Mary E. Bales - Vermillion County INGenWeb


Mary Elizabeth Bales

Ernie, his Father & Aunt Mary
Aunt Mary Bales, Ernie Pyle, Will Pyle

Submitted by Cindy Taylor-Matuse

Mary Elizabeth (Taylor) Bales - Aunt Mary as she was commonly known in the Dana area, and around the world due to her nephew Ernie Pyle's writing was born  June 9, 1866 in Indiana to Lambert and Lucinda K. Stump Taylor.  She married George Bales on September 23, 1908 at the Bono Methodist Church in Dana, and became step-mother to his son, William Franklin - after his mother passed away.  She was a mother figure to many.  After her sister, Maria passed away, Mary moved into her father's old home that had become Maria and Will's home, and became a caregiver to Will.  She loved to keep busy, and help any and all that she could.  Shortly after the marriage of her great nephew, James Taylor to Virginia Denisiuk, she moved in with them for a few months.  At this time she and her new niece went through many family pictures and she identified the family members, while her niece wrote the information down.  She passed away on February 12, 1960 in Indiana.  She is buried in Bono Cemetery next to her sister and husband, Maria and Will Pyle.
An excerpt from one of Ernie's columns about Aunt Mary:
Winter 1944-45
Hoosier Vagabond by Ernie Pyle
"She doesn't take after her nephew"

Aunt Mary is almost 79, and her spirit is boundless. She goes all day long, like a 16-year-old. She cooks the meals, cleans the house, works in the garden, does the washing for two or three families, goes to her club meetings and to church, does things for the neighbors, and never finds time to sit down.

I was amused at a letter that came from her the other day. One of our neighbors, Mrs. Howard Goforth, came down with a violent rheumatism.
So Aunt Mary drover over and put hot cloths on her for several hours, got noontime dinner for the farm hands, did the weekly washing, and then got supper ready for them before she came home for her own evening chores.

Next day a blizzard was on. The ice was so thick she didn't dare take the car out of the garage. The snow on the roads was two feet deep and it was bitter cold.

So what did Aunt Mary do? She just bundled up and walked three-quarters of a mile over to Goforths, worked all day, and then walked back in the evening through the snow. She sure doesn't take after her nephew.