- Emma: In Her Own Words — The Background & The Beginning
- Emma: In Her Own Words — Childhood
- Emma: In Her Own Words — Employment
- Emma: In Her Own Words — Elopement & Early Marriage
- Emma: In Her Own Words — Work & Travel
- Emma: In Her Own Words — Bits & Pieces
- Emma: In Her Own Words — Papa
- Emma: In Her Own Words — Grandparents & Relatives
- Emma: In Her Own Words — Mama
- Emma: In Her Own Words — The Flood
- Emma: In Her Own Words — Teaching
- Emma: In Her Own Words — The End
Transcription of my grandmother’s notebook. See Part 1 in the series for a full explanation. Some text is omitted to protect the privacy of living family members.
“Papa didn’t want any of us to have boyfriends. We did not get to go to parties and have friends in like some children. But we loved him anyway. He was very strict. When he said no, that was it.
Papa sold his blacksmith shop and bought a little farm. He had chickens, cows, horses, wagon, goats and was very happy. They had a spring. This was after I married. We would carry water from the spring. It was cold as ice water. Mama kept her milk in it. They had good things to eat that you raised on a farm. My children loved to stay down there.
One time when we got off the train, Papa met us in a big wagon pulled with 2 mules. We were as thrilled at that as we would be a Cadillac now.
It was a mile to the town or county seat and we would walk from the farm on Saturday afternoon, dressed in our best. Everyone was in the streets and we would stand around & talk. That was recreation plus. That was in the good old days.
Papa was married 3 times. His first wife died. Gracie & Susie were her children. He and his second wife divorced when my brother Bill was a baby. She raised him and moved to Kansas with him. So I did not see him till I was 30 yrs old. He came to visit Papa. We were so glad to see him and he felt as much like a brother as my whole brother Hartford did. He came back every year after that and was here when Papa died. Elmer & I visited him several times. He died when he was 80 with a stroke. Hartford also died with a stroke and so did Mama & Papa. Gracie & Susie had Dropsy. Anna Rose died in operation for hiatal hernia with a heart attack.
Anna Rose married Holt Chesnut and had one son. She lived in Detroit, Mich. Was buried by Hartford at Grays Lake, Ill.
I had a real good friend at Loyall. We lived across the street from each other for many years and saw each other every day. She was a lot of fun and such a good neighbor. She was with me when Fay was born. Mae Rosenbaum was her name. She died a few yrs ago with a heart attack.
I had all my children at home. There were no hospitals then and the Dr. charged 25.00. He came to the house and stayed several hrs. 2 or 3 neighbor women came in and helped him. I always had someone to stay with me a month before and after. I believed in being waited on then.
When we first moved to Loyall the streets were pure mud. We moved our things from Corbin on the train and then hauled them in a wagon to here. We moved 3 times in 1 year before we built our house.
There were no telephones but the grocery man would come to the house and take grocery order, then deliver them that day in a wagon. There was a Community Church. I’d carry one baby, lead one and go to the post office every day. Those were good days.”1
- Emma Ewers Taylor Hopkins, “Journal,” 1974–1978, Loyall, Harlan County, Kentucky; privately held by Faye Hopkins McCauley, Mt. Vernon, Kentucky, 1978. Spiral notebook in which Emma wrote about her life, in possession of Faye (Emma’s youngest daughter) since her death in 1978. ↩