Sunday, October 17, 2010

Anna Elberta Austin - Sentimental Sunday No. 56

Anna Elberta Austin was my Mom's maternal grandmother; my great grandmother. She died when I was almost four, on August 12th, 1963. She was born on October 30th sometime between 1868 and 1871. She lied about her age her entire life, and even erased her year of birth, and those of the two children before her, in her parents records.

Graduation Photo, circa 1888
Anna Elberta Austin, seated first on left.

I don't personally have a lot of memories of her, because I was so young when she died. But, I do have little glimmers here and there. I do remember she was always very nice to me. And I remember her little black coin purse that she would take out and open up to give me a quarter when she saw me, always saying "Let's see what Danny Bert has in her purse for little Cindy".  (We all called her "Danny Bert". My Mom was the first grandchild and she couldn't say Grandma Elberta; it came out "Danny Bert" and that's what she was called from then on.)

I can tell you is that she was a formidable woman.

** She worked in Washington D.C. for General Pershing.
** She marched with Susan B Anthony for the right to vote.
** She was with the Woman's Temperance League to bring about Prohibition. Although I was recently told by my cousin Nona that she had an ulterior motive for doing so. Her husband was notorious for going on "benders" and leaving her and the kids alone. So, she wanted to bring about a stop to those escapades - and wanted a chance to go around to the bars to try and find him.

I recently visited her grave in Santa Monica, CA. I wanted to pay my respects to her, and document where she is buried.

She was a strong woman, perhaps a little crazy - based on some of the stories I've heard, and a woman that wasn't afraid to speak her mind.  I admire her fortitude of spirit and her willingness to speak up for what she thought was right.  And, as a woman who has the right to vote - I'm thankful for the work that she and so many others did in those days.


Laura said...

What an amazing woman! And wow, great photos!

Columbo said...

Your great grandmother was really something! I find it very inspiring that she had such a strong will. In addition, she had the ability to voice her opinion at a time when women were afraid to be vocal. Marching with Susan B. Anthony...Wow..Awesome.

Megan said...

What great history you have in your family line!

Patty said...

She sounds like she was an amazing lady.

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