Archive

Posts Tagged ‘fargo family’

The Hawleys: One of the First Families of Jefferson County (Wisconsin)

February 25th, 2012 Sears Homes No comments

On Friday, I posted a detailed blog about Addie’s deep roots in the Lake Mills community.

Addie Hoyt (1872-1901) was the granddaughter of Kimball Hoyt and his wife, Sally Sanborn Hoyt. The Hoyts first came to Jefferson County in 1843. When Sally Sanborn Hoyt died in June 1894, her obituary described her and Kimball as “pioneers” of the area. Click here to read more about that side of Addie’s family.

After that blog appeared, one of Addie’s many friends in Lake Mills contacted me and said, “Rose, don’t forget about the Hawleys. They were also pioneers in this county.”

Captain Hezekiah Beach Hawley and his wife, Theresa Hawley were Addie’s maternal grandparents. They were originally from New York, and I’m not sure when they arrived in Jefferson County, but by August 1, 1844, the Captain and his wife were the proud owners of 40 acres of the prettiest piece of farmland you ever did see in Milford, Wisconsin, purchased directly from the United States Government.

John Tyler was the president at the time (as is noted on the deed).  In 1843, one year earlier, some folks from Vermont had purchased some land not too far from the Hawleys. Their name was Mr. and Mrs. Kimball Hoyt.

The Hoyts had a little boy named Homer (born 1844), and the Hawleys had a little girl named Julia (also born 1844).

On October 16, 1861, Homer Hoyt married the Captain’s daughter, Julia Hawley. Oh, how I would love to know a little more about that courtship.

Captain Hezekiah Beach Hawley was an old sea captain, and I’m sure any landlubber who came calling for young Julia endured quite a grilling. Captain Hawley was 40 years old when Julia was born. By the time of her marriage, Hezekiah was 57 (and the newlyweds were 17!). Judging by look on his face in this old photo (below), it’d be safe to guess that the old captain didn’t soften with age.

Homer and Julia had three children, Anna (born 1866), Addie (born 1872) and Eugene (born 1875).  In 1877, Captain Hawley died. At least he got to meet his three grandchildren. And maybe by then, he’d even forgiven Homer for marrying his beautiful daughter.

One can hope.

In the social mathematics of the era that defined a woman’s worth, young Addie Hoyt had great value. According to information gleaned from the Lake Mills Leader (newspaper), Addie’s life was full of promise and potential. She was intelligent, witty, articulate, talented, sophisticated and accomplished.

Addie Hoyt had deep roots in her community, which - in Small Town America - added greatly to her social standing. On both her father’s side (the Hoyts) and her mother’s side (the Hawleys), Addie came from a “good old Wisconsin family.”

And yet, thus far, despite some pretty strenuous searching, I’ve been unable to find a single piece of information about either the Hoyts or the Hawleys from local libraries or historical societies or museums.

Addie’s grandparents - the Hoyts and the Hawleys - both moved to the area in the early 1840s and purchased quite a bit of land (more than 100 acres) from the government, and in time, both families became prosperous and wealthy. I am baffled as to why no one in Jefferson County seems to have a letter or a journal or any correspondence or information about these two important families.

One of the main reasons I keep writing about Addie is in the hopes that someone somewhere will come forward with some information that tells us exactly happened to Addie.

How did Addie’s life story - which started off so rich with hope and promise - end so tragically?

The cemeteries of Jefferson County are well populated with Hoyts and Hawleys. These “pioneer families” worked hard to build something that the settlers and other followers would enjoy in the decades ahead.

* * *

Captain Hezekiah Beach Hawley looks like quite a character. He was the father of Julia Hawley (Addies mother) and Captain Hawley and his wife Theresa were two of the pioneers of Jefferson County.

Captain Hezekiah Beach Hawley looks like quite a character. He was the father of Julia Hawley Hoyt (Addie's mother). Captain Hawley and his wife Theresa moved into Jefferson County in the early 1840s, and they were two of the pioneers of that area.

*

He was born in 1804 and died in 1877. Addie was five years old when The Captain died.

He was born in 1804 and died in 1877, when Addie was five.

*

And the Captains wife, Theresa Hathaway Hawley. She outlived the Captain by 21 years, dying in 1898 in Dayton, WI.

And the Captain's wife, Theresa Hathaway Hawley. She outlived the Captain by 21 years, dying in 1898 in Dayton, WI. In fact, she outlived her daughter (Julia), her son-in-law (Homer), her granddaughter (Addie) and even her great-grandson (Ernie).

*

He purchased land

Captain Hawley purchased 40 acres from the US Government in 1844.

*

Close up of the

Close up of the paperwork. The date was August 1, 1844.

*

A picture of young Homer Hoyt at the time of his marriage to Julia Hawley (in 1861). He was a dapper young fellow, wasnt he?

A picture of young Homer Hoyt at the time of his marriage to Julia Hawley (in 1861). He was a dapper young fellow, wasn't he?

