Thursday, March 29, 2012
As Grandmother Bessie was a huge influence in my life, it seems fitting to share an early photo of her. This photo is four of the five Shults sisters, daughters of James Lawson Shults and Laura Jane Noland Shults. From left to right: Margaret who was always called Maggie, she is the oldest sister. Next to Maggie is Kittie, then Grandmother Bessie Ann and on the far right Bonnie. There is also a fifth sister, Allie. Allie was born after this photo was taken. Remember the La D Da sampler Margaret Cottam? Hmm, with some modifications, Margaret Cottam may become Maggie Shults
About the photo: notice Maggie and Grandmother had nosegays pinned to the blouses, no deodorant in those days so they wore flowers to disguise body order. None of them are smiling because of the condition of their teeth. Notice the dust on Grandmother Bessie's shoes, she had either walked some distance on a dusty road when this photo was taken or she had been working in the fields.
Sister Kittie married Rev John Tudor. A sad story. Rev. Tudor was 54 years older than Kittie. At the time of their marriage, Rev Tudor had tuberculosis. Grandmother Bessie always said "he had the bad disease." Rev Tudor died within a year of marrying Kittie. As tuberculosis is highly contagious, Kittie contracted the disease and she died in 1914. Sadly, Grandmother Laura who had cared for Kittie died in 1915.
Sister Bonnie died in 1920 from complications of child birth.
This is Grandmother Bessie and Grandfather Isaac's first house. The house has had modifications and improvements but still exists and can be found in Emert's Cove, just outside the boundaries of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Grandfather Isaac and his brother Bill (William Jefferson) built this house.
I have been on a search for my favorite photo of Grandmother Bessie--will share when I locate.