Born in the backwoods of Tennessee at the end of the nineteenth century, married and pregnant at eighteen, Maybelle knew little of the world beyond her holler. Though her circumstances may have been meager, her dreams were not, and she vowed that her life would be better. Taking matters into her own hands, with a few dollars and her infant son, she fled to the big city. Through hard work, a clever mind, and playing a little loose with the law, she parlayed nothing into a fortune. The story of Maybelle is truly an American story after the fashion of Ford, Rockefeller, and the men who built America. The significant difference is that Maybelle was a woman at a time when women were barely more than chattel property.