Family Tree


Part 1

Did you know that Ichabod Crane was a real person and parts of his family story are more chilling than "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"?  Ichabod had died some 30  years ahead of his horrific, real life story.  "Dead or Alive" it was still a Nightmare!

That being said, I still have a certain fondness for Sleepy Hollow.  My Great Great Grandparents, William and Euphemia Wallace, after immigrating to New York in 1848, settled close to Sleepy Hollow in Tarrytown and Mt. Pleasant, New York.   During that time, their son William went to the Monroe School for Boys and later served with the New York Cavalry Rifles during the Civil war.  Soon after his return from the war in 1867, William married Euphemia Reynolds, a New York Debutante.  They had 3 sons and a daughter by the time they moved  to Leadville, CO in the 1870’s.  Here, their sons became Miners and their mother, Euphemia, became an accomplished Real Estate Broker.  At one time their father William was identified as a Veterinarian in the census.  He also owned his own Florist Shop, while still living in Leadville.  This family descends from many generations of Landscape Gardener’s in Perthshire, Scotland.

The Wallace’s youngest son Harry died in late 1894 at the age of 23.  Diagnosed as having Albuminuria, known only as a sign of Kidney Disease, during that period in time.  More likely, he died from complications of what is now known as Diabetes. It wasn't until 1910 that a Doctor found, Diabetes resulted from a lack of Insulin. So, needless to say, not many understood this disease and at one point.  Harry’s death was wrongly identified as a drug overdose.  He was my Great, Grand Uncle and after clarifying how he really died; we located his gravesite in the Leadville, Cemetery and created a new Marker for him.  "May he Rest In Peace".  The rest of the family moved to Winfield in 1889 to try their luck at silver mining and stayed until the early 1900's. After which they moved to Colorado Springs.  Always keeping their ties to the tiny little cabin they built in 1889, named SELDOM INN.

I wonder if William Wallace ever read, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”?  When a child, did he worry about the headless horseman riding through the night, seeking revenge? Did it deliver a resonating shiver down his spine? It may never have crossed his mind that Ichabod Crane might be a bonafide, living person.

So who really was Ichabod Crane?

Was he the tall, skinny, superstitious, school master, made famous in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”?  Not exactly.  As a matter of fact, Ichabod Bennett Crane, born on July 18, 1787 had a lifetime military career, starting in 1809 with the US Marines and then accepting a commission into the Army in 1812 as a Captain. He served on the Niagara Frontier and as such, helped build Fort Pike in Sackets Harbor.

The New York Governor of the time, Daniel D. Tompkins (1807-1817), was inspecting the defenses in the Sackets Harbor area. He happened to have an aide-de-camp traveling with him by the name of Washington Irving. Yes, that Washington Irving! Guess who Irving met at Sackets Harbor? None other than, Ichabod Crane! Washington Irving used the real Ichabod’s name for a character in his story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Much to the nightmarish annoyance of, Ichabod Crane.

Colonel Ichabod Bennett Crane, died October 5, 1857, while still on active duty; less than a year before his daughter’s nightmare disappearance.

JULY 20, 1858. Just another day in Manhattan? Maybe? But not for Clarissa Elizabeth Bannan, daughter of Ichabod Crane. A new nightmare was on the rise!


Stacey Wallace Rehbein © 2022

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