The Book of Soden

 History of the  Soden Family 1146 - 1950

Profiles 3/ 1841 - 1998


   Profiles 3/ 1841 - 1998                                                                                

1.        Brother Aloysius Soden , died 1967                                                                                           
2.        Thomas Belden Soden , 1841-1918                                                                                            
3.        Guy Belden Soden , 1875 ? 1902                                                                                                
4.        Ward Stephens, Concert Pianist , born 1869                                                   
5.        William Soden , Union Soldier , 1834-1917                                                                 
6.        William Soden , Emporia, Kansas

7.        Peter Soden, Kansas City ,born 1829                                                                             
8.        William Soden, NY, Oregon, Wisconsin                                                                                     
9.        Harold Robert Soden, NY (1908-1998)                                                                                   



1.         BR. ALOYSIUS SODEN  (DIED 1967)

was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and was a member of the Marianist Order of Teaching Brothers ,based in Dayton ,Ohio. He spent a long time on the Japanese mission and was a prisonerof war during World War 2.

He taught at the Marianist School in Yokohama and was respected greatly by his pupils ,to such a degree that after his death they founded the Soden Memorial Foundation in hismemory to help the school in Yokohama.

At the end of the war because of his fluency in Japanese ,he was one of the 6 interpretersused by the Americans to negotiate the surrender with the Japanese .He was assigned tothe Captain of the USS Missourri ,itself since re-commissioned for the Gulf War in 1991.

He died in Dayton , Ohio in 1967.

(Source: Bro. Quigley , Marianist , Dublin , Ireland ,friend of Bro. Aloysius .)

I hope shortly to obtain more detailed information on this man from the Marianists in Ohio.




2.            THOMAS BELDEN SODEN (1814-1918)



Thomas Belden Soden was born 15th March, 1841 in Otsego County, New York
Of British parents from Warwickshire, England , his father was Benjamin Soden
and his mother was Sophia Emery Soden.He married Kate Rose Belden  on 
28th February , 1866 in Stroughton ,Wisconsin and he died on 9th September , 1918.

They had 8 children :

Benjamin Lewis Soden , Elmina Alverda Soden Edmonds ,

Maude Kate Soden Dittmer McMullen Crosby , Thomas William Soden ,

Guy Belden Soden , Sylvia Ann Soden Horn , Sarah Subrina Soden Mathys , Rock Rollo Soden .  

On the 9th September , 1957 his eldest daughter, Elmina Alverda wrote   the following
poem about her father:

                                    GRANDPA THOMAS SODEN


I had a Grandpa Soden whom I admired very much
Although at times, no long ago, he was the subject of talk and such.
Men thought he ran from the Civil War  a slacker  who never fought.
Not once did he defend himself, nor answer to such a taunt.
He stood all the ridicule and was tagged a yellow man,
But still he?d not defend himself   - gossip never ran.
It?s sure he had some friends , but to him it didnt matter,
For by his quiet nature he seldom engaged in chatter.
I loved my Grandpa dearly , not for his kind ways alone?
His voice in anger was never raised , never a surly tone.
We never heard him utter a word, his character to defend,
And he spent but little time with the few he called my friend.
He had traveled to California , Lincolns orders to complete;
Our history books skim through the facts of the gold shipment he helped defeat;
But never a word from Grandpa even when the war was done.
Our Union was saved from destruction but Gramps never carried a gun.
Never does his name appear for one courageous deed,
His Civil War activities were his constant , silent , creed.
You know by now that Grandpa was the ?apple of my eye?,
It was only after his death we learned , he had been a Northern Spy.



3.         GUY BELDEN SODEN ,1875 ? 1902


The Story of Guy Belden Soden

This letter was apparently written by Sarah S. Soden before her marriage in 1902 as she signed it with her maiden name. It was among some things that Sarah Subrina Soden Mathys had written about her family during her younger years. It gives some information about her brother Guy Belden Soden and is in Sarah's handwriting. It gives several facts about the Soden family which are quite interesting and will aid us in tracing the family roots in years to come.

"Guy Belden Soden, son of Thomas Soden and Kate Belden Soden, was born July 25, 1875 at the village of Dunkirk in the township of Dunkirk Dane County, Wisconsin. He was named Guy after Guy giant (Ghent or Gaunt?), the owner of the Warwick Castle at Warwickshire, England. His grandfather Benjamin Soden was raised near the castle.

