About Mabel Pearson
Mabel Pearson (née Ward) (1863 – 1915), 52, and her husband, Fred Pearson , were United States citizens traveling aboard Lusitania for her husband’s business and to visit their daughter Natalie Nicholson. Fred’s secretary, David Walker, was accompanying them. Dr. and Mrs. Pearson and David Walker were lost when the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk.
Mabel Ward was born on 16 January 1863 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, the daughter of William Henry Ward and Augusta Broad. Mabel was raised in Lowell, Massachusetts. William Ward was a contracting partner with Ambrose Pearson, the father of her future husband, Fred Stark Pearson. She also had two sisters, Katherine and Grace, both of whom as of 1925 had not married. Mabel and Fred would help support them with monetary contributions throughout their lives.
In addition to English, Mabel was fluent in German and French. She also had a passion for music that complemented that of her future husband. Mabel and Fred had known each other as youths, but they did not become seriously involved until they met again in Dresden, Germany in 1886. Fred Pearson and Mabel Ward married on 5 January 1887 in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Fred and Mabel had two sons and a daughter, Ward Edgerly, Frederick Ambrose, and Natalie, 27, 23, and 25 years of age respectively as of May 1915.
Ward E. Pearson, the eldest child, graduated from Yale in 1909 and married soon thereafter. He was employed in his father’s office at comparatively small salaries paid by several corporations. Frederick A. Pearson, the youngest child, graduated from Yale in 1914 and was employed in Spain by a corporation in which his father was interested. This son married soon after his father’s death and had two children. In February 1915, the daughter Natalie Pearson married British subject Reginald Nicholson. The town of Natalia, Texas, is named after Natalie Pearson from her father’s days of working on a dam and irrigation project in Medina County, Texas, in 1911.
While the Pearsons considered themselves New Yorkers, the Pearsons had homes at Great Barrington, Massachusetts; Coombe House, Kingston Hill, Surrey, England; and 271 Calle Mallarca, Barcelona, Spain.
The Pearsons were also good friends of the “Champagne King” George Kessler. The Pearsons gave parties in their houses at Mayfair and Dorset, but they would not claim to be as extravagant as Kessler.
The Mexican Revolution of 1910, an American financial panic, and the World War that came after upset the global economy that Pearson depended on for his wealth. At the time of his death, Dr. Pearson’s estate was found to be insolvent. Mabel’s finances fared better. At her death, the personal property belonging to her estate was appraised at approximately $149,000 and the realty at approximately $251,000. The market value of this realty, however, was probably not in excess of $75,000. The children inherited one-third of their mother’s estate each.