Today I am passing on a family heirloom to my youngest daughter Mary. The name of the artist was Lena Belle Broom. She was married to my grandfather, Dr. William Broom of Bonham TX, the only doctor for a hundred miles or so, as the story goes, and a cotton farmer as well as an entrepreneur, who with Lena Belle’s encouragement and assistance helped to turn slaves and former slaves into Independent sharecroppers who hired others of their ilk to help pick the cotton which ultimately set them free.
Some of the product from their lands was spun into thread from the longest staple cotton, colored with dyes from a company in Dallas. Some of this thread was used by Grandmother to create tapestries of her own design.
The Art Deco image of a peacock rendered on a linen background was not finished; it was Grandmother’s last piece and was cherished only by her youngest son Horace Dixie Broom and considered by him and his wife, Sadie Hannah Marie Oakes Broom to be the most important relic in their portion of the inheritance of a sizable estate. Dixie and Marie were my parents. I will miss this beautiful work of art but am comforted by its continued presence in the home of my daughter, Mary Margaret Broom.