The Lady on the Lawn
d n english
This story was given me by a gentleman I shared a bench with one afternoon on the East side of the Courthouse.
“ Hello young lady” he said “I want to tell you a story I call the lady on the lawn.”
He introduced himself as James he told me he was born and raised in Jackson.
“I had a good life I graduated from high school here and was about to start to work for the railroad I was. But instead I wanted to serve my country so I joined the Army and served in WWII. I survived, came home and got my job at the railroad. Stayed there until a better job came along at one of the new factories I retired from that job.
A few years after I got back I met and married my Cynthia. The next thing I knew we had three kids. They are grown, got there own careers and moved away. I lost my love three years ago that is why I moved to the “Southern”. My children make sure I am taken care of they are good . Now the reason I am telling you this is so you don’t think I am some crazy old man.” He said and just laughed.
He told me when he was a young man on some Saturdays you could pass the Courthouse and there she sat. He pointed to the bench up close to Main Street. She was so beautiful when people passed she would wave or if you walked by she would speak and smile. I always knew there was a story but I did not find out until I was older.
“When I was in the service I met a gentleman,David, from Jackson and we were talking about our childhoods. The gentleman went on to tell me he knew the lady I spoke of because he was her nephew. We crossed paths several times and exchanged information. One day when I was shopping at the meat market on Royal there he was. Nothing had changed we just picked up our friendship.
David would tell me no matter what color our skin we were brothers and Veterans we would always be linked. He was a fine Christian fella. We remained close. I lost him not long ago to “the big C” the older you get the more life takes away . There are always the memories.” He said as he wiped a tear away.
When they first got back from the “war” James invited him over to his father’s house to meet his family and his Aunt . His Aunt,Susan, was the lady that James remembered as a young boy. He said “ I was just amazed how beautiful she still was and such a lady.”
David’s Dad, Mr.Allen, took us to his “room” away from the ladies . When we sat down Mr. Allen told me his sister’s story.
The year was 1910 and Susan, her husband and son would take a streetcar from there home on Market to downtown to shop. Well on this day she was going to shop and “her boys” were going to ride the streetcar to the water works.
She had finished her shopping and arranged for her purchases to be delivered. ( yes, back then stores delivered)
It was such a beautiful day she decided to enjoy watching people and wait on her boys to get back downtown.
As the streetcar approached the stop her son was waving and laughing. Then it happened out of nowhere a runaway team of horses with a loaded cotton wagon came down the street.
The team turned but the loaded wagon hit the streetcar tipping it over. There were only a few passengers on the streetcar they were thrown out on the street. Everyone rushed to help but it was to late for Susan’s boys . Her husband was at one spot and the they found her son under a cotton bale. In a spit second Susan had lost her family.
“Mr. Allen stopped for a minute as if to relive that time.” James said
Then Mr Allen finished the story. Since we had this big house my father moved my sister in with us. Susan was a teacher so we encouraged her to continue and she did. When my parents died I moved my family back in the family home to see out for my Aunt.
David smiled “she was my fifth grade teacher no favoritism there.” He went on to tell me that all the boys in the class had a crush on her. She was beautiful, kind and a wonderful teacher.
The only thing one Saturday each month she would go sit on that bench and watch for her boys.
James looked at me “I remember that day with David’s family and the story of his Aunt Susan like it was yesterday. We lost Miss Susan in 56. I cooked a shoulder and took it to the house and paid my respects.”
Over the years people have told stories of seeing the lady sitting on the bench waving and smiling. Then when the storms came through in 2003 it seems the sightings increase.
James looked at me “Now I want to tell you something I have sat on her bench and could feel her there. You know they say the older you get you develop a second sight. You see and feel the ones you loved and respected. You just wait young lady you will also. They may be gone but they are always with you”
With that he got up and walked off.
This is just one of the stories of the spirits of downtown. Many have seen or sensed them as they walked or drove through downtown.
Have you ever felt a spirit or experienced a chill when you walked into a room you have never been in before?
Can you explain it?