Uncle Dave's book

Sunday, May 31, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #23: Edna Evelyn Hudson

     Edna Evelyn Hudson was my father's aunt.  She was born 9 Feb 1890 in Fayetteville, Arkansas to Benjamin Melvin Hudson and Agnes Georgiana Cookson.  She had three younger sisters. Her mother had been a school teacher before marriage and she encouraged her daughters to succeed academically.  Edna was quite precocious.  I have a letter she wrote to her grandparents detailing a trip to the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904.  It is full of detailed descriptions and illustrations. A later 1907 Fort Worth newspaper article mentions Edna and her sister, Mabel, as at the top of their respective classes.

     After graduating from High School in Fort Worth in 1908 Edna attended Texas Christian University and received a teaching certificate.  She later (about 1916 as she is listed on the California Voters List in Berkeley in that year)attended University of California at Berkeley and earned a Masters Degree (not sure in what but she taught English so likely that).  Returning to Fort Worth she fell in love but her sweetheart joined the  army in WW I and was killed.  She never married.  In her sister, Bessie's, wedding article the Best Man is named W.K. Swetzer.  I thought this might be her sweetheart but I haven't been able to find this man.

     She spent the rest of her life teaching in Fort Worth and living with her parents.  Her mother died in 1946.  Edna and her father spent a summer driving in the west, visiting her sister Bessie's family in Seattle and her Alma Mater at Berkeley.  In 1948, her sister Alma and her daughter, Evelyn (named for Edna) came to live with Ben and Edna after the death of Alma's husband.  So, she had her family as well as her career. She was active in the Hemphill Presbyterian Church and President of the Q.E.D. Club.

     Edna has a special place in my heart because of her interest in Family History.  In 1904 the family received a letter with a family tree purporting to go back to Anneke Jans Bogardus of New Amsterdam.  Although I don't think the family sent money (this was actually a fraudulent money making scheme), Edna did do some research on the family.  My father had this and a copy of the family data she wrote in her niece's baby book.  This is actually one of the things that got me interested in the family tree in the Eighth Grade!

     It was very unusual for a woman to obtain a Master's Degree before 1920 and she is the first woman in our family to do so. And here is the end of Edna's letter to her grandparents: "We had ice cream for supper this evening and as it is getting dark I must quit. Good By From your loving daughter. Edna. Remember your girls.  Edna-flower is Helitrope(sic) Mabel-...Migonette(sic)Alma...Hyacinth Bessie...Bergamot"

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