Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Women's History Month.

I've been out of town for a few days (more on that later) but I was catching up on my forums this morning and found some very interesting blogging prompts for the month of March, which, as everyone knows, is Women's History Month. You didn't know that? Neither did I!

I'll have to combine the March 1 and March 2 prompts, since I was in a car all day yesterday and in no position to blog.

March 1's prompt:
Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about?

I can't say I have a favorite, but each of my great-grandmothers interests me for various reasons. If I could only pick one to resurrect and have a chat with, it would probably be my great-grandmother Emma Shank Fenton. She is the subject of one of the most vivid stories in the Fenton family, one that was obviously told over and over to her children and grandchildren, and told to me about ten years ago by her daughter, my great-aunt Helen.

Emma and her husband and two small children, plus her husband's father, were traveling across the West in the 19-teens looking for a place that would be better for her father-in-law's health than wet Missouri. They were living in Wyoming where Great-Grandpa was working on Buffalo Bill's ranch.

Two-year-old Helen and four-year-old Lewis were playing Sunday School one bitterly cold Sunday morning, and Helen fell off her little stool and landed against the red-hot woodstove, burning her face and her eye badly.

Great-Grandma put Vaseline and egg whites on Helen's eye, bundled her up and carried her, took Lewis by the hand, and walked across the frozen Bighorn River to find Great-Grandpa and someone who could provide a wagon to get Helen to the doctor. Oh, and did I mention she was pregnant at the time?

This is a woman I would love to have known.

March 2 prompt: Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?

Since I was just talking about Great-Grandma Emma, here's a picture of her with her husband Clyde Fenton, and Lewis and Helen, during the years they spent traveling through the West. This was in Nebraska, and yes, they were living out of a tent. The picture was taken around 1913-14.