Pennsylvania

Fishing Pike County in the spring of 1877

I don’t know what the fishing is like today in Pike County, PA, but here is an 1877 article from The Country, Vol I & II describing the experiences of one visitor to that area from April 1-4, 1877. During those 4 days, this visitor caught 400 fish weighing 45 pounds and brought back to New York 234 fish that “scaled 33 pounds honest weight.” Roughly 88 of them were between 8 – 13.5 inches in length; the other 150 or so, he said, were small trout, but not “fingerlings” — “fat as butter and excellent eating.”  Obviously these were the days before any limits were introduced! Today he’d be able to walk away with just 5 trout per day, and each would have to be at least 7 inches long.

I love the great outdoors and that includes “escaping mentally” to the great outdoors of yesteryear to imagine what things must have been like in a certain location at a certain point in time. If you’re like me, and you enjoy fishing, perhaps you will find this article of interest too. Present-day fishermen and women in Pike Co., feel free to comment about your experiences fishing in that part of PA.

Happy 4th of July, All!
fishing1fishing2fishing3The Country, weekly journal, Vol 1-2, pub. 1877

Credit: Google Books

Categories: Brodhead, Dingman, Fishing, Fourth of July, Hobbies, Nature, Pennsylvania, Pike Co. | Leave a comment

Some Brodheads on an 1891 hunting expedition in Blooming Grove—a playground for all seasons

Blooming grove

“Blooming Grove Park—The American Fontainebleau” (Image from Harper’s Weekly, December 17, 1870 — not long ago, I acquired the issue in which it appeared from ‘Timothy Hughes’ Rare & Early Newspapers’ of Williamsport, PA)

When Daniel Brodhead and his family settled in Pennsylvania’s Minisink Valley in the late 1730s, that area was a vast expanse of wilderness, a true frontier. Hunting and fishing was done for survival. As time went on and villages and towns emerged, stores cropped up where one could buy fresh game and produce, but by and large the common man, and definitely the poor man, fed his family by his own hand—through the use of plow, knife, trap, or gun. But by the 19th century, and especially in the second half of that century, the upper classes, wanting to “re-create pioneer values and to approach nature through wildlife,”1 developed a burgeoning interest in field sports. In answer to this demand, entrepreneurs and others caught up in this trend cobbled together fairly massive parcels of land to establish private hunting and fishing clubs which they hoped would rival the great game parks of Europe that served as private parks for the nobility2, and “by 1878, about 25,000 Americans belonged to 600 of these clubs. Among the leaders was the Blooming Grove Park Association.”3 “Blooming Grove Park,” established in Pike County, Pennsylvania (the county to the north of Monroe County, home of settler Daniel Brodhead’s town of “Dansbury”–a.k.a. East Stroudsburg), in 1870 by the Blooming Grove Park Association, was (and still is) an exclusive hunting and fishing club that has expanded far beyond its initial borders.

Map showing the location of this township within Pike County, Pennsylvania (Credit: Wikimedia Commons - contributed by Rcsprinter123 on Dec 6, 2014)

Map showing the location of Blooming Grove Township within Pike County, Pennsylvania (Credit: Wikimedia Commons – contributed by Rcsprinter123 on Dec 6, 2014)

Initially some 14,000 acres in size, encompassing vast tracts of land, lakes, and trout streams, the members-only Park attracted well-heeled outdoors-people throughout the year—men and women, as the above etching shows. Many were wealthy New Yorkers, searching for supreme experiences in the great outdoors. To cater to their need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the nation’s stock market, the club eventually stretched wire all over the park4 so that interested members could check on their business interests at any time during their nature jaunts. Not surprisingly, the Park was initially very poorly received by locals who had happily hunted these territories for generations before abruptly being shut out by those of wealth and power5.

Junius Brutus Stearns (1810 – 1885)

A Day’s Sport At Blooming Grove Park by Junius Brutus Stearns (1810 – 1885)

When established, the Association was granted the right of ‘self-determination’ by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, whereby it was able to establish and enforce its own game laws as well as propagate fish and game for an improved ‘visitor experience’. The Association later became officially known as the Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club, and it remains to this day a very private and exclusive organization. Over time, the public in general came to appreciate the conservation work done on the Club’s lands much of which had been decimated before 1870 by excessive logging. And today, with development accelerating beyond the Club’s borders, the Club’s lands remain safe and protected with little prospect of that changing. According to the “Blooming Grove Township Comprehensive Plan” produced by Community Planning & Management, LLC, in May 2008, which includes a map of the Club’s lands: “Blooming Grove Township holds less potential for development than many of the other municipalities in Pike County and the Pocono Mountains.” So that’s definitely good news from a conservation standpoint.

Trout Fishing by Junius Brutus Stearns (1810 – 1885)

Trout Fishing by Junius Brutus Stearns (1810 – 1885)

Chapter 13 of The History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania (Mathews, Alfred, Philadelphia, R. T. Peck & Co., 1886), gives some background on Blooming Grove Park, including the following: “The Blooming Grove Park Association was projected by Wm. H. Bell, of Branchville, Sussex County, NJ, and Fayette S. Giles [a gentleman jeweler6] in 1870. [Charles Hallock, future founder of Field and Stream worked with Giles as a promoter7.] John C. Westbrook and Lafayette Westbrook deeded 13,000 acres of land to the association, and they have since purchased 1,000 acres in addition. F.S. Giles was the first president of the association. The stockholders have changed, and most of the stock is now held by New York parties. The lands lie in Blooming Grove, Greene and Porter townships, and include Lakes Beaver, Giles, Scott, Bruce, Westbrook, Laura, Ernest and Belle, according to the names which the association have given them. One square mile of the land is inclosed by a wire fence, as a breeding park, in which they have about 200 deer. The club-house is erected on ground overlooking Giles Lake, or Blooming Grove Pond, as it was formerly called, at a cost of about ten thousand dollars.”

salmon_flies

Salmon and Sea Trout Flies from Fly Fishing (1899), Sir Edward Grey, 1920 edition (Wikimedia – Public domain in US)

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Several months ago, a bit after I finally ‘discovered’ some traces of Abram Coolbaugh Brodhead, my second great grandfather’s brother, and while digging through some search results on the Fulton History website, I came upon an article in the Port Jervis, NY, Evening Gazette, entitled “Home of the Bear and the Deer. What a ‘Gazette’ Man Saw in the Hunting Section of Pike County, PA.” The article is dated November 30, 1891, and it was a fun find because it mentions a hunting party that included both my second great grandfather—Andrew Jackson Brodhead—AND his little brother Abram. Andrew would have been 69 at the time, and Abram 67. And it was even more fun because it described them as “famous sportsmen”: At Blooming Grove, “Moses Westbrook’s”, we found a notable party of hunters, some of whom have followed the hounds in the wilds of Pike for 40 consecutive years. Among them were the famous sportsmen, “Abe” C. Brodhead of Lehighton, Pa., Andrew J. Brodhead and George T. Gray, of Flemington, N.J., W. F. Brodhead of Packerton, Pa., and U. S. Grant Tobias of Mauch Chunk, Pa. They were hourly expecting John C. Westbrook, of Milford, and Captain ” Lafe” Westbrook, of Stroudsburg, the great deer slayers of Pike for the past 40 years, it being a fact that they have to their credit the slaying of over 600 deer during that time. It would be unfair not to mention their brother “Mose” in this connection who, although having no record to exhibit, has without doubt killed nearly as many as his brothers.

