Skip to main content

Catherine Eddy Beveridge papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Beveridge

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, personal materials, writings, and photographs of Chicago diarist, socialite and philanthropist Catherine Eddy Beveridge, and materials collected by her related to her family, including her husband Albert J. Beveridge, her parents Augustus and Abby Eddy, her brother Spencer Eddy, her grandfather Franklin Fayette Spencer, and her aunt Delia Caton Field. Catherine's genealogical research is also included, and three family albums she compiled.

Catherine Eddy Beveridge was born into a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, and her writings, personal papers, and collected family materials document the rarefied social world she inhabited. Her grandfather, Franklin Fayette Spencer, founded a successful hardware business, her brother Spencer Eddy served in the diplomatic arena, and her aunt Delia Caton Field was a well known social leader in Chicago through her marriages to Arthur Caton and Marshall Field. The materials in the Catherine Eddy Beveridge papers reflect the affluent standard of living Catherine and her circle enjoyed, including lavish weddings and parties, handsome homes in the Prairie Avenue district of Chicago, and extended travel abroad. Insight into the lives of women is particularly vivid, illustrated by Catherine's descriptions of European shopping trips for custom-made fine clothing, and the inclusion of engagement books, guest lists, and menus reflecting the daily obligations of a prominent social leader and hostess such as Delia Caton Field.


  • Creation: 1703-2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1870-1910



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Catherine Eddy Beveridge papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Catherine Eddy Beveridge papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Catherine Eddy Beveridge

Chicago diarist, socialite and philanthropist.

Catherine Eddy Beveridge was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 29, 1881. She was the daughter of Augustus Eddy, a businessman from a prominent ministerial family, and Abby Spencer Eddy, whose father Franklin Fayette Spencer founded a successful hardware company. Catherine had one brother, Spencer Fayette Eddy, born in 1873.

Growing up, Catherine was highly influenced by her mother, Abby Eddy, and her aunt, Abby's sister Delia Caton Field. Both women were social leaders in their native Chicago and wished to see Catherine take on a similar role upon reaching adulthood. Her mother and aunt saw to it that Catherine received an education appropriate for a girl of her station, including studies in literature, history, and foreign languages. Catherine also traveled extensively in Europe and developed an appreciation for architecture, painting and music. Through her brother Spencer's diplomatic connections, Catherine was offered entree into the European social world and was presented at the Court of St. James in London in 1898, at the age of sixteen. In 1900, she was formally introduced to Chicago society, and spent the next few years participating in Chicago's social seasons and traveling with family and friends. The years 1902-1908 are described in detail in Catherine's diary.

Abby and Delia were hopeful that Catherine would find an appropriately wealthy and cultured husband among the European aristocracy, but during a 1904 visit to Washington D.C. Catherine met Albert J. Beveridge, a forty-two year old Republican Senator from Indiana. Despite the misgivings of Abby and Delia, Catherine continued to see Albert throughout the next few years, and their romance deepened. In August of 1907, Albert traveled to Berlin where Catherine was staying and the two were married. The couple had two children, Albert Jr., born in 1908, and Abby, born in 1910. After Albert's Senate term ended in 1910, the family divided their time between Indianapolis and Beverly Farms, Massachusetts.

After Albert's death in 1927, Catherine devoted her time to philanthropic activities and keeping in contact with family and friends. She was an especially generous benefactor to art museums, including the National Gallery in Washington, the Art Institute in Boston, the Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, and the Chicago Art Institute. She died on May 28, 1970.

In 2005, Catherine's grandson, Albert J. Beveridge III, published The Chronicle of Catherine Eddy Beveridge with Chicago writer Susan Radomsky. The book reprints Catherine's diary and includes a personal introduction and afterward written by Albert J. Beveridge III, as well as a detailed family history and index of persons mentioned in the diary.


6.3 Linear Feet (11 boxes and 1 oversize box)


Correspondence, papers, and diary of Catherine Eddy Beveridge, and also correspondence, papers, photographs and genealogical information collected by Catherine Eddy Beveridge related to her family.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Catherine Eddy Beveridge, 1882-1946, bulk 1902-1908
Boxes 1-3
Series 2: Family Materials, 1823-2004, bulk 1880-1910
Boxes 4-6
Series 3: Genealogical Materials, 1703-1946
Boxes 7-8
Series 4: Helen Birch Bartlett, 1896-1927
Box 8
Series 5: Photographs, approximately 1850s-1944
Boxes 9-10
Series 6: Family Albums, 1870s-1946
Box 11
Series 7: Autograph Book, 1866-1901
Box 11

Collection Stack Location

1 5 7


Gift of Albert J. Beveridge III.

Processed by

Kelly Kress, 2006.

Inventory of the Catherine Eddy Beveridge papers, 1703-2004, bulk 1870-1910
Kelly Kress
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2011-08-02: Revisions, additions, and updates were made.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States