*

Homer Hoyt and Julia Hawley Hoyt had three children, Anna (1866), Addie (1872) and Eugene (1875).

Homer Hoyt and Julia Hawley Hoyt had three children, Anna (1866), Addie (1872) and Eugene (1875). Homer and Julia died within a year of each other (1894 and 1895). This picture was taken in 1888.

*

What happened to Addie?

What happened to Homer and Julia's little girl, "Addie"? How did someone with such a bright future get tangled up with someone like Enoch?

*

To learn more about Addie, click here.

* * *

The Hoyts: One of the First Families of Jefferson County (Wisconsin)

February 24th, 2012 Sears Homes 3 comments

In the unspoken but ever-present caste system of Victorian America, 24-year-old Addie Hoyt was a socialite, and a woman of note. According to information gleaned from the Lake Mills Leader (newspaper), young Addie Hoyt possessed much promise and potential. She was intelligent, witty, articulate, talented, sophisticated, accomplished (as accomplished as polite society would permit) and she was beautiful.

And Addie Hoyt had deep roots in her community, which - in Small Town America - added greatly to her social standing.  She was the granddaughter of one of the “pioneer families” of Jefferson County (Wisconsin). Addie’s paternal grandparents (Kimball Hoyt and his wife, Sally Sanborn Hoyt) moved from Vermont to Jefferson County (Wisconsin) in 1843, and Mr. and Mrs. Kimball Hoyt were among the first families to settle the area.

And I also discovered an interesting item in the Lake Mills Leader where Robert Fargo (from another “original family”) recounts his memories of the Fargo family’s move to Jefferson County.

In that piece he states,

In 1844, my brother Lyman, like one of the Hebrew spies made a tour of Wisconsin with a view of establishing himself in business and decided Lake Mills was the ideal place in the new Eldorado. Two years from this time found him with Brother Enoch [Enoch B. Fargo, father of Enoch James] located and trading on the ground now occupied by Reed and Coombe under the firm name of L. & E. B. Fargo.

In other words, Addie’s family settled in Jefferson County in 1843, one year before the Fargos.

And yet, thus far, I’ve been unable to find a single solitary piece of information about Addie’s family from local resources in the Lake Mills area, such as the libraries or historical societies or museums.

Addie’s family moved to the area in 1843, purchased more than 100 acres of land from the government, and in time, they became prosperous and wealthy. I am baffled as to why no one in the county seems to have a letter or a journal or any correspondence or information on the Hoyt family.

One of the main reasons I keep writing about Addie is in the hopes that someone somewhere will remember a story they heard from their great aunt, or that someone will discover a scrap of paper or a journal or a letter that gives some insight into what happened to Addie.

*   *   *

Five years later, shed be dead.

Addie's family was one of the first families to settle in Jefferson County. According to commentary found in the local newspaper, Addie Hoyt possessed much promise and potential. She was intelligent, witty, articulate, sophisticated and talented.

*

Kimball

Addie's paternal grandmother, Sally Sanborn Hoyt, died June 1894. In a two-year period, six of Addie's closest family members died and her two siblings moved out of the area. The obit was an interesting read. It notes that the Hoyts were "pioneers" of Jefferson County.

*

About 1889, Addies sister (Anna Hoyt) married Wilbur W. Whitmore, and the newlyweds moved out to Denver, Colorado.

About 1887, Addie's sister (Anna Hoyt) married Wilbur W. Whitmore, and the newlyweds moved away from Lake Mills, settling in Denver, Colorado. By 1894, they had three children, Ernie (six years old), Florence (age three) and Victor (age one).

*

And then Ernie

In November 1894, the entire Whitmore family was stricken with Scarlet Fever. Julia Hawley Hoyt (Addie and Anna's mother) took a train to Denver to help the family and provide nursing duties. The day of her arrival into Denver, Ernie (shown above) died from the disease.

*

In November 1894, Annas entire family was stricken with Scarlet Fever. s beloved nephew (Ernie) became ill with Scarlet Fever. Addies mother (shown above) rushed out to Denver to help her daughters family. Ernie died December 1st, the same day Julia arrived in Denver.

In February 1894, Addie's father (Homer Hoyt) had died suddenly in Washington State. In late 1894, Julia Hawley Hoyt traveled to Denver helping her daughter's family. Julia never returned to Lake Mills. She contracted Scarlet Fever and died six months later. Julia was 51 years old.

*

Eugene

In May 1895, Eugene Beach Hoyt (Addie's brother) took a job with W. W. Ingram and moved to Chicago, about 125 miles southeast of Lake Mills. His timing wasn't good. Eugene departed for Chicago the same month that Julia (mother of Eugene, Addie and Anna) died from complications of Scarlet Fever. With Eugene's departure to the big city, Addie was now utterly alone in Lake Mills. She married Enoch James Fargo nine months later after her mother's death. Addie was 24 years old.

*

Five years later, shed be dead, killed by her own husband.

