Virginia Cossaboon was my husband’s great aunt. I found this article, titled “Women of Achievement” in the 15 March 1936 issue of the Buffalo Courier-Express. She was a kindergarten teacher, and apparently very passionate about education. I love all of the details about her exciting travels and hobbies.  It sounds like she lived a wonderful life.

2014-12-26_0001THELMA VIRGINIA COSSABOON, kindergarten teacher at School No. 52, is president of the Buffalo Kindergarten Council and secretary of the Buffalo Teachers’ Federation. Miss Cossaboon enjoys children and loves her work with them. She brings to it enthusiasm, appreciation of the fine arts, and a wholesome, happy outlook on life that should give youngsters just the right start in school.

“Kindergarten is extremely important.” Miss Cossaboon maintains. “It makes the child independent, reliable, and co-operative, sows the seeds of appreciation of art and music, and above all else, teachers him creative expression.”

Appeal of Children

Miss Cossaboon is the sort of person who finds joy in everything she does, whether it’s playing the organ in her father’s church – the Methodist Church of Marilla – or riding down the Grand Canyon on the back of a mule which she did a few years ago. To her, the spontaneity and enthusiasm of children appeal strongly.

“I am fascinated by their complete freedom from self-consiousness and their unrestrained frankness,” she said.

Born at Alexandria, Va., she has lived in Western New York since childhood. Her father, the Rev. Nicholas Cossaboon, has been a pastor in Lockport, Buffalo, and other Western New York communities, Miss Cossaboon well remembers the donation parties that used to be given for her family. To her, as a child, they were thrilling events, with a trail of chickens, jellies and all sorts of goodies.

She is a graduate of Masten Park High School, the Buffalo State Teachers College, and the University of Buffalo. Since 1926, she has been a teacher of small children, first in the Lockport schools with which she was identified for two years, and subsequently in this city.

“Teachers,” she says, “are often misunderstood because some of them tend to carry over their classroom attitudes into outside activities. The precision, essential in giving clear explanations to pupils, may be applied to dress and manner or the frank criticisms and detailed direction of others may seep into friendship. But this is far less prevalent today than formerly; for teachers are developing more and more varied recreations and channels of expression apart from the classroom, and are making the most of their individuality.”

2014-12-26_0002Directs Church Choir

A musician of ability, Miss Cossaboon has been organist and choir director of the Methodist Church of Marilla for four years and was accompanist for the Crystal Quartet, composed chiefly of Chromatic Club members. Travel is another of her hobbies, and she believes in “seeing American first.” She passed the Christmas vacation in New Orleans, delighting in the hospitality and quaintness of that city. With three friends, she motored to California one summer, taking plenty of time for the trip, and stopping at the Chicago Fair and every art gallery or scenic place that appealed to the group.

Every weekend, she leaves her pleasant apartment at 378 Elmwood Avenue for her parents’ home in Marilla. She is active in such village organizations as the Graduates’ Association, composed of high school and college students completing the Marilla school course.

Music by modern composers ranging from De Bussy to Gerschwin interest her, and she likes to browse through all sorts of books from Don Quixote to contemporary poetry. Lighter diversions, such as dancing, skating, bicycling and golf also claim her leisure hours.

In 1934, Miss Cossaboon attended the convention of the National Association for Childhood Education, and returned to her work positively brimming over with constructive ideas.

She is a member of the Buffalo Women Teachers’ Association and Beta Mu Sigma Sorority.

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15 Apr 1916, Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Madison Co., IL

Widow, Formerly Conducted Millinery Store on Belle Street.

Word was received in Alton this morning announcing the death at Evansville, Ind., of B. Blackburn, husband of Mrs. Mollie Thornton Blackburn, formerly of this city. Yesterday Alton relatives received word from Mrs. Blackburn that her husband had suffered a paralytic stroke and was very low. Before Alton relatives were able to leave for Evansville another telegram arrived announcing her death.

Mr. Blackburn is survived by his wife and one son, Philip. One year ago Monday another son was brought to Alton and buried here.

The funeral will take place Thursday afternoon in Evansville and will be attended by Mr. and Mrs. John Ehret and Miss Mollie Thornton, of Alton.

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I just ♥ I Chart You!!!  I ordered a couple of gifts this past summer, and finally got around to ordering one for myself this year.

There are a lot of color options, and you can choose to have one person in the middle, instead of a couple.  It was very easy to enter the information in.  They sent me the file and then I went and printed it at Costco.  I’m so happy with how it turned out.

kelly blue greyAnd here it is on the wall.  Idecided to cut it out and put it into a see-through frame.  I’m happy with how it turned out!  It now graces the wall at the entrance to my home. (And yes, after seeing this picture, I pulled it off the wall and twisted the little tab in the back so it isn’t showing out.  That really bugged me.)


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Mollie Thornton was my first cousin, 4 times removed.  She never married and lived alone after the death of her bachelor brother, Michael Thornton.  She lived in the family’s old store building in Alton Illinois.  In August of 1946, at the age of 82 yrs old, she was beaten in her bed in the middle of the night, by a man bent on robbing her.  You can read the article about it here.

I then found the following article and was surprised to find that three deputies were suspended after beating the suspect.


Suspends Trio of Deputies On Negro’s Charge He Was Beaten
Sheriff Hartman Calls in Night-Riders For Questioning

EDWARDSVILLE, Aug. 24. (Special) – Sheriff Harry T. Hartman announced today that he had suspended three night-riding deputies, following charges by a negro prisoner that he had been beaten during his transfer, from the Alton city jail in the county jail at Edwardsville.
“I have suspended the three men, pending the outcome of my investigation of the charges made by the prisoner in a statement to the state’s attorney,” Hartman declared.
Hartman identified the three suspended night riders, who were on duty Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, as Marion (Whitey) Booth of Alton, Delmar Monken of Wood River, and Vernon Crider of Granite City.
Sheriff Hartman said he had questioned each of the three deputies and had notified them to appear at his office at 7 o’clock tonight for further questioning.
“In my entire career of 25 years in police work, I never have mistreated a prisoner; and I have forbidden any mistreatment of prisoners by men in my charge,” Hartman stated.
A statement that he had been beaten was made to State’s Attorney Burton by Lucian J. Hopkins, 25, Alton negro. Hopkins told Burton that, while he was being taken from Alton to Edwardsville, two of the three deputies four times administered beatings to him, and on two stops invited other persons to join in beating him.
Hopkins had been held in the Alton city jail, following his arrest and admission to an assault upon Miss Mollie Thornton, 79, at her home at 16th and Belle, in Alton. Hopkins also admitted in a statement to Alton police that he had attempted to rape the aged Alton woman.
Hopkins told the state’s attorney that, at no time while being transferred to the county jail, was he handcuffed by the officers. Hopkins also charged that during the trip to Edwardsville he was invited by deputies to attempt to escape “so we can shoot you.”
The negro’s statement declared that one of the three deputies, known to him only as “Officer Whitey,” hadn’t participated in the beatings. Hartman told a reporter that Booth denied striking the negro.
In his signed statement, witnessed by a deputy and a reporter for the Telegraph, Hopkins said he had received humane treatment from Alton police at all times during the four days he was in their custody.
Sheriff Hartman said a second prisoner, brought here from Alton with Hopkins, has been transferred to the Vandalia state farm to begin serving a sentence for vagrancy.

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