Colorado

Eva Wilder McGlasson & Henry C. Brodhead – Part IV – ‘Til death do us part

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

A couple of months ago, while on eBay, I managed to buy a small book called Las Animas County Ghost Towns and Mining Camps by F. Dean Sneed (published in 2000). It had caught my eye because I remembered that this was the southern Colorado county in which the Brodhead mine is located, the mine I mentioned in a post about Henry C. Brodhead (1848-1922) and Eva Wilder McGlasson Brodhead (1870-1915). So, I guess this accidental find was a sign that I needed to finish writing about this couple’s final years together, in Colorado.

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)

As a reminder, previous posts on the pair include:

In Part III, I had left off with this: 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.

Brodhead can be spotted in the middle of this map, above Hastings. Rand, McNally & Co.’s Colorado. Rand McNally & Co., Map Publishers and Engravers, Chicago, 1912 (Source: http://www.davidrumsey.com)

The book 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 4,000 acres at Brodhead, Colorado, and 600 acres at Walsenburg, near the foot of the Spanish Peaks, which rise to an altitude of nearly 14,000 feet. The Brodheads have leased both their coal tracts, one to the Green Canyon 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.”

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Eva and Henry had married on December 5, 1894. The following April, they returned from a winter honeymoon spent in the Mediterranean. A small Covington, Kentucky, newspaper article, published on July 12, 1895, described Eva as being “most delightfully located on a ranch in Southern Colorado” that summer and “busy writing… She is culling material in a new field for a story…” From volume 2 of the book Kentucky in American Letters: 1784–1912 by John Wilson Townsend (Cedar Rapids: The Torch Press, 1913, pp 267–69), we know that Eva subsequently spent a great deal of time over the ensuing decade traveling from Colorado to New York City and many parts of the US, as well as overseas to Europe, in order to keep up with her career interests.

Subsequent to publishing that Part III post, I found the below 1896 news item in Colorado Journal of Commerce and Metal Industries, and it provides a quote from Henry about the quality of the coal in Colorado and gives a glimpse of what his hopes and plans were. Much depended on transportation costs, and evidently those eventually got resolved. According to Wikipedia, between 1896 and 1899, the brothers operated a mine in Gonzales Canyon, Aguilar, Colorado. On a map, this appears to be very close to what is today known as “Brodhead Canyon.” I assume the mine the brothers were operating was one of the ones that eventually became known as a Brodhead mine.

Colorado Journal of Commerce and Metal Industries, Volume 69, p. 15, 1896

In the 1900 census, Henry’s brother Robert S. Brodhead’s household at 132 Park Avenue in Wilkes-Barre, PA, included himself “Harry [Henry] Brodhead” (52), and their 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’.  Business partner brother Albert was in Aguilar, Colorado, for the 1900 census, so perhaps Eva was away in Europe. I could not find a trace of her anywhere.

In 1902, the three brothers incorporated more of their activities in Colorado. The Denver Rocky Mountain News reported on December 21, 1902: NEW INCORPORATIONS […] Green Canyon Land company, $200,000: Las Animas and Huerfano: Henry C. Brodhead, Robert S. Brodhead, Albert G. Brodhead. In the summer of that year, the brothers’ sister Emilie Linderman (Brodhead) Honeyman visited them out West. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette (June 28): Robert B. Honeyman and wife [Emilie L. Brodhead], Miss Lassie Honeyman, Master Laddie Honeyman, and maid, of New York City, are stopping at the Barker House. Mr. Honeyman is a prominent attorney of New York and was one of the counsel for the defense in the Molineaux trial which claimed the attention of the courts of that city for several months. Robert Brodhead, a brother of Mrs. Honeyman, is part of the party and expects to spend part of the summer with them. Mr. Brodhead has extensive coal interests in the southern part of that state. (As an aside, the Honeymans lived at 106 8th Avenue in Brooklyn, a 7-bedroom, 7 bathroom townhouse with over 8,000 square feet of living space. For a glimpse into what their lifestyle was like, you can view the recent real estate photos posted on Realtor.)

