Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lena Rhoda Steele (1877-1960)

Lena Rhoda Steele was born on December 22, 1877 in Limestone County, Texas.

She was the sixth child born to the marriage of Francis Marion "Frank" Steele and Lucinda Chisum.

Lena's siblings included the following four sisters and one brother:

Lydia Frances
Louella "Ella"
Isham Alfonso
Mary Allye

1880 U. S. Census

Lena married James A. "Jim" McLelland circa 1895 in Limestone County, Texas.  Jim was born on October 23, 1870.

After their marriage, Jim and Lena made their home in Limestone County before moving to Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana prior to 1910.  

Lena wanted to move to Sicily Island to be closer to her brother, Isham Alfonso, who had moved there about twelve years earlier.  Jim was content to stay in Texas.

The story goes that Lena told Jim she was moving to Sicily Island whether he moved with her or not.  Jim remained adamant that he was not moving but Lena would not yield.  She packed up her belongings and asked Jim to take her by wagon to the train station.  

Jim, believing she would not go through with her plans, agreed to take her to catch the train.  Lena's belongings were loaded on the train and at the very last minute, Jim jumped aboard with nothing but the clothes on his back.

Over the years, Lena would often tell this story and Jim would only smile; never denying the circumstances under which he ended up in Louisiana.

Lena seated on the left
McLelland House - 2010
James A. "Jim" McLelland died on February 23, 1955.  Lena Rhoda Steele McLelland died on October 6, 1960.  Both are buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.

Monroe News Star - 2/24/1955
Monroe Morning World - 10/8/1960

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