Katherine Louise “Kate” <I>Forbes</I> Cushing

Katherine Louise “Kate” Forbes Cushing

Fredonia, Chautauqua County, New York, USA
Death 14 Mar 1932 (aged 84)
Fredonia, Chautauqua County, New York, USA
Burial Fredonia, Chautauqua County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 61515089 · View Source
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Katherine was the wife of Cdr. William Barker Cushing. Her parents are Col. David S. Forbes and Catherine Jennett Abell.

She had two daughters by the Cdr. They are Marie Louise Cushing and Katherine Abell Cushing

"A prominent wedding of the 19th century

March 21, 2010
Most brides dream of a special wedding which typically involves several months of careful planning and preparation. However, how many of these weddings are also covered by the press because of the bride or groom's notoriety, particularly here in Chautauqua County? Such was the case of a local and national hero on Feb. 22, 1870, when the infamous William Barker Cushing of Fredonia married Katherine Forbes, also of Fredonia.

William Cushing, grandson of Zattu Cushing, one of the first settlers in Pomfret and the county's first judge, was a Civil War hero. Much has been written about William, including colorful incidents from his childhood and experiences as a young midshipman at the United States Naval Academy revealing a personality predisposed to carrying out his daring feats while in the Navy. Cushing was one of the Navy's bold est commanders and became a national celebrity when he lead a small crew on a steam launch and attacked and sank the Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle with a spar torpedo on a dangerous nighttime raid. He received a personal thank you from Abraham Lincoln and Congress in helping to turn the tide of the Civil War. After Cushing's death in 1874, he remained a hero. He is considered a forerunner of the Navy Seal program, has had several Naval vessels named in his honor and is also honored at the United States Naval Academy's museum and cemetery, not to mention the monument in front of our own village hall.

Meeting Katherine Forbes while on leave, William Cushing and "Kate" were married in 1870. Extensive press coverage of the event included the Fredonia Censor, a local publication for many years. The author of the March 2 issue prefaced details of the ceremony and celebrations by highlighting Cushing's accomplishments, noting his "eminent services to the country which had given the hero of the occasion world-wide renown and the distinction of being the most rapidly promoted officer of the U.S. naval service, together with the splendor of the arrangements, combined to bring together a throng of spectators which tested the capacity of Trinity Church to its fullest extent."

The Censor continued with a description of the elegant affair, reprinting the details as written by Editor Cobb of the Dunkirk Journal, as follows.

"The dress of the bride was an elegant and costly Japanese crepe, trimmed with point lace, the gift of her father, a heavy veil and the accessories of orange blossoms and other adornments, assisted to make up a bridal trousseau at once elegant and most attractive. The first bridesmaid, Miss Leila Forbes, appeared to charming advantage dressed in a beautiful tarleton with trimming of blue. Her escort was Lieutenant Commander Barker of Salem, Mass., who together with the groom and the other gentlemen of the party appeared in full military uniform. "The second bridesmaid, Miss Louisa Jones, of Buffalo, was escorted by Lieutenant Commander Sheppard, of Erie, Pa., and the third bridesmaid, Miss Mary Keep, of Chicago, Ill., was escorted by Lieutenant Barber, of Erie. Both ladies wore tarletan, trimmed in pink and cherry, and by their graceful presence added greatly to the brilliancy of the occasion.

"The ceremony was performed by Rev. Mr. Arey, and as the newly married pledged their truth, the good wishes of the many who had known them from childhood went with them.

"After the ceremony the audience rapidly disappeared, not a few finding their way to the hospitable residence of Col. Forbes to participate in reception pleasures. It is not in good taste that we should write in more than general terms of the pleasant and brilliant reception, and yet we are tempted to intrude a trifle and risk the statement that among the wealth of gifts showered in golden and silvery munificence upon the happy pair, none were greater objects of admiration than the magnificent set of furs, valued at $3000, the emerald cross; the jeweled case watch and sapphire ring the gifts of the groom to his bride. And in this connection we are tempted still further to mention the foaming side board, where the health of the parties interested could be drank in liquids not less appreciated for their grotesque labeling than preferred for their intrinsic worth. For instance, a miniature and not so small either glass gun, which contained, we don't know what, gravely purported to have been shot from the Albemarle, and to have been found in Lt. Cushing's pocket. Then there was another staid specimen that was said to contain liquid four hundred years old, having been found with the Cardiff Giant; also New England rum form Miles Standish's cellar, and a model of Grandfather Cushing's cider mill as presented at Grandfather Abell, Esq., of Buffalo, who had the happy faculty of generally carrying to successful completion whatever he undertakes.

"The gathering of relatives and intimate friends at the reception was comparatively large, and together with the large attendance at the brilliant ceremony that preceded it, well testified in how high regard the parties more immediately interested were held. And so ended a wedding that will long be pleasantly remembered in this vicinity. Lt. Commander and Mrs. Cushing went east upon the evening train from Dunkirk."

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  • Created by: Julia Gray Carswell Sweitzer
  • Added: 12 Nov 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 61515089
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Katherine Louise “Kate” Forbes Cushing (18 Sep 1847–14 Mar 1932), Find a Grave Memorial no. 61515089, citing Forest Hill Cemetery, Fredonia, Chautauqua County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Julia Gray Carswell Sweitzer (contributor 47238697) .