Charlotte Mary Sidway, 91, a descendant of families who pioneered the settlement of Buffalo and helped build its 19th-century commercial prominence, was found dead Friday (Oct. 10, 1997) in her home in Largo, Fla.
Authorities said she lived alone and had been dead, apparently of natural causes, for a few days.
Miss Sidway, the namesake granddaughter of the woman for whom Grand Island's first central school was named, had lived in Largo for nearly 40 years.
"She was a great traveler," said Martha Sidway Adams of Buffalo, one of two surviving cousins. "She went all over. She took the Trans-Siberian Railroad, visited China twice, went to Antarctica and the Arctic.
"She was a great bridge player, and she was one of those tremendously coordinated persons who could do all sorts of things and was good at all kinds of sports."
Raised on Oakland Place in Buffalo, Miss Sidway attended the Franklin School and graduated from the University of Buffalo. She worked at the Bell Aircraft plants here during World War II.
Her grandparents, Franklin and Charlotte Spaulding Sidway, built the Sidway Building in downtown Buffalo in 1906 and established a home on their 400-acre River Lawn estate, now part of Beaver Island State Park, on Grand Island.
Other ancestors included Elbridge Spaulding, who earned the title "Father of the Greenback" for championing a national paper currency in America while serving as a congressman during the Civil War, and Margaret St. John, a widow who owned the only Buffalo home spared from burning by the British in the War of 1812.[mvgl]