Martha Gwynn “Mattie” Ould (1850-1877) was the reigning belle of post-Civil War Richmond. Reluctantly engaged to an elderly business acquaintance of her father, Mattie eloped with the dashing Oliver Schoolcraft (d. 1913) while staying at White Sulfur Springs resort in West Virginia. Schoolcraft brought his bride home to Richmond, where they soon started a new family.
Victorian fathers are legendary for their refusal to forgive undutiful children, and Robert Ould (1820-1882) was true to type. Mattie and her baby died in 1877. Mr. Ould refused to visit his daughter and she died unreconciled to her father and younger half-sisters Sarah (1855-1933) and Madge (1872-1955). The Ould - Schoolcrafts’ story of unresolved family relationships passed into local legend as a cautionary tale for all.