Monday, August 8, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - A granddaughter's remembrances

In October 1979, my mother's first cousin, Wanda Ruth (Dawson) Van Buskirk wrote a series of remembrances on some of the family.  Wanda's father was Dudley Theo Dawson, the #6 child of William Taylor and Iona Celeste Silvana (Rodenberger) Dawson.

"Taylor Dawson
     The first I was told of Grandpa, he and his wife and children lived on a farm near Scotland and were very prosperous.  Iona was sweet and they had a happy marriage.  When Challis was small Iona was desperately ill.  She recovered but was a shrew and became a religious fanatic.   Taylor would disappear for days at a time.  The older boys resented this; they had to do the farming.  Eventually Iona and Taylor separated. Taylor and my dad, Dudley, to stay on the farm.  Iona to go with Challis to a small house in Scottland.
     Years later after Taylor had put Dudley through medical school, Taylor and Judge signed a note, they party defaulted and they both lost their farms."

"I figure Iona died somewhere around 1925.
     Lois and her husband were divorced and she had come to Scottland with LeRoy to live in Iona's house.  LeRoy grew up and Lois was alone.  Taylor made his home with her.  Somewhere around 1938 Lois died.  Taylor was in a desperate frame of mind.  From then on out he had only a small old age pension and the children.  He took turns living with them.  It was at this period that I knew Taylor Dawson.  He stayed with everybody but Dixie, a nurse.  She had to care for her mother when she was sick and dying and she said it wasn't happening to her again.
     I remember Taylor as a tall, rugged old gentleman with white hair and a mustache, a cane, very erect, old hand me downs for clothes.  He was a gentleman above all, spirited, gentle with a lovely sense of humor."

"He was well acquainted with the Bible and made frequent references to the contents.  He was hard hearing.  He said he didn't know if there was a God. He told my sister and I true Indian stories about his youth.  He had quite a bit of experience with the Indians at that time.  He spent all his time on the glider on the front porch or up in his room fiddling on a fiddle he had made himself.  He always helped Mother when she canned.  He ignored the radio.
     One more thing about Iona, she always took care of the babies and never made the older children do it.
     Taylor died at Challis' when he was in the low 90's - a quick death.
     I'll take the children in order and write about them next."

Taylor Dawson
at son Challis' home in Suffolk, Va
Circa 1939-1940

Amanuensis Monday – An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. [GeneaBloggers]

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