Volume 31, Number 2 - Winter 1992

I remember Grandma
By Mabel Brummet Harp

I was only privileged to spend the first eight years of my life near my great-grandmother but hose years are my fondest childhood memories. Sixty and more years have passed since then and I cannot remember her face, except she was a rather tall, slim woman with grey straight hair worn in a bun on the back of her head. She always wore a long skirt and an apron. I remember her voice as being soft and kind. She spoke "mountain talk" from the mountains of Virginia.

Grandma lived a hard life, with very little worldly possessions; however she was always happy and seemed to have a special feeling for her children. She bore sixteen of her own, nine died in infancy. Grandma and Grandpa raised several grandchildren and I remember her talking so much of a granddaughter named Pansey. Pansey died in 1901 and this was some 20 years later and she still talked about her. She had a bed of pansies growing beside the house which she said reminded her of Pansey.

Grandma lived in a one room log cabin with a lean-to kitchen attached. It was always spotlessly clean and her yard was swept daily with a buck brush broom, which she gathered from the hills and tied together. I remember her many flowers, especially the hollyhocks that grew on the cellar where I played.

She gave me something every time my mother took me to see her. I still have the little play dishes she gave me and the last time I saw her, not long before she died, she gave me a pair of beads which I still have.

She always had something for me to eat. Grandma worked hard, raising children, tending to chores and rising a garden to feed them. She saved her jellies and special foods for when people came to eat. It was customary in those days for neighbors to drop in for a meal.

My great-grandmother was Margaret Johnson Roller, born 18 March 1842 in Scott County, Virginia, the daughter of William Johnson and Sarah Bowen, the granddaughter of Jesse Bowen and Elizabeth Ann Stanley, the great-granddaughter of Reuben Bowen (General Washington’s bodyguard in the Revolutionary War) and Sarah Hicks, the great-great-granddaughter of Ephriam Bowen and Anna (?).

In 1850 Grandma married Enoch Roller in Scott County, Virginia, the son of Elias Roller and Elizabeth Payne, the grandson of Jacob Roller and Eve Zirkie, the great-great-grandson of John Roller and Anna (?) of Germany. In 1858 they migrated from Scott County, Virginia, along with other Rollers, to Christian County, Missouri.

Before 1870 they moved to Douglas County, Missouri, south of Ava. They made a short trip to Sherman, Texas, where Grandpa’s brothers were, but did not stay long and came back to Douglas County where they lived out their lives on Spring Creek.

Grandpa died 29 February 1929 and Grandma died in June 1932. They are both buried in their family cemetery along with some of their children and other family members and Pansey. The cemetery is on a hill just in back of where the old log house stood on Spring Creek.

I have such fond memories of Grandma and have often wished I could bring her back and do things for her as she lived such a hard life, so the only thing I could do at this time, with the hop of my cousin, Ray Rollers was erect tombstones at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s graves, with the hope they may be there a hundred years from now. Grandma has been gone for many years now and I feel sure that I am the only person who remembers her.


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