Sadly, this may have been one of the last times Abram enjoyed a hunting expedition; a little less than a year later, he fell ill and passed away at his daughter Jennie (Brodhead) Linderman‘s home in Bethlehem, PA. Andrew, meanwhile, was blessed to live another 21 years, dodging the “heart attack alley” that seems to zigzag up the Brodhead family tree, so he probably enjoyed many more such outings before being forced by infirmity to give up such pleasures. Serendipitously to finding the article, I found the above 1870 image in Harper’s Weekly and went so far as to purchase the issue so I could include the image here. Don’t worry, I did not have to rob a bank. ;-)

Please don't rely on my data as being 100% accurate. Mistakes happen along the way! ;-)

Please verify my data before you use it. Mistakes happen along the way! ;-)

p. 103 of The Runkle Family: Being an Account of the Runkels in Europe, and Their Descendants in America by Ben van Doren Fisher (T.A. Wright, 1899) Other members of the hunting party included “George T. Gray, of Flemington, N.J., W. F. Brodhead of Packerton, Pa., and U. S. Grant Tobias of Mauch Chunk, Pa.” Who were these men? Well, I figured out that W. F. Brodhead referred to Colonel William Franklin Brodhead (1842-1932), a cousin of the Brodhead brothers via the Dingman side of the family. William’s mother Jane Dingman was the younger sister of Andrew and Abram’s mother Cornelia Dingman. Jane and Cornelia both married into the Brodhead family.  (See the greatly condensed family tree inset for a visual.) U.S. Grant Tobias (1868-1940), a clergyman, was William’s son-in-law of just six months.  Grant married William’s daughter Edith on May 5, 1891 at the family’s Packerton, PA, home8.  In November 1891, William would have been 49, and Grant9—23. I think George T. Gray must have been a friend of Andrew Jackson Brodhead’s as both men were visiting from Flemington, NJ. I found George and his wife Rachel Ann Cherry in a Runkle family genealogy book10(see clipping inset and end note below). If I have the correct George (and I think I do), he was 66 at the time of this hunting trip.

At first I thought perhaps they were all members of the Blooming Grove Park Association, but when I discovered it was the exclusive preserve of the wealthy, I decided that was unlikely since as far as I know, my second great grandfather, dad to 10 children, was not a wealthy man. Brother Abram, long-time widower and father of one, had been the superintendent of the Lehigh Stove Foundry, and during the Cleveland administration, had held a lucrative position in the Philadelphia mint. Perhaps, he had the means.

Then I looked into what was meant by “Moses Westbrook’s,” and came upon a mention of this location in The Country, Vol. 1-2 (published in 1877; page 369): “Fishing on the Shohola, the large stream which runs through the territory of the Blooming Grove Park Association, is accessible via Lackawaxen, on the Erie Railway. The headquarters are at Moses Westbrook’s hotel at Blooming Grove, an excellent, cheap, comfortable hostelry…” By 1891, the hotel may have had a makeover, but obviously it was still standing, and providing lodging to this hunting party. Whether they were heading to the Association’s lands or other lands within Pike County, once they met up with John C. Westbrook and Captain ”Lafe” Westbrook, I don’t know. But, given the fact that the former had deeded 13,000 acres for the establishment of Blooming Grove Park, it seems likely that he would have been a member there.

John C. Westbrook (Image from The History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties by Alfred Matthews, p. 895)

John C. Westbrook (Image from The History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties by Alfred Matthews, p. 895)

Speaking of the Westbrooks, there were a number of them who married into the Brodhead family, and vice versa, through the years. For example, Andrew and Abram’s aunt Sarah Brodhead (1792-1879) was married to Colonel John Westbrook (1789-1852), and the brothers’ mom Cornelia Dingman Brodhead was the daughter of Daniel Westbrook Dingman (1774-1862) and Mary Westbrook (1774-1851). I have not sufficiently researched the Westbrook tree to know where “John C. Westbrook” fits (or “Lafe” or “Mose”, for that matter). If anyone out there knows, please feel free to give a shout. [Update: There is a bio of John C. Westbrook in The History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties, (RT Peck & Sons, 1886, pp. 894-896); Lafayette (‘Lafe’) was a son of John C. Westbrook]

Well, I will close now and leave you with the Evening Gazette article in the event you want to read it in its entirety. For those “scanners” among you, I have highlighted the names of our Brodheads and their friends. When the reporter left Blooming Grove, [the group was] following five deer. No matter what the day’s results were or where exactly their adventures took place, I hope they all enjoyed their time together in the great outdoors.

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PORT JERVIS EVENING GAZETTE, 30 November 1891

HOME OF THE BEAR AND DEER. WHAT A”GAZETTE” MAN SAW IN THE HUNTING SECTION OF PIKE COUNTY, PA

Many Noted Hunters at Present in That Country Searching for the Big Game. Plenty of Deer but Not Many Captured, as Yet—A Brief Mention of Several of the Many Excellent Hunters Homes.

The hunting season of Pike County, Pa., is now at its best, and in all parts of that vast area of wilderness, barrens and swamps lying between the famous valley road and the Paupack country, the birds the deer and the bears are on the alert to escape the death dealing shots of the wily hunters and the keen scent of their swift footed and well trained dogs. When the law is “on” protecting the game, this vast country is nearly as silent as the grave, and the intense quiet is only broken by the occasional sound of the woodman’s axe.

On a recent drive through this section, the writer found many famous hunters at the various “Hunters Homes.” At Sheriff Hoffman’s hospitable home on Sawkill Lake, five miles out from Milford, on the Milford and Owego turnpike, the Hawes Brothers, of Central Valley, NY, men noted in the Adirondacks and in the Maine forests for their skill as hunters, were in full possession and with the Sheriff and his sons were making it lively for the deer and were capturing many birds. We are informed that they took home with them two four-pronged bucks. Mrs. Hoffman, by the way, we found very ill but the honors of the home were excellently carried out by her daughter. The jolly Sheriff laments the fact that he has not this year his usual number of dogs, by death and other causes his kennel is now reduced to sixteen.

