May 6, 1912, poem commemorates Andrew Jackson Brodhead’s 90th birthday

Andrew Jackson Brodhead

Andrew Jackson Brodhead

This coming Friday, May 6, is the anniversary of Andrew Jackson Brodhead‘s birth in 1822. Below is a copy of a poem his daughter Emily wrote for him to mark his 90th birthday, in 1912. By then his wife Ophelia (d. 1905) and son Calvin (d. 1907) had passed away, and she makes reference to them in her verse.

At the time, Andrew was living with his daughter Mrs. Franklin C. Burk (Charlotte) in Flemington, NJ, the town he and Ophelia had called home since 1884. Many people, including his nine remaining children, paid their respects to him that special day, whether in person or by telegram, letter, or postcard. He was very well known in the community and much admired for his positive outlook on life and cheerful demeanor.

Brodhead_AJ_90th_birthday2

Categories: Anniversaries, Brodhead, Flemington | Leave a comment

Fishing Lake Mohawk in 1929

I love this photo of my Dad, Charles Brodhead, and his brother Woody (his only sibling) way out in the distance, fishing Lake Mohawk (Sussex Co., NJ), in 1929. He was eight and his brother was 17; it’s fun to see them enjoying some brother time together. They had quite an age gap between them, and because of that and the fact that Woody was away from home at a boarding school for much of the year, they did not have many opportunities to do things together.

Lake Mohawk 1929

Lake Mohawk 1929

The lake was the creation of the Arthur D. Crane Co., which began constructing a 600-foot dam on the Wallkill River in 1926. When this photo was taken, probably by my grandfather, the lake had only been filled with water for a year or so. My dad’s parents were among the first to buy a lakefront lot and to have a home constructed there. Crane and his associates created Lake Mohawk to be a private community, and they had total control over development and sales. Many of the original homes and the lakeside plaza—all created in a very distinctive Alpine style—remain. The lakeside plaza reminds me a bit of Lucerne, Switzerland. (YouTube tour of Lake Mohawk; Old Photos of Lake Mohawk on YouTube)

For my dad and his family, Lake Mohawk was their little oasis for R&R whenever they could get away from their main home in the city (Elizabeth, NJ). His parents sold the house while my Dad was off in the Pacific during WWII, something he learned about only after returning home. Needless to say, he was very upset, but he went on to buy his own little lakefront house there as soon as he was able. For him, Lake Mohawk and the surrounding countryside held so many great memories, he wanted that magic to continue. And I can’t say that I blame him. It’s a lovely spot.

Categories: Brodhead, Fishing, Lake Mohawk Sparta, New Jersey | Leave a comment

Missionary Dan Crawford (1870-1926) – photo

For some reason, my 2012 post on Dan Crawford, Scottish missionary to the Belgian Congo, has been attracting lots of views this past week, and serendipitously I just found a photo of him while continuing with my mission to clean out the garage. I’m sure it belonged to my great-grandmother Elizabeth Sargent Trewin who was a big supporter of his. The photo is undated, and the reverse side shows a Manhattan address, perhaps where he was staying at the time, or maybe this was an address through which his US correspondence was handled.

Some interesting links:
“The Diary and Notebook of Dan Crawford, Brethren Missionary in Africa” (blog post) – University of Manchester
Bio – GFA Missions website
Crawford_Dan2 Crawford_Dan3

Categories: Africa, Belgian Congo, Crawford, Missionary Dan, New York City | Leave a comment

Survived by “Mrs. R. J. Cole of Philadelphia”

As many of you know, I have been intermittently obsessed with figuring out what happened to Mildred Elizabeth Hancock who eloped with my Great Uncle Lewis D. Brodhead in 1911. The last traces of them together as a couple were found in a 1922 Pottsville, Pennsylvania, directory. I speculated a divorce or desertion had occurred since Mildred was not mentioned in Lewis’s 1934 obituary.

I searched high and low online, paid the Schuylkill Historical Society to see what it could find, and asked for help from a wonderful lady at the county courthouse to see what record there may be of a divorce. She searched high and low, going above and beyond what I’d requested. When all was said and done, zippo, nada; seemingly Mildred had vanished.

