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Elizabeth Jane "Betty" Early Andrews
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Birth: Aug. 17, 1918
District Of Columbia, USA
Death: unknown

Betty is decended from Hester Sheridan and her husband, John Knowles, the grandparents of the poet-lauret of England, James Sheridan Knowles. Hester was also the Aunt of the Irish playwright and British politician, Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Her second Cousin was Admiral Kenneth Mortimer Hoeffel.

After they met at Stuttgart, Arkansas, Betty noticed that her furute husband, William L. Andrews, known as "Andy", had a small box clipped to the inside of his army shirt but wouldn't tell her what it was or let her see it. Finally she playfully grabbed it and noticed that it was an engagement ring. Betty then told him that she didn't think there was any way that they could marry (especially after having met his family), but he said just wear it. The next day she was called into Col. Ryan's office, the head of her outfit and head surgeon. He immediately commented on the ring on her finger and she said, "yes, Andy." He immediately lifted up papers on his desk and ripped them in two. They were orders reassigning Betty to the Pacific where she had wanted to go to be closer to treatment of the wounded there.

Betty enrolled at the University of Detroit in 1937 and St. Joseph Hospital, Hamtramck, Michigan in September, 1939, receiving an R.N. Degree in 1943. Elizabeth Jane Early has a deep faith like her father and is completely selfless and kind. She is also strikingly beautiful. When she was little her siblings could not pronounce her name so she was called "Bitte Nine" rather than Betty Jane. At age 6, Betty was struck by a car as she chased a ball into a street in Detroit near Grand River and West Grand Boulevard and she was taken to Providence Hospital in Detroit with a broken leg. Her father successfully tracked down the driver and called him simply to let him know that he knew he had hit his daughter.

In her early years of grade school, a little girl in school always made derrogatory comments to others, watched Betty play the piano while she was taking lessons and commented that she had the ugliest hands she had ever seen. Betty never again played the piano.

The family moved to Monica Street in Detroit when Betty was 9 or 10. Twenty years later or so, her parents moved to 2850 Oakman Boulevard in Detroit the day she returned home from the hospital after her son Bill was born in 1945. Betty's brother Ted had not returned home from the war in Europe yet.

Earlier, Betty's father planned to put money into the construction of a building for his company, Michigan Drilling Company and came home to find his wife, Jessica, had been crying. He told her then and there that the house on Oakman Boulevard was her's and he did not build the building for Michigan Drilling Company.

Betty Early attended St. Bridget Grade School and was taught by the Dominican nuns. She then attended St. Cecilia's High School at Grand River and Livernois in Detroit and the University of Detroit from 1937 to 1939, the most wonderful years of her life under the Jesuits. She met, and developed a strong friendship with, Otto Christian Winzen and his family while at the Univeristy of Detroit. (Otto and his wife in the late 1950s visited the farm in Tennessee on their return to their home in Minnesota after a stratispheric baloon liftoff in Florida. Otto produced the scientific baloons that proceeded Alan Shepard's flight and the space program). Otto's father was the Henry Ford of Germany (Christian Otto Winson). Father Kuhn said that everyone in Germany knowns Otto's father, Christian Otto Winsin, just as everyone here knows Henry Ford. Otto's mother, Lillie was the sister of Von Poppen, Chancellor and Prime Minister of Germany before Hitler. Lilie Winson loved Betty, saying that Betty looks like an Angel. Otto's brother, Hans Winsin was president of Buick Motor Company and came up with the advertizing slogan. "Better Buy a Buick." Otto's wife, Maryanne, was very religious and was being treated for cancer at the time they visited the farm in Lewisburg. They were very much in love. (Betty's son, William X. Andrews, was taught at St. Louis University by the former President and Chancellor of Austria, Kurt Von Schuznick, whom Hitler had jailed. Von Schuznick asked Bill to visit him in Austria after Von Schuznick retired from St. Louis University, which Bill did.) At the University of Detroit, Betty Early also knew Roy Chappen (whose father was President of Packard Motor Company) who became President of American Motor Company. Betty Early left the University of Detroit in her Junior Year, September 1939. She went to the University of Detroit to register, but later that same day registered for a nursing program at Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit instead. She left the University of Detroit because of the pressures of being very popular (elected queen of many balls and asked out very often). She received her RN degree in June 1943 and went into the Army just before Christmas of 1943 as a Second Lieutenant. She was sent to Montgomery Field, Alabama for basic training and then to Stuttgart Army Air Force Base in Arkansas in January 1944, where she met her future husband, William L. Andrews, a First Lieutenant and Medical Supply Officer. They met while she was looking for the Army Post Office on base to send a letter home, and he saw her wandering around unable to find it. She then went up to solders who were German prisoners of war who did not understand her. Another officer came up and told her that they were German prisoners. Just at that moment that officer hailed an Army Ambulance, which had her future husband in it, to take her to the Post Office. William L. Andrews introduced himself and, that night in pouring rain, went over to the base hospital and told Betty Early that he had some nice records that he wanted her to hear.


