The Sons of Stoddard, part II
by Dave Waite
[Seneca Ray Stoddard
Seneca Ray Stoddard was a late 19th century photographer, painter, inventor, writer and cartographer. born in Wilton, Saratoga County, NY in 1844, he captured thousands of images of life in our region. His works helped to popularize the Adirondacks as a tourist destination and displayed the naturalistic beauty of the landscape. His persistent lobbying efforts helped in forming the Adirondack Park in 1892.
In his youth, he left his home to follow his desires to create illustration and advertising, and in his 20’s he developed a love for photography. He went on to publish tourist guides on the Lake George and Lake Champlain regions, and in 1874 issued the first tourist map of the Adirondacks. Stoddard died in his home in Glens Falls in 1917, leaving behind a legacy of cartography and accomplishment of introducing a new-found tourist hot-spot to the general public.
Seneca Ray Stoddard had two sons, Charles Herbert and Leroy Ray. Thanks to David Waite, our friend and regular contributor, we can learn about these ‘chips of the old block.’]
Colonel Charles Herbert Stoddard
While Seneca Ray Stoddard’s youngest son Leroy was growing up and spending time with his father, his older brother Charles was pursuing education and preparing himself for adulthood. In 1889 Charles H. Stoddard won one of the Cornell scholarships given by the college to New York State residents. These competitive scholarships were awarded by the assembly district and were entitled to four years of tuition at the university. Little was ever recorded concerning his academics during these college years, the only news being in his junior year when he was selected to compete against three other students for the 1886 memorial prize in elocution.
While in college Charles became part of the school’s volunteer militia. In 1890 he was promoted to Sargent Major in the Cornell University Battalion, later being promoted to Colonel. Stoddard graduated with the Cornell Class of 1893, and then went on to Columbia College to finish his study in law.
On May 2nd, 1898, Charles Herbert Stoddard enlisted for service in the US military and was mustered in as a Captain in the 71st Regiment. Much of his time was used recruiting in New York and Florida, and it was through his efforts that Company E had been added to the 71st Regiment. By March of 1899, a disagreement over authority in the company led to Stoddard putting in his resignation and resigning his commission in the regiment. Hard feelings over his decision led to an altercation at the regiment’s armory when he returned to pick up some belongings he had left there. When a fellow officer confronted Stoddard and told him to leave the facility, a fight broke out between the two. Conflicting stories from the men as to who was the victor only helped to spread the news of the altercation to the pages of regional newspapers.
Nine months later he enlisted in the United States 29th Volunteer Infantry and was placed in Company F as private. By May of 1900, he was promoted to Sargent and deployed to Palanog, Philippine Islands during the Philippine-American War, where he transferred to Company C, was promoted to Sargent, and participated in the campaign from Manila to Marinduque and Masbate Islands from April 21 through May 1st. At some point after this and with no explanation on record, his rank was reduced to private and On March 22nd of 1901, he was discharged with the explanation being “Services no longer needed.” On the card detailing his service record during these years, under remarks, it states “Character: excellent. Service: honest and faithful.”
After his discharge from the military in the Philippines he traveled through Asia; from there he crossed the Pacific to San Francisco in June of 1901. In July of that year, he married Glens Falls Native Frances H. Therbault in Toronto, Canada. He and Frances settled in Manhattan where he took up employment as a lawyer. He again served his country during World War I, being appointed captain and serving until July of 1919 in New Jersey. He was not sent overseas during this time of service.
Charles and Francis lived in New York City until at least 1917 when he and his wife moved to Glens Falls. While it is likely that Francis lived in Glens Falls during the years that Charles had gone back into the military, unfortunately, no records have surfaced revealing what occurred between then and 1930. At that time Charles resurfaced in Philadelphia with a new wife, Ella Aldrich, whom he married in 1923. By this time, he was the president of the Canadian Club Corporation, a company that made non-alcoholic maltless beverages and extracts that had been in business since 1910. During the years after the war, Charles was often referred to as Colonel Stoddard, in recognition of his years in the military.
Charles Herbert Stoddard passed away on May 6, 1943, in Philadelphia, only two months after his younger brother Leroy. He was brought back to Glens Falls where he was interred in the family plot next to his parents at the Glens Falls Cemetery.
With no children by either of these brothers, the passing of Charles marked the end of the family line of their father, Seneca Ray Stoddard.
Sources for this story were online newspaper archives as well as historical and military records at ancestry.com. The photograph of Charles Stoddard is from the 1893 Cornell Class Book online at hathitrust.org