Monday, March 25, 2019

1890-1892 Autograph Album of Bertha Delight Beckwith of Woodlawn, Nova Scotia; Served as a Physician in WWI in France; Actress in New York City


1890s autograph album of Bertha Delight Beckwith (1876-1967) of Woodlawn, Nova Scotia.

Bertha or someone else wrote her name on the title page.  H. S. Barteau of Berwick, presumably Berwick, Nova Scotia, inscribed the inside cover, left in the image below.


The album measures approximately 5-1/4" by 3-1/2" and contains the sentiments of 25 of Bertha's relatives and friends.  An alphabetical surname list appears below, and an alphabetical list of the inscribers, together with any personal information they offered, appears at the end of this post.

Surnames in the Album

? [3]FFranklinPParker
BBarteaux [2]GGaylor or TaylorTTaylor or Gaylor
BeckwithHHowellTurner
CCahillLLutzWWest
CashmanMMcAuleyYYoung
CharltonMcBride [2]
DD ?McNeil [2]
Davidson [2]NNeily

Bertha Alma Beckwith was born at Woodlawn, Nova Scotia, on April 19, 1875,  daughter of Samuel Hustis Vincent Beckwith, "Lester", and Jemima (Saunders) Beckwith.  I'm not sure when Bertha's middle name became Delight.

According to an articles transcribed here and here, Bertha moved to Saint John, New Brunswick for educational purposes, then to Boston, where she worked as a reporter, and then to New York University to study medicine.  She started as a nurse, became a physician and served in France during World War I.  After she returned to New York, reportedly at least partly due to the pushback she got as a woman doctor, she gave up medicine and became an actress.  Whether she returned to medicine or not, I don't know.

Bertha died at New York City on August 20, 1967; her stone gives her birth year as 1876.  She's buried with her parents and other relatives in the Burlington Cemetery at Burlington, Nova Scotia.

If you have corrections and/additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Interestingly, no one mentioned their province when giving their residence.  I'm assuming that all of the place names given are located in Nova Scotia.

Left: Vesta W. West; inscribed at Victoria Harbor on June 9, 1890
Right: C. L. Cahill of Harborville

Left: Orlando; inscribed on August 9, 1890 at Aylesford
Right: Winnie; inscribed at Auburn on July 31, 1890

Inscribers in the Album
  • Laura; inscribed at Woodlawn in May 1891
  • Orlando; inscribed on August 9, 1890 at Aylesford
  • Winnie; inscribed at Auburn on July 31, 1890
  • E. S. Barteaux; inscribed at Berwick in 1892
  • H. S. Barteaux; inscribed at Berwick on December 29, 1892
  • Miss Bertha Delight Beckwith, album owner
  • C. L. Cahill; inscribed at Harbourville on April 26, 1892
  • Minnie Cashman; inscribed on April 19, no year written
  • Leander W. Charlton of Woodlawn; inscribed on March 20, 1892
  • C. M. D.; inscribed on June 21, 1890
  • Milton D. Davidson; inscribed on June 18, 1890
  • S. H. Davidson; inscribed on June 21, 1890
  • Carrie E. Franklin; inscribed at Somerset on September 13, 1890
  • Nellie Taylor or Nellie Gaylor
  • Jennie Howell; inscribed at Wood Lawn on February 24, 1892
  • Charlie E. Lutz; inscribed at Wood Lawn on February 22, 1892
  • Ethel McAuley; inscribed in 1892
  • Georgiana McBride; inscribed at Woodlawn on June 9, 1890
  • Victoria A. McBride of Wood Lawn; inscribed on June 9, 1890
  • Annie McNeil; inscribed on October 11, 1890
  • Florence McNeil; inscribed at Victoria Harbor on October 10, 1890
  • Clara Neily; inscribed on July 27, 1890 at Aylesford
  • Ethel Parker; inscribed on July 30, 1890 at Aylesford
  • Nellie Taylor or Nellie Gaylor
  • Mary Turner; inscribed on July 23, 1891
  • Vesta V. West; inscribed at Victoria Harbor on June 9, 1890
  • E. B. Young; inscribed on August 14, 1890 at Aylesford

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