​Lonesome Historic Site


2006 TN-96  •  Burns, TN 37029  •  206-953-2766

Copyright © Lonesome Historic Site. All rights reserved.

Madge Alspaugh Gibson

​(January 10, 1903 - July 28, 1980)

My name is Madge Alspaugh Gibson. I was born Madge Alspaugh in 1903 in Burns, Tennessee. I had 2 younger brothers; William Emory Alspaugh Jr. and Josiah Tidwell Alspaugh.  My parents were William Emory “Pappy” Alspaugh  
and Vina Tidwell Alspaugh.  Pappy was the son of Josiah Clifton Alspaugh and Mary Zenab Austin, a daughter of William and Dicy Austin, the original owners of Lonesome.

I grew up in Burns, Tennessee. I graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. I received a master’s in English from the University of Tulsa and did graduate study at Peabody College, Columbia University, the University of Norway and Illinois State University.

I taught in the Tulsa, Oklahoma public school system 42 years from 1927 until I retired in 1969. I began teaching in 1927 and transferred to Will Rogers High School in 1939, the same year Hitler invaded Poland starting World War II. My youngest brother Joe served in the Philippines during World War II as Captain of the 6th Infantry Division. I taught English at Will Rogers High School for another 30 years. In 1968 I was Tulsa Teacher of the Year. I was an active member of many education associations and the American Field Service Program, annually entertaining foreign exchange students. I liked to travel the world and made many trips to Europe.

I married Nathan Gibson in 1935, but the marriage didn’t last and we had no children.  I lived in Tulsa with my aunt, Betty Austin Aston and attended the Boston Avenue Methodist Church where my aunt was the secretary. Aunt Betty and I returned to Tennesee many summers, enjoying Lonesome and many visitors.  After my brother William Emory Alspaugh, Jr., who was with the postal service moved to Oklahoma City in 1947, we began having Thanksgiving and Christmas with his family.  We continued  holiday visits with his widow, Lauretta Rutherford Alspaugh and children, Elizabeth, William and Charles after his death in 1949. Through William “Emory”, I had 2 great nephews  Barrett  and Charles and a great nephew Christopher and his sister Jessica.  My youngest brother, Josiah, who married Nina Hicks, died in Florida in 1975. After the war (WWII), when he was discharged from the army, he had worked in the sales division of Skelly Oil before retiring and moving to Florida.

I had a good life as a teacher with many friends until after several strokes I died 15 years later in 1980 at the age of 77.