Wilkes-Barre Luzerne Co

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 | Tags: , | 2 Comments

A Tuesday tip: Wyoming Valley, PA, history book of 1894 offers great genealogical clues & photos

A goldmine of old portrait photos and biographical information can be found in the book The Wyoming Valley in the 19th Century. Art Edition by SR Smith, Vol I, Wilkes-Barre Leader Print, 1894. I found several Brodhead- and Loveland-related photos here. Maybe you’re looking for photos or have some unlabelled photos from that era and area of Pennsylvania. Perhaps, this is a chance to find a photo and/or identify some of those ancestors. Volume II no doubt also contains rich information; so far, however, I have not come across that volume online or elsewhere. If anyone knows where one can be found, please leave a comment. Meanwhile, you can access Volume I via the link above. A variety of formats are available for viewing. (The online book seems to have the best resolution for viewing photo inscriptions.) Happy hunting!

Categories: Brodhead, Kingston, Luzerne Co., Loveland, Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre Luzerne Co | Leave a comment

Cupid’s Arrow —> William H. Brodhead

Cupid in a Wine Glass, oil painting by Abraham Woodside, 1840s, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Wikimedia - expired copyright - in public domain)

Cupid in a Wine Glass, oil painting by Abraham Woodside, 1840s, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Wikimedia: in public domain due to exp. copyright)

In early 1893, William Hall Brodhead, 35, was a very busy guy who may have already resigned himself to a life of bachelorhood, whether by default or by design. He was living and working in Wilkes-Barre (Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania) and was one of the most well-known and established coal operators in the area. William was from a very prominent Pennsylvania family–Daniel Dingman Brodhead (brother of my 2nd great grandfather Andrew Jackson Brodhead) and Mary Ann Brodrick were his parents; Garret Brodhead and Cornelia Dingman, and Irish immigrants James Brodrick and Elizabeth Dogherty — his grandparents. (All the Brodheads mentioned in this post were descendants of Daniel Brodhead and Hester Wyngart, original Pennsylvania Minisink Valley settlers.)

Portraits of the Heads of State Departments and Portraits and Sketches of Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1893-1894 compiled by Wm Rodearmel (Harrisburg, PA: E.K. Meyers Printing House, 1893)

Major William Hall Brodhead. Credit: “Portraits of the Heads of State Departments and Portraits and Sketches of Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1893-1894” compiled by Wm Rodearmel (Harrisburg, PA: E.K. Meyers Printing House, 1893); expired copyright

Daniel D. and Mary Brodhead had nine children between 1848 and 1870, and William was child no. 5. Two of his older siblings (James and Elizabeth) and one of his younger siblings (Alice) died young. Oldest brother Henry and younger brother Albert were still bachelors, at 45 and 25, respectively. Baby of the family Emily was 22 and also yet unmarried. Robert, age 32, may have been between marriages. His first wife Susan Amelia Shoemaker, a descendant of Elijah Shoemaker, died shortly after their marriage. He remarried Minnie Stafford of Rome, Georgia, and they started having children in 1896. So, at this point — early 1893 — the only one who had splashed out into post-marriage parenthood was fourth-born, 37-yr-old Daniel Dingman Brodhead, Jr. It looks like he and wife Leonora Hubbard had two of their five children by then: Clement P. and Charles R.. Baby Maude H. (b. 1893) may also have put in her appearance by then.

Any thoughts of competition between the Andrew Jackson (A. J.) Brodhead family and Daniel Dingman (D. D.) Brodhead families with regards to producing grandchildren must have vanished quickly. The two families were very large — A. J. and wife Ophelia had 10 kids between 1843 and 1864. By early 1893, A. J.’s & Ophelia’s kids had produced roughly 30 grandchildren for them, a ten-fold advantage over D. D. and wife Mary’s offspring.

