08 November 2012

Thankful Thursday: Helen Still Webster

Today's GeneaBloggers theme is Thankful Thursday. I am thankful for my Aunt Helen. Born Helen Still in 1903 to Franklin and Jennie S VanHorn Still in East Fallowfield Township, Chester County, PA. She grew up on the same farm she was born on. In 1924 she married Elwood Webster. They had two children. One - Gloria - lived only a month and a half in 1926. Five years later they had another daughter Janet who had three children herself.

Aunt Helen attended West Chester State Normal School with intentions to teach. Her father Franklin - in addition to his farm - was a rural school teacher. The lifestyle would have been one to which she was already accustomed. However she quickly realized she hated teaching. During World War II she went to work at a paper mill in nearby Modena.  She continued on doing odd jobs until she landed at Unionville School. She was there for 13 years on the janitorial staff. She was so well loved by teachers and students alike that one year the yearbook was even dedicated to her. She had also been a correspondent for the local daily paper - the Coatesville Record.

She was active in her parish - the Old Doe Run Presbyterian Church. There she had been a Sunday School teacher. She was also an Elder within her church.

Aunt Helen passed in 1905. A column ran in the local weekly paper calling her the "Duchess of Mortonville." The huge church at Doe Run was standing room only for her service.

She was so helpful when I first got into geneaology back in high school. We wrote back and forth. She offered dates for births, deaths and marriages. When we got done all the vitals - as I call them - I asked specific questions about her life. She would tell me stories - some serious and some silly - about chores on the farm, taking the bus to school, the various jobs she held, and so on.

To her I am thankful - for fostering and nuturing my love of genealogy.
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.