Five years later, she'd be dead, at the age of 29.

*

Christmas 1900: Addie’s Special Gift to Wilbur

December 16th, 2011 Sears Homes 7 comments

I’ve heard coincidences defined as “wonderful little miracles where God chooses to remain anonymous.”

When you look back at the many events that had to transpire in order for Addie’s picture albums to end up in my possession, it surely does appear to be a long string of God’s anonymous miracles.

It started in 1896, when Addie and/or Enoch hired a professional photographer to capture the story of their day to day life at the Fargo Mansion Inn. The picture album in my possession represents a five-year span, which is quite remarkable. And then sometime in late 1900, Addie - who was obviously a woman who prided herself on her appearance -  permitted someone to take her photo when she was not looking her best.

In fact, she looked awful.

In this final photo of Addie - the last known photo of Addie - her face is badly swollen, her upper lip is distorted and swollen and there’s a pronounced puffiness under her right eye.

In addition, her hairline has receded. This is not the look of someone styling their hair a little differently. This is a hairline that has moved back significantly. Look around the ears, and you can see this even more. In fact, the smooth hairline around the perimeter of her forehead is gone, and in its place is a zig-zag hariline, looking more like a hairplug job gone wrong, rather than a 29-year-woman’s scalp.

Why did she permit herself to be photographed in this condition? Had she been poisoned with arsenic? Typical signs of arsenic poisoning are hair loss. Laying that to the side for a moment, why all the bruising about her face? Was she being beaten by Enoch? People who are ready to discount this out-of-hand need to study their history a little better. In late 19th Century America, there were many who thought it was a man’s duty to “keep his wife in line,” and women were considered more akin to children than equal partners.

I don’t know what’s going on with Addie in this photo, but it’s a radical departure from all the other photos in Addie’s album. And it’s on a remarkably different cardstock (much lighter and thinner) and it had faded significantly (as compared to the other photos). In fact, this photo appeared to be more of a snapshot, whereas the others seemed to be professionally done.

Why did Addie include this small photo in the album she sent to her brother-in-law Wilbur for Christmas 1900? Was it a plea for help? Was it Addie’s way of telling her only surviving family that she was being beaten by her husband?

Seven months after Anna (Addie’s sister) and Wilbur (Anna’s husband) received this parcel at their home in Denver,  29-year-old Addie was dead. According to Enoch’s granddaughter Mary Wilson (author of The History of Lake Mills), Addie did not die of diphtheria (as is stated on the death certificate), but was murdered by her husband, Enoch Fargo.

In 1939, Wilbur died and a short time later, his widow (Anna Hoyt Whitmore) moved to Santa Monica, to be near her daughter, Florence Whitmore Fuller.  Anna Hoyt Whitmore died in 1966, at the age of 99 years and four months. She’d outlived her baby sister by 70 years.

As Florence and her husband Edgar A. Fuller went through Anna’s many possessions, they decided to keep this old photo album.

In the  mid-1980s, both Florence and Edgar passed on, and my father (their son), drove out to California and cleaned out their massive old house.  He dragged home a U-haul, filled with things from their home in Santa Monica.

And then June 2011, my father died, three days shy of his 92nd birthday. Amongst his few possessions, I discovered this photo album.

On June 25, 2011, I sent an email to my friend David Spriggs asking him, “Hey, I found this photo album and I don’t know who these people are. Can you help me?”

It’s hard to imagine that it all started with a Christmas present, 111 years ago this Christmas.

Photo

The leatherette photo album that Addie sent to her brother-in-law, Christmas 1900.

Photos inside the album covered a span of about five years.

Photos inside the album covered a span of about five years.

A

The inscription reads "A Merry Christmas to Wilbur, from Addie." Wilbur was married to Anna, Addie's older sister. Wilbur and Anna were married about 1886, and moved to Denver in the late 1880s. Why did Addie send this to her brother-in-law, and not her sister?

There were a handful of inscriptions in the photo album, such as this one for Mattie.  Addie must have trusted this woman, because she included her photo in the album she sent to her family. Utlimately, Mattie (real name: Martha) Harbeck became Enoch Fargos third wife, a scant seven months after Addie death.

There were a handful of inscriptions in the photo album, such as this one for "Mattie." Addie must have trusted this woman, because she included her photo in the album she sent to her family. Utlimately, Mattie (real name: Martha) Harbeck became Enoch Fargo's third wife, a scant seven months after Addie death.

And

And why did she include this haunting photo? Look at the body language. Look at Addie's face. As mentioned above, the quality of this photo (cardstock, finish and depth of tint) is radically different from the rest of the photos in the album. Was she trying to convey a message to her family in Denver?

Look

It's hard to believe she was 29 years old in this photo.

Addie

Look at her face. The right eye is puffy, the lips are swollen, and the cupid's bow is badly misaligned with her philtrum.

Five years with Enoch took a toll on Addie.

