Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Holbrook line: Susan Eddy Stanard 1835-1910

It's amazing what you learn when you think you're learning something else.  I was searching for a better death date than just "1910" for this lady, my great great grandmother, and stumbled upon another very interesting story indeed. 

First, the bare bones.  Susan was born July 17,1835 in Chautaqua County, N.Y. to Joseph R Eddy and Susan Lamphire Eddy.  Her family moved west, and she went along with them, and married Hiram A Stanard on December 31, 1854, in Lee County, Illinois.  From what little I've learned, she must have been a typical pioneer wife and mother, although just the move from New York to frontier Illinois meant she lived an extraordinary life and had something special going for her.  The family was Baptist, and Hiram was a Republican.  (Susan's political opinions didn't matter because she couldn't vote, anyway.) 

What I find remarkable about Susan is the family she raised.  There were four children-Louis, whom I've written of earlier, Esther, whom I've also written of, Luceba, who is still something of a mystery, and Susan A.  Susan A Stanard married very, very well, to Bert Underwood.  Now, I knew very little of Bert until I started looking for Susan Eddy's story.  I still don't know much about him, but I suspect one could write a book about his exploits. I thought I would put this much down in print in case someone wants to find out more about this gentleman. 

There are somewhere between several and many articles in the Ottawa, Kansas newspapers about him, because he was a local boy made good.  He determined in the 1880's that he was not going to drive a grocery wagon for $10 a month forever, and he made good on that promise.  Somehow, he and his brother, Elmer, began several businesses in and around Ottawa, including a Farm Loan Company and a stereoscope company (they were on the ground floor on this business, and they were famous as the company of Underwood and Underwood.)  They were also two of the first overseas photographers for newspapers, and traveled the world taking photographs.  Most of the photos were destined for use in the stereoscope business, but in the process of this endeavor, they became more what we would call photojournalists, and were involved in several of the major news stories of the day.  Bert even reported on some of what he learned about some of the upheavals in Greece and Macedonia in the 1900s, as a special correspondent.  He traveled to Assam, India at one point, and visited his sister Esther Stanard Dring there.  He became very ill in Panama (malaria, maybe?) and his brother was called to his bedside there.  At one time, Underwood and Underwood had offices in New York, London, and possibly other European cities.  Other notable events that Bert covered included Korean hostilities and the coronation of King Edward, successor to Queen Victoria. 

The 1910 census shows Bert as a publisher, and his mother in law, Susan Stanard is listed in his household.  I would like to know how long she had lived with the family, because she died before June 15, 1910, which was shortly after the census was taken.  I've not found her yet in 1900.  Her husband, Hiram, had died in 1895.  There was a newspaper note that Susan had gone to "New York" with her daughter, Susan Underwood, which was shortly before the younger Susan's son Roy was born.  Did she live with the family for the next decade?  There are four persons listed as servants in the household, so were these the ordinary servants that a family as well to do as the Underwoods would have, or was one of them a special nurse for Susan Eddy Stanard?  

We know that when Susan died in 1910, the funeral couldn't be planned until Bert was available to travel, as he had just returned from a European trip.  Her death was due to cancer, and she had been ill "a few weeks."

This is the thing I am pondering:  How did Hiram and Susan, ordinary people as far as we can tell, parent such interesting people?  Louis went to the Pacific Northwest after seeing his children through college, Esther married and went to India as a missionary, and Susan married a highly successful businessman/photographer/journalist who "saw it all" and was likely "seldom home."  I can't wait to try to trace down Luceba, and see what she did with her life.  (I think I know, but need to verify my suspicions before I report it as fact.)

I realize this might be "false advertising", because not much of this post is directly about Susan Eddy Stanard, but it's what I've been thinking and learning about today, so I wanted to share.  Searching old newspapers is fun!