Family Stories: Clovis and Eliza Yates


eliza and sadie Clovis and Eliza Yates.

In today's installment of family stories, Jonathan's sister Julie tells us about their paternal great-grandparents, Clovis and Eliza Yates.

Clovis Yates was born on January 26, 1898 and died on January 4, 1981. Eliza Michael Yates was born on March 25, 1899 and died on February 20, 1959. Like all families who lived during the Great Depression and the years that followed, they were poor and often struggled to make ends meet. Although they didn't have much, my grandmother said they never knew it. 

Clovis and Eliza had eight children - seven girls and one son: Mary Katheleen, Lois, Olivene, Martha, Earnestine, Sadie (my grandmother), Linda and Clovis Guy. Earnestine died at age two of pneumonia. Grandmother said they were very close and all had jobs to do to keep the family going. They picked cotton, corn and peas for their landlord in order to live on the property. Eliza made the children clothes out of paper sacks because they could not afford anything else. 

Grandmother has told me on many occasions how devoted her parents were to their family and how determined they were to raise good Christian children. In spite of all of their hardships and hard work, they always sat together at each meal and prayed. Clovis and Eliza were very strict about this.

Through troublesome times and long working hours, the family always made time to study school work and the Bible. Clovis and Eliza raised their children the best they could. Because of their sensible teachings, all of their children have led successful, happy lives that are focused on faith and family. 

A stunning young Eliza.