, d. 23 Oct 1880, Pike Co PA,
|—–2-Albert Gallatin Brodhead b. 16 Aug 1799, Wheat Plains Farm, Lehman Twp, Wayne Co., PA
|             d. 18 Jul 1880, Bethlehem, PA
|—–2-Anna Maria Brodhead b. 14 Feb 1801, d. 14 Mar 1868
|—–2-Rachel Brodhead b. 5 Jan 1803, d. 4 Apr 1864
|—–2-Jane Brodhead b. 13 Jan 1804, Lebanon Co., PA, d. 13 Nov 1867, Luzerne Co., PA
|—–2-Charles Brodhead b. 4 Aug 1805, d. 5 Sep 1831
|—–2-Richard Brodhead b. 5 Apr 1807, d. 16 Nov 1809,
|—–2-Elizabeth Brodhead b. 7 Feb 1809, d. 25 Nov 1809
|—–2-Hon. Richard Brodhead II b. 6 Jan 1811, Lehman Township, PA, d. 16 Sep 1863,
|           Easton, Northampton Co., PA
|—–2-Eliza Brodhead b. Feb 1814, d. 30 Dec 1814

Quite a bit can be found about various Brodhead family members in old books and newspapers—not to mention The Brodhead Family history volumes, copiously produced by diligent and dedicated members of the Brodhead Family Association—and Albert Sr. is no exception. Here, in Chapter 9 of the History of Wayne, Pike and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania, by Alfred Mathews (Philadelphia: R. T. Peck & Co., 1886), we find:

Wikimedia Commons: Northerly view of the Susquehanna River Valley from Council Cup Scenic Overlook, Conyngham and Salem Townships, Luzerne County. 14 October 2007. Upriver * Uploaded by User:Gary Dee

Wikimedia Commons: Northerly view of the Susquehanna River Valley from Council Cup Scenic Overlook, Conyngham and Salem Townships, Luzerne County. 14 October 2007. Author: Nicholas from Pennsylvania on Flickr. Uploaded by User:Gary Dee

Albert G. Brodhead, another son of Judge Richard Brodhead, was born at the old homestead, Wheat Plains, Lehman township, Pike County, (then Wayne), August 16, 1799. In 1823 he married Ellen Middagh, and removed to the village of Conyngham, in Luzerne County, Pa. He engaged largely in the mercantile and lumbering business, was elected four terms to the Legislature from Luzerne County, and during his residence there was probably as popular and respected a man as lived in the county. In 1838 he purchased the “Brodhead Homestead,” at Wheat Plains, from his father, where he resided, universally respected, until 1865, when he removed to Bethlehem, Pa., where his only son, Charles Brodhead, resided, and still lives, a popular, representative citizen of character and influence.

The Moravian Sun Inn, Bethlehem, PA (Wikimedia Commons - Jared Kofsky)

The Moravian Sun Inn, Bethlehem, PA (Wikimedia Commons – Jared Kofsky)

He is the owner of the Moravian Sun Inn, which was established in Bethlehem in 1758, the walls of which he has adorned with old and rare paintings. Here he resided until July 18, 1880, when he peacefully passed away, and is buried in the Moravian Cemetery in that place. [Actually, if he was buried here, he was eventually re-interred at the Nisky Hill Cemetery; see the Find a Grave entry here. Visit this National Park Service page for more on the Moravian Sun Inn]

And, below is an obituary from the Honesdale, PA, Wayne County Herald, 29 July 1880 (courtesy of I only found it by chance, searching for “Albert Gallatin Broadhead” on a lark, although it does contain a mix of Brodhead and Broadhead, so maybe I would have found it eventually anyway. But, as many of you know, larks can be very worthwhile!—I must always remember that!:

Honesdale PA Wayne County Herald, 29 July 1880

Honesdale PA Wayne County Herald, 29 July 1880

Honesdale PA Wayne County Herald, 29 July 1880

Honesdale PA Wayne County Herald, 29 July 1880

Honesdale PA Wayne County Herald, 29 July 1880

Honesdale PA Wayne County Herald, 29 July 1880

As always, comments, corrections, additions, etc. are very welcome!

Categories: Bethlehem Northamp Co, Brodhead, Conyngham Luzerne Co, Death, Family Homes, Middagh, Nisky Hill Cemetery Bethlehem, Obituaries, Pike Co. | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hon. Albert Gallatin Brodhead (1815-1891) of Mauch Chunk, PA

Albert Gallatin Brodhead portrait*

Albert Gallatin Brodhead portrait, *between p. 260 and p. 261

An upcoming post is going to mention the Honorable Albert Gallatin Brodhead, oldest brother of my second great grandfather Andrew Jackson Brodhead, so I thought I would take this moment to post a bio about Albert. It was published in 1905 in Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, PA* (see end of this post for full citation and a link to view the book online). This fabulous 500-plus-page book is rich with biographical information and portraits of many prominent individuals in Lehigh Valley history. If you have prominent ancestors who lived in that area, it would be worth checking the book’s index to see if your ancestor’s name appears there. Albert was the son of Garret Brodhead (1793-1872) and Cornelia Dingman (1797-1885), and had two other brothers besides my second great grandfather: Daniel Dingman Brodhead and Abram Coolbaugh Brodhead. In his younger years, Albert worked for the venerable Asa Packer. whose daughter Lucy Evelyn was married to Albert’s cousin Dr. Garret B. Linderman, son of Rachel Brodhead (Garret’s sister) and Dr. John J. Linderman.

