A Little Something Extra
In searching for people one descends access to the information others have can lead to interesting tales about family. I was adding records of ancestors at a fast speed not more than two weeks ago. Deep into the Strider family my heritage was coming to life. Virgie’s father, grandfather, and his sister, Virgie’s great Aunt’s fates were all written in the newspaper both sentimental and tragic were their stories and a little something extra.
Virgie’s father James Strider died from a terrible accident at work when he fell to his death from the roof of the Heurich’s Brewery building in Washington, District of Columbia when Virgie was 4 years of age. Virgie’s Grandfather James S Strider managed the funeral arrangements and buried his son in 1897. Grandfather James S. Strider just two years later was stricken with paralysis at his home at 308 North Pitt Street Alexandria, Virginia. He was 78 years of age and according to his obituary he was a warm friend, a gentleman, and a good citizen. They called him Captain James Strider.
Capt. James Strider lived and died in Alexandria Virginia. He was a driver of the old mail and stage line between Alexandria and Washington DC in his early years. He also drove the Adam’s Express Company’s wagon and at the close of the war (US Civil War) he was conductor at the Washington and Ohio Railroad, then ticket agent, and before death a flagman at King and Henry Street in Alexandria Virginia.
Though not written in school history books his careers (s) were quite impressive. He was a widow when he died, his wife Phoebe passed 1 Jun 1894. It was said severe shock to her system of watching her son, son-in law, and her daughter die led to her illness that left her invalid for a long period before she passed. Capt. James Stride and wife Phoebe were both born in Maryland, too was the captain’s sister, Virgie’s great Aunt Eliza Strider Latham wife of Mayor Hugh Latham, and spy for the Confederates during the U.S. Civil War.
What? No one passed that tale down the generations! In 1860 Eliza Strider and husband Hugh Latham lived in Alexandria, Virginia in the order of visit for the US Census house/family number 809. There was no house or street number on the census but at this residence they also had the six members of the Strider family, including James, John, and Phoebe Strider residing in the same house. Eliza and Hugh had children Alice age 17 and William age 12.
In 1863 a newspaper article read that Eliza Latham was caught with contraband and arrested. She was sent to the Old Capitol Prison in Washington DC by Provost Marshal Tait for attempting to pass letters and contraband goods through Federal lines. A family tree member at Ancestry.com provided this information and added that Eliza ran messages for Col. Mosby and was captured on Route 7 at a tollbooth by Union Forces with a message to Col. Mosby sewn in her corset. Col. Mosby later raided the prison and freed Eliza.
Hot on the trail of the Striders I found all this information! Another interesting fact is that Eliza Strider Latham too was stricken by paralysis and died at her residence, after her stint in prison and spy career, her death very similar to that of her brother Capt. James Strider. The Old Capitol Prison no longer stands; currently the building that stands on this site is the United States Supreme Court Building. My obsession into the past, what will I find next?
Capt. James S Strider born 1820 in Maryland and died 15April 1899, he survived his wife Phoebe who passed in 1894 and son James Strider in 1897. The Captain’s sister Eliza Strider Latham born 1815 and died 20 Dec 1885.