Thursday, March 4, 2010

91st Carnival of Genealogy, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 4)

Continued from Emmie's Story (Part 3)

Three of my great-grandparents were living when I was born but Emmie was the only I really knew. John died before I was two years old so I don't remember him at all. My great-grandmother Hopkins died when I was five and while I have memories of her, I didn't really know her. I was six months old when my family moved to Mt. Vernon and was 16 when Emmie (who I called Granny) died. I doubt there was a week that went by without my seeing her during those years.

Emmie and John had been married for over 50 years when he died in 1953 but there was one thing they never agreed on - politics. He was a staunch Republican and she a Democrat. This fact alone proves what an independent women Emmie was. Most women of her time deferred to their husband on many things, especially politics. Considering she had been married for 20 years by the time women even gained the right to vote it is really amazing that she openly disagreed with John. I can remember being at the polls with her because Mom would drive her to vote. When Kentucky changed from paper ballots to voting machines she had to have help to operate the machine. Kentucky law required that a poll worker from each party go into the booth with voters who needed assistance. Emmie's hearing wasn't very good by that time so she talked loud. Everyone could hear her telling the two workers how she wanted to vote. There was no such thing as a secret ballot with her.  

Sometime in the 1960's Emmie got a television. She enjoyed it very much even though she could hardly hear by that time. Many times when we stopped by she would be watching TV and she would always explain what was going on with the show she was watching. Her explanation rarely had anything to do with the actual plot since she couldn't really hear it but she was perfectly happy and entertained by the stories she made up to go with what she was seeing.

Emmie always enjoyed having company and visiting with family and friends. A family friend once saw Emmie's walking home from the nearby funeral home and stopped to give her a ride. When the friend asked who had died, Emmie said she didn't know them she just thought she'd go to the visitation in case there was anyone there from out in the country that she might know. "Out in the country" meant the Freedom area where she grew up.

Just a few years before she died the family started getting together to celebrate Emmie's birthday every year. The parties were held at Emmie's house and were potluck so everyone brought a dish and stayed all afternoon. Guests included grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and their families.

Emmie died on March 17, 1968 at the Rockcastle County Hospital in Mt. Vernon one month before her 86th birthday. She had been in the hospital for several days but between her daughter (Emma), daughter-in-law (Betty) and several of her grandchildren, she was never left alone at the hospital for a minute. She was buried next to John in Elmwood Cemetery in Mt. Vernon.

Photos from the top: Emmie and her brother, Dave Owens; Emmie (on right) visiting one of her neighbors; Emmie visiting her niece, Ollie; Emmie at one of her birthday parties.

Other Posts in this Series:
Timeline for Emma Jane Owens Taylor
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 1)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 2)
91st COG, A Tribute To Women! - Emmie's Story (Part 3)

Sources for the personal events in this series are from my own memories, family stories, marriage records, census records, death certificates and newspaper articles. See my website for detailed sources. The historic events are from History Timeline. To learn more about the Carnival of Genealogy, see FAQs at Creative Gene.


  1. What a lovely biography Linda! I really enjoyed reading about Emmie, especially your memories of her. And here it is, March 17, the anniversary of her death. What a fitting tribute to remember her by.

  2. Thanks! This was my first COG effort and I enjoyed it very much.

  3. A special tribute to an obviously beloved great-grandmother. You did a wonderful job telling stories about her life, letting us get to know her. I loved the story of the polling booth and all of the wonderful family pictures. I also enjoyed the way you broke this down into 5 segments. Well done!