Two Vernas

By Verna Jean Williams Arambula

Verna Patrick was born in 1888. She was my Great Aunt, sister of J. R. Patrick, my Grandfather. I spent many hours with her, listening to her life stories. She loved talking about Momma and Poppa, Laura Langford ¬†and Alfred Patrick. Laura lived on Saint Mary’s Road and Alfred on Buena Vista Road. Both of their Fathers were farmers, living a very hard life, trying to provide for their families.
Alfred fell in love with Laura and asked her to marry him. Laura consented with the agreement that they would live in Columbus and not be farmers. She wanted nothing to do with farm life. He agreed and they married.
They started a family and built a house in Linwood, at the time it was a well-to-do neighborhood in Columbus. Alfred and his brother opened the Patrick and Brother Butcher Shop at the City Market in downtown Columbus. They had twelve children, who found jobs from an early age in the textile mills. Verna was a “Dinner Toter,” taking lunches to the workers.
Laura did not want to be buried in Patrick Cemetery or the Providence Baptist Church Cemetery with her family. They purchased a lot in Linwood Cemetery where she knew there would be perpetual care. Even in death she still did not want to be in the country.
Aunt Thelma gave me Aunt Verna’s chest, filled with photos. I have cared for them and now feel obligated and honored to tell her story.