Sunday, February 14, 2016

Two Love Stories for Valentine's Day

As it is Valentine's Day I thought I would share a couple of love stories I ran across.  The first is from my own ancestry and was preserved by Nellie Grant Miller Sublett in the 1960's.

 My grandmother, Sophia Hendricks [Hinrichs originally] was born in Germany over 100 years ago [1836]. Her mother died when she was a little girl.  Her father married again soon after – a good woman in a way but she had never had any children of her own and didn’t understand that little girls in order to develop properly physically, mentally and spiritually should have lots of love and understanding.  All little Sophie’s new mother knew how to teach were obedience, manners and work, without the magic wand of love.  So little Sophie grew to girlhood missing her own mother’s love and close contact she had with her father before the new wife came into the picture.  Her three brothers, all older than she, married young. Sophie, a lovely blonde of about eighteen [born 12-28-1836], was invited to an evening of entertainment with lots of fun and dancing at a neighbor’s home two miles distance.  Sophie dressed for the party with unusual care.  One of her friends had enthusiastically confided that there was a handsome sailor that had stopped in the town with his company and that several of the sailors had been invited to the party.  She told her parents not to worry if she wasn’t at home by midnight; she was spending the night with a friend.
     The party was it’s height of gaiety with music and dancing.  The girls were vying with one another in showing the sailors a good time.  But Sophie was disappointed there was no sign of the tall handsome sailor her friend had spoken of.  The music stopped.  The merry makers were getting ready for refreshments.  The door opened and a tall, dark sailor entered the room.  The young lady who had invited the handsome strange began introducing him to her friends.  When Sophie was presented it seemed as if her heart was running away.  This was the man she had dreamed of meeting, and the sailor, well he lost no time in asking her for the next dance.  She didn’t have to spend the night with her friend, the sailor escorted her home.  This was the beginning of a beautiful courtship that climaxed with a wedding in a few short months. 
         The wedding took place in the little church [1858] where Sophie’s people had worshipped.  William Thomas August Rump [August Christian Wilhelm Rump] that was the sailor’s name and Sophie Hendricks now man and wife moved into a little home and like many other newlyweds before them began building dreams for the future.  Grandpappie (many years later we were taught to call him) was out of the navy now and began working at the carpenter’s trade.  Ten years pass . . . they were now the proud parents of three lovely children.  Joanna Louise, age nine years, who later became our mother, Frederic, age six years, and August, age three years.  They were beginning to realize a long cherished dream.  They were coming to America.  

August and Sophie Rump

And this story is not directly related to my family, but I ran across it when perusing the neighbors of the Rumps in 1870 Huntsville.  Just a few pages later on the census, I found Samuel Fordyce, a banker.  When I looked up his name, I found this story.

Samuel Fordyce was a Union officer who resigned from the army due to sickness.  Somehow he befriended a Confederate Captain Charles Mastin in Huntsville, who invited him to recover at his father's plantation.  There he met and fell in love with Sue Chaddick, who helped conceal him from capture.   Fordyce stayed in Huntsville, founded a bank, and became quite wealthy in the railroad industry.  He moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1873 and helped establish that town as a health resort.

I thought it was neat to run across a bona fide story of a Union officer who fell in love with a southern girl during the Civil War.


  1. Clay,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!