Marie "Monie" (Madden) Dickerson
"My mother believes that her first name was Macey and that she hated it because it was unusual and masculine."
The following is a letter written to David Tucker by Lisa Ostheimer.
Dear Mr. Tucker: When I read the statement re: the drowning death of Othie Madden under the pic of David Otho Madden posted on the Carter Co. Ky genealogy website, I became soo excited I had to run around little circles in my kitchen.....it was exactly what I had signed on to search for about 3-4 hrs earlier, but had almost given up on. I told my son yesterday that I'd always thought about trying to track down info re: that death. Several yrs ago I even set out to in person, by going to Ky, but ran out of time there, having spent our day there searching for my paternal grt-grt-grt grandfathers Civil War gravesite in Richmond, Ky. We were visiting my family in Southern Indiana from our home in the San Francisco Bay Area, and drove in to Ky for 1 day only. Much of my passion for history in general and family in particular stems from having several grt- and grandparents who lived to nearly 100, and who had carefully handed down some heirlooms, a lot of genealogy work, and stories of life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Almost all the written records and research were done by my paternal grd- and grt-grandfather. But it was my maternal grt-grandmother from Soldier, Ky, Mae (called "Monie") Madden, who had the colorful history and stories, and because she lived with us for the last 15 yrs or so of her life, when I was a teen and young adult, I heard and re-heard a lot from her, including the story of her eldest brother drowning in a flooded creek when the horse and buggy overturned during an attempted elopement. She was born on June 19, 1889 in Soldier, and was approx 9-10 yrs old when it occurred so I knew the death had to be right around 1900. I had interviewed her re: her family history y on cassette in the 70's, but the tape was lost. I also wrote the info she gave me down, but haven't seen it for yrs. But I clearly recalled her saying one of her uncles was named David and had moved to Tx. I had decided to finally give it a try this afternoon, and began trying to search Ky state and county records and newspapers. Without paying to access genealogy sites, I was getting no where, and when I read on one free site that Ky didn't keep county vital statistics between approx 1870 and 1911, I nearly gave up. I then found the county genealogy sites, and when I read the David "Otho" Madden obit from Tx, I knew I had found her uncle. I hadn't yet found the pictures and reference to the news article, and thought perhaps I'd send you the facts of the death that I knew about, since he and David Otho shared a namesake (apparently, after reading the info you submitted for the family records of Wm Estell, it was Sophia Estill's older brother). I could not believe my eyes when I saw your caption under David Otho's picture, referencing not just Othie Madden, Monie's brother, but an article about his death!! My excitement and delight at finding any info re: his death turned to astonishment when I went on to find a picture of he and his Dad, along with a complete family history going back to the Revolutionary War, and in one segment possibly to 1623 in NJ!?! My paternal grandfather and grt-grandfather in Indiana spent many years compiling records and info re: the family, to go back to the Revolutionary War, mainly through correspondence, but also some travel. I had always thought if I were to try to research my Mom's side of my family, it would take similar efforts. My grandfathers would be amazed to learn I obtained, through your efforts and this website, the same info in mere minutes (once at the site). When I saw the pics of Evelyn Madden , and didn't yet realize all the photo submissions for Madden's on here came from you in Tx, I thought she was Monie's older sister, whose name starts with an E. Instead, Evelyn would be her 1st cousin, though I presume they likely never met. Monie's sister was slightly older I think, her likely birth date would be 1883-5. They also had 2 or 3 other brothers besides Othie (which is what Monie always called him....I was surprised to see it was "Otho E.") named David and Bert, and I think were older and younger than Monie). Bert had a daughter named Beulah, who married a man named Ersel Sublett, whose descendents still live in that area. We visited Ersel and Beulah when I was a child in the 60's, and went to what must've been the Eagle Hill Cemetery, and while I remember seeing Monie's parents graves there, I didn't know Othie was buried alongside them. Monie did talk a lot about what a shattering tragedy his de ath was for the family. Seeing your notation it occurred on his father's birthday and seeing the picture you submitted of he and his Dad, with the strong resemblance, really brings home their trauma. There was a rumor within the family that Mae's name was actually possibly Macy or Macey on her birth certificate, but she would never admit this, it was thought because she hated it so. She was, to use a phrase she often did, a "pip"...a character. She had wanted to be an actress, which was out of the question in those days, not to mention there was not much opportunity in Ky. But she loved to do the next best thing, which was give "recitals", or dramatic monologues. She could, well into her 90's, go on for approx 5 min re: "Why I would never marry a red-headed man". I had taped that as well as her comments on the tape that was lost. She was born a "7 month baby", at only a few pounds. She said they put her in a dresser drawer and didn't expect her to live through the night.(which she loved to follow with "and I outlived them all...90 years old!"). She said that her mother, Maggie, smoked a corncob pipe. She also said her father was wounded, and an uncle killed, in an offshoot of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, the Tatum-Underwood feud. Now, given that she told me Othie drowned when they were trying to elope to be married, and this newspaper article mentions nothing about that, I might be skeptical re: the feud story, but when my sister and I were teens, watching a TV-movie re: the Hatfield-McCoy's, the other feud was actually mentioned. If David Otho moved to Tx, the only other uncle who could have died in the 1880's in a feud would've been John. I see a 1931 date of death for the brother Charles, and the youngest brother would have been too young (and he also has a 1930's date of death). Mae Madden married a Charlie Howard around 1909, and had one son, Wilbur, born Mar 26 1912. Shortly after his birth she divorced Charlie (to her everlasting shame in those days) she said because he spent all his time in nearby red-light districts. She later married a man named Dickerson who adopted my grdfather Wilbur, so my mother's maiden name was Dickerson. I spent my childhood in southern Indiana, and after my parents divorced in 1971, my younger sister and I moved here to the Bay Area with our Mom. It was here that Monie spent the last 15 yrs of her life, until her death in April of 1986 (in Walnut Creek, Ca). I have attached a photo of she and her son, taken approx 1916. This is the only picture I have of her while young. My sister here in Ca has the original photo of a home in Carter City, with 5 or 6 people standing outside, and taken approx 1880's or so, that I have a poor copy of, but I plan to submit that photo and this one of Monie, to the genealogy site. A discovery like this is exactly why a website like this is so voluble, and your efforts and the site's existence were an absolute thrill to find!! Who would have thought descendents of his family would link the story of his death >100 yrs later (especially since he died before having children, so those links date back to the 19th century). I still can't believe I was able to find such incredible info and history! If you have any other info re: the possible death of John Madden in a feud, likely in the 1880's, please let me know.