According to p. 674 of a different book The History of the Counties of Lehigh & Carbon, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by Alfred Mathews & Austin N. Hungerford (published in Philadelphia, Pa., 1884), which is also rich in information, Albert settled in Mauch Chunk first, and his parents and brothers followed thereafter:  Hon. A. G. Brodhead came here in 1841, and has ever since been identified with railroad enterprises. He was made superintendent of the Beaver Meadow Railroad in 1850, and has filled the position with ability ever since, the name of his office changing with the ownership of the road, and now being superintendent of the Beaver Meadow Division of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. He has been prominently identified with the movements which brought the gas- and water-works into existence, and with other local enterprises, and in 1869 was elected to the State Senate. His father, Garret Brodhead, came to Mauch Chunk some years after his own settlement and died here, and his brothers, Andrew, Abram, and Daniel, also became residents in the valley.

If you read the below bio on Albert, you will discover a man of great accomplishment and fine character. It greatly impressed me that—in addition to family members—700 guests showed up from all over the country to help Albert and his wife Sally celebrate their golden anniversary on July 3, 1888. A few years after that, his death came unexpectedly at the hands of a bout of flu from which he failed to recover. Even on his deathbed, he was thinking of others and making provisions to ensure his family would be properly cared for. Until I read this bio, I’d never realized that he died on the same month and day (18 Jan.) as both his parents (Garret, 18 Jan 1872; Cornelia, 18 Jan 1885). Quite an alignment of stars, I must say. But somehow that seems fitting—Albert, with all his accomplishments and having been the first-born child, may well have been the apple of their eye. And, in his final moments, the significance of that month and day may well have crossed his mind.  The description of Albert’s funeral, included in this bio, is poignant and shows just how beloved a figure he was in the Mauch Chunk community. He and his parents are buried in the Upper Mauch Chunk Cemetery.

Note: Paragraph 1 of page 261 mentions an uncle ‘A. G. Gallatin’. This must be a reference to his uncle Albert Gallatin Brodhead, younger brother of Albert’s father Garret, and the person after whom young Albert was named.

*Between p. 260 & p. 261

*p. 260

*p. 261

*p. 261

*p. 262

*p. 262

p. 263

*p. 263

*p. 264

*p. 264

*Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, PA, Volume II, by John Woolf Jordan Edgar Moore Green, and George Taylor Ettinger (Lehigh Valley, PA: Lewis Publishing Co., 1905) is available on Google eBooks. Click the link.

Categories: Brodhead, Lehigh Valley, Linderman, Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), Mauch Chunk Cemetery Jim Thorpe PA, Packer, Tolan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

19th-century Carbon County, PA — Lindermans, Packers, & Brodheads

Postcard picture from 1915 of a "bird's eye view" of w:Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, then known as "Mauch Chunk". (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain Image)

Postcard picture from 1915 of a “bird’s eye view” of w:Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, then known as “Mauch Chunk”. (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain Image)

Happy New Year! I hope a wonderful time was had by all this past Christmas. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014!

Just a quick post to draw your attention to an interesting blog: Cultured Carbon County: Capturing the essence of Carbon County Pennsylvania’s history one story at a time.

I came upon one of its posts, Mauch Chunk’s Plague Year and the Linderman Brothers – Love and Peril in Our Time of Cholera, while searching for information on Dr. Garret Brodhead Linderman (grandson of Richard H. Brodhead (1772-1843) and Hannah Drake whose daughter Rachel Brodhead married Dr. John J. Linderman). There is ton of information here, including some photos and newspaper clippings, and when you have time, it is well worth the read.

Dr. Garrett B. Linderman and his brother Dr. Henry B. Linderman (once director of the Philadelphia mint) came to Mauch Chunk’s aid after a cholera epidemic struck the community in the 1850s (allegedly sparked by the huge influx of workers who’d come to the area for Lehigh Valley Railroad construction projects) and killed two of the small town’s three physicians. (Note: Mauch Chunk changed its name to Jim Thorpe in the 1950s.)

Asa Packer Mansion in Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), PA (Wikimedia Commons-Image in public domain)

Asa Packer Mansion in Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), PA (Wikimedia Commons-Image in public domain)

Dr. Garrett Brodhead went on to marry Lucy Evelyn Packer, daughter of Judge Asa Packer (millionaire owner of Lehigh Valley Railroad, philanthropist of humble beginnings; founder of Lehigh University; donor of $33 million to Mauch Chunk and the Lehigh Valley) and Sarah Minerva Blakslee. Of the Packer’s seven children, Lucy was the only one to bear children. Garret became a major coal operator in the area and amassed a considerable fortune. Lucy and Garrett had five children. First- and second-born Asa and Harry died as infants. The remaining three were Sallie Linderman, Robert Packer Linderman, and Garret Brodhead Linderman, Jr. Sallie and Robert died quite young (Sallie** in 1898 at 38; Robert in 1903, at 39). (Sadly, the Linderman-Packer fortunes were caught up in a scandal brought on by lone surviving heir Garret B. Linderman Jr.’s fraudulent activities, for which he went to prison in 1908.)

