Ever have that one relative whose story that you just can’t get out of your mind? I have several of those relatives like that but one that stands out for me is my 4th great aunt, Emma Drake Leist Herman. February of last year, I wrote about what I knew of her story which included the suicide of her last husband, Henry Herman, who drank carbolic acid they morning after they had a fight. As incredible as that tidbit was, Emma’s story continued to be fascinating as her death certificate revealed she died at 8 pm on 2 June 1916 at age 39 from shock with a contributory cause as lightning. What was she doing outside in a storm at 8 pm? Color me fascinated!
Growing up in Pickaway County, Ohio, it felt like it was all just farm and field. The Circleville Pumpkin Show and the Ashville Fourth of July celebrations are about as exciting as it gets during the year and life is fairly quiet there, generally speaking. When I describe my hometown, the words I use are: quaint, charming, old fashioned and family friendly. Sure, it’s a great place to raise kids or live out your golden years since there’s not a bunch of crime or the likes but as a young girl, all I could think about was getting out, finding excitement and leaving those corn fields behind. Not that I’m full of wanderlust but I just knew there had to be “more” out there beyond those county lines.