Mrs. Edna Gates

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A few weeks ago, we visited our grandmother, Mrs. Martha Greene Boone - the legendary playdough maker and history teacher we mention in many of our blog posts. Her memory is a lockbox of information filled to the brim with world history, United States history, and, most importantly, our family history. She and our grandfather spent many of their years together searching and identifying our ancestors and visiting many of the places they lived such as Egypt, China, and Turkey.

Grandmother has a magical way of telling their stories in a way that makes them seem real - as if we could chat with them at the next family reunion even though they lived long ago. To give our ancestors credit, they lived incredible lives as missionaries, doctors, teachers, and engineers all over the globe. Many of the women, we are proud to say, were some of the first women to leave home and go to college or travel to be one of the aforementioned missionaries, doctors, and teachers in times when women were rarely allowed much less encouraged to take such risks and perform such duties.

The stories are beautiful and endless but the one that took our breath away recently is the one about the woman in the photo below. We would like to introduce our great, great, great grandmother Mrs. Edna Gates Greene. In this photo from 1895, Edna is in an art class at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. Edna is the student on the right and, for those who know our family, the family resemblance in her profile is uncanny. Edna is the spitting image of our mom and, here, looks like our mom dressed up in 19th century clothing.

We knew that our love for art went back several generations but we hadn’t seen a photo like this where our ancestor was taking an art class in college just like us and our mom. Edna’s work decorates many walls in our family’s homes such as the still life pictured below which was one of her first works. As we build our business and foster our love of art, we hope we are making our previous generations of women proud. We will treasure Edna Gates Greene’s work, these photos, and the stories and hopefully share them with future generations of our family to come as we are sharing with you!

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