In 1909, Robert, then 48, died of endocarditis, inflammation of the inner wall of the heart. The below news snippet about his passing appeared in Fuel Magazine, The Coal Operators National Weekly. From that moment on, the Colorado mining venture was in the hands of Henry and Albert. (Long-time blog readers may recall the post I did on the Thanksgiving Day tragedy that took place at Robert’s home in Stafford, Pennsylvania in 1904. Perhaps, due to family obligations, Robert had remained based on the east coat to handle his part of the brothers’ Colorado venture. He had children, and his brothers did not.)

Fuel Magazine, The Coal Operators National Weekly, Volume 14, 1909

Fuel Magazine, The Coal Operators National Weekly, Volume 14, p. 267, 1909

In the 1910 directory for Trinidad, Colorado, a town 23 miles southeast of Brodhead, there is a listing for brother Albert. The town of Brodhead was described as having a population of 300, being 2 1/4 miles north of Aguilar, and having a doctor, a public school, a general store, and a hotel. Stage coach fares to Aguilar were 25 cents and fares to Lynn, an express shipping point 3 1/2 miles to the east—50 cents. Albert was listed as the mine owner. Per Wikipedia, the population was largely comprised of Mexican and European immigrants, including a large number of workers from Stafford, England.

Mining is not a business for the faint of heart, especially not for the miners themselves. As everyone knows, this is a very dangerous occupation, and accidents did occur at the Brodhead mines, occasionally with lethal consequences. Below is a sampling of articles mentioning Brodhead.  Not far from Brodhead was the Ludlow mine where a horrific massacre of 21 people, including some striking miners’ wives and children, took place on April 20, 1914. That event came at the end of what was known as the Colorado Coalfield War, a major labor uprising that had begun in September 1913. The April massacre was followed by a 10-day rampage of revenge that spread to areas, including Brodhead, dispersing families and wreaking havoc until the situation could be brought under control by federal troops.

Herald Democrat, 9 May 1905, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Colorado State Library.

Walsenburg World, 16 February 1911, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Colorado State Library.

Chronicle News, 25 July 1912, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Colorado State Library.

Las Animas Leader, 2 February 1912. Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Colorado State Library.

Chronicle News, 23 April 1914, Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Colorado State Library.

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Eva Wilder Brodhead (image from her last book, The Prairie Infanta)

I do wonder how those events impacted Henry, Albert and Eva. It was a tumultuous time that must have only been made worse by Eva’s ongoing health issues.

A decade prior, her acclaimed work, A Prairie Infanta, had been published in the popular children’s magazine The Youth’s Companion. Two years after that, according to the Townsend book (p. 269), she was stricken with a very severe illness, followed by her physician’s absolute mandate of no literary work until her health should be reestablished, which has been accomplished but recently. She has published but a single story since her sickness, Two Points of Honor, which appeared in Harper’s Weekly for July 4, 1908.

The Townsend book, published in 1913, went on to say: At the present time Mrs. Brodhead is quite well enough to resume work; and the next few years should witness her fulfilling the earnest of her earlier novels and stories, firmly fixing her fame as one of the foremost women writers of prose fiction yet born on Kentucky soil.

That same year (1913) the following was published on February 17 in the Lexington Leader – p. 8 – Interesting notes in the New York letter of the Cincinnati Enquirer: Nearly 300 natives of Kentucky, who now live in New York, held their ninth annual banquet at the Plaza Hotel on Wednesday night. For the first time, famous Kentucky women joined “the Kentuckians” at their dinner, and fully half of those present were women… The purpose of the night’s program was to give recognition to Kentucky’s literary geniuses, and at the speaker’s table were these writers: [ list of names, including “Mrs. Eva Wilder Brodhead”]. That may have been one of Eva’s last trips East. Tragically, her illness returned, or perhaps it had never completely gone away. In mid-1915, she died at the young age of 45; her death reported in many of the nation’s newspapers. Who knows what may have been had she lived longer, how many more celebrated works she could have created. Had she survived to a ripe old age, she perhaps would have been quite famous today.

