Preserving Lady Bountiful's Memory

Kitchen 8 is grateful for an on-going relationship with the Kansas Historical Society and the Watkins Community Museum of History. Both entities work to preserve local history, including the memory of Elizabeth Miller Watkins. The Kansas Historical Society's Elizabeth Miller Watkins Legacy Collection includes EMW's will, the trust and other related documents.




One of Elizabeth's scrapbooks reveals the highest of standards she set for herself. Pasted into the front page is an excerpt from a Methodist hymn "My Creed." Above the following excerpt she wrote, "My Creed, Also":

I will be true for there are those who trust me.
I will be pure for there are those who care.
I will be strong for there is much to suffer.
I will be brave for there is much to dare.
I will be a friend to all, to foe, to friendless.
I will be giving and forget the gift.
I will be humble, for I know my weakness.
I will look up and love and laugh and lift.

Caring, daring, strong, giving and loving – they describe Elizabeth Miller Watkins perfectly. Through her generous gifts, Mrs. Watkins assisted those who were needy, encouraged those who were most promising, and cared for those who were sick, all the while keeping a close watch over her surrogate children from her front porch. With her daily waves, smiles, and open gates she let them know how closely she held them in her heart.

This biography of Elizabeth Miller Watkins was derived from several sources, including a wonderful article in 1989 by Julie Mettenburg (Watkins 1987-91) for the EMW Memorial Scholarship Application and a 1998 article by KU graduate Judith Galas on the Lawrence History webpage. Information was also gathered from articles on the KU History and Watkins Community Museum of History websites.

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