Monday, March 11, 2013

1880s Autograph Album of Clara J. Laird of Chelsea, Vermont


Autograph album that was presented to Clara J. Laird of Chelsea, Vermont by her teacher E. F. N. in February of 1882.  


Interestingly, signer Ella F. Norris had what appears to be identical handwriting to that on the page above.  She inscribed her page at Hyde Park, Massachusetts, on 17 February 1882.


The album is a small one, approximately 4" x 2-3/4" and contains 27 pages of sentiments signed by Clara's relatives and friends.  An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

Clara J. Laird was born 13 April 1871 at Chelsea, Vermont, the daughter of Robert William Laird and Ellen Sarah (Bugbee) Laird, who were born in Ireland and at Chelsea, Vermont, respectively.

Clara's father, Robert William Laird, signed a page in her autograph album on 6 October 1889.


Her mother, Ellen Sarah (Bugbee) Laird, signed a page on 4 March 1883 and affixed a Victorian scrap.


Clara's sister, Katie E. Laird of Chelsea, Vermont, signed a page on 13 April 1885 and affixed a Victorian scrap.


Clara's Aunt Emma R. Bugbee signed a page on 26 August 1887.


Several people who indicated they were Clara's cousins signed pages, as you will note in the list below.  These were John M. Comstock; second cousin Hattie Dearborn of Chelsea, Vermont; Lilla A. Goodwin of North Weare, New Hampshire.  I'm fairly sure there were other cousins who didn't indicate a relationship.  

On 10 June 1900 at Williamstown, Vermont, Clara married Arthur Elbert Stearns, son of Warren Everett Stearns and Fannie Adeline (Dickerman) Stearns.  Arthur was born 13 May 1873 at Chelsea, Vermont.

Arthur and Clara raised a family of, I believe, four children on their farms at Williamstown, Vermont, and, later, Royalton, Vermont.  

Their daughter Muriel Stearns apparently found the album in 1920 and signed her name in it.


Clara died in 1940, and Arthur in 1960.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!


  • Emma R. Bugbee, signed on 26 August 1887; Clara's "Auntie"
  • John M. Comstock, signed on 16 March 1883; Clara's cousin
  • Persis D. Comstock of Chelsea, Vermont, signed on 16 March 1883
  • Lucy E. Corwin of Chelsea, Vermont, signed on 11 September 1885
  • Hattie H. Dearborn of Chelsea, Vermont, signed on 19 April 1890; Clara's second cousin
  • Edith S. Dearborn of Chelsea, Vermont, signed on 13 April 1892
  • Lettie French, signed in February 1882
  • Laura E. Goodwin of North Weare, New Hampshire, signed at Chelsea, Vermont, on 11 April 1882
  • Lilla A. Goodwin of North Weare, New Hampshire, signed at Chelsea, Vermont, on 11 April 1882; Clara's cousin
  • Ella K. Herrick, signed on 26 July 1884
  • Will A. Hood
  • Ella R. Hood of Chelsea, Vermont
  • F. G. Huntington of Chelsea, Vermont, signed on 23 November 1882
  • Clara J. Laird of Chelsea, Vermont; album owner
  • Katie E. Laird of Chelsea, Vermont, signed on 13 April 1885; Clara's sister
  • R. W. Laird, signed on 6 October 1889; Clara's father Robert William Laird
  • E. S. Laird, signed 4 March 1883; Clara's mother Ellen Sarah (Bugbee) Laird.  Clara's father Robert William Laird signed the facing page.
  • Josie E. Lyttle, signed at Chelsea, Vermont, on 27 December 1882
  • M. A. Lyttle, signed at Chelsea, Vermont, on 18 July 1883
  • Ella F. Norris, signed at Hyde Park, Massachusetts, on 17 February 1882
  • Edna F. Robbins of Chelsea, Vermont, signed on 12 June 1889
  • Lois H. Slack of Randolph, Vermont, signed at Chelsea, Vermont, on 27 August 1886
  • Ransom E. Slack of Randolph, Vermont
  • Muriel Stearns of South Royalton, Vermont, signed on 10 April 1920; Clara's daughter - "1909 born"
  • Hattie Stevens
  • L. A. Thorne, signed at Green Mountain Home on 9 March 1882
  • Grace Vincent of Chelsea, Vermont, signed on 25 August 1883; middle initial could be S or J or G or ?
Chelsea, Vermont


Thanks for stopping by!


2 comments:

  1. Hi, My Name is Patricia Rose Stearns Lavalette, Warren Stearns of Chelsea Vermont who was married to Katherine Dickerman Stearns is my Great Grandfather, Their son Clarence Dickerman Stearns was brother to Arthur Elbert Stearns. Clarence Stearns was my Grandfather. His son Warren Wilbur Stearns was my dad. I live in Charlotte, Vermont. Arthur Elbert Stearns did marry Clara J. Laird. They had a son named Donald Stearns Who married and they had 2 sons. Do you still have this Autograph Album and if so what would it cost to purchase this piece of history from my family? Please email me at prlavalette@gmavt.net. I live at 2289 Greenbush Road Charlotte, Vermont 05445. I hope to here from you. This comment was posted on Aug. 20, 2014

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  2. Will contact you - glad you happened by!

    ReplyDelete