Historical Citizens Association

Oak Street Residents

Quick Links to Resident Bios:
Miss Violet E. Johnson
Mrs. Elizabeth Rosbrugh
Mlle. Felicite LaFontaine
Mrs. Lily Cressman
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Alexander & Family
Mrs. Erwin Fickas
Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Charles Hensley
Mrs. Charles McAtee & Family
Miss. Henrietta Kingsley
Mrs. Ealasiad ("Elsie") Mulvey
Captain David Morrison
Mrs. Paige Patterson

 

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Miss Violet E. Johnson
Johnson Oak Inn
47 Oak Street

Violet was born in September of 1843 in North Carolina, the fifth child to William and Susannah Johnson, proprietors of the Johnson Oak Inn. (The Inn was established by her paternal grandfather in 1805). At the outbreak of the War, Violet's father enlisted in the Confederate Army, leaving the business in the hands of her younger brother Nathaniel. However, soon after his 15th Birthday, Nate ran off to join the war effort, leaving the burden of running the Inn to fall upon Violet.

When the town was devastated by a fire, Violet wrote to her sister, Lily, begging her assistance in rebuilding. As most of the Inn staff has fled, she is currently in the kitchen preparing and cooking the meals, as well as other various tasks associated with running an Inn.

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Mrs. Elizabeth Rosbrugh
Dressmaker
36 Oak Street

Elizabeth Marie was born to William and Anna Brode in June of 1831 in Cumberland, Maryland. Her family is in the tailoring business and has a long history of providing costumes and millinery to upper crust society from the mid-Atlantic states up to the southern New England area. With her connections to other families in the trade, specifically in textiles, Elizabeth met Mr. Jefferson Rosbrugh while in Baltimore.; Mr. Rosbrugh was educated at the University of Maryland and is now a schoolteacher.

The happy couple was married in 1853 and settled in Tunbridge, Vermont. After Elizabeth's husband enlisted in the Second Regiment of Vermont Volunteers, she traveled to North Carolina to stay with an ailing aunt, Katie Foote, and assist with her established dressmaking shop. Unfortunately, the shop was destroyed in the Town fire, and her aunt did not survive long afterwards. Without any nearby relatives upon which to rely, Mrs. Rosbrugh decided to rebuild her aunt's shop and continue in the town indefinitely. She patiently awaits the end of the War to once again be reunited with her beloved husband.

 

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Mlle. Felicite LaFontaine
Guest, Johnson Oak Inn
47 Oak Street

Mademoiselle Felicite LaFontaine is a French Creole refugee from Louisiana who fled her home just before New Orleans was captured and is endeavoring to make her way north to Vermont to stay with relatives. Along the way, she is selling off hoarded valuables and attempting to get by using her wits and such skills as she learned at a Parisian finishing school. Unfortunately, there isn't much call for hairdressing, piano-playing, or embroidery in war-time.

 

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Mrs. Jonathan Cressman
Johnson Oak Inn
47 Oak Street

Lily was the born in 1836, the eldest daughter and second child to William and Susannah Johnson, proprietors of the Johnson Oak Inn.  In 1857 she married Mr. Jonathan Cressman, the owner of a successful shipping business in Philadelphia and friend of her father.  Upon her husband's death in 1858 Lily remained in Philadelphia until word reached her about the devastating fire in her home-town, and the damage to her family's Inn.

She quickly gathered as many supplies as possible and set out to bring the much needed supplies and her assistance to the Inn.  Shortly after arriving in the town, the horses were confiscated by the military, leaving her stranded in her home town. Currently, both Lily and her sister are managing the Inn to the best of their ability while they wait out the war.

 

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Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Alexander & Family
Miss Kathryn Alexander
Telegrapher, Central Telegraph Co
42 Oak Street

 Background: largely unknown; Mr. Alexander and his family (wife Theresa and daughter Kathryn) arrived in town shortly after the fire to replace the town's telegrapher and to re-establish the telegraph office. As relative newcomers, the Alexanders do not know most of the town's residents.

While he can be talkative at times, Mr. Alexander avoids talking about his past, other than saying he's from Chicago, and is very suspicious of probing questions, especially those of a financial nature. He also avoids, if possible, any contact with representatives of banks and/or other financial institutions.

 

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Mrs. Diana Fickas
Headmistress, Remembrance School of Gentility and Refinement (RSGR)
12 Oak Street

Mrs. Diana Fickas is headmistress of the local Finishing School for Young Ladies (RSGR).

 






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Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Charles Hensley
Miss. Rhiannon Hensley
Johnson Oak Inn
47 Oak Street

Mrs. Maegen Hensley and daughter Rhiannon Hensley are on their way to search for dear daddy Hensley in the North.  Not long ago, Mr. Jonathan Charles Hensley claimed to be off to "sign up for the war", but rumors soared back to Mrs. Hensley that he wound up in a bar in a town near the border. Mrs. Hensley is sure he bonked his head in a bar fight and is now experiencing memory loss, which is why he hasn't found his way home. 

