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Louisa J. (nee: Gardner) Chadwick



Louisa J. (nee: Gardner) Chadwick

(A Chester Times article written on the occasion of Mrs. Chadwick's 100th Birthday)
Contributed by Louise Reynolds

Chester Times, front page
Friday, January 8, 1937

Mrs. Louisa J. Chadwick Marks 100th Birthday

Mrs. Louisa J. Chadwick of 522 West Ninth Street is celebrating the 100th anniversary of her birth today. She is believed to be the oldest woman in this city, and probably the county. 
Mrs. Chadwick will be the guest at a dinner in the evening at which her two daughters, Mrs. Charles S. Worrell, of Ocean City, NJ, and Mrs. John H. Kirk of Buffalo, NY, and her son, Dr. John Chadwick, with whom she makes her home, and Mr. Worrell will attend.

Mrs. Chadwick was born in Jersey City, NJ on January 8, 1837. She and her late husband, Robert Chadwick, came to Chester in 1865, immediately after the Civil War.

Her husband served in the Union Army, and was one of the first voters for the Republican Party, then in its infancy, that elected Abraham Lincoln as its president. Mr. and Mrs. Chadwick had lived in Frankford previous to moving to Chester.

For many years her husband conducted a carriage building business at Third and Fulton Streets. He was succeeded in the business by his son, the late Henry G. Chadwick, when he retired. 
Mrs. Chadwick has been kindly treated by time, which has laid lightly on her shoulders. She retains all her faculties with the exception of her eyesight. While unable to read, she can distinguish clearly members of her family and friends as they enter her home to pay her a visit. She has a retentive memory and recalls many incidents connected with the Civil War and talks much of Abraham Lincoln whom she had the pleasure of seeing twice while he was in command of the Union Army.

Fond of Dancing
In her girlhood days she was fond of dancing and the youths in her home town were eager to secure her name on their programs for the cotillion, minuet, square dances, and the waltz which has been handed down as the favorite of dancers since the introduction of Terpsichore as an art of amusement was introduced in this country. [One of the nine Muses of ancient Greece. Terpsichore is the Muse of dancing and the dramatic chorus, and later of lyric poetry (and in even later versions, of flute playing). Hence the word terpsichorean, pertaining to dance. She is usually represented seated, and holding a lyre. According to some traditions, she is the mother of the Sirens with the river-god Achelous. She is also occasionally mentioned as the mother of Linus by Apollo.]

She was also fond of singing in her youth, and even as she is now entering her second century mark she often lifts her voice in songs she learned in her earlier days and dances around the living room of her home to their melodies.

Radio Diversion
The radio is one of her chief diversions and she “listens in” to the programs and comments of the merits of the programs. Mrs. Chadwick, who has lived through the horse and buggy days up to the present method of transportation, the automobile, is highly impressed with the latter method of transportation and enjoys a ride through the country roads with her son, Dr. John Chadwick, whenever he can take the time off from his profession work, provided the weather is favorable and his mother’s health will permit him to take her out. Mrs. Chadwick detests the habit of young girls smoking cigarettes and she also disapproves of the practice of their frequenting taprooms. Her husband died in 1902. He was a former councilman of this city and served as a member of the State Legislature from 1880 until 1888. In 1889 Mr. Chadwick was appointed postmaster of Chester and served in the office during his administration.

She is a member of the First Baptist Church, Seventh and Fulton Streets and attended regularly until five years ago. Besides her two daughters and a son, she has eight grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild.


[Note: Mrs. Chadwick died about three months after her 100th birthday, on April 1, 1937.]





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