I read that yesterday in an obituary from 1942. I’ve decided that is definitely what I want on my headstone….when I’m ninety or maybe ninety-five. Need a little more time to work on my usefulness! But seriously, what a wonderful, insightful epitaph- written of course by Mr. Crossett, the editor of the Caddo Herald. I think Mr. Crossett and I would have been the best of friends.
Mr. Crossett was writing about Ella McCoy Bilbo, one of the most outstanding and influential women who ever graced our community. Much of Caddo wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t been for the work of Mrs. Bilbo and the group of ladies who joined her in a variety of projects and causes. They were the founders of the Civic and Cemetery Club which is still in existence. Mrs. Bilbo organized the Caddo Music club and was a gifted musician who played the organ for many events. She also overcame great tragedy in her life. Her two young sons died within three months of each other.
I’ve been working on a book of biographies that I hope to have ready for the printer very soon. I originally conceived the idea because of an article in the paper about the “Fat Men’s Club”. It had a photo of the early movers and shakers of Caddo, who also seemed to be quite well-fed. That made me think about the men who founded this town and how hard they worked to make it a safe and civilized community. And “Fat Men’s Club” would make a great book title. However, as I researched the town founders I discovered that many were motivated and assisted by the strong women in their lives. And there were many women who accomplished tremendous things for the community without their men. So of course my book, and its title, had to change.
I think people will be surprised when they read my book. Many famous and infamous people have lived in Caddo, but the most significant citizens have been the ones who plodded along year after year simply doing what they could for their friends and neighbors. Many were never recognized for their hard work, but we have all benefited from their accomplishments. I hope to let their descendents know how important they were to our history.
I love to look at this photo of Mrs. Bilbo. She seems to have such a quiet grace and dignity about her. Mr. Crossett ended her obituary with these words: “She hath done what she could”, which was much. May the same be said of all of us.