But, back now to William Hall Brodhead. He was a busy guy professionally at this stage as evidenced by his biography published in Portraits of the Heads of State Departments and Portraits and Sketches of Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1893-1894 by E. K. Meyers Printing House of Harrisburg (p. 208; I have highlighted the most relevant details in bold):

WILLIAM HALL BRODHEAD was born in the Seventh ward of Philadelphia in 1857. In 1873 removed with his family to Mauch Chunk and from that place into the Wyoming Valley region. Since that time has been engaged about the mines in various capacities. He is a direct descendant of Captain Daniel Brodhead, of the British army, who came to this country in 1664 for the purpose of protecting British interests in the Dutch settlement, and settled on the Hudson river. Two of the Captain’s grandsons came over into Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania, and one of them, Daniel Brodhead, who died in 1754, is now buried in the Moravian cemetery at Bethlehem. His son, Daniel Brodhead, was on Washington’s staff, and the first surveyor general of Pennsylvania. So it will be seen that the subject of this sketch comes from good old revolutionary ancestry. He received his education in the public schools of Philadelphia. Had never held any political office before moving to Wilkes-Barre in 1890, though had taken a lively interest in politics. Six month after moving to the above mentioned city he was delegate to the Luzerne County convention. In 1892 he was elected to the Legislature on the Democratic ticket and ran 350 votes ahead of President Cleveland in his district. He was put on the Committee on Military Affairs, Corporations, Judiciary, Local and Retrenchment and Reform. He introduced a bill creating a Mining institution for the purpose of educating young men in the several branches of mining, to better fit them to become foremen and fire bosses ; also a bill for the purification and improvement of the water supply in the Wyoming Valley ; also a bill providing for the repeal of an act which requires the tax collector of Wilkes-Barre to be appointed, and providing that the office shall become an elective one, to be filled by the votes of the people and bill providing that the funeral expenses of paupers shall be paid by the county, instead as now by the poor district in which such indigent person had a residence. Mr. Brodhead takes a very active interest in the National guard and is now the senior captain of the Ninth regiment. He and his boys did service at Homestead last fall for five weeks. As will be seen by the number and character of the bills he has presented, he takes a lively interest in affairs affecting his constituents, and attends well to the duties devolving upon him as a member.

William was an officer in Pennsylvania’s Ninth Regiment, National Guard, and during the summer of 1893, he attended the regiment’s annual camp. That year it was held in the town of Berwick (Columbia Co.), and ‘lo and behold, during the course of his stay there, he was introduced to Mary Jackson Van Tassel, a young lady of about 19-20 who came from a very prominent Pennsylvania family. The two developed a bit of a friendship that would blossom into something much greater weeks later when William was on a hunting expedition near Berwick and fell very ill. His prognosis was dire, and when Miss Van Tassel learned of William’s illness she went to care for him, watching over him day and night. Cupid’s arrow hit its mark and, thankfully, against all odds, William made a full recovery. Love has a habit of doing that, eh?!

William was totally smitten, and the parents on both sides, no doubt totally mortified by the age difference, worked behind the scenes to sabotage the couple’s young love. This went on for over a year until William and Mary quite obviously had enough and went behind everyone’s backs to be married in secret on December 5, 1894.

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

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


Even that day, they had been under heavy scrutiny by Mary’s mother who was completely bamboozled by Mary’s race out a back door to a taxi that whisked her away to waiting William. They fled to the Columbia County Court House for a marriage license and then sped to a Methodist parsonage where a Rev. Ferguson proclaimed them man and wife. No doubt because of William’s prominent position in Wilkes-Barre and the two families’ prominence in eastern Pennsylvania society, the marriage made it into a number of papers, including The New York Herald (you can read the article below). Amazingly, another wedding took place that day — that of William’s oldest brother Henry Conrad Brodhead. That wedding provided the perfect camouflage for William to work his plan on his side of the family. With all the Brodheads probably gone to NYC for Henry’s wedding, William was able to jump into action with no possibility of any of his detractors interfering.

After the wedding, William and Mary returned to Wilkes-Barre to await their families’ forgiveness; then they planned to head off to California for the winter.

Tragically, there was to be no happy ending for William and Mary. Whatever it was that ailed him on his hunting trip may have returned in the spring of 1895 for he passed away at home in Wilkes-Barre on 7 June 1895, just three days after his younger sister Emily’s wedding to Robert Honeyman.

But William’s legacy lived on in the form of William Hall Brodhead, Jr. who was born later that year — on 1 December 1895. And, if I’m correct, that child lived to the ripe age of 77. Major William H. Brodhead Sr. was buried in Wilkes-Barre’s Hollenback Cemetery — no doubt a very sad day for all, especially his young wife after just six months of marriage.

New York Herald, part 1 (credit: fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, part 1 (credit: fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, 9 June 1895 (www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, 9 June 1895 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Categories: Brodhead, Brodrick, Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), Mauch Chunk Cemetery Jim Thorpe PA, Methodist, Obituaries, Philadelphia, Scandal, Van Tassel, Wilkes-Barre Luzerne Co | 6 Comments

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