- 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.
Eloping to Jellico on the Train
“On Oct 11, 1920 I married Elmer Dennis Hopkins.
When I was 11, at my sisters wedding, I decided to elope. This I did. I went home from work at noon and Elmer & I left in a taxi as I went back to work. We went to Wildie, got on train and rode to Jellico, Tenn. We were married by Justice of the Peace in a furniture store with 1 witness which was all the state of Tenn required.
We went to the hotel and ate supper then caught the train to Corbin. We got there about 11 P.M. and went to our house Elmer had bought and furnished. I fixed a special delivery letter to be delivered to Mama about the time I would get home from work telling her I would be married by the time she got it. My brother told me later there was weeping and wailing. She wrote me a letter next day for us to come home. So we went to Mt. Vernon the third day of our honeymoon and spent the night and on to his home at Crab Orchard the next day.
Mama had a good supper and a real nice cake. They didn’t cry for which I was glad. Anna Rose my sister was born when I was 18 and I worshiped her. I really hated to be away from her.
I had bought sheets, linens, etc & had them at the bank so I bought a trunk and took all my things home. Later I moved my piano.
We had a bed, dresser, dining table, 6 chairs, rocker, kitchen cabinet and cook stove to start. I then bought couch, another living room chair, rugs, wash stand and several other things for the house.
I still have the round oak dining table after 57 years.
. . . Edna . . . was born at Mt. Vernon. My first daughter. My happiness was complete.
Feb 26, 1924 Ruby Marie Hopkins was born at Loyall.1 She was born to be an angel. On Oct 25, 1925 God took her to be with him. She died with scarlet fever and diptheria. My world collapsed but I am so glad God let me have her even for such a short time. I soon realized Edna needed me more than ever and I took over the full time job of mothering her.
. . . Helen . . . was born. She did not fill Ruby’s place but she was a lot of sunshine and she and Edna claimed all my time.
. . . Fay . . . was born and our family was complete.2 4 daughters. We raised three of them.
We first lived at Corbin and I had a very dear friend there. Grace Sams. We lived on Bryant St in a 4 room house. It was nice with big shade trees in yard and garden. Elmer had to go to Cumberland to work so we took a few things up there and light house kept for a few months. We then went back to Corbin. We lived at Loyall from Feb 1924 to Dec 1925 but after Ruby died we went back to Corbin. We found we couldn’t run from trouble so we moved back to Loyall when Helen was 6 mos old and have lived there ever since.
We built our house in 1925 in Apr. and Ruby died in Oct.”3
- Loyall was named Shonn at that time. The change to Loyall was made in 1932. ↩
- Mamaw always spelled my mother’s name Fay, although it’s Faye on her birth certificate and that is the way my mother spells it. ↩
- 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. ↩