Barry's Relatively Speaking: Identity Learned After 84 Years
Posted on Aug 21, 2012
Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on MyGenShare.com. Ruth shares the following experience.
Strange how the years go by leaving secret in the dark. In 1972, while searching family members in Nebraska, I learned the identify of a Mrs. Hickman, who had proved to be a heroine in "Aunt Babe", a story of the 1888 blizzard in central Nebraska and printed in "Golden West" magazine in early 1971. My brother had found the article and remarked, "Would'nt it be nice to learn who that Mrs. Hickman was?"
A 17 year old teacher had contrived to save her pupils by taking some of the smaller ones on the back of her horse, and having some of the others link hands with their teacher and following along in about a foot of snow. Shortly after they left the school, the horse completely reversed direction. After about 3 hours, the teacher glimpsed a dark object thru the swirling snow; which proved to be a sod house. She pounded on the door calling for help, and recognized the lady who answered the call for help as Mrs. Hickman.
My research was with a cousin, whom I had never seen before, and when I started telling her about the story, she said, "Oh, that was my grandmother." I knew Carol's grandfather was my grandfather's brother, so I instantly realized that Mrs. Hickman had to be Mary Ann (Dunaway) Hickman, the wife of John Wesley Hickman, also mentioned in the story as having gone for supplies.
When the story was written by Henry E. Chrisman, "Aunt Babe" was 95 years old and doing for herself.
Word received just this week reveals that "Aunt Babe" died 27 March at Broken Bow, Nebraska, at the age of 101 1/2 year.