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The Horne Side: Ancestry of Helen Horne Penley

Aunt Wanda Horne Smith

Aunt Wanda and Uncle Jim Al Smith

Helen's oldest sister was Mary Wanda Horne (February 5, 1906 - May 15, 1988). In the 1940s Aunt Wanda married James Allen Smith (1893 - 1971) of Coaldan, Tazewell County. Wanda did well in school, graduated from Nickelsville High School and Radford Teachers College. Uncle Charles quit school and worked full time to pay Wanda's tuition so she could become a teacher. She taught in a few schools around Scott County such as Sunny Point and Cowan's Creek. At Cowan's Creek she boarded at the home of Henry and Lucy Dingus. When Wanda became ill in late 1940 or early 1941, Helen substituted for her at the little one-room schoolhouse and also lived with the Dingus family.

Around 1941 Wanda took a teaching job in Tazewell County, and there she met Jim Al Smith. They lived around Jewell Ridge and Richlands, Virginia. Wanda was nearly forty years old when they married, they had no children. Uncle Jim Al was a coal miner and farmer, but he didn't like our bird dog, he preferred foxhounds. His World War I draft registration states he had black hair and blue eyes, but by the time we knew him he had a full head of white hair.

Frank Horne enjoyed visits with Wanda and Jim and spent much time there in later years. He particularly enjoyed fox hunts with Uncle Jim Al. Throughout Wanda's life she remained in close contact with Helen, mostly through the mail but later on the phone. After Jim Al's death in 1971, Wanda moved home to Nickelsville and helped care for her parents. Eventually, Uncle Charles moved to Aunt Wanda's house and lovingly cared for Wanda in her final years until her death in 1988.

There are more references to Aunt Wanda in The Horne Family History.