Sinking of the Cunard Line’s steamer SS Oregon, 14th march 1886, 15 miles off Long Island. Nathaniel Currier & James Meritt Ives, 1886 (Wikimedia Commons – Image in public domain in US due to publication in the US prior to 1923.)
One of this blog’s readers, Steve, is actively engaged in researching his wife’s Linderman & Brodhead ancestors. He recently emailed me some Linderman tree info I was lacking in my post on Rachael Brodhead, wife of John Jordan Linderman. To view that post, click here. Scroll down and you will find Steve’s tree showing the seven children of John and Rachael. Anyone with additional info to share, please, by all means, leave a comment.
Port Jervis Evening Gazette, 9 October 1889 (Credit: Fultonhistory.org)
Coincidentally I came upon an October 1889 article about one of the children, Albert Brodhead Linderman, who’d have been about 57 at the time of publication. It’s a brief article but is packed with interesting little details. Albert was just returned from a brief trip to London and Paris, and seems to have been heavily involved in the railway industry. He was described as “a great traveler and a great talker” (the gift of gab always seems to go to at least one member of a family!) and a survivor of an 1886 ship collision off the coast of Long Island, New York. I can imagine that that disaster, only three years in the past, was still very fresh in people’s minds. For a description of the fate of the luxurious 650-passenger SS Oregon whose last journey was from Liverpool, England, to New York, click here. Thankfully, all of the Oregon‘s passengers were rescued.
Yes, Albert definitely got around. Upon further investigation, I found evidence (see article on the right) of his plan to purchase the island of Cuba (!) and his involvement in draining Lake Okeechobee here in South Florida to make way for agricultural expansion:
The State authorities of Florida have entered into a contract with I Coryell of Jacksonville and A B Linderman representing capitalists of Philadelphia and San Francisco to drain Lake Okeechobee in Southern Florida. The scheme if successfully carried out will reclaim millions of acres of excellent sugar lands and result not only in the reclamation of the bed of the lake itself but it is believed in that of the two vast swamps known as the Everglades and the Big Cypress which lie south of the lake and cover the greater portion of the lower end of the peninsula. The Everglades is sixty miles in length and about the same width really constitute a vast lake from one to six in depth studded with thousands of small islands. (From The Friend, Volumes 54-55, The Society of Friends, pub. 1881)
To my knowledge, the lake—the seventh largest freshwater lake in the US—was never drained, however, due to devastation and loss of life in the 1920s as a result of some hurricanes crossing over the lake and creating a storm surge, a dike was built around the lake in the 1930s. I remember setting off with my husband to the east coast 8-9 years ago and deciding to travel in such a way as to travel along the west and north sides of the lake on our trip east and then drive along the east and south sides on our return. We’d no idea the dike existed and were expecting to see some scenic views of the lake on our journey. Boy, were we disappointed for there really were very few places to catch a glimpse of it. You have to climb up to the top of the dike to see down below. A 109-mile walking/cycling trail—the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail—goes around the perimeter of the lake, often on top of the dike, but you are fully exposed to the sun, something to take into consideration especially at the hottest time of year. One of the best viewing spots we found was in the town of Pahokee (with a name like that, you just have to stop to be able to say you have been there), but that is not saying too much since it’s not like you’re climbing up to any great elevation.
The fishing in the lake is supposed to be very good, and it seemed like every home along the water’s edge had a boat, but, of course, there are lots of gators in there too. We were in Boston several months after that trip and were chatting over a B&B breakfast with some German tourists who were heading down to Miami the following day. One of their top priorities was going to be to go off to swim in Lake Okeechobee. We nearly choked on our French toast, and once the powdered sugar dislodged from our throats, strongly advised them against that idea!!!
Anyway, I have gotten way off track… Back to Albert. I don’t know why he is called Colonel. Had he served in the Civil War? Anyone with some thoughts on that or anything else to do with the Linderman children, feel free to comment below. Have a good day, all.
Albert Brodhead Linderman patent – 1882 patent
Article on land deal in Florida involving Linderman and prominent men from Great Britain
Part owner of a business enterprise with brother HR Linderman – for the link, click here
Update 7/5/16 – Some additional information kindly provided by aforementioned researcher Steve Hatchett:
Linderman meets President Chester A. Arthur – Google Books link – Eve Bacon writes in Orlando: A Centennial History that when Arthur’s train reached Kissimmee, Colonel A.B. Linderman greeted the President and announced, “We flatter ourselves that we have among us not only the president, but the next president.” Arthur, in no mood to make a politcal address, answered, “We are not here to look after the next president. We are here for rest and quiet,” Bacon writes.
Chester A. Arthur, 21st President of the United States of America – Public Domain image
Although Linderman is not mentioned by name, this Wikipedia article about Linderman’s associate, Hamilton Disston details some of the dealings in which Linderman was involved in Florida. AB Linderman was an agent and business associate of Hamilton Disston. Disston’s agents arranged the purchase of something like 4 million acres in Florida, one of the largest private land purchases at the time. This was related to the draining projects. Disston sold some of the land to Sir Edward James Reed of Great Britain. One of the articles above mentions Linderman involved in land deal with prominent Great Britain people including another Sir that was also an M.P. Reading some of the news articles about the draining made it sound like a flakey thing, but Disston was the real deal, and was moving and shaking in Florida. Note in the Wikipedia article the mention of President Arthur going to Kissimmee. That seems directly tied to the mention above of Linderman meeting Arthur in Kissimme.
Hamilton Diston – Image in public domain – Florida Memory Archives call number Rc02832
There is also a US Mint pamphlet that mentions him helping the Mint in reviewing contract bids during Henry Richard Linderman‘s term there. So ABL had his fingers in a lot of things.
H.R. Linderman, sometime between 1865-1880. Library of Congress image – No known restrictions on publication