Mansion05: Memories of Anna Delilah Warner Stanley

 Memories of Anna Delilah Warner Stanley
Excerpts from "One Hundred and Sixty Acres of Paradise"
Mamie Stanley Smith

In those early days all the doctors would come out to the farms to treat their patients and would even stay overnight when a person was bad off. Our doctor was Dr.J. T. Butler, but I don't recall his having to visit us very often.  I was only nine years old, but I remember him coming and staying when Grandma Lasswitz died.  She was eighty four years old and had double pneumonia caused from a fall. Dr. Butler came and treated her from October 14th to October 23rd and she died at 3 AM on October 24, 1921.  This information was taken from her death certificate which was signed by Dr. Butler and states that she was born in Ireland to Annie Daunt and her husband, Peter Warner. She was buried at New Hope Methodist Church about ten miles northwest of Brookhaven. When Aunt Rosa died in 1947 we buried her beside Grandma Lasswitz.

Grandma Lasswitz was precious to me. I was just a little girl without a mother when she and Aunt Rosa came to live in our home after Mama had died. Grandma was close to eighty years of age then. Aunt Rosa was always busy around the house and so I spent a lot of my early years in Grandma's loving care. She was such a sweet little old lady, and a very gracious lady she was!  She had been born and raised in the city of Cork, Ireland, in a section known as Queenstown where the ships came and went to all parts of the world. That was the home of her Warner and Daunt families, where her father and mother were married in 1823.  After she married Grandpa Henry Stanley, they lived near Dublin but no one in the family now can remember the name of the town in which they lived; although the name of Monkstown seems to have been mentioned, and then when Uncle Henry Stanley (Papa's oldest brother) died, his obituary stated he had been born in Port Alice, Ireland, but we have never been able to find a Port Alice on the map of Ireland. After Grandma came to America and married her second husband, Sebastian Lasswitz, they lived in a part of McComb that was known as Whitestown. After Mr. Lasswitz died, she moved to New Orleans to be near her oldest son and she lived there for many years on Terpsichore Street in the Irish Channel section of the city. She was truly a city woman and didn't have any of the rough edges that come from years of hard work in the country. She was just as warm and gentle as could be and loved me dearly. I loved her so much! She is always there in my memories and for a long time after she died I missed her terribly.

Before I was old enough to help out on the farm, it would be just me and Grandma and Aunt Rosa around the house together. Papa Stanley had a big dairy and at milking time everyone, even to Aunt Rosa, would be at the barns, leaving me and Grandma at the house alone.  Aunt Rosa would mix up several pones of cornbread before she vent to help milk and it was my and Grandma's job to watch the cornbread as it baked and to set the table and get everything ready for all the others when they got in from milking.  We had supper all good and hot and ready for them to eat. Fresh sweetmilk and good hot cornbread back then tasted so good with the peas, beans with ham hocks, turnips, baked hams and so on.

Grandma Lasswitz was a small woman without an ounce of fat on her body.  She always wore black or navy blue dresses that were long and pleated and covered her dainty little black pointed shoes. I will always remember those little shoes.  They were shiny black leather that laced up above her ankles. The skirts and blouses were always pleated and some had ruffles. Her hair was yellowed with age and worn in a ball on the back of her head. She had a pretty ruffled bonnet with long ribbons that she tied in a box beneath her chin when she and I went for walks.  As I grew older we would walk hand in hand up Perkins' Lane to George and Bert's and spend the day.  George and Bert's girls were her great grandchildren and they all loved Grandma Lasswitz too and were so happy to see us coming up the lane to their house. They would come running, skipping and laughing to meet us.

When Grandma felt like it she would go with me to take the flock of geese to the creek and the cotton fields.  She loved to watch the geese take their morning bath in the creek, but I think she loved the horses more than any of the other creatures on the "One Hundred and Sixty Acres of Paradise".  She seemed to have a special fondness for the horses and they for her. As she became older and her health more frail, she would have to rest in her bed most of the afternoons.  I remember how the horses would often come to the fence and whicker in the late evenings and how Grandma on hearing them, would get up and fill her pockets with loafs of hard sugar that we kept on hand for our coffee, and go out to the fence and take a handful of sugar cubes and hold out to the horses to eat from her hand. I would watch their big gums munching the sugar cubes from Grandma's frail little hands and be so worried; but they were so gentle to her and she to them and they seemed to have a deep understanding and respect for one another. Grandma loved those horses; when she heard them whicker for her, it was the big moment in her day.

Feeding the horses though, caused the accident that led to Grandma's death. She heard them calling to her one evening and as she was going down the steps, she tripped and fell and broke some ribs. Pneumonia developed and then double pneumonia. Dr. Butler came and stayed at our house, but he couldn't save her. The strong antibiotics to fight pneumonia were not available in those days and once double pneumonia developed, it was almost always fatal. She was eighty-four and I was nine years old when she passed away. Papa buried her at New Hope Methodist Church where he was a member even though Grandma was an Episcopalian.

Papa Stanley and all the Stanley and Warner families had been Episcopalians in Ireland, but when they came to this country there were no Episcopalian churches where they settled near Holmesville.  Uncle Richard Warner became a Presbyterian after he married Aunt Elizabeth Gamble. She was from Belfast in northern Ireland and all her family belonged to the Presbyterian Church there and thus the children of Uncle Richard and Aunt Elizabeth were Presbyterians before they married. Most of Uncle Richard's children married into the Reeves family and became Baptists. Uncle Richard and Aunt Elizabeth met on the ship during their journey to America and stayed in touch with one another until theymet again in Natchez where they were married on December 21, 1852.

Papa Stanley became a Methodist after he moved to the Red Star community of Lincoln County and he was one of the founders of New Hope Methodist Church out there.

I missed Grandma so very much. She was more like a second mother to me than a grandmother and now I had lost her too. Mama had died when I was three years old and now my sweet little Grandma Lasswitz was gone also. Oh, how I did miss her!

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