Great-Grandmother Susan


This month is Women’s History Month. One ancestor came to mind, my great-grandmother Susan. Like most women from her time, I originally thought her life consisted of being a wife, mother, homemaker and active in her church. As I was looking at her timeframe while she was alive, I realized she (and other family members) went through WWI and WWII. My great-grandfather had a repair shop downtown a few years before WWI. The shop did not last all the way through the war. My great-grandfather ended up working for the local manufacturer in town. This must have been a great disappointment to the family to end their business and work as a laborer for someone else to survive. I can’t imagine the sacrifices her family and other families had to endure during both world wars.

While researching her, I came across some newspaper articles showing more activities. Her family had large reunions and posted them in the local paper. The articles listed family members who were elected officers, and my great-grandmother was elected to various offices and was very involved with the reunions.

I also came across newspaper articles of my great-grandmother’s involvement in the Daughters of the Rebekah’s. The Daughters of Rebekah was first formed as a female auxiliary of the International Order of Odd Fellows. Now they are an international service-oriented organization. The Rebekah Degree was first established in 1851. It was named after the Rebekah from the Bible whose unselfishness at the well represents the virtues of the society. Susan was a member of 2 local chapters for 30 years. She became a “Noble Grand” (President) and was appointed to the “Triple Link Circle”. I’m sure this local chapter stayed busy during WWI and WWII helping out the local community with food and donations. Unfortunately, these local chapters do not exist today.

Symbol: three-link chain, dove, lily, moon and seven stars

“Friendship, Love and Truth”

As I reflect on Women’s History Month, I think of my past female ancestors who faced many challenges during their lifetime and still made time to help out their fellow citizens in need.

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