What now? I’d had all my eggs in the Pottsville-divorce-record basket. That was going to tell me everything! Bloodhound that I am, I was not about to give up. Perhaps, she’d been mentioned in a parent’s or sibling’s obituary. I’d tried that route before, but now I had more info on the family, so I decided to have at it again.

Fortunately, on USGenWeb archives, parents Josias and Laura Hancock appeared in a mention of the existence of a 1928 Baltimore Sun obit for their daughter Ethel, who had eloped shortly before Mildred did. I searched Genealogy Bank, but they did not carry it. So I did some digging on her and discovered she’d divorced in 1924. Then I went online on the Baltimore Sun archives site and paid a $4 fee for her obituary (under the name “Mrs. Ethel H. Langrall”). (She’d died suddenly in Philadelphia while en route to Atlantic City.) And, there, in the last paragraph were the names of her four siblings: …Mrs. R. J. Cole of Philadelphia, and Mrs. William T. Crafton and Miss Margaret M. Hancock of Baltimore, and also a brother Charles A. Hancock... So, hooray—Mildred Hancock Brodhead had become either Mrs. R. J. Cole or Mrs. William T. Crafton. And after a brief dig, I connected Crafton to the sister named Hazel, which meant Mildred was Mrs. R. J. Cole.

I’d hoped that more/different details would emerge in other family obits. But the only one I found was Josias Hancock’s. I’d found his date of death in the Maryland State Archives online death index, and a record of his obit in the Baltimore Sun in October 1949. For the $4 archive fee, I discovered the obit was bare bones — no mention of his children, just wife Laura.

So, anyway, my hunch was right. Lewis and Mildred split up after 1922 and before Ethel’s death on 1 January 1928. Eventually, I found her and her new husband Richard J. Cole (born in Ontario, Canada) in the 1930 census. They were renting in Dallas, Texas, and he was working as an auditor; that particular census asked for age at first marriage, and both of their answers indicated they’d been married four years—circa 1926, which was when Lewis appeared by himself in the Pottsville directory. (Of course, this was not Mildred’s first marriage, but obviously she wanted everyone to think it was.) The 1940 census showed Richard and Mildred living back in Philadelphia, and he was working as a ‘treasurer’ in ‘Retail groceries.’ No children were indicated.

By 1940, which is when I lose Mildred’s trail again (but this time, I don’t mind), Lewis had been dead seven years, and for Mildred he was just a distant memory—and maybe not a very good one. Still, I can’t help but think that somewhere out there, perhaps floating around a thrift store or antique shop, there exists a photo album full of images of Lewis and Mildred enjoying some some happy times together. It’s just a shame that—for whatever reason—things did not work out.

******************************************************************

1930, Dallas, Texas – United States Census, 1930, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:C4ZS-C2M : accessed 22 April 2016), Mildred E Cole in entry for Richard J Cole, 1930.

Household
Role
Gender
Age
Birthplace
Richard J Cole Head M 30 Canada
Mildred E Cole Wife F 36 Maryland

 

1940, Philadelphia, PA – United States Census, 1940, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KQJ6-TC3 : accessed 22 April 2016), Mildred Cole in household of Richard J Cole, Ward 46, Philadelphia, Philadelphia City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 51-1929, sheet 1B, family 28, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 3747.

Household
Role
Gender
Age
Birthplace
Richard J Cole Head M 40 Ontario Canada
Mildred Cole Wife F 46 Maryland
Categories: Brodhead, Hancock, Maryland | 3 Comments

Eva Wilder (McGlasson) Brodhead — the Colorado years

You may recall that some time ago, I did several posts on authoress Eva Wilder McGlasson and coal magnate Henry Conrad Brodhead, who were married in Manhattan in December of 1894. Henry was from NE Pennsylvania coal country, and Eva (originally) from Kentucky. From my last post:

Two years before marrying Eva, Henry’s business interests had shifted from Pennsylvania to Colorado—he and his two younger brothers, Albert Gallatin Brodhead and Robert Sayre Brodhead, had set their sights on the coal riches of that state, ultimately founding the town of Brodhead, Las Animas County, Colorado (today a ghost town), and locating several mines in and around that place. Close to Brodhead is the small town of Aguilar (“Gateway to the Spanish Peaks”); if you look it up on Google maps you will see ‘Brodhead Canyon’ nearby. Aguilar is 178 miles south of Denver.

