Thursday, January 7, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - A Tribute to Verda McCauley

Verda Hankins McCauley was my paternal grandmother. She died nine years before I was born so I never knew her. I know the basics. She was born in Hopkins County, Kentucky in 1884, married my grandfather there in 1904, settled in nearby Muhlenberg County, had 11 children and died in 1942 at the age of 57 from chronic myocarditis.

In 1946, my Aunt Vashti wrote a tribute to her mother that was preserved in a scrapbook at the Pleasant Hill Methodist Church, the little country church the family attended. Aunt Vashti apparently presented the tribute at Pleasant Hill four years after Verda's death to either the whole church or to the women's group.

Pleasant Hill Church no longer exists and I have no idea what happened to that scrapbook but, luckily, my mother had the foresight to transcribe Aunt Vashti's tribute during a visit to Pleasant Hill in the 1980's. It tells so much about the grandmother I never knew.

A Tribute to Verda McCauley
By Vashti McCauley Wells

Verda Jane McCauley was born near Providence, Kentucky, Dec. 1, 1884, spent her childhood days in Hopkins County, was the daughter of a General Baptist minister. Many times in those days she rode horse-back cross country with her father to fill an appointment, and at a very early age made a host of friends. She loved meeting people, and one of her best traits was making those about her feel welcome. She had a kind word and a smile for everyone. How often have we seen the faces of those who knew her brighten when she would appear for church service, after an absence of a few weeks on account of illness. She surely had her share of suffering while here on earth, but through it all she always managed to smile when you were by her side. She was faithful to her church, family and friends. Her vacancy can never be filed, we see the need about us more and more for consecrated Mothers such as the one we knew and loved. And may the Women's Society of Christian Service rededicate their lives for greater service, for having known a true friend and Christian, our Mother.
Of all the memories I hold dear
There's one apart from all the other
Clearer than the noonday sun,
The memory of my mother.

Her daily life was a written page,
And in memory we read
How she always offered a helping hand,
Or did a kindly deed.

She was numbered among the faithful
On her you could depend,
Was always so understanding,
Had a smile for every friend.

Just as spring burst fourth in beauty
Four years ago in May
While her favorite flowers were in full bloom
She quietly slipped away.

Away from all the cares of life
And the ones that loved her best
We've missed her so in these four years,
But God knew she needed rest.

I know she has a mansion
In that City built four square
And I know she'll be waiting,
For her friends and loved ones there.


  1. Verda was obviously a beautiful woman, both inside and out. What a lovely tribute and how lucky you are that it was written down before the scrapbook was lost!

  2. A true treasure that got preserved because some one cared. Thank you for sharing, and providing this reminder!

    Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  3. Welcome and what a wonderful post. My paternal ancestors hail from Kentucky. I look forward to your future posts.