Wednesday June 7th 2023

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A Sister Remembered #199

By Sue Hunter Weir

Maude Wiggin is the forgotten sister in the Wiggin family tree even though she isn’t really all that hard to find. She was named in the 1870 census and when she died on December 12, 1877, her obituary appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune and it is easily accessed online. Maude died from something called “spinal disease,” most likely spinal meningitis. She was 13 years and nine months old. Her sister, Carolyne, was 12. There were also two other younger sisters, Nancy and Mae. Carolyne, Nancy and Mae appear on several family trees on but there is no mention of Maude. It’s almost as though she never existed, yet she is buried in the Wiggin-Nudd family plot near her grandmother, Nancy Wiggin Nudd. Her cousin, Captain Charles Nudd, a Civil War veteran, is buried there, as is a woman named Mary Nudd, whose connection to the family is something of a mystery.

The Nudd-Wiggin family was typical of most of the cemetery’s earliest burials. They were transplanted New Englanders, many of whom could trace their families back to the American Revolution. Carolyne and Maude’s great-great-grandfather, Andrew Wiggin, “immediately responded to the call for soldiers made in 1877. James Wiggin, their great-grandfather, one of Andrew’s 17 children, also enlisted. Andrew was 37 at the time, James was 17.

Andrew was described in the History of Wolfesborough, New Hampshire as a man who “had little education, but was a man of probity and sound judgment, as evinced by the responsible positions in which his townsmen placed him. He held few offices on account of his lack of educational attainments, but no citizen was more respected, and few had greater influence in directing public affairs than he. He had much to do with the building of the town meeting house, and was one of the charter members of the first Congregationalist Church…”

On their mother’s side, they had a great-grandfather who served as an ensign in the Continental Navy and a great-great grandfather, who was born in 1700 so was too old to have been a soldier but signed the Association Test showing support for the Revolutionary Cause.

Their family’s sense of civic responsibility and patriotism was reflected in the career of Captain Charles Nudd who died the year before Carolyne was born. (Interestingly, Carolyne was born on the day that Lee surrendered at Appomattox). Captain Nudd served in Company A of the Third Minnesota which fought primarily in the Western Campaign. He enlisted in October 1861. He was promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Captain on August 11, 1864 but died 14 days later as he was heading home on furlough.

On August 27, 1864, The St. Paul Press reported that: “Some 40 or 50 men of the Third Minnesota on furlough arrived on the Albany yesterday evening…A number of the men were very ill and one, Lt. Nudd, died on the trip up. The sister of Lieutenant Nudd…was in [St. Paul] on Thursday en route to meet him. She was dissuaded from going down on the boat that connected with the one he was on and he died before it landed. The disappointment was a great addition to the affliction.” That woman was his sister, Josephine.

Carolyne was born the following spring. She married young, and in 1884, gave birth to an 11-pound daughter who she named Maude. Carolyne’s husband worked primarily as a traveling salesman. By 1894, they were living apart—their marriage apparently over. Carolyne was 29 years old, with a 10-year-old daughter. She worked off and on for the rest of her life—as a demonstrator in department stores, as a seamstress and commercial embroiderer, and as a matron in a University fraternity house.

Her interest in civic organizations never waned. In 1934, the was president of the Dudley Chase Post #10 Auxiliary. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1943, she was mentioned in Minneapolis newspapers several times for her work and leadership with the Women’s Relief Corps, especially her work in welcoming refugees. When she was well into 70s, she traveled to the organization’s national conferences.

Carolyne died on October 5, 1951. She was 86 years old. Her parents, her daughter, and her sister Nancy were all buried at Lakewood, but rather than being buried with them, Carolyne chose to be buried next to her sister Maude in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery. Maude may have been overlooked by modern-day genealogists but she was never forgotten by her younger sister. They are buried side-by-side99 in Lot 84, Block A.

Sue Hunter Weir is chair of Friends of the Cemetery, an organization dedicated to preserving and maintaining Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery. She has lived in Phillips for almost 50 years and loves living in such a historic community.

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