How can anyone gaze upon this picture and not see the pain in Addie's eyes? Look at the body language. Look at her face. Look at her haggard expression. Addie married Enoch in February 1896. She was 22; he was 46. She'd be dead five years later. According to Enoch's granddaughter (Mary Wilson), Enoch killed Addie so that he could marry another woman ("History of Lake Mills," 1983). One thing we *do* know - Addie did not die of diphtheria, as is stated on her death certificate. See below for more info.
There's no doubt that life with Enoch took a toll on Addie.
And why would a woman - who prided herself on her appearance - send this photo to her brother-in-law in Denver? I am confident she wanted them to know what was happening to her in Lake Mills.
Addie: Before and After Enoch. The photo on the right was taken five years after her marriage to Enoch. She was 29 years old, and she'd be dead soon after this photo was taken. Look at her receding hairline and swollen lower lip. Her "cupid's bow" is now misaligned, and there's pronounced puffiness under her right eye.
It's nearly inconceivable that this woman could end up dead at 29, buried in a shallow grave. Her life started with so much promise and potential.
How do we know Addie did not die of diphtheria (as is stated on her death certificate)? Click here.
To learn more about Addie’s death, click here.
Please leave a comment below.
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She is not standing tall in that picture like she does in the others, and you have quite a few to show that. She was obviously taught how to carry herself and pose for a portrait. This was not an era of the “candid shot”, people knew they were having their picture taken. The way she is holding the rocking chair almost looks like she wants to push it forward and toss him out of it! Even taking into account that she is probably trying to steady the chair the way she is leaning forward looks more like an attempt at communication than a standard portrait pose.
Addie was probably the one who arranged for the photographer to come and take pictures of the family, therefore I assume she saw the pictures before Enoch. I doubt he saw this one or was fully aware of her body language behind him.
It’s heart breaking to see these pictures of a strong woman and then to see her after this man has “put her in her place”. I know that look on her face, my first husband tried to put me in my place several times…and failed, not for lack of trying but because I knew I could get away. Addie knew she didn’t have a way out, a way away from him, and it’s painful to see. His body language is that of an overconfident mindless animal, with his prize cowering next to him. The only comfort one can take is knowing that he may not have gotten his just deserts in this life, but we all know that he has gotten them in the after life! The truth will come out about Addie and I’m sure she is smiling in heaven because of it!
Samantha, that’s what struck me, too. She has a look in her eyes that’s all too familiar to too many women.
There are important facts here, and one of them is, her father died in 1894 and her mother died in early 1895. A few years earlier, her sister had married and moved away to Denver. Who was there to speak up for Addie? Who was there to help her?
I agree with Bev. And I still think you should show this photo to people who work with abused women. Yes, I would think that E is burning in Hell!
Addie’s side of the story will be told. She may have only walked this Earth for 29 years, but her spirit has survived 110 years just waiting for the right moment to say here I am and this is my story. It is going to take some time to sort everything out, but what we know for sure is this.
Addie was a much loved daughter and sister, then a much loved sister in law and Aunt. She seems to have had a zest for life and a heart for others. She then became the wife of a man who did not want a partner, just a trophy and caregiver. She also became a wonderful stepmother to two daughters who needed her.
She was a beam of light for a small community, who lived to the fullest until she was no longer allowed to live. Something awful happened in June 1901 that tore her away from everything she had and prevented her from giving anymore. She was forgotten about in a shallow grave next to the man who ended her life for 110 years.
Addie met with the same fate that many many women did in that time of our history. And then came Rose, who made sure that Addie’s 110-year-old silence came to an end. Addie’s foresight to make a photo album and send it off allowed her to speak a century later.
Maybe the next chapter in Addie’s story is not to expose Enoch and what happened, perhaps it is to help prevent it from happening again. Rose, there are so many ways this can have a positive ending. Writing a book may give someone the courage to walk away from a man like Enoch, or have you thought about sometime in the future opening an Addie Hoyt Memorial Women’s Shelter?
When you get tired and feel like giving up close your eyes and just think of all the friends you have, and picture Addie standing right there with you.
Mandie, thanks so much for writing such a thoughtful note. I wish I knew how to make your idea a reality. It strikes me that if Addie had lived a full life (like her sister – who lived to be 99!) that she surely would have left her mark on Lake Mills. There’s an old newspaper story (found in Mary Wilson’s book) about a woman who met Addie on the train, and called her “unusually bright and vivacious” and that’s apparent when you see that twinkle in her eye.
Perhaps it’s not too late to figure out how to help Addie leave a mark on this world.
The telltale signs are always apparent in photographs, as to the relationship of those in the photo’s… can’t hide it. Addie’s face says it all. Enoch’s does as well.