Mrs. Elizabeth Burford Bashinsky embodied the
words which mean mother, educator, church woman, writer, orator, club woman,
philanthropist, and lady.
A native of Dixon Springs, Tennessee, Elizabeth
Burford Bashinsky was born the youngest of six children of Major Robert Allen
Burford and Mary Elizabeth Lowe Burford. She graduated with honors from
Columbia Institute, Tennessee and moved to Troy, Alabama as an elementary
teacher at the Troy State Normal School in 1888. After teaching two years, she
married Leopold M. Bashinsky. They were the parents of three children.
Even though she retired from teaching upon her
marriage, education remained the driving force of her life. She was
instrumental in establishing a scholarship program in 1915 through the United
Daughters of the Confederacy which continues to help educate Alabama youth
today. Not only did she ensure monetary means for educating young people, she
also gave of her time and her home. In 1930, she served on the National
Advisory Committee on Illiteracy. In addition, she chaired the Ways and Means
Committee of the illiteracy group in Pike County and persuaded the county to
finance twelve schools. She opened her home to students attending Troy Normal
School during the Depression years of the 1930's, thus enabling many students
to remain in College. During the war years of 1940-1944, two young girls from
England resided with the Bashinsky family.
Elizabeth Bashinsky was active in the Women's
Missionary Union of the First Baptist Church of Troy and also on the State
Executive Board. She and her family were ardent supporters of the Baptist
Children's home at Troy. As a Baptist and as one who placed much emphasis on
education, Mrs. Bashinsky served as a trustee of Judson College for forty
Dr. C. B. Smith, former president of Troy State,
said of her that he could "think of no other woman who served other people so
well and over so long a period of time." So dedicated was she to education that
both the University of Alabama and Judson College awarded her the Algernon
Sidney Sullivan Award for noble human qualities.
She served as president of many civic and service
organizations, including president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy
on the local, state, and national levels. As an active participant in the
federated club movement in the early days of this century, she won a number of
their writing awards. There are short poems which carry the initials E. B. B.
Her accomplishments also included being a gifted speaker wiling to speak on
anything from her beloved South to "The Moral Effects of George Eliot's
In a speech before the Alabama Baptist Convention
in 1929, she said of young people and especially of young women, "Their future
possibilities are our present responsibilities, and what potential
possibilities are wrapped up in those latent powers."