Five years with Enoch took a toll on Addie. Compare the hairlines in the two photos. That's more than just a different hairstyle. Look around her ears. Her hairline had receded dramatically.

To learn more about Addie, click here.

To learn more about the falsified death certificate, click here.

*   *   *

Addie and Her Story

November 29th, 2011 Sears Homes No comments

If you’ve enjoyed hearing about Addie Hoyt Fargo, please bookmark this page. You can also sign up at the website to automatically receive an email notification when new blogs are posted. I highly recommend that feature, too.

On the upper right side of the page, there’s an “@” with an orange background and it says, “Email Feed.” Click on that logo, and you can sign up for the automatic email notification. (Your email will not be saved and/or used for any other purpose.)

Many people found out about Addie through Facebook but due to time constraints and other issues (and frankly, problems with Facebook), I’ll be posting less and less there.

As more and more people get interested in this story, more and more facts are coming to light, and it’s my expectation that - before long - we’ll learn a lot more about what happened to Addie on Tuesday night (June 18th), 1901 and Wednesday morning (June 19th).

It’s deeply gratifying to know that Addie’s silence in a shallow grave has come to an end. After 110 years, she has a voice again.

Please share this link with your friends, and spread the word. It’s a fascinating story, and an important story, and with so many good souls working laboriously to get to the truth, something wonderful is bound to happen. Of that, I am sure.

Please stay in touch with Addie via this website. www.searshomes.org

Thank you for caring about Addie.

Rosemary Thornton

thorntonrose@hotmail.com

Addie sitting on the steps of the Fargo Mansion. I love this outfit for its practicality and simple beauty.

Addie sitting on the steps of the Fargo Mansion.

*   *   *

Addie’s Exhumation: Do I Regret Having Done All This?

November 28th, 2011 Sears Homes No comments

The number one question I’m asked again and again is, “Now that the the autopsy findings are in, and they’re inconclusive, do you regret having done all this?”

The answer is, no, not at all. In fact, based on what was discovered, I’m reassured that I made exactly the right choice.

If it hadn’t been for the exhumation, we never would have known that Addie was buried in a shallow grave. A 34″ deep grave is not a proper burial. Addie’s remains have now arrived at my home in Norfolk, and she will be given a Christian funeral.

Secondly, without the exhumation, we would never have known that she was buried in her dress shoes. That is a powerful bit of evidence, and provides yet another proof that the official story (diphtheria) is pure fiction.

Thirdly, knowing that she did not die of diphtheria, and knowing that there was probably foul play involved, and knowing that she was not given a proper burial at a proper depth and that there was no burial permit (a violation of state law), it feels like a good decision to move her remains out of the plot in Lake Mills.

Do I regret having gone through all the time, trouble and expense of exhuming a body to learn more about a 110-year-old murder mystery?

Nope. Not at all. It was a good decision. I’m confident that Addie would be pleased.

To see the article (and video) that appeared in Thursday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, click here.

To read more about Addie, click here.

pic

The digging started at about 8:45 am.

Shallow

Addie's remains were found at 34" of depth.

Addies exhumation shallow

This photo shows how shallow the grave was.

Robin

Rose examines some of the remains that were unearthed.

Addies helpers

Addie's helpers searching for skeletal remains.

Addie

The story of Addie's mysterious demise seems to captivate everyone.

pic

Funeral director Dave Olsen stands in the background (orange shirt), ready to transport Addie's remains to the Medical Examiner's office in Milwaukee. Throughout this experience, Addie's remains were treated with the utmost respect. And Dave Olsen was one of the angels that helped me navigate the labyrinthine and complex process of disinterment.

pic

Another view of the grave site.

*   *   *

“The Law Requiring the Report of Dangerous Disease is Observed.” Kinda. Sorta.

October 12th, 2011 Sears Homes 1 comment

Thanks (again) to Mark Hardin, I have now read parts of the “Nineteenth Report of the State Board to Health to Wisconsin” for 1901/1902, which covers the time period during which Addie Hoyt Fargo allegedly died of diphtheria. This report was for the state of Wisconsin, and has a listing of all reports from all health officers in Wisconsin cities, towns, villages and townships. Full text here.

Doctor Oatway was the county health officer at the time. The same Dr. Oatway that attended to Addie as she lay dying from diphtheria.

In this report, he states that there were no deaths from diphtheria in the city in 1901. But wait, how can that be? Addie contracted diphtheria. She died of diphtheria. The death certificate states that, and Oatway certified that the death certificate was true, but this report contradicts the death certificate.

What the heck?

So Addie allegedly died of diphtheria, but Oatway didn’t report her diphtheria or subsequent death to the state (in his report below)? Maybe if there’d been a requirement that murder victims be reported to the state of Wisconsin, he would have remembered to report Addie under that column.

No time for a loquacious blog today, so please read the text  in full, and please leave comments below.

As my beloved brother Ed would say, “This certainly puts another wheel on the wagon…”

Page 15 of this report states that the deceased victims of diphtheria and other communicable diseases were to be placed in “sturdy coffins.” When Addie’s disinterment day arrives, that could be a real blessing.

