April 4, 1853
She was born in Lauderdale County, Mississippi to James Rodgers and Martha Sanderford Rodgers. She had a five-year-old brother and a two-year-old sister, and two more children would follow her. She grew up in a farming community, surrounded by loving grandparents and more than a dozen aunts and uncles, along with their respective spouses and children. Her father and a slave named Bill built the log home she grew up in. Her childhood was ideal.
In 1861, Mississippi seceded from the Union and Civil War broke out. Though she had many uncles go off to fight in the war, her brothers were too young and her father was too old, so they remained safely at home with her.
In the fall of the following year, a typhoid epidemic invaded her community, killing her grandparents, many aunts, uncles, and cousins, and her parents. Her father died October 12, 1862. Her mother died a few short weeks later.
She was nine.
Her given name was Martha Ellen Rodgers, but she was simply known as Ellen.
“An Orphan’s Heart” is her story.
Happy birthday, Ellen! We honor and remember you on this day, 160 years after your birth.
In honor of Ellen Rodgers’s birthday and the May 1st release of “An Orphan’s Heart,” I am hosting a giveaway. One randomly selected person from all the people who LIKE “An Orphan’s Heart” facebook fan page will be chosen on May 1st to receive signed paperback copies of BOTH “An Orphan’s Heart” and “Okatibbee Creek.” Spread the word to your friends. All they have to do is LIKE the page. No purchase necessary. One winner will be chosen. Winner will be notified on or about May 1st. Prizes will be shipped on or about June 1st. Click here to visit “An Orphan’s Heart” facebook fan page.