Linderman-Schwab Mansion in Fountain Hill Histori District, Bethlehem (Wikimedia Commons, Author Shuvaev, Taken 22 Jun 2013; Public Domain through Attribute Sharre-Alike 3.0)

Linderman-Schwab Mansion in Fountain Hill Historic District, Bethlehem (Wikimedia Commons, Author Shuvaev, Taken 22 Jun 2013; Public Domain through Attribute Sharre-Alike 3.0)

Lucy died in 1873, and Garrett Sr. remarried in 1880 to Frances Evans and had three daughters with her: Lillian, Ida, and Helen. Garrett Sr. died in 1885. Lucy’s sister Mary Packer Cummings, who had no children, was also very philanthropic. She bequeathed the Packer mansion in Mauch Chunk to the town of Mauch Chunk and the residence is now a museum.

Looking at the family tree of my second great grandparents Andrew Jackson (A. J.) Brodhead (a 1st cousin of Dr. Garrett B. Linderman) and Ophelia Easton Brodhead, who lived for many years in Mauch Chunk, it’s easy to see what the Packer and Linderman names meant to them as residents of that town: A. J. and Ophelia included these surnames in the names of two of their children: Robert Packer Brodhead and Emily Linderman Brodhead Moon.

Biographies of Garrett B. Linderman Sr. and his sons Robert and Garrett Jr. can be found in the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, by James Terry White, published 1894:

Garret B. Linderman Sr.

Garret B. Linderman Sr.


Robert P. Linderman


Garrett Brodhead Linderman Jr.

The Citizen newspaper, Honesdale, PA, Wednesday, 11 Aug 1909 (

The Citizen newspaper, Honesdale, PA, Wednesday, 11 Aug 1909

**Interesting side note: After Sallie Linderman died, her husband Warren Abbott Wilbur remarried to Kate Ellen Brodhead (daughter of Charles Brodhead and Camilla Mary Shimer / granddaughter of Albert Gallatin Brodhead and Ellen Middaugh / and great granddaughter of Hon. Richard H. Brodhead and Hannah Drake). So 1st wife Sallie and 2nd wife Kate were second cousins. Warren A. Wilbur and Kate Ellen Brodhead’s daughter Blanche married George Randolph Hearst, oldest son of William Randolph Hearst and his wife Millicent Veronica Wilson.

Additional Resources:
Find a Grave – Lindermans buried at Nisky Hill Cemetery in Bethlehem
Find a Grave – Brodheads in Nisky Hill Cemetery, Bethlehem, PA
Find a Grave – Packers at Nisky Hill Cemetery in Bethlehem
Find a Grave – Packers in Mauch Chunk Cemetery
Asa Packer Mansion Museum
Lehigh University – Lucy Packer Linderman
Robert Packer Linderman
Fountain Hill, Bethlehem’s Elite
Fountain Hill Historic District

Categories: Bethlehem Northamp Co, Blakslee, Brodhead, Easton, Evergreen Cemetery Jim Thorpe PA, Linderman, Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), Mauch Chunk Cemetery Jim Thorpe PA, Nisky Hill Cemetery Bethlehem, Packer | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

January 1895 sleigh ride to a late night party in Dallas, Pennsylvania

Although some of my past posts may make it seem otherwise, all was not doom and gloom for the Brodheads, Lovelands, and Lukes of Kingston, PA. In fact, I’m sure that all the good far outweighed the bad, with a small article in the Wilkes-Barre Times serving as a small example. On the evening of 23 January 1895, four big bobsleighs carrying some 75 Kingston residents—including Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Brodhead, Loren Luke, and Emilie Loveland (the latter two not yet married)—headed off to a dinner dance in nearby Dallas, PA–roughly an eight-mile journey. The departure for the return to Kingston took place at roughly 1 a.m. What a fun night that must have been!

Godey's - 1864

Godey’s Lady’s Book (1864); Creative Commons license: Public Domain Mark 1.0

Categories: Brodhead, Kingston, Luzerne Co., Loveland, Luke, Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Murder or suicide? Thanksgiving Day 1904 tragedy at Robert Sayre Brodhead home

Strafford train station, Strafford, PA (Wikimedia: Author Lucius Kwok; 17 Apr 2005)

Strafford train station, Strafford, PA (Wikimedia: Author Lucius Kwok; 17 Apr 2005)

It was Thanksgiving Day 1904 in Strafford, Pennsylvania, and just after 10 a.m., 22-year-old Caroline (“Carrie”) Reinholtz, a household servant in the home of Robert Sayre Brodhead and his wife Minnie, delivered a suitcase to the train station for express shipment to Wilkes-Barre. Robert, Minnie and their young children had gone there for a few days to spend the holiday with other Brodhead family members. The station agent later reported her to have been in excellent spirits, laughing and trading a few jokes. She then returned to the Brodhead home at 227 Strafford Avenue, and presumably sat down to write a suicide note.

Hours later the family’s stable boy, Eddie Fitzpatrick, also on duty that day, came into the house at around 6 p.m. to see if there were more chores for him to do, and discovered Carrie dead on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood with seven bullet holes in her chest and her throat slashed by a steel carving knife with such force that the tip of the knife broke off and lodged under her breast bone.