At Shohola Falls a party of gentlemen from Nyack, NY, who had been guests of Garry Hart, the owner of the famous Shohola Falls and the adjacent country, had just left and had taken away with them six deer. These gentlemen were assisted in their hunting by the noted Greening Brothers who know every runway and hiding place for deer in that whole country. In this connection we wish to take the liberty of mentioning that Mr. and Mrs. Hart caught the largest trout that were taken in Pike county this season. They caught in the Rattlesnake creek and in the Shohola, in the “Meadows,” seven trout none of which weighed less than 2 ½ pounds and one weighed a trifle over 6 pounds. Mrs. Hart enjoys the reputation of being one of the most expert anglers of that section.

fishing5

Illustration for index page of The Country, Vol 1 & 2, published 1877; find it on Google Books (free) — the index is extensive and there is good reading to be had here. The 19th-century American passion for the great outdoors is on display!

At Blooming Grove, “Moses Westbrook’s”, we found a notable party of hunters, some of whom have followed the hounds in the wilds of Pike for 40 consecutive years. Among them were the famous sportsmen, “Abe” C. Brodhead of Lehighton, Pa., Andrew J. Brodhead and George T. Gray, of Flemington, N.J., W. F. Brodhead of Packerton, Pa., and U. S. Grant Tobias of Mauch Chunk, Pa. They were hourly expecting John C. Westbrook, of Milford, and Captain “Lafe” Westbrook, of Stroudsburg, the great deer slayers of Pike for the past 40 years, it being a fact that they have to their credit the slaying of over 600 deer during that time. It would be unfair not to mention their brother “Mose” in this connection who, although having no record to exhibit, has without doubt killed nearly as many as his brothers.

When the writer left Blooming Grove the party first mentioned were following five deer and we have no doubt that they captured the greater part of them.

Over on the Paupack there were a number of hunters at “Jack” Kimbles and at Marcus Killam’s and all were having fairly good luck. Marcus Killam, now considerably advanced in years, is another of the famous deer hunters of Pike, having killed over 400 deer in the past 60 years. At Dimon’s, also on the Paupack, a number of hunters were gathered. These gentlemen were under the guidance of the noted local guide and deer hunter Henry Quick, and had already started up several deer but, unfortunately, had not been able to get a shot at them. Among the hunters in the Paupack country was a young divine, Rev. F. T. Angevene, of Sharon, Conn. The young clergyman is an ardent sportsman and an excellent shot; although he did miss two deer when out with “Eph” Kimble, of Kimbles, and we do not doubt that he took away with him more game than any other man of the party. The cause of his missing the deer was a peculiar condition of the atmosphere just at sunset and he was not able to correctly estimate distances.

“Sim” Lord, at Lord’s Valley, has also captured several deer but as he was out following a deer the day that we were in his section we did not see him and consequently are not able to mention the hunters that have been making their headquarters at his very hospitable home. We, however, did see his brother Jury Commissioner, Levi Lord, and he stated that game was comparatively plenty at Lord’s Valley and vicinity and the hunters were having excellent sport. [this part was cut off] …but, for some reason explainable only by those who stood on the runways, none of them were stopped. This home is on the head waters of the Rattlesnake creek in the heart of a famous bear, deer, bird and trout section. The great black bear brought to Port Jervis last February, the skin of which was purchased by Counsellor John W. Lyon, of this village, was shot by Dr. Kelly within three quarters of a mile of his residence. Mrs. Kelly, by the way, is an expert shot and on the day of our visit killed a pheasant, or rather ruffed grouse, that will entitle her to take the first premium this year. The bird weighed a trifle over three pounds and was the largest of his species that we had ever seen.

Space will not allow us at this time to mention the bear hunting in Greene township and at the “Knob” and we will rely on our correspondents to give the interesting bear stories to our readers later on.

We would say to our readers who have a love for the sports of the field that there is no better hunting section than Little Pike to gratify their desires in that direction and, more, that the “Hunters Homes” are comfortable and excellent beyond description. You cannot make a mistake, they all, without exception, are ideal ”Hunters’ Paradises.”

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 – Page 51 of Better in the Poconos: The Story of Pennsylvania’s Vacationland by Lawrence Squeri (Penn State Press, 2010)
8 – Carbon Advocate wedding announcement, Volume 19, No. 26, Saturday, May 9, 1891
9 – Carbon Advocate, Volume 20, Number 22, Saturday, April 9, 1892:  In A Few Words. We congratulate our popular young friend Grant Tobias, of the County Seat, over the arrival of a bright little son in his family. We hope the little fellow may have a long life and abundant prosperity, while at the same time we feel like closing digits with granddad Brodhead, at Packerton.
10 – Page 103 of The Runkle Family: Being an Account of the Runkels in Europe, and Their Descendants in America by Ben van Doren Fisher (T. A. Wright, 1899)

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1877_PikCo

The cost of a 2-week trip from NYC to Pike Co. in 1877? No more than $30. (The Country, Vol. 1-2; pub. 1877; page 369)

Categories: Brodhead, Dingman, Fishing, Hobbies, Hunting, Nature, Pennsylvania, Pike Co. | 7 Comments

Garret Brodhead’s “Wheat Plains” farmhouse—an August clean-up project. Come join the fun!

“Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! The DePuy/Brodhead Family Association is having its annual reunion in the Dingmans Ferry, PA, area on Saturday, August 15, 2015. The actual location of the meeting place is still to be determined. For details, contact the Association at 6566 Skywae Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43229, and/or join the DePuy/Brodhead Family Association “Facebook” group page where you can keep abreast of all Brodhead (and DePuy) reunion developments!

Wheat Plains farmhouse clean-up opportunity!: On Friday, August 14, those who are interested in volunteering with the Wheat Plains Farmhouse clean-up project are welcome to join in. You may contact James Brodhead at “jbbrodheadfamily at hotmail dot com” to have a volunteer form sent to you. The Parks Department (“Wheat Plains” falls within the National Park Service system) would like to have these forms in hand at least four weeks prior to the work date.

According to Barbara and James Brodhead, who have undertaken the cleanup of the nearby Brodhead-Linderman Cemetery in recent years and are spearheading this year’s “Wheat Plains” clean-up effort: “More specific times and locations will be forthcoming. All efforts are greatly appreciated. Please note that we are organizing a tour of the Farm House on Saturday the 15th for all those who attend the Reunion.”

