Ni3 Matilda Prather Nicholas

    was the third daughter and eleventh child of George Nicholas Ni4 and Mary Anna Pope (Po4)
    Born 15 May 1878
    Died 19 June 1954 in Shelbyville, Kentucky
    Married Dr. Thomas E. Bland on June 20th, 1906, in Shelbyville, Ky.
    Anna Pope Bland, b 26 Jun 1908 Shelbyville d 15 Feb 1970 Saginaw MI m Dr. Eustace G. Hester.
    Levicy Jane Bland, b. 28 Aug. 1910 d unm 15 Mar 1985.

    Cut out of school picture about 1890
    Matilda Prather Nicholas

    Nicholas girls with Pope cousins 1899

    Mary Anna Nicholas at tree with Matilda Prather Nicholas to her right (They look almost as much alike as identical twins so it may be the other way around) between trees above Pope cousins Picture dated 1900.
    Samuel Smith Nicholas at the far left.

    ? Matilda Prather Nicholas about 1900 (or sister Mary Anna Nicholas )
    According to 
    attached ear lobes are a recessive characteristic, here the line of attachment is not as slanted as grandson William, as the lobe attachment may be a simple genetic trait but the general shape of the ear is polygenetic, and his lobe attachment lenthened with age..

    Founders of the Shelbyville chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
    Matilda Prather Nicholas front left.

    Founders of the Shelbyville chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
    Matilda Prather Nicholas front right.

    Matilda Prather Nicholas Bland with ?daughters, Anna Pope Bland and Levicy Jane Bland on the porch of the Nicholas house outside Shelbyville, about May 1911.

    Matilda Prather Nicholas and husband Dr. Thomas Eugene Bland
    and children Anna Pope Bland and Levicy Jane Bland about 1919

    Marriage bond of Dr. Thomas Eugene Bland and Matilda Prather Nicholas

    Matilda Prather Nicholas Bland and the new Franklin in 1921.

    Matilda Prather Nicholas Bland in front of the Bland house in February 1921

    I (He1-2) remember her as a tall majestic woman who seemed as little inclined to small talk as my mother and I, and was a bit surprised to hear from Aunt Jane in 1972 that she had suffered sleeping sickness and the last two pictures above do show a loss of weight. She seems to have had some mental problems after being in coma from sleeping sickness for at least a year about 1918; for her husband made their daughter Jane executrix of his estate instead of her. But she was well enough to do the house work and play the organ at church for another thirty years. For all I know, the right diagnosis may have been a stroke or recovery from a brain operation, as sleeping sickness did not - to my knowledge - occur in Kentucky and no trips to any swampy areas in the deep south were mentioned, again her almost identical sister, Mary Anna Nicholas, and a nephew, George Nicholas, both died of brain tumors, as did my other. There were some first and second cousins in New Orleans who might have been visited, but there had probably not been any communication with them since the death of her grandfather, who had died nine years before her birth.

    Brain surgery was quite possible but not very common in those days. Considering the metal plate her husband put in his cousin's skull after his accident and her sister's death of a brain tumor in 1915 her husband may have been keeping a look-out for similar symptoms and risked such an operation when they showed up. Such an operation may have been kept a secret so the daughters would not be disturbed by the possibility of developing cancer themselves.

    This picture is dated April 18, 1921:

    After her death while I was helping my mother clean out the house and furniture for sale and auction I found a manuscript of some 200 to 300 neatly typed pages, but my mother ordered me to burn it as "it was only a collection of her visions" and I was ordered to throw it onto the fire. Evidently my grandmother had been so moved by nightmares or apparitions or whatever, that she took the trouble to write them down before she could get back to sleep. Obviously she had imparted the contents of some of these writings to my mother and aunt more often than was appreciated, so that my mother considered it humbug. Then I thought no more about it for years. But after my mother's death I began to regret this loss of a mode of communication with her, and to this day I would like to know what she wrote. But even if the pages contained nothing but the narration of nightmares thrown together from distorted fragments of memory from her own childhood experience it might have made sufficiently interesting material for publication. Pure fantasy and horror are indeed the food of good fiction.
    After looking into the lives of her more distant ancestors, who had been caught up in the intriguing devises and treachory of the 11th to 17th centuries I also wonder if her visions might not have been of visits from their spirits revealing how their feudal duties called them to mount up and ride into battle for or against some usurper or pretender and were often cut down in young years and left lying on the battlefield or attainted for serving the real heir to the throne loosing all their worldly possessions or beheaded on the battlefield or sent to White Tower to die of hunger in a dungeon cell. How doubly tragic if they had managed to communicate with her only to have their tales burned. For there are countless tales of woe yet to be told about them, as the early generations of this genealogy reveal. Whether the meanderings of disturbed sleep or true communications from the dead the collection of nightmare recordings may have had significant literary quality, which I wish I were allowed to judge for myself.

    Matilda was also very diligent at crocheting and sent my mother numerous crocheted table cloths. She also did some drawings and water colors. So she was definitely skillful. There was absolutely nothing about her behavior unbecoming to a lady, not even a tendency to go on and on in small talk, on the contrary there was the general retisence of a thinker, which seems to run in the family.

    But my grandfather appointed Aunt Jane administrix of his estate in 1943, so he obviously felt she was better able to administrate affairs than my grandmother. And my mother was also a bit worried about my grandmother regularly going to a restaurant to eat after she passed 76 instead eating at home. I suppose she wanted a little company as she was living alone in a rather large house.

    At 78 her portal vein ruptured, which might indicate general vascular problems except for age being the major factor.

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