Sunday, October 14, 2012




Wednesday, October 20, 2010


In researching at the Protestant cemetery in Istanbul, I found everything way too interesting, so I had to set definite parameters for the future book: AMERICANS BURIED in the Protestant Cemetery. While their families who weren't buried with them were important because I wanted that information to help link them up to a place in America, in the Pratt case I barely knew that there was such a child as Albert Pratt. I was really researching the details of his father and mother, Dr. Andrew and Sarah Goodyear Pratt, and the names of their dead children on Dr. Pratt’s tombstone were my focus. So more than 10 years later coming upon the name of one of their children who lived in Redlands, California after leaving Istanbul was, well, just a shock and too good not to continue researching! If you are a genealogist, you know that the more you need to research, the happier you get!

So in 2002 I went over to the Redlands library - Redlands being a small town next door to San Bernardino - and looked in the old Citrograph newspapers of June, 1889. Sure enough, there was a BIG article on the wedding. This wedding was the social event of the year.

Madeleine was from a well-to-do family originally from Kewanee and Chicago, Illinois. A big chunk of the Sloan family had moved to Redlands. Madeleine had lots of aunts, uncles and cousins there. Madeline’s grandfather, Seymour Sloan, had not moved here but he visited often. The newspaper, which actually has been indexed, announced that on one of those visits he died and his body was shipped back to Illinois for burial.

One of Seymour’s sons was Dr. George Sloan of Chicago who financed the building of the Sloan House in Redlands, a three-story brick hotel, which opened in 1888 with Horace, Madeleine’s father as proprietor. Another of Seymour’s sons was Junius Sloan, a well-known Midwest “prairie painter,” who also lived for a while in Redlands. He was married to Sara Spencer, daughter of the man who developed the Spencer writing style. In August of 1900 Seymour was in Oak Glen, near Redlands and known locally as apple-growing country, and while he was climbing a tree searching for a scene to paint he fell out of the tree and was killed.

But lest you think Albert married “up” – that he was just a poor missionary’s kid from Turkey – as a wedding gift he gave his bride six lots in the city of Redlands. Albert’s father had a pretty impressive background too. His bio, taken from the book Genealogy of the Goodyear Family by Grace Goodyear Kirkman (Albert’s mother was a Goodyear) says:

Andrew Tully PRATT, eldest child of William T. and Eliza H. (Steele) Pratt, b. Feb. 22, 1826, at Black Rock, near Buffalo, N. Y.; graduated at Yale College, 1847. Dr. Pratt taught for a few months after graduation in Southport, Conn., and spent the next year in the Union Theological Seminary, New York City.

He then began the study of medicine in New Haven; was also connected with the Yale Theological Seminary for two years, and graduated as a M. D. at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, N. Y., in 1852.

In pursuance of the plan which had been in his mind from the time when he began to study, he was ordained as a missionary and physician of the American Board, at New Haven, Aug. 8, 1852; and, having been married on the same day to Miss Sarah Frances Goodyear, of New Haven, sailed with his wife Dec. 22d, for his mission field in Syria. His first station was at Aintab, but he removed to Aleppo in 1856, and to Marash in 1859. In 1868 he was transferred to the Western Turkey Mission and stationed at Constantinople, where he was engaged on the revision of the Armeno-Turkish Bible until his death in that city, Dec. 5, 1872.

After their honeymoon Albert and Madeleine returned to Redlands, where he became manager of the Windsor Hotel and Madeleine’s mother the proprietor. In 1892 he leased the Seven Oaks resort in the mountains north of Redlands and began a 6-year venture of managing and upgrading this resort. Ultimately the resort was sold and Albert and Madeleine, now the parents of a daughter, Rosamond, moved to San Francisco, where he became an insurance agent.

Unfortunately, Madeleine Pratt’s life was cut short by tuberculosis, dying on Monday, September 22, 1902. In June of 1903, a Citrograph article said her body was reinterred at Hillside Cemetery in Redlands.

I finally had to tell myself to stop researching. I did NOT need to know everything in the whole world about this family. But before I quit, I did learn, however, that his mother and at least his sister Fanny ultimately moved to California. Albert died in 1933 and his daughter Rosamond (I think) died in 1957.

The Goodyear Genealogy book, which I found on Google, has other details on the birth and death dates of the Pratt children for the researcher. I grew very fond of this family, and it’s hard to let go of friends. You can see that here in almost 2011 I’ve still got them on my mind.

I was never able to find a photo of either Albert or Madeleine, nor of Albert’s parents. But here for the record a picture of “Uncle Junius Sloan."

So ends the tale of my venture “Chasing a Turk.”

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