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Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.

Born Aug. 19, 1902, Norfolk, Virginia 
Died Feb. 7, 1983, Las Vegas, Nevada

Winifred Sackville Stoner, Junior

Biographical Cyclopedia of U.S. Women

"There is nothing more terrible for any child than to be put up as an example of precocity and to be expected to shine in all things and at all times."

The Boneyard Feb. 2002


Mother Stoner

Timeline for Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.

1900 - Certificate of Marriage issued in Buffalo, New York, on February 3, 1900, to James Buchanan Stoner, age 38, born in E. Berlin, PA, son of A. K. Stoner and Catharine Woods and Winifred d’Escourte Sackville, age 24, born London, England, (sic), daughter of John Cresswell Sackville and Genevieve de Vestor.

1902 - Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr. is born Aug. 19, 1902, Norfolk, Virginia, to Dr. James Buchanan Stoner and Winifred Sackville Stoner.

1908 - [no headline] Augusta Chronicle. July 15, 1908. Summary: Winifred Stoner, aged 5, child of Mrs. Sackville Stoner of Evansville, Indiana, will take part inthe first American Esperanto Congress, to be held in New York in July.

1908 - 1921 There were countless articles published about Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr. to describe her talents, to question her mother's methods and sometimes just to document the family's move to a new city when John Stoner was re-assigned.

1912 - “New 9-year-old prodigy: Mother defends the precocity of Winifred Stoner, Author.” New York Times. Feb. 13, 1912. pg. 10.

1912 - “Precocious Miss Stoner.” New York Times. Feb. 13, 1912. pg. 10.

1915 - “Winifred’s attainments: Mrs. Stoner tells critics just what her daughter does know.” (letter to the editor) New York Times. May 23, 1915. pg X4.

1921 - “A girls’ week.” New York Times. May 3, 1921. pg. 13.

1921 - Marriage Certificate dated August 7, 1921, issued in Greenwich, Connecticut, to Charles C. P. Bruch, age 43, merchant, born in Nassau, Germany, and Winifred D. S. Stoner, age 30 (sic) born in Norfolk, Virginia. Signed by a justice of the peace.

1921 - “’Wonder Child of a Wonder Mother’ Married in August” by Winifred Fan Duzer. December 17, 1921. “Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr., Bride of Frenchman. A ‘Wonder son-in-law” Famous couple now honeymooning in south by motor.” “Dr. Stoner proudly explained that her newly acquired son-in-law is quite the equal of her daughter in educational attainments. De Bruche is a globe trotter. He has gone adventuring in most out of the way corners of Africa and India…” “But while Winifred speaks only 12 languages, De Bruche speaks many more – about 17, I believe.”

1923 - “When infant prodigies grow up.” New York Times. Jul. 15, 1923. pg. BR11.

1925 - Marriage Certificate issued on September 10, 1925, in Greenwich, Connecticut, to Louis Hyman, age 43, manager, born in New York City, to Winifred de Bruche, age 23, born in Norfolk, Virginia. (The surname Stoner has been erased and de Bruche is written over it in three places.)

1927 - “Divorce recommended for former prodigy: Mrs. Winifred Stoner Hyman has possible income as writer, so no alimony is asked.” New York Times. Apr. 3, 1927. pg. 8.

1927 - “Revolt of the Pretty Prodigy Against Her ‘Perfect Parent.’” The Sunday Oregonian. May 29, 1927. Page 4. (photos) Summary: Winifred Stoner Hyman denounces her early education and brings suit for divorce against Louis Hyman, her second husband. The article states that they had an unhappy domestic life and that her husband didn't like the way that she made coffee.

1927 - “Winifred Stoner, free, to study divorce: Twice married, she will go to Paris soon on research work.” New York Times. Jul. 21, 1927. pg. 13.

1928 - “Miss Stoner brings arrest of R. H. Loeb: Broker seized in street on author’s charge he had struck her in hotel.” New York Times. Nov. 29, 1928. pg. 29.

1928 - “Loeb hearing adjourned: Court continues case of broker on charges of Miss Stoner.” New York Times. Dec. 2, 1928. pg. 56.

1928 - “Broker is cleared of Stoner charge: Witnesses from hotel deny he hit former infant prodigy and says she was assailant.” New York Times. Dec. 25, 1928. pg. 29.

1929 - “Loeb cleared in theft: Magistrate dismisses charge made by Winifred Sackville Stoner.” New York Times. Jan. 4, 1929. pg. 11.

1929 - “Miss Stoner evades writ: Sheriff with attachment unable to find baggage on liner.” New York Times. May 15, 1929. pg. 4.

