|Mattie W. Childers
March 1878 - 4 April 1963
I remember visiting Great Aunt Mattie and her daughter Julia once
with my father, Roy Childers, when I was a child, probably in the
early to middle 1950's. They lived in a small neat house (or possibly
an apartment in the house) on a hillside in, I think, Canton, NC. I
remember high steps up to their front door.
Aunt Mattie was an old woman, though still apparently in sturdy
good health, warm and welcoming to my father and me alike. Julia
was a woman of middle age, slender and elegant, with slightly
graying hair piled loosely on her head, with twinkling eyes and
energetic manner, like her mother.
A few other impressions dominate my vague memories of that visit.
One was the exciting news that Julia was an accomplished musician
and had once, in the era of silent movies, been employed to play
the pipe organ to accompany the movies. There was an upright
piano; my father asked Julia to play and sing. He noted, with pride, that Julia had the unusual gift of
singing in a child's voice. I don't remember what she sang, but I was impressed by her skill at the
keyboard and by that unusual singing voice.
Another impression was the revelation, by my father before or after the visit, that Aunt Mattie and Julia
belonged to some unusual church (i.e., not Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian). Unfortunately, I don't
remember the details, but it may have been Jehovah's Witnesses.
- Dwight Childers, 10 Nov 2006; revised 25 Feb 2008, 20 Jul 2008, 1 Nov 2008, 11 Jan 2016