Her Own Story – Myrtle Fay DENTON HOPKINS

This personal history of Myrtle Fay DENTON HOPKINS,  was also written for the family newsletter mentioned in the previous post.  The preface reads, “Upon request, Myrtle sent me the following history about herself.  In preface to the history please note that I have tried to type the story as close as I could to her own handwritten copy.  Near the end of the article she mentions that her eyesight and handwriting are not the best.”  She also requests proofreading but I have chosen to retain her spellings and punctuations.

Kindred Ancestor - Myrtle Fay DENTON HOPKINS

“I will try to write some of my memories, of my childhood, also in later, year’s.  I was born on Lookout Mountain, the year 1890 In Grandview Hotel.  My Mother married a Widower with two girls, one 12 yrs – 6 yrs, his name is Father Joseph M. Denton, My Mother Mattie E. Stephens   my Mother was 17 yrs and much younger then my Dad.  I remember I was about 4 1/2 years old coming with my parents to Atlanta on a visit to the Worlds Exposition, Fair – my baby sister was -6- months old, and they brought there lunch, on the train with them, for that day they rode on a car, drawn by -4- mules, when the mules started off, threw me out on my head    it did not hurt to 2-   much but scared my mother.  it wasn’t very long, they liked Atlanta, so much, we moved here, to make it our permanent home, they were 2- bothers John – Joe Denton, house builders,   I think they were about the first ones,   I remembered my Dad Building a Hospital, for our family   Dr. Browner, in Smyrna Ga.    I was about 13 yrs old.   Now our first home in Atlanta was near Spring – St, and Popular,   it was near the old Post office.    it has been torn down, for years.   It was a small Bldg., they called them Flats,   It had Spiral, winding stairs, as very few used ga s jets, they used oil lamps,  a place cut out in the wall, to hold the lamp, to see to go up and down the stairs.  next door to our house they were a family of Italians, they called them           they made there own macronia, and hung it on clothes lines  it was fun to look on making it.  I was getting old enough to start to School, it was a long distance from where we lived, but I went to State Street School and was in the 7th Grade.  Begins to have hearing Problems and quit.  We had the same teacher all year round, they teach quite different now.  My Mother made tea cakes to carry for our lunch.

Well our family is still growing, I am the oldest of seven children -5- girls – too Boys including one daughter from the first marriage.  I have grown up now, and thinking of getting married.  I met my husband your Grandad, in Atlanta, It was a cold afternoon in Febuary, through my girl friend, she lived close by, he lived in Union City,   he was a Widower, also, he had one daughter.    his name is James Elmer Hopkins.  We dated for about 5- months, and married July 22, 1915  had six children, Helen – Claborne, – Charles – Reed – [living sister] – Hough Infant deceased – and my Beloved Son Claborne     nothing left but sweet memories.  We are a very close family, and love them, very much.  Your Granddad passed away in January 10th 1950  The children were all married.  I never remarried, I have enjoyed life, and it is beautiful, at my age, to see all the marvelous things happen, that we never thought would be impossible.  The first Automobile I rode in, was out at our State Fair, they charged 25¢ for one ride, it was called the Red Devil.  My sister and I having fun, when we sat down, under a tree, I had worn my new leghorn hat, when a bird flew down, and did a dirty job on it I could have killed that bird . . . We all have our up and down, in life, but isn’t sweet.  I will mention a few things you probably never knew, are some that was used in my younger days a great improvement.  the sanitary wagon then, were called dump carts, they just had to wheels, dumped the trash, in the creek, also they had barrels , of human waste, from the out houses, they were called Privies.”

. . . Look over writing, and mistakes, I am getting some new glasses, so soon.  My eyes are bad, and I have been real nervous, I have gone through lot, in the last to years.  If there are any more questions let me know.  I have quite a few great grand children and love them all.  with the addition of the first ones, I will need some help to count them all.

I love you very much.

Grandmother Hopkins.”

[Written in 1982, age 92]



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