This striking black and white image of Mary Brodhead Pike comes from Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, Volume 52 (Jan. 1918), p. 678.
Mary, daughter of Reverend John Brodhead and Mary Dodge, died on May 17, 1922, at the age of 106, and was buried in Locust Grove Cemetery, Newfields, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire.
The photo was ...taken the day after her 101st birthday, and is a very good likeness, but it does not express the charm of this intellectual gentlewoman. For 101, she looks remarkable!
The article mentions a DAR meeting taking place at Mary’s house in July of Mary’s 103rd year. What an honor it would have been to be a guest in her home.
Volume 55, published several years later (December 1921), gives us an update on the amazing Mary Pike. The Granite Chapter reported:
Our July meeting was held at the home of our oldest member, Mrs. Mary R. Pike, widow of Rev. James Pike, of Newfields. […]
Mrs. Pike at the age of 106 years is active in mind, keen and witty in conversation and gracious in manner. A few years ago this Magazine published a likeness of Mrs. Pike which holds good. She seems not to have changed mentally or physically except that a recent fall has confined her to her room.
Her health is good, she is cheerful and strong in her faith in God, and in her love for humanity. Granite Chapter would like to know if any other Chapter can claim so old a Daughter.
I, for one, would have loved to have been among those who got to sit down with Mary in her later years to hear her discuss her life experiences. As a member of the DAR, she would have been someone extremely interested in family history and the history of our great country.
As is often the case, this is an image I came across while searching for information about someone else. I was intrigued, and wanted to learn more about her. As it turns out, much has been written about Mary’s Brodhead family line, and I won’t go into too much detail here; I’ll just try to give you a sense of where she is located in the overall family tree:
Mary was a granddaughter of Revolutionary War Captain Luke Brodhead (1741-1806), youngest brother of my fifth great grandfather, Lt. Garret Brodhead (1733-1804). (Luke and Garret were sons of Dansbury (East Stroudsburg) founders Daniel Brodhead and wife Hester Wyngart.)
Luke* was wholeheartedly devoted to the cause of independence and was a devoted friend to General Lafayette. Wounds received in battle and in prison eventually forced him to retire from active duty after spending the winter in Valley Forge.
Luke’s June 28, 1806, obituary in the Northampton Farmer & Easton Weekly Advertiser described him as being: …an active patriot in the 1st Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment which marched on Boston in 1775, in opposition to tyranny. He was wounded, and made prisoner on Long Island, where he experienced savage cruelty in a British prison ship [Jersey], and afterwards [he was exchanged on December 8, 1776] served his country with reputation… […] Justice and gratitude had induced his country to dignify him with an annuity for life, and his amiable simplicity of manners endeared him to his friends. He was a tender parent, and an affectionate husband, and an immatable friend...
Luke’s son Rev. John Brodhead**, an ordained Methodist minister, and Mary Dodge, were Mary Rebecca Brodhead Pike’s parents. In 1809, the parents ultimately settled in Newfields, New Hampshire, and that is where Mary was born.
Rev. John Brodhead served in the NH State Senate from 1817-1827, and was a member of Congress from 1829-1833. John and Mary Dodge Brodhead had twelve children: Daniel Dodge Brodhead, John Montgomery Brodhead, Elizabeth Harrison Brodhead, Ann Mudge Brodhead, Joseph Crawford Brodhead, Mehitabel Smith Brodhead, George Hamilton Brodhead, Mary Rebecca Brodhead, Olive Brodhead, Brevet Brigadier General Thornton Fleming Brodhead, Col. Josiah Adams Brodhead, and Almena Cutter Brodhead.
The Reverend was not the only parent who led a remarkable life. His wife Mary Dodge Brodhead’s September 5, 1875’s obituary in the New York Times stated that she conversed and shook hands with every President of the United States, from George Washington on down. With the martyr President Lincoln, she was on terms of great familiarity.
Mary’s brother, Brevet Brigadier General Thornton Fleming Brodhead, (1820-1862); Credit: Wikipedia (Public Domain–contributed by IcarusPhoenix)
Of their children, Brig. Gen. Thornton Fleming Brodhead is particularly well known, for his service in the Civil War. He was mortally wounded at Bull Run after heroically leading his men into battle. George Hamilton Brodhead was once president of the NYSE. John Montgomery Brodhead served as second controller of the US Treasury, Joseph Crawford Brodhead was a Deputy Naval Officer, and Josiah Adams Brodhead was Paymaster in the US Army.
Mary Rebecca Brodhead (subject of this post) married Rev. James Pike***, who similarly to Mary’s father started out as a Methodist clergyman but later entered politics. James also served in the Civil War as a Colonel in New Hampshire’s 16th Infantry.
Mary and James had three children: James Thornton Pike (1841-1911), Anna Gertrude Pike Kendall (1844-1926), and Mary Brodhead Pike (1855-1855).
In closing, I’ll just say that there is a wealth of information available about this family line both online and in the Brodhead Family History volumes; I can’t really do justice to it here, and since it’s not my direct line, I don’t know how soon I will likely be returning to it. For anyone interested, the Brodhead Family History volumes may be available at your local library, particularly if you live in the Northeast, or through interlibrary loan. You can also purchase individual volumes from The DePuy / Brodhead Family Association (find them on Facebook).
Have a great day, all! As, always, comments, corrections, and additions welcome.
*Source for Luke Brodhead & family: Vol. I of The Brodhead Family, published by the Brodhead Family Assn, 1986, pp. 80-84
**Source for Rev. John Brodhead & family: Vol. II of The Brodhead Family, published by the Brodhead Family Assn, 1986, pp. 143-153.
***Source for Rev. James Pike & family: Vol. IV of The Brodhead Family, published by the Brodhead Family Assn, 1986, pp. 311.