Later while Betty Early was on call for surgery, the two of them went bicycling and saw a plane come straight down and hit the ground. After sounding the hospital alarm, they headed toward the plane and another alarm sounded. When they got there, four boys were sitting safely on the wings smiling as the ambulance drove up.


William Andrews successfully represented a soldier in a court marshall proceeding after the soldier took a plane home to visit his parents. William Andrews is not aggressive and that helped with the jury (officers on jury) according to Betty Early.


Betty Early and William L. Andrews met in January 1944, he proposed to her on May 1, 1944 at the nurses quarters and they were married on Saturday, November 25, 1944. Her father, Edward J. Early, her mother, Jessica Agnes O'Keefe Early and her sister Joan (her brother Ted was flying in Europe), William's mother Stella and his sister, Sara, attended the wedding at the Army Air Force Chapel. They were married by Fr. Thomas Evans. Lt. Emil Mascha of New York was best man. Their honeymoon was at the King Cotton Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee for two days and then on to Nashville to visit William Andrews' family. Then both returned to Stuttgart. Betty stayed in the service until June, 1945 at which time she left because she expecting William Lafayette Andrews, III (his name was changed to William Xavier Andrews when he was 6 or 7). Betty Early then returned home to Detroit when her husband was transferred to Alexandria, Louisana for four months, after which he was discharged as a Captain. He then came to Detroit where their son, Bill, was born.


The family settled on Stokes Lane in Nashville, moved to Atlanta, Betty and the children left Atlanta for Detroit in January 1952, and then left Detroit for the Lewisburg, Tennessee farm in August 1953. Their son, John recalls one cold winter night leaving Lake House for Detroit with Bill in Gampa's car and their sisters, Joan and Susan, following with their mother in the "Old Grey Mare" as they called their car. Just after leaving Lake house and making the elbow turn at the river flowing into Lake Saint Claire, John looked back and noticed the headlights of the Old Grey Mare but the car did not seem to be moving. Gampa turned around and found that the Old Grey Mare had slid off of the road at the elbow turn and landed upside down on the ice covering the river. Gampa pulled everyone from the car safely.


Betty's son John remembers her as a most loving, selfless and saintly person. She would do anything for others. When the family first moved to the farm in Lewisburg, Tennessee, she immediately had electricity put into Sally and Milton Evans tenant house on the farm. (Kenneth and Conslo Andrews, William L. Andrews, Jr's uncle and aunt, had lived in that house when they were first married and it was known as the oldest house in Marshall County. Betty had it torn down in 1972 and the hand hued logs transported to the farm on Old Hillsboro Road in Boston, Williamson County, Tennessee so that the wood could be used by Mr. Roy Wakefield of Lewisburg to add a room to the house there.) She regretted that she could not supply water to the house to save the Evans family the difficulty of having to carry buckets of water from the main farm house to their house. Betty recalls that in the dark of her first morning on the farm she was sound asleep when she heard Milton say loudly, "Good Morning, Mr. William!" after finishing his milking. (Sally and Milton had 12 children of which Harvey, who was 15 when the Andrews family moved to the farm, with his father, Milton, milked the Andrews' cows and did the other farm work. Harvey's twin brother, Howard, would help every now and then. Milton had worked for the railroad, but worked at the steel foundry in Lewisburg when the Andrews family lived on the farm. Milton and William L. Andrews, Jr. split the profits from the sale of milk to compensate Harvey and Milton for their work. Harvey would get into trouble periodically and William L. Andrews would have to bail him out of jail. In the mid to late 1050s, men from town apparently followed the Evens boys home from a Saturday night out on the town and a fight broke out at their house. William Andrews woke up, went upstairs, got a machetti, and stood between the Evans house and the farm house waiting. The police then came and broke things up. Milton died in 1965 when Bill and John were in their first year at St. Louis University and this affected John quite a bit because he missed the farm including the Evans family so much. After Milton died, the Evans family moved into a government housing project in Lewisburg. Every evening for a long time after Milton's death, Harvey could be seen sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of the empty house he had lived in on the farm, rocking back and forth gazing off into the distance. Then all of a sudden he no longer returned.)


