The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996 Page: 5
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A lmira J. Rankin was born in 1842 in Burnt Corn, Alabama, the third daughter of Jahieul
and Mary Ann (Kemp) Cotton. Mary Ann had married at age fifteen and died before
1855. She had borne ten children in twenty years. In 1860 Jahieul owned 17,000 acres valued
at $23,000. In 1870, his worth was down to $2,500. In 1868 Almira married a widowed
carpenter named Robert Rankin. The newly married couple moved to Texas shortly
thereafter. Almira used to tell her granddaughter that when she was young, she had not
known where the water to wash her hands had come from because she had slaves who
provided her with everything. Almira died at age 81. She is buried in a small family cemetery
in Kosse, Texas. Her marker reads simply "Grandmother Rankin, Died 1923."
The old photograph shows a stooped old woman standing with her arm around the pole at the
end of the grape arbor. Her white hair is tied up into a bun on top of her head. She is wearing
a long dress made of lace with ruffles around the bottom of the skirt and ruffles around the
wrists. In one hand she holds a fan. She gazes not at the camera, however. Her gaze is off in
the distance beyond the camera's range.
The back of the photograph says I was six years old. I stood before the camera and smiled. I
wore my handkerchief outfit for the occasion. Two handkerchiefs were tied together to make
my skirt; two more to make up my blouse. On my head was another handkerchief. Draped on
my arm was one of Mother's old handbags, and I was holding an umbrella tilted back so the
sun didn't obscure my face for the camera. How I loved to dress up and show off for the
1996 DGS Journal
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996, periodical, December 1996; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186855/m1/11/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.