Monday, February 3, 2014

52 Week Challenge: #3 Mabel Irene Parmelee

Mabel Irene Parmelee was born on the 18th of August in 1881 in  either 
Ludington or Amber Township in Mason County, Michigan. 
(No birth certificate can be found at the County Clerk's Office.) 
Her father was Fay Platt Parmelee, the son of Erastus Parmelee
 and Maria Clarissa Shaw Parmelee.  Her mother was 
Villa Moore Parmelee, the daughter of Michael Moore 
and Mary Jane Day Moore.  Mabel was their eldest daughter. 
 Mabel had two brothers born before her, Edwin and
 Edward, but they both died in infancy.  I am sure that having already lost two 
children made Mabel and her siblings born later 
even more precious to her parents. There were five more siblings 
born to the Parmelee family, Ella, Mae, Walker,
Eugene and Gladys, all but Gladys lived to adulthood.

Mabel was my Great Grandmother, my Mother's Mother's Mother.
I had the good fortune to know my Great Grandmother, and to
have spent many of my own early years close by.  How I loved to 
hear the stories that she would tell me!  

As a child, Mabel and her family lived in Amber, Michigan.  Her 
Grandparents and then her own parents ran "Amber Station."
Amber Station was a stop, a depot, along the train route to Ludington.  Her
parents took in the local mail from the depot, and had a store there
at the station.  Her father also had a blacksmith shop there.

Above is a photo of Amber Station taken circa 1901. In the photo, number 12 is Mabel Parmelee, the man and woman in the back row to the far right are her parents, Fay and Villa Parmelee, and the man in the back row on the far left with the wonderful beard, is Mabel's Grandfather, Michael Moore, her mother's father.

One of the stories that Mabel would tell is of when the local Indians would
come to trade at their store.  Usually her parents were
there to do the trading with them.  One day in particular, Mable told 
me, her mother had gone out to the fields to bring in the cows, and 
her father was out as well, and the neighboring Indians came
to trade.  Mabel was quite young, and became very 
afraid of the men with the stern faces.  She told me that
she ran and hid, leaving the poor customers without any
help at the store. Her mother returned after a time, and 
took care of the trading that was to be done, and the men left,
with their goods in hand.  Mabel did not come out
until well after they had left.  She said she must have been around 
five years old at the time, and scared "near to death!"

There was another event that happened in Mabel's childhood that 
impacted her for the rest of her days.  Mabel had a bicycle
that she enjoyed riding in the yard.  Around the age of  nine,
Mabel was riding her bicycle in the yard, and 
she ran into the water pump.  The pump hit her in the knee
area of her leg, and did a great amount of damage.
There was no ambulance to call, no 911, not even a car to
run Mabel into town to the Doctor's office.
When they did get to the Doctor's office, it was determined that
the damage to Mabel's leg was too great, and they had
to amputate her leg, at the knee.
As time went on, the healing was not going too well,
and soon they were back to the Doctor's as
gangrene was beginning to set in.
So, Mabel endured amputation number two,
losing more of her leg.
This time the healing went well and was closely
monitored.  Grandma never told me how
she felt at that age about the amputation,
but she was a very strong woman, and could be, well,
stubborn at times.  Perhaps that served her well during
her healing and the slow learning to move about in new ways.
Mabel learned to walk with crutches, run with crutches
and to use those crutches as handy "arm extensions!"
She also used a prosthetic for a time as an adult,
but she had told me that it was a bit of a pain and slowed her down!

Great Grandma learned to play the piano (loving music), learned to sew,
 loved quilting, tatting and crocheting.
 She had a great love for her Lord and Savior and
I am sure that her faith (and that of her family) had a
great hand in the healing of her leg.
Mabel had a wonderfully dry sense of humor, and loved to play games--
she loved to laugh!
She also loved to read, as a child and as an adult,
and sought to instill that love in her Grandchildren.
(Her father, Fay Parmelee, was also a lover of
the written word, considering his books as
his friends.)

How I would have loved to have known my Great Grandmother as
a child!

This is a photo of Mabel Irene Parmelee Cooper (on the right, and her daughter,
Lila Mae Cooper on the left).

1 comment:

  1. Thank you :) I do remember her very fondly. I came home from kindergarten and she babysat me :)