Census Records

Isaac G. de G. Angus (1840-1885)

James W. Angus

James W. Angusimage from my family’s private collection

Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus

Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angusimage from my family’s private collection

Isaac Gabriel de Guadaloupe Angus1,the eldest child of James Winans Angus and Wealthy Ann Jaques (married 26 January 1839) was born on 12 January 1840². In terms of his first name, little Isaac was likely named after Wealthy’s father, Isaac Jaques, but I have no idea where the very unusual “Gabriel de Guadaloupe” comes from. There are a number of places in Mexico with Guadalupe (alternate spelling: Guadaloupe) in their name, including an area of Mexico City, apparently. As Isaac’s birth preceded James and Wealthy’s relocation to Mexico before the Mexican-American War, perhaps Gabriel was someone they met in New Jersey or someone in Mexico with whom they corresponded who was of such great assistance to the family in making arrangements for their upcoming move to Mexico that they decided to name their first-born child after him. While it could be completely off the mark, that’s my best theory at this point. If anyone reading this has other thoughts on the matter, please chime in.

Norwich Harbor, 1906

Norwich Harbor, 1906 (Credit: Wikimedia)

There was about a 22-year span between Isaac G. de G. Angus’s birth and the birth of James and Wealthy’s 11th, and youngest, child Walter Prince Angus. Some sources say Isaac was born in Norwich, CT, but the family Bible indicated that the birth took place in ‘Elizabeth Town, New Jersey’, and I am more inclined to believe the latter.  Then, the young family moved to Norwich, where second child James was born.

Fall of Mexico City during the Mexican-American War, painting by Carl Nebel. Published in the 1851 book "The War Between the United States and Mexico, Illustrated".  (Public Domain - Wikipedia)

Fall of Mexico City during the Mexican-American War, painting by Carl Nebel. Published in the 1851 book “The War Between the United States and Mexico, Illustrated”. (Public Domain – Wikipedia)

NY Tribune, Thursday, 28 Jun 1860

The New York Tribune, Thursday, 28 Jun 1860, courtesy of http://www.fultonhistory.com

James Angus was an entrepreneur. Attracted to Mexico’s affordable labor and high-quality coach-making materials, he went to Mexico City in 1842/early 1843, and Wealthy joined him with their two boys (Isaac and James Jr.) some time later.³ The family’s residence there coincided with the tumult of the Mexican-American War, in which James and Wealthy played a role. All survived the experience, and the family departed Mexico in early 1849, when James’ health problems forced them to head home to New Jersey.  Returning with them were two more children, both born in Mexico: Jacob Baker Angus and Mary Martha Angus4. [More on the Mexico years in an upcoming post]

Some six to seven years after returning to NJ, Isaac entered Princeton University. He graduated on 27 June 1860 with an AB degree5 and went on to be employed as a clerk in the Union County Surrogate’s Office, a position he held for many years6.

In 1862, the Angus family’s world was shattered when James W. Angus died of erysipelas7, also known as St. Anthony’s Fire ( disease that was dreaded in the Middle Ages), a bacterial infection of the upper dermis and superficial lymphatics. I found one website that describes the disease as being caused by the consumption of ergot (a fungus that contaminates grains such as rye). It’s not usually fatal unless there are complications, so James’ case must have been particularly severe. He was only 52. Wealthy was left a widower with a very large brood of children, aged 1 – 22, to tend to. In the years ahead, her home became the anchor for some of her children (or their spouses) after losing their life partner and needing a place for themselves and their children to stay. It’s no wonder she had to slowly peel off and sell real estate holdings to keep her household going8.

"New Jersey, County Marriages, 1682-1956," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VWR3-3R8 : accessed 17 April 2015), Isaac G Angus and Susan M Robinson, 08 Jun 1865; citing Union, New Jersey, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton; FHL microfilm 1,301,706.

“New Jersey, County Marriages, 1682-1956,” index and images, FamilySearch (https: //familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VWR3-3R8 : accessed 17 April 2015), Isaac G Angus and Susan M Robinson, 08 Jun 1865; citing Union, New Jersey, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton; FHL microfilm 1,301,706.

On June 8, 1865, in Elizabeth City, NJ9, Isaac married Susan Maria Robinson (b. 5 Aug 1837 in Brookfield, Worcester, MA10), the daughter of Jeremiah and Julia Robinson, who were both originally from Massachusetts.

(According to the 1850 census11, Susan (age 12) and the rest of the Robinson family were living in Elizabeth, NJ. Jeremiah was listed as a merchant with real estate holdings valued at $6,500 (almost $192,000 in today’s currency).

Among Susan’s siblings were Oscar B. Robinson and Zachary T. Robinson.) A first child, James W. Angus, was born to Isaac G. de. G. Angus and Susan Robinson on 22 Jun 186612. On 22 Jan 186713 (according to NJ Births and Christening Records), a male child was born, but that birth is not recorded in the family Bible, so I am not sure what to make of this record. Did this child die a short time after birth? Or was this James, and the DOB was recorded incorrectly in the Bible? The former seems more probable to me.

Almost exactly nine months later, another son was born, Isaac Jaques Angus14 (30 Oct 1867)—named after his paternal grandfather. And yet another son, George Belcher Angus, was born on 5 Nov 186915, in Elizabeth, NJ.

The 1870 census16 shows the Isaac and Susan Angus household consisting of:
Isaac Angus, M, 30  – birthplace New Jersey
Susan Angus, F, 30 – birthplace Massachusetts
Isaac Angus, M, 2 – birthplace New Jersey
George Angus, M, 0 – birthplace New Jersey
Joshua Robinson, M, 20 – birthplace New Jersey [a brother of Susan’s?]

Son James, who would have been four at the time, is not present. Had he passed away?

Two years passed, and tragedy struck. That summer, little Isaac died on 1 August 187217, just shy of his sixth birthday. He was followed four days later by little George, who died on 5 August 187218. It goes without saying that this must have been a devastating blow to the parents and the extended family; especially if they had indeed lost little James too. A worldwide smallpox epidemic that began in 1871 claimed eight million lives; had this been the cause of death for Isaac and George?

It must have been a joyous day when Isaac and Susan’s welcomed their last child Addison Clark Angus on 17 December 187519.

In 1880, the Census20 shows the family residing at 848 Second Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ, and consisting of:
Household     Gender     Age     Birthplace
Isaac G Angus     M     40     New Jersey, United States
Susan M Angus   F     40     Massachusetts, United States
Adison Angus     M     4     New Jersey, United States

Five years later, Isaac G. de G. Angus died—on 9 May 188521 at 44 years and four months. Subsequently, it appears that Susan and Addison moved in, at least temporarily, with mother-in-law Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus, because the 1885 NJ Census22 shows Wealthy’s household consisting of the following:

Wealthy Angus   F  [over 60 yrs; family matriarch Wealthy Jaques Angus, widow of James Winans Angus Sr.]
Walter Angus     M  [age 20-60; Wealthy’s youngest son, b. 1861)
Lavinia Angus     F  [age 20-60; Wealthy’s daughter, b. 1858)
James Angus     M  [age 20-60; likely James Winans Angus Jr, widower, b. 1841)
James Angus     M  [age 20-60; duplicate entry?]
Alfred Angus     M  [age 5-20; likely Alfred Carpenter Angus, b. 1873, son of James Winans Angus Jr.)
Christopher Angus  M [age 0-4; likely Christopher Angus, b. 1880, son of James Winans Angus Jr., died of hydrocephalus, buried 30 Sept 1885)
Susan Angus     F [age 20-60; widow of Isaac G. de G. Angus]
Addison Clark Angus     M [age 5-20; surviving son of Susan Angus and the late Isaac G. de G. Angus]

Addison was so young at the time of his father’s death, he may have grown up without any real recollections of him. And then at age 14, he lost Susan as well. She was  51. According to Evergreen Cemetery records, she died in February 1889 and was buried on the 25th of that month. The cause of death was given as ‘mania’.

I can’t help but wonder what happened to Susan and how long she had been experiencing problems. What must Addison have gone through? ‘Mania’ back then indicated “insanity” or “madness”. The Michigan Family History website has a page on the topic of medical terms used long ago. The entry for mania says: Any of the forms of mental illness, or dementia. May also mean, along with the term “vapors” that the individual died from acute alcohol ingestion, or the DTs. In the 1800s it was defined as severe insanity. Acute mania was used as a term for death when the patient had been hospitalized in a mental institution. It would be hard to say exactly what the mental illness was. The topic was covered in the article “Lunacy in the 19th Century: Women’s Admission to Asylums in United States of America” (click here to view).  And often it did not take much to be locked up back then, as you can see from this Slate article, “Those Funny 19th-Century Reasons for Admission to Mental Institutions” (to view it, click here.)

Isaac and their two little sons were disinterred from the churchyard of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth and removed to Evergreen on 13 February 1890 to be buried next to Susan. I asked a Find a Grave volunteer to locate the graves for me (Plot 207, Section F), but they could not find any Angus markers in that vicinity.

