Happy Birthday, Susan

October 5, 2012 § 1 Comment

October 13, 2012, will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sue C. Lawrence, aka Susie Lawrence, aka Mrs. E. W. Dana, aka Susan Lawrence Dana, aka Susan Joergen-Dahl, aka Susan Lawrence-Gehrmann, aka Susan Z. Lawrence. I explain in her biography, Susan Lawrence: The Enigma in the Wright House, that she was also known at various stages of her life as Little Rheuna, Tag, Aunty Dana, Dede, and Aunt Susie. While most of us are satisfied with one or two names in our lifetime, it seems that Susan, who did everything on a grand scale, changed names almost as frequently as she changed hats.

Susan also changed birth dates. When she married Lawrence Joergen-Dahl in 1912, the marriage certificate listed the groom’s age as 26 and the bride’s age as 36. She was actually 49 year old. Three years later Susan married Charles Gehrmann. That marriage license claimed that she was 44 and Charles was 49. In reality they were 52 and 53 respectively. If we use those calculations, perhaps we are too early to acknowledge Susan’s 150th birthday.

Nevertheless, there will be a celebration at the Dana-Thomas House on Saturday, October 13. Following the entertainment traditions that Susan established, the Living History Team will offer refreshments and a small gift to guests. Amy Zepp will portray the guest of honor. I wonder what her name and age will be.

Susan Lawrence Dana

Susan Joergen-Dahl

Mrs. E. W. Dana

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