A Student of History

November 9, 2007

Last Rebel Widow “Found”?

Filed under: The strange place called the South — John Maass @ 7:03 am

From Arkansas, we get the following report:

Some might think it is impossible a Confederate widow is still alive. However, it was recently discovered that a Confederate widow was residing in an assisted living facility in West Helena. Maude Hopkins of Lexa, is very much alive. Mrs. Hopkins married her first husband, Confederate William M. Cantrell, an aging widower, in 1934.

She was 19 and he was 86. Living alone and in his 80’s, he employed Maude to cook and care for him. Being mindful of the moral standards of the time, they agreed to marry so as to not bring disrespect upon her name. Confederate Cantrell was in French’s Battalion, Company A, of the Virginia Infantry. Maude cared for Cantrell until his death on Feb. 26, 1937, at 90 years of age. Following his death, she remarried and had two daughters.

Recently members from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis Chapter #2191, New Orleans, La., visited her.

Members Lea Martin of Mandeville, La, Lynn Dowdy of Jonesboro and prospective member Dayl Taylor of Trumann spent time with Mrs. Hopkins and her granddaughter, Donna.

Mrs. Hopkins was presented with a fall arrangement for her room. During the visit, they learned about her marriage to Cantrell and what life was like when she married him. Mrs. Hopkins was made a member of the David 0. Dodd Chapter #212, Pine Bluff in August of 2004.


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