Women in Milam County have come from many walks of life, but they all had common attributes, leadership and passion.
Lelia McAnally was born Dec. 8, 1887, in Cameron, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar McAnally. Her father, Oscar, was the editor of the Cameron Herald .
Lelia married R. L. Batte Sr. on March 30, 1909 after the death of his first wife. She helped raise the five children and some of the grandchildren from R. L’s first marriage.
Lelia and R. L. had four children, Mary Belle, Mortimer Lee, (died in infancy), Elma Virginia and Lelia Lee who married Joseph S. Hickman
Lelia and R. L. lived in a twostory home called “The Scyamores” just outside Cameron.
She loved dolls. Her private doll collection grew to 400 at the time of her death.
She was instrumental in establishing the Women’s Society of Christian Service in the First Methodist Church in Cameron and served the organization as president in Cameron and as president at the district level.
Her father’s profession in writing preceded her as Lelia was also a writer and a lover of history. She was active in the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Children of the Confederacy.
She w rote “The Histor y of Milam County,” edited two books of poetry “Leaves from the Sycamore” and “Perfumed Garden” and a novel “Master of the Sycamores,” a tribute to her husband.
Her devotion to her children, step children and grandchildren will be remembered through her love of history and her writings.
“The History of Milam County” book in the Cameron and Rockdale city libraries is well worn by readers, who use it in their research.