Why did she do it?
Elizabeth Ann Hodges Penrod Markham was born on the 28th of June in 1850 in Indiana. She was the 2nd child and 1st daughter born to Thomas James Hodges and Lucina McDowell. She married John Henderson Penrod in Hardin County, Illinois probably in 1868, as their first child, my great grandmother, Sarah Penrod, was born in 1869. The couple had 7 additional children and lived in Union County, Kentucky. Of their 7 children, Lenora Belle -my great grandmother’s sister- was the 4th child and 3rd daughter born.
In 1907, at the age of 30, Lenora married Jesse Marcum. Jesse had been married before and had at least 6 living children. Two had died before he married Lenora. Lenora had a daughter, though whether she was married to the child’s father is unknown. It would appear that Jesse and Lenora had 5 children of their own; a son who lived only a year, a set of twins who died shortly after birth, and two sons who lived: Herbert Raymond Markham, who only lived until he was 16, and Garland Henderson Markham.
Lenora died in 1924 of a “growth in nose and hadn’t seen a doctor in years,” according to her death certificate. This left a virtual house full of children and only a father to care for them. Lenora died in January and her mother, Elizabeth Ann “Bettie” Hodges Penrod, married her daughter’s widower. She was 72 and he was 54, according to the license, but she was actually 74.
The daughter of one of the sons of Lenora and Jesse, Joann, had this to say about Elizabeth:
“My father does not remember much about Lenora. He does remember her mother, Elizabeth Ann Hodges Penrod, who married Jesse after Lenora’s death. At the time Jesse was 54 and Elizabeth was 72. Dad said she was very stern and did not properly care for his brother, Raymond, when he developed tuberculosis. I believe she probably did the best that she could at her age.”
Elizabeth and Jesse were married for less than 6 years; she died on the 3rd of March in 1930 and is buried with her 1st husband.