Bessie: The original FP40 Mountain Woman

Bessie Ellis was my great, grandmother and one of the original inhabitants of the space that is now Freeman Peak 40. Bessie was born in the autumn of 1906 and died in the fall of 1998. She was the mother of three and a hard working housewife. Additionally, she taught at the Tendoy schoolhouse and worked as a nurse at the hospital in Salmon for over ten years. My grandfather says that Bessie was a prolific writer who had a habit of filling each square on her calendar with a couple notes from each day's events. Besides her calendar, journaled almost daily, wrote an autobiography, completed biography for each of her children and several other family members, and put together books of poetry. 

My grandfather has worked hard to preserve our family history by creating a family tree with hundreds of relatives and has digitized thousands of pictures and journal entries. Here at Freeman Peak 40 we'd like to periodically share her writings and stories with you to showcase how loved FP40 has been for many generations. Here is our first of Bessie's writings:

       

 

 

 

My favorite place
Carmen Creek Idaho with Freeman Peak

My Mountains

The hand that made it is divine,
Yet I have dared to call it "mine."

The softness of the white clouds floating by--
Against the backgrounds of the azure sky
Was made for all those who lift their eyes
to share the lights and shadows playing round it's crest--
The rainbow tinted veil across it's breast
By breath of every passing breeze caressed. 
Oh what a wondrous vision pictured there!

The hand that made it is divine,
Yet I have dared to call it mine. 

poem by Bessie Ellis

 

When I called my grandfather to ask a couple of questions to verify the information I had about his mother, at the end of our conversation on the phone I asked him what his favorite part about his mother was. 

"Oh gosh, there's so many." I got before a long pause.

My grandfather is a quiet man, so I get kind of excited when he needs to stop and think. In my mind, he's always thinking. He ended up saying that his favorite thing about Bessie was that she was kind. Bessie apparently had a deep compassion for those around her and wasn't afraid to make my grandfather and his brothers "mind themselves." Must have been her years of school teaching. 

More to come on Bessie, and others, in the future.

 

 

``Dagny Deutchman
Media Coordinator