AMERICA THE GREAT MELTING POT
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1st: James Stevens
3rd Tex Holm
Susan Powers was a fifth cousin to Louisa May Alcott. Susan's grandfather, Elijah W. Bronson, was a third cousin to Anna Bronson who married Joseph Chatfield Alcott. Susan's grandmother, Fanny Moulthrop who married Elijah W. Bronson, was born in Wolcott, New Haven, CT in 1801. Amos Bronson Alcott, son of Anna and Joseph Chatfield Alcott, and father of Louisa May Alcott was born in Wolcott in 1799.
Susan married James Stephens when she was 17 and had Bessie Stephens 22/Sept/1879. James died September 21, 1881 leaving her a widow with a young daughter one day short of her second birthday. All he left her was "one top buggy of the probable value of seventy five dollars." On May 2, 1882, eight months later, Susan married W. G. Spillman. She had been raised in a family which encouraged women's independence. Her grandfather, Elijah Bronson, specifically stated in his will that his married daughters would have the right to keep their inheritances even though they were married. It was her mother, Sarah Bronson, named on most of the land transactions in Johnson Co., IN even though Sarah was married to Jacob Powers. Susan grew up in an environment that encouraged women to be independent. William G. Spillman may have felt differently. Susan's family were Republicans. The Spillman's Democrats.
Their marriage was short and tumultuous. They disagreed about everything including politics. One election day they were arguing about how to vote. Women did not have the right to vote and I can only assume W. G. thought that was just fine. At any rate, Susan got so mad, she got an axe and chopped up her own buggy so he could not take it into town to vote.
They had three children. Ethel was born in 1883 and the twins in 1885. One of the twins died at 21 months of age and that finally ended the marriage. Susan and W. G. had sung at square dances and Susan liked music, so she filed for divorce, joined a wild west show, took Bessie, the child from her first marriage who would have been about 8, and left for Wyoming. Ethel and Ray were left with their father, W. G. Spillman.
In 1888 Susan was about 25. In 1900 Susan and Tex Holm were in Bowler, Carbon, Montana where Tex is listed as a stagecoach driver. The 1900 census states that they had been married for two years. Eventually they built the Holms Lodge at the North entrance to Yellowstone Park and started giving tour guides. Tex helped plan the original road through Yellowstone. Susan wrote her two children back in Indiana of knowing Buffalo Bill.
See more information about her life in Wyoming with Tex Holm at http://www.geocities.com/geysrbob/Biography-H.html
CHILDREN with James Stephens
1. Bessie Stephens b 22/Sep/1879
CHILDREN with WILLIAM G SPILLMAN
1. Ethel Blanche Spillman b. 1883
2. Ray Spillman b. 31/July/1885
3. Ralph Spillman b. 31/July/1885
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