Removal of asbestos-containing wallboard in the Veblen House revealed this misspelling of the original owner's name. Jesse's name was J.P.W. Stuart, not Stewart. Still, if someone supplying wood for the Whiton-Stuarts' house didn't get the spelling right, maybe others made the same mistake.
Mary and Jesse Whiton-Stuart brought the prefab house to Princeton from Morristown, NJ, lived in it for ten years, then sold it to the Veblens in 1941. Being wealthy, at least until the crash in 1929, they were frequently mentioned in society columns. Their children's lives too can be tracked in this way. Mary and Jesse married for life, but the son and daughter had seven marriages between them.
I decided to google J.P.W. Stewart, and got some interesting results. One was a page from a newspaper called the Weekly Journal-Miner, dated Feb. 12, 1913 This dates back to the Whiton-Stuarts' time in Prescott, AZ, when their two kids were young and Jesse left his real estate business in Manhattan to spend his days on a horse, herding cattle in Arizona.
I love newspapers, which used to cause problems back when I'd save them, to read another day. Now that they are digital, the love can be unfettered by matters of storage.
Page 5 of the newspaper offers glimpses of their time in Arizona. Here they are, attending a "most attractive and elaborate dinner." This was back when accounts of high society included long lists of who attended.
Jesse also attended another function, described at length in the "Social Mirror" section of the newspaper.
That event included amusements for the "misses" who wished to sew.
Perhaps sewing was not Mary Whiton-Stuart's thing, as she did not attend.
It can be fun to see what other news appeared on the same newspaper page. Here's an eye-catching headline: the bones of a "giant type of humanity" were found while doing some grading work for the railroad. The bones provide "indisputable" evidence of people who were at least 8 feet tall and dated back to the Toltec period. Similar stories were told
of early encounters with a giant race of indigenous peoples in Patagonia.
The page's politics section also includes mention of George Babbitt, who was likely one of the ancestors of former presidential candidate and environmentalist Bruce Babbitt.
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