Biographies of Other Family Members


(1890 - 1983)

Ain't Maude/Grandma

I can't recall when this small dark lady with long straight black hair first came into my life.  It just seems that one day when I needed to experience unconditional love there she was.  Her obituary states that she was born May 12, 1890 in Randolph County, Alabama.  She made the transition to glory February 2, 1983 while living in Hobson City, Alabama.

Fragmented tales of her early life seem to all revolve around the end of a hoe handle, i.e. chopping cotton, chopping corn, chopping peas, peanuts, etc.  Early fall brought on a break from the monotony of chopology for the flamboyant task of picking cotton.  I am not sure of how much schooling she had, however she read well, had good penmanship, better than average math skills and a keen sense of history.

Loved Her Some Papa

No matter how hard Grandma made her early life sound it was always spiced with an intense love expressed for Grandpa Ben.  In her eyesight, the man could do no wrong.  It has only been in recent reflections that I've noted that she seldom spoke about Grandma Maggie.  On the day that she summoned and appointed me the official historian of the Maudian branch of the Boyd family history she matter of factly gave me the names of Grandpa Ben's father and grandfather.  Her comments about Grandma Maggie were kind enough (kind person, quiet person, good cook, could have a baby and go back to the field the next day) but it was obvious from start to finish that Papa was to be the principal star of her past.

Her Joys! Her Gift! Her True Love!

Grandma's love for God was the ultimate attribute of her life.  She is the only person I ever heard sing hymns, exhort the preacher and actually shout while sleeping, shouting one minute and snoring the next.  Whenever I confronted her about this phenomenon she became downright indignant insisting that she did not snore or talk in her sleep.  As it was with most southern grandmothers of that era, the church was a central focus in her life.  By the time I became a teenager, I was able to predict her whereabouts by taking note of the day of the week and the hour of the day.  Mondays 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Mission Meeting in the home of one of the church mothers, Second Tuesdays 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Willing Workers Club, Wednesdays 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bible Study.  There were dinner sales at the Lodge Hall every 4th Saturday to raise funds for the Eastern Stars.

Through the eyes of an admiring grandson, it appeared that the agape love that God had for her was a two way street.  Phelia love was a different thing.  While she loved and cared for all her relatives very deeply, in order to really know her one had to understand how special Papa was.  The only time that her devotion to Grandpa Ben as the number one person in her life may have been challenged took place in 1911 with the birth of her son and only child, Artway (I as her grandson was a distant third).  She considered her son a special gift from God.  Neither she nor Artway ever spoke much of Artway's father.  I did learn that his name was Horace Brittan and by the time I turned twelve he was living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

The strong bond between she and Artway was a special one that lasted until his death some 66 years later.  The strong bond was one that Artway's wife was never comfortable with causing her to sometimes express outright resentment and hostility towards Grandma.  Not once do I recall Grandma striking back or responding in anger.  During times when there was an argument or confrontation between my parents, Grandma never sided with her son.  Instead she always admonished him to take the high road.  When my mother would scold or discipline one of us kids in