This is a photo that was taken at my Grammy’s Grandmother’s funeral in 1928. Cleopatra was my great-great grandmother. She was born in 1853, was married at age 14 in 1867 (wedding picture below) and died in 1928 a couple of months shy of age 75.

She had 9 children, the first just three days after her 1 year wedding anniversary.

What a time to live!

Thomas Edison applied for his first patent, the electric vote recorder during her first year of marriage.

Republican Ulysses S. Grant is elected to the first of his two terms in a victory over Democrat Horatio Seymour.

United States Army Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer leads an attack on a band of peaceful Cheyenne living on reservation land.

The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory Summit, Utah.

In New York, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association.

One had to wonder what she thought about the whole suffragette movement – and if she dared to voice her opinion in that day and age.




My Grammy had really fond memories of her Grandmother Cleopatra. When I was growing up she’d talk about her – she’d refer to her as Cleopatra – and oh, I wish I’d taken notes! I want to know – how the heck did she end up with a name like Cleopatra?!

In 1870 – the year her second child was born – after all of the Southern States are formally readmitted to the United States of America, the Confederate States of America (a/k/a the CSA) ceases to exist.

Cleopatra’s father served in the CSA – he was born in Georgia, we think – in fact, he enlisted in 1862 at the age of 37, was wounded, captured, and eventually honorably discharged. He served first in the infantry, and was later transferred to the calvary. One would think Southern sympathies ran high.

Interesting – given I’m such a Yankee. Well, sort of. I’ve got a lot of Southern roots – heck, my Dad was born in Louisiana. But growing up in Oregon I knew about mustard and collard greens, okra, BBQ, good cornbread, and knew the virtue of a properly seasoned cast iron skillet. Oh – and I could understand my Dad’s twang and vocabulary – along with that of his relations who had even more pronounced accents and colorful turns of phrases – without half a thought.

Wonder what I am… a Yankee or a Rebel?

I think I know what my husband would say! (A Rebel – but not based on political sentiments! LOL!)

 Cleopatra became a widow at age 45 – my age! – in the year 1898. What must that have been like?

Robert Allison of Port Carbon, Pennsylvania becomes the first person to buy an American-built automobile when he buys a Winton automobile that was advertised in Scientific American that year.

The Spanish-American War was in full swing.

President of the United States William McKinley signed the Newlands Resolution annexing Hawaii as a territory of the United States. Had she ever heard of Hawaii? That was a heck of a long way from Arkansas!

Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium.

All that and six kids in the house.

How did she keep a roof over their heads?

How did she feed them?

How did they make it day to day?

I love that photo up there – the one taken at her funeral. It speaks a lot to the fact that she was well-respected and well-loved. People came from near and far to pay their last respects. I love that someone went to the effort and expense to have this photo taken. I’m so thankful Grammy took the time to sit down with me and tell me who everyone was.


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