Armstrong, Ethel Marguerite Light

The life of Ethel Light is a chronicle of Oklahoma. She was born 11 Dec 1900 to a railroad family in territory days, her mother making a home in a sodhouse on a homestead claim, her father traveling with the Rock Island Railroad, later settling as station agent in Hydro; she grew up in the depot, married Mansel Armstrong on 17 Oct 1920 in the waiting room, and lived in depots at Driftwood and Gracemont.

Ethel represents the values and strength of the Oklahoma woman in service to her country, community, church, and family. An early photo shows her as a girl at the front of a Women’s Christian Temperance Union parade in her town. A 1918 letter from the president of the railroad commends her for purchasing World War I Liberty Bonds with her entire salary. She attended the University of Oklahoma and taught for six years in a one-room schoolhouse. After starting a family, the Armstrongs moved to Fair Acres Farm in Hydro, where Ethel raised chickens, canned her own fruit and vegetables, and encouraged her four children to excellence.

She was active in the Demonstration Club, a group of women who met monthly to share skills and activities. My grandmother taught Sunday School, emphasizing foreign missions; she was thrilled to visit my family at a mission school in Colombia in 1978. In her late 70s,

Ethel became an author, writing a history of her hometown, Hydro Heritage. She continued her whole life winning ribbons at the Hydro Free Fair, writing articles for the local newspaper, and setting a standard of patriotism, education and service. Ethel died 7 Jan 1991, having figuratively lived and literally written the history of our State.

Published on April 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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