Thursday, March 15, 2012

What would they say?

Bess Wills - General Manager
Gresham Ford
It was flattering to have my picture on the front page of the Gresham Outlook and thank you Sarah for taking time to interview local women and myself in honor of 100th year anniversary of women's suffrage.  To be honest I truly hadn't thought about this historical celebration until she called for the interview.  It caused me to think about how my life would have been different if I had been born in another generation.  These thoughts have me reason to honor some great women in my family - I never knew them personally and would be so curious to have had the change to hear their feelings on this subject.

My paternal great-grandmother left Missouri around the age of 11 in a covered wagon and headed to California to find their fortune!  She married, raised 8 children, buried one; help build 3 houses, two burned to the ground.  Planted a garden, cooked, cleaned, and did the hundred other things that were required to live on a ranch 22 miles from the nearest town for the near 90 years of her life.  She lived most of her life without the right to vote.

My maternal grandmother was born in Oregon then went to Chico in Northern California and earned her college degree as a teacher.  Her father had left her mother with three daughters to raise and only one of them had the opportunity for college - luckily it was she.  After graduation she found a job teaching at several small country schools, she worked to care for her grandmother, mother and sisters.  She met my grandfather they married and she lived a tough country life thru the great depression while her husband lost his sleg while she was in the hospital giving birth to their second child.  Then she passed way too early from breast cancer.  The year she left for college was the same year the 19th Amendment was ratified to the United States Constitution.  For all those women that preceded us - Thank you.

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