In July 1875 Grandpa Joel Walter McPherson's sister
Margaret Jane McPherson married Asa Akin. The wedding ring that Margaret wore was presumably purchased at that
time. After having five children, she passed away in 1894. When Asa could not care properly for the children,
two of them, Annie, five years old, and Assie, ten years old when their mother died, were wrongly determined
to be insane and were committed. The following story is told by Ada McPherson Muxˇ:
Annie and her older brother, Assie, were committed to an asylum after their mother died and there was no one
to care for them. Rumors began that their sister Mary did it to get the land they had inherited. This seems
doubtful since their father died 14 years later, although he was having problems working and caring for them.
In the early 1940's Floy Talley McPherson was finally able to go get Annie and bring her home to live with us.
(Assie had died not long before from a fall.) Tears fill my eyes as I think of all the times I heard Mom and
Pop discussing her and how much they wanted to have enough money to go get her. They were already old and without
a steady income to raise the children who were still home. As soon as Carson began to send an allotment monthly
that they could count on they began to save for the day Mama could go. The allotment wasn't very large so it was
a tremendous sacrifice for them to use money needed in the house in this manner. My heart swells with pride as
I remember the sacrifices my brother Carson made to send that money, and the willingness of my parents and we
children to use it for someone we all grew to love so very much. It was certainly one of our greatest acheivements
as a family.
I slept with Annie and was often awakened when a small noise would cause her to bolt upright, as she had done many
times in the asylum to defend herself against a violent patient's attack. Mamma treated Annie so good and took
her everywhere she went. When Annie decided she wanted a felt hat, Mamma looked all over town for one. After much
searching, she was able to find a small child's hat that would fit the tiny head that Annie had. She loved her
hat and wore it everywhere.
I loved to hear the stories Annie told about her life in the asylum. She especially liked to tell about the dances
and the boyfriends she had. She kept small soveneirs tied in handkerchiefs in a small wooden box. She wore her
mother's wedding band always until it broke as she swept the floor one day. When she died, Mamma wore it for
she had never had a band herself, so I had a jeweler solder it together. Carson took the band from Mamma's finger
when she died, and insisted that I take it. It is one of my most treasured possessions although I can't find a
jeweler to repair it again. It is so worn and thin now that it bends on my finger.
Annie was paralyzed for four years before she died and Mamma, who was already seventy years old, cared for her as
tenderly as she would have a baby. When Annie died, Mama was insistant about having a beautiful tombstone at her
gravesite. She did everything she could to make up for Annie's long years confined to a life she did not deserve.