Husband: John Tyree Siddons (Siddons) (Fig. R552a)
Father: John S. Siddons
Mother: Mary E. Siddons
Born: 1877, in Powhatan County Va.

Wife: Mary Lillian (Sis) (Wood) Siddons (Fig. R552b)
Father: Lewis E. Wood [R005]
Mother: Emma Katherine (Burger) Wood [R005]
Born: 9/7/1882, “Wood home near Sitlington”
Died: 7/24/1944, buried in Horeb Baptist Church cemetery

Married: 11/29/1905, at Nimrod Hall. P. Swann, minister

Children (Fig. R552c):
Cassie (Siddons) McCraw, b. ~1909
Ila (Mick) Siddons, b. ~1910
Joseph Kemper Siddons, 11/11/1911-3/25/1935, buried in Horeb
    Baptist Church cemetery
Mabel (Siddons) Lawrence, b. ~1912
Two stillborn children, 1922 and 1923, buried in Horeb Baptist
    Church cemetery

(1996) Siddons was a fireman on a railroad switch engine. He and Mary lived in Clifton Forge. Emma Wood’s letters [S089] refer to Siddons only seldom and in formal terms. Family tradition is that he was not a sympathetic person.

Mary’s life can only be described as tragic. Daughter Mick became mentally unstable. By 1926 references appear in [S089] to Mary having “a lot of trouble with Mick,” who was “nervous” and was periodically sent away somewhere. Finally she was committed to the Western State Asylum in Staunton. In 3/1927 Siddons had a severe stroke. At first it was thought to be terminal, but he survived and recovered some of hisfaculties. On 5/27/1927 [S089] reports “Mary left for N.Y. this past thursday & I suppose is now there. I fear it is the wrong move for her but hope that they will be good & nice to her & family. She says she is coming back in the fall. The railroad people have been very good to them, the lodge made them up 75 dollars, & they are going to try to get a pention for him that is if he dosenot get able to work. Mary said she went to the road office to get there passes to N.Y. & the head official told her that when ever she got ready to come back, to write him & she should have her passes back, this was nice indeed.” Siddons appears to have had family in New York state, and Mary may have been taking him and their children there to be supported by his family.

Soon after (1/4/1928) reference was made to Siddons visiting relatives in Buckingham (presumably that County in Va.). On 11/28/1928 Lewis Wood, writing to Kemp, said “...Mary has to be cared for... [she] is afraid to try to live with Siddons any more. She is in constant dread of him. He ought to be with Mick. Poor creature How dreadful.”

Considerably later (12/27/1932) their son Joseph, writing his mother from Mattituck N.Y. (out near the eastern tip of Long Island), said “We received your nice packages and want to thank you for them. The cake and meat was fine. We didn’t cut the cake until Christmas. The other things were also nice. Uncle Will and Uncle Ned were tickled that you remembered them. I had a fine Christmas and hope all of you did too. I am sorry I could not send you a little more money than I did but the Judge says he is pretty hard up...I don’t think Daddy is coming until after New Years but you can’t tell much about him, he is just like a big baby. He says one thing today and something else the next...” This is the last information I have on Siddons. Joseph died two years later of tuberculosis.

Mary returned to Nimrod to live about the time of Lewis Wood’s observation above. She replaced her mother Emma, when she died (11/10/28), as the woman of the house. This was a mutually advantageous arrangement while it lasted, but she was displaced from that role by Frank Wood’s wife Mae when he married (11/29/33). Thereafter it is easy to picture her sinking into depression. A (justifiably) grim, dour, lonely person, she may not have been treated very kindly. As a boy at the early Camp Nimrod, I remember her wordlessly pouring cocoa from an aluminum pitcher into our cups at breakfast time. My Bath County cousins, children in that time, remember her mostly for the scary gothic tales she told them of vampires and other evil creatures. Cousin Emmy [S133] charitably suggests she may have done this just to get them to leave her alone, but there is also a darker interpretation. Ultimately Mary, too, was committed to the Western State Asylum in Staunton. She was the first of Lewis and Emma Wood’s children to die (7/24/1944), and all her brothers and sisters turned out for the funeral (Figs. R552d, R552e).

Daughter Mabel married a man substantially her senior and had three children (David, Joe, Doris). They lived in Lynchburg Va. Mabel committed suicide; I don’t know whether her death was before or after her mother’s. Her husband, who worked at the Lynchburg Foundry, put the children in a church-run home so they would have the supervision they needed while he was working; he took them on weekends. However, he died before the children were old enough to be released from the home. Son David maintained contact with Elsie (Wood) Tyree [R561] while she was alive.

Daughter Cassie became a graduate nurse and was employed for many years at the Virginia Baptist Hospital in Lynchburg. She married Calvin McCraw and had a son, John. As far as I know she lived a full and normal life.

Sources: [S003, S052, S089, S133, S143]