Saturday, February 2, 2013


Family History Writing Challenge, Day Two +Lynn Palermo 

Like her husband, Al, Myrtie’s heritage was German. Unlike Al, she was Southern born and bred. Born May 24, 1898, Myrtie Virginia Pound was a middle girl in a very large family – what we would now call a “blended family”. Back then, however, it was simply a family.
Pound, Myrtie and Winnie or Elsie 1920's
Born in Red Bank, South Carolina, Myrtie attended school with her siblings, working on the family farm between chores and schoolwork. After the death of her father in 1917, she took a job teaching at a grade school in South Carolina. She wasn’t a teacher for long, however.

Around 1922 she moved to Columbia, South Carolina where she worked as an operator for Western Union Telegraph Company. By 1925, Myrtie had moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, living with a brother and a sister,  still working for Western Union; eventually their mother joined them in Charlotte as well. Myrtie stayed with Western Union even after her marriage in 1929. She left Western Union before the birth of their first of three boys in 1930.
Pound, Myrtie 1920's
Grandmother was raised Methodist in South Carolina, likely a member of  Red Bank United Methodist Church (originally called Hicks Chapel Methodist Church), the first Methodist church in Red Bank. However, she and Grandpop joined Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Charlotte after they were married. She was an active member of the church and the Rebekah Circle there for the remainder of her life in Charlotte.

Prim and proper, Myrtie was a slight woman. Being four years older than her husband was something that bothered her, but it hardly mattered as they raised their family together. She reared her boys in their small, tidy home with Southern grace and manners. Her youngest boy recalls attending women’s meetings with her as a small child, being given a plate of refreshments, and sitting quietly in his chair watching the proceedings about him.

Bernhardt, Myrtie 1952

As a grandmother she was doting, always concerned with keeping her nine grandchildren full of coconut macaroons and lime Kool-aid. A small, white high chair was kept in the kitchen, each of the grandchildren having their turn to it over the course of fifteen years. Small powdered donuts and individual boxes of cereal were always kept on hand for visits, and there was plenty of vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries for a treat.

When the grandchildren weren’t with Grandpop in his workshop they could likely be found reading one of the many books Grandmother kept for them, or sitting on the porch with her waiting for the mail or rolling marbles down the uneven porch boards.

Grandmother remained in her home for over forty years, until the death of her husband in 1988. From their she moved to Lumberton to live with her oldest son and his family. She lived there until moving to a nursing home back in South Carolina, in the hometown of her middle son. She returned to Charlotte once again, being laid to rest with Al, after passing away at the age of 94.

Bernhardt, Myrtie and Wimbush, Michael

1 comment: