We hear thee and forget our care

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I acquired this beautiful photograph on etsy, although, I prefer to find photos in shops or at estate sales.  However, I was so taken by this image that after watching it languish for over a month, I finally rescued it on my birthday last year.  It is a Boudoir card, which is larger than a standard cabinet card, measuring 5 1/4″ x 8 1/2″.

The sitter is Ida Taylor, who lived to be 101 years old!  She lived in the Boonville, Indiana home that her father built the year she was born, until her death in 1957.

Ida, who never married, was affectionately known to friends and family as Aunt Ida.  She graduated from Boonville high school in 1875 and attended Normal music school in Rockport.  Ida taught school, as her father, Robert, had done in his early years. It was said that her mother, Minerva Breckenridge (nee Burns), was a direct descendant of Daniel Boone.

I feel as though, often, people hear that a woman didn’t marry, and they immediately assume it must have been because she couldn’t attract a man’s attention.  That definitely was not the case for Ida. Her admirers gave her gifts and wrote poems about her!

cropped-1880-jan-1-taylor-ida-present-poem-boonville-standard-boonville-in
Boonville Standard, Boonville, Indiana
January 1, 1880

Maybe Ida never married because she had high standards and her suitors were lacking.  In 1895, she secured the assistance of the sheriff in arresting Harry Gray who had been toying with her affections.  This resulted in an article in the newspaper and I can only imagine that it caused more harm to Ida’s emotions and reputation than it did any good at punishing Harry.

1895-nov-11-taylor-ida-boy-trouble-evansville-courier-and-press-evansville-in-pg-5
Evansville Courier and Press, Evansville, Indiana
November 11, 1895

Ida’s popularity, beautiful voice and musical talent brought her many invitations to perform at community and church events.  She was so popular, in fact, that while she was employed as the organist for the Baptist church, the Methodist Episcopal church tried to poach her by offering to pay her $3 per Sunday instead of the $1 she was earning.

When she wasn’t teaching, or performing, she enjoyed visiting the opera house in Evansville, and was in attendance in 1887 when the famous actress, Lotta Crabtree, performed.  I wonder if Ida knew that she had something other than her love of music and entertaining in common with Lotta.  Both women’s fathers went west to California, seeking fortune during the Gold Rush. Ida’s father’s diary detailing his gold rush trip in 1850 was published in 1929.

During my research, I came across a message on Ida’s Find A Grave memorial mentioning her memory of Lincoln’s death.  I immediately set out to find the man who left the message, Jack Loge, in the hopes of learning the whole story.   It turns out that Ida was Jack’s neighbor in Boonville.  He said that at 99 years old, Ida had a sharp mind.  She told him that as a child she remembered Morgan’s Raiders . Word got around that Boonville was a target. As a result, her father boarded their first floor windows. The raiders never showed up, instead going farther east to Corydon, Indiana. Ida also shared that in 1865, she lived only three doors from the stagecoach building and as a result she got first hand knowledge about Lincoln’s death. Jack said “Now you can say that you knew a man (80) that new a lady (Ida) who remembered the death of Abraham Lincoln.”

Sources –
Census records
Indiana death certificates
The Enquirer, Boonville, Indiana
Boonville Standard, Boonville, Indiana
Evansville Courier and Press, Evansville, Indiana
History of American Women

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7 thoughts on “We hear thee and forget our care

  1. Fascinating as usual! There could be another reason she rejected her suitors, she may not have been attracted to men.

    I have a photo of an elderly lady sitting at her piano that reminds me of this one. It isn’t only the ramrod straight back and fingers resting gently on the keyboard (the way anyone who plays the piano would sit) but also a fancy that they are the same woman. Highly unlikely, but my photo is from the US and taken in the 1920s or early thirties, so it isn’t a completely ludicrous fantasy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, that is most definitely a reason some women did not marry. And I considered that, but after finding the article about Ida and Harry, I suspect it wasn’t for her.

      I would love to see your photo! You never know, stranger things have happened…it could be her.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hadn’t thought the “intimate” in the article about Harry, to mean sexually intimate, but now I read it again, of course you are right!

    I have found the photo and see that there is a dedication from the sitter. It is from a Rose J. Page to Bert and Leila Stillman, San Diego, California. So, not Ida, sadly. If you would still like to see it, I can email it to you? Is your address listed with your Gravatar?

    Like

  3. Not stepping on any toes. In fact, I appreciate your mention of my blog! Thank you! And wow! I can see why Rose’s image came to mind. Very interesting.

    Like

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