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Sunday, May 5, 2024

Sarah Jane Durkee Anderson

Post (C) Doris McCraw

aka Angela Raines

Photo (C) Doris McCraw
Chapel @ Evergreen Cemetery, Colorado Springs, CO.

Sarah Jane Durkee Anderson was born to St. Louis, Missouri banker Dwight Durkee, and Sarah Jane Davis Durkee in March of 1856. This made her, according to the 1972 book, " Five Hundred First Families of America", by Alexander Du Bin, a person of some importance, in terms of her heritage. 

So far, there is not much to be found about Sarah's early life. She was one of probably four children. She married Dr. Boswell P. Andersonm born around 1845, on January 2, 1879, at the Church of Holy Communion (?), in St. Louis. Her parents were in attendance, and according to the records, helped serve as witnesses. The couple settled in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Dr. Anderson was an early doctor in the region and was instrumental in much of the growth of the medical mecca of the area, including a term as the President of the Colorado Medical Society. He served in the CSA as one of Mosby's raiders in the Civil War and carried a bullet for the rest of his life from that conflict.

As the wife of such a prominent person, Sarah took part in charity events, traveled, and raising three of the couple's surviving six children. She was part of a circle of prominent people in the region.

The below article from the March 30, 1912 issue of the Rocky Mountain News illustrates this point.

Her husband passed on August 29, 1919. Sarah lived another twenty-one years, passing on July 10, 1940, at age eighty-six.

Given her background, she was probably comfortable in the circle of people she associated with. However, one does wonder how she fared with such a prominent husband who, according to stories, drank and partied fairly heavily. We can only infer, for no records of writings exist or have been found so far. As a historian, I can only hope.

One thing is certain, Sarah and her husband worked together along with others in the community leaving the conflict that was the Civil War out of their part in the growing community. The history wasn't hidden, it simply was not the most important part of their community involvement.

For links to past writing on Civil War Veterans and Civil War Wives: 

Esther Walker, Part 2 - Western Fictioneers

Esther Walker - Prairie Rose Publications

Alpheus R. Eastman - Western Fictioneers Blog

Helen Rood Dillon - Prairie Rose Publications Blog

Virginia Strickler - Prairie Rose Publications Blog

Henry C. Davis - Western Fictioneers Blog

Chester H. Dillon - Western Fictioneers Blog

For anyone interested, I have a monthly substack newsletter: Thoughts and Tips on History

Until Next Time: Stay safe, Stay happy, and Stay healthy. 




  1. I suppose a difficult time, such as war, was a thing they wanted to leave behind, and look to the future. How sad that she had to live with a man who partied without her. I'm sure that many women did in the past, having fewer choices in life. Really enjoying these glimpses of lives past.

    1. I do belive you are right about the war. I would like to think that Sarah, who had more opportunities and money, created a life outside of her husband's focus. However, I can't prove it, yet. Doris

  2. One of the many snippets that stayed with me is the date of the article: March 29/30, 1912. She and her daughters returned two weeks prior to the sinking of the Titanic.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. History has a way of catching us that way, doesn't it? So many little moments. Doris