Ms. Cook was born in the winter of 1868, the child of Thomas and Jane/Jennie/Matilda Cook. (Her mother’s name is recorded variously in different documents.) She attended school in one of the newly formed schools for African American children. The family lived in the primarily Black community of Linganore in Frederick County.
In the fall of 1895, she married Mr. George Bruce. The newlyweds lived with her father, in Westminster. Her mother had died the previous year. Their only child, Edna, was born the next year. In 1900, they continued to live with her father. Young Edna was not with them. [Although Edna has not been found in the 1900 census records, she was likely working out, as a nanny/nurse or housekeeper.] Through 1920, the whole family lived on Union Street. Mrs. Bruce kept house, which was significant in a time before our modern conveniences.
Sadly, she was struck ill with stomach cancer. Mrs. Susan Bruce died at home in March 1922. She is buried in an unmarked grave in Ellsworth Cemetery in Westminster, Maryland.
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