And the best part, is the last line of this report:  Oatway says that “the laws requiring the issuing of…burial permits are observed.”

Wow, wow, wow.

Guess he’d rather lie to the state than end up in jail?

S

An interesting read. Read the entire article to get an idea of how much he lied. So, does this mean that he FORGOT about Addie, one of Lake Mills' most prominent citizens? Or did his conscience win the day, and refused to state publicly that she died from a disease process?

Please leave comments below. I always learn so much from other people’s ideas and intelligent insights.

*   *   *

Five Reasons That Addie’s Murder Matters

September 14th, 2011 Sears Homes 9 comments

In the least few years, I’ve written eight books, and I’ve appeared on national television several times, including PBS History Detectives, A&E’s Biography, CBS Sunday Morning News and more. In the last 10 years, I’ve given more than 500 interviews and I’ve appeared in every national newspaper in the country (except USA Today).  In 2009, I  was interviewed by BBC Radio. (Those folks across the pond just love our Sears Homes.)

My point is,  I know a little something about writing and research and the media and being the recipient of letters (and emails) from the public.

That being said, nothing could have prepared me for the ugly emails and comments I’ve received since I started writing about Addie Hoyt Fargo’s murder in Lake Mills.

This story has been picking up steam and gaining a wider audience. This ustream video - a recording of a talk I gave in Lake Mills -  has had almost 500 hits (as of September 14, 2011).  Two days ago, Addie’s story appeared on a popular blog, asking for help in solving this old murder mystery. Within 36 hours of that blog appearing, I had more than 4,000 new visitors to my website. That’s a lot.

The number one accusation being leveled against me in these acrimonious emails and comments is that I’m in this for the money, and that I’ve sensationalized an old legend because I’m looking to make a fast buck.

Yesterday, my husband - the lawyer - read a few of these notes and when he got to that part, he laughed out loud.

A lot.

“I wish like *&^% you were in it for the money,” he said with a wry smile.

Heretofore, I’ve invested a significant sum of my own money in doing this research, and that number keeps going up.

And let me tell you a little secret about being a writer. As mentioned, I’ve been a writer for 20 years and I’ve got eight books out there, six of which are still in print (and selling). Last year, my 2010 tax return showed a significant loss for my writing business. Granted, I put a new book out into the world in 2010 (The Sears Homes of Illinois) and it was a year full of writing expenses (and extensive travel, for research and promotion), but still…

Writing is not a lucrative craft. It’s certainly rewarding in other ways, but it is not lucrative.

I can state with authority, my reasons for writing about Addie are not driven by dreams of dollars.

Hopefully, this addresses the #1 accusation being lobbed at me about my motives.

So why am I doing this?

Many reasons.

For starters, I’m a nut about history. And early 20th Century America is my favorite time period.  When I wrote The Houses That Sears Built, I spent four years, buried in library basements across the Midwest doing research. And I loved it.

Reason #2: I grew up without grandparents or cousins or aunts or uncles (they all lived 3,000 miles away in California), and my whole life, I’ve yearned to know what it’s like to be part of an extended family. Learning about Addie and her family (my family) has helped assuage that powerful longing. Solving her murder (or at the very least, discovering the truth about this old legend) will also be very satisfying.

Reason #3:  “All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.” While it’s true that all the principals in this 110-year-old murder mystery are dead and buried, it’s also true that evil (especially something as dark and horrific as murder) needs to be exposed to the sunlight of truth. This evil has hidden in the dark shadows for long enough. It’s time to drag it out into the bright light and learn the truth and settle the question. Evil, regardless of its specific guise, needs to be unmasked and uncovered and destroyed.

Reason #4:  Addie was my great-grandmother’s little sister, and she was also the youngest daughter of Homer and Julia Hoyt, my great, great grandparents. If someone I loved had been harmed or hurt (like Addie), I’d hope and pray that there’d be someone in the world who loved family enough and/or loved me enough to take on the task of uncovering the truth about their demise. Addie was a 29-year-old woman when she was murdered. She was still a young girl. I have children that age.

Reason #5:  It’s the right thing to do.

*   *   *


Addie

Whenever I start to wonder if I'm doing the right thing, I revisit this picture. It always re-inspires me to push forward with Addie's case.

Close-up of Addies face

When I look at her face, and see the swollen lips, twisted nose and puffy eyes, I am reminded that Addie's life could not have been an easy one.

Addie

Life before and after Enoch. These photos were taken less than five years apart. She was 29 in the photo on the right.

Addie

Her life ended when she was 29 years old.

Close-up

Addie was a beautiful young woman.

*

Addie in her wedding gown?

Addie in her wedding gown.

*

My favorite photo of all.

My favorite photo of all. I love the detail and the beauty and the opulence.

*

pic

Close-up of the bed.