Addison certainly was faced with challenges in his young life, losing both parents the way he did.  His entry in a college yearbook23 indicates he spent time in Oakham, MA—perhaps with grandparents or other relatives. He went on to attend Oberlin Academy24 in the mid-1890s and Yale25 (graduated 1901; 1913-1915, MA History), and lived a very long life. He died in 1970, having made it into his mid 90’s26.

1909 U.S. print advertisement. Scanned from Early American Automobiles (out of print). Previously uploaded to en:Wikipedia by Richardj311 (Public domain in USA)

1909 U.S. print advertisement. Scanned from Early American Automobiles (out of print). Previously uploaded to en:Wikipedia by Richardj311 (Public domain in USA)

I found out a bit more information about him, including evidence of three marriages. One of them, which involved a whirlwind wedding in an automobile, to a wealthy new divorcée, Mrs. Elsie Brinkerhoff Sanford (a daughter of the Fargo family—as in Wells Fargo), was quite amusing—so amusing, in fact, that the story ended up in newspapers all over the country and even halfway around the world in New Zealand!!! Some clippings are below, Each one varies slightly; clues are sprinkled throughout. One article—in the Mathews Journal of Virginia—says the groom gave his age as 26 and the bride said she was 34, and both said they’d been married previously. Perhaps his merry mood made Addison say he was 26. Born in 1875, he would have been 37 at the time! Another article said the couple had just wrapped up an auto tour of Maine and were on their way back to NYC (The Springfield Union (MA), 18 Sept. 1912; available through Genealogy Bank); Addison is buried in Maine, so perhaps that was the trip that first introduced him to the extraordinary beauty of that state. The other details I’ve discovered about Addison I will keep under my hat since they are of a more recent nature, relatively speaking.

My great-grandmother Wealthy (Angus) Woodruff was one of Isaac G. de G. Angus’s little sisters; they were about 10 years apart. Their two families no doubt interacted frequently given they all lived in Elizabeth, not too far from each other. I have a few very old letters somewhere that reference Isaac’s family and will put them on my list of things to scan and share in a future post. As always, corrections, comments, additions, etc., are very welcome.

Addison_Clark_Angus_marriage2_Trove_httpnla.gov.aunla.news-article33416747

Auckland Star, Volume XLIII, Issue 276, 9 November 1912, Page 18

Addison_Clark_Angus_marriage

San Francisco Call, Vol. 112, No. 109, 17 September 1912 – California Digital Newspaper Collection – “A Freely Accessible Repository of Digitized California Newspapers from 1846 to the Present” – California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, <http://cdnc.ucr.edu&gt;. All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use.

New York Telegram, 16 September 1912 (Credit: fultonhistory.com)

New York Telegram, 16 September 1912 (Credit: fultonhistory.com)

Mathews Journal (VA), Vol. 9, No. 32, 26 September 1912 (Credit: Library of Virginia Digital Archives)

Mathews Journal (VA), Vol. 9, No. 32, 26 September 1912 (Credit: Library of Virginia Digital Archives)

New York Times, 21 June 1912

The New York Times, 21 June 1912 – Elsie was a divorcée, not a widow as one article suggests.

Notes:

  1. Angus family Bible
  2. Angus family Bible
  3. One Line of Descendants of James Angus, 1751-1896 compiled by Harriet Stryker-Rodda and published in 1969, p. 9.
  4. One Line of Descendants of James Angus, 1751-1896 compiled by Harriet Stryker-Rodda and published in 1969, p. 9
  5. New York Tribune, Thursday, 28 Jun 1860
  6. One Line of Descendants of James Angus, 1751-1896 compiled by Harriet Stryker-Rodda and published in 1969, p. 13
  7. One Line of Descendants of James Angus, 1751-1896 compiled by Harriet Stryker-Rodda and published in 1969, p. 11
  8. One Line of Descendants of James Angus, 1751-1896 compiled by Harriet Stryker-Rodda and published in 1969, p. 12
  9. “New Jersey, County Marriages, 1682-1956,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VWR3-3R8 : accessed 17 April 2015), Isaac G Angus and Susan M Robinson, 08 Jun 1865; citing Union, New Jersey, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton; FHL microfilm 1,301,706.
  10. “Massachusetts, Births and Christenings, 1639-1915,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VQ6J-CNL : accessed 17 April 2015), Susan Maria Robinson, 05 Aug 1837; citing BROOKFIELD,WORCESTER,MASSACHUSETTS, ; FHL microfilm 0547195 IT 1.
  11. “United States Census, 1850,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6MX-6P2 : accessed 17 April 2015), Susan M Robinson in household of Jeremiah Robinson, Elizabeth, Essex, New Jersey, United States; citing family 964, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  12. Angus family Bible
  13. “New Jersey, Births and Christenings, 1660-1980,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FCTD-955 : accessed 16 April 2015), Isaac Angus in entry for Angus, 22 Jan 1867; citing Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, reference v AG p 203B; FHL microfilm 584,583.
  14. “New Jersey, Births and Christenings, 1660-1980,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FC2X-SZR : accessed 16 April 2015), Isaac Angus in entry for Isaac J. Angus, 30 Oct 1867; citing Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, reference v BV 2 p 998; FHL microfilm 494,163.
  15. Angus family Bible
  16. “United States Census, 1870,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN68-PYJ : accessed 16 April 2015), Isaac Angus, New Jersey, United States; citing p. 29, family 236, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,389.
  17. “New Jersey Deaths and Burials, 1720-1988,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FZ8S-DX7 : accessed 16 April 2015), Isaac Angus in entry for Isaac G. Angus, 01 Aug 1872; citing Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, reference v A-V p 319; FHL microfilm 584,595.
  18. “New Jersey Deaths and Burials, 1720-1988,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FZ8S-DXH : accessed 16 April 2015), Isaac Angus in entry for George B. Angus0, 05 Aug 1872; citing Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, reference v A-V p 319; FHL microfilm 584,595.
  19. “New Jersey, Births and Christenings, 1660-1980,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FCG8-6D9 : accessed 17 April 2015), Addison C. Angus, 17 Dec 1875; citing Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, reference v CL p 461; FHL microfilm 494,180.
  20. “United States Census, 1880,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNDS-VLF : accessed 17 April 2015), Adison Angus in household of Isaac G Angus, Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States; citing enumeration district 167, sheet 114A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0800; FHL microfilm 1,254,800.
  21. Evergreen Cemetery records
  22. “New Jersey, State Census, 1885,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:6BFT-JT2 : accessed 17 April 2015), Susan Angus in household of Wealthy Angus, Elizabeth, Ward 03, Union, New Jersey; citing p. , Department of State, Trenton; FHL microfilm .
  23. The 1901 entry for him in the Yale yearbook reads: ADDISON CLARK ANGUS ‘Agnes’  – ‘Began his career at Elizabeth, N.J. The record of his life has been carelessly kept, for he does not know when he was born nor his father’s name and occupation. He does know, however, that he himself has lived not only in Elizabeth but also in Oakham, Mass., and that his paternal ancestor graduated from Princeton in ’63. We guess that the date of his birth was …. and have ascertained that his father, …. is a …. Prepared at Oberlin Academy, Oberlin, O.
  24. Source: ‘Cl.’ in Catalogue of Oberlin College for the year 1896.
  25. “United States Census, 1900,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M97Q-LBW : accessed 14 Dec 2013), Addison Angus, Yale University Ward 1, New Haven, Connecticut, United States; citing sheet , family , NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1240144.
  26. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41155314
Categories: Angus, Jaques, New Jersey 1885, Norwich, Robinson, US Federal 1850, US Federal 1870, US Federal 1880 | Tags: | 7 Comments

Some descendants of the Nixon family of Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Louise and Jennie Nixon, 1964

Photo from my family’s private collection: Sisters Louise (75) and Jennie Nixon (80) in 1964

These lovely elderly ladies are Louise E. Nixon and Jane ‘Jennie’ Bracken Nixon, nieces of my great-grandmother Sarah (Nixon) Boles of Co. Leitrim, Ireland, whose parents—William Nixon and Rachel Miller—and numerous siblings moved to the United States in the late 1860s. The ladies were my grandfather William Boles‘s cousins.

A previous post on Sarah Nixon Boles mentioned the fact that most, if not all, of her family relocated to New York after the US Civil War. This Nixon family is presumably part of the Nixon family of Fermanagh*—about which much has been written (e.g., The Families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh, and Their Descendants by Henry B. Swanzy, published in 1908).  However, I have yet to figure out the family’s location in the larger Nixon family tree.

