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Comments on: Who Was Sadie Cooksey? https://cheriebombell.com/601/ Kids Behind Bars, Geneva Illinois Sat, 15 Aug 2015 04:19:21 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.3 By: Linda Tart https://cheriebombell.com/601/comment-page-1/#comment-5143 Sat, 15 Aug 2015 04:19:21 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?p=601#comment-5143 In reply to Cherie Bombell.

I was just thinking about Geneva today and went to the computer, put in Illinois State Training School for Girls and up popped this site. I am happy that you have it and I have posted about my experience in Geneva, which was really a life saver for me. I was there from 1961-1962, and I did not want to leave. They literally kicked me out. The normal stay was 6-7 months but I stayed a full year and that was because, my counselor, Ms. Am men off, would call me over to her office, from time to time, to inquire how things were going. I ALWAYS told her, things were ok and I liked it there. I was doing EXTREMELY WELL in school, I had friends, the matrons and teachers liked me, etc. When she would mention going home, I remember crying and telling her I don’t want to go. I asked her if she could place me in a foster home or a long term boarding school, thus, I could finish my education. I told her, I was beaten, cursed, and dogged at “home.” I often told her, that I have peace here, and I could eat all I want and she allowed me to stay. In late 1961, I got a new counselor, her name was Ms. Brown, white, red, green, something like that. She told me I had to go home and once again, I told her what I went through at home and that I did not want to go. About a week later, a man called me to the office and informed me I was going home Sunday. I told him, as I told EVERYBODY ELSE, I did not want to go home. He said, “When you were a baby who fed you? When you needed your diaper changed, who changed it?” I replied, “My mother.” He looked me in the face and said, “Well, that is where I am going to send you, back to your mother.” I was told this on Friday afternoon, it was cold outside that day and I felt cold inside. I never got a chance to tell my teachers good bye and that made me sad, VERY SAD because I KNEW, I was going back to hell. I went back to my cottage and cried my eyes out. I asked Mrs. Miller, if there was something she could do and she said, “No, I wish I could do something, but I can’t.” The next afternoon, Mrs. Miller, called me into her living quarters and talked to me. She told me I was a smart girl, and try to make something of myself, no matter what. I felt better but I still did not want to leave. Sunday, while we were eating lunch, the phone rang and I knew that was the telephone call telling me my mother was in the office, waiting to take me home. She allowed me to finish eating, I went to my room and she came and told me, it was time to go. ALL of my friends were hollering, “Good bye, Linda. I love you.” I ran from the cottage, waving at my friends and Mrs. Miller. Suddenly, I remembered, I left my hair brush, I IMMEDIATELY began running back to the cottage to get it. When I got to the door, Mrs. Miller, asked me what did I want and I hold her I forgot my hair brush. She said, “Don’t worry about it, where you are going, there is going to be plenty of hair brushes.” Years later, I saw one of the girls I was in Geneva with and we laughed about the day I turned back around to get my hair brush. She said, Mrs. Miller stated that I was going to do remarkable things in life.
Maybe I did. When I went back home, within 1 week, I was being cursed, beaten and dogged again. I had to see my probation officer. Her name was Mrs. Robinson, her office was at 160 N. LaSalle. I told her what I was going through and I wanted to go back to Geneva, but she didn’t listen to me nor did she understand. Within 6 months, I was pregnant. My mother made me have the baby, because it was going to increase her welfare check, she also promised me and Mrs. Robinson that she was going to keep the baby for me to return to school. I got off probation in July of 1963, in September of 1963, when I was suppose to go back to school, my mother informed me that she was NOT KEEPING MY BABY AND MY SCHOOL DAYS WERE OVER. At that point, the abuse and neglect intensified. I was cursed on a daily basis, when I needed something, I was told to turn a trick, or get out of my face, I was accused of having a baby by my mother’s boyfriend, I was always told, I would NEVER BE SHIT. She use to tell her men friends, that if they wanted a young girl, they could have me. (My father died when I was 6.) There was NOBODY that I could talk to and I had low self esteem, but I ALWAYS remembered how well I did in Geneva, and Mrs. Miller’s encouraging words, therefore, I KNEW I WAS NOT STUPID.
My “mother” kicked me out the day after my 18th birthday. A very KIND woman took me and my daughter in. I discovered I was pregnant again, and she helped me through it. She was 61 and full of wisdom and I was lost and alone. A year after I had my son, I got a good paying job, an apartment, a baby sitter that kept my kids all day and night. That was in 1967, in 1970, I begin working at the post office. I enrolled in the local community college, it took me 12 LONG years to finish college but I did receive my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from a private university. I also, had 2 children in private schools. I then received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. My children are doing well and my grand kids are college graduates or are attending college, my great grand children are AWARD WINNING students. Thus, I guess I did fulfill Mrs. Miller’s predication.

Thanks for this web site and for allowing me to share my experience in Geneva and how it impacted my life.

Linda Pitts-Tart

By: Cherie Bombell https://cheriebombell.com/601/comment-page-1/#comment-4809 Wed, 18 Mar 2015 08:24:04 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?p=601#comment-4809 In reply to Shari Lewis.

Good research, Shari. All I know about her is what the Geneva Historical Society has published. She must have had a tough, short life – seems fitting she should be remembered all these years later. Thank you for the information.

By: Shari Lewis https://cheriebombell.com/601/comment-page-1/#comment-4806 Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:54:29 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?p=601#comment-4806 According to records, Elizabeth Cooksey was born to Sadie Cooksey, and died 4 months later. The baby’s father is listed as Martin Hopper, who appears in the 1920 census as a laborer who lived in a boarding house in Chicago and was employed at Borden. There is a Marriage certificate for a Martin Hopper and Anna B. Garney in 1922. I wonder if Martin was an employee or worker at the school, and I wonder if Sadie was trying to get to him when she died on those train tracks. Records show Sadie as being born in alternately Arkansas or Illinois. 1910 Census records show a Sadie Cooksey born in 1904 in Texas to Gertrude and William Cooksey, who were both born in Arkansas.

By: Catie https://cheriebombell.com/601/comment-page-1/#comment-495 Thu, 14 Jul 2011 06:21:51 +0000 http://cheriebombell.com/?p=601#comment-495 Sadie, i know you have something going on. But you need to understand that even tho what happened to you was horrible. You have to let go. And move on. i am coming to visit you tomorrow. Goodbye.