Vol. 15


A Brave Girl

c. 1930; Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, USA

My great-great-grandma Nancy Young was a little girl who lived in Tennessee near the mountains during the time of the Great Depression. There was a coal mine close to her house. There she and her five siblings played a lot by taking turns riding down the tracks in the mine cart.

One day as Nancy got kiwigambling.co.nz off the cart, her dress got underneath the cart. One of her siblings got into the cart and started the ride. But Nancy’s head got run over when her sibling went down the cart tracks. You can imagine the pain Nancy was feeling, so her dad took her to the hospital.

While they were there, one black man got into a fight with a few white guys who didn’t like black people. Nancy’s dad didn’t like the way they were treating the black guy, so he stood up for him. The white guys eventually hanged and killed my great-great-great-grandfather because he was standing up for the black guy.

At that time, only men had jobs and the women would take care of the children, so when Nancy’s father died, her family didn’t have a lot of money. Her mom couldn’t afford to take care of the children, so she put them up for adoption. When Nancy’s mom picked her up from the hospital, Nancy found out that her father was dead and all her siblings were gone. She was put up for adoption too after she went home.


Since the cart had run over Nancy’s face, it was harder for her to get adopted, since she didn’t look like the other kids there. When she was older, she was still at the orphanage. People went to get her and took her home to do work. When she was done, she had to go back to the orphanage because the people didn’t adopt her — they just had her at their homes to do some work. On Christmas all Nancy would get was an orange, because no one would get her something expensive — or even a little wooden toy.

Nancy left the orphanage when she turned eighteen, and she got married shortly after. Nancy and her husband had three kids, and for years looked for her family from the past. Finally Nancy found one of her sisters, and two or three years later she found one of her brothers. After many more years she found her mom.


Years later, when my nana was young, she and Nancy (her nana) would sit, and Nancy would tell my nana about her life when she was little. Most people were very nice to her and were happy when she told stories. My great-great-grandma Nancy Young lived through the Great Depression and had a rough start as a kid, but she led a very happy life as a grown-up.

Elena R. Webb; Ohio, USA



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