William and Rachel Nixon were about 67 and 51, respectively when they arrived in America in 1869 (the year given me by the descendant of Benjamin, one of their sons). Joining them were supposedly all of their children (I’ve found 11, although my mother’s records list 14) except for my great-grandmother Sarah: Mark Nixon (b. cir. 1839/1845), Edward Nixon (b. cir 1845); Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Nixon (b. cir. 1849); Jane Nixon (b. 1851); Thomas Nixon (b. cir. 1852); Sarah Nixon (b. 1855); Rachel Nixon (b. cir 1865); Mary Nixon (b. cir 1858); Benjamin Nixon (b. cir 1862); Robert Nixon (b. 1863); Catherine Nixon (b. 1864); the last three (whom I have yet to find a trace of) were James, John, and William.

Passenger List - The Caledonia - sailed from Moville, Ireland to NY, NY on 14 Sep 1868 (Source Citation: Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 301; Line: 22; List Number: 989.)

Passenger List – The Caledonia – sailed from Moville, Ireland to NY, NY on 14 September 1868 (Source Citation: Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 301; Line: 22; List Number: 989.)

The passenger list inset for the ship Caledonia , which set sail from Moville on Lough Foyle at the northern tip of Northern Ireland to New York on 14 September 1868, shows the names of some Nixons–the names seem to fairly well coincide with some of the Nixon children’s names & ages. If these indeed are ‘our Nixons’, it would indicate that the older children may have come ahead of the parents and younger children.

While researching the family, I found William, Rachel and a number of the children in the 1870 US Federal Census, living in NYC Ward 18. William is listed as a ‘farmer’, an answer based certainly on his past occupation in Ireland. The children in the household were: Edward (30), Thomas (20), Eliza (22), Jane (18), Rachel (15), Mary (10), and ‘Bennett’ (10, this was probably ‘Benjamin’).

1870 Census Record ("United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M8X8-K4T : accessed 25 February 2015), Rachael Nixon, New York, United States; citing p. 34, family , NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,539.)

1870 Census Record (“United States Census, 1870,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M8X8-K4T : accessed 25 February 2015), Rachael Nixon, New York, United States; citing p. 34, family , NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,539.)

William Nixon died before the 1880 US Federal Census, as Rachel Nixon is listed in that census record as a widow ‘keeping house’ and living at 203 16th Street, NY, NY. and living with children Edward, Lizzie, Thomas, Rachel, Benjamin, Robert, Mary, and Kate, and several lodgers. The census record indicates that family members were involved in the dry goods business. Son Thomas (28 and now widowed) is listed as being a ‘dry goods buyer’ as is son Edward, age 35 and single. Benjamin (20) is listed as a ‘dry goods clerk’ as is Robert (18). (The 1900 Census indicates that Robert emigrated in 1879.)

Looking at old newspapers, I found the following mortuary notice in the New York Herald, dated 11 Aug 1871: At his [Gramercy] residence, 346 East 17th Street, on Thursday, August 10, William Nixon, aged 69 years. Funeral will take place on Saturday, August 12, at one o’clock PM from Seventeenth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, between First and Second avenues. Relatives and friends are invited to attend.

Wikimedia Commons: Manhattan neighborhoods (map); Author= Stilfehler; Oct. 15th, 2007

Wikimedia Commons: Manhattan neighborhoods (map); Author= Stilfehler; Oct. 15th, 2007

Almost two decades later, I found a notice for a Rachel Nixon (New York Herald, 12 May 1890): On Saturday, May 10, 1890, Rachel Nixon, age 72 years. The relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral services at her late [East Village] residence, No. 224 East 12th Street, on Monday evening, May 12, 1890 at eight o’clock. Interment in Green-wood.

A William Nixon (bur. August 1871, Find a Grave memorial #127997780) and a Rachel Nixon (bur. 5-13-1890; Find a Grave memorial #106845856) are buried in Green-wood Cemetery Lot 17245 Section 17, Grave 114. The grave is unmarked according to the Find a Grave photographer who kindly attempted to find the graves for me. I’m not yet certain that I have the correct Rachel and William, but hope to pin all this down at some point. Meanwhile I toss this info out there to my readers and future readers who may already have turned over these stones and arrived at some conclusions.

Son Edward Nixon and wife Anna (Bracken) Nixon, who emigrated from No. Ireland in 1883, had four children: Jane ‘Jennie’ (b. 1884), William (b. 1885), George (b. 1887), and Louise (b. 1889). The first two children were born in Manhattan. The second two were born in Bridgeport, CT. Edward died sometime between 1889 and 1900, as Anna is a widow as of the 1900 census. There is an Edward Nixon in the same plot at Green-wood Cemetery (Burial 1899-03-29, Lot 17245 Section 17, Grave 114; (Find a Grave #106846467), perhaps giving a bit more weight to the possibility that the Green-wood plot is indeed where our Nixon ancestors were laid to rest.

By the 1900 Census, Anna (Bracken) Nixon and her children (ages 16, 15, 13, 11), sister Mary J. Bracken, and a lodger are living at 160 Virginia Avenue in Jersey City Ward No. 8, Hudson Co., NJ, and it was there that the family remained for many years. Neither Jennie nor Louise ever married. Jennie devoted her life to working as a teacher in the Jersey City public school system, and Louise worked for many years as a stenographer and then executive secretary for the president or vice president of a company in NYC. Eventually the sisters joined forces with their brother William and his wife Marion to buy a large house at 680 Orchard Street in Oradell, NJ, where they spent happy years before moving into the Francis Asbury Manor Methodist rest home in Ocean Grove, NJ. Jane died in May of 1972, and Louise in October 1979.

Jennie Boles with Louise and Jennie Nixon, spring 1964

Photo form my family’s private collection: Jennie Boles (75) of Ireland with her American cousins Louise (75) and Jennie Nixon (80), early spring 1964, New Jersey

Serendipitously it was during their years in Jersey City that Jennie and Louise befriended my grandmother Zillah Trewin who lived there with her parents William Trewin and Elizabeth (Sargent) Trewin. According to my mother, Zillah was great friends with the Nixon sisters, as well as their cousins (the children of Jane Nixon and Wm Elliott Roberts), and it was through that friendship that she ultimately met and married their cousin (my grandfather) William Boles who emigrated to the US in 1912 at the encouragement of his uncle Robert Nixon who sponsored him.

I remember Jennie and Louise well. They were very fun ladies—full of good humor and always had a twinkle in their eyes. I always enjoyed the times spent with them, and best remember our visits to their Ocean Grove apartment. As I recall, we would drive down to see them on Saturdays since the roads in Ocean Grove are closed to all traffic on Sundays. We always took them out to lunch, and I remember taking them down to some restaurant near the ocean in Spring Lake, a short drive to the south. They were two sweethearts and it was very sad to lose them. I would love to have them here now to have some family history chats with them. When I was a teenager that topic was far from my mind.

I’ll close this post with a couple of Louise’s recipes (‘Chocolate Flake Candy’ and ‘Date Balls’) I recently came upon while re-binding my mom’s old recipe notebook. I haven’t tried either of them yet as I am trying to shift a bit of weight. Such temptations would surely sabotage my results! But they will stay on my radar!

If you’ve made it this far in the post, I wish you a great day. If you have anything to add, share, correct, etc., please don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment!

Nixon_Louise_recipe

Recipes typed up by Louise Nixon for my mother

Jennie and Louise’s Nixon Tree Branch
1-William Nixon b. Cir 1802, Ireland, d. Bef 2 Jun 1880; possibly 10 Aug
1871 +Rachael Millar b. Cir 1818, Ireland, d. Possibly 10 May 1890, Manhattan, New
York, New York
|—–2-Edward Nixon b. Cir 1845, Ireland, d. Betw 1889 and 1900
| +Anna Bracken b. Aug 1847, Northern Ireland, d. After 1930
| |—–3-Jane Bracken Nixon b. 15 Apr 1884, Manhattan, New York, New York,
| | d. May 1972, Ocean Grove, Monmouth, NJ
| |—–3-William Thomas Nixon b. 24 Aug 1885, Manhattan, New York, New
| | York, d. Sep 1967, Suffolk, New York
| | +Marion Zoller
| |—–3-George Robert Bracken Nixon b. 12 Feb 1887, Bridgeport,
| | Connecticut
| | +May L. Swenarton b. Cir 1889, New Jersey
| | |—–4-George W. Nixon b. Cir 1914, New Jersey
| | |—–4-Frank L. Nixon b. Cir 1919
| |—–3-Louise E. Nixon b. 22 Jul 1889, Bridgeport, Connecticut, d. Oct
| | 1979, Ocean Grove, Monmouth, NJ

Categories: Boles, Co. Fermanagh, Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn NY, Ireland, Jersey City, Hudson Co., Manhattan, Methodist Episcopal, New York, Nixon, Trewin, US Federal 1880 | 2 Comments

Henry Conrad Brodhead & Eva Wilder McGlasson: late 19th- / early 20th-century “power couple”

Eva Wilder Brodhead (The Book Buyer: A Summary of American and Foreign Literature, Volume XIII, February 1896 – January 1897 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons) - page 457)

Eva Wilder Brodhead (Image from The Book Buyer: A Summary of American and Foreign Literature, Volume XIII, February 1896 – January 1897 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons) – page 457)

Two families came together in Manhattan, New York, on 5 December 1894, to celebrate the marriage of Henry Conrad Brodhead, a wealthy, never-before-married, 46-year-old mining engineer, and the adored and admired Eva Wilder McGlasson, a 24-year-old Kentucky woman widely regarded as one of the most accomplished young literary talents of her era, said to be the youngest magazinist in the country*. She was especially known for her short stories and her use of dialect.

