More on the George Hildreth story

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To the editor:

Nice article by Jacob Schaad, Jr. on Captain George as he was known. One minor correction, Susan Hildreth, buried in the Hildreth plot with Captain George, was his unmarried daughter.

My great-grandaunt was Captain George’s second wife, who was not listed by name in the obituary. She is mentioned in his will where he leaves two properties on Jackson Street (currently the Mad Batter and Poor Richard Guest House) to his daughter Susan, with rental profits from what is now the Mad Batter to go to his second wife Mary. Her full name was Mary Ann Archibald Beatty Hildreth.

Mary Ann Archibald was a widow as her first husband, Moore Beatty, drowned in Atlantic City trying to save a woman in distress. Mary Ann Hildreth had come to America from Ireland in 1845 at the age of 12. Both her parents died of typhoid in Philadelphia six months after they emigrated.

Three of the Archibald children were placed in an orphanage. The admission records state three other sisters had been placed “in service.” Mary Ann was one of the three placed in service. She married Moore Beatty, a successful Philadelphia carpenter, in 1853. Beatty drowned in 1877.

Mary Ann Beatty married Captain George Hildreth in 1886. Mary Ann Hildreth died Dec. 29, 1906. Her death certificate is signed by her brother, Harry C. Archibald MD, who was one of the three children placed in the orphanage in 1845. Dr Archibald was a frequent visitor to Ocean City and a front page article on him was in the Ocean City Sentinel when he died in 1907.

Perhaps most interesting is an article in the New York Times on Jan 20, 1884 where Captain George gave up on his legal suit against the widow Cahill (before marrying Mary Anne): “MRS. CAHILL VICTORIOUS.; CAPT. HILDRETH DISCONTINUES HIS BREACH OF PROMISE SUIT. PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 19. – The extraordinary suit for breach of promise of marriage by Capt. George Hildreth against Mrs. Sophia Cahill, the widow of Thomas E. Cahill, the millionaire President of the Knickerbocker Ice Company, who left a quarter of a million to found a Roman Catholic high school, has come to an abrupt end.”

Surprising, that article did not kill Captain George years before his demise.

Andrea Archibald McGill
Cape May Court House


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