Susan Bell Dinsmore

Susan Bell Dinsmore (1835 – 1851)

Susan Bell DinsmoreSusan was the youngest child of James and Martha Dinsmore.  Born in Louisiana, she stayed with her mother and sisters in Lexington while the family waited for their house in Kentucky to be completed.  Nicknamed “Susie Sweet” by her family, she stayed close to home until 1851 when she took a long trip to upstate New York to visit relatives.  She was accompanied on her trip north by two cousins, Mary Ann and Susan Goodrich (sisters to B. F. Goodrich).  In June, they took a boat to Cincinnati, switched to a train that took them to near Cleveland, and then a boat to Jamestown, New York.

Her visit was to last several weeks, but was cut short by her death in a drowning accident on July 21st while boating on Lake Erie.  She had been on a small pleasure boat with Mary Ann Goodrich and a young cousin, William Dinsmore.  When the boat began taking on water, William thought he would turn the boat over and get the girls on top, but when the girls got out of the sinking boat, Mary Ann went under water and never again surfaced.  Susan was able to get on top of the boat but a wave knocked her off and she also drowned.  Neighbors and family searched the lake, and were relieved when both girls’ bodies washed ashore the following day.  Susan Dinsmore was shipped by boat and railroad back to Cincinnati and her body was accompanied by two cousins.  James had been telegraphed ahead and met them, taking the body to Boone County where it was buried.  The print that is in the Dinsmore home, showing a young girl blowing bubbles, is not actually Susan but was purchased by James in Cincinnati to remember his daughter because there were no photographs of her.