This marriage was mentioned in fleeting in a past post on Henry’s brother William H. Brodhead‘s elopement, which took place on that very same day, Henry’s wedding serving as just the diversion William needed to go off and marry his beloved, and much younger, Mary Van Tassel. (I know the age difference between Mary and William appalled their parents, but the age gap between Henry and Eva was even more vast–granted Eva was 24, but she was still very much old enough to be Henry’s daughter.) The brothers were two of the six sons of Daniel Dingman Brodhead (b. 1818) and Mary Ann Brodrick (b. cir. 1826), and nephews of my second great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Brodhead, and cousins of my great grandfather, Andrew Douglas Brodhead.

Henry C. Brodhead (image from Wyoming Valley in the 19th Century. Art Edition by SR Smith, Vol I, Wilkes-Barre Leader Print, 1894)

Henry C. Brodhead (image from Wyoming Valley in the 19th Century. Art Edition by SR Smith, Vol I, Wilkes-Barre Leader Print, 1894)

From Manhattan, Henry and Eva embarked on a lengthy European honeymoon tour that included a Mediterranean cruise.

Their 21-year journey of marriage was set against the backdrop of Colorado’s mountains, bustling Manhattan, and European cities. How and where did they meet? What led them to each other?

Their relationship must have been the source of tremendous curiosity for Eva’s multitude of fans, and I must admit that even all these years later, I myself am intrigued to know how, where, and when their paths first crossed. At the time of their marriage, they must have been viewed as a sort of “power couple”—one whose movements and activities were traced and actively talked about as much as that would have been possible back then.

Impending wedding news from the New York Times, 2 December 1894

Impending wedding news from the New York Times, 2 December 1894

H.C. Brodhead
Henry was not exactly a spring chicken when he finally took the plunge into marriage, but the wait was likely well worth it—he would have been hard-pressed up to that point to have found a prettier, more intelligent, and more accomplished wife than Eva. Perhaps, his maturity, rich life experience, acquired wisdom, passionate work ethic, and financial security provided Eva with the valued partner she needed personally, as well as the freedom she needed spiritually and artistically, to pursue her talents and career to the fullest.

The 1894 book The Wyoming Valley in the Nineteenth Century. Art Edition offers this about Henry’s pre-marriage years: H. C. Brodhead, born at Mauch Chunk and educated in Philadelphia. Began his mining career at Wanamie in the early 70’s for the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. Upon their purchase of the Red Ash collieries in Plymouth, he was made engineer in charge and served in such capacity for several years. When the same collieries were absorbed into the Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Company, he was made a Division Superintendent of said Company, and after a time was transferred to Sugar Notch, at that time the most difficult division in the company’s possession. After several years service there he was in 1883, promoted to the Assistant General Outside Superintendency, which place he held till his resignation in 1888. His large experience obtained in early life he has been able to utilize profitably in the care of his individual interests in several collieries, all of which have been successful. The 1860 and 1870 census records corroborate the Philadelphia location, and 1880 census record confirms Henry’s residence as being located in Sugar Notch, Luzerne Co., PA.

A later publication, the 1906 book Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania provides a few more clues about those early years: …Henry was educated in Philadelphia. He graduated at the Philadelphia high school, A. B., and later A. M. He began his business career as civil engineer, later became a mining engineer, and was for several years in the employ of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company and afterward with the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company. Still later he began operating in his own behalf, developing coal lands and organizing companies for mining operations…

(Image from the Los Angeles Herald, March 3, 1895; California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu>. All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use)

CLICK to ENLARGE (Image from the Los Angeles Herald, March 3, 1895; California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu&gt;. All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use)

Eva Wilder McGlasson
Henry’s young bride Eva had accomplished much in her 24 years. At the time of her wedding, she was a celebrated young writer and an object of fascination for her adoring readers. Snippets appeared about her in various newspapers and other publications:

In the Montreal Herald on September 8, 1892: Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson the author of Diana’s Livery and An Earthly Paragon (which was written in three weeks), is probably the youngest writer before the public who has attained as much reputation and accomplished as remarkable work. Mrs. McGlasson is Kentuckian, and began to write a few years ago, when she was eighteen. Her stories are strong and vivid, and her dialogue is especially dramatic without being untrue. She has devoted herself almost entirely to describing the “life of her native State,” but her friends have advised her broadening her field of observation by going to New York to live, which she will probably do.

In the Patterson Daily Press on May 6, 1893: Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson is one of the most remarkable women of the age, Not only is she remarkable for her brilliancy, but on account of her extreme youth and the ease with which she has attained the pinnacle of fame. Mrs. McGlasson is still less than 24, and yet she has written and published two successful books. She is petite and pretty and exhibits the fresh, ingenuous charm of an extremely bright schoolgirl.

In the New York Times on July 30, 1893: Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson, whose writings are as delicate and artistic as the frostwork one finds on the Winter window pane, confesses to her impossibility to produce more than six short stories in a year’s time.

Eva Wilder McGlasson

Eva Wilder McGlasson (Image from the Los Angeles Herald, March 3, 1895; California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu&gt;. All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use)

The article “Women of the Authors’ Club”, published by the New York Times on January 21, 1894, gave this wonderful description of Eva: Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson, who, shy, tiny, and looking very young in a dainty pink gown, with a great cluster of pink roses at her belt, no one would suspect of being one of the most powerful fiction writers now contributing to the magazines.

And, from the April 7, 1895, New York Times article “Woman’s Sense of Humor: It is Frequently Alleged that She Does Not Possess Any. American Facts to Contradict This”: Eva Wilder McGlasson has interwoven much that is delightfully funny with the somberer tints of her stories. A Monument to Corder is likewise a monument to humor.

Born in Covington, Kentucky, to a mother and father hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Nova Scotia, Canada, respectively, Eva was educated in Covington and later in New York. According to the 1914 book Kentucky in American Letters: 1784–1912:

Featured with other women writers, the Los Angeles Herald (see image above for source details)

Featured with other women writers, the Los Angeles Herald (see Eva’s image above for source details)

She began to write when but eighteen years of age, and a short time thereafter her first novel appeared, Diana’s Livery (New York, 1891). This was set against a background most alluring: the Shaker settlement at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, into which a young man of the world enters and falls in love with a pretty Shakeress, Her second story, An Earthly Paragon (New York, 1892), which was written in three weeks, ran through Harper’s Weekly before being published in book form. It was a romance of the Kentucky mountains, laid around Chamoum, the novelist’s name for Yosemite, Kentucky. It was followed by a novelette of love set amidst the salt-sea atmosphere of an eastern watering place, Ministers of Grace (New York, 1894). Hildreth, the scene of this little story, is anywhere along the Jersey coast from Atlantic City to Long Branch. Ministers of Grace also appeared serially in Harper’s Weekly, and when it was issued in book form Col. Henry Watterson called the attention of Richard Mansfield to it as a proper vehicle for him, and the actor promptly secured the dramatic rights, hoping to present it upon the stage; but his untimely death prevented the dramatization of the tale under highly favorable auspices. It was the last to be published under the name of Eva Wilder McGlasson, as this writer was first known to the public, for on December 5, 1894, she was married in New York to Mr. Henry C. Brodhead, a civil and mining engineer of Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania.

Colorado

Rand, McNally & Co.'s Colorado. Rand McNally & Co., Map Publishers and Engravers, Chicago, 1912  (Source: www.davidrumsey.com)

Part of a 1912 map of Colorado, showing Brodhead in Las Animas County, just outside the town of Aguilar (look to middle of the map);  Rand, McNally & Co.’s Colorado. Rand McNally & Co., Map Publishers and Engravers, Chicago, 1912 (Source: http://www.davidrumsey.com)

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.

Trinidad, Colorado, to the south of Aguilar and the Brodhead mines, 1905 (Wikipedia: Public domain image)

Trinidad, Colorado, to the south of Aguilar and the Brodhead mines, 1905 (Wikipedia: Public domain image)

Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania (1906) offers some insight into the brothers’ activities out West: In October of the same year [1893] Albert Gallatin Brodhead and his brothers, Henry C. and Robert S. Brodhead, journeyed through Colorado, making careful investigation of its mineral resources. Having prospected coal lands in Las Animas county, they purchased two large tracts, one of four thousand acres at Brodhead, Colorado, and six hundred acres at Walsenburg, near the foot of the Spanish Peaks, which rise to an altitude of nearly fourteen thousand feet. The Brodheads have leased both their coal tracts, one to the Green Canon Coal Company, and the other to the Las Animas Coal Company. They market their output in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Indian Territory. Expert authority has passed upon the quality of the coal, and grade it as semi-anthracite. It is distributed in six workable veins, and the quantity capable of being mined is estimated at millions of tons. The Brodhead properties are held by an incorporated company, of which the officers are: Henry C. Brodhead, president; Robert S. Brodhead, vice-president; and Albert G. Brodhead, secretary and general manager, with the principal office in Denver, Colorado.

