Female, US, born 1860-10-26, died 1934-09-17

Associated with the firm network

Saunders and Saunders, Architects

Professional History


Partner, [Charles Willard] Saunders and Saunders, Architects, Pasadena, CA, c. 1886-1889.



Born 10/1862 in PA, Mary Channing Saunders moved to Providence, RI, by age two or so, living here with her family from approximately 1870-1882.

In 1880, her family residence was at 98 Congdon Street in Providence. She lived at this address with her father, mother and two siblings. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Providence, Providence, Rhode Island; Roll: 1211; Page: 44D; Enumeration District: 003, accessed 04/09/2018.)

She married the architect Charles Saunders in 1882, and moved with him (and her parents) to Pasadena, CA, c. 1885.

Mary lived briefly in Seattle, WA, with Charles Saunders, in 1892. This was where their son, Ellery, was born on 05/08/1892. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington Births, 1891-1935, accessed 04/09/2018.) She did not live in Seattle long, before marrying a long-time acquaintance, and moving to New Jersey.

Mary lived on Maple Avenue in Morristown, NJ, in 1900. The family included Mary's two children from her marriage with Charles Saunders, Dorothy and Ellery (born 05/1892 in WA). In addition, the household included Clarence Wood's brother, John B. Wood (born 06/1844 in NJ), who worked as an orchardist, and an African-American servant, Jenie Ellis (born 04/1875 in VA). (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Morristown Ward 4, Morris, New Jersey; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0068, accessed 04/09/2018.)

By 1930, she and Clarence Wood lived in a rented estate at 20 Edgehill Road in Morristown, NJ. They paid a rent of $150 per month for the house. They lived alone save for a servant, Katherine McNeill (born c. 1905 in Canada). (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Brookline, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0031, accessed 04/09/2018.)


Her father was William Francis Channing (1820-1901), a physician, born in MA, who had a residence in Pasadena, CA, by about 1885. It is certain that they had moved west by 1886, as W.F. Channing had registered to vote in Los Angeles County by 05/24/1886. He married twice, first to Susan Elizabeth Burdick (born c. 1824 in Nantucket, MA) on 07/31/1850; they had one child, Eva, and divorced on 06/07/1859. He married again to Mary Tarr Channing (1828-1897) on 10/05/1859, and had several children with her.

The children were: Mary Channing Saunders, Grace Channing Stetson (1862-1938) and Harold Channing (born 08/1869-1946). W.F. Channing died in Boston, MA. The Channing Family was quite comfortable financially. The US Census of 1870 recorded that William Channing had property worth $16,000 and an estate worth $15,000, and that Mary Channing owned property worth $10,000. They also could afford a domestic servant in 1870, Flora Sutherland (born c. 1844 in Nova Scotia, Canada).


Mary Alston Channing married Charles Willard Saunders, an architect, in Providence, RI, on 12/19/1882. (See Source Information Ancestry.com. Rhode Island, Marriage Index, 1851-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000, , accessed 04/09/2018.)

She was from Providence, RI, but her family had moved to Pasadena, CA, c. 1885. They lived a gracious, harmonious life for about five years in CA; stories in the Los Angeles Times in 1888 noted that C.W. Sauders was a fine tennis player, and that he competed in tournaments in Pasadena and Santa Monica. The paper noted on 08/21/1888: "Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Saunders, Miss Snow, Mrs. M.J. Channing and Harold Channing of this city and the Messrs. Wood of New York are at Santa Monica in attendance on the tennis tournament at that city." (See "Personals," Los Angeles Times, 08/21/1888, p. A12.) While it seems certain that the couple did break up, this may not have occurred until the late 1890s. A short mention in "Brevities," a Los Angeles Times column of 02/01/1891, stated: "Mrs. C.W. Saunders, daughter Dorothy and maid of Seattle arrived in Pasadena Friday evening and will spend the winter at Lester Cottage." (See "Brevities," Los Angeles Times, 02/01/1891, p. 7.) A later possible reference in the Los Angeles Times would indicate that Mary Saunders lived in Southern California past 1891. (See "Society," Los Angeles Times, 05/23/1897, p. 10.) Her father lived in CA in 1900, and it is likely that she remained in the state until at least that time, because her daughter lived with him.

She married Clarence Brandegee Wood (born 07/1863 in NJ) on 04/20/1900. The US Census of 1900 indicated that Wood was the manager of the Higgins Estate. In 1890, Eugene S. Higgins, took over for his father as the President of the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad, Director of the Consolidated Gas Company, and the President of the Central Bank of New York. He maintained a large house and estate north of Lake Pocahontas along Hanover Avenue in Morristown, NJ.


Mary Channing Saunders had two children with Charles, a daughter, Dorothy Channing Saunders (1888-1980). (At age 11, she resided with her maternal grandfather, William F. Channing.) She would later be known as "Dorothy Wood Houghton." Charles and Mary also had a son, Ellery C. Saunders (born 05/08/1892; estranged from his father, he used the last name "Wood.")

Birth records in the State of WA, indicated that Ellery was Mary's third child; this might have been a mistake or could have indicated, perhaps, that one child died early in life. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington Births, 1891-1935, accessed 04/09/2018.)

PCAD id: 2436