  • August 7, 1915 Lexington HeraldKentucky Author Dies in Colorado – A telegram received by John Wilson Townsend yesterday announced the death at Denver, Col., of Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson Broadhead [sic.], one of the most distinguished of modern Kentucky novelists and short story writers, after a lingering illness of about 11 months.  Mrs. Broadhead [sic.] was born in Covington about fifty years ago [45 actually]. She was the author of the following novels: “Diana’s Livery,” which is said to have as its background the Shaker settlement at Pleasant Hill, KY; “An Earthly Paragon,” “The Ministers of Grace,” “One of the Visconti,” “Bound in Shallows,” and her last book, “A Prairie Infanta.”  She was the wife of Henry C. Broadhead [sic.], a wealthy civil and mining engineer of Wilkesbarre, Pa., and Denver, Col. In addition to the many novels she wrote, Mrs. Broadhead was a contributor to practically all the leading magazines of the country and the New York newspapers.

Fairmont Cemetery, Denver, Colorado (Photo credit: Debra Brodhead)

With Eva’s passing, Albert and Henry were on their own in Colorado. I did not find much news of them in the ensuing years. Both brothers died in 1922—Albert (54) in January and Henry (74) in December. That left sister Emilie L. (Brodhead) Honeyman the sole survivor of the Daniel D. and Mary (Brodrick) Brodhead family.

  • January 25, 1922 – Denver Post – p. 21 – Funerals – Brodhead – Jan. 23, at the University Club, Albert G. Brodhead. Funeral services from the Rogers mortuary, Thursday, at 2 p.m. Interment Fairmount.
  • February 12, 1922: Denver Post p. 3; Albert G. Brodhead [Harvard class of 1889] left his $34,000 Estate to Brother – On June 4, 1921, Albert G, Brodhead sat in his apartment at the University Club and penned a will on the club stationary. He sealed it in an envelope and four days later gave the envelope to his brother, H. C. Brodhead to be kept unopened until the writer’s death. On January 23, 1922, Albert G. Brodhead died and on opening the envelope, the brother discovered that he was sole heir to the estate of his deceased relative, amounting to $34,000 [$522,911.95 buying power in 2020]. H. C. Brodhead, the surviving brother, lives at the Shirley-Savoy Hotel. He offered the single sheet of club stationary bearing the will of his brother in county court for probate Saturday.
  • November 10, 1922 – Denver PostColorado Geologist, H. C. Brodhead, Finder of Coal Vein, Dead – H. C. Brodhead, 74 years old, geologist and one of the discoverers of the Brodhead coal vein of the Walsenburg District, died at St. Luke’s hospital Thursday after an attack of asthma. He had been making his home at the Shirley-Savoy Hotel. Brodhead and his brother, Albert G. Brodhead, came to Colorado thirty years ago from the coal fields of Pennsylvania. Together they discovered the Brodhead vein in the Walsenburg District, said to be the biggest coal producer in Colorado. The brother died in Denver last winter.  He is survived by a sister, Mrs. Emilie Honeyman of New York. Funeral arrangements have not been completed.
  • November 13, 1922 – Denver Rocky Mountain News – p. 4 – Funerals – Brodhead – Funeral services for Henry C. Brodhead will be held at the Rogers mortuary Monday at 10 a.m. Interment at Fairmount Cemetery.
  • November 18, 1922 – Denver Post, p. 11 – Brodhead Estate Valued at $71,000 – The estate of Henry Brodhead, who died a few days ago in Denver, is valued at $71,000 [roughly $1.1 million in 2020], according to a petition for letters of administration filed in the county court by the heirs. A will was lodged in the court providing for bequests of $5,000 [roughly $77,000 in 2020] to William [son of William Hall Brodhead and Mary Van Tassel] and Clement [son of Daniel Dingman Brodhead Jr. and Leonora Hubbard] Brodhead, nephews, and $5,000 each to Maude, Leonore and Margaret [this must be Mary Ann], nieces [the daughters of Daniel Dingman Brodhead Jr. and Leonora Hubbard]. The residue of the estate [$715,000 in 2020] goes to Emilie B. Honeyman, sister of the testator.
  • November 30, 1922 – Coal Age, Volume XXII – H. C. Brodhead, 74 years old, geologist and one of the discoverers of the Brodhead coal vein in the Trinidad district, died recently in Denver. Mr. Brodhead and his brother, Albert G. Brodhead, came to Colorado thirty years ago from the coal fields of Pennsylvania. Together they discovered the Brodhead vein, one of the biggest coal producers in Colorado. The brother died in Denver last winter.