Come enjoy a fun weekend of connecting with family near and far, and giving Garret Brodhead’s homestead a much-needed makeover!

Categories: Brodhead, Dingmans Ferry, Linderman, Monroe Co., Pennsylvania, Pike Co., Stroudsburg | 10 Comments

More traces of Abram Coolbaugh Brodhead & Cornelia M. Ely

Down Among the Coal Mines -- Chutes Loading the Canal-Boats on the Lehigh Canal, a wood engraving published in Harper's Weekly, February 1873. Coal was loaded at Mauch Chunk (Image found on Wikimedia Commons; public domain in the US)

Carbon County Scene: “Down Among the Coal Mines — Chutes Loading the Canal-Boats on the Lehigh Canal,” a wood engraving published in Harper’s Weekly, February 1873. Coal was loaded at Mauch Chunk (Image found on Wikimedia Commons; public domain in the US)

One of this blog’s new readers, whose spouse is a descendant of Abram & Cornelia Brodhead, kindly pointed me in the direction of some wonderful Carbon County resources that are available online thanks to the amazing contributions of a Mr. Tony Bennyhoff.  They reveal some interesting details, and I encourage anyone whose ancestors spent time in Carbon County to check them out. You never know what you may find.

What I found were several newspaper notices related to Abram’s passing, and I am sharing them here:

The Lehighton Press, Volume 2, Number 2, Thursday, October 27, 1892:
Death of A. C. Brodhead. Abram C. Brodhead died on Tuesday morning at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Garrett B. Linderman, South Bethlehem. Mr. Brodhead was 68 years of age, and lived for many years in Lehighton. About two months ago he went to South Bethlehem to visit his daughter, and while there he was taken ill. Mr. Brodhead was the youngest brother of the late Judge A. G. Brodhead , of Mauch Chunk; D. D. Brodhead , of Wilkes-Barre; A. J. Brodhead , of Flemington, N. J., and W. F. Brodhead, of Packerton. He was a staunch Democrat, having held several offices in the gift of his party. He was well known and greatly respected. The funeral of the deceased will take place to-day. Interment at Bridgeport, Conn. [Note: W. F. Brodhead, of Packerton, was a cousin on the Dingman side,  the son of William Franklin Brodhead (b 1807) and Jane Dingman (b 1808; Cornelia Dingman’s younger sister).]

Carbon Advocate, Volume 20, Number 50, Saturday, October 29, 1892:
Death of Abr. Brodhead. After an illness dating back a long time Abraham Brodhead died at the home of his daughter at Bethlehem on Monday night at the age of 68 years. For many years deceased resided in this city and was the superintendent of the Lehigh Stove Foundry. During the Grover Cleveland administration he held a lucrative position in the Philadelphia mint. He was an eccentric character in many ways. The news of his death was heard with regret by many old friends here.

View of Mauch Chunk, Carbon County, Pennsylvania, a wood engraving sketched by Theodore R. Davis and published in Harper's Weekly, September 1869 (Found on Wikimedia Commons; image is in public domain in US)

“View of Mauch Chunk, Carbon County, Pennsylvania,” a wood engraving sketched by Theodore R. Davis and published in Harper’s Weekly, September 1869 (Found on Wikimedia Commons; image is in public domain in US)

The Lehighton Press, Volume 2, Number 3, Thursday, November 3, 1892:
Funeral of A. C. Brodhead – The funeral of A. C. Brodhead, of Lehighton, took place on Thursday morning last from the residence of Mrs. G. B. Linderman, the daughter of the deceased, at South Bethlehem. The services were conducted by Rev. Gilbert H. Sterling, after which the remains were taken to Bridgeport, Conn., and there interred beside Mr. Brodhead’s wife. Mr. Brodhead was born in Pike county, August 6, 1824. In his early years Mr. Brodhead was connected with the Lehigh Valley Railroad and was subsequently in the government employ, in the custom house, in New York, and in later years in the mint, in Philadelphia. He was the youngest son of Garrett Brodhead and his wife, Cornelia Dingman , of Delaware, Pa. He was married January 6, 1862, to Cornelia Ely , of Bridgeport, Conn., but his wife died in the second  year thereafter, leaving but one child, Jennie, wife of Garrett B. Linderman. The funeral was largely attended by relatives and friends of the deceased from Lehighton and Mauch Chunk.

And, I found a morsel about Cornelia M. Ely in George Burritt Vanderpoel’s The Ely ancestry: lineage of Richard Ely of Plymouth, England who came to Boston, Mass., about 1655 & settled at Lyme, Conn, in 1660… (NY: Calumet Press, 1902, p. 369):

137313- Cornelia Maria Ely, b. 1842, d. 1864, dau. of Henry Gideon Ely and Cornelia Maria Whiting; m. 1863, Abram Coolbaugh Brodhead, Lehighton, Carbon Co., Pa., who was b. 1824, son of Garrett Brodhead and Cornelia Dingman. Their children:

1. Jennie S, b. 1863.

So Abram was ‘well known and greatly respected’ and ‘an eccentric character in many ways.’ I enjoy hearing little details like that, don’t you?

I am so grateful for this blog’s readers and appreciate all the feedback and help you so generously provide!

Categories: Brodhead, Dingman, Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), Pennsylvania | 2 Comments

1805/1806: Luke Brodhead and “The Battle of the Butcher Boys and Delaware River Raftmen”

"The City and Port of Philadelphia, on the River Delaware from Kensington". Frontispiece to The City of Philadelphia..., plate 2. Engraving, hand-colored. Wikimedia Commons: In public domain in US due to publication prior to January 1, 1923. (Image shown has been cropped)

“The City and Port of Philadelphia, on the River Delaware from Kensington”. Frontispiece to The City of Philadelphia…, plate 2. Engraving, hand-colored. Wikimedia Commons: In public domain in US due to publication prior to January 1, 1923. (Image shown has been cropped at the top)

Now here’s an interesting tale dating back to 1805/1806 about a memorable ‘David vs. Goliath’ brawl featuring one Luke Brodhead. I found it in The Evening Gazette (Port Jervis, NY), dated Tuesday, May 28, 1878. The paper is one of thousands archived on the free Fulton History website.

Having checked some Brodhead family genealogies, I believe this Luke was probably the son of Luke Brodhead of Revolutionary War fame (my fifth great-grandfather Garret Brodhead‘s younger brother).  I could be wrong, of course, but there have never been that many Luke Brodheads in the family tree, and age-wise Luke Jr. (1777-1845) is a good fit. He would have been about 28 or 29 at the time of this incident, and still a bachelor. Luke Sr., who was left quite disabled by the war, passed away in 1806 at age 65.

