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)
Judge Asa Packer (From Portrait and Biographical Record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon Counties (Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company, 1894))
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 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.
Robert P. Linderman
Garrett Brodhead Linderman Jr.
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. UPDATE/CORRECTION FROM “STEVE”, 21 APR 2015: “Although this connection appears in a number of places, including FindAGrave, and several Ancestry.com trees, I’m pretty sure it’s not correct. Warren Willber had two children that I know of with his first wife, Sallie Packer Linderman: Robert Eldredge Wilbur, and Stella Wilbur. I think Stella died as an infant. He remarried in 1901 to Miss Kate Ellen Brodhead. She was 39 at the time, and Warren was 41. In the 1910 census, they are listed without any children, and in that census there is a column for number of children, and number of children living, and it shows 0 in both columns for Kate. By this time, Kate is 48, and Warren is 50. In the 1920 census, they again appear with no children. From this, I don’t see how they could have had a daughter named Blanche. The clincher however, is an article about a local girl, Blanche Wilbur, eloping with George Randolph Hearst. The only problem is, she was local to Idaho Falls, Idaho, her father is listed as O.K. Wilbur. The Blanche Wilbur that married Hearst was born around 1905. This Idaho connection is supported by the FindAGrave entry for Blanch, which is in conflict with the link there to Warren Wilbur.”
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