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The Blue Book of Iowa Women A History of Contemporary Women

Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914.


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Mrs. Clara Robertson Titus

For more than fifty-four years the Robertson home in Keokuk was a center of unbounded hospitality, unlimited kindness and good cheer.  Clara Robertson Titus, the last of her father's family, is an apostle of that same good cheer.  She was born in Keokuk, Oct. 22, 1859, the daughter of Hugh Robertson and Mary Sinton, both natives of Perth Shire, Scotland, in whose hearts lived always the love of the highlands and the heather.  Annually they celebrated the birth of Bobbie Burns with a party which was one of the happiest events in the social calendar of Keokuk.  The Robertson clan is one of the oldest in Scotland, and count their chiefs from Duncan, under whom they appear as a clan in support of Robert-the-Bruce.  From first to last the clan is noted for its loyalty to the Stewarts.  On the murder of James I at Perth, it was Robert the chief who captured his murderers for which act he had many honors conferred on him by King James' successor, and to further commemorate this, both father and son took the name Robertson, which the clan has retained.  The Robertson tartan is red, crossed with bars of olive green and purple;  the badge is fine leaved heather;  the motto, Virtulis gloria merces, and the coat of arms one of the oldest in Scotland.  They were a family of birth, rather than wealth, in Scotland.  They were staunch Presbyterians and Alexander Campbell, who before coming to America to found the United Brethren church was a Presbyterian, preached in the Robertson home in the highlands.  Mrs. Titus' father, Hugh Robertson, made frequent visits to Scotland.  He was for many years secretary of the Iowa State Insurance Co. and was a gentleman of the old school, gracious and courteous always.  Mrs. Titus was educated in the Keokuk schools, later attending a school for young women in Washington, D. C.  She had one brother, William S. Robertson, who died, leaving a son, Hugh Robertson.  She was married Oct. 10, 1882, to W. J. Ruddick, who died June 11, 1886, leaving one daughter, Charlotte, who is now Mrs. Earl Collins of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and has a daughter, Janet Robertson Collins, born in 1913.  On Oct. 3, 1901, she was married to W. H. Titus, who died July 24, 1908.  She has three step sons:  L. J. Titus, J. V. E. Titus and Horace L. Titus.  Mrs. Titus has traveled this country over and made three trips to Europe, once spending a year and another time six months abroad.  She enjoys society and belongs to a number of prominent clubs and charity organizations.  Is a member of the board of directors of the Benevolent Union of the social department of the Y. W. C. A., a charter member of the Travel Class, a charter member of the Iowa Audubon Society, a charter member of the Woman's Club, and of the Wednesday Reading Club.  She has a perfect genius for making friends and for keeping them.  No day is ever dark for her, her optimism and good cheer sees always sunshine.



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