Horace and Harriet Coudy
Compiled By Great-Grandson Edward K. Hine, Jr. ("Ted") - April, 2004
(Updated April, 2007 and April 2012)

   Horace Resley Coudy

 Born:  April 9, 1862 in St. Louis, Missouri
 Died:  November 30, 1949 in St. Louis, Missouri
 Cause of Death:   "Infirmities of Old Age"
Age at Death:  87
 Buried:  Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, MO
(GPS N 38 41.784, W 090 13.787  10 feet - WGS84 Datum)

 Father:      Mathew Coudy (1813-1883)
 Mother:     Mary Margaret Caroline Seward
 Siblings:  Agnes Mary Coudy (1849- 1933)
Margaret Coudy (1859-?)
   Upton Seward Coudy (1865-1947)
   Lee Mathew Coudy (1868-?)
   Cornelia (Lillian) Coudy (1856-1857)
                  James Coudy (?, ?)

Harriet Varner Shipley-Coudy ("Hattie")

Born:  December 5, 1865 in or near Pittsburgh, PA
Died:  October, 1938 in St. Louis, Missouri 
Cause of Death:  Believed to be Cancer
Age at Death:  73
Buried:  Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, MO
(GPS N 38 41.784, W 090 13.787  10 feet - WGS84 Datum)

Father:       (Unknown) Shipley
Mother:      Elizabeth Varner-Shipley (1837-1907)

Siblings:   Will Shipley (by oral reference only)
                  Rachael A. Shipley-Towsend (1856 - ?)



Horace in 1862 (6 mo. old)

Harriet around 1870

           Married:  April 25, 1883

              Elmer Horace Coudy  (1885-1936)
              Norman U. Coudy (1888-1941)

          Harold Lee Coudy (1890-1935)
              Raymond M. Coudy (?, 1884)
              Hazel Elizabeth Caroline Coudy-Hulburd




Tin-type images of Horace and Hattie in 1883 around the time of their wedding

About Horace and Hattie Coudy

Only bits and pieces about the lives of Horace and Hattie Coudy have survived.   Some of the information provided here comes from audio recordings made of conversations with my mother, Betty Hulburd-Hine-Alderson (a grand-daughter of Horace and Hattie) and from papers, photos, and other memorabilia which had been saved and stored by Horace and/or my mother and which I recently discovered among her effects 7 years after her 1996 death.


Hattie in 1883

According to my mother's recorded oral history tapes, Hattie, her grandmother, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and was the daughter of a river boat captain.   Mother mentions "Uncle Will" Shipley, who she believed to be Hattie's brother, and recalls that mother's sister (Harriet Nan Hulburd-Erstein-Nalley) visited him in Memphis as a child.

 I note that while mother indicated Hattie was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Memphis, census records starting in 1870 when Hattie was 4 years old consistently indicate she was born in Missouri and lived in St. Louis her entire life, first with her mother and then her husband.  I suspect that my mother had Hattie confused with Hattie's mother, Elizabeth Varner-Shipley who was in fact born in Pennsylvania and for whom I have no evidence that would exclude her from having lived in Memphis for a time early in her marriage from after 1856 when a daughter was born in Pennsylvania till 1870 when census records show the family in St. Louis.

U.S. census records show that in 1880 Hattie V. Shipley, age 14, and her mother Elizabeth were living with Hattie's sister Rachael A. Towsend and husband in St. Louis.   In a letter to my mother in 1946 Horace Coudy wrote regarding Hattie:

"When I met your grandmother her father was dead and she and her mother were living with a married sister and her husband.  They came from Pittsburgh, Pa and her father was a steamboat captain.  That's all I ever knew.  When we married she was 17 years and I was just 21.  We lived happily for 55 years and six months exactly the night she passed away.   Apr. 25, 1883 - Oct. 25th 1938."

Hattie passed away at age 73 apparently from cancer according to mother.   Mother must have known her grandmother and Horace while she was growing up in St. Louis in the 1920's and 1930's but, for unknown reasons, rarely spoke of her grandparents to me over the years perhaps because they didn't play a major role in her life.  I suspect that mother would have attended Hattie's funeral since she was living in St. Louis in 1938 though I have no evidence that she did.