*

Close-up of my great, great Aunt Addie Hoyt Fargo

Close-up of my great, great Aunt Addie Hoyt Fargo

Another

Another view of the lavish interiors of the Fargo Mansion.

*

Not sure who this is, but she sure is happy!

Addie's bright-white dress looks almost ethereal in this photo.

*

Look at that waist-line!  Good thing I wasnt around then. That wasp-waist thing wouldnt have worked for me. Id have to say that my shape is more reminiscent of an egg than a wasp.

I'm comforted to know that Addie had happy days at the mansion.

These were fancy people living a fancy life. As my daughter Crystal pointed out, even the horse is wearing a doily!

The fam departing on a buggy ride.

*

j

I just love it that she's wearing a sailor suit.

*

With a matching cap...

With a matching cap.

*

j

Old Enoch didn't age well.

*

The fam sitting in front of the house in Lake Mills, WI. Enoch is at the top, with Addie below him. Enochs two daughters are Elsie and Mattie.

The fam sitting in front of the house in Lake Mills, WI. Enoch is at the top, with Addie below him. Enoch's two daughters are Elsie (top right) and Mattie (lower right). Elsie (1876-1959) married a McCammon. Mattie (1883-1956) became Mattie Fargo Raber.

*

close-up

close-up

*

Fluffy plays with Addie

Addie loved cats.

*

Talk about a feather in your cap!

And the cats tolerated her.

*

Unknown person

Addie preparing for a trip.

*

Not sure who this is, either.

Addie in profile.

Tennis anyone?

Tennis anyone?

cap

The Fargo Mansion, as photographed in 1896, 15 years after it was built.

To learn more about the mysterious death of Addie Fargo, click here.

If you have any information to add, or if you’d like to express an opinion, please leave a comment below.

* * *

Annie and Addie: The Hoyt Sisters From Lake Mills

July 16th, 2011 Sears Homes 4 comments

The young woman’s face in the old photo looked hauntingly familiar, but who was she?

It all started June 13, 2011, when I cleaned out the apartment at my late father’s assisted living facility and found a book of old photos. The most significant clue was this lone sentence on the back of a wedding photo: “Enoch and Addie Hoyt Fargo on their wedding day, 1896.”

Thanks to David Spriggs (a local historian and kind soul), I learned that Enoch  and Addie lived in Lake Mills, WI, and that Addie was my great, great Aunt.

Addie was 22 years younger than Enoch and she was his second wife. She was 24 at the time of her marriage to Enoch, and only four years older than Enoch’s eldest daughter (Elsie Fargo). This was Addie’s first marriage and it would be her last. According to two published accounts, her ever-loving husband Enoch slipped into Addie’s bedroom about 2:00 am on June 19, 1901, and put a bullet in her brain while she lay sleeping. Addie was only 29 years old when her life was taken.

The story is that Enoch had fallen in love with Martha (”Maddie”) Louise Hoyt (no relation to Addie Hoyt).

Seven months after young Addie died, Enoch married his third wife, Martha (in February 1902). It caused quite a scandal at the time. A proper period of mourning in the Victorian era was a minimum of twelve months. Remarriage during the period of mourning was unthinkable.

Maddie (wife #3) died in 1964, having outlived Enoch by 40 years. Enoch died in 1921 in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Maddie was living in California at the time of Enoch’s death. If I were married to Enoch, I also would have put 3,000 miles between me and the hubby.

My grandfather (who passed on in 1989) was a real fan of both history and genealogy, and yet no one in the Fuller clan had heard about Aunt Addie, prior to the discovery of this photo album. My 92-year-old Uncle Ed (my father’s twin brother), doesn’t remember hearing about Aunt Addie, either.

Anna Hoyt was my great-grandmother, and Anna and Addie were sistersAnna Hoyt ended up marrying Wilbur W. Whitmore and landed in Denver, Colorado. This photo album that I found amongst my father’s treasured possessions was inscribed, “A Merry Christmas, to Wilbur, from Addie.” (To see photos of Anna and Wilbur, click here.)

Anna and Addie had a baby brother, Eugene B. Hoyt (1874-1950) that never married. Anna died four months shy of her 100th birthday (1866-1966). It would seem that dear Aunt Addie died about 70 years before her time.

The Fuller clan (of which I am one) are Addie Hoyt Fargo’s closest (and perhaps only) living relatives.

Many thanks to David Spriggs (Norfolk) and Bruce A. Samoore, Volunteer Historical Researcher (Wisconsin) for discovering much of the genealogical information.

Enoch Fargo and his bride, Addie Hoyt Fargo. This is labeled as their wedding photo from 1896.

Enoch Fargo and his bride, Addie Hoyt Fargo on their wedding day in February 1896. Addie was only 24 years old, and he was 46. This was her first marriage, his second. He had two daughters, the oldest of which was four years younger than Addie. Enoch allegedly shot Addie five years after their wedding day. Addie Hoyt Fargo was my great-great Aunt.

