Emma Beatrice was the first child of William Earl and Lucy Elizabeth McLellan. They lived with her paternal grandmother Mary, and her aunts Henrietta and Grace McLellan in the Center Valley Community. Two years later her parents purchased an 80 acre farm a mile north where Emma grew up with her siblings Wilma (Bunk), Geneva (Moot), and William (Buster).
Emma remembered her first car ride being with the postman in his Model T. Shortly afterwards, her father paid $450 cash for his own Model T, which was stolen during a shopping trip in downtown Fort Smith.
During the 1919 influenza epidemic, the whole family became ill and Emma’s father died of double pneumonia.
At the age of 12, Mama Lucy hired Emma out to work hoeing corn, digging potatoes, and picking and chopping cotton so she could earn money to buy school clothes and books. That same year Emma caught typhoid fever causing her to miss six weeks of school.
Webb and Emma grew up together in Center Valley, so they were friends, courted, and then married December 20,1930. They lived with Webb’s parents, Ethel and Rums, for six months, then moved into a house nearby where six of their seven children were born.
Family land in Center Valley was bought by the U.S. Government in 1941 to establish Fort Chaffee. The Jones families bought property in the Burnville Community where Emma and Webb purchased a 3 room house with 88.5 acres and made a living farming, raising turkeys, chickens, and hogs.
Being resourceful and having a talent for handicrafts, Emma used feed sacks to make the family’s clothing, bed linens, curtains, towels, and diapers. She has made many beautiful quilts and still crochets and embroiders. Her handmade gifts are cherished.
Granny Jones, as she is known to most, is admired for her humorous stories and the person to ask for accurate historical information about the family or the community.