paula vida williford colson

Paula Vida Williford, poet


The poems I wrote (some published) still survive
in a box in a land I never thought to see,
and did not, dying young, tuberculosis,
after years on that cold sanatorium porch
sustained by fever and the reverend's love.
He was a fine husband, well spoken, and
our children delighted me daily with their notes
they brought me as they learned to write,
and with the tales they told me, their eyes large
with sights they brought out to my porch to share.

from Oak and Mimosa by Alan Reynolds

New as of 7 March 2008: as a homage to this lady her own writings are now in booklet form. Please click here to read it.

Born on September 3, 1877 in Parrott, Terrell County, Georgia, Paula married Lemuel Wilson Colson on February 22, 1906, when Paula was 28. They had the following children:

i. Louis Williford (1907-1908)
i. Joseph Williford (1909-1931)
iii. Paula (1913-1979)
iv. Louisa (Lisa) (1916-1985)

Her health failing about seven years before her death, her husband transferred from being pastor at Waynesboro, Georgia to the Western North Carolina Conference. She was converted and joined the Methodist Church at the age of fifteen years. As a young lady she was graduated from Wesleyan College, and in the after years she gave proof of the genuineness of her scholarship by many tokens, but in none more than by her writings for the press.

One of her poems, "My Strength," was used by one of the speakers at her funeral.

In the several stages and the various relations of life - citizen, Christian, daughter, wife, mother, friend - few have equalled Mrs. Colson. Forgetting, neglecting none but herself - even for the six weary years of her last illness - surely, in her departure, she has but heeded the "Come ye, blessed" of her Lord.

Obituary for Paula Williford Colson, Wesleyan Christian Advocate, E. E. Rose, January 13, 1928, Macon, Georgia

Paula died at age 50 in Asheville, North Carolina on December 27, 1927. She was buried on December 30, 1927 in Shellman, Georgia. Her daughter Lisa typed some of her poems and her grandson Richard McCord typed some of her letters. Her grandson Alan Reynolds has copies.