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Mary Miller "Belle" Laurie Youngs
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Birth: 1842
Death: Mar. 11, 1882

Spiritual advisor to the Lincoln Family

With her mother (Margaret Laurie), they were the Lincoln's favorite spiritualists. She received blood-stained lock of Lincoln's hair from Mary Lincoln.

By 1862, Belle had married Lincoln friend and supporter, James J. Miller. She later married T. Youngs, who was the center of a lawsuit at one point to prove whether he was alive or dead.

The Lauries' home became a center of spiritualist activity in Washington, where many people—including high Government officials—went to "investigate" spiritualism. Belle used her gifts to produce physical "phenomena," especially the levitation of the grand piano in their parlor—and pianos elsewhere.


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The Evening Star, March 13, 1882
Mrs. Theophilus Youngs Dead. The Curious Law Suit in Which She Was Involved.

Mrs. Theophilus Youngs whose litigation in New York with the brother of her husband had brought her prominently before the public, died suddenly on Saturday evening, at her home, near Oxen run in the county. Mrs. Youngs was the granddaugher of the late Rev. Dr. Laurie, who many years ago was the pastor of the F Street Presbyterian church, now Willard Hall.

She was at the time of her death about forty years of age. During the war the deceased was married to Theophilus Youngs, and lived with him a few years, having several children. Youngs then left the city, and Mrs. Youngs followed him to Baltimore, but he would not return here with her.

In 1876 a man was drowned in Boston harborm and it was claimed that this was Theophilus Youngs, upon which the property went into the hands of a brother of Theophilus as administrator. After a time Youngs (or a man claiming to be Youngs) returned, but Mrs. Youngs did not (or would not) recognize him as her husband.

A law suit in New York followed, and is now pending. It is probably that the death of Mrs. Youngs will end the litigation. Dr. Patterson yesterday viewed the body of Mrs. Youngs and decided that death was caused by heart disease.

The Evening Star, March 17, 1882

Theophilus Youngs
One of the New York counsel in the Theophilus Youngs' case is reported by the New York Herald to have said Thursday: "Mrs. Youngs' death has put an end to the case, at least for the present. It can be revived, however, by the appointment of a new administrator and of a guardian for her children, who are all minors. Mrs. Youngs died on Saturday last, at the cottage of her son-in-law, Richard Goddard, at Ox Run, four miles from Washington, I regret to sayin a state of complete destitution.

On hearing of the death the alleged Theophilus Youngs at once proceed to Washington and defrayed the cost of the funeral. He was recognized and acknowledged by the friends and relatives of the woman whose husband he claims to have been. Goddard, who swore at the trial here, that he was an impostor, now professes to fully recognize him as Theophilus Youngs.

The latest action in the case was a decision a few days ago by Surrogat Hollins, directing that Theophilus Youngs should give an account of himself from 1875 to 1880, which he had refused to do when the case was before Surrogate Calvin.

Mrs. James C. Laurie, wife of the brother of the late Mrs. Theophilus Youngs, stated to a Star reporter today that the above statement is incorrect; that the alleged Theophilus Youngs did not pay any of the funeral expenses except $6 for the hearse. Mrs. Laurie produced a bill of the undertaker for the coffin, and one of the Congressional cemetery for the grave, etc., made out against her husband, (who is an employee of the Treasury printing bureau) to substantiate her statements.

Mrs. Laurie also states that Mr. Goddard, son-in-law of the deceased, did not acknowledge the man present at the funeral as Theophilus Youngs.

The Evening Star, March 21, 1882
The Death of Mrs. Theophilus Youngs

Owing, as it appears, to a mistake made by some papers in reporting the name of Mrs. Mary I. Youngs, the question has been raised as to whether it was Mrs. Youngs. The testimony of the death certificate in the health office, and of relatives, who were present at the funeral, however, is to the effect that it was Mrs. Youngs who died. The funeral expenses, moreover, were paid by the alleged Theophilus, who is reported to be in the city at the present time.

The Evening Star, March 22, 1882
The Theophilus Youngs' Case Again

Mrs. James Laurie, wife of the brother of Mrs. Theophilus Youngs, recently deceased, says that her husband paid all the expenses of the funeral, except $6 for the hearse, which was paid by the alleged Theophilus. In support of her statement Mrs. Laurie exhibited to a Star reporter a card from the undertaker. Mr. John M. Mitchell, which said: "The alleged Mr. Youngs' statement is not correct.

He has not paid the funeral expenses, except six dollars for a hearse. Mrs. Laurie's statement is correct. "The members of Mrs. Youngs' family still decline to identify the "alleged" Mr. Youngs. Mrs. Youngs leaves five children, in whose interest, it is stated, the legal fight will be continued.

Two of these children were by her first husband. If the "alleged" Theophilus should establish his identity, according to the terms by which his estate is held, his brother would enjoy the benefits of it.

 
 
Burial:
Congressional Cemetery
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Plot: Range 2 Site 241
 
Created by: AlbqFirefly
Record added: Oct 24, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16306267
Mary Miller Belle <i>Laurie</i> Youngs
Added by: Paddy Clan
 
Mary Miller Belle <i>Laurie</i> Youngs
Added by: AlbqFirefly
 
Mary Miller Belle <i>Laurie</i> Youngs
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Janet Greentree
 
 
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