|Birth: ||Mar. 16, 1851|
|Death: ||Jul. 14, 1943|
CYNTHIA HAWKINS SPEARMAN
by Peggy Smith Hake
From: " Window to the Past", dated 26 March 1992
Sometimes when I walk down the road to yesterday, I encounter some of the most remarkable people. One of the most extraordinary ladies I have found was Cynthia Frances Hawkins-Spearman. She was born in Miller County, MO in March 1851, a daughter of Presley and Sarepta (McCubbin) Hawkins. She was born in Glaize township near the present town of Brumley. Cynthia was a product of a fine, old Virginia family where, for generations, her ancestors lived. Her great-grandfahter, John Hawkins (1759-1831), was a Revoluntionary War soldier and married Frances Thorpe (1782-1837) for whom Cynthia was named. The Hawkins family moved from Hampshire County, Virginia (now West Virginia)in the early 19th century and located in Kentucky near Elizabethtown.
Cynthia's grandparents were Coleman Hawkins, son of John and Frances, and his wife, Sarah Martha Bond. Coleman was born in Virginia in 1786 and died in Hart County, Kentucky in 1863. Cynthia's father, Presley Hawkins, was born in Virginia in 1819. He came to Miller County circa 1842 from Hart County, Kentucky. He and his wife, Serapta Ballard McCubbin (1822-1874), were married in Miller County on June 15, 1843.
Presley and Serapta have several children including James Martin Hawkins, Mary Catherine Hawkins, Cynthia Frances Hawkins, Dr. Zachariah W. Hawkins, William Lewis Hawkins and Millard Fillmore Hawkins. Cynthia's father,Presley, died in 1859 and left Serapta with several young children. Some of these children went to Texas after the Civil War and Serapta went with them. She died near Waco,Texas in 1874 and is buried near Bosqueville. Cynthia lived in Texas during the years her mother was alive, but returned to Miller County after 1880. In 1885, she married Zebedee Spearman, a widower with four children. His first wife was Mary Gardner who was a native of Barren County, Kentucky. Zebedee was a son of Thomas W. and Nancy (Shelton) Spearman, natives of South Carolina.
Cynthia was a school teacher in the early schools of Miller County. She taught for over 40 years and helped many children down a successful path of life. What made Cynthia different from the other women who taught in the 19th century?....When she was about 10 years old, circa 1861, Cynthia lost both arms in a cane mill accident. Her mother, a widow, was operating the cane mill on her farm. The men had volunteered to go to war as the Civil War began to rage across the country and the women were left to do the hard farmwork. While helping her mother feed stalks into the mill, her arms were caught in the rollers. When her arms were finally freed, they were crushed and badly mangled. Two days later, after suffering terrible pain, Dr.Anton Nixdorf decided her arms had to be amputated. A carpenter nearby had a small saw and it was used to amputate her arms! What 'true grit' that young girl must have had!
Cynthia was the first woman elected to a public office in Miller County. During 1895 and 1896, she served as County "Superintendent of the Public Schools. Her Hawkins family were prominent in politics. Her brother , James Hawkins, was a state representative, county court judge, and collector. Her nephew, Charles R. 'Ted' Hawkins, was state representative for many years. She was also related to Alvin P. Hawkins, a former governor of Texas.
In March, 1940, about 250 students and friends gathered at the Brumley high school and honored Miss Cynthia on her 88th birthday. She told them how she traveled to Texas in a covered wagon; later traveled by train and automobile; sailed on a ship while in California; and finally flew in an airplane on a trip back from California. She also related incidents while teaching school. She told them that "sometimes it was necessary to whip in those days'' and many of her former students agreed she could use a hickory switch just as well as a person who had both hands!
She had seen many changes in her lifetime. Miss Cynthia died in Miller County on July 14, 1943 at the age of 92 years and was buried in Hawkins cemetery which is located in the same community where she had been born 92 years earlier.
NOTE: Cynthia never had any children of her own but she proved to be a wonderful step-mother to Zebedee's surviving children by his first wife, Mary E. Gardner. The children were Gilbert S. Spearman born c/1861; Alzena A. Spearman b. c/1863; Laura Alice Spearman b. c/1866; Willard S. Spearman 1867-1950; and Orlando W. Spearman 1870-1870.
Mary Gardner Spearman died in April 1871 and is buried at the old Rankin Wright/Spearman cemetery in Richwoods township southwest of Iberia. Zebedee Spearman died in February 1897 and was buried beside his first wife in Rankin Wright/Spearman cemetery.
His second wife, Cynthia Hawkins Spearman, was buried in Hawkins cemetery near other members of her Hawkins family.
Presley Hawkins (1819 - 1859)
Sarepta Ballard McCubbin Hawkins (1822 - 1874)
Zebedee Spearman (1831 - 1897)
Created by: Tim Hawkins
Record added: Jul 26, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15048695