Uncle Dave's book

Saturday, December 20, 2014

52 Ancestors # 51: Georgiana Agnes Cookson

     Georgiana Agnes Cookson was known as Agnes.  She was born on 3 Aug 1868 in Vienna, Elgin Co., Ontario, Canada, the daughter of John Marshall Cookson and Hannah Elizabeth Buck. The name Georgiana was for her father's sister, Georgiana Cookson, but the Agnes seems to be hers alone. Not long after she was born the family moved to Saginaw, Michigan where they are found in the 1870 Census.  By 1880 they were living in Au Gres, Michigan, around the Bay from Saginaw.  Her father was a lumberjack and her mother had a sewing machine and sold sheets, I suppose to lumberjack as this was a booming business at that time.

     Agnes had three younger brothers: Daniel Edward "Teddy" born in 1870, Henry John "Harry" born in 1873, and Samuel Lane "Sammy" born in 1876.  There was also a stillborn sister in 1877. I don't know much about her life at that point except that the winters were very cold and harsh in that area. The family records say that she graduated from school and became a school teacher.  She taught her younger brother, Sammie, in a one room school, probably around 1884 when she was 16.

     Teddy died in Oct 1881 of a fever and Harry drowned in Aug 1882. This must have been tragic for the family.  Perhaps because of these deaths the family moved again to Fayetteville, Arkansas in about 1885. On 20 Oct 1888, Agnes married Benjamin Melvin Hudson. They had met in Saginaw as that is where he was from. In fact, the family account said that they married in Saginaw.  Yet, I found the marriage  certificate in Fayetteville.  He must have followed her there, leaving his family and life for her.  She was 20 when they married.

     Agnes and Ben had four daughters: Edna, Mabel, Alma and Elizabeth (Bessie).  They lived next door to her parents for several years but eventually moved to Fort Worth, Texas where they lived most of their lives.  Agnes and her daughters frequently appear in the social columns of the local Fort Worth paper of the early 1900's, active in Church and school activities.  Bessie's husband, my grandfather Walter Peterson, said that Agnes stressed education and music in her daughters' upbringing.  Certainly they all were top students and all went to College, something rare for women in those days. Edna and Mabel were also teachers, following in their mother's footsteps.  And Bessie also taught Physical Education in Chicago. Agnes must have been proud of her daughters!

     I only have four pictures of Agnes. In one taken in 1925 she is very stylishly dressed in a cocoon-style coat, high heels and long necklaces with a cloche hat.  She was about 57 at the time! In all four photos she has a very sweet expression.

     Agnes died on 27 Dec 1936 of pernicious anemia.  She is buried in Rosehill Cemetery in Fort Worth, Benjamin, Edna, Mabel and Alma are all buried there with her.

1 comment:

  1. I've gathered from other accounts of those days that people seemed to move easily back and forth between Canada and the northern U.S. states.

    I didn't realize that Agnes had been a teacher for a while. She must have been very pleased when two of her daughters became teachers!