LONESOME HISTORIC SITE
2006 TN-96 • Burns, TN 37029 • 206-953-2766
Copyright © Lonesome Historic Site. All rights reserved.
Ruth Elizabeth Austin Kimbro Aston
(December 23, 1800 - June 7, 1884)
My name is Ruth Elizabeth Austin Kimbro Aston. I was born on Feb 6th, 1891 and lived until December 1994.
I had a wonderful life... some hard times and some good times. Let me tell you a few facts and personal stories that might interest you. The old log cabin you can see from here has been in my family for 200 years. I actually lived here in the cabin for a while in my younger years.
One of my favorite things to do was to sit on the back porch and visit with my family and friends. On hot summer days, we would play in the yard under the big trees and cool down by wading in the creek. You know, my family was especially important to me, because I had a rough beginning in life.
When I was only 3 months old my mama died. Then my daddy died when I was three years old. My daddy’s sister, Aunt Zenie (Mary Zenab Austin Alspaugh) and her husband, Josiah Clifton Alspaugh, took me in, raised me and loved me; and I loved them. They were the only Mama and Daddy I ever knew, so I called them Mammy and Pappy Alspaugh. They took care of me and treated me just like a real daughter and they made sure that I got to go to school.
Did you know that back in those days, that many girls could not go to school? Lots of girls and some boys had to stay home and work around the house and on the farm. They never learned to read or write. Mostly the boys got to go to school, so I was happy to go and I loved school.
Well, I studied very hard and learned as much as I could. Electricity had not been invented when I was young, so we had only candles to light our house. It was hard to read by candlelight, but I did my very best to get my homework done and studied every night. I graduated from high school and I went on to college.
After I got married, I was able to get a good job working as a secretary at a big Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma where my husband was the pastor. I worked there for over 30 years.
Do you wonder how the old log cabin got the name “Lonesome”? Here’s how it happened. I enjoyed going on picnics with my husband. At that time, we lived in Burns, TN not far from the log cabin. One day we decided to have our picnic down at the cabin. My Mammy recalled a cartoon story in the newspaper that told about a place way out in the country called Lonesomehurst. She said we looked like Mr. and Mrs. Suburb going to Lonesomehurst. Well, we liked that story so much that we named the old log cabin “Lonesome” and that’s been her name ever since.
Later in my life, my niece, Madge Alspaugh and I would spend the summer months here at “Lonesome”. We enjoyed having friends and family visit. If you want to know more about my family and my life you can read the book I helped to write. It is called the “Lonesome Story”.
I had lots of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins, but, sadly I did not have any children of my own. I loved children and enjoyed helping them especially with English grammar. Well, because I had a good job and saved my extra money, I wanted to help several boys and girls go to college. And so, I did just that. It made them very happy, and it was my pleasure to be able to help other people.
A few of my life lessons are:
Look for good in everything.
Here’s a little poem I liked and will help you to remember:
“There is so much good in the worst of us,
and so much bad in the best of us,
that it ill behooves any of us
to talk about the rest of us.”
Learn all you can.
Do all the good you can for others.
Spread love and joy.
Never hate anyone.
God will bless you and you will have a happy life, just like I did.
I lived 103 years and 10 months. I hope you can, too.
My family loved me so much that they put these words on my tombstone.
“In others she sought the best,
Always she found it.”