        View Hattie's Obituaries

About Hattie's Parents

Hattie's mother was Elizabeth Varner (1837-1907) and Elizabeth's married surname was Shipley according to both my mother and all the census records I've obtained.   Unfortunately I have no first name for Mr. Shipley and almost nothing is known about him except that both my mother and Horace Coudy (see above) believed he was a riverboat or steamboat  captain and Horace suggests that he was perhaps from Pennsylvania.    Two different 1880 census records for St. Louis, MO indicate conflicting information as to the birth place of Mr. Shipley in his daughter Hattie's entries. The June 2, 1880 version indicates that Hattie's father was born in Pennsylvania while the Nov. 1880 version indicates Ohio.   The 1870 census shows Elizabeth Shipley and 4 year old daughter Hattie living alone in St. Louis with no male head of household present suggesting that Mr. Shipley may have passed away by then.  1880 census records show Elizabeth and daughter Hattie living with Elizabeth's other daughter Rachael Shipley-Towsend (b. 1856, wife of Thomas D. Towsend) and Elizabeth is shown as a widow.  Shipley is a fairly common name so without a first name, approximate date of birth and/or death, and with conflicting birth locations it's proved impossible for me to find him in census records. 

Mr. Shipley presumably married Elizabeth Varner prior to 1856 when daughter Rachael was born when Elizabeth would have been about 19 years old.  Since both Elizabeth and daughter Rachael consistently show in census records as being born in Pennsylvania and this is also one of the shown locations of Mr. Shipley's birth, I strongly suspect that Elizabeth and Mr. Shipley were married there but I have been unable to find a marriage record.    The 1856 birth of Rachael and the 1870 census showing Elizabeth and daughter Hattie in St. Louis provides a time window during which the family must have moved from PA to MO and during which the Shipley's could have lived for a time in Memphis, TN as suggested by my mother (above).  However, I have found no record of this Shipley family in Tennessee.

As indicated by Horace Coudy (above), his mother-in-law Elizabeth Varner-Shipley (January 1837- October 1907) was in fact born in the Pittsburgh, PA area.   I've found 1850 census records for the William Varner family in Monongahela City, PA (just outside of Pittsburgh) which shows Elizabeth at the correct age of about 14 along with 6 siblings.   In 1860 the same Varner family appears (without Elizabeth) in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (Borough Of Birmingham) which is substantially right at Pittsburgh.  William Varner (b. abt. 1809 in PA or KY according to conflicting census records) was married to Priscilla (b. abt. 1810 in PA, no last name) and his occupation is shown as a glass blower.

1900 census records show Elizabeth Varner-Shipley still living with daughter Rachael Shipley-Towsend in St. Louis.   Elizabeth passed away in St. Louis presumably just  prior to Oct. 14, 1907 when her death notice appeared in the St. Louis Post.  Cause of death was "carcinoma".  I assume she is buried in St. Louis but I don't know where.  Perhaps with the Towsend family.

Elizabeth Varner-Shipley Death Records

A final note regarding Hattie's family.  My mother mentions in her oral history (cited above) that she believed Hattie had a brother, "Uncle Will" Shipley, who she suggests lived in Memphis and was visited there by mother's sister Harriet when she was a child.  I've found no evidence in census records that a Will or William Shipley connected to Hattie existed (which doesn't mean he didn't) in Memphis or anywhere else.    Additionally, the 1900 census record for Elizabeth Shipley shows that she had given birth to 3 children but that only 2 were still living (most certainly Rachael and Hattie).  This tends to confirm that an "Uncle Will" Shipley could have existed but makes it impossible that mothers sister Harriet (b. 1916) could have visited him if he'd passed away by 1900.   Another possibility:   Census records show Hattie's mother Elizabeth had a brother named William Varner (b. abt. 1841 in Pennsylvania) who possibly could have been the "Uncle Will" my mother referred to.   Had mother's sister Harriet visited him when she was old enough to remember it, William Varner would have been at least around 80 years old, Harriet having been born in 1916.  I have been unsuccessful in finding a William Varner born in Pennsylvania in around 1841 living in Tennessee.