So, those of you in Colorado today may be curious to pass through Aguilar if you are ever in that area to check out what, if anything, remains of the ghost town of Brodhead, Colorado!

I will continue this post another day. Meanwhile, I will leave you with a poem* by Eva that was published in Harper’s Weekly on May 14, 1892:

The Daguerreotype

You
hev to hold it sidewise
Fer to make the lightness show,
‘Cuz its sort uh dim an’ shifty
Till you git it right—’bout
so!
An’ then the eyes winks at yeh,
An’ the mouth is cherry ripe
Law! it beats your new-style picters,
This old digerrytype!
Thar’s a blush across the dimples
Thet burrows in the cheeks;
F’om out them clumps o’ ringlets
Two little small ears peeks,
Thet brooch thet jines her neck-gear
Is what they used to wear;
A big gold frame thet sprawled around
A lock of ‘o—some ones hair.
‘Twas took ‘fore we was married,
Thet there—your maw an’ me.
An’ time I study on it,
Why, ‘t fazes me to see
Thet fifty year ‘aint teched her
A lick! She’s jest the same
She was when Susie Scriggens
Took Boone C. Curd’s name.
The hair is mebby white
‘An it was in ’41.
But her cheeks is jest as pinky.
An’ her smiles ‘ain’t slacked up none.
I reckon—love—er somethin’
Yerluminates her face,
Like the crimsont velvet linin’
Warms up the picter-case.
‘S I say, these cyard boa’d portraits,
They make me sort uh tired ,
A-grinnin’ forf upun yeh
Like their very lips was wired!
Give me the old digerrytype,
Whar the face steals on your sight
Like a dream that comes by night-time
When your supper’s actin’ right!

 

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

*Mansfield Daily Shield, February 17, 1895

References:

Hayden, Rev. Horace Edwin Hayden, Hon. Alfred Hand, and John W. Jordan, eds. 1906. Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania,  Vol. I. New York/Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co. (pp. 202-203).

McGlasson, Eva Wilder. 1892. “The Daguerreotype” Harper’s Weekly: A Journal of Civilization 36(1847): 463.

Smith, S. R. 1894. The Wyoming Valley in the Nineteenth Century. Art edition Vol I. Wilkes-Barre, PA: Wilkes-Barre Leader Print  (p. 78).

Townsend, John Wilson. 1913. Kentucky in American Letters: 1784–1912 Vol. II. Cedar Rapids: The Torch Press (pp. 267–69).

Pennsylvania Mines

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See additional posts:

June 24, 2014

July 15, 2014

Categories: Brodhead, Brodhead, Colorado, Denver, Fairmount Cem Denver CO, Kentucky, Manhattan, McGlasson, New York, New York City, Sugar Notch Luzerne Co, US Federal 1860, US Federal 1870, US Federal 1880 | Leave a comment

Lavinia P. Angus (1858-1940s)—geometry whiz; who knew?!

1820 watercolor portrait of French mathematicians Adrien-Marie Legendre and Joseph Fourier; Boilly, Julien-Leopold. (1820). Album de 73 Portraits-Charge Aquarelle’s des Membres de I’Institut (Wikimedia Commons: Image in Public Domain)

1820 watercolor portrait of French mathematicians Adrien-Marie Legendre and Joseph Fourier; Boilly, Julien-Leopold. (1820). Album de 73 Portraits-Charge Aquarelle’s des Membres de I’Institut (Wikimedia Commons: Image in Public Domain)

I know, I’m breaking my self-imposed vow of ‘blog silence until the New Year’, but once I’ve assembled enough information about someone, I just feel compelled to get it ‘out there’ as quickly as possible! So here I go again–

My dad occasionally spoke of his [Great] ‘Aunt Vean’ (short for ‘Lavinia’). Unfortunately, so much time has passed since his passing, I can’t remember the context. I only recall that whatever he ever had to say about her was complimentary and implied that she was quite a pistol.

Beyond that, until recently, I did not know much else about her. I only knew she was the youngest daughter of Wealthy and James Angus and that she had once been married to a gentleman with the surname Marthaler. Lavinia’s father James passed away when she was just a toddler so her memories of him would have been minimal. She had numerous older brothers and sisters (including my great grandmother Wealthy who was about eight years her senior) who would have helped raise her.  (As an aside, one of her older brothers was Job Angus about whom I wrote a previous post containing a letter from Texas.)

With a bit of digging, more info about Aunt Vean has come to light, including the curious blurb entitled ‘Fast Mathematics’ that was published in 1875 in National Teachers’ Monthly, Vol. 2 (p. 192–see the accompanying image on this page). Lavinia, born in September 1858, would have been about 17 at the time, and obviously she was a very bright young lady. Somehow she managed to memorize in one night 17 geometry theorems of famed French mathematician Adrien-Marie Legendre, and then recite them all the next day in class in a record time of 1 minute 40 seconds. I looked up all these theorems (posted on this page as an image–click on it to enlarge) to see what was entailed, and indeed, her feat was incredibly impressive. While she never went on to attend college, it’s obvious if she had, she would have possessed the determination to succeed at whatever subject matter she put her mind to.

1875, p. 192

National Teachers’ Monthly, Vol. 2, 1875, p. 192

The 18 theorems Aunt Vine memorized and recited

The 17 theorems Aunt Vine memorized and recited; click on image to enlarge it.

‘Aunt Vean’ married John Philip Marthaler in Elizabeth, NJ, on 24 May 1879. She was 21 at the time, and he was roughly 7 years older than she. The 1880 census shows a Lavinia and Philip ‘Morthala’ living at 163 Kent Street in Brooklyn with a young man named Hulet Valentine, whose occupation is listed as “Root beer”. Philip was working as a clerk in a store. Sadly the marriage did not last for long—Philip must have died sometime before 1885. The NJ state census of that year shows Lavinia back living with her mom Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus, and the 1900 and subsequent censuses list her as a widow. There is no indication that she ever remarried, and as far as I am aware she and Philip never had any children.

I found ‘Vean’ in all the Federal censuses taken between 1900 and 1940, and also in the 1905 NJ census. As you can see below, further down the page, her first and last names were commonly misspelled. She lived in Newark, NJ, until sometime before 1940 when she is shown to be living in nearby Montclair. She was most often shown as a boarder, and a woman named Elizabeth Booth (a decade younger than ‘Vean’) seemed to be a friend who appeared alongside her in a number of these records. That surprised me a bit considering Lavinia had so many siblings–I would have thought someone would have taken her in; but perhaps she inherited sufficient funds to stay out on her own or simply preferred to remain independent from the family. In 1900 ‘Vean’ was working as a stenographer; from 1910 onward, her occupation is listed as ‘none’. Her friend Elizabeth continued working until sometime between 1920 and 1930; in the 1930 and 1940 census she also reported no occupation.

‘Aunt Vean’ was listed as 81 in the 1940 census. I don’t have a date of death for her. I may find it in my dad’s memoirs—but he was off fighting in the Pacific for some of the 1940s and may not have made record of it.

The only physical memento we have of ‘Vean’ is a little vase that she gave to her niece (my grandmother), Fanny (Woodruff) Brodhead. Meanwhile, some of Aunt Vean’s letters may exist somewhere out there. The family history paper, One Line of Descendants of James Angus, written by Harriet Stryker-Rodda and published in 1969 (available in the Family Search Library–see my Links page) reported:  Lavinia’s letters, written in her later years, have been preserved in the family because of her interest in the family’s history and the fact that she had a retentive mind even as she got older. Perhaps, those letters will come to light someday. It would be wonderful to know more of the family history from her recollections and to see what her relationships with others were like.

As always, corrections, additions, and comments welcome!!!

