Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Carlotta Nelson Fairchild - A New Life in New Orleans

This is the fourth in a series of posts about Carlotta Nelson, a daughter of Danish immigrants who was born in 1874 in Goodman, Mississippi.  

Carlotta was first married to R. E. Anderson, a man who was eleven years her senior, on June 17, 1897 in Holmes County, Mississippi.  As far as I can determine, the marriage produced no children and ended when Anderson died in 1901. According to his tombstone in the Nelson family plot in Hillcrest Cemetery in Goodman, Anderson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. Based on family customs during that time period, it is likely that Carlotta's marriage to Mr. Anderson was an arranged one.  

No information is available about what Carlotta did after her first husband's death, or where she lived.  It is possible that she left Holmes County after her husband died, although I have been unable to find information that fills the gap between 1901 and 1909 when she married Louis Fairchild. Without that information, it is impossible to know the sort of life Carlotta lived during the years she was married Anderson or during the eight years that followed his death.  But one thing was certain, Carlotta's new life as Mrs. Louis Howes Fairchild was destined to be very different from her life in Holmes County, Mississippi.

When Louis Fairchild and Carlotta Nelson Anderson married on June 8, 1909 at Trinity Church, Fairchild already was a well-established businessman and civic leader, working as a "cotton broker" at the New Orleans Cotton Exchange.  During the halcyon days when cotton truly was "king," one can safely assume that Fairchild's position produced ample income to live a privileged life in the Crescent City. 

Archived copies of Times-Picayune society pages provide much insight into the life of the Fairchild family during the early half of the 1900s. Louis Fairchild's daughters, well-educated and properly introduced to New Orleans society, had many friends and were frequent guests at parties and weddings. Lydia, the oldest of Fairchild's daughters, had served as Queen of Mardi Gras and later had married her King Rex, Edward Turner Howard, a wealthy philanthropist with deep New Orleans roots.  According to an article in the New York Times, the marriage of Queen Lydia and King Rex (Edward) was the only time in New Orleans history that a Mardi Gras Queen had ever married her King.  

Another daughter, Mary H. Fairchild, had been married to her husband, Leonard K. Nicholson, for about four years prior to her father's marriage to Carlotta. In November of 1910, just a few months after Louis and Carlotta celebrated their first wedding anniversary, Hazel, the youngest Fairchild daughter, was presented as a debutante to New Orleans society.  That same fall, Edmond, Louis Fairchild's only son, married his bride.   

In 1910, the Fairchild family lived in a residence located at 916 St. Charles Street, now St. Charles Avenue, a long street that runs from downtown New Orleans through what is known as the "Garden District."  The Fairchild house was located near Lee Circle, within a short walk of the New Orleans City Hall, Carondolet and Baronne Streets, and the bustling businesses and stores of turn-of-the century downtown New Orleans. Nearby, at 700 St. Charles Street, Louis Fairchild and his son, Edmond, owned and operated Fairchild Motor Car Co., Inc., a thriving local automobile dealership

By 1912, the New Orleans cotton market was booming, automobile sales were growing, and Carlotta was pregnant with Lou. According to available information, Louis Fairchild also owned large brick residences at 902, 904, 906, and 908 St. Charles Street, a two story parking garage at 632 St. Joseph Street, and a summer beach house at Waveland, Mississippi. 
is's child.  Life was good for the Fairchild Family.

Next:  A New Fairchild Daughter

Source: Times-Picayune.  Archived newspaper copies 1900 - 1940.  Accessed online on January 11, 2011.
New York Times. Archived news articles, Accessed online January 11, 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment