Today is a day to remember our mothers and grandmothers and all the women who came before us. These are some from my family.
Mary Herndon Fuller Rose was born in Atlanta, Georgia on December 18, 1896, likely a foundling, who was adopted from the Atlanta Home for the Friendless as an infant by Spann L. Fuller and his wife, Mamie Herndon. Spann and Mamie adopted another daughter, Maud, around the same time, in order to qualify for a homestead in their home county of Habersham, Georgia. From what little information we have pieced together, Mamie was not a very attentive or loving mother, but both daughters seem to have had a close relationship with their adopted father. Mary married my grandfather, Robert Rose, some time before 1917, when their oldest child, Essie Louise, was born. They went on to have eight more children before they divorced in 1935. She was a grass widow during the Depression and surely struggled to provide for her children. "Granny Rose" died in her long time home of Jacksonville, Florida in 1987, at the age of 91. She was preceded in death by two of her children, baby Joann, who died just before her second birthday, and son J.D., who died in 1949. They are buried together in Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville.
Easie Mae Stroud Stanfill Berry was born on March 10, 1904 in Madison, Arkansas. She was one of three children of William Farley Stroud and Sarah Elizabeth Sparks. Easie briefly taught school in Madison County before marrying my grandfather, George Stanfill, in 1925. After having a son and daughter and running a farm for the first few years of their marriage, they moved to Nowata, Oklahoma about 1931 and opened a grocery store there. In the next few years, they would open two other stores in nearby towns. George died unexpectedly of encephalitis in August of 1941 and a month later, their store in Nowata burned down. Easie was just 37 when she was widowed, and the loss of her husband and their business in such a short span of time was no doubt devestating. She rebuilt the store and a creamery and continued running the businesses until after she remarried in 1949. Her second husband was Wesley Berry, a widower with four children. After she retired, Easie and Wes remained in the little town of Nowata, where she was active in numerous clubs and activities there. "Grandma Berry" was the grandparent I was closest to and I spent many wonderful times with her in their little town. She was an awesome cook, who was never without a "deep freeze" full of wonderful food. She died in 1993 at age 86, preceded by her son Eugene, and is buried at Nowata Memorial Cemetery.
Sarah Elizabeth Sparks Chapman Stroud, born August 1, 1874, was the daughter of James Sparks and Nancy Bunch. She was one of eight children and grew up in Madison, Arkansas where her father had a farm. She was married to Francis Marion Chapman in 1892 when she was 18; very little is known about her first husband or the time in which they were married. They had no children and he died four years later. Two years later, she married William Farley Stroud, her brother Hiram's brother-in-law, who was a prosperous farmer in Madison. They had three children and lived in Madison until Farl's death in 1939. Sarah lived for a time after that with her youngest daughter, Beulah and her husband in California, then moved to Nowata, Oklahoma, to live with daughter Easie. She died there in 1949 at age 84. She is buried at Alabam Cemetery in Madison, Arkansas next to Farl.
Drusie Dorsey Stanfill was born in Madison, Arkansas on April 10, 1868. Her father was Alexander Bowden Dorsey and her mother was Eliza Boyd. Alexander had 17 children from three relationships; two marriages and one relationship with a woman who eventually became his third wife. Nine of the children were born from that relationship while he was married to Drusie's mother. Drusie and Jesse Carl Stanfill were married in about 1887 and had six children. Jesse was a farmer in Madison, and later Kansas, and lost a hand in an farm accident. He and Drusie later moved near their sons in Oklahoma, where both men operated grocery stores. They lost two of their children, Avery and George, before their own deaths; Drusie passed away at age 77 in 1945. She and Jesse are buried at Drake's Creek Cemetery in Madison, Arkansas.