*Addie

When I first started looking at these photos, I thought that Addie had it all. Here she was, a beautiful young woman married to an older wealthy gent. He moved her into the family home, a Victorian manse built in 1881. Hers was a life of wealth, privilege, comfort and opulence - for a time.

Close-up

Addie was a beautiful young woman (age 24 in this photo). Her new husband was 46 at the time of their marriage.

My favorite photo of all.

This is one of my favorite photos, showing Addie sitting in her bedroom. Sadly, this is the very room where she was supposedly shot in her sleep.

Addie Hoyt Enoch was my grandmothers sister. Heres a picture of Annie Hoyt Whitmore from 1910. Annie, born in 1866, would have been 44 years old in this photo. This picture hangs in my formal dining room.

Addie Hoyt Fargo and Anna Hoyt Whitmore were sisters, and Anna Hoyt Whitmore was my great-grandmother. Here's a picture of Anna Hoyt Whitmore from 1910. Anna, born in 1866, would have been 44 years old in this photo. Annie lived to be 99 years old, dying four months shy of her 100th birthday. This picture hangs in my formal dining room.

Close-up of Anna Hoyt (sister of Addie)

Close-up of Anna Hoyt (sister of Addie)

com

Anna (left) was 44 in this photo. Addie (right) was 24 in this photo.

cap

Anna Hoyt Whitmore (Addie's sister) had three children, and this is one of them (Ernie Eugene Whitmore). Ernie (born 1888) would have been Addie's nephew, and she was 16 when he was born. This photograph was taken a few weeks before his death. He was six years old. In 1894, Anna Hoyt Whitmore buried her six-year-old son, and seven years later, her baby sister died at the age of 29.

later

This photo - from 1922 - shows Wilbur and Anna Hoyt Whitmore taking their twin grandsons out for a ride. My father is sitting with Wilbur and my Uncle Ed is sitting with his maternal grandmother, Anna Hoyt Whitmore (Addie's sister).

*

twin

Anna Hoyt Whitmore (left) holds Edgar A. Fuller (Junior) and Wilbur holds Thomas (my father). This picture is about 1921. At this time, Anna Hoyt Whitmore was still living in Denver. It's incredible to think that Anna Hoyt Whitmore lived another 45 years after this photo was taken. After her husband Wilbur died in 1939, Anna moved to California.

The Fargo Mansion in 1896, soon after my Great, Great Aunt Addie moved in with her new husband, Enoch Fargo.  Enoch was 22 years older than Addie.

The Fargo Mansion in 1896, soon after my Great, Great Aunt Addie moved in with her new husband, Enoch Fargo. Enoch was 22 years older than Addie.

F

Fargo Mansion in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. This photo is courtesy of Brice Anderson (copyright 2011) and can not be reproduced or used without written permission.

Adie

Addie in 1896 (left) and in 1901 (right), shortly before she died. She was 29 years old in the photo on the right. Five years with Enoch had taken its toll on dear Addie.

A

Addie, the papers dutifully recorded, died within 24 hours of her "sickness."

sElise Fargo (Mccammon) at the Fargo Mansion sometime in the late 1890s. Elsie was one of three daughters born to Mary Rutherford Fargo (Wife #1) and Enoch Fargo. Elsie was the eldest, and it was Elsies daughter (Mary Mccammon Wilson) who wrote The History of Lake Mills. Its in that book that Mary Wilson states plainly, [Enoch] shot Addie! (p 341).

Elise Fargo (Mccammon) at the Fargo Mansion sometime in the late 1890s. Elsie was one of three daughters born to Mary Rutherford Fargo (Wife #1) and Enoch Fargo. Elsie was the eldest, and it was Elsie's daughter (Mary Mccammon Wilson) who wrote "The History of Lake Mills." It's in that book that Mary Wilson states plainly, "Enoch shot Addie!" (p. 275).

Maddie.

Here's Enoch's third wife, "Maddie." Published accounts state that Enoch killed Addie in her sleep so that he could marry his true love, Maddie Hoyt (shown here). The legend is that Maddie was a cousin to Addie, but this doesn't appear to be correct. Genealogical research shows that Maddie Louise Hoyt (given name "Martha") was *no* blood relation to Addie Hoyt. Maddie's mother was Marie Harbeck, who married Henry Hoyt in 1880. Maddie was born in 1873, and was listed in the 1890 census as the step-child of Henry Hoyt. Incredibly, Maddie's grandmother (Elizabeth "Betsy" Harbeck) was also a Fargo. Maddie died in 1964.

To read more about Addie Hoyt’s murder, click here.

To learn about the kit homes in Lake Mills, click here.

*   *   *

An Amazing Discovery in an Old Shoe Box

June 25th, 2011 Sears Homes No comments

Recently, I’ve learned all kinds of new facts. Click here to read the updated version of this post!

