Cornelia Hoskins Vail
February 3, 1851- August 31, 1941
By Amy Rosenkrans, PhD
Cornelia Hoskins was born in Upper Falls (Harford County) in 1851. Cornelia was one of nine children born to Jesse and Angeline (Johnson). Her father, Jesse, was a farmer. The family attended Little Falls Meeting House.
Cornelia married Charles Lindley Vail in 1876 on Vail’s family farm, Dunkale. After a honeymoon trip to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the couple returned to Forest Hill where they lived on the Vail farm for the rest of their lives. The Vails had two sons, one of which lived to adulthood.
The Vails were prominent citizens in Forest Hill and the greater Harford County community. Charles Lindlay was an officer and member of the Forest Hill Lyceum, the Harford County Law Enforcement League, and the Harford County Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
Very few records of Cornelia’s activity exist. It can be inferred that she was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, as meetings were held in her home and Charles was recorded as the organization’s president in 1922.
Cornelia was a member of the Suffrage Club of Bel Air and the Friends Equal Rights Club.
Her sister-in-law, Annie Hollingsworth Hoskins, was also a member of those clubs and was the recording secretary of the Maryland Woman Suffrage Association.
Cornelia died at the age of 90 in her Forest Hill home. She was laid to rest at the Friends Meeting House Cemetery in Forest Hill.
An Appeal to the Citizens of Harford County, The Aegis, August 15, 1902
Demand the Right to Vote, The Baltimore Sun, January 7, 1906
Cornelia Vail Obituary, The Baltimore Sun, September 3, 1941
Forest Hill Lyceum, The Aegis, March 7, 1873
Local News, The Aegis, February 10, 1922
Reminisces of Walter Elwood Vail, courtesy of Jeanette Arling