Horace spent his entire life in St. Louis starting with his birth there in 1862.   Nothing has survived regarding his childhood or education.  Currently available information shows that he worked for the Cotton Belt Railway (known in later years as the St. Louis Southwestern Railway) and it is assumed that he spent his entire career there though there is no proof of this.   Mother, his death certificate, and other surviving documents confirm this employer and mother believed that he was "head of the accounting department".    An obituary for Hattie refers to him as a "former railroad man" and indicates he "was formerly an officer in the treasurer's department of the Cotton Belt Railroad".

Hattie and Horace around 1890

He passed away in November of 1949 at age 87 from "infirmities of old age" (according to his death certificate) and is buried along with Hattie in the Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.

Letters written to my mother in the 1940's indicate that he was lonely in his old age.  He had outlived his wife and all of his children.   None of his grandchildren lived in the St. Louis area as near as I can tell.   The children of his daughter, Hazel Coudy-Hulburd (Harriet, Betty, and Bud), had all been living in the New York City area since 1939 and the location of his only other grandchild, Dorothy Jane Coudy is not know but likely wasn't St. Louis.

C. Earl Hulburd, divorced husband of Horace and Hattie's daughter Hazel wrote in a letter to his daughter Elizabeth Hulburd-Hine (my mother) in New Jersey on December 5, 1949:

"Well, Gramps is no more.  He was buried Saturday morning and it was a beautiful sunny day.  Many of his old friends from Kingshighway Church were there but it seemed odd that so few of his relatives were in attendance.  He was almost the last of the line.  I had Mother's ashes placed inside the casket so they are adequately cared for.   Dad Coudy had lived his life and there was little grief because of that.   His many friends paid last tribute to him, and one of the nicest things was the outpouring of the Cotton Belt office workers.   I thought this was particularly nice inasmuch as he had been retired for around 15 years and had been out of contact with the office for a long, long time.  He looked very well in death  -- practically as always except he was quite thin."

Note:  The reference in the above quote to "Mother's ashes" suggests that the remains of Hazel Coudy-Hulburd (divorced wife of C. Earl Hulburd who passed away in New York in 1944) are buried with her father Horace in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis.   C. Earl Hulburd regularly referred to his wife Hazel as "Mother" in correspondence with their children.

Horace's Letters To His Grandaughter (PDF)

Their Life Together

In a letter written by son-in-law C. Earl Hulburd to the Railroad Retirement Board regarding benefits after Horace's death it is indicated that Horace and Hattie had 4 children, Hazel, Elmer, Norman, and Harold, and that only Hazel and Elmer had children.  (On the other hand, my mother indicates in several handwritten written notes found after her death, that her grandparents had one additional son, Raymond, and Bellefontaine Cemetery records show a Raymond M. Coudy interred in the Coudy family plot in 1884 which suggests, based on the birth dates of the other children, that Raymond was probably Horace and Hattie's first child and that he died very young).  This letter also confirms the fact that Horace outlived his wife and all of his children.

About the Coudy Children

Horace and Hattie were apparently longtime active members of the Kingshighway Presbyterian Church in St. Louis (as was their daughter Hazel Coudy-Hulburd and their Hulburd grandchildren).   Evidence of this appears in many places among the memorabilia left by Horace including Hazel's obituaries, sympathy clippings found regarding the deaths of their children, and church publications which were kept.    A 1932 article in the St. Louis Globe Democrat newspaper shows a picture of Hattie as a member of the church Quilters Club.

A 1930 St. Louis census records shows that Horace and Hattie were living at the Washington Hotel there.  It is not known whether this was their permanent home at the time or whether they were just temporary guests for some reason.

The return address used on several letters Horace wrote to my mother in 1946 indicate that he was living at 5555 Enright Ave. in St. Louis at the time.  He is also shown at this address in 1944 when his daughter Hazel passed away but there is no other record of how long he may have lived there nor other addresses he and Hattie may have had over the years.