After their European honeymoon, Eva moved to Colorado and that is where they spent their married life, leaving behind friends and family out East. They were known to travel a lot, and I’m sure there were plenty of occasions for them to pack their bags and leave Colorado behind when the spirit moved them and Henry was able to break away from his business commitments. And Eva probably made some solo trips back to Manhattan and wherever else her literary career needed to take her.

The below short story, “A Girl from Kentucky,” appeared in various newspapers across the country in December 1910, sixteen years after they married. I found this copy of it on the FultonHistory site, in an issue of the Brooklyn Daily Star. Double-click twice and you’ll see an enlarged version. Like most writers, Eva wrote about what was familiar to her, and that makes for an interesting read since, in this instance, she takes her readers to Aguilar. You get a sense of the world in which she and Henry traveled, how that small town received outsiders, how outsiders (like Eva herself) experienced the town, what types of people were encountered there, etc.

Enjoy, all, and have a good day. Thanks for stopping by.😉

CLICK TO ENLARGE - From the Brooklyn Daily Star, 16 December 1910 (Credit: www.fultonhistory.com)

CLICK TO ENLARGE – From the Brooklyn Daily Star, 16 December 1910 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

Categories: Brodhead, Colorado, McGlasson | 4 Comments

More on Lewis D. Brodhead (1884-1933)

Brodhead_LD_obitAmong the newspaper clippings saved by my grandmother was this brief article, likely from the Elizabeth Daily Journal, that reports the death of her brother-in-law Lewis Dingman Brodhead on December 8, 1933. It provides a bit more information than the one from the New York Times I’d mentioned previously in this post. And the new details tell us that my Great Uncle Lewis died fairly immediately of a heart attack at the corner of 4th and Trumball Streets, Elizabeth, NJ, in the plant belonging to the American Swiss File and Tool Company. He was pronounced dead by the arriving ambulance workers from Alexian Brothers Hospital. His body was taken to the morgue at 628 Newark Avenue, a building that now looks abandoned and in need of repair.

This property at 400-416 Trumball Street looks like it could definitely have been there in the 1930s, so perhaps this building was once the plant in which Uncle Lewis worked.

It’s sad to think of him leaving his house at 520 Jefferson Avenue that morning, never to return again. He was just 50. The house he lived in, built in 1902, is a multi-family home today and it may have been multi-family back then as well. He lived with his widowed mother Margaret Martin Brodhead, and I can only imagine the shock she and everyone felt at this sudden, unexpected loss.

Interesting, but not surprising, the article makes no mention of Lewis’s wife Mildred Hancock whose last known whereabouts were Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where she and Lewis resided in the 1920s. I assume they divorced, and then all mentions of Mildred were swept under the carpet. Some day I hope to find out what happened to her.

Brodhead_Lewis_Pottsville2

Categories: Brodhead, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Obituaries, Pottsville Schuylkill Co | 2 Comments

Frank M. Brodhead, Jr. (1913-1914)

Brodhead_FMJr

Frank Martin Brodhead, Jr. – age 11 months

To my knowledge, this is the only photo we have of my Uncle Frank (1913-1914, son of Frank & Fannie Brodhead) who at 11 months of age died suddenly in the family’s Elizabeth, NJ, home. The photo, a recent discovery of mine, was mixed in with old newspaper clippings, and I was very grateful to come across it.

I’ve never been able to find the exact birth and death dates for Frank, and the little obit that was saved by my grandmother is undated. I think it probably appeared in the Elizabeth Daily Journal whose issues, I believe, are only available in certain libraries, on microfilm. The loss of Frank was sudden and the grief, perhaps, too deep to make note of dates. In any event, I will keep looking for them—the cemetery must have a record—but, more important, I want to get this little image posted so that Uncle Frank is not forgotten.

Frank was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in neighboring Hillside (Find a Grave). A second obituary appears below his. It is for James M. Hefley, son of Morris and Mabel Hefley. I think it’s likely that my grandparents knew this family and saved the two as one clipping.

Tiny obituary, probably in the Elizabeth Daily Journal

The tiny obituary, clipped by my grandmother, probably appeared in the Elizabeth Daily Journal

*****************************************

‘One morn I left him in his bed’
Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard (1823–1902)

One morn I left him in his bed;
A moment after some one said,
‘Your child is dying – he is dead.’