Miss Lassie Honeyman (left) with 1st cousin Mary Ann Brodhead (center), Jamestown Evening Journal, April 17, 1928. Credit: Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

The Las Animas County Ghost Towns and Mining Camps book that prompted me to write this post has no images or photos of Brodhead, unfortunately. Long since abandoned, Brodhead is located 23 miles NW of Trinidad and 2 miles NW of Aguilar along an abandoned C&S railroad spur. The land is now in private hands. Only a few foundations remain at the Brodhead town site, wrote the author. In 1903 it had a population of 75 and was home to the Clamp Mercantile Co. and the A. I. Lindsay Saloon. The Las Animas Coal Company and the Green Canyon Coal Company were the major mines. [para] By 1904, the population had risen to 125 and the D.R. Hindman & Co. Store was established. The population continued to grow (250 in 1905) and in 1910 saw the opening of the Howell & Bennett Boarding House. [para] The Green Canyon Mine closed for unspecified reasons in 1913 and the Las Animas Coal Company soon followed.

Train travelling through Las Animas Canyon, Colorado – postcard

By April of that year Brodhead lost its post office and a majority of its inhabitants. [para] In 1914, the outbreak of war in Europe brought a renewed demand for coal overseas. Brodhead, now operated by the Temple Fuel Company, began to thrive once more. Its P.O. was reestablished in 1915 and the population grew to over 300. [para] In the 1920s and early 30s, the need for metallurgical, or bituminous, coal declined. Brodhead, like other mines found throughout the region, slowly withered and was abandoned in 1939. Per the author, the mine was established on August 14, 1902 and was in operation until May 1939. However, per Wikipedia, multiple mines in Brodhead operated into the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s.  That is the extent of the information found in the book.  My second cousin, Debra Brodhead, who resides in Colorado, attempted to locate the Brodhead ghost town several years back but without success given that the land is privately owned, something she did not know before bravely setting off to try to find it.

Well, that’s the extent of what I know of Henry and Eva, and Henry’s youngest brother Albert. More could probably be gleaned by making a trip to the Colorado state archives, but I will have to save that journey for a later date. I hope you have enjoyed learning about them as much as I have. If you have more information about this interesting trio, please let me know. Wouldn’t some photos of them, taken during their Colorado years, simply be amazing to see?

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Full text of John Wilson Townsend’s section on Eva Wilder Brodhead in Kentucky in American Letters: 1784–1912 vol. 2 (Cedar Rapids: The Torch Press, 1913, pp 267–69):

MRS. EVA WILDER (McGLASSON) BRODHEAD, novelist and short-story writer, was born at Covington, Kentucky, in 187-. Her parents were not of Southern origin, her father having been born in Nova Scotia, and her mother at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She was educated in New York City and in her native town of Covington.

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.

Mrs. Brodhead’s next novelette, One of the Visconti (New York, 1896), the background of which was Naples, the hero being a young Kentucky man and the heroine of the old and famous Visconti family, was issued by the Scribner’s in their well-known Ivory Series of short-stories. Her last Kentucky novel, Bound in Shallows (New York, 1896), originally appeared in Harper’s Bazar. That severe arbiter of literary destinies, The Nation, said of this book: “No such work as this has been done by any American woman since Constance Fenimore Woolson died. * * It was founded on material gathered at Burnside, Kentucky, where Mrs. Brodhead spent two summers.