An inquest was held two days later, and Carrie’s death was ruled a suicide by the coroner—an unbelievable verdict for many, considering the bullet wounds were inflicted in the third story bathroom with a heavy revolver and her throat was slashed downstairs in the kitchen, indicating she would have to have survived the seven self-inflicted gunshot wounds sufficiently to be able to drag herself down two flights of stairs, through a hallway, into the drawing room to get the knife from the sideboard, and into the kitchen, and then still have enough energy and determination to slash her own throat. Add to that that no trail of blood was found between the upstairs bathroom and the kitchen, and that the revolver held but five cartridges, a circumstance that would have required a pause to reload.

The revolver belonged to Robert Brodhead; it was one that was always in the household; the servants knew its location and the location of extra cartridges in the event they were ever home alone facing an intruder.

Carrie’s beau Jerome Newman of Belmar, NJ, who most recently worked as assistant baggage master at Atlantic City, was briefly held by the police, but after witnessing his sincere devastation and earnest wish to cooperate, he was released. Jerome and Carrie had become acquainted in the summer of 1902 when the Brodheads stayed at a cottage in Belmar (a seaside resort town). Jerome wept as he read the suicide note, and confirmed that the handwriting was Caroline’s and that details mentioned in the note would unlikley be known by any outsider.

Jerome had come to Strafford on Thanksgiving Day to spend the holiday with Carrie. He tried to get into the house several times that day, but nobody answered the door, so he waited about nearby. When Eddie Fitzpatrick found the body, he immediately summoned the doctor, and Jerome came into the house with the doctor and confirmed Carrie’s identity. Distraught, Jerome went to the station and traveled home. He returned the next morning, and that was when he was detained by the police.

This was definitely one for Sherlock Holmes (Title: Charles Frohman presents William Gillette in his new four act drama, Sherlock Holmes; Other Title: Sherlock Holmes; Creator(s):  Metropolitan Printing Co.; Frohman, Charles, 1860-1915; Date Created/Published: New York : Metropolitan Print 1900)

This case was definitely one for the likes of Sherlock Holmes (WIKIMEDIA: Title: Charles Frohman presents William Gillette in his new four act drama, Sherlock Holmes; Creator(s): Metropolitan Printing Co.; Frohman, Charles, 1860-1915; Date Created/Published: New York : Metropolitan Print, 1900)

Carrie’s family was extremely distraught; her younger sister Ella also worked for the Brodheads and had travelled to Wilkes-Barre with the family. Carrie’s father Christian Reinholtz lived in a Strafford boarding house and had done some gardening work for the Brodheads the previous summer. (His wife, Carrie’s mother, had died 10 years previously and was buried in Virginia.) Mr. Reinholtz had seen Carrie just two days prior to the tragedy and said she had been in excellent spirits and very much looking forward to Jerome’s visit. He rejected any suggestion that Carrie would have killed herself; all Carrie’s family believed that foul play was involved.

There was intense debate in the community and further afield about the suicide verdict. Most locals refused to accept it. Carrie’s brother-in-law Charles Dingle represented the family who wanted to pursue the theory of murder and had their own suspicions about a certain individual whose photo they claimed had gone missing from Carrie’s album, and whose footprints, they alleged, led away from the house through a vegetable patch where torn-up pieces of a letter had been found. This person killed Carrie, they said, shooting her upstairs and then carrying her downstairs to finish her off in the kitchen. They wanted to obtain the album, but it was in police custody.

Robert Brodhead, who returned from Wilkes-Barre at  3 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving, told authorities that he knew of no reason Carrie would go so far as to take her own life. Granted, he said, she had been melancholic over the previous month and had been disappointed on several occasions when Jerome failed to show as promised. But overall, he said, Carrie seemed to be a happy young lady. He did agree that the handwriting in the suicide note appeared to be Carrie’s, but could not accept the idea that she was so despondent as to kill herself.

Suicide note, 26 Nov. 1904, Fredericksburg Daily Star, Google news archives

Suicide note, 26 Nov. 1904, Fredericksburg Daily Star, Google news archives

Those in support of the suicide theory primarily had the note to point to. As for the contradictions of the case, they could explain some of them.  The cartridges in the revolver were six years old and the powder in them perhaps insufficient so as to cause fatal damage. Carrie’s dress caught fire, and it was suggested that she used the skirt of her dress to cover up the flames, which would have eliminated a trail of blood as she made her way downstairs to the kitchen.

An autopsy was performed on November 26. Seven entrance wounds and five exit wounds were found, all were determined to be not necessarily fatal in an immediate sense. The coroner and the jury found the suicide note to be the most influential piece of evidence, and on its basis, rendered a verdict of suicide. The fact that there were seven bullet wounds and the revolver only held five cartridges was explained by the theory that Carrie either went to Mr. Brodhead’s bedroom closet (on the 2nd floor) to retrieve more cartridges after she emptied the five into herself, or she kept additional cartridges with her to begin with. The motive for suicide was that Carrie did not receive a promised letter from Jerome from Belmar, saying he was coming that day, and that after several disappointments over unkept promised meetings, she felt despondent enough to kill herself.

