Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Emma Susan Dehart Borden

As much as I like researching and uncovering lost pieces of family history, I especially like writing about family members who I actually knew. I hope to make them come across as the real people they were. Emma Susan Dehart Borden was my great-grandmother who lived in Lake City, Iowa. Her daughter, my grandmother, Nina, was her only child. I knew them both.

I never knew G'ma Borden's husband, William, but my dad carried his name as a middle name. My dad told me once that his Grandpa Borden was his favorite grandfather. This surprised me because Dad was only about 8 or 9 when his Grandpa William Borden died
(1865-1930). Dad was given his grandfather's watch and Dad passed it to me a few years ago.

My cousin, Sue, was named for both our great-grandmother, Emma Susan, and our grandmother, Nina. Her name was Nina Susan but she always used the Susan part of her name. I wished I had been named "after" someone. Amazing the odd things we can decide are great on the other side of the fence.

William Borden was a carpenter by trade and built many structures. Not very many years ago, my dad showed me a barn that his grandfather had built. Grandma Nina wrote in Grandma's Own Words that the family had gone to Texas for a year to help George and Sarah build a homesite.

I have several heirlooms from these great-grandparents. I will photograph them another time and post them.  My two favorites are a cup with William's name on it and a silver thimble that Emma used for sewing. The thimble is tiny. I think I have always liked it because of its size and the tales of her darning my dad's socks. In addition to the cup and thimble, I have a chair, a small table, and a few dishes.

As a little girl, my parents spent a lot of time in Lake City or so it seemed to me. We lived about 20 miles away. Just a few years ago when dad was still alive we drove to Lake City for some reason. He commented that there was a time when he thought he knew everyone in that town and now he knows no one. As I have researched the collateral relatives, I am beginning to understand his point.

Before I continue, I must make a clarification here. The general rule of thumb is to write out the names of the grandparents being discussed instead of saying Grandpa or Grandma. I have accomplished that in some posts but it is just not working here.
Grandma Emma Borden's house was on Woodlawn Avenue. It was the last house on the left on the edge of town just before going down a rather large hill. A modern brick home now stands in that spot. Grandma Borden's house was across the street from her sister's home. Aunt Alice and Uncle Sherm lived there. They would actually be my great-great aunt and uncle and as old as that sounds...they really were. One my life's most boring afternoons was spent in their living room. It smelled like old people and there was nothing to do. I lay on the piano bench fingering the keys carefully as to not make a sound. A couple of times I was not successful. I was visiting them with my grandmother, Nina, and she wasn't happy with me. I have no idea where my mother was.

I don't think I would have felt as bad if my mother had been there.

My great grandma Borden

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