Young Guy and his family lived at Dunkirk until April 1877 when they migrated to Kansas, crossed the Missouri River the 4th day of May, 1877, landed in Kansas in June, 1877, the year of the flood . . .the largest flood ever known in Kansas.

They settled at Eagle Township, Sedgwick, Kansas and remained there until July 23rd, 1887 when we left Kansas and came to the west. We lived near Portland in Oregon a short time and then we went to Washington and settled near Ridgefield and Guy's parents have been there ever since. 

Guy made one trip to Astoria, Oregon and several times went to Silverton hoppicking. Guy enlisted at Vancouver Barracks on June 26th, 1896 and when the war broke out Guy, with his regiment, the 14th W.S. Infantry regulars, left Vancouver on May 7th, 1898. Guy was made Corporal May 23rd, 1898 at Presidio; left Presidio May 24th, 1898 for Manila. 

He left Honolulu June 4th, 1898; left Guam Island June 23, 1898 and landed at Manila July 1st, 1898.

His first engagement with the Spanish was August 5, 1898. And captured Manila August 13, 1898. He was wounded in the battle of August 5 and again Feb 5th, 1899 in a battle with the Insurgents. He died of his wounds Feb 6th, 1899 at Manila and was buried at Manila Feb 6, 1899. His remains were taken up and brought back to Vancouver and buried Feb 8th, 1900 in the Soldier's cemetery at Vancouver Barracks, Clarke County, Washington.

Written by Guy's sister.
Sarah Subrina Soden
who was born May 23rd, 1883
at Eagle township, Sedgwick County, Kansas"

(Excerpt taken by kind permission from Pat Bauers Webpage on her ancestors.)



4.            WARD STEPHENS , CONCERT PIANIST (born 1869)

Son of Joseph Harris Stephens and Rebecca Soden


William Ward Stephens, born September 9, 1869, at 114 Brunswick Street, Newark, NJ; died September 1940 in New York City and is buried in Fairmount Cemetary, Newark, NJ.  Married Ida Mae Pierpont, September 11, 1904, in New York City.   He is known professionally as Ward-Stephens and is regarded as a conductor of great virility and strong personality; a musician and teacher of renowned reputation.  At the age of 5, he was playing in public, entirely by ear and at the age of 16, he was a well known pianist.  He absorbed a fine college education and  then went to Europe, where for twelve years he studied with some of the greatest musicians, including Leschetizky, Rosenthal, DePachmann, Moszkowski, Dreyshock, Sauer, Breitner, Massenet, Saint-Saens, Widor and Navratil.  While in Europe he Russianized his name at the suggestion of Sibyl Sanderson, and to this day he is known in European countries as "Stefanski".  Emily Sauer writes about him in his book called "Meine Welt", and speaks of him as a young man of very great talents.  Studied at 680 Madison Avenue, New York City.  Issue:

(Ancestors  of Caleb Soden by John Voorhis Soden)


5.            WILLIAM SODEN ,Union Soldier (1834 ? 1917)

WILLIAM SODEN, born August 4, 1834, at Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland; died at 443 South Main Street, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, 7 p.m., Monday, March 18, 1912, at the age of  77 years,  7 months, 14 days; is buried in Pine View Cemetery, Rocky Mount, NC. At the age of 16 years, he came to America with his sister, Anna (25) on the sailing vessel "British Queen" (Master, Conway) from Dublin, Ireland, entering the port of New York, November 7, 1850, after a voyage of fifty-two days.

In 1854, he married first, Miss Margaret Morrow, at Philadelphia.

William Soden and Margaret Morrow had three children (Table VI-A).
On October 9, 1860, William Soden received his naturalization papers from the Court of Essex County, Newark, NJ, and on August 10, 1863 he enlisted for             service in the Civil War. 
(See War Record of William Soden).