Those refuting the cartridge theory pointed out that the the box with additional cartridges was found to be all tied-up, so Carrie could not have retrieved more cartridges after the five were spent. These people introduced the idea that a second revolver would have to have been involved. Furthermore, Jerome was convinced Carrie would have given him more time to get to the home; he had only arrived an hour later than anticipated. (Note: Carrie had apparently asked her sister about the revolver’s location before the family left for Wilkes-Barre, but this was normal, the Brodhead family and servants said; whenever anyone was going to be left alone in the house, the revolver’s location was always pointed out.)

Unfortunately, what may have been critical evidence was destroyed. Four bloodstained finger prints were discovered on the bathtub when the doctor initially came to the residence. These were wiped away inadvertently, so no comparison with Carrie’s prints could be made.

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (

Carrie was buried on November 28 in the Great Valley Baptist Cemetery in Devon, Pennsylvania. Carrie’s family and Mr. & Mrs. Brodhead were present as was Jerome. To fulfill Carrie’s dying wish that she be buried next to her mother, her mother was going to be disinterred from her Virginia grave and relocated to be near Carrie.

The district attorney’s office declared the matter closed on November 30; the family insisted it would pursue its own investigation to prove Carrie was murdered. They said the suicide note could have just been Carrie’s way of hurrying Jerome along with a marriage proposal. The community of Strafford and nearby Wayne was united in its support of the family’s pursuit of the murder theory, believing Carrie deserved not to go down in history as the victim of yet another unsolved mystery.

Unfortunately, I have not yet learned what the outcome was to the family’s private investigations. Perhaps, I will come across those details some day or someone reading this will offer some clues. Hopefully there were some conclusive outcomes so that the matter could be laid to rest once and for all and so that Carrie —and her family— could rest in peace.

A bit of Brodhead biography

Robert Sayre Brodhead was my great grandfather Andrew Douglas Brodhead‘s cousin. Robert was the sixth child of Daniel Dingman Brodhead Sr. and Mary Ann Brodrick. (For those who have been following this blog, Robert is the younger brother of William Hall Brodhead who eloped in secret with the much younger Miss Van Tassel, and he was an uncle of Charles Reginald Brodhead who died of lockjaw in 1899. He was a nephew of my 2nd great grandfather Andrew Jackson Brodhead.)

Robert was married twice. First on 7 January 1885 to Susan Amelia Shoemaker (b. 1860) who passed away; as far as I know no children came from that marriage. His second marriage was to Sarah Claire (“Minnie”) Stafford of Rome, Georgia, sometime around 1894/5. They had two children: a daughter Frances Clyde Montgomery Brodhead (b. 24 Sept 1895) and a son Robert Stafford Brodhead (b. 14 April 1899).

Robert was vice president of an incorporated company that owned various Brodhead coal-producing properties in Colorado (more about that in an upcoming post). The business was a family affair: oldest brother Harry was president and younger brother Albert was secretary and general manager.

In the 1900 census, Robert and Minnie’s household at 132 Park Avenue in Wilkes-Barre, PA, included son Robert (1) and daughter Frances (3); domestic servants Eliza Reinholt (Michigan-born, 21- in spite of the difference in spelling, I think she may have been Carrie’s older sister who married Charles Dingle), Annie Jennison (Danish, 19), and Delia McCarder (Alabama-born, 60);  Harry Brodhead (52, Robert’s oldest brother), and parents Daniel D. Brodhead (83) and Mary Brodrick (73). Robert’s occupation was listed as a coal operator; brother Harry — a mining engineer; and father Daniel as a ‘capitalist’.

Fuel Magazine, The Coal Operators National Weekly, Volume 14, 1909

Fuel Magazine, The Coal Operators National Weekly, Volume 14, p. 267, 1909

On 7 December 1909, just over five years after the Reinholtz murder, Robert died at home from endocarditis at the relatively young age of 48. He was preceded in death by his father Daniel Dingman Brodhead (d. 3 Jun 1905) and mother Mary Ann Brodrick Brodhead (d. 5 May 1909), and four of his siblings: James (1850-1863), Elizabeth (1853-1853), Alice (1864-1869) and William H. (1857-1895). He was survived by brothers Henry, Daniel, Albert, and sister Emily.

Robert’s wife Minnie was left a rather wealthy widow, and —from what I’ve gleaned from newspaper clippings— spent her time engaged in raising the children; undertaking charitable activities; visiting family members; overseeing her daughter’s societal debut and subsequent betrothal to Mark A. Cooper of Rome, Georgia; and enjoying trips further afield to places like Toronto, her home state of Georgia, etc. Daughter Montgomery’s marriage to Cooper, planned for October 1919, never took place, however. She ended up marrying a Mr. Barker  and having a son named Peter. Further down the road there was a second marriage for Montgomery–to one Frederick Harris Warner Jr.  I’ve seen no indications thus far that Minnie’s son Robert ever married.

Note: For details on the Stafford family’s history, visit pp. 505-506 of Our Family Circle, compiled by Annie Elizabeth Miller, Macon, GA: JW Burke 1931, available for viewing on the HathiTrust website. Click here.

(NB: Robert may have been named in honor of Robert H. Sayre, who held top positions with the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Bethlehem Iron Works, which became Bethlehem Steel.)