On a side note, you may remember one of last July’s posts: “The 1868 murder of Theodore Brodhead of Delaware Water Gap.” Luke Brodhead Jr. was Theodore’s father. Luke Jr. was married to Elizabeth Wills (1789-1873), and together they had nine children—one girl (b. 1812) and eight boys (born between 1814 and 1831), all very tall in stature. Remember how Elizabeth joked that she had “48 feet of sons”?

Luke Jr. and Elizabeth ran an inn* at the Delaware Water Gap beginning circa 1820 to accommodate the influx of tourists to the area. From the “Theodore” post, you know that some of Luke Jr’s sons carried on this tradition, most notably Luke Wills Brodhead, who is deserving of a separate post of his own.

But, back to the story. It’s quite a tale, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It obviously stood the test of time to be featured in a newspaper article some seven decades later! As always, comments, corrections, suggestions are welcome. And of course if you have different thoughts as to which Luke this was, please let me know.

The Evening Gazette. 28 May 1878

The Evening Gazette. 28 May 1878

— — — — — — —

MEMORABLE ENCOUNTER.
BATTLE OF THE BUTCHER BOYS AND DELAWARE RIVER RAFTMEN.
A HAND TO HAND CONTEST IN PHILADELPHIA OVER 70 YEARS AGO—HOW 10 RAFTMEN WHIPPED 30 BUTCHERS—DEATH OF THE LAST RAFTMAN ENGAGED IN THE FIGHT.

In the year of 1805 or 1806 a fierce fight took place in Philadelphia between about 30 butchers and 10 Delaware river raftmen. Some of the latter we have the names of. There was Major Ebeneezer Wheeler, his brother Joseph, Squire Holmes, John Weiss, Rock Run and William Tyler [**], Royal Warner, Luke Brodhead, and Captain C. Fennington of Delhi, N.Y.

Joseph Wheeler owned a very fleet black mare. The spring before the fight truth his horse had a race with one owned by the association of butchers. He won the race, but the butchers refused to give up the stakes, and it was finally agreed to have a second trial the following spring.

When the spring came around the race took place, and again there was a controversy as to which was the winning horse. This dispute led to the memorable conflict. Joseph Wheeler was challenged by the butchers to a single combat. This be declined to accept for the reason, as he said to his brother, that there was no prospect of fair play being shown him, the butchers outnumbering the raftmen three to one.

Ebeneezer Wheeler then stepped forward and accepted the challenge offered to his brother. He is represented to have been a man of wonderful strength and at the same time as fleet as a deer. He was just six feet two. Luke Brodhead was the same height, and was a man of great courage.

It was proposed by the butchers that the fight should take place with a rope between the combatants. To this Major Wheeler would not concede, saying: “Gentlemen, if I fight I fight to win, and want nothing between us.” An adjoining field was selected for the contest. The butcher who was to be Mr. Wheeler’s antagonist put one hand on the fence and as if to show his agility sprang over into the lot with a bound. The Major followed and jumped the fence without touching it.

Luke Brodhead and Mr. Weiss happened at the place by accident, not knowing any of the parties. They were mere spectators and not called upon to form a part of the ring around the fighters. The fight between the two men began. Mr. Wheeler’s antagonist fell at the first blow. He arose and the second blow from Mr. W’s big fist again sent him to the earth.

At this juncture Mr. Brodhead saw a butcher strike Wheeler with a heavy whip. (It afterward appeared that all the butchers were armed with loaded whips.) Mr. Brodhead went to one of the butchers and told him of the occurrence. He was thrust aside and told it was none of his business. But he persisted and said he would not stand by and see such foul play practiced. He had scarcely done speaking when he received a heavy blow on the head with a whip. The blow nearly stunned him.

Delaware River. An extract of an 1806 map of New Jersey, depicting the area around Philadelphia and Trenton. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Source: Source=http://maps.bpl.org/details_12444/?mti

Delaware River. An extract of an 1806 map of New Jersey, depicting the area around Philadelphia and Trenton. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Source: Source=http://maps.bpl.org/details_12444/?mti

In the mean time the fight in the field had progressed, and Wheeler had given his antagonist such a blow that it nearly killed him. Of course he retired at once from the contest.

But the fight now became general. The butchers used their loaded whips freely and the numbers being greatly in their favor gave them courage. Unfortunately, however, for the butchers every time one of them received a square blow from the raftmen he was forced to leave the field. Their numbers soon became less, none of them caring to risk a second blow. The contest thus steadily grew in favor of the raftmen, none of them becoming disabled. They stood their ground to the last, the butchers dropping away one by one until the field was cleared and the victory won for the sturdy raftmen, the butchers finally running from the field.

The mistake the butchers made was in using their whips instead of their fists. They were large, strong men, yet they could not strike the whip with sufficient force to prostrate one of the sturdy raftmen. Nevertheless some very severe blows were given them. Messrs. Wheeler, Brodhead, and Fennington were cut badly and were confined to their boarding-houses several days under medical treatment.

It is said that Mr. Eb. Wheeler and Brodhead each disabled five butchers from as many blows. Captain Fennington of Delhi was a giant in strength and rendered very efficient aid to the raftmen. Mr. Weiss was badly scared and climbed a tree when the fight became general. He was not to be blamed, however, for he was a little fellow and would not have stood much of a chance. Royal Warner also showed the white feather. Joseph Wheeler got over the fence to see the fight when he received the blow of a loaded whip. He picked up a new beaver hat and left.

Luke Brodhead and the Wheelers became warm friends after this fight. The latter insisted on his accompanying them home after their recovery, which he did and remained with them several months. He frequently visited them. They afterward presented him with a tract of land on the Delaware river in Delaware county, which he declined to accept.

Brodhead was one of the most peaceable of men, and was esteemed for his good character and sound judgment, integrity and love of justice. The characters of Mr. Fennington and the Wheelers were also beyond reproach. Rock Run Tyler, the last of the survivors of this fight, ever memorable among raftmen, died in November, 1877, at a very old age.

That part of the family tree

How we are related

*Better in the Poconos by Lawrence Squeri (Penn State Press, 2010), p. 23.

**I think they mean “William ‘Rock Run’ Tyler” judging from the brief bio about him on p. 634 in the book History of Wayne, Pike and Monroe Counties by Alfred Mathews (Philadelphia: RT Peck, 1886)

Categories: Brodhead, Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia | 2 Comments

Remembering the women: Elizabeth Depui Brodhead

1851 print by Nagel & Weingartner: Depiction of the women of Bryan Station getting water while Native Americans, who are about to besiege the settlement, watch. Famous event in Kentucky during the American Revolutionary War.

