Skip to topic | Skip to bottom
Benedict.FannyBenedict1840r1.1 - 25 Mar 2009 - 00:14 - Main.guesttopic end

Start of topic | Skip to actions

Fanny B Benedict

Born Born   14 Aug 1839   at Norwalk, OH
Married Married   13 Aug 1862 Louis H. Severance at Norwalk, OH
Died Died   1 Aug 1874   at Cleveland,OH



  1. John L Severance; birthplace Ohio
  2. Bessie S Severance; birthplace Pennsylvania
  3. Annie B Severance; birthplace Pennsylvania
  4. ?

Portraits of Fanny Benedict

David and Fanny Benedict Fanny Benedict Severance
David and Fanny BenedictFanny Benedict Severance

The portrait of David and Fanny Benedict was scanned from a print in the possession of Dave Barton. The original oil painting is in the possession of Frank Harding. The photograph of Fanny Benedict Severance is from the collection of Susan Orsini.

The Life of Fanny Benedict Severance

Fanny was born August 14, 1839, the last of four children of Jonas and Fanny Benedict. Her mother died shortly after her birth, and she and her brother David and her sister Mary were brought up by her stepmother, Caroline Chapman. Fanny’s stepmother did not like Fanny and her brother, David Benedict, although she did like Mary.

Fanny’s oldest brother, Platt, died in an accident before she was born. Her sister Mary, fell and broke her back while an infant, causing her to walk bent over, supporting her upper body with her hands on her knees. She died in 1844 at the age of eight. [1]

David and Fanny had a good relationship. A portrait from mid-1840 shows two attractive young people. Her brother had the soft features and gentle expression of his father. Fanny had a pleasing almond shaped face and large expressive eyes. They sit close together. Fanny’s head rests on her brother’s shoulder. [2]

After her father’s death in 1851, Fanny’s stepmother married a prominent Norwalk banker, William Kittridge, and Fanny went to live in his house. She was thought one of the most beautiful of the girls in Norwalk at that time and was described as a pure blonde in complexion; her features were a classic, her movement’s grace, her character an inspiration. She was considered the undisputed belle of the town. [3]

In the late 1850’s, Fanny met Louis Severance, who was probably an acquaintance of her brother. Louis was born in Cleveland on August 1, 1838 to Solomon and Mary Long Severance. Louis never knew his father, who died before he was born. After Solomon died, Louis’ mother moved in with her father, David Long, Jr., who was the first medical doctor in town, and founded the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland.

Louis attended Cleveland Public schools, and when he graduated in 1856, he went to work at the Commercial Bank of Cleveland. After the Civil War, he made a fortune in the oil industry in Pennsylvania, and later was treasurer of the Standard Oil Company.

They married August 13, 1862. During the war, Louis served as a hundred days volunteer in the defense of Washington, D.C. After the war they moved to Pennsylvania where Louis started an oil exploration and refining business. They had four children. [4]

Fanny died August 1, 1874 in Cleveland, Ohio. [5]


  1. Family History: Wickham, Benedict, Preston & Deaver, by Harriott and Agnes Wickham, edited by Dave Barton, 2006 (Unpublished)
  2. See citation above.
  3. “Norwalk, Its Men, Women and Girls,” by William Wickham, The Firelands Pioneer, December 1918, p. 2105
  4. “Louis Severance” American National Biography, Volume 19, p 662 & The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
  5. “Obituaries,” The Firelands Pioneer, October 1874, p. 110


CENSUS YR: 1850 STATE or TERRITORY: OH COUNTY: Huron DIVISION: Norwalk Township REEL NO: M432-697 PAGE NO: 14a REFERENCE: Enumerated on the 19th of July, 1850 by A. Raymond AGE SEX OCCUP. VAL. BIRTHPLACE

  • benedict, Jonas b.; age 41; Male; Farmer; Valuation 7,000; birthplace N. Y.
  • benedict, Caroline; age 35; Female; birthplace Pa.
  • benedict, Fanny L.; age 10; Female; Student; birthplace Ohio .
  • brown, Jane; age 23; Female; Teacher; birthplace N. Y
  • Simmons, Catharine; age 21; Female; birthplace Germany
  • Chapman, Caroline; age 5; Female; Student; birthplace Ohio

1860 US Federal Census: Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio; Roll: M653_991; Page: 210; Image: 53. 5Jun1860

  • Kittridge, William F, age 57, male, banker, value of real estate: 22,000, personal: 18,000, b Mass
  • Kittridge, Caroline A, age 45, female, value of real estate: 2000, personal: 1500, b PA
  • Benedict, Fanny B, age 20, female, value of personal: 5000, b OH
  • Kittridge, Fredrick, age 18, male, b OH
  • Cavanaugh, Kate, age 30, female, servant, b Ireland
  • Chapman, Charles, age 84, male, b CT
  • Chapman, Martha, age 75, female, b CT
  • Kittridge, Laura, age 20, female, b OH
  • Kittridge, Mary, age 18, female, b OH

Year: 1870; Census Place: Titusville Ward 2, Crawford, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1331; Page: 632; Image: 369

  • Lewis H Severance; age 38; oil producer, real estate value 13,000; personal value 2,000; birthplace, Ohio
  • Fannie B Severance; age 36; keeping house; birthplace Ohio
  • John L Severance; age 7; at school; birthplace Ohio
  • Bessie S Severance; age 5; birthplace Pennsylvania
  • Annie B Severance; age 2; birthplace Pennsylvania
  • Sarah C Adams; age 68; living with daughter; birthplace New York
  • Nellie Ryan; age 24; Servant; birthplace Ireland
  • Hannah Hession; age 25; Servant; birthplace New York
  • Peter Carroll; age 19; Servant; birthplace New York

Year: 1880; Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: T9_1006; Family History Film: 1255006; Page: 97.1000; Enumeration District: 20; Image: 0198.

  • Louis H. Severance; age 40
  • John L. Severance; age 17
  • Allen D. Severance; age 15
  • Bessie S. Severance; age 15
  • Julia W. Severance; age 17
  • Mary H. Severance; age 15
  • Annie B. Severance; age 12


  • Family History: Wickham, Benedict, Preston & Deaver, by Harriott and Agnes Wickham, edited by Dave Barton, 2006 (Unpublished)

  • “Norwalk, Its Men, Women and Girls,” by William Wickham, The Firelands Pioneer, December 1918, p. 2105

  • “Obituaries,” The Firelands Pioneer, October 1874, p. 110

  • “Louis Severance” American National Biography, Volume 19, p 662

  • The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

-- DaveBarton - 24 Mar 2009
to top

I Attachment sort Action Size Date Who Comment
DavidFannyBenedict.jpg manage 566.7 K 24 Mar 2009 - 23:50 DaveBarton Portrait of David & Fanny Benedict
books.jpg manage 23.2 K 24 Mar 2009 - 23:52 DaveBarton Louis Severance
FannyBenedictSeveranceSusanOrsini.jpg manage 68.1 K 24 Mar 2009 - 23:58 DaveBarton Fanny Benedict Severance

Copyright © 1999-2020 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback