I love this photo of Emma Lee Pouncey Bertrand. There is something about the set of her jaw, or the carriage of her head, that reminds me of the strength of my Alabama grandmother and her sisters, and the other independent southern women I have known. Her character seems to be written on her face.
Emma was born in Alabama in 1873, the youngest child of Baptist Pastor William Jones Pouncey (then age 70) and his much younger fourth wife, Phoebe Juffus Lockard. Her father died when Emma was 5 years old. Emma was 14 when she was introduced to a Texas sheepman at the home of friends. He was ill with malaria and had just come in from the ranch, dirty and unshaven. The sheepman was more taken with Emma than she was with him – until the next evening, that is, when the sheepman came to call on her, clean-shaven, dressed in good clothes, and with a buggy to take her for a ride. She married him – Peter Gabriel Bertrand, 35 to Emma’s 15 years – a year later.