Another example of Betty's extreme selflessness and kindness is that she was kind to her inlaws although they, Stella and Sara Andrews, appeared to hate Catholics passionately (as was common in the south then) and to hate her in particular, apparently for taking their son and brother from them, constantly ridiculing Catholics and their mother when speaking to her children (and despite the fact that her husband appeared to have primary allegence to his mother and sister and put his own family second). In her eighties beginning in the mid-1990s, Betty prepared meals for Sara and took care of her when she moved in with them on the farm after she was unable to care for herself alone in Nashville. Betty saw this as a pennance. Betty's daughters, Joan and Susan, recall their Aunt Sara telling them that their mother had died at sea during her trip to Rome with her mother, Jessica Early, in 1955 for the cannonization of Pope Pius X. The children recall their father having to take all scapulars and all religious articles from them and brief them on what not to say before visiting their Aunt Sara and Grandmother.


The Andrews family did not have a car for a period of time after the break-down of the Pakard car that Edward J. Early had given them for their trip from Detroit to move to the farm in August 1954. A few years later after owning their own cars, their Uncle Ted gave them his car for a trip back to Tennessee after summer vacation in Detroit. Betty sold her wedding and engagement rings to purchase school books for her children, Bill and John, who were starting first grade at St. Catherine's School in Columbia, Tennessee. William L. Andrews did not work the first year the family was on the farm, and had been unable to work after leaving Atlanta some time earlier. The family did not have regular meals and were nurished primarily by milk fresh (warm, with thick cream on the top that their mother stirred into it with a raw eggs each morning before school and then taking a jug of milk to school everyday as their only lunch food with Chairs March, a year older that John, cleaning the jug every day for them on his own) from the cows on the farm, honey toast and popcorn. The children never lacked nurishment and they, especially John, loved the farm life they were lucky enough to live.


John recalls arriving at the farm just after dark in August 1954 and all of the children going from shed to shed surrounding the house, looking at the chickens in the chicken coups, etc. It was so exciting. The next morning, the children got up early and went first to the "Island Field" where they saw fifty or more sheep grazing. John loved farming more than the rest and, athough his mother did not want the children's childhood spoiled by having to toil on the farm, he would periodically get up at 4:00 in the morning when he saw Sally and Milton's kerosine lamp go on before they had electricity and help Milton and Harvey milk. John also loved to plant a garden each year, plow and mow the fields. The children had to leave for school between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning since there were no paved roads between Lewisburg and Columbia. For a period Bill and John rode into Columbia with Bit Hardison in his van while he picked up eggs at farms along the way. John can remember throwing-up frequently in the mornings at one particular spot in the road just before getting into Columbia. Their first year on the farm, their father would wait in Columbia until the boys, who were in first grade together, got out of school and then drive them home. When the boys started second grade and Joan and Susan first grade, their father began teaching at Santa Fe School, 13 or so miles north of Columbia.


When John was seven, he woke up after about an hour of sleep in the early fall of themyear unable to to control his crying after he had strong feelings about being all alone someday without his parents and family. His mother took him out into the front lawn, joined by his father, and they sat with him attempting to give him solice.


In the early 1950s when the family attended Mass at a vacant drive-in theater building on the Nashville highway in Lewisburg, Betty wanted to donate a piece of land at the corner of the farm to the church so that the new Catholic Church could be built there, but her husband's family was opposed to that.