1851 print by Nagel & Weingartner: Depiction of the women of Bryan Station getting water while Native Americans, who are about to besiege the settlement, watch. Famous event in Kentucky during the American Revolutionary War (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain in USA)

While, the men who served in the Revolutionary War are remembered with profound gratitude for their heroic sacrifices, it’s easy to forget that behind them stood an army of highly productive and devoted women: wives, sisters, grandmothers and daughters—women who strove to support the War efforts of their beloved, while keeping the home fires burning. How comforted the men must have been by this knowledge.

One such woman was Elizabeth Depui Brodhead, wife of the famous Colonel Daniel Brodhead and sister-in-law to my fifth great-grandfather Garret. A wonderful bit of biographical detail about Elizabeth can be found on pages 22-23 of Some Pennsylvania Women during the War of the Revolution, by William Henry Engle, MD (Harrisburg, PA: Harrisburg Publishing Co., 1898), and I am including it below. While much has been written about the Colonel, this is the first information I’ve found that sheds a tiny bit of light on Elizabeth. If you are aware of other examples, please share in the comment box below.

The Birth of Old Glory, painting by Edward Percy Moran, ca. 1917 (Public Domain - Wikimedia Commons)

The Birth of Old Glory, painting by Edward Percy Moran, ca. 1917 (Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons)

Elizabeth Depui, youngest daughter of Nicholas Depui, was born in 1740* in what is now Monroe county Pa. She was a descendant from Nicholas Depui, a Huguenot who fled from France to Holland in the year 1685 at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Little is known of her early childhood. She received a pretty fair education at one of the Dutch schools in New York, but the major portion of her youthful days were spent on the frontiers of civilization, the wily savage ever hovering around the settlements of the Minisink. On more than one occasion she was obliged to flee to either the blockhouses or the more populous settlements for safety.

Shortly after her marriage she accompanied her husband to the town of Reading where she made her home until after the promulgation of peace. During that trying period the care of a young family was hers, and yet among that coterie of bright and heroic women of the Revolution who were in exile in Reading she shone with lustre. Nothing was too great for her to undertake and her patriotic ardor was always aroused for the welfare of the soldier of the Declaration. She administered to the comfort of the sick and wounded who found their way after convalescence to their several homes upon the frontiers. In those days, the women kept many in clothing as well as the necessaries of life. Help was needed everywhere, and as we of the present day minister to our troops from our abundance, the women of the Revolution did the same out of their poverty. It is true they accomplished much more than we at this distance of time can either appreciate or calculate. Theirs was a day of self denial.

Thomas Eakins' Homespun, 1881 (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain)

Thomas Eakins’ Homespun, 1881 (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain)

They delighted in homespun dresses while luxuries were prepared only for the sick and loving who were battling for the rights of mankind and the independence of their country. And yet we must honor the women of all crises in the history of our beloved land who lead in every philanthropic work to alleviate distress. Their forbears during the struggle for independence were animated by that enlarged patriotic spirit which will enshrine their names to the latest posterity. It was so eminently characteristic of them that a British officer, a prisoner of war, remarked that no soldiers whose mothers, wives, and daughters were so devoted to the cause and so self sacrificing could ever be conquered. Mrs. Brodhead died in the city of Philadelphia toward the close of the year 1799*, but exact date with place of burial have not been ascertained.

I’d love to find more such biographical detail on other women relevant to the families covered within this blog. If anyone has other examples to share, please get in touch/leave a comment. Meanwhile, you can check the list below to see whether any of your female Pennsylvania ancestors were also featured in this book.

********************************************************************************************************************
*Note: According to p. 74 of The Brodhead Family, Volume I, published by the Brodhead Family Association (Port Ewen, NY: 1986), Elizabeth was born in 1739 and was the daughter of Samuel Depuy and Jane McDowell. Also, per their records, she died sometime before 16 May 1781 at Reading, Berks Co., PA. (Daniel married again–his second wife was Rebecca Edgill Mifflin. She died in Philadelphia and was buried there on 15 February 1788.)

NB: Depui is spelled in many different ways (visit Depuy Surname History for a rundown).

Resources:
Women in the American Revolution
The Roles of Women in the Revolutionary War
The Homespun Movement – interesting PDF

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

Other women featured in this book:
Elizabeth Wilkins Allison, 9; Allison, John 9
Rebecca Lyon Armstrong, 11; Armstrong, John 12
Sarah Richardson Atlee, 15; Atlee, Samuel John 15
Mary Quigley Brady, 18; Brady, John 18
Elizabeth Depui Brodhead, 22; Brodhead, Daniel 23
Eleanor Lytle Brown, 26; Brown, Matthew 26
Mary Phillips Bull, 29; Bull, John 29
Sarah Shippen Burd, 33; Burd, James 34
Katharine Hamilton Chambers, 3; Chambers, James 39
Elizabeth Zane Clark, 42; Clark, John 44
Jane Roan Clingan, 45; Clingan, William Jr 46
Martha Crawford Cook, 47; Cook, Edward 47
Sarah Simpson Cooke, 49; Cooke, William 49
Margaret Cochran Corbin, 58; Corbin, John 52
Mary Kelsey Cutter Covenhoven, 55; Covenhoven, Robert 55
Hannah Vance Crawford, 58; Crawford, William 58
Catharine Martin Davidson, 62; Davidson, James 63
Annie Schenck Davies, 65; Davies, Hezekiah 60
Hannah Blair Foster, 67; Foster, William 67
Anne West Gibson, 70; Gibson, George 70
Rachel Marx Graydon, 73; Graydon, Alexander 74
Catharine Ewing Hand, 78; Hand, Edward 79
Margaret Alexander Hamilton, 81; Hamilton, John 81
Katharine Holtzinger Hartley, 83; Hartley, Thomas 83
Mary Ludwig Hays, 85; Hays, John 85
Ann Wood Henry, 87; Henry, William 87
Crecy Covenhoven Hepburn, 90; Hepburn, William 91
Sarah Harris Irvine, 92; Irvine, James 92
Anne Callender Irvine, 94; Irvine, William 95
Jean McDowell Irwin, 98; Irwin, Archibald 98
Alice Erwin Johnston, 100; Johnston, Francis 100
Martha Beatty Johnston, 103; Johnston, Thomas 103
Ann West Alricks Lowrey, 105; Lowrey, Alexander 105
Sarah Nelson McAlister, 108; McAlister, Hugh 108
Sarah Holmes McClean, 110; McClean, Alexander 112
Martha Sanderson McCormick, 113; McCormick, Robert 113
Margaret Lewis McFarland, 115; McFarland, Andrew 115
Martha Hoge McKee, 117; McKee, Thomas 117
Margaret Stout Macpherson, 119; Macpherson, William 120
Marritie Van Brunt Magaw, 122; Magaw, Robert 122
Susanna Miller Mickley, 124; Mickley, John Jacob 124
Sarah Morris Mifflin, 127; Mifflin, Thomas 128
Rachel Rush Boyce Montgomery, 130; Montgomery, Joseph 1
Elizabeth Thompson Moorhead, I34; Moorhead, Fergus 134
Mary White Morris, 137; Morris, Robert 13s
Margaret Mayes Murray, 140; Murray, James 141
Winifred Oldham Neville, I42; Neville, John 143
Mary Carson O’Hara, 14; O’Hara, James 146
Rosina Kucher Orth, I48; Orth, Balzer I48
Sarah McDowell Piper, 150; Piper, William 151
Margaret Lowrey Plumer, 152; Plumer, George I52
Elizabeth Potter Poe, 157; Poe, James 158
Margaret O Brien Pollock, 160; Pollock, Oliver 161
Elizabeth Parker Porter, I64; Porter, Andrew 166
Elizabeth Myer Kelly, 168; Kelly, John 168
Jane Ralston Rosbrugh, 171; Rosbrugh, John 171
Phoebe Bayard St Clair, 171; St Clair, Arthur 174
Margaret Murray Simpson, 178; Simpson, John 178
Maria Thompson Sproat, 180; Sproat, William 180
Martha Espy Stewart, 182; Stewart, Lazarus 182
Hannah Tiffany Swetland, I84; Swetland, Luke 185
Ursula Muller Thomas, 187; Thomas, Martin 187
Catharine Ross Thompson, I89; Thompson, William 190
Hannah Harrison Thomson, 192; Thomson, Charles 193
Elizabeth Grosz Traill, 195; Traill, Robert 19
Lydia Hollingsworth Wallis, 198; Wallis, Samuel 198
Jean Murray Watts, 201; Watts, Frederick 201
Mary Penrose Wayne, 204; Wayne, Anthony 205
Mary Agneta Bechtel Weygandt, 207; Weygandt, Cornelius 207