In the meantime, with little money or hope in finding her husband, she is staying with her dear friends at the Johnson Oak Inn to help with the housekeeping. 

 

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Mrs. Charles McAtee & Family
Miss. Madeline, Mr. Jacob, Miss Charlotte (Lottie)
Guests, Johnson Oak Inn
47 Oak Street

Miss Madeline McAtee is a new schoolteacher who has been hired to work in another town in which the family has relatives. To help her get her settled in, as well as to visit with their relatives, her mother and siblings are traveling along with Miss McAtee.

Unfortunately, in the course of their travels, they have been unable to get through to the town due to the war (transportation difficulties). Therefore, they have temporarily settled in at the Inn for an undetermined duration while waiting. In the meantime, Miss McAtee has offered to teach any school age children in the area. Currently, classes are being held in the Inn's Parlor.

 



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 Miss. Henrietta Kingsley (aka "Cousin Hetty")
Guest, Johnson Oak Inn
47 Oak Street

Miss Kingsley was born near Princeton, NJ, where she grew up with seven brothers and sisters in an atmosphere steeped in learning. Her father taught Latin, Greek, and rhetoric at the College of New Jersey,* while her mother supplemented their income through instruction in Italian, sketching, and lace-making at Mrs. Barnwell's Seminary for Young Ladies.

The young Miss Kingsley had been engaged to an ensign in the United States Navy and the happy couple planned to marry in the autumn of 18__, but tragedy struck in the form of a hurricane off the coast of Cape Hatteras. All hands aboard the Deliverance went down with the ship. Though she has had many chances since her sad loss, Miss Kingsley never met another to equal her first love and so remains a spinster.

With no fixed abode of her own, Cousin Hetty divides her time among her many relatives, paying long visits and earning her board by teaching useful subjects to the young ones, plying her needle when asked, and gracing the family circle with her own special charm. She supplements her father's modest legacy by submitting stories and poems to the well known ladies' magazines.
* renamed "Princeton University" in 1896

 

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Mrs. Ealasiad ("Elsie") Mulvey
Hired Help, Johnson Oak Inn
47 Oak Street

Mrs. Ealasiad "Elsie" Mulvey, born 1833 to Melvina and Leonard Neary in Leitrim County Ireland. Married Mr. Bryce Thomas Mulvey in 1850, a poor but loving carpenter by trade. In 1855 Elsie and her husband came to America through New York due to the famine which has devastated Ireland. After being refused work in New York the Mulvey's traveled to North Carolina in hope of finding some sort of salvation. Mr. Mulvey enlisted with the Confederates to help fight for his new land, while Elsie found the Johnson Oak Inn, which has agree to give her room and board for a decent days work.

Elsie came from the poor district in Ireland and has found her whit's and sharp tongue to benefit her despite the fact she lacks some social graces and higher education. Elsie is quick to conform, but finds the "proper" American women difficult to understand. What few finery she has she has obtained through her family. She has gained an alliance and friendship with women of the Johnson Oak Inn and is waiting for the war to end to decide her future.

 

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Captain David Morrison
79th. S.N.Y. Cameron Highlanders.

Captain David Morrison, born May _ of 1820 in Glasgow, Scotland joined the Royal Highland Regiment 42nd, Regiment of Foot (the Black Watch) in 1832 as a Drummer. Working his way up the ranks, he served with his regiment in South Africa from 1835 to 1846; and in 1853, at age of 33, he served with the 1/42nd H.M. Reg. of Foot in the Crimean War. Upon returning to Scotland in 1857 to retire from the services, he discovered that everyone he had previously known had immigrated to America. Thus, he set out to immigrate to America himself.

After arriving in New Your City, he joined the Caledonia Society of New York and was offered (and accepted) a position in the Highland Guard, a Militia Regiment sponsored by the Caledonia Society. When war erupted in 1861, the 79th S.N.Y. was one of the First to volunteer for service and saw action in the 1st Battle of Bull Run. In August 1861, 79th left Washington D.C. as part of the Expeditionary Forces to invade South Carolina.

 

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Mrs. Paige Patterson
Guest, Johnson Oak Inn
47 Oak Street

Mrs. Paige Patterson was widowed prior to the war. When her home was taken over by a passing band of Union soldiers, she and her daughter fled through the fields to hide down by the river.  After the soldiers left, she and her daughter surveyed what was left of their home.  Much of their farm and home had been destroyed, the slaves had fled, and the livestock & much of their food stores had been confiscated.  They managed to pack up what they could (a few books, clothes, etc.) and moved in to town.  They now reside as guests in the Johnson Oak Inn.

 

 

Click Here for a map of Oak Street (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file).

 

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