Sunday, March 11, 2012

Elizabeth Woodward

William's wife, Elizabeth, immigrated to America from England before she met William. Family lore says that the two of them met on the boat on the way to America, but we have no evidence that they were on the same ship crossing the Atlantic. There is a passenger record that records Elizabeth arriving in New York with her mother, Charlotte, on December 21, 1870, and another for William arriving on July 3, 1871. Elizabeth's father, John Woodward, also came to America at some point, and both of her aging parents lived with her when she was a married woman raising a family.

Elizabeth, or "Lissie" as her friends called her, was a hard-working and amiable woman. She didn't turn down a friend in need. She served as a midwife for many in her community and was also the postmistress for the Overbrook post office. She gave birth to and raised nine children on a homestead in the prairie. She kept a clean house, did various chores, kept her family well fed and wearing a good set of clothes, and did whatever she was needed for. As her youngest granddaughter put it, Lissie was "a pillar of maternal strength."

(The quotation above comes from Betsy Clark Bergen's A Century of Family Living in the Flint Hills: The Descendants of William and Elizabeth Clark, 1873-1976. If you would like a copy, contact me.)