Betty, always very energetic, was constantly attempting to improve the farm house, most of the time to her husband's dismay. She tore one set of walls out of the hallway leading to the bathroom between the kitchen and the bedrooms. She built new closets between the girls and boys bedrooms and put holes in the shape of crosses in the back walls of each closet for the evening Rosaries. (She would sit in the closet on alternate nights in one bedroom and then the next night in the other saying the Rosary with the children. Their father, not being a Catholic, did not join them.) She moved all of the out-buildings, such as the chicken coup which Uncle Bascum had built years earlier, the tool shed and the log cabin, away from the house.


Betty's primary concern in life was instilling a strong faith and love of God in her children, teaching them kindness toward others, even those who might have harmed them, teaching them never to touch a drop of alcohol and the importance of purity even to the point of giving up life rather than being impure. The children's education was also very important to her. In first grade she would sit with them going over their reading lessons. She constantly corrected their spoken English and drilled them in geography and other subjects. During the summers she would work with the children on their studies so they could either catch up or get ahead. When with boys were studying to be alter-boys in second grade, she drilled them night after night in their Latin. When the children were in Belfast Elementary School she had each of them take piano lessons and made sure they practiced an hour each day. Bill, Joan and Susan took lessons for a year and John for two years.


When John started high school, he and Bill (who had spent his first year of high school at Marshall County High School) enrolled at Father Ryan High School in Nashville. They lived at a boarding house, Blair House, in Nashville near St. Thomas Hospital the first semester and first half of the second semister, which was just a few blocks from Father Ryan. This was very difficult. The boys recall having a 25 cent tuna sandwich for lunch each day and 5 cent Crystal hamburgers for dinner. Their Aunt Sara visited them at the boarding house early the second semester and brought bananas. (John recalls them gobbling them up they were so hungry.) Then by Spring their grandmother and Aunt Sara allowed the boys to stay at their house at 4110 Lealand Lane in Nashville. John recalls telling his mother that he would prefer not going to Father Ryan that next year, but he changed his mind later. He recalls going out into the woods on the farm on Sunday afternoons before returning to Nashville with Louise Gillespie and sitting in a tree to ponder and soak up the farm before leaving. The next school year, Betty and all of the children except Joan moved to the house Betty's mother had given her at 1003 Tyne Boulevand in Nashville. Joan elected to stay with her father in Lewisburg while he continued teaching at Belfast. Then the following year, Betty's husband left the farm and his job in Belfast and moved to Nashville with the rest of the family. The first year he renewed his teaching credentials by taking courses at Peabody College and then began teaching at Lipcomb School on Concord Road in Brentwood. When John bought the farm in Williamson County in 1972 with a partial loan from his mother from the proceeds from the sale of the Tyne house, her husband retired from teaching at age 52 and the family moved back to the Lewisburg farm. After not having worked as a nurse for twenty or so years, Betty then returned to nursing, initially working at nursing homes and then at Lewisburg Community Hospital on Ellington Parkway near the farm.


Her husband, William L. Andrews, Jr., loved the farm as did she and the children. He spent every summer on that farm with his cousin Paul Harris after his father had died in 1925, when he was 8. Because of his love of the farm, he did not want the children to grow too attached to Nashville by going to social activities at school, etc. during their high school years. During the years they lived in Nashville, the children loved spending every weekend and every summer on the farm.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Edward James Early (1888 - 1955)
  Jessica Agnes O'Keefe Early (1885 - 1971)
 
 Spouse:
  William Lafayette Andrews (1916 - 2005)
 
 Children:
  Joel Andrews (1960 - 1960)*
 
 Siblings:
  John Edward Early (1915 - 1915)*
  Edward Carroll Early (1916 - 1957)*
  Elizabeth Jane Early Andrews (1918 - ____)
  Joan Mildred Early Watts (1921 - 1999)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Andrews-Liggett Cemetery
Berlin
Marshall County
Tennessee, USA
 
Created by: Susan Sullivan and John ...
Record added: Jun 14, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 71335672
Elizabeth Jane Betty <i>Early</i> Andrews
Added by: Susan Sullivan and John Early Andrews
 
Elizabeth Jane Betty <i>Early</i> Andrews
Added by: Susan Sullivan and John Early Andrews
 
Elizabeth Jane Betty <i>Early</i> Andrews
Added by: Susan Sullivan and John Early Andrews
 
 
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What a wonderful life you led.
- Donna B.
 Added: Jun. 3, 2014
 
 
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