Tahlequah Daily Press

CNHI Special Projects

April 10, 2012

Great-granddaughter: Trip was ill-fated from the start

CORSICANA, Texas — Fran Reynolds never met her great-grandparents.

But, chances are, she knows far more about them then the average great-granddaughter.

That’s because Samuel Beard Risien and his second wife, Emma Jane, died aboard the Titanic 100 years ago this week.

Reynolds, a professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia, has spent a lot of time tracking down stories and separating fact from fiction about the history of her great-grandfather.

Samuel Beard Risien was born in Deal, Kent, England in 1842. He took a bride in Mary Louisa Lellyett in 1868 in London, and the pair and one small child came to the United States in 1870. After the death of his

brother Joe, Risien and his bride eventually settled in the central Texas town of Grosebeck, about 100 miles or so south of Dallas.

He was soon joined by two brothers in Texas who made the trek from England — Alfred and Edmond.

Samuel and his bride did well financially, making much of their fortune in land dealings, and grew their family by two more children, including Charles, grandfather of Fran Reynolds.

There’s a mystery in the family story involving Risien’s wife, Mary Louisa, who sometime between 1883 and 1889 "disappeared," said Reynolds.

"We don’t know whether she died or they divorced, or what happened to her … it’s a mystery my sister and I have been trying to solve," she said.

Adding to the family dynamic, Mary Louisa’s sister, Emma Jane Lellyett, moved to Texas and in 1889 and Samuel Risien took her as his second wife.

The pair made several trips back and forth to England and South Africa through the coming years, keeping in touch with family.

Their final voyage would begin in 1911 with a trip to England and then South Africa and back before a return to the United States.

Text Only
CNHI Special Projects
Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Stocks