Henrietta "Jennie" Bull Culver

Henrietta "Jennie" Bull Culver

Henrietta "Jennie" Bull Culver was born in 1846 to Thomas and Sarah Bull (who lived in the beautiful brick home next to the fountain in Central Park).

As a member of a prominent family she was well educated, having attended Haskell's Academy. At the age of 19, she married 28-year-old Enos Culver, a cousin of A.B. Fuller, who had moved to Loudonville to practice law.

In 1869, when she was eight months pregnant with their second child, she and Enos set out west on the Sante Fe Trail and down the El Camino Real in search of fortune.

They first went to Mesilla, where Jennie's much older brother T.J. was a fruit grower, merchant, and politician. T.J. was the one who enticed them to make the journey, but the reality they met did not meet expectations.

More information on the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum can be found at this link.

Life in New Mexico was rough, and the Culvers struggled to make a living. They tried their hand at a number of ventures, including dry goods, inn-keeping, law, and most notably mining. They traveled often, constantly on the move looking for prospective land to mine quartz, silver, ore, copper, or other precious metals. Eventually they were among the first settlers of what later became Silver City.

Jennie constantly fought with severe depression. She was extremely homesick and often wrote to her sister Libba, still in Loudonville, about yearning to return and visit them.

She grew sick and frail battling tuberculosis, yet Enos continued to go on mining expeditions for lengthy periods of time while expecting Jennie to cook, clean, and manage their inn.

After becoming bedridden, her letters home grew less optimistic and she began to say her goodbyes. Enos, in need of money, still expected her to work and constantly promised to bring her home shortly.

On Nov. 7, 1871 at the age of only 25, she passed away from what Enos described as "bleeding of the lungs." He informed her family of her passing, in an rather cold manner, by writing their neighbors and asking that they deliver the message.

Enos, who never made it rich yet become somewhat prominent as a Justice of the Peace, returned to the Midwest with his and Jennie's two sons, Tommy and Howard, where he remarried. He intended to return to New Mexico where he still thought he could make a fortune, but ended up retiring to Wisconsin with his new wife.

His sons followed him, Tommy becoming a banker and Howard opening a shoe store. Enos passed away in 1926.

More information on the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum can be found at this link.

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