Her most recent work, A Prairie Infanta (Philadelphia, 1904), is a Colorado juvenile, first published in The Youth’s Companion.

Aside from her books, Mrs. Brodhead won a wide reputation as a short-story writer and maker of dialect verse. More than fifty of her stories have been printed in the publications of the house of Harper, the publishers of four of her books; in The Century, Scribner’s, and other leading periodicals. Many of her admirers hold that the short-story is her especial forte. Five of them may be mentioned as especially well done: Fan’s Mammy, A Child of the Covenant, The Monument to Corder, The Eternal Feminine, and Fair Ines. She has written much dialect verse which appeared in the Harper periodicals, The Century, Judge, Puck, and other magazines. Neither her short stories nor her verse has been collected and issued in book form.

Since her marriage Mrs. Brodhead has traveled in Europe a great deal, and in many parts of the United States, traveled until she sometimes wonders whether her home is in Denver or New York, and, although she is in the metropolis more than she is in the Colorado capital, her legal residence is Denver, some distance from the mining town of Brodhead, named in honor of her husband’s geological discoveries and interests.

In 1906 she was stricken with a very severe illness, followed by her physician’s absolute mandate of no literary work until her health should be reestablished, which has been accomplished but recently. She has published but a single story since her sickness, Two Points of Honor, which appeared in Harper’s Weekly for July 4, 1908. At the present time Mrs. Brodhead is quite well enough to resume work; and the next few years should witness her fulfilling the earnest of her earlier novels and stories, firmly fixing her fame as one of the foremost women writers of prose fiction yet born on Kentucky soil.

Daniel Dingman Brodhead & Mary Brodrick family tree

Categories: Brodhead, Brodhead, Colorado, Denver | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

John Romeyn Brodhead (1849-1932) grave

John Romeyn Brodhead

John Romeyn Brodhead

John Romeyn Brodhead grave - images by 'Paul R' - permission granted by way of crediting Paul R for his contributions -- thank you, Paul!)

John Romeyn Brodhead grave – images by ‘Paul R’ – permission granted by way of crediting Paul R for his contributions — thank you, Paul!

One of this blog’s readers, Steve, alerted me to an announcement in a New York paper about the death and burial plans for John Romeyn Brodhead whose death date and resting place I had been searching for for quite some time. See 30 Sept 2014 post Trying to ‘find a grave’ for John Romeyn Brodhead.

According to the paper, John died at home in Denver, Colorado, on 2 October 1932, and his cremated remains were interred in his wife’s family plot (Holbert) in Forrest Home Cemetery, Waverly, Tioga Co., NY. He was 83 at the time of his death and was predeceased by his parents and three of his nine siblings.

I checked Find a Grave again and discovered that the grave has been on that website since a month before my Sept 2014 post! I don’t know how I missed it.  (Note to self to have head examined 🙂 )

John’s entry must have been linked quite recently to the rest of the Andrew & Ophelia Brodhead family members since it was not listed with them when I last checked in March. In any event, John is finally linked in with all the family. Many thanks to all who made that possible, especially ‘Paul R’ who made the entry on Find a Grave and took the photos. And thank you, Steve, for alerting me to that article!

To go to the Find a Grave page for John, click here.

So, no more brick wall with John’s grave. Case solved! As Fox Mulder would say on The XFiles, “The truth is out there.” We just have to find it or have it find us!

Categories: Brodhead, Colorado, Tioga Co | Tags: | Leave a comment

Eva Wilder (McGlasson) Brodhead — the Colorado years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Brodhead, Colorado, McGlasson | Tags: | 4 Comments

Eva Wilder McGlasson & Henry C. Brodhead – Part III

"From

Something that’s puzzled me for a long time is the surname “McGlasson”. Eva Wilder McGlasson’s father’s last name was most definitely Wilder, so had Eva been married previously? Or was this just a pen name? I’d seen her referred to in the press as both Mrs. and Miss McGlasson. An answer finally came today in an 1891 journal called Epoch (Vol. X, page 381), under the heading “Highways and By-ways” (the bold is mine):