We made him ready for his rest,
Flowers in his hair, and on his breast
His little hands together prest.

We sailed by night across the sea;
So, floating from the world were we,
Apart from sympathy, we Three.

The wild sea moaned, the black clouds spread
Moving shadows on its bed,
But one of us lay midship dead.

I saw his coffin sliding down
The yellow sand in yonder town,
Where I put on my sorrow’s crown.

And we returned; in this drear place
Never to see him face to face,
I thrust aside the living race.

Mothers, who mourn with me today,
Oh, understand me, when I say,
I cannot weep, I cannot pray;

I gaze upon a hidden store,
His books, his toys, the clothes he wore,
And cry, ‘Once more, to me, once more!’

Then take, from me, this simple verse,
That you may know what I rehearse—
A grief – your and my Universe!

Categories: Brodhead, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, New Jersey, Obituaries | 2 Comments

Family heirlooms — What would you do?

"Royal Street Antique Shop", 1918 French Quarter of New Orleans, by Harry A. Nolan. (Wikimedia Commons - no copyright restrictions in US - This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. )

Royal Street Antique Shop, 1918 French Quarter of New Orleans, by Harry A. Nolan. (Wikimedia Commons – this work is in the public domain in the US and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or less)

Every day people are faced with the challenge of eliminating clutter, downsizing, and figuring out what to do with old items, some of which may have been in their family for generations. Some may consider having so much stuff a blessing, others a curse. Some may find themselves in the position of having to clear out the family home fast; in their haste, items can get taken to a thrift/antique store, destroyed, tossed out, etc.

The fact that sites like eBay and Etsy are awash with provenance-less vintage items, old photos (often unlabeled), antiques, and other family heirlooms attests to the fact that folks are either in a hurry to part with things and make money or feel they have no alternative; nobody wants these things in their families, so they have to let them go. Or perhaps they’ve been left with provenance-less items and feel there’s no point in keeping them. Maybe they’re unsentimental and don’t really care. Or maybe they simply don’t have time to care—they are busy living in the present and just trying to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.

Who knows, our ancestors may be looking down from above with amazement, wondering why we’ve held onto their stuff for so long. Are they saying, “Go! Forget this obsession with the minutiae of family history! Preserve the basics, but go live your life! Forget about my old ______!”?

Pixabay free image

Antique boot (Pixabay free image)

I guess you may be wondering what’s prompted this post. Well, the other day I finally chanced upon the previously missing button hook used by my great-grandmother’s sister-in-law Sarah Jane Bowley Sargent who had no children and died in 1904 (see earlier post).

Sarah Jane Bowley Sargent's button hook

Sarah Jane Bowley Sargent’s very well-worn button hook

When I occasionally come across items like this button hook, I am torn about what to do with them. I mean I look around at my own “stuff”—I honestly can’t imagine anyone 100+ years from now holding onto something that once belonged to me (let alone blogging about it.) Would Sarah have ever expected someone in the family to hold onto her button hook 112 years after her death? No, I don’t think so. My grandmother is the one who felt it worth keeping since she had a personal connection with her aunt Sarah. And because of that, I’m not planning to part with it, but I can’t expect the grand kids in our family to feel the same way when they’re left to sift through family items somewhere down the road.

Anyway, just for the heck of it, this week I’m posting a poll. I’m curious to know what others might do with an item like this button hook, an item that belonged to someone in the family tree several or more generations ago who was not a direct ancestor and had no children to pass anything down to. Imagine this little, seemingly inconsequential button hook was in your possession. What would you do? (By the way, currently 560 antique button hooks are listed on eBay–most much nicer than this one, but this one has provenance!)

Categories: Miscellaneous, Sargent | Tags: | 22 Comments

Pvt. Samuel Kendall Angus (b. 1918) – killed in Italy on 28 July 1944

Angus_WWII_obit_EDJ

Among my grandmother’s belongings: A news clipping that most likely appeared in the Elizabeth Daily Journal, end of July/August 1944

Among my grandmother’s collection of news clippings was this small mention of the death of Pvt. Samuel Kendall Angus from bullet wounds received in the line of duty somewhere in Italy on 28 July 1944. Samuel enlisted in the Army in February 1942, and served with Headquarters Battery, 13th Field Artillery Brigade. He was buried in Florence American Cemetery outside of Florence, Italy. For links to his grave information, click: Find a Grave and American Battle Monuments Commission.