Categories: Brodhead, Monroe Co., Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Revolutionary War | 6 Comments

Brodhead Creek postcard, pre-1952

Brodhead Creek postcard

Brodhead Creek postcard

I recently acquired another Brodhead Creek postcard on eBay. The year is not visible, but the one-cent stamp on it indicates that it was mailed before 1952 when the rate went up to an ‘outrageous’ two cents. So here’s another image that would have been nice to include in my post Fly Fishing the Brodhead in ages past.

The message on the reverse side is addressed to a Mr. & Mrs. Charles Mahan, Jr. of Baltimore, Maryland: Dear Arelyn & Charlie, What an ideal place for a honeymoon – it is perfect – the cool mountain air, the water close by and such lovely scenery. Thanks again for Sunday – maybe someday we can repay you. See you all soon. Love, Doris & Bill

US Geological Survey image - Public Domain

US Geological Survey image – Public Domain

In my search for the location of Paradise Creek, I came across the awesome US Geological Survey website. The detail it offers is amazing–obviously they are very good at what they do. Turns out that Paradise Creek is a tributary of Brodhead Creek:

Once again, if anyone out there has any other vintage images of the creek they’d like to share, please send them along and I will post them for you for other readers to enjoy. Have a good Sunday, everybody! (We’re having a two-day cool spell here — low 80’s!!!)

Categories: Brodhead, Miscellaneous, Monroe Co., Nature, Stroudsburg | 4 Comments

Mary Rebecca Brodhead Pike (1815-1922) — New Hampshire DAR member — achieved age 106

DAR Magazine Vol52, pub. 1918 This striking black and white image of Mary Brodhead Pike comes from Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, Volume 52 (Jan. 1918),  p. 678.

Mary, daughter of Reverend John Brodhead and Mary Dodge, died on May 17, 1922, at the age of 106, and was buried in Locust Grove Cemetery, Newfields, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire.

The photo was ...taken the day after her 101st birthday, and is a very good likeness, but it does not express the charm of this intellectual gentlewoman. For 101, she looks remarkable!

The article mentions a DAR meeting taking place at Mary’s house in July of Mary’s 103rd year. What an honor it would have been to be a guest in her home.

Volume 55, published several years later (December 1921), gives us an update on the amazing Mary Pike. The Granite Chapter reported:

Our July meeting was held at the home of our oldest member, Mrs. Mary R. Pike, widow of Rev. James Pike, of Newfields. […]

Mrs. Pike at the age of 106 years is active in mind, keen and witty in conversation and gracious in manner. A few years ago this Magazine published a likeness of Mrs. Pike which holds good. She seems not to have changed mentally or physically except that a recent fall has confined her to her room.

Her health is good, she is cheerful and strong in her faith in God, and in her love for humanity. Granite Chapter would like to know if any other Chapter can claim so old a Daughter.

I, for one, would have loved to have been among those who got to sit down with Mary in her later years to hear her discuss her life experiences. As a member of the DAR, she would have been someone extremely interested in family history and the history of our great country.

As is often the case, this is an image I came across while searching for information about someone else. I was intrigued, and wanted to learn more about her. As it turns out, much has been written about Mary’s Brodhead family line, and I won’t go into too much detail here; I’ll just try to give you a sense of where she is located in the overall family tree:

Mary was a granddaughter of Revolutionary War Captain Luke Brodhead (1741-1806), youngest brother of my fifth great grandfather, Lt. Garret Brodhead (1733-1804). (Luke and Garret were sons of Dansbury (East Stroudsburg) founders Daniel Brodhead and wife Hester Wyngart.)

Luke* was wholeheartedly devoted to the cause of independence and was a devoted friend to General Lafayette. Wounds received in battle and in prison eventually forced him to retire from active duty after spending the winter in Valley Forge.

Luke’s June 28, 1806, obituary in the Northampton Farmer & Easton Weekly Advertiser described him as being: …an active patriot in the 1st Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment which marched on Boston in 1775, in opposition to tyranny. He was wounded, and made prisoner on Long Island, where he experienced savage cruelty in a British prison ship [Jersey], and afterwards [he was exchanged on December 8, 1776] served his country with reputation… […] Justice and gratitude had induced his country to dignify him with an annuity for life, and his amiable simplicity of manners endeared him to his friends. He was a tender parent, and an affectionate husband, and an immatable friend...

Luke’s son Rev. John Brodhead**, an ordained Methodist minister, and Mary Dodge, were Mary Rebecca Brodhead Pike’s parents. In 1809, the parents ultimately settled in Newfields, New Hampshire, and that is where Mary was born.

