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Centennial History of Hurricane (1994 Edition): Mary Elizabeth Matthews

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. In 1994, the Centennial Committee published a follow up book which included family histories which were not submitted in time for the 1988 Centennial History. This week’s selection is the 34th history from The Centennial History of Hurricane WV Continued — 1994.

Part XI
Mary Elizabeth Matthews
Submitted by Lillian Matthews Bostic

Mary Elizabeth was the fourth and last child born to John and Margaret Matthews. She was born in 1890 and named for her mother and grandmother Paul, but was always called by the nicknames, “Lizzie” and “Buck”. The Lizzie is easy enough but the origin of Buck is unknown. She was always small for her age due to a glandular disorder, but her small size never hampered her. She was bright, intelligent, lively, full of spunk and liked a good time. She loved to play the organ and sing hymns — loudly.

When she was a little girl, before grandpa died, she found, behind a wall panel under the stairway, a bundle. The bundle was a carpenter’s apron wrapped around a tin can. In the can were a few gold coins and some Confederate money. I have one of the dollar bills drawn on the Charleston Bank of the Conferderate State of Virginia. It had apparently been hidden away during the Civil War to avoid having it confiscated, and then forgotten about.

Lizzie was always a popular figure up and down Sycamore and liked to visit the neighbors. If she happened to stop by a neighbor’s house and found her stringing beans (or whatever) she would grab some beans and start stringing, talking all the while. She was always young at heart, and loved to laugh and play with the children.

After Grandma died in 1937, Lizzie stayed on at the home place for a time. First, Budge and Effie lived with her, and later, Fred and Larnie Porter. Eventually, her health began to fail and her hearing and eyesight became poor, so Kathleen and Ronald sold the farm and bought a small house near them in Hurricane. For a while, Aunt Jenny and Lizzie lived together.

Lizzie died in 1956 and was buried in the Matthews plot in the Sycamore Cemetery.

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