On April 29, 1879, William Soden married second, Miss Rachel Ann Van Voorhis, of 405 West 32nd Street, New York City, at 51 Astor Street, Newark, NJ, the Rev. Isiah B. Hopwood, of Calvery Presbyterian Church, 80             Pennsylvania Ave., Newark, NJ, officiating.  Rachel Ann Van Voorhis was born at 87 Christopher Street, New York City, November 28, 1844; died at 443 South Main Street, Rocky Mount, NC, 7:30 a.m., Saturday, April 7, 1917; buried in Pine View Cemetery, Rocky Mount, NC.  William Soden and Rachel Ann Van Voorhis had six children.  (See Table VI-B).

(Source: Ancestors of Caleb Soden by John Voorhis Soden)


6.            WILLIAM SODEN ,Emporia, Kansas , USA


Margaret Soden , a native of Sligo , who died in Moores Fork, New York,   on 4th October , 1861 was the daughter of William and Angelina Soden.She had a brother William T. Soden ,who as an infant came to America with his family, and at 19 years of age ,went to Kansas. In Emporia , William T. married Frances McCormick and they had one child .

Both mother and child  died at birth and were  buried in Soden?s Grove William T. married Jane Esty and ,her sister, Sarah Jane Esty married Charles Weaver.-There are 2 streets in Emporia named after Charles Weaver and William Soden respectively. (Sarah Jane and Charles were the great-great-grandparents of Alicia Williams from whom I acquired this lineage.)


"Soden's Mill, one of Emporia's earliest industries, flourished for many years on the Cottonwood River at the dam just north of the bridge on South Commercial Street. In the belief Emporia would grow, W. T. Soden built the grist mill in 1860 to fill a need for flour and cereals. It provided a market for farmers of the area until it burned in 1944. Changing transportation and marketing procedures had already indicated the mill would be uneconomical and it was not rebuilt." 
"If they were alive today my grandfather would be 140 and my mother, 107" Mrs. Brockhouse calculated. " He moved from Moore's Ford, New York, at the age of 19 after arriving in the United States when an infant with his family from Ireland. He and his brother stopped in Missouri, but grandfather wasn't satisfied and left his brother there, pushing farther west." 
"Mrs. Brockhouse explained that Mr. Soden liked the looks of the brand new community of Emporia and first located about seven miles west of town working for Joel Hayworth, who had a grist and saw mill on the cottonwood near the Patty's Mill Bridge. He preempted (homesteaded) the first of his two farms in this area and married Frances McCormick. His wife died in childbirth and she and the baby were buried in the Hayworth Cemetery about nine miles west of Emporia. Mr. Soden erected two shafts at their graves. "It was a tragedy caused by the poor transportation and medication of the time." Mrs. Brockhouse said." 
"Not long after, Grandfather took his savings and bought the ground south of Emporia including what is now Soden's Grove. On the east side of Commercial the land ran north past our house (Brockhouse home), and west of the Street it included the land where the mill was built and the lot where he built his home." 
"The mill manufactured flour and ground corn chop for chicken feed and made a form of cereal later marketed by the Teichgraeber Mill under the brand name "Old Glory". The mill produced more than could be sold in this area and grandfather owned some ground by the railroad tracks on the west side of Merchant Street. Large, heavy wagons hauled the flour and meal to a storage shed to await shipment. There also was a storehouse on the edge of the grove. Across the river on the west side, there was a furniture factory." 
"Mr. Soden employed a cabinet maker to run the furniture factory, Mrs. Brockhouse explained, which made all types of furniture mostly from walnut. As houses in those days did not have closets, walnut wardrobes were a big item. The stairs in the Brockhouse home today were made in the factory." 
"In about 1867, Mr. Soden married Jane Weaver. Their children were Justin R. Soden and Hallie Soden, Mrs. Brockhouse's mother who was born in 1869. Jane Weaver came from a family of six boys and six girls whose parents arrived from Illinois in 1857 and started a farm east of town. Weaver Street was named after the family and today, the Soden and Weaver cemetery lots lie side by side in Maplewood." 
"Mr. Soden built his home just east of the mill and after his marriage added a mansard roof, wrought iron railings, and a cupola. The old home was traded by Justin Soden, who had moved in in 1906, to Tom Cox for his home at 1501 Berkeley. Today the old Soden home has been converted to apartments. The Grove was purchased by the city of Emporia and in the early days of Emporia it was used for the old-time Chautauqua meetings." 
"Before the first bridge across the river, Mrs. Brockhouse explained, there was a ford located just south of the bridge and many people camped on the west bank. The first bridge was an iron structure that as moved to the Neosho River when the present bridge was built. This original bridge on North Prairie at the water works, was destroyed recently when it collapsed from the weight of a heavy truck." 
"Mrs. Brockhouse told another bit of history concerning her grandfather's sister. It seems she was ill with 'consumption' and the family thought the climate here in Kansas would be beneficial for her compared to Moore's Ford New York. The journey west proved too strenuous for Mr. Soden's sister and she died soon after arriving. Mr. Soden buried her in an orchard at the northeast corner of the house." 