Fredericksburg, Virginia Daily Star, 26 Nov 1904
Woodbury NJ Daily Times, 28 Nov 1904
Troy NY Daily Times, 25 Nov 1904
Pawtucket Times, 25 Nov 1904
Philadelphia Inquirer, 25, 26, 27, 29 Nov and 1 Dec (two of these issues include some interesting photographs)
NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, 29 Nov 1904

P.S. A Victorian house dating back to that era still stands on that street — at No. 211. Built in 1890, it is now a bed and breakfast, and their website has many interior photos posted. Because the house strongly resembles the one whose photograph appeared in newspapers in 1904, you can easily get an idea of the possible layout of the Brodhead house. Visit www dot bnbinn dot com. BTW, Wayne, PA, is now the official location of this address, not “Strafford.”

Note: This post was pieced together from many press clippings of that time. Initial articles, in particular, seemed to contradict each other somewhat concerning certain details, most notably the number of gunshot wounds. For that, I went with the number uncovered during the autopsy. I suggest reading the articles yourself, if interested, to get a sense of what variations occurred in the press reports and to view the accompanying images. Please let me know if you notice any errors in this piece or have additional information. Thank you.

Categories: Brodhead, Brodrick, Death, Great Valley Baptist - Devon PA, Pennsylvania, Scandal, Strafford, Thanksgiving, US Federal 1900 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Tuesday tip: Wyoming Valley, PA, history book of 1894 offers great genealogical clues & photos

A goldmine of old portrait photos and biographical information can be found in the book The Wyoming Valley in the 19th Century. Art Edition by SR Smith, Vol I, Wilkes-Barre Leader Print, 1894. I found several Brodhead- and Loveland-related photos here. Maybe you’re looking for photos or have some unlabelled photos from that era and area of Pennsylvania. Perhaps, this is a chance to find a photo and/or identify some of those ancestors. Volume II no doubt also contains rich information; so far, however, I have not come across that volume online or elsewhere. If anyone knows where one can be found, please leave a comment. Meanwhile, you can access Volume I via the link above. A variety of formats are available for viewing. (The online book seems to have the best resolution for viewing photo inscriptions.) Happy hunting!

Categories: Brodhead, Kingston, Luzerne Co., Loveland, Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre Luzerne Co | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Year’s Eve 1895: An Unbroken Family Celebrates a 50th Wedding Anniversary

James E. Brodhead's palatial home in Flemington, NJ, where celebrations took place on New Year's Eve

James E. Brodhead’s palatial home in Flemington, NJ, where celebrations took place on New Year’s Eve

After bombarding my readers with posts on a variety of disasters, tragedies, and scandals (please accept my apologies!), finally some good news. I’ve come upon a little news brief marking the 50th wedding anniversary of my 2nd great grandparents, Andrew Jackson Brodhead and Ophelia Easton Brodhead. It was a remarkable gathering in that all 10 of their children were present—quite a feat considering all the illnesses around back then that could easily have diminished the family’s size. The article described the odds of such a gathering as being one in 100,000. Of the 12 family members, mother Ophelia was the first to pass away–on 26 April 1904. Had she made it another 20 months, the family would have achieved an astounding 60 years of togetherness, but 58 years is still pretty darned good!

(Note: The article incorrectly states that Andrew J. Brodhead was a direct descendant of Gen. Daniel Brodhead of Revolutionary fame. He was a direct descendant of the General’s brother, Garret.)

New York Press, 2 January 1896 (credit:

New York Press, 2 January 1896 (credit:

Andrew Jackson Brodhead Family, composite framed in 1904

Andrew Jackson Brodhead Family, composite framed in 1904

Categories: Anniversaries wedding, Brodhead, Easton, Flemington, Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe) | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Another Brodhead elopes, this time in 1911 at NYC’s ‘Little Church Around the Corner’

Credit: Aukirk, 22 Oct. 2012. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Credit: Aukirk, 22 Oct. 2012. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Completely by chance, I came across a grainy 1911 photo of a “Mrs. L. D. Brodhead,” under the headline: “Lutherville Girl Who Eloped.” The photo was from the Baltimore Sun whose old issues can be found on Genealogy Bank. I certainly did not recognize her nor did I expect to. However, having just published the story about William Hall Brodhead and Mary Van Tassel’s elopement, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by news of yet another Brodhead elopement. So, I found the accompanying article, expecting I’d come upon some “new” Brodheads down there in Maryland (“my Brodheads” were mostly from the NJ/NY/PA area), probably some distant relations… But, life changed in an instant–half way into paragraph No. 2, my jaw dropped and all I could think was “Holy cow!” The Brits have the greatest word: “gobsmacked”– and that’s exactly what I was. The groom’s name? “Lewis D. Brodhead of Elizabeth, New Jersey.”

1904 Stereoview card: "The Elopement: A Hasty Descent" (Wikimedia; source: Library of Congress - public domain)

1904 Stereoview card: “The Elopement: A Hasty Descent” (Wikimedia; source: Library of Congress – public domain)

“Uncle Lewie,” as my dad used to call him, died of a heart attack on 8 December 1933 at age 49, when my Dad was just 12. At the time of his death, which took place in his office, Lewis was on the board of the American Swiss File and Tool Company. The December 10, 1933, obituary notice in the New York Times mentions only his mother and two brothers as surviving him.

