Elsie Benkard

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Elsie Benkard

This page writen and copyright 2006 by Will Johnson, wjhonson@aol.com, Professional Genealogist, All Rights Reserved

Daughter of Julia Lynch Olin and her first husband J. Philip Benkard (1873-1929). She was part of New York high society, complete with debutante luncheons and presentations to society.

Elsie married 26 Feb 1930 to Charles H Clarke in a Baha'i ceremony presided over by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab and they resided at Oyster Bay, New York.

They had a daughter Lili Clarke.

Original documents

  • New York Times, Nov 1, 1924 "Entertain for Two Debutants-To-Be"

It should be noted that the enormous collection of Bahai and New History Foundation material, including such artifacts as a lock of Baha'u'llah's hair, which Julie Chanler discusses in her autobiography, was acquired by the Baha'is of Wilmette, after the death of Ahmad Sohrab and Julie Chanler. According to Lili Townsend, Chanler's grand-daughter, in 2007 during a telephone conversation, stated her own mother, Elsie Benkard-Clarke had bestowed the papers on the NSA of Wilmette upon the representation that they would be made available to researchers. Mrs. Townsend went on to add that she didn't believe anything had ever been done with the papers and clearly had no idea what had happened to them.

Secondary sources

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