All of the below from the Family Search website:

Lavinia P Marthaler Boarder United States Census, 1940
birth: 1859 New Jersey
residence: 1940 Ward 3, Montclair, Montclair Town, Essex, New Jersey, United States
other: Martha E Macbeth, Bessie Wetherby, Signa Hjertstrom, Mabel V Crane, M Elizabeth Booth, Sarah E Vanduyne…
Lavinia Marthaler Boarder United States Census, 1900
birth: September 1864 New Jersey
residence: 1900 District 5 Newark city Ward 2, Essex, New Jersey, United States
other: Joseph O Nichols, Eliza D Nichols, Sayres O Nichols, Julia C Nichols, Mary E Booth, Dora Flithner
Lavenea P Marthaler Boarder United States Census, 1930
birth: 1859 New Jersey
residence: 1930 Newark (Districts 1-250), Essex, New Jersey, United States
other: Elizabeth M Booth
Lavania Marthaler Head United States Census, 1920
birth: 1860 New Jersey
residence: 1920 Newark Ward 8, Essex, New Jersey, United States
other: Elizbeth Baldwin, Emma Mackain, M Elizbeth Booth, Bonnie Lomax
Lavinia Marthalles Head United States Census, 1910
birth: 1860 New Jersey
residence: 1910 Newark Ward 8, Essex, New Jersey, United States
Lavenia Marthaler New Jersey, State Census, 1905
birth: 1860
residence: 1905 , Essex, New Jersey, United States
other: Mary E Booth
Lavinia Morthala Wife United States Census, 1880
birth: 1859 New Jersey, United States
residence: 1880 Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States
spouse: Phillip Morthala
other: Hulet Valentine
Categories: Angus, Brodhead, Brooklyn, Marthaler, New Jersey 1885, New Jersey 1905, US Federal 1860, US Federal 1880, US Federal 1900, US Federal 1910, US Federal 1920, US Federal 1930, US Federal 1940, Woodruff | 7 Comments

Job W. Angus (1856-1936) — Letters from Texas

Hamilton Pool near Dripping Springs; Photo taken by Reid Sullivan during drought conditions 1/2/2006 (Wikimedia - Image in public domain)

Hamilton Pool near Dripping Springs, TX; Photo taken by Reid Sullivan during drought conditions 1/2/2006 (Wikimedia – Image in public domain)

In my last post, I mentioned that James W. Angus and his wife Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus, who settled in Elizabethtown, NJ, named one of their sons after Job Winans Angus, James’s younger brother. That son, Job W. Angus, was born on 7 July 1856, in Elizabethtown.

It’s worth mentioning that James W. Angus, a highly successful coach maker by profession and investor in Elizabeth real estate, died quite young (23 Dec 1862, at age 52) of erysipelas, an acute bacterial infection of the upper dermis, so Wealthy was left to care for the 7 of their 11 children (4 girls, 7 boys) who were still under 18. That included Job, who was just 6. She outlived James by 30 years and during those decades was a powerful matriarch in command of a large household and the family’s real estate holdings which she slowly sold off through the years to keep herself and her family going.

The Angus family dining room table seated 12 comfortably, and one descendant described remembering seeing Wealthy in command at that table, directing family business, with all her sons in attendance. Her death in 1892 marked the end of an era; to this day, her descendants are well aware of the powerful influence she had on all her children and grandchildren. The loyalty and love felt towards her would have been palpable.

James W. Angus, older brother of Job W. Angus, father of Job W. Angus (b. 1856)

James W. Angus, older brother of Job W. Angus, father of Job W. Angus (b. 1856)

Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus

Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus

Who would have stepped up to fill James’s shoes as a father figure to Wealthy’s boys? She had five brothers. One of them, John Barron Jaques, would not likely have been up to the challenge due to his own personal issues. Brother Charles, an assistant surgeon during the Civil War, died in 1866, only a few years after James. Walter passed away before 1863, so he would not have been involved. That leaves Isaac and Christopher; I don’t know much about either of them, but they may have provided some support to Wealthy’s children. And certainly Grandfather Isaac Jaques, Wealthy’s dad, would have done whatever he could.

James had but one brother, Job, and we know from the last post that James Jr., James and Wealthy’s second-born son, is believed to have spent some time working with his Uncle Job in Washington, DC. And, I have evidence that shows Uncle Job also provided support and guidance to his namesake, young Job Angus; that evidence takes the form of some letters written by young Job, while in Texas and Alabama, to his older sister and her husband, Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff and William E. Woodruff (my great grandparents). I’ll post those letters in the near future. Meanwhile, I have one letter of Job’s that was written to his mother Wealthy Ann, the influential family matriarch, on July 24, 1877. He was about 21 years old at the time, and writing from San Antonio enroute to Dripping Springs which is not far from Austin.

Lithograph - Map of San Antonio, Texas, 1886 (Wikimedia - Image in public domain)

Lithograph – Map of San Antonio, Texas, 1886 (Wikimedia – Image in public domain)

Old map of Austin, 1873 (Wikimedia - Image in public domain)

Old map of Austin, 1873 (Wikimedia – Image in public domain)

From reading this and his other letters, it sounds like he was a young man in search of adventure and opportunity–something his mom could relate to most definitely. Her life with husband James took her to Mexico in the 1840s, before and during the Mexican-American War. There she gave birth to some of their children and had quite a few adventures herself (I’ll piece together a post about her in the future). So, while reading this letter at age 52, situated rather permanently at that point in an established city like Elizabeth, Wealthy probably found herself pausing to reflect on some of her own travels. Perhaps she lived a bit vicariously through her children whenever they veered into territories and circumstances unknown, and like any mother, she probably found herself worrying and waiting for the post each day in hope of getting some news. (Some of us are old enough to remember what that was like!)

The scenery in Texas was, of course, a far cry from anything young Job had encountered in the Northeast, and it seems likely he would have taken in extraordinary sights like Hamilton pool in Dripping Springs with a sense of awe and wonder.

Job misses his mom and the comforts of home; he’s spent days riding horseback solo for long stretches and nights sleeping in the chapparel and mesquite. He’s heard no news from anyone but her. Good old mom–she’s provided letters that are tucked away in his gear, ready to be pulled out whenever he needs to feel the love of home. He’s in awe of the rivers and streams, and heading towards whatever future awaits him in Dripping Springs. Interaction with Uncle Job awaits; Wealthy was probably delighted the senior Job was in the picture, ready to help her son out if needed, but he seemed determined to make it on his own. Self-reliance, independence… that’s the way he and his siblings were raised.

Job had excellent handwriting so no transcription is needed:

Job W. Angus letter from San Antonio, page one, from private family archives

Job W. Angus letter from San Antonio, July 24, 1877, page 1, from private family archives

James W. Angus letter from Sanantonio, page two, from private family archives

Job W. Angus letter from San Antonio, July 24, 1877, page 2, from private family archives

Job did not stay in Texas permanently. Around 1883, he married Jeannette (“Nettie”) Tillou (1860-1935), and they made their home in Elizabeth, NJ, after spending a bit of time in Mobile, Alabama. Job and Nettie had two children: Rev. Harry Baremore Angus (b. 1883) and Daisy A. Angus (b. 1889). The 1900 census shows that he was employed as superintendent of a barrel company. The family, living at 426 North Broad Street in Elizabeth, must have been doing quite well as they had a live-in servant even though it was a relatively small household. Job (d. 1936) and Nettie (d. 1935) and their two children are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, NJ. You can visit Find a Grave to view their resting places.

More of Job’s letters in upcoming posts. Thanks for stopping by the blog; as always comments, additions, and corrections welcome. Have a good weekend!

Links:
San Marcos River Foundation
Guadalupe River State Park

Categories: Angus, Austin, Dripping Springs, Jaques, San Antonio, Texas, US Federal 1880, US Federal 1900, Woodruff | Leave a comment

Winter 1870: William Woodruff in San Ysidro trying his hand at ‘wool growing’

William Woodruff, in June 1870

William Woodruff, in June 1872, photo from personal family collection

A January 1870 letter written by my 2nd great grandfather Francis Woodruff (1820-1883) to my great grandfather William Earl Woodruff (1848-1928) is a joy to read. It reflects the love and warmth of father for son and gives insight into the goings on in that little part of the Woodruff family 143 years ago.

William, it appears, was trying his hand at wool farming out in San Ysidro, California. He was just 21 years old and still a single guy (he married 2 1/2 yrs later), and appears to have gone cross country from his home in Elizabeth, NJ, to work for Hedden Bruen, possibly the John Hedden Bruen (b. NJ about 1815) who appears in Santa Clara County voting records from that period. The letter mentions a “Charles and Sarah” and I’m quite sure this was a reference to Charles Woodruff (1814-1898), a first cousin of Francis’ (they shared Enos Woodruff as their grandfather). Charles was married to Sarah E. Bruen (1821-1899), so I imagine that Hedden was likely one of Sarah’s brothers.

Redmond Granville's Shepherd Herding Sheep in a Misty Landscape, 1911, Private collection in Irvine, CA (Wikimedia: In Public Domain in USA)

Redmond Granville’s Shepherd Herding Sheep in a Misty Landscape, 1911, Private collection in Irvine, CA (Wikimedia: In Public Domain in USA)

California had been a state for almost 20 years, and the transcontinental railway had been completed a year prior, in 1869, an event that heralded a huge influx of visitors from the east. The letter gives an indication of that at one point in reference to the large number of New Jersey folk wandering about San Francisco. This was a long way from home for William, and to his parents, it probably seemed like he’d gone to the edge of the Earth. But at least they had the ability to communicate via letters. How exciting it used to be to get letters in the mail! I can only imagine how exciting it was for them, especially given that the telephone was not yet an option.