All my Dad remembered about Uncle Lewie was that he was a bit too fond of his drink, had a reputation for being quite a character, and had never married or had children. And there I was–almost 80 years after Lewie’s death–suddenly confronted with proof that he’d been married—to one Mildred Elizabeth Hancock on 23 June 1911. How bizarre. It was shocking. Even my 90-year-old mother was shocked, and it takes a lot to shock her these days. My late father would have been completely flummoxed by this. How could it be that neither of his parents ever mentioned Uncle Lewie has having been married?! It’s extremely odd, and all I could immediately surmise was that the marriage was either a very brief one or a very troubled one that ended in divorce and was swept under the rug permanently. But it still seemed a bit nuts that my dad would not have heard anything about it.

Top: Uncle Lewie's mom and dad: Andrew Douglas Brodhead and Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead. Their three sons: Frank Martin (seated left), Lewis Dingman (right), and Andrew Jackson (standing in rear) (PHOTO of the three brothers courtesy of James E. Brodhead)

Top: Uncle Lewie’s mom and dad: Andrew Douglas Brodhead and Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead. Their three sons: Frank Martin (seated left), Lewis Dingman (right), and Andrew Jackson (standing in rear) (PHOTO of the three brothers courtesy of James E. Brodhead)

Lewis (b. 5 October 1884) was the second of three sons of Andrew Douglas Brodhead (son of Andrew Jackson Brodhead) and Margaret Lewis Martin (a daughter Edith died in early childhood); I cannot help but wonder what their and the rest of the family’s reaction was to this elopement. My grandfather (Uncle Lewie’s older brother) Frank M. Brodhead (b. 5 Feb. 1882) and wife Fannie Woodruff, who lived in Elizabeth, would have been entering their third year of marriage at that time. Youngest brother Andrew (b. 3 October 1886) was still living at home in 1905 but was gone by 1910, so I don’t know where he was at the time of Lewis’s 1911 elopement (Andrew married in 1916).

The elopement of Mildred Hancock, daughter of Laura and Josias A. Hancock, caused a great deal of buzz in the local Maryland press. Mildred was described as “one of the most attractive belles of the [Lutherville, MD] community” This was the second Hancock to elope in the space of three months, and Mildred broke the news to her parents via telegram. Mildred, 18 years of age, had been employed for five months in a touring theatrical troupe, partially against the wishes of her parents. Sometime during her brief stage career, she met Lewis, who became a regular member of the audience. She left the troupe and returned to Baltimore. Apparently Lewis was a traveling hardware salesman, and he soon found reason to visit Maryland regularly on business. He met Mildred’s mother on several occasions, but never met Mr. Hancock. In June 1911, Lewis was in NYC on business and Mildred insisted on making a trip to NYC at that time, not telling her parents the trip involved Lewis.

Published before 1920 by The American Art Publishing Co., New York City; H. Finkelstein & Son (Wikimedia Commons: Public domain)

Published before 1920 by The American Art Publishing Co., New York City; H. Finkelstein & Son (Wikimedia Commons: Public domain)

Library of Congress image, 1904 (Wikimedia commons: Public domain)

Library of Congress image, 1904 (Wikimedia commons: Public domain)

They eloped, marrying at the Church of the Transfiguration on 29th Street (a.k.a. The Little Church Around the Corner). Afterwards they “made merry” in Atlantic City and elsewhere on the Jersey shore. The Hancocks eventually telegraphed their blessing (no indication given that a blessing arrived from M/M A.D. Brodhead). Lewis then made his way to Canada on a business trip and Mildred returned home to her parents where all awaited Lewis’s August 26 visit to finally meet Mr. Hancock. Then, according to Mildred, Lewis and she would be leaving for a honeymoon although she had no idea where, just that it was going to be an “awfully long distance” away and that she wanted to go to Europe soon as well. The article contained a number of comments made by Mildred that made her come across as immature and a bit ditzy. It closed by saying Mr. & Mrs. L. D. Brodhead planned to make their home in Springfield, MA (I’ve no idea what was in Springfield or whether they ever ended up living there).

So, the big question for me was: Did the marriage last? Well, the answer is “yes”–at least for 11 years. I found Lewis’s 12 September 1918 registration card for WWI. His home address was listed as 132 Bushkill Street, Easton North, Pennsylvania. He stated his place of employment as manager at Crew Levick Co. (an oil company) in Easton, and lists wife Mildred as sharing his Bushkill St. home address. He described himself as “tall” and “slender”, and as having brown eyes and black hair.

