SHINDLER, EMMA EUGENIE BLOUNT

SHINDLER, EMMA EUGENIE BLOUNT (1851–1931). Emma Eugenie Blount Shindler, author, poet, and preservationist, was born on November 18, 1851, in San Augustine, Texas, to Stephen William Blount, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and Mary Landon Lacy, a native of Vermont. Emma was the seventh of eight siblings and grew up in San Augustine. 

Emma Blount married Robert Conrad Shindler (1852–1931) in 1892, and, with his children from a previous marriage, they moved to Nacogdoches, Texas, where she devoted her life to the care of her four stepchildren—Charles, Anna, Rosim, and Herbert. In addition to keeping house, she cultivated her talents as a writer and eventually contributed pieces to the local press in Nacogdoches. She particularly was known for her poem “My Baby Clothes.” She also wrote novelettes and authored the short stories “The Twin Sisters” and “Mannette Barrington.” 

Emma Shindler devoted time to community service in Nacogdoches. She took part in community programs, such as Texas Heroes Day to honor local Confederate veterans in 1913, when she was a reader in the program.  In 1902, when the Old Stone Fort, one of Nacogdoches’s earliest and most historic structures, was being dismantled, Shindler enlisted a group of women as part of the local Cum Concilio Club to carefully preserve each stone of the fort. Cum Concilio Club appointed her to chair the project. On July 4, 1907, the group of women re-laid the cornerstone of the Old Stone Fort, and its materials were used to build a new structure. The reconstructed Old Stone Fort was later moved to the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University. 

By 1910 the Shindlers were living in Dalhart, Texas, where Robert worked as a real estate agent. They were back in Nacogdoches before the time of the 1930 census. Emma Blount Shindler passed away in April 1931 in Nacogdoches. Her death certificate indicates that she died on April 2, while her tombstone gives the date of April 1. She was buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches. Her husband Robert passed away less than a month later and was buried under the same grave marker as his wife Emma.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Bryan Eagle, March 13, 1913. “Emma Blount Shindler,” Find A Grave Memorial (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/44070126/emma-shindler), accessed February 15, 2018. Sinclair Moreland, The Texas Women's Hall of Fame (Austin: Biographical Press, 1917). 

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Handbook of Texas Online, "Shindler, Emma Eugenie Blount ," accessed May 21, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fshin.

Uploaded on February 27, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.