San Francisco Harbor, 1850-1851; with Alcatraz Island in the background. Daguerrotype. |Wikimedia: Source - Library of Congress CALL NUMBER: DAG no. 1330]

San Francisco Harbor, 1850-1851; with Alcatraz Island in the background. Daguerrotype. |Wikimedia: Source – Library of Congress CALL NUMBER: DAG no. 1330]

I love the references to William’s younger siblings, Matthias and Phebe, both also still single, and living at home, and the reference to Mary Jane Trowbridge, William’s mother, who obviously had her reservations about her son’s current enterprises. No reference was made to the oldest child Emma, who was also still likely at home. (Within the next four years, all four of the children would be married: William, 20 Jun 1872; Matthias, 21 Nov 1872; Emma, 16 Sept 1874; and Phebe, 23 Oct 1874. Between them, they produced 16 grandchildren for Francis and Mary Jane who both died in 1883.)

I don’t have any more information about William’s life out West, but I do know he was back home in New Jersey in time for the June 1870 census. What happened between then and his June 1872 marriage, I’ve no idea—perhaps, he went off to dabble in whale fishing like the young man mentioned in the letter? I kind of doubt it—I think that morsel of information would have been passed down through the family!

Below is the letter which I have broken into paragraphs and added punctuation for ease of reading. Comments, corrections, and additional information always welcome. Be sure to click on the Henry Winslow link when you get to it.

Here you go—a slice of life from 1870 (the letter was postmarked 4 February):

Elizabeth Jan. 20th ‘70

Dear Will,

We received your letter yesterday and was glad to hear that you were well. We are getting along here about the same old way. We were not a little surprised to hear of Mr. Bruen’s marriage. I went right down to tell Charles and Sarah. I told them your news from California this time. Sarah guessed right away that Hedden was married and wanted to know all about it: how old his wife was and all the particulars. I told her I was not posted on that score. She had a good laugh over it and I left.

We are having a very mild winter of it. So far we have not got any salt hay yet and at present there is no prospect of it. The weather is warm. No frost in the ground. The roads are very bad today. Matt and I dug that stump of an apple tree that the wind blew down last summer and set another in its place. The Mr. Earles are setting their line fence and they have got a well and cellar dug. Things will look quite different around here in a little while with three new houses between ours and Charles’ well.

William's loving father Francis Woodruff

William’s loving and very supportive father Francis Woodruff; photo from personal family collection

Will, I was going to answer your letter right away as you see from the date but I did not intend to be so long about it. It is now the 30th January and no frost yet. I was at Mr. Jones’ auction the other day and saw a young Sparks [?]. He said he had a letter from his brother. He spoke of your being in San Francisco with him. He said he learned more about the Jersey folks than he could write in a month. I have had a bad cold and was a most sick for a few but am better now. I was afraid I was going to be lame again but have escaped so far pretty well. Phebe has had a slight attack of scarlet fever but is getting better so that she is up today. Matt has gone to Newark for a load of grain with three horses. You know that suits him to make a show with the team. We have a good one now.

Mary Jane Trowbridge, William's concerned Mom

Mary Jane Trowbridge, William’s loving but skeptical Mom; photo from personal family collection

You write about going out tending sheep and as it is Mr. Bruen’s avice [sic] I have some faith in it. It is quite a new kind of life for you but if there is a chance of doing anything worth while and you have a mind to try it I have no objection. But you must do as you think best. You are your own man now and must choose for yourself. We cannot advise you anything about it because we don’t know any of the circumstances. Your Mother thinks it is a wild scheme but I do not think near as bad as whale fishing that Henry Winslow tells us about. By the way he has been here and made us quite a visit. He is a stout fine looking young man. I think he looks something like his Uncle Hedden. He tells us some great whale stories. We were telling about your talking of going round the world. He said if you once got on the water you would never leave it.

Whale Fishing, Currier & Ives, 1850s

Whale Fishing, Currier & Ives, 1850s

You must write as soon as you can and tell us about the country you are in and about wool growing. It would be very pleasant to have you with us here again but if you have a mind to try your luck I’m just as willing to do anything I can for you there as here. I have great confidence in you and think Mr. Bruen would not advise anything but for your good. Mother says give her love to you and I send my own and all the rest of the family.

From your affectionate Father,

Francis Woodruff

Tell us how far out in the country you are.

Envelope and page 4 of Francis' letter to son William

Envelope and page 4 of Francis’ letter to son William

Categories: Ayers, California, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, San Ysidro, Trowbridge, US Federal 1870, Woodruff | 3 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.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov 26, 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov 26, 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

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.

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

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

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.

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

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.

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

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.)

Philadelphia Inquirer, November 29, 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Philadelphia Inquirer, November 29, 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

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.

St Mary's Episcopal Church in Wayne Pennsylvania at Louella and Lancaster in Downtown Wayne Historic District. (Wikimedia Commons, contributed by 'smallbones' on December 8, 2012)

St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Wayne Pennsylvania at Louella and Lancaster in Downtown Wayne Historic District. (Wikimedia Commons, contributed by ‘smallbones’ on December 8, 2012)

Carrie’s funeral took place on November 28, 2904, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Wayne, PA, and she was buried 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 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.)

Resources:
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 1904
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 the Philadelphia Inquirer (26 November 1904, inset), 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 | 6 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:

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 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; Episcopalian). 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 (And they did end up going 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.

Follow-up Posts:
Lewis Dingman Brodhead – death
Mildred Elizabeth Hancock Brodhead – remarriage

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 | 8 Comments

John B. Jaques – Part IV – The Final Years

When we left off with the story of John B. Jaques (see Part III), it was 1870 and he was living in Newark with his wife Mary and sons Walter and John (Civil War veteran, former drummer boy highlighted in a recent post). John Sr. was still estranged from his father at this point, and had yet to seek help with his rehabilitation from a serious addiction to alcohol that had driven him to a life of petty crime and at least one stint in state prison.

In March of 1872, John was arrested for stealing some coats, as reported in the New York Tribune on the 28th of that month. Somewhere between then and his 1879 reunion with his father (documented in the past post, Wayward Jaques son returns home), he sought and found help to get sober and straighten out his life. He was in his late 50s by then.

New York Herald, 28 Mar 1872 (www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, 28 Mar 1872 (www.fultonhistory.com)

After I read in the Oswego paper about the father-son reunion, my first thought was about whether John Jr. managed from then on to live in a permanent state of sobriety. His father died the following year; with dad gone, did John Jr. have the will and courage to continue coping with the numerous temptations that would naturally have come his way in normal, everyday life?

1880 Census Record, 12 Jun 1880

1880 Census Record, 12 Jun 1880

On 12 Jun 1880 (two months before his father Isaac’s death), John and Mary were living together alone on Court Street in Newark; the children were out of the nest, settled down, and married, and having children of their own. John reported his profession as “Tailor” but had experienced some unemployment that year as evidenced by the tick in box 14 of the record. At some point in the next six-plus years, Mary passed away (or divorced him, but I think the former is more likely). I found a marriage record showing John’s remarriage to someone named Margaret A. Wambeld, a lady some 26 years younger than he. The marriage took place in Newark on 14 September 1886. Did she help keep John on the straight and narrow, or did she serve as an enabler of his bad habits? (Or, was she into all those bad habits herself?)

Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus, widow of James W. Angus, probably circa 1890

Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus, widow of James W. Angus, probably circa 1890

One answer to that question came from a New York Times article published on 3 September 1892, about an Elizabeth, NJ, robbery of the Walter P. Angus home at 25 Reid Street, and I thank blog reader Mary Keenan for pointing the article out to me. John’s first name is never given, but it is crystal clear from the contents that it was he who perpetrated the crime. Walter P. Angus was one of John’s nephews, a child of John’s late sister Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus. This was the home Wealthy lived in until she died some six months earlier, so with “big sis” permanently out of the picture, little brother with the alcohol problem seized a moment when the family was on holiday in Ocean Grove (NJ) and Walter was at work in NYC to break in and rummage through the household. John walked off with roughly $200 worth of clothing and jewelry. The police were called and after a bit of discussion and investigation, it was determined that an old man named Jacques, a relative of the Angus family, who had been boarding in this city perpetrated the crime. The article went on to mention that John was wanted for a charge of forgery, having paid his latest board bill with a forged and worthless check. The search for John had thus far proven to be fruitless: They have been unable to find any trace of him, and he is supposed to have left the city. Jacques’s father many years ago was one of the largest real estate owners in the central part of the city, and one of the streets there is called after him. Jacques is supposed to be somewhere in New-York City.

So, no, sadly it appears that John fell off the wagon at some point and was engaging in the classic activities of an addict– either drinking or looking for a way to finance his next drink.

Newark Alms House on the Elizabeth/Newark line.

Newark Alms House on the Elizabeth/Newark line.

