Charles Edmund Sturges

Charles Edmund Sturges was born in Churchill, Queen Anne's County, Maryland, on January 1, 1815, the third child of Dr. Samuel Sturges and his wife, Martha. A sister, Susan Pope Sturges, named for her paternal grandmother, had been born about 1809, and a brother, Samuel about 1812. Sadly, Dr. Sturges, after graduating from Washington College with a B.A. in 1805, serving in the War of 1812, and being elected to the legislature in 1812, was to die at the age of 32 in 1816. His will, probated on May 27, 1816, declared that his house and lot were not paid for, and must be sold to pay his debts, and left his wife, Martha, and his friend, Edmund Lynch, to be Testamentary Guardians to his three children. Susan was given his house in Chestertown, Kent County, Maryland; his boys were given his maps and books, save for the Bible which went to Martha, and the executors were directed to sell the lots in Kent County and Delaware where his Aunt Rachel Pope was living, to pay his debts.

"Item I give and bequeth (sic) unto my wife Martha two feather beds bedsteads and furniture one bureau and one work stand one candle stand and one horse that she shall chose (sic) and my chairs with canvas top and one milk can."

It is not known where the family lived for the next few years. Martha married a man named Samuel Pratt, and was said to have lived on a plantation with slaves. Since Charles named his youngest son Samuel Pratt Sturges, he must have been fond of his stepfather. Charles graduated from Ohio Medical College, resided briefly in Richmond, and later in Logansport, Indiana, before moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana where he practiced medicine for thirty years.

Charles married Louisa Ewing on March 3, 1836, in Logansport, Cass, Indiana. Family tradition has it that Louisa, who was only 17 at the time, wed against her family's wishes, wearing a black dress and pantaloons. The Sturgeses had eight children, at least five of whom lived to be adults.

Charles represented Allen County in both houses of the state legislature and served for a long period as a member of the school board. In 1868 he represented the Fort Wayne district as its delegate to the National Democratic Convention in New York.

His death occurred on November 24, 1869, at the age of 64. Charles and Louisa are buried in the Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana, along with their children, Edmond, Louis and Caroline, Alida and Percival.