Rev. John Brodhead served in the NH State Senate from 1817-1827, and was a member of Congress from 1829-1833. John and Mary Dodge Brodhead had twelve children: Daniel Dodge Brodhead, John Montgomery Brodhead, Elizabeth Harrison Brodhead, Ann Mudge Brodhead, Joseph Crawford Brodhead, Mehitabel Smith Brodhead, George Hamilton Brodhead, Mary Rebecca Brodhead, Olive Brodhead, Brevet Brigadier General Thornton Fleming Brodhead, Col. Josiah Adams Brodhead, and Almena Cutter Brodhead.

The Reverend was not the only parent who led a remarkable life. His wife Mary Dodge Brodhead’s September 5, 1875’s obituary in the New York Times stated that she conversed and shook hands with every President of the United States, from George Washington on down. With the martyr President Lincoln, she was on terms of great familiarity.

Brevet Brigadier General Thornton Fleming Brodhead, (1820-1862); Wikipedia (Public Domain--contributed by IcarusPhoenix)

Mary’s brother, Brevet Brigadier General Thornton Fleming Brodhead, (1820-1862); Credit: Wikipedia (Public Domain–contributed by IcarusPhoenix)

Of their children, Brig. Gen. Thornton Fleming Brodhead is particularly well known, for his service in the Civil War. He was mortally wounded at Bull Run after heroically leading his men into battle. George Hamilton Brodhead was once president of the NYSE. John Montgomery Brodhead served as second controller of the US Treasury, Joseph Crawford Brodhead was a Deputy Naval Officer, and Josiah Adams Brodhead was Paymaster in the US Army.

Mary Rebecca Brodhead (subject of this post) married Rev. James Pike***, who similarly to Mary’s father started out as a Methodist clergyman but later entered politics. James also served in the Civil War as a Colonel in New Hampshire’s 16th Infantry.

Mary and James had three children: James Thornton Pike (1841-1911), Anna Gertrude Pike Kendall (1844-1926), and Mary Brodhead Pike (1855-1855).

In closing, I’ll just say that there is a wealth of information available about this family line both online and in the Brodhead Family History volumes; I can’t really do justice to it here, and since it’s not my direct line, I don’t know how soon I will likely be returning to it. For anyone interested, the Brodhead Family History volumes may be available at your local library, particularly if you live in the Northeast, or through interlibrary loan. You can also purchase individual volumes from The DePuy / Brodhead Family Association (find them on Facebook).

Have a great day, all! As, always, comments, corrections, and additions welcome.

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

*Source for Luke Brodhead & family: Vol. I of The Brodhead Family, published by the Brodhead Family Assn, 1986, pp. 80-84

**Source for Rev. John Brodhead & family: Vol. II of The Brodhead Family, published by the Brodhead Family Assn, 1986, pp. 143-153.

***Source for Rev. James Pike & family: Vol. IV of The Brodhead Family, published by the Brodhead Family Assn, 1986, pp. 311.

Categories: Brodhead, Civil War, Gen. Lafayette, Lincoln, President Abraham, New Hampshire, Obituaries, Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War | 8 Comments

Brodhead Creek postcard, 1909

I recently acquired this postcard on eBay—it’s an image of Brodhead Creek taken from a hill above. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, I discovered the card after doing the July 8 post Fly Fishing the Brodhead in ages past. So, I will post the card here for you now. The message on the reverse side is addressed to a Mrs. Steve Reinhart, 729 Ann Street, Stroudsburg, Pa.; the postmark is dated August 24, 1909 (Bartonsville).

If anyone out there has any other vintage images of the creek they’d like to share, please send them along and I will post them for you for other readers to enjoy. Have a good day, everybody! Bye for now.

Brodhead Creek

Brodhead Creek Postcard, dated 1909

Categories: Brodhead, Monroe Co., Stroudsburg | 4 Comments

Eva Wilder McGlasson & Henry C. Brodhead – Part III

From the San Francisco Call Volume 72, No. 82, 21 Aug 1892 (Credit: 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 – From the San Francisco Call Volume 72, No. 82, 21 Aug 1892 (Credit: 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)

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.

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 | 2 Comments

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A Garden State Journey in Genealogy

Genealogy With Valerie

Genealogy..a journey to the past present and future.

The Hanneman Archive

History Preserved. Lives Treasured.

a blog about women who do amazing things

Radici Siciliane (Sicilian Roots)

Sicilian Family Recipes, with a Twist

Intrepid Pantry

Adventures in Global Groceries

Rose of Sharon Healing

Herbs and Healing for the Nations

Jane's Blog

Bitter Angry Ajumma

TRACK

Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea

Enhanced News Archive

Enhanced Google News Archive List | Genealogy can be fun and educational | Learn how to use old newspapers to build a family tree

The People of Pancho

At Play In The Archive

Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time, including: community and family life, gardening, genealogy, people's stories, spirtiuality, and health.

Cemeteries of Brunswick, Maine

To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell

Kitty Calash

Confessions of a Known Bonnet-Wearer

Luce Stellare

Contemplative Articles and poetry

She Made A Difference

Women Who Changed the World

Masako and Spam Musubi

Short Stories about World War II. One war. Two Countries. One Family

 Stanczyk - Internet Muse™

... A Muse — ing                                                

TWISTED LIMBS & CROOKED BRANCHES

Genealogy: Looking For "Dead People"!

Food Perestroika

Adventures in Eastern Bloc Cuisine

Cody C. Delistraty

writer. researcher. historian.

Gone Catawampus

The random shenanigans of two desk jockeys with both too much and too little time on their un-manicured hands.

The Consecrated Eminence

The Archives & Special Collections at Amherst College

The Social Historian

Adventures in the world of social, economic, and local history

savethephotos

Just another WordPress.com site

Scots Roots

Helping you dig up your Scots roots.

On the Luce travel blog

Part-time travel, full-time travel obsession

Life in the Boomer Lane

Musings of a former hula hoop champion

Root To Tip

Not just a list of names and dates

The Family Kalamazoo

A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

Of Graveyards and Things

A discussion of cemeteries visited, gravestone art and epitaphs, and interesting historical documents, photographs, material culture, DNA, and lives researched.

Cemeteries and Cemetery Symbols

Exploring the meaning of cemetery symbols and other graveyard mysteries. For genealogy sleuths, taphophiles and goth kids.

Ephemeral New York

Chronicling an ever-changing city through faded and forgotten artifacts

Delight-Filled Leaves Art

Finding inspiration in nature, family and the creative life.

CAT IN WATER

Art. Design. Nature. Inspiration

Maybrick's Canon Shots.

Beautiful British Isles, seen though a Canon 7d.

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