Horace in 1925 (likely colorized later) 50th Wedding Anniversary on April 25, 1933

More Pictures of Horace and Hattie

Horace and Hattie's Final Resting Place

Horace and Hattie Coudy are buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery (St. Louis) in the Coudy family plot purchased in or prior to 1858 by Horace's father Mathew Coudy and Charles Coudy.   For reasons I can't explain there is no gravestone present for Horace and Hattie or any of the numerous other Coudys buried in the plot over the course of about 90 years from 1858 to 1949.  The only monument present is for Mathew and Mary Coudy (Horace's parents) though cemetery records clearly show many others buried on the site.

Hattie passed away in 1938 at age 73 and Horace in 1949 at age 87.  Horace outlived his wife, all of his children, and all of his siblings that I have death dates for.

To view photos and records regarding the Coudy plot click on the following link:

Bellefontaine Cemetery Records

Horace's Parents and Other Ancestors

Records show that in his later years Horace showed an interest in his ancestry.  In March of 1938 he and Hattie (6 months prior to her death) spend some time in Hillsboro, Illinois, the longtime home of Horace's grandparents, Israel and Margaret Seward.    In September of 1939 he again visited Hillsboro, this time apparently with his brothers Lee and Upton Coudy and shot at least one photo of his grandparents gravestones and took notes regarding his ancestry.

View Notes From Trip To Hillsboro

1938 Hillsboro Newspaper Articles

Newspaper clippings, notes, and photos from these trips to Hillsboro along with 3 letters Horace wrote to my mother in the 1940's (in which he discusses his parents and grandparents) and a published booklet celebrating the life of his mother, Mary Caroline Seward-Coudy, by his brother Upton S. Coudy provide priceless, fascinating, and heretofore unknown information about Horace's (and my) Coudy and Seward ancestors. 

Horace's Parents

Horace's Grandparents

Matthew and Mary Coudy

Israel and Margaret Seward


A Final Coudy Comment

My mother, Betty Hulburd-Hine-Alderson (grand daughter of  Horace and Hattie) had grown up in St. Louis.   She had then lived in New Jersey for over 20 years where she raised her children and then had briefly again lived in St. Louis after her divorce in the 1960's and before re-marrying and moving to California.   In 1973 she and her second husband retired to a small farm 6 miles outside the rural Missouri town of Hermann, about 90 miles west of St. Louis.

In 1983, after mother had lived in Hermann for 10 years, an obituary in the local small-town Hermann newspaper appeared for Sarah E. Coudy, Hermann resident and wife of the deceased Upton S. Coudy.    This instantly caught mother's attention since Coudy is an extremely uncommon name and Upton Seward Coudy had been one of her uncles.

Mother mailed me a copy of the obituary along with a short letter expressing her amazement that someone with this name would be living in Hermann and indicating that she would need to do a little research to confirm her relationship to Sarah Coudy.   To the best of my knowledge she never got around to it before passing away in 1996.

View 1983 Obituary and Letter

In about 2003 as I was searching for family records and ran into mother's 1983 letter and the obituary which mentioned that Sara Coudy had a son named Tony in Texas.   I searched the Internet for the name Coudy and could only find 2 in the entire U.S.,  one of which was a Tony Coudy with an address in southwestern Missouri.   I wrote him a letter and, sure enough, he was Upton Seward Coudy III, son of Upton Seward Coudy II (husband of Sara Coudy who had passed away in Hermann, MO) and grandson of Upton Seward Coudy, my mother's uncle.  Neither Tony nor I were aware that we had any living Coudy relatives.

Tony's father, Upton, (Sarah's husband) had passed away in 1972 and had apparently never lived in Hermann however, what are the odds that mother and one of her only living relatives (Sarah Coudy by marriage) would end up living in the same rural Missouri town at the same time?

Coudy Descendents List

Click below for a list of known Coudy descendents as I show them in my genealogy database as of April, 2012. 

Coudy Descendents List

Copyright 2004,2007, 2012, Edward K. Hine, Jr.