'A portion of the Yuengling Brewery at night, as visible from Mahantango Street, Pottsville. Artwork now adorns the entrances on the front of the building' (Wikimedia: Author Mredden, 13 Mar 2007)

‘A portion of the Yuengling Brewery at night, as visible from Mahantango Street, Pottsville. Artwork now adorns the entrances on the front of the building’ (Wikimedia: Author Mredden, 13 Mar 2007)

Lobby Card c. 1921 featuring the first appearance on film by Laurel and Hardy, in Lucky Dog produced in 1919 and released in 1921. Published 1921; photo may have been taken as early as 1919. Author unknown (Wikimedia: Public domain in USA)

Lobby Card c. 1921 featuring the first appearance on film by Laurel and Hardy, in Lucky Dog produced in 1919 and released in 1921. Published 1921; photo may have been taken as early as 1919. Author unknown (Wikimedia: Public domain in USA)

I found the next trace of Lewis and Mildred in a 1922 Pottsville, PA, directory. They were living at 109 S. Centre Street. Why Pottsville, home of the famous Yuengling Brewery, (America’s oldest; est. 1829)? I don’t know, but it wasn’t for the beer as prohibition had gone into effect in 1920. Perhaps a clue comes from the Wikipedia entry for the town: Until the middle of the 20th century, Pottsville was a popular destination for many traveling acts and vaudeville performers. The 1929 film Berth Marks stars the comedy legends Laurel and Hardy as they attempt to reach Pottsville by train for one of their booked performances. Pearl Bailey had once resided in Pottsville during the early part of her entertaining career. Soldiers in training at nearby Fort Indiantown Gap were prohibited from visiting Pottsville during most of World War II due to the large amounts of illicit venues and activities present during the time. Maybe Mildred was involved with the theatre there, or maybe the couple just liked the city’s “vibe”. It was, after all, the roaring ’20s.

So sometime between 1922 and Lewis’s death in 1933, Mildred died or the pair split up. She is not mentioned in his obituary. I’ve searched high and low for further clues, but have so far come up empty-handed. A trip to Pottsville to look at old court records and library archives will probably be required to figure this one out! If anyone reading this has any clues, please share!

Update 9/17/13:  I found an Elizabeth city directory for 1931 showing Lewis (salesman) living with his widowed mother Margaret Lewis Brodhead at 11 Elmwood Place. No mention of Mildred. Also, I forgot to mention that Lewis was buried in the family plot at Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, NJ. Year of death is shown as 1934 on his marker, which is peculiar since his New York Times obituary notice was published in December 1933.

Resources: YouTube Videos: To Live in the 1920s ; Flappers: The Roaring 1920s

Categories: Brodhead, Hancock, Lutherville, Maryland, New Jersey 1905, Pottsville Schuylkill Co, Providence, Rhode Island, Scandal, US Federal 1910 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.

The Family Kalamazoo

A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

Of Graveyards and Things

A discussion of cemeteries visited, gravestone art and epitaphs, and interesting documents, photographs, material culture, DNA, and lives researched.

Cemeteries and Cemetery Symbols

Exploring the meaning of cemetery symbols and other graveyard mysteries. For genealogy sleuths, taphophiles and goth kids.

Ephemeral New York

Chronicling an ever-changing city through faded and forgotten artifacts

History Archives

Angel Orensanz Foundation~

War Tales

"Tell it like it is..."

Delight-Filled Leaves Art

Finding inspiration in nature, family and the creative life.


Art. Design. Nature. Inspiration

Do Svidanya Dad

Exploring Dad's Unusual Story From NJ to the USSR

Maybrick's Canon Shots.

Beautiful British Isles, seen though a Canon 7d.

Sharing History

Reflections of a Public Historian

Finding Their Stories

Helping Your Genealogy Come to Life

Old Bones Genealogy of New England

Genealogy and Family History Research


Reflections Concerning Art, Nature, and the Affairs of Humankind (also some gardening anecdotes)

Map of Time | A Trip Into the Past

Navigating Through Someplace Called History

Out Here Studying Stones

Cemeteries & Genealogy


family research ... discover your ancestry

the Victorian era

Did I misplace my pince-nez again? Light reading on the 19th century.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

This is the story of an ordinary family, trying to live an ordinary life during an extraordinary time frame, and the lessons they learn through experience.

The Civil War Gazette

Keeping the stories alive from the American Civil War

Moore Genealogy

Fun With Genealogy

Tales from a Teapot

Celebrating all things creative and sustainable, over a cup of tea.

Wandering through Time and Place

Exploring the world with Curtis Mekemson

Laura's Mess

notes from a creative kitchen

JetHead's Blog

Airline Pilot Blog

On Granny's Trail

...A resource for Western States genealogy

Family history across the seas

My family history in Australia and overseas and related migration research


In a different light: my view of the world.

Our Lineage

Researching Family History One Ancestor at a Time - © 2012-2014 - Wendy Malinowski. All Rights Reserved

Views From A Small Island

A photographic record of the everyday and the not so everyday life around the UK.

Classroom as Microcosm

Siobhan Curious Says: Teachers are People Too


Genealogically speaking...

Meeting my family

Researching my family tree

Shaking the tree

musings on the journey towards knowing and sharing my family's stories

Castleton Lanterns

Shining a light on our men who survived the Great War

Among My Branches

Exploring My Kernan, Lapham, Hamilton, & Sebok Ancestries One Branch at a Time

Genealogy Certification: My Personal Journal

a journal about my experiences becoming a certified genealogist




This site is Pacific War era information

Kentucky Kindred

Kentucky Kindred Genealogy

Family History Research

Discoveries and reflections

Maybe someone should write that down...

rooting out the stories behind the stats and dates of our Grands and Greats


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 93 other followers

%d bloggers like this: