My grandmother, Hazel Alfreda Thompson Evans was born to Seth Campbell Thompson and Mary Olive Fisher Thompson, "Papa and My dear little mother," on this date in Coolspring Township just kitty corner from the Coolspring Church. The house was made the "Showplace of Mercer County" by her grandfather, Edward Campbell Thompson, a Civil War veteran and sheriff of Mercer County.
As a sort of re-gifting today to me, I was looking at our bookshelf downstairs this morning. I saw a book, The Re-Creation of Brian Kent, Wright. It is very old and I wondered was it written by Harold Bell Wright, the author of The Shepherd of the Hills.
That was the name on the title page, but the real gem were the names
on the flap. Mrs. Mary E. Fisher and above it read "to Grandma from
Tad"- I have no idea who Tad is, but below Mary's name was written,"To
Hazel from Grandma" A re gifting from 1919! Plus, I'm inspired by The Shepherd of the Hills, so it will be fun to read another book by Harold Bell Wright. The book itself is in good shape.
had a little sister, Arvella, but somewhere along the line, a hired
hand remarked about a girl wearing overalls, "Well, you're a little Jim"
And Jim stuck as her nickname. They were five years apart with a
strong sibling rivalry. I don't believe Grandpa Thompson ever used the
name Jim, but he blew on the fire of their competition. My mom said she
would over hear him as he was giving money to one, "Now don't tell
Arvella." or "Don't tell Hazel"
Mary Olive died when Grandma was
seven and Jim was two. The girls were very pretty, but I'm sure it was
hard on Grandpa Thompson with running a farm and two girls for which to
care. Grandma talked about her mean German grandmother, that was Hannah
Barnhart Thompson, she married Edward after the Civil War, Sept. 1865.
I have the date, record somewhere. It was in Sharon, PA. She was from
Clarksville, now Clark as was Edward- his mother being the one who was
widowed by Charles Koonce, of Tara fame.
Soon Grandpa Thompson
married a school teacher, Miss McMillin- I have to look up her first
name. Later her sister married Grandpa Evans father, his second wife
after they moved from Pittsburgh to Coolspring Township, so she was Aunt
Eva to my mother, even though she also was a step grandmother. As yet
another aside, Great Grandpa Evans was the choir director for Coolspring
Church. I could write a whole blog on Coolspring Township.
Thompson, and Mom called his second wife, Grandma Thompson, had a son
Burdell. They made a big fuss over him, because Grandma Thompson was
old when she had him. Years later, he committed suicide on the farm.
Grandma Evans didn't talk much about him
that I can recall. My mother loved his daughters, Wilma and Verna Mae.
think because Grandma was seven when her mother died in 1905, she was
considered almost an adult. I know they had no grief counseling then.
She may have had more sympathy from her mother's family. They wanted
her to move with them out West. She cried, but Papa couldn't let her go.
My sister has the letters they wrote to her from California.
sure this is getting too long for a blog post. As you can imagine there
is much information. Grandma has been dead for twenty five years. She
was confused in her last days. She thought baby Katie was my oldest
sister's baby. She thought my dad had died not her son, Bill. She had a
stroke and quietly died in August 1989. My mom and dad were with her.
my mom died six years ago, we both missed Grandma more and talked a lot
about her. She had funny sayings. In the winter, "you needed to get
out and blow the stink off." She never got strange to her ear names right, Herman
was Norman, HoChi was HoJo, Toni, her great granddaughter, was Tonya-
which made the grandfather irritated, "Toni, Mom, Toni."
is buried beside her beloved June, her youngest daughter, who died in
1962 of uterine cancer at age thirty three. A very tragic death that affected our
whole family for many years. June, the month was also Grandma's favorite, as
well as lavender for color, violet for flowers. She put kitty litter
around her violets and they were extraordinary.
Happy Birthday, Grandma! We miss your jolly self!