Obit: Underwood, Alice(1850? - 1929)

Contact: Stan


----Source: NEILLSVILLE PRESS (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 08/01/1929

Underwood, Alice (1850? - 22 JUL 1929)

In the glare of the July sun last Wednesday afternoon there was laid to rest in the Neillsville Cemetery the last member of the L. R. Stafford family, Mrs. Fred D. Underwood. Less than half a mile from where she lies, north across the cemetery and the intervening fields, once stood the old village of Staffordville, her childhood home. Her father, Leonard R. Stafford, came from the State of Maine. He was one of eleven sons, and all were brought up as lumbermen. Several of them came to Wisconsin. Leonard R. Stafford settled on the farm on Highway 73 now owned by Paul Haugen, just north of Neillsville, and there had his headquarters for big logging operations. A village grew up on the farm, a large general store, hotel, blacksmith shop, barber shop, barns to accommodate teams passing back and forth to the pineries farther north, and other buildings. It was a scene of great activity summer and winter. Here, Alice Stafford grew to womanhood. She became a school teacher and a number of people in this locality were among her pupils. After her first marriage to Ed Robbins, they lived for some time in La Crosse. Later, she was married to Frederick D. Underwood, a rising railroad man, who in years following, by successive steps, became one of the leading railroad officials in the U. S., being at different stages in his career, General Manager of the Soo Line; President of the Baltimore and Ohio and lastly the Erie Lines, in most cases taking the roads in a rundown condition and building them up into highly valuable properties. Though for business purposes, Mr. and Mrs. Underwood maintained for many years a home in New York City, they always owned a beautiful home at Wauwatosa, Wis. They traveled about in their luxurious private car and only the week before her death they came to Neillsville and visited the cemetery where her kindred lie buried. While on the train going to Minneapolis, she was taken very ill and on their arrival at that city she was removed to a hospital, where the best medical treatment was given, but her advanced age, she was 79 years old, doubtless handicapped her in recovery, and she passed away on Monday, July 22, 1929.

Funeral services were held in Minneapolis Tuesday, Dr. Marion D. Shutter of the Universalist Church officiating. The private car of the president of the Omaha line was placed at the disposal of the funeral party and came into Neillsville with the regular passenger train, Wednesday at 1:26 p.m. The body was taken to the Lowe Funeral Home and from there direct to the cemetery. Mr. Underwood and the relatives and friends who came with him remained in their car and were joined by others of Neillsville and from away, who gathered at the depot, and all drove from there to the cemetery, where brief services were held, Rev. G. W. Longenecker officiating.

A profusion of flowers lent a solemn charm to the scene at the cemetery, a florist from Minneapolis and the undertaker from that city assisting in arranging them over the casket before it was lowered, and about the grave. A few old and intimate friends were permitted to look for the last time on the face they remembered in its youth. She was a lady of rare charm and beauty, brilliant in mind, and retained to the last much that had made her admired in years gone by.

Mrs. Underwood is survived by two children of her first marriage, Frank Robbins and Mrs. Edna Robbins. She leaves also a niece, Mrs. Campbell, who was taken into the Underwood home and brought up as their own when the child's mother, Mrs. Tony Hein, died.

The special car was in charge of F. E. Fuhrman, Assistant Division Superintendent of this Division. Mr. Underwood was accompanied by his son, e. W. Underwood, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Robbins, Mrs. Edna Robbins, Tony Hein and his daughter, Mrs. Campbell.

Other relatives and friends who were her to attend were Judge and Mrs. W. H. Stafford, W. G. Stafford, Jr., F. F. Anderson, all of Chippewa Falls; Mrs. Laura I. Towle of Manitowoc; and Mr. W. T. Watkins of Chicago.



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