Obit: Underwood, Robbins, Alice Stafford , (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.



Bio: Stafford/ Underwood, Alice (1850 - 1929)

Contact: History Buffs


Surnames: Byrne Hein, Stafford


------Sources: Manitowoc pilot. (Manitowoc, Wis.) April 16, 1914; Vernon County censor (Viroqua, Wis.), March 25, 1903, From the May, 1914 issue of Erie Railroad Magazine; Bowling Green State University Great Lakes Collection


  Manitowoc pilot. (Manitowoc, Wis.), April 16, 1914

Bowling Green State University

Great Lakes Collection

Vernon Co. censor (Viroqua, Wis.), March 25, 1903



























The "Alice Stafford," which was launched at the yards of the Manitowoc (WI) Ship Building and Dry Dock Company, Apl. 15 (1914), is a steel tug of the most modern construction, built in accordance with designs of the eminent architect and engineer, Mr. W.I. Babcock, of the firm Babcock & Penton, of New York, who has designed all the new boats of the Erie fleet for the past five years.

The "Alice Stafford" is a sister tug of the "Frederick U. Robbins," and will be used in terminal service in the Chicago River, where the Erie has introduced the plan of gathering and delivering freight by water. The "Robbins" has been in service now for about eight months.

The plan is to handle freight cars upon steel floats, gathering them from several stations on the Chicago River, and delivering them to the main Erie terminal, and vice versa. Up to the time the Erie road placed a tug and car floats on the Chicago River it was necessary for the freight to be switched through the different railroads to the nearest point to the consignee.

The movement of cars through the congested sections of the city caused considerable delay to the freight, which delay will be obviated to a large extent by the river service. It will also be the means of placing the freight nearer the consignee quite often. It is a plan that has long been in successful operation in New York harbor, and the addition of the "Alice Stafford" doubles the Erie facilities for water distribution and collection at Chicago.

The "Alice Stafford" bears the maiden name of Mrs. Frederick D. Underwood, whose husband is President of the Erie Railroad Company, a Wisconsin man. The "Frederick U. Robbins" is named for her grandson.

Following are her dimensions:
Length. 87 ft. 6 in.; beam, 22 ft.; steel hull, steel deck house; engine, 17-38 x 30, F. & A., compound, 625 h.p.; boiler, one fire box, marine type, 10 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft., carrying 130 lbs. of steam. Burns anthracite coal, and boiler equipped with forced - draft blower. Tug is absolutely smokeless. Pilot house is furnished in yellow pine, natural finish. Crews quarter forward, and completely equipped galley in the hold, aft. Steam steered and electric light plant. Equipped with fire pumps discharging through a fireboat nozzle on the forward deck and through two standard hose outlets at the ends of the house. All the equipment is most modern and complete.

The "Alice Stafford" was christened by Miss Helen Dunkle, daughter of Mr. H.0. Dunkle, General Manager, Chicago Terminals Division, and Assistant to the President. May, 1914 issue of Erie Railroad Magazine




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