*

Two weeks ago, I cleaned out the apartment at my father’s assisted living facility and found an old shoe box. Inside was a photo album from the late 1800s, full of people that I didn’t recognize. There was only one clue scribbled on the back of one photo (first photo below). It said,  “Enoch and Addie Hoyt Fargo on their wedding day, 1896.”

My great-grandmother’s maiden name was Hoyt, so I figured I had to be related to these folks - somehow.

I thought “Fargo” was the location. Later, I learned it was the last name of Addie’s new husband, and that Enoch was a direct descendant of the same Fargo that started the big bank with his friend Mr. Wells.

I posted the photos on Facebook, asking for ideas or suggestions on where to learn more. That was Friday morning (June 24, 2011). By Friday evening, I had learned a lot, thanks to my friend and local historian David Spriggs. He dug around a bit and found old census records and much more.

Enoch was 20 years older than his second wife, Addie Hoyt. In fact, Addie’s new step-daughters were only two and four years younger than Addie! This was Addie’s first marriage and it would be her last. While still a young woman, she became ill and her cousin came to sit by the bed and take care of her. Enoch apparently took a shine to Addie’s cousin. Six weeks after young Addie died, Enoch married Addie’s cousin who was 40 years younger than Enoch!

There was talk that Addie did not die a natural death, but that Enoch may have helped speed things along because he was in love with the younger cousin.

As to my familial connection, Addie Hoyt and Anna Hoyt were sisters, and Anna Hoyt was my great-grandmother, so Addie Hoyt Fargo was my great, great Aunt.

Thanks to David Spriggs’ amazing sleuthing, I learned that this house is in Lake Mills, WI and is still standing. In fact, it’s now a Bed and Breakfast. Contemporary photos can be seen the B&B’s website.

Last night, I talked with the owners of the B&B and told them about my amazing shoebox discovery! They provided some history on the family and Enoch’s three wives. I still would love to learn when Addie passed on, and when old Enoch passed on.

Enoch Fargo and his bride, Addie Hoyt Fargo. This is labeled as their wedding photo from 1896.

Enoch Fargo and his bride, Addie Hoyt Fargo. This is labeled as their wedding photo from 1896. Addie was 20 years younger than Enoch. This was her first marriage, his second. He had two daughters, the oldest of which was two years younger than Addie. The young woman picture here would have been my great-great Aunt. I wish Uncle Enoch had remembered (or foreknown me) in his will!

*

Addie

When I first started looking at these photos, I thought that Addie had it all. Here she was, a beautiful young woman married to an older wealthy gent. He moved her into the family home, a Victorian manse built in 1881. Hers was a life of wealth, privilege, comfort and opulence - for a time. According to local lore, Addie's death was suspicious, and Enoch was in love with Addie's cousin. The fact that he remarried six weeks after Addie died is more than a little questionable.

Close-up

Addie was a beautiful young woman, but I don't know about that chair. It has a face carved into the arm. That's just a little troubling.

*

Addie in her wedding gown?

Addie in her wedding gown?

*

My favorite photo of all.

My favorite photo of all. I love the detail and the beauty and the opulence.

*

pic

Close-up of the bed. Love that pillow sham!

*

Close-up of my great, great Aunt Addie Hoyt Fargo

Close-up of my great, great Aunt Addie Hoyt Fargo

*

Not sure who this is, but she sure is happy!

Not sure who this is, but she sure is happy!

*

Look at that waist-line!  Good thing I wasnt around then. That wasp-waist thing wouldnt have worked for me. Id have to say that my shape is more reminiscent of an egg than a wasp.

Look at that waist-line! Good thing I wasn't around then. That wasp-waist thing wouldnt have worked for me. I'd have to say that my shape is more reminiscent of an egg than a wasp.

*

These were fancy people living a fancy life. As my daughter Crystal pointed out, even the horse is wearing a doily!

These were fancy people living a fancy life. As my daughter Crystal pointed out, even the horse is wearing a doily!

*

j

I just love it that she's wearing a sailor suit.

*

With a matching cap...

With a matching cap...

*

j

Old Enoch didn't age well.

*

The fam sitting in front of the house in Lake Mills, WI. Enoch is at the top, with Addie below him. Enochs two daughters are Elsie and Mattie.

The fam sitting in front of the house in Lake Mills, WI. Enoch is at the top, with Addie below him. Enoch's two daughters are Elsie and Mattie.

*

close-up

close-up

*

Fluffy plays with Addie

Sylvester plays with Addie. Tweety has been turned into a hat.

*

Talk about a feather in your cap!

Talk about a "feather in your cap!"

*

Unknown person

Unknown person with a snazzy dress.

*

Not sure who this is, either.

Not sure who this is, either.

Tennis anyone?

Tennis anyone?

And the house. Built in 1881, its now known as The Fargo Mansion.

And the house. Built in 1881 by Uncle Enoch, it's now known as The Fargo Mansion.

Another view of The Fargo Mansion

Another view of The Fargo Mansion

If you know any more about these people, please leave me a note!

To read about Sears Homes, click here.

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

*   *   *