(Related by Mrs. H.G. Brockhouse , the granddaughter of W.T.Soden

and acquired by Joyce  Soden Brown , Virginia, USA.)



7.            PETER SODEN ,Kansas  (born 1829)

     1829 ,June 24,

     Birth of Peter Soden, Beaghey, Cavan

              He left Ireland in 1851 , headed for Missourri in 1852
              then onto Liberty ,Missourri  working as a road contractor in 1855
              laying out the streets of Kansas City.

    He married Delia Tackett in 1865 , was a member of the church of 
    Our Lady of Perpetual Help. He helped build a Catholic church in Kansas

             (Source: Terry Soden, Wisner , Kansas , USA)


Killygarry Roman Catholic church, Lavey, Co. Cavan, burial place  to many members of the Lavey Sodens


8.             WILLIAM SODEN ( 1837 - 1917) , OREGON , WISCONSIN
William Soden was born in Butternut , New York in 1837 ,
the son of Thomas and Sophie Emery Soden , of Warwickshire,
England . William moved to Fulton , Wisconsin in 1845, where he
farmed with his father. He enlisted at 25 on 24th July , 1862 as a
2nd Sergeant in company E , 23rd Wisconsin volunteer Infantry in
Oregon , Wisconsin

On 1st April , 1863 he was promoted to First Sergeant. He became
ill during his army service and kept a diary of his experiences.
He fought in .Kentucky , Mississippi , Tennessee, Arkansas , Missouri
and Louisiana. He was eventually taken prisoner after the battle of the 
Sabine Cross Roads and released on 17th May , 1865 after 13 months.
He mustered out as a Second Lieutenant on 24th June, 1865.

He married Harriett Louisa Hayes , and set up his own carraige making shop at which trade he was qualified. He served as a town clerk from 1888 to 1906 . He then resettled in Edgeley , North Dakota at the age of seventy , to be near his two daughters. William died on 31st May , 1917 at 79 years of age as the result of a stroke. Harriett, or 'Hattie' as she was known , died on 25th August , 1917. They were married for 51 years.
( Source: Times to Remember by Wayne Salisbury, 1998)


9.         Harold Robert Soden , New York (1908-1998)
            by Bruce Soden , Syracuse , New York

Harold Robert Soden (11/17/08 - 3/23/98) was the only child of Emma Yetto and John Henry Joseph Soden (son of John and Anne Soden of County Letrim) was born in Cohoes, New York. Harold was educated at Cohoes High School; The Manlius School; Colgate University and Albany Law School. In 1936, he and his wife, Eunice E. Gilbert Soden, moved to Lake Placid, New York. His son, Bruce G. Soden, and daughter Marcia E. Soden Kola, were born there. Two of his grandsons, Matthew and Mark, are attending the Soden Family Reunion.

Harold R. Soden became a pre-eminent trial attorney in Northern New York. 
At the urging of local friends, he entered politics. He served as District 
Attorney for Essex County then as Supervisor for the Town of North Elba 
(Village of Lake Placid is encompassed by the Town) and was elected to two 
14-year terms as New York State Supreme Court Justice starting in 1960. He served as Justice with distinction becoming the Administrative Judge for his district while discharging his duties as Trial Judge on the circuit, which 
extended from Saratoga Springs and historic Johnstown, New York on the south to Plattsburgh and St. Lawrence, New York on the north. Harold served as the head of Law Enforcement for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York and was active in many civic affairs.

Upon his retirement from the Bench, Harold resumed trial practice and was an active trial practitioner once again. He ended his days as a respected senior in Lake Placid where everyone continued to call him "Judge" Soden.

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Felix Soden. All rights reserved.