CATHERINE WOODARD FLORIDA
By the age of 24, Catherine had married her deceased sister's husband, become step mother of two children under the age of 10, and arrived as a pioneer to the Minnesota Territory.
Born the youngest of 10 children to Sally Herring and Oliver Woodard, Catherine married Joel Florida after her sister, Lucinda, died in 1849. The 1850 census reports 18-year-old Catherine resided in Franklin, DeKalb, Illinois, with her parents. By 1860, her household in Rockford included Joel, 43; step daughter Ellen (Nellie), 14; step son George, 12; daughter Carrie, 1; and her mother, Sally, 69.
As a result of the Wright County War, Catherine and her family moved to Minneapolis and remained there until Joel's death in 1877. Shortly after that, Catherine returned to Rockford to raise her family, which had grown to include Jessie and Minnie (deceased as an infant).
By the 1900 census, Catherine is living with George, now 52; Carrie, 41; and Jessie, 29. She employs German born Annie Haas, 18, and Gustav Haas, 26, as servants. Nellie has moved to Illinois with her husband, Will Hatch, and George operates the lumber and flour mills along the Crow River.