elizabeth howard hurd recollections
"My grandmother, Elizabeth Howard, was born in Wisbech, England, in 1839 and her family moved to Greggs (Westmont) when she was three years old. Later, the family moved to Cresco, Iowa, but Ziba Hurd went out there, married Elizabeth, and brought her back to Illinois. I'm their grandson." - James Mason (1977)
"Elizabeth Howard Hurd, my grandmother, told me of barn dances she attended as a teenager in Fullersburg, not far from the Grane Mill. She saw Loie Fuller running down the road hanging on to a calf's tail. This occurred at the time she was living across the road from the Maercker School. Since my grandmother was born in 1839, the date of this anecdote must have been 1854 give or take a year. The story was told because Loie Fuller became a very famous dancer enjoying an international stardom. When Queen Marie of Romania toured the USA, Loie was her companion."
- James Mason (1977)
- James Mason (1977)
Information about Loie Fuller confirms that she befriended Queen Marie of Romania. However, Fuller wasn't born until 1862, so the anecdote about Fuller and the calf must have happened later than 1854. Perhaps James was mistaken about who told him this story, since his mother Frances Cora Hurd Mason was born in 1864, which means she would have been much closer to Loie Fuller's age than his grandmother. Or perhaps his grandmother told the story, having attended the barn dances with her daughter, who would've been a teenager at the same time as Fuller.
"Ziba and Elizabeth Hurd as young married folk were present at the Wigwam when Abe Lincoln was nominated in Chicago." - James Mason (1977)
"In the last half of the 19th century the people of DuPage County developed a bit of banter which added sparkle to conversation. Grandma Hurd would say: 'You're right and I'm wrong as you usually are' or 'This is big enough for Tom Barton.' He seemed to be a fictitious character like Paul Bunyan." - James Mason (1977)
"Memories of Adams St. begin with Elizabeth Hurd in her wheelchair looking out of the front parlor windows keeping tabs on the street characters she had come to know. The back parlor was less spacious and had an upright piano I had to play on at some point each visit. On the opposite wall was the fireplace in front of which Elizabeth's funeral was conducted, with chairs set up there and in the front parlor. Someone from church played the piano and Tony from church sang, followed by the drive to Downers Grove." - Chuck Little (August, 2015)