I will tell you a tale of a woman of great success. This is a woman that has inspired me to be something great one day and to never give up trying. Though she may be growing into her elderly years she has lived a very challenging, joyful, loving and successful life. She is a woman of great faith and character, she is my grandmother.
Mary Imogene Cothren was born in Lawrenceburg Tennessee, November 12, 1929 to George and Chapel Cothren. Her family then relocated to a small town in Ohio by the name of Ashland. This is where she was raised and has lived most of her life. From the time she was born, although her name was Mary Imogene her family called her Imogene. When Imogene was five her mother became pregnant with a little girl. The time came for Chapel to give birth to this beautiful baby girl and she went into labor. As her labor continued she went to the hospital to be prepared for birth. The doctor said that the baby was healthy and ready to be born, so there should be no complications in delivery. As Chapel delivered the baby they noticed that there was no movement or signs of life coming from the baby. The doctors ruled that the baby was dead because they had let Chapel remain in labor for too long, so the baby’s skull had been crushed. Imogene discussed in her interview how hard this was for her. She said that her family was so excited for the baby girl, and to then have her die made it very hard on the family. Imogene and her father went the store to buy little Shirley Ann and outfit to be buried in. She remembered sitting beside her and holding her tiny hand thinking how beautiful she was. The following day George and Imogene and one of their close friends took Shirley to be buried. Chapel was very sad. She couldn’t go to bury the baby because at that time you were required to stay in the hospital for ten days after birth. Imogene to this day likes to go visit Shirley’s tomb stone and think of all the memories they could have made together.
Eight years later George and Chapel gave birth to another daughter Barbara Cothren. Imogene and Barbara were close growing up. Even though there was an eight year age difference they both had a lot of fun together. They were raised at 1215 Myers Avenue in Ashland Ohio and attended Grant Street Elementary School. Some of Imogene’s favorite memories were at this house, playing outside with Barb without a care in the world.
The Cothren’s were a very God based family. George and Chapel raised their girls in a Godly household and expected much discipline out of their daughters. Surprisingly though, Imogene did not except the Lord until 1946 when she was sixteen years old. She discussed in her interview that she accepted the Lord on Palm Sunday at a revival at her church, West Tenth Street Brethren Church. At first she wouldn’t go forward because she was planning on being baptized the following Sunday and felt that wasn’t right to just now be excepting Christ. The pastor then took her aside...