A sister remembers #199 | the alley newspaper | the alley diary


By Sue Hunter Weir

Maude Wiggin is the forgotten sister in the Wiggin family tree, although she’s not 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 readily available online. Maude died of a condition called “spinal disease”, most likely spinal meningitis. She was 13 years and nine months old. His sister, Carolyne, was 12 years old. There were also two other younger sisters, Nancy and Mae. Carolyne, Nancy and Mae appear on several family trees on ancestry.com but there is no mention of Maude. It’s almost as if 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 somewhat mysterious.

The Nudd-Wiggin family was typical of most early burials in the cemetery. They were transplanted to New England, 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 good judgment, as evidenced by the positions of responsibility in which his fellow citizens placed him He held few offices due to his lack of education, but no citizen was more respected and few had more influence than he in the direction of public affairs. He had much to do with the building of the town meeting house and was one of the founding members of the first Congregational 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 he was too old to have been a soldier but signed the test of the association showing his 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 the day Lee traveled to Appomattox). Captain Nudd served in A Company of Third Minnesota which fought primarily in the Western Campaign. He enlisted in October 1861. He was promoted from 1st Lieutenant to captain on 11 August 1864 but died 14 days later while returning home on leave.

On August 27, 1864, The St. Paul Press reported that: “Some 40 or 50 Third Minnesota men on leave arrived on the Albany last night… A number of the men were very ill and one, Lieutenant Nudd, is died on the upward journey. Lieutenant Nudd’s sister…was in [St. Paul] Thursday en route to meet him. She was dissuaded from getting off on the boat that connected to the one he was on and he died before he landed. The disappointment was a great addition to the affliction. This woman was his sister, Josephine.

Carolyne was born the following spring. She married young and in 1884 gave birth to an 11-pound girl whom 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, with a 10-year-old daughter. She worked on and off for the rest of her life – as a demonstrator in department stores, as a commercial seamstress and embroiderer, and as a matron in a college fraternity house.

His interest in civic organizations has never wavered. In 1934 he 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 several times in Minneapolis newspapers for her work and leadership with the Women’s Relief Corps, particularly her work in welcoming refugees. When she was over 70, she traveled to the organization’s national conferences.

Carolyne died on October 5, 1951. She was 86 years old. Her parents, daughter, and sister Nancy were all buried at Lakewood, but rather than be buried with them, Carolyne chose to be buried next to her sister Maude at the Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery. Maude may have been forgotten by modern 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 president of Friends of the Cemetery, an organization dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of the Minneapolis Pioneer and Soldiers’ Cemetery. She has lived in Phillips for almost 50 years and enjoys living in such a historic community.


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