Ann Eliza Hancock, my great-great grandmother, was born nearly 100 years before my own birth. She was well known in Panguitch, Utah and considered the oldest resident at age 86-years when she died. Her obituary (see below) describes her many abilities… her ability to teach and lead the young folks… her charitable feeling for those in need… her strong will power to do good at all times and to accomplish any undertaking she took upon herself… her extensive work in the Relief Society. Specifically, the obituary states that “her journalism and poetry will not be forgotten.” To that end, I write this post in tribute to my Grandma Lida.
Ann Eliza married Elias Hatch in 1882. They had a total of nine children, five of whom preceeded her in death. Elias, or Lyle as she called him, died in 1934 leaving her a widow for the next sixteen years. I believe most of her poems were written during this time. This gem is one of my favorites:
UNTITLED I am glad I left that little town And came to this dear place For if I had stayed I would never of seen My husband's smiling face For fifty years I lived a happy cheerful life For fifty years I am proud to say I have been Lyle Hatch's wife
I love the charming grammer and the words that just don’t quite fit at times. I admire her boldness and willingness to put herself out there. Her positive influence in that small town cannot be calculated! However, unfortunately, time has a way of erasing our lives… unless we leave behind documents that can be treasured by descendants. So, here they are for you to treasure! You can see her despair and loneliness in these tributes to her husband. Read the worries between the lines of her thoughts on the War. Get a glimpse of small town life in these many tributes to friends and neighbors and personal experiences she shares.
At one time she submitted poems for publishing and received a rejection letter. She was crushed. You can read about it in her “personal experiences.” Here’s another gem about that:
CRUSHED HOPES I think that I shall never be A great writer of poetry Of that there seems to be no hope I can never rise to pull the ropes My name will never be so great That I will ever nab the bait For this I am not great enough Just the old gal, to write the stuff
These poems are an insight into Grandma Lida’s soul and personality. My heart has turned to her… she’s gone but not forgotten!!