In today's world we feel lost without our car keys, or cell phones, our instant this and instant that. Even the things we do not realize that we would be so completely lost without, like sweet milk, air conditioning (of course I would never be without this one), daily mail (now known as snail-mail), 30 minute meals(oh boy) these are things that we live with day in and day out mostly without even thinking about it and when things go wrong or things don't work out, l think, "How am I ever going to get through this?" During my research I came to realize I have the life of a Queen Goddess pampered in ways l really do need to recognize.
I have met women through the course of my research that lived through things that would put me to the floor and I'd never be able to get up again.
My gg.grandmother Susannah Moe McCann was born in a covered wagon in the middle of a mining camp in Kansas in 1860. By 1870 they were living in Janesville, California and by 1880, they were in Kendall County, Illinois and back to Washington in 1892. She travled more by covered wagon than I do now in a car!
Dear Hubby and I did the drive from Reno, Nevada to Janesville, California by car, in the air conditioning. It was roughly a two hour drive through high desert still only covered by sand and sagebrush. As I sat there riding along looking out over the country side, I wondered what it must have been like to have walked, most of this in uncomfortable shoes, maybe, perhaps without any at times in the heat and sand wearing about 5 pounds of undergarments and dress. It gave me a greater respect for them that is for sure.
Susannah died in July of 1893 just three months after giving birth to my g. grandmother, Leona Pearl McCann.
Leona too was a woman of incredible strength. She was lucky to have survived in the wild country of Northern West Coast of Washington. Her father, Geo. McCann moved her and her sisters back to Michigan were he was from. He remarried in three years and had three more daughters. He then moved the entire family back to Washington by 1910.
This is when Leona jumped ship, literally, she sat sail from Seattle to San Francisco. While on board she met young Percy Valentine Fernandez. He two had lost a parent, his father and his mother had just recently remarried. They were young, had much in common and were on the high sea, romance was in the air. They were married in Nov. 1911 San Francisco. Leona lost an older sister Ruby in 1911, and her last full-blood sister, Myrtle in 1943. Her daughter Margaret lost her fight with breast cancer in 1951 and as a result, Leona never saw her grandson James Patrick again.
She was married three times and buried Lloyd Kibby in 1967. Sadly my only contact with her was as a small child which l do not remember. She was quite a lady though. Even danced on the Burlesque stage in the Sutro Bath House Theater.
The story that stays with me every time I truly think my life is difficult is the story of the two Sallie's.
First is Sarah "Sallie" Bledsoe. She was born in Hill County, Texas in 1881. She was second born to Roena A. Bragg & Henry S. Bledsoe. She had five siblings and was 14 when her mother died. Her father remarried one year later and they had three more boys. In 1901 she married Henry Hiram Fuller, he was 14 years her senior and a doctor.
In 1905 she gave birth to a son, Hugh Sevier Fuller. Sometime between 1910-1920 Sallie's marriage failed and she filed for divorce. In 1925 her son, Hugh, marries Miss Sallie Emma Files. Young Hugh has always been a motorcycle fan and had won man races on the Oklahoma circuit so when an opportunity to become one of the first Motorcycle Police Officers in Wichita Falls, Hugh jumped at the chance.
On Aug 5, 1927 a precious baby girl, Billie Bob Fuller is born, but sadly only lives two short days. Hugh, his wife Sallie and his mother Sallie are in mourning. Just two months later, while on duty and responding to a call, Hugh is tragically killed in an accident with another vehicle. He suffers severe head trauma and dies several hours later. His wife Sallie has lost her child and now her husband. His mother Sallie has now lost her marriage, her grand daughter, her son... I'm still for his mother three years later in 1930 census. I suspect she may have been in a hospital somewhere. I may have been in the bottom of a bottle somewhere. Not sure I could have had the strength to pull out of a tragedy such as this.
His wife Sallie finally remarried some years later, but l have never found evidence of more children. His mother Sallie resurfaces in the 1940's Houston area remarried.
So, life does go on and they made it through more than I can ever imagine myself being able to survive. These women did this in a time without so many of the conveniences that we take for granted everyday. Each time I meet one of these women in my research, I try to feel their spirit for life, to tell the story for them... It brings me strength to fight my own battles and conquer my own self made limitations!