Blanche Catherine Lindsay 23,24
- Born: 2 June 1876, Onarga, Iroquois County, Illinois 179,180
- Marriage: Harvey Edgerton Wood 30 June 1902 in Onarga, Iroquois County, Illinois 178
- Died: 9 December 1968, Joliet, Will County, Illinois at St. Joseph's Hospital at age 92 179,180,181
- Buried: 11 December 1968, Joliet, Will County, Illinois at Elmhurst Cemetery 179,180,181
Cause of her death was heart failure/heart disease.
Of the seven children born to Benjamin and Catherine Lindsay, Blanche was the fifth conceived and last to survive, living to the frail old age of 92 years.
There is some evidence to support the possibility that Blanche lived mostly with her Aunt Ginny and Uncle Frank throughout her childhood. If such was the case, there may be some truth to the rumor that Benjamin was in general a very difficult man with whom to live. Frank and Ginny kept their residence in Champaign, Illinois where Blanche may've attended the local primary and secondary schools. In young adulthood, she can be firmly placed through census records living in Champaign where she also attended the University of Illinois. Blanche began her studies in 1893 and studied for two academic years but did not graduate. During her short matriculation, she studied the liberal arts and was a charter member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, which still exists today and whose mission is to "promote friendship, develop women of intellect and integrity, cultivate leadership potential and enrich lives through community service".
Because Benjamin did not believe that a woman's place was at the university, Blanche's attendance surely "ruffled his feathers" so to speak. However, older sister Alice was the first to shock her father by attending university, which surely made it easier for the younger sisters to pursue their scholarly intentions.
It was fortunate that Blanche lived in the home of her uncle because shortly after her arrival, Aunt Ginny passed away leaving Uncle Frank a widower. There were no children produced from the marriage of Virginia and Frank, so having a niece in the home at the time of Ginny's passing must've been of some comfort. Surely Blanche was like a daughter. Frank later awarded her an equal portion in his estate, which was divided amongst his several nieces and nephews.
As Blanche pursued her education, she met a handsome young fellow named Harvey E. Wood who would go on to graduate from the University of Illinois in 1900 with a Bachelor of Arts & Economics degree. The two courted and eventually united in marriage on June 30, 1902 in Onarga. Sadly, Blanche's father did not attend the wedding because of his passing one year prior.
In the fall of 1902, Harvey became a practicing attorney in Joliet, Illinois where he grew up and earned himself a credible reputation. He was described as being "a very industrious attorney, of discriminating mind, thorough in his preparations and logical in his reasoning". Blanche relocated to Joliet the same year to reside with her husband. Here the couple purchased a home, raised a family and remained for the rest of their lives.
In 1905, Blanche gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Frances who married and produced no offspring but became a successful and accomplished organist, performing at such places as the Joliet Theatre. Five years later, Blanche gave birth to her second child, a boy named Warren who married, had one son named Brian, and became speaker of the House of Representatives in Illinois, serving for 35 yrs. Surely Warren was influenced by his father who was not only a lawyer but served as Mayor of Joliet for one term in 1913.
Shortly after Harvey's term ended, Blanche's mother Fannie died of a heart attack. As a result, Blanche came upon some inheritance. Financially, Blanche and Harvey seemed well off. Onarga relatives remembered that the Woods had "a colored maid" and "a beautiful bathroom with gorgeous black tile all around". Another relative remembered with humor that Blanche had a parakeet she let fly around the house that sometimes pooped on guests and left hard feelings.
While Blanche raised her family and supported her husband, she made some effort to fulfill her sorority's mission of leadership and service to community by becoming a charter member of the Joliet Woman's Club.
In July of 1947, Blanche's husband died suddenly of a stroke. It was only the year prior that Harvey drew up his last will & testament, which leaves me to wonder if he had some premonitions or known health problems. At the same time, Blanche drew up her own last will & testament. She left everything to Harvey, but declared that if he should die before her, that her estate should be left to her daughter, Frances, as Warren had already received much over the years by way of real estate and forgiven loans. However, Harvey left to Blanche all their estate with no instruction on what to do should she die before him.
Blanche was aged 71 at the time of Harvey's death, so she was an old woman and probably cared for by her children. As the years passed, she became very frail and suffered an accidental fall in her bathroom where she broke her femur. Within a week and half of the fall, her heart gave way and as a consequence, she passed away at the old age of 92. The family held a private service with no visitation, and Blanche was quietly laid to rest in the city where she lived for 66 years at Elmhurst Cemetery beside her husband.
She also fractured her femur on November 28, 1968 at 11:30 a.m. after falling on the bathroom floor due to age infirmities
• She was educated at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Champaign County, Illinois.
• She appeared on the census in 1880 in Onarga, Iroquois County, Illinois. She lived in the household of her parents.
• She appeared on the census in 1900 in Champaign, Champaign County, Illinois. She appeared in the household of Francis Walker, her uncle.
• She appeared on the census in 1910 in Joliet, Will County, Illinois. She lived in the household of her husband.
• She appeared on the census in 1920 in Joliet, Will County, Illinois. She lived in the household of her husband.
• She appeared on the census in 1930 in Joliet, Will County, Illinois. She lived in the household of her husband.
• Her Social Security Number was 340-38-7421.
• She had a residence at 819 Oneida Street from 1910 to 1930 in Joliet, Will County, Illinois.
• She appeared on the census in 1940 at 717 Oneida Street in Joliet, Will County, Illinois. She lived in the household of her husband.
• She had a residence at 717 Oneida Street in 1968 in Joliet, Will County, Illinois. She was a resident of Joliet since 1902.
• She was a member of the Universalist Unitarian Church, a charter member of the Joliet Woman's Club and Zeta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi Sorority at the University of Illinois at Champaign.
• Her funeral was held at Carlson Funeral Home (300 Young Avenue) with Dr. John Parkhurst officiating 11 December 1968 in Joliet, Will County, Illinois. There was no visitation.
• She was buried at Elmhurst Cemetery in Joliet, Will County, Illinois.
Blanche married Harvey Edgerton Wood, son of William Wallace Wood and Cleora Esther Edgerton, 30 June 1902 in Onarga, Iroquois County, Illinois.178 (Harvey Edgerton Wood was born 2 April 1876 in Elwood, Will County, Illinois,182,183,184 died 21 July 1947 in Joliet, Will County, Illinois at St. Joseph's Hospital 181,182,183,185 and was buried 23 July 1947 in Joliet, Will County, Illinois at Elmhurst Cemetery 182,183,185.) The cause of his death was stroke.