Saturday, April 5, 2014

A to Z April Challenge: E is for Elise

My theme for the A to Z April Challenge is “In-Laws and Out-Laws – Friends of the Family.”  I will be researching friends, colleagues, neighbors - those people who came and went touching my family’s lives in both small and large ways. 

is for Elise.  Elise Fauver Taylor.

Elise was a classmate of my grandaunt Velma Davis (later Woodring) when the two were at Harrisonburg Teachers College (now James Madison University.  Go Dukes!).  Probably she lived in Wellington Hall too, judging by the number of photos taken around the dorm.

But Elise was more than just a casual acquaintance passing in the hall with a polite nod.  Pictures taken away from campus suggest they may have visited each other’s homes on the weekend.

Velma Davis, Thelma Hockman, Elise Taylor 1925
March 1925 - location unknown
On the fence:  Velma Davis and
Thelma Hockman
On the ground:  Elise Taylor
Elise was born December 6, 1906 to Charles and Mary Fauver Taylor.  She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, less than an hour’s drive from Harrisonburg. 

At HTC Elise stayed busy playing multiple sports.  She played on both the freshman and varsity field hockey teams, as well as the freshman, sophomore, and varsity basketball teams.  She was a member of Pinquet Tennis Club and YWCA.  With all that involvement, it is no wonder she served on the Athletic Council which was comprised of team captains and sports leaders. 

Elise Taylor and Velma Davis Feb 1926
Elise and Velma
February 1926

Velma Davis and friends March 1925
Standing:  Thelma Haga and Leta LeVow
Kneeling: Velma and Elise

Sophomore Basketball Team Harrisonburg Teachers College 1926
Scanned from The School Ma'am 1926
As captain, Elise holds the ball for the team photo.

Elise's membership in the Grammar Grade Club indicated her intention to become an elementary school teacher.  Apparently she made good on those plans.  In the 1930 Waynesboro, Virginia census, she was living with relatives and working as a public school teacher. 

I do not know whether she continued working after she married Robert “Bob” Phillips in 1932.  In 1940, they were renting a house in Waynesboro.  Bob was a shipping clerk at an apple plant while Elise was at home caring for their son and daughter.  A family tree on indicates they had two more children later on.

At some point Elise and Bob moved to Cobb, Georgia.  Elise died one day after her 90th birthday.

To Explore more Entertaining E subjects, Exit this blog and Enter the latest Edition of the A to Z April Challenge.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. They sure knew how to be happy!

  2. All the ladies of that time seem to be extra special women and Elise was no exception.

  3. Ii like to research family friends also. It sounds like Elise had a full life. All those sports!

  4. I love the photos. They look really happy. My middle name is Elise, which is for my mom's mother who died when I was eleven. I don't know very much about my nana other that i loved her very much and wished she was still alive while I was growing up so I could get to know her better.

    The name Elise means a lot to me, which is why both of my daughters have Elise as a middle name.

  5. A wonderful collection of photos of Elise and friends. Along with them and the information you were able to glean from ancestry, you have put together a very nice profile of Elise. She may have known some of my relatives from Cobb, about that? Thanks for your visits this first week of AtoZ. I appreciate your comments and have enjoyed your theme very much.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

  6. How you do what you do amazes me! You are something girl. I love hearing about their friends! I look at those pictures of Velma and all I see is you and Zoe. That is amazing too!