For two or three years past, readers who keep well abreast of periodical literature, have been delighted with short stories and bits of dialect verse over the name of Eva Wilder McGlasson. Both the stories and the verses have won a wide audience, so it is no wonder that when a manuscript novel came to the Harpers over that signature, but without even the briefest letter of explanation. that great publishing house was not slow to accept it and publish it. The book Diana’s Livery was so successful that its writer has been encouraged to make New York her home. Though barely three and twenty, she is a Mrs. not a Miss. Eva Wilder McGlasson is a small, shy person, with all a child’s appeal in her soft, dark eyes. Like young Lochinvar, she comes from the West and has divided her short life between Ohio and Kentucky. It is of the latter State that she has written for the most part, and its good people are quite as proud of her as though she were to the manner born. No doubt with all New York before her from which to choose, she will find a field even more inviting for the exercise of the subtle insight and dramatic strength which has already so captivated editors and readers. The lady speaks with the faintest trace of Western accent, and has in full measure the simple, cordial charm of manner characteristic of her bringing-up and former environment. She hears her honors more than meekly, and though critics so competent as the author of Gallagher and The Woman About Town, expect and prophesy great things for her, she looks at you in naive wonderment at the mere suggestion that she is destined to become even the least bit of a celebrity.

"Wedding March"

“Wedding March,” Good Manners for All Occasions by Margaret E. Sangster (1904) – opposite page 112

I do love this wonderful description of Eva, but now, naturally, I am very curious as to what happened to her first husband! From 1891-1897, the divorce rate was 6%, so while uncommon, it did indeed happen. The thought also crossed my mind that because Eva started writing and presenting her work to publishers at such a young age, perhaps she invented the “Mrs. McGlasson” persona to make herself appear older. In any case, I am really perplexed; I’ve been unable to find any hint that a first husband existed.

Now, I’d planned to do a sequential installment and focus on Eva’s and Henry’s lives during the period from 1900 onwards, but that changed after I decided to check various misspellings of Eva’s and Henry’s surnames. It’s not something one is naturally inclined to do… but it’s well worth making those little intentional deviations, as I’m sure many of you know.  I was amazed at all the details I discovered using McGleason, McGlason, and McGlosson, not to mention Broadhead, Brodhed, and Broadhed. And leaving off McGlasson altogether and just searching under Eva Wilder also made a difference on numerous occasions.  So this post will offer additional details on the pre-1900 lives of Eva Wilder McGlasson and Henry C. Brodhead, the period on which the two previous posts focused (see June 10 and June 26).

So—what else did I find out? Well, a lot actually. I found many short stories and poems written by Eva, prior to her marriage, in newspapers from Oregon to South Carolina and South Dakota to Texas, many of them published when she was just 18 years old—quite a remarkable accomplishment. I can’t post them all here in one fell swoop, but, perhaps, over time, I will post a few of them separately. 

"Wedding Breakfast"

“Wedding Breakfast,” Good Manners for All Occasions by Margaret E. Sangster (1904) – opposite page 136

Of particular interest to me were engagement and wedding announcements I came across. The engagement announcement appeared in the Wilkes Barre Times on November 24, 1894, only 11 days before their wedding date. Perhaps, it was standard back then to leave little time between the proposal/announcement and the actual marriage. A search through the 1893 publication Manners, Culture and Dress of the Best American Society by Richard A. Wells revealed the following words of advice (p. 234): …protracted courtship, or engagements, are, if possible, to be avoided; they are universally embarrassing. Lovers are so apt to find imperfections in each other—to grow exacting, jealous, and morose. Well, I don’t know how to comment on that. Perhaps, indeed that was the thinking back then. Of course, co-habitation outside of marriage would never have been an option, so there were likely other reasons for keeping engagements short. 😉

If so little time was allowed to prepare for weddings, it must have been quite a scramble to orchestrate the affair, especially if it was to be elaborate, with many guests. Was Eva’s and Henry’s wedding such an event? I had been wondering about that until I came upon a wedding announcement in December 9’s NY Herald. Here I learned that the NYC residence of a Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Moody provided the backdrop for the ceremony, and Rev. Dr. Charles Thompson of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church officiated, so it seems likely that it was a rather intimate affair involving family and close friends. We know that all of their parents were present as they (Daniel D. Brodhead and Mary Brodrick, and John Wilder and Mary Heidler) are listed on the marriage certificate, albeit with a few misspellings that likely occurred in the transcription process (the original is not available online).

