By Oscar Wilde (auth.)

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It was named for Lavinia Noble, fiancée of Josiah Polk, one of the founders. Tradition has it that when Josiah spelled out her name in his garden, with cabbages, Lavinia threw him over. 1 The house John leased for his family, at 1151 Cherry Street, was within easy walking distance of his office. In muddy weather, in winter and in 36 BOOK TWO: A PRAIRIE BOYHOOD the wet springs, the sidewalks were shod with wood planking, but fine elms, beeches, locusts, and tulip poplars gave a sequestered contentment to life in Noblesville which, to the Stouts, must have seemed a welcome alternative to Kansas, where the wind blew day and night and trees were scant.

The Reverend Richard Lanum, his grandson, said William was in Boston in 1775, and present at the Battle of Bunker Hill. In Boston he married Benjamin Franklin's grandniece, the granddaughter of Mrs. Robert Homes, Franklin's sister Mary. Their daughter Bathsheba was born in February 1777. To commemorate their Franklin alliance, Robert and Bathsheba named their first child, born 16 March 1799, Elizabeth Franklin Lanum. Elizabeth, in turn, named her first child, born 18 March 1823, Mary Franklin Waldron.

One might ask if it was Amos's skill as tutor that accounted for Emily's scholarship, or if the potential had passed to her through her scapegrace schoolteacher father. Still another explanation offers. For that we must go back into Emily's family history. Mary (Polly) Lanum was the daughter of Bathsheba Ambler and Robert Power Lanum [Lanham]. The Lanum ancestors had come to America from Scotland and had settled in Maryland, in Piscataway Parish, Prince Georges County, close by the Potomac. The first of Edward Lanum's sixteen children was born in 1723 and the last in 1765.

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