Charles & Ellamae Storrier Stearns
Their Lives. Their Travels. Their Union.
Charles Storrier Stearns and Ellamae Sheppard were married in 1931 and started their life together in one of the grand homes that proliferated in the South Orange Grove area of Pasadena at that time. Theirs was a three-story Georgian mansion built in the early 1900s. It was situated on an estate covering over seven city lots, extending almost an entire block on Arlington Drive between Orange Grove Avenue and Pasadena Avenue. Charles was 61 years old and Ellamae was fifty-nine. It was his second marriage and her third.
Charles was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1868. His father was a distinguished physician of some renown, with a number of published works on the treatment of the insane. His portrait hangs at Yale University. In 1917 Charles took up residence in France, with homes in both Nice and Paris. When he renewed his passport in 1922 he described himself as a retired capitalist. In 1928 he was knighted by the French government in recognition of his humanitarian work helping refugees of the Russian Revolution. A few years later, in June 1931, articles in major newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times reported that he was decorated with the Order of Legion of Honor at a ceremony conducted at the Louvre in recognition of gifts of art works to French museums.
Less is known of Ellamae than Charles. She was born in 1872 in San Francisco, Ellamae Goodale, and was described by her great nephew as ravishingly beautiful when she was young. She lived in Hawaii during her first marriage to a Dr. Camp, which ended in divorce after three years. In 1913 she married for a second time in London, England to William B. Sheppard. She was 41 years old. In 1920 they were living in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and were listed in the Philadelphia Social Register. The marriage lasted until Sheppard’s death sometime in the 1920s.
Ellamae, like Charles made a number of ocean crossings, both to Europe and the Orient, and like Charles she held dual passports, for the U.S. and France. It appears likely that they met either in France or on shipboard during one of their many ocean voyages. Until 1930 Charles was always accompanied on his travels by his first wife, Marian Weed Stearns. But on the November, 1930 passenger list for the Statendam traveling from Boulogne Sur Mer, France to New York, Charles was traveling alone as a single male (by this time Marion Weed had died though the date is uncertain). The next year, he and Ellamae were married.
Charles died in 1944 and Ellamae five years later, with no children or any known heirs.