Bound in Shallows (1897)

Bound in Shallows (1897)

The first post spoke of them sailing off on a European honeymoon. A recent search discovered a  New York Times clipping from December 9, giving the name of the ship they departed on the previous day—the Fürst Bismarck, a vessel used to bring immigrants to this country and well-heeled travelers from New York to Europe. (Speaking of “well-heeled,” now here’s something you may not know (I didn’t): many ascribe the expression “well-heeled” to Eva herself. She used the phrase “I ain’t so well-heeled right now” in her 1897 book Bound in Shallows, her last Kentucky-based novel which she dedicated to her husband.)

The  New York Times clipping speaks to Eva’s prominent place in the literary world and New York society at that time:

There sailed away from this port yesterday, bound for Europe, health and pleasure, three gifted women, each of whose individual absence will make a distinct and unusual void in her circle of friends and admirers. On the Fürst Bismarck, for Genoa, are Mrs. H. C. Brodhead, late Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson, and Miss Lillie Hamilton French, and on La Bourgogne, for Havre, Miss Georgia Gayvan.

When writing the first post on Henry and Eva, I’d wondered how long they were away—I suspected at least a couple of months.  Pennsylvania’s Wilkes-Barre Times of April 17, 1895, held the answer—they arrived from Europe on the La Gascogne on April 14, and were now visiting family in Henry’s hometown. (For an image of the ‘saloon’ on La Gascogne, click here. For an image of the ship arriving in New York on 15 February 1895, two months before the newlyweds’ return, click here.)

Bound in Shallows (1897) - dedication

Bound in Shallows (1897) – dedication

From Wilkes-Barre, it was no doubt on to Denver so that Henry could turn his attention back to his mining interests. (Henry would lose his younger brother William Hall Brodhead of Wilkes-Barre roughly seven weeks later to illness.)

A clipping from the Kentucky Post, dated Friday, July 12, 1895, gives a glimpse into Eva’s post-honeymoon whereabouts. She is described as being “most delightfully located on a ranch in Southern Colorado” and “busy writing.”

SS La Gascogne (US Library of Congress, no known usage restrictions)

SS La Gascogne (US Library of Congress, no known usage restrictions)

In 1896, her novelette One of the Visconti was published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, NY. Her extended honeymoon in Europe or a subsequent trip to Italy likely provided inspiration for the book. Set in Naples, the story focuses on a romance between a young woman from an old and distinguished Italian family and a young man from Kentucky.

So the first year or two of marriage was full of travel and new impressions, especially for Eva. It must have been exciting for her to set up her writing table in late 19th-century southern Colorado and to begin gathering material for all the characters she would subsequently bring to life in the pages of her verse and novels.

I’ve material enough for one last post (maybe, two) on Eva and Henry. Frankly, I’m not sure who “out there” is interested in learning about these distant family members of mine. My Eva and Henry posts have gotten very few views. That’s okay, of course–I’m completely aware that this is a very niche blog. For the sake of upcoming generations who may (fingers crossed) take up the mantle of “family historian” someday, I’ll continue to dig away. At the end of the day, I love piecing together these stories, so maybe that’s all that really matters.

As always, please feel free to chime in anytime if you have any corrections and / or additions to offer. Thanks for dropping by, and have a great day!

Categories: Brodhead, Brodhead, Colorado, Denver, McGlasson, Wilder, Wilkes-Barre Luzerne Co | Tags: , | 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>. 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>. 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

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

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

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