St. Michael's Hospital, 1900

St. Michael’s Hospital, 1900

Final confirmation of John’s sad demise came in the form of his death record, which I received in the mail some two months ago:  John died of stomach cancer on 19 Dec 1895, at the age of 73 (it’s rather amazing he lived that long, given his lifestyle). The death occurred at St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark, and prior to that, John had been living at the Newark Alms House (aka the poor house). According to the website The Poor House Story, Poorhouses were tax-supported residential institutions to which people were required to go if they could not support themselves. They were started as a method of providing a less expensive (to the taxpayers) alternative to what we would now days call “welfare” – what was called “outdoor relief” in those days. Evidently, Newark’s first alms house was a godforsaken place where the down-and-out and society’s deviants were dumped. The Old Newark website provides a description (click here). A glimpse of the situation for one poor soul who met his maker there in 1867 was described in this NY times article. Whether a new alms house was in existence by the mid-1890s, I don’t know. The census of 1880 gives an idea of the types of people who ended up here (visit the Newark Research website). Margaret may well have been residing there with John. I found a death record for a ‘Margaret Jaques’ for 31 December 1896 (just over a year after John’s death), and this may have been her; had she been an alcoholic, too, a death at 50 would have come as no surprise.

John B. Jaques was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ. If he was buried in his father’s plot, he is in an unmarked grave as no marker appears for him in that vicinity.

That is the extent of what I know about John B. Jaques Jr. He has numerous descendants “out there,” and I have managed to track down a few lines into the early part of last century. It still amazes me to think that John’s existence had been hidden from us until quite recently, and it took the Fulton History newspaper archives website to reveal him to me. I can now attest to the veracity of that site’s tagline: Finding the Angels & the Devils in the Family Tree since 2003!

1-John Barron Jaques b. Mar 1822, New York or New Jersey, USA, d. 19 Dec 
  1895, St. Michael's Hospital, Newark, Essex Co., NJ, bur. Evergreen Cemetery, 
  Hillside, Union, NJ
 +Mary F. Briggs b. Cir 1827, New Jersey, d. Bef 1886
|----2-Wealthy Ann Jaques b. Cir 1845, Pennsylvania, United States, d. Bef 8 
|      Mar 1918
|     +John Seaman b. Cir 1842
|    |----3-Mary Seaman 
|----2-Mary Jaques b. 1847, New Jersey
|----2-John B. Jaques Jr. b. 15 Oct 1848, Elizabeth, Twp, Essex Co., New 
|      Jersey, d. 13 Jun 1911, Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey
|     +Katherine Griffith b. Nov 1849, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |----3-Mary F. B. Jaques b. Sep 1871, New Jersey, d. After 1920
|    |     +Horace E. Apperson b. 1869, New Jersey, d. After 1930
|    |    |----4-Charlotte Apperson b. Jun 1894, New Jersey, d. After 1920
|    |    |----4-Apperson b. 6 Jun 1894, Newark, Essex, New Jersey
|    |----3-Isaac Jaques b. Jan 1872, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |     +Ida E. b. Jun 1875, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |    |----4-William C. Jaques b. Mar 1894, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |    |----4-Russell Jaques b. 13 Jul 1894, New Jersey, d. After 1920
|    |          +Edna b. Est 1899, New York
|    |         |----5-Joseph R. Jaques b. 13 May 1916, New York
|    |----3-William S. Jaques b. Aug 1874, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |     +Ann 
|    |----3-Ida Jaques b. Cir 1877, New Jersey, d. Bef 1900
|----2-Margaretta Jaques b. 10 Jul 1851, Newark, Essex, New Jersey
|     +Sylvanus Stansbury b. 1854, New Jersey
|    |----3-Ella May Stansbury b. 1880
|----2-Walter M. S. Jaques b. 4 Nov 1853, Newark, Essex, New Jersey
      +Anna Corigan b. Cir 1856, New Jersey, d. Bef 1900
     |----3-Jaques b. 7 Apr 1876, Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey
     |----3-Lillie B. Jaques b. Cir 1878, New Jersey, d. After 1900
     |----3-Josephine Jaques b. Jan 1880, Rhode Island
     |----3-Catherine Jaques b. 4 Sep 1885, Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey
 +Margaret A. Wambeld b. cir. 1848, d. Poss 31 December 1896
Categories: Angus, Crime & Punishment, Death Certificates, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Jaques, Newark, Essex Co., Scandal, US Federal 1880 | Leave a comment

Civil War drummer boy John B. Jaques, Jr.: Mustered out 148 years ago today

Wounded Drummer Boy, oil on board, 1865-1869, by Eastman Johnson (In collections of San Diego Museum of Art*)

Wounded Drummer Boy, oil on board, 1865-1869, by Eastman Johnson (In collections of San Diego Museum of Art*)

In the midst of all that was going on in tailor John B. Jaques’ family, his namesake had the chutzpah to volunteer for service as a drummer boy in the closing months of the Civil War. The boys were supposed to be 18 to enlist, but as you can see from some of these images, boys much younger than that went into service.

John B. Jaques Jr. (b. 15 October 1848, Elizabeth, NJ) was 16 when he enlisted on 24 Feb 1865. You may recall from the last post that his dad was arrested twice (that we know of) that year, once in March for forgery and once in November for larceny. We don’t know John Jr.’s motivations–was he doing this for love of country and belief in the cause? Trying to escape a troubled home life? Looking for adventure? How proud (and worried) the family must have been. Sadly this brave decision did not seem to impact father John’s behavior.

Gen. Richard Busteed and drummer boy, US National Archives**

Gen. Richard Busteed and drummer boy, US National Archives**

Until discovering this detail about John Jr., and doing a bit of research on the role of drummer boys in the Civil War, I had no idea what an integral role these boys played. They actually required a great deal of training to learn all the various drum rolls and beats that could substitute for orders given vocally which were often much too difficult for troops to hear over the din of battle. And at battle’s end, they helped carry the wounded off the field to wherever care was being rendered.  Drummer boys accompanied commanding officers at all hours of the day and night and had to be ready at a moment’s notice to sound whatever drum roll was appropriate for the operation being initiated. These children were truly heroes, and apparently many of them went on to serve in the capacity of soldiers once their stints as drummer boys came to an end.

John B. Jaques, Jr. was mustered in on 2 March 1865, and mustered out on 13 July 1865 at Newark, NJ. He served in Company I, 40th Regiment New Jersey, which left New Jersey on 4 March 1865. According to the National Park Service website’s Civil War information about the 40th Regiment, John Jr. would have been part of the following: Siege operations against Petersburg December, 1864, to April, 1865. …Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assault on and capture of Petersburg April 2. Pursuit of Lee April 3-9. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. March to Danville April 23-27, and duty there till May 18. March to Richmond, Va., thence to Washington, DC, May 18-June 3. Corps Review June 8. I found evidence that John spent some time in the hospital before being mustered out. The Newark Daily Advertiser listed him in the ‘Affairs at the Hospital’ section of the issue dated 19 June 1865: Patients have lately been admitted as follows: … Jno. B. Jaques, drummer, Co. I, 40th N.J…. It could not have been anything too serious as the 1890 Census of Union Veterans did not list him as having any disability.

Surrender at the Appomattox

Surrender at the Appomattox, 9 April 1865

I’m very impressed by John Jr. even though his stint in the Union Army was so brief at just 5 months and 7 days. It still took a lot of courage for a lad of 16. And to have been present at Appomattox must have been quite special as well as a huge relief for all concerned.

After the war, John Jr. went on to have a career in the jewelry industry. He first worked in a jewelry shop (1870) and then a jewelry factory (1880). On 19 January 1893, he applied in New Jersey for a Civil War pension (Application no. 1,144,113; Certificate no. 1025165). In 1910, the census record listed his profession as ‘jeweler.’ John Jr. appeared again on the Civil War Pension Index on 5 Dec 1910.

John Jr. married Katherine (Katie) Griffith on 14 Jun 1871, in Newark, Essex, NJ. They had four children born between roughly 1872 and 1877 — two girls and two boys: Mary F., Isaac, William S., and Ida. Imagine the stories he was able to tell his children and grandchildren! Hopefully his home life with Katherine was far less stressful than the one he endured in his childhood.

John died at age 62 on 13 June 1911 (exactly 102 years and 1 month ago). I found his date of death in US Army Veterans Administration pension payment records (Certificate No. 1025165). He was categorized as an “Army Invalid,” and he appears to have originally filed for that status on 29 November 1898.

That’s all I know for the moment about John Jr., so I will finish here. Be sure to click on some of the resource links below. There are some great images there.

Here’s to John B. Jaques Jr. for his bravery, dedication to country, and contributions to preserving our nation and putting an end to slavery. May he be resting in peace.

drummers

Resources:

*Wounded Drummer Boy, oil on board painting by Eastman Johnson, 1865-69, San Diego Museum of Art. This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

**This file was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the National Archives and Records Administration as part of a cooperation project. The National Archives and Records Administration provides images depicting American and global history which are public domain or licensed under a free license.

Categories: Appomattox, Civil War, Grant, Gen. Ulysses S., Jaques, Lee General Robert E, Petersburg, VA, US Federal 1870, US Federal 1880, US Federal 1910 | 2 Comments

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