Samuel was the grandson of Job Winans Angus whose “letters from Texas” and obituary notice appear elsewhere in this blog. Samuel had one sibling named Betty. The two were the children of Grace Kendall and Rev. Harry Baremore Angus, an ordained Presbyterian minister who died of influenza on 30 April 1919 at the young age of 35. Grace, who incidentally lived to be 100, and daughter Betty must have been terribly devastated by Samuel’s loss. And I’m sure it sent shock-waves through the extended family, especially given the fact that some of Samuel’s cousins were also still in service, in harm’s way.

Thank you, Samuel Kendall Angus, for your service and for paying the ultimate sacrifice for our country. You are remembered and deeply appreciated.

Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps cadets from Naples American High School prepare to lay flowered wreathes at the Tablets of the Missing in The Florence American Cemetery as part of Veterans Day ceremonies in Florence, Italy, Nov. 11, 2011. The tablets are inscribed with 1,409 names of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen that have been missing in action since World War II. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American service members killed during the Italian Campaign. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Queen

Wikimedia Commons – no copyright restrictions – released by US government – “Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps cadets from Naples American High School prepare to lay flowered wreathes at the Tablets of the Missing in The Florence American Cemetery as part of Veterans Day ceremonies in Florence, Italy, Nov. 11, 2011. The tablets are inscribed with 1,409 names of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen that have been missing in action since World War II. The cemetery is the final resting place for 4,402 American service members killed during the Italian Campaign. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Queen”

== Summary == The Florence American World War II Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy. From the [http://www.abmc.gov American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) web site] per their [http://www.abmc.gov/copyright.php copyright info]. [[Category:American Ba

The Florence American World War II Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy.  US government image – no copyright restrictions – public domain

Contributed to Wikimedia Commons by Vignaccia76 - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Florence American Cemetery – Contributed to Wikimedia Commons by Vignaccia76 – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

 {{flickr| |title=DCP_3156 |description=American soldier cimitery, Tavarnuzze, Italy |photographer=Hannes Reich |photographer_location= |photographer_url=http://flickr.com/photos/ern |flickr_url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/ern/51062188/ |taken=2005-10-09 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Wikimedia Commons – American soldier cemetery, Tavarnuzze, Italy |photographer=Hannes Reich |url=http://flickr.com/photos/ern |flickr_url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/ern/51062188/ |taken=2005-10-09; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Categories: Angus, Death, Florence American Cemetery Italy, Obituaries, Presbyterian, WWII | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Sargent / Wills – quick update

In a recent post, I provided this update:

Sargent / Wills: I have located the final resting places of William Sargent and his first wife (my second great-grandmother Mary Wills Sargent) and his second wife (Mary Bowley Pitt). Their surname was Slaymaker until they changed it to Sargent when moving to the US after the Civil War. I was correct to think that they were in or around Hudson County, New Jersey—they are in what is known today as Bayview-New York Bay Cemetery. I have requested photos on Find a Grave, but that can take time. (For a past post on the family: click here)

Well, I may have been partly wrong about that. Mary Wills Sargent is indeed buried there in Grave no. 953, Row 6, Section O North, in a plot purchased for her by her husband William Sargent upon her death on 6 December 1877, but she is all by herself. The whereabouts of William and his second wife Mary Bowley Pitt are unclear. I suspect they are in that cemetery somewhere, but unfortunately I do not have death dates for either of them, and according to the pleasant lady I spoke with at the cemetery, the only way for them to do look-ups is with a death date. Apparently, a fire destroyed many of the older records, and a name is not enough. So (sigh) I am placing William and Mary II back on my “brick wall.”

I know it may sound strange, but I am a bit bothered by the fact that Mary Wills Sargent is alone in that plot. I’m very curious to learn whether there is a marker, and if so, what it says. If only Google Earth could zoom to that level. Fingers crossed a Find a Grave volunteer checks for me when they have time.

1919 map showing partial view of eastern side of Greenville Section of Jersey City along the Upper New York Bay, CM Hopkins & Co. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

1919 map showing partial view of eastern side of Greenville Section of Jersey City along the Upper New York Bay, CM Hopkins & Co. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Categories: Jersey City, Hudson Co., Sargent, Wills | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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