1929 - “Miss Stoner seeks marriage annulment: Former ‘Child Prodigy’ finds first husband, whom she thought dead, is living.” New York Times. Dec. 12, 1929. pg. 35.

1930 - “Winifred Stoner plea calls Count a faker: One-time ‘Child Prodigy’ seeking annulment from Bruch, who is accused of crime record.” New York Times. Mar. 19, 1930.

1931 - Marriage Certificate issued August 18, 1931 in Yuma, Arizona, to Earl Winston Harrison, age 31 of Wells, Texas, and Winifred Sackville Stoner, age 29, of New York City.

1931 - “Winifred S. Stoner wed a third time.” New York Times. Sep. 4, 1931.

1932 - Decree of Divorce filed July 26, 1932, in the 8th Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, in and for the county of Clark. No. 3920. Winifred Harrison, Plaintiff, vs. Earl W. Harrison, Defendant.

1936 - [Public Notice] New York Times August 17, 1936. "Address of Winifred Sackville Stoner Jr., to sette English estate. E.(Ernest)H. Sackville. Washington, Pa.

1936 - The Strange Case of Winifred Sackville Stoner Jr.: Life Magazine. September 6, 1936. Pages 52-56 (photos).

1937 - “Fortune in Reach of ‘Marvel Child’” The Springfield Daily Republican. Aug. 18, 1937. Page 2. Summary: Winifred’s uncle, E.H. Sackville, a wholesale grocer in Washington, PA, is trying to locate Winifred to inform her of an inheritance. The estate of Dr. John Sackville of Highbury Park, Kent, England, was left to Maj. Sir Car Forester who later bequeathed it to his son. On the death of the son the estate passed to the children of Dr. Sackville and to their heirs.

1937 - “Heiress Is Hunted.” Cleveland Plain Dealer. Aug. 18, 1937. Page 1 (with photo) Winifred’s uncle is searching for her to inform her of her share in an estate. Four children of the late Mrs. Mary S. Rehn, living in Asbury Park, N.J., and Cleveland were listed as sharing in the estate.

1937 - “’Wonder Child’ of Generation Ago Is Sought as Claimant to Estate.” The Times-Picayune. Aug. 19, 1937. Summary: Winifred’s uncle, E. H Sackville, a grocer in Washington, PA, was searching for Winifred to inform her of an inheritance from her grandfather, Dr. John Sackville. Winifred was known to be in Los Angeles 5 years ago and is reported to be in the Washington, D.C. area.

Genealogcial Note: Winifred Sackville Stoner Jr.'s grandfather, Dr. John C. Sackville, was killed at Washington, PA, on September 23, 1896, when struck by a train while walking his dog. He was born in England in 1814, and was educated at Oxford. He served as surgeon with the British army in India and also with the U.S. Army during the Mexican War.

John Cresswell Sackville's younger daughter, Mary Sackville, a lawyer in Washington, PA, married May 23, 1901, to Clarence Rehn and had four children (Virginia, Patricia, Marjorie & Doris) who also became heirs to their grandfather's estate. From the 1900 and 1920 Federal Censuses, PA, and Biographical and Historical Catalogue of Washington and Jefferson College, 1802-1902

1937 - ‘Missing’ Heiress Knows of Estate, Publicity Annoying, Lawyer Says” Springfield Daily Republican. Aug. 20, 1937. Page 11. Summary: Winifred announced through her attorney that she is not missing, she knows about her inheritance and that advertisements to find her placed by E. H. Sackville of Washington, PA, are “extremely annoying.”

1943 - Winifred Sackville Stoner is quoted as saying that she was married in 1943 to a realtor named Linsay Gillis and moved to Mexico with him. In that 1963 interview she also stated that he had died about two years earlier (1961?).

1963 - “Resident Manager at 1401 Has Had Adventurous Life Around the World.” Evening Journal [Wilmington, Delaware] January 29, 1963 (photo). Summary: Mrs. Winifred Gillis, Countess and former child prodigy, now manages an apartment building.

1964 - Marriage Certificate issued in Wilmington, Delaware, on July 8, 1964, to Robert E. Seddon, an electrical engineer, residing in Wilmington, Delaware, and Winifred D. Gillis, an authoress, residing in California.

1983 - Certificate of Death dated February 7, 1983, for Diane Seddon, wife of Robert E. Seddon, 550 Oakmount #1717, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Certificate of Death dated May 7, 1983, in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Robert Seddon, widower, of Las Vegas, Nevada.

List of Winifred Jr.'s publications

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