Wednesday, February 12, 2014

52 Ancestors - #7 - Mattie Thornton

Mattie Thornton was the fifth of nine daughters born to Reuben Thornton and Sarah McDonald. She was born in 1865 in the Clover Bottom area of Woodford County, Kentucky. In 1890 she married Albert S. Howard, and after much nagging on her part, they moved to Holden, Missouri where Albert had relatives.  Almost as soon as they got there she decided that she missed her family and Kentucky and that they should return.  Albert held out until about 1901.

Meanwhile, their son John was born (1891); then twins in 1893 (Rena and Marian).  Albert gave in and agreed to return to Kentucky.  They arrived at the train station in Lexington, but no one was there to meet them.  Mattie, furious at the lack of welcoming, demanded that they return to Missouri.  Albert refused saying that he couldn't take anymore of her wishing to come home.

From "Ruins Are Relics of Early Times" – Woodford Sun, April 25, 1946
After returning to Clover Bottom they had their third son in 1905.  They also inherited the stone house that was one of the first two permanent dwellings built in Woodford County.  It had been built by Elijah Froman, Sr. about 1781 and had been sold to the Watkins family and then the Hamilton family, from which Mattie was a descendant.

Albert was killed in 1914 by an accidental shooting.

In 1921 the stone house was destroyed by fire.  The fire also consumed all the family furnishing, family Bible, and portraits of William and Mary Hamilton.  After the fire, Mattie moved to the small community of Nonesuch, Kentucky.  Years later, her grandson, Joe Howard, would come by during his school lunch break and eat with her.  One day, he decided to go with his friends instead.  Mattie stood on her porch watching for him.  As he made his way back to the school building, she spotted him and shouted down the street, "You hussies stay away from him!  He's a good boy!"  Needless to say, Joe never missed another lunch.

Mattie passed away in December 1954 and is buried in the Versailles Cemetery in Versailles, Kentucky.


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