The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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
  • Electric-grid attack fuels sniper-versus-hacker threat debate

    U.S. energy regulators' efforts to harden the power grid against snipers and terrorists are fueling a debate over whether they're diverting resources from other threats, like cyber attacks.

    March 14, 2014

  • VIDEO: Oklahoma high-speed chase ends in crash

    Authorities in Oklahoma City, Okla. say a man who stole a pick-up truck led police on a high-speed chase reaching nearly 120 miles per hour before crashing into a mini-van and two other vehicles.

    March 14, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-03-14 at 12.39.21 PM.png Spring Madness: 3 apps to help manage your schedule

    Spring is imminent, and as you welcome the warmer weather, it's time to start thinking about home maintenance, school events and everything else you put off during the winter. These three apps will help you manage your schedule, no matter your organization style.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140309-AMX-SNAKES094.jpg Researchers tackle mystery of how some snakes can fly

    Flying snakes sound like creatures from a bad B-movie, but these serpents are elegant gliders that have evolved a special skill that sets them apart. In two new studies, engineers have used simulations to try to decipher how the wingless reptile manages to remain airborne despite its lack of flight appendages.

    March 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • ERIC-HOLDER.jpg Holder: Heroin deaths an 'urgent and growing public health crisis'

    Attorney General Eric Holder, calling the rise in deaths from overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers an "urgent and growing public health crisis," is outlining a series of efforts by the Justice Department to combat the epidemic.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • plane-skydiver.jpg VIDEO: Skydiver, pilot treated after midair collision

    A pilot practicing take-offs and landings got tangled up with a skydiver in Polk County, Fla., but amazingly, no one was seriously hurt.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • missing-plane.jpg In this tech age, how can a plane go missing?

    Call 911 from the side of the road, and GPS satellites can tell dispatchers exactly where to send help. Airline passengers have access to detailed maps that show exactly where they are during their journey. Hop onto WiFi, and somehow Google knows whether you're logging on from Lima or London, and will give you detailed suggestions about what to eat.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 10.45.45 AM.png VIDEO: Penguin sweaters save birds trapped in oil spills

    A wildlife group in Australia is inviting volunteers to knit sweaters for the penguin population it conserves, because it says the sweaters can actually save the lives of birds caught in oil spills.

    March 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Most deadly fraternity scraps initiation for new members

    Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the largest U.S. fraternities and the deadliest, said Friday it will ban the initiation of recruits, citing the toll that hazing has taken on its newest members.

    March 10, 2014

  • VIDEO: Michigan woman's death, mummified body hidden by auto-pay for six years

    The mummified body of a Michigan woman was discovered in the backseat of her car approximately six years after her death. The body was only found after the bank that foreclosed on the home ordered work on the property.

    March 10, 2014

Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

What are your plans for the weekend?

Enjoying the outdoors
Staying in out of the heat
Traveling
Other
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.