Dimple (Dix) Hall's Memoirs
|The following is the journal of Hattie Lillis "Dimple" (Dix) Hall. Below, we have reproduced her words as faithfully as possible here. There is also an annotated version of this with clarifications, comments, and questions.|
The life of Mrs. James Hall was a great inspiration to her daughter, Jane (Cile) Hall Smith.
At Jane's request she wrote her autobiography, and it was Jane's desire to have it published in book form for her brothers and sisters and their families.
Before Jane's death, September 14, 1952, she had made preliminary arrangements for the publication of this history and asked us, Grace McMillan and Charlotte Delano, to carry out her plan in event she were unable to do so.
Jane's foresight made it simple indeed to complete the publication of her mother's autobiography, which is presented herein just as she wished.
7 Walnut Street
Just an old woman asleep in her chair,
In the interval between closing her eyes to rest them, and unconsciousness, her thoughts went back - as far as her memory reached.
She was four years old and her father and mother who called each other "Frank" and "Nellie", her two brothers, Bert and Will, and her sister, Dollie, were moving to Winchester, Tenn., where her father, Rev. A. F. Dix, was to teach Latin and Greek in Mary Sharp College. Their household goods were slow coming, and they spent some weeks in a boarding house full of college girls. There the girls made much of her and continued to in the years that followed while they lived in a little house on the edge of the town on the road that led to Cowan. They taught her to say the Greek alphabet before she knew the English. They quarrelled over who was to take care of her at Sunday School and Church.
The babies continued to arrive at about two-year
intervals until five more boys were added to the family. She remarked to
her mother on the arrival of the last one, "Seven boys and only two girls
to make shirts for them."
It was winter, and all the doors closed. He had not heard a sound. He hesitated, but the demand that he go to Mama's room was insistent, so he went and was met as he opened the door by a little figure in flames. She bears no scar - her hair was scorched but her little red apron with two pockets in it was a serious loss.
There were four years between her and her sister Dollie, another sister, Daisy, having died age 2%, before they left Midway, Alabama. As a consequence, she played with her brothers - did everything they did until they were big enough to take a gun and go to the woods hunting. There her mother drew the line, "Because she was a girl."
In 1876 she remembered climbing with Bert and Will to the roof and helping fasten a big flag to the chimney because it was the Centennial. She didn't know what that was, but it called for flags on everybody's houses.
The five boys who were born in Winchester were Lell, Allie, Paul, Philo and Murrie. When Murrie was born she was thirteen years old. Between the births of Paul and Philo her mother's health was very bad. She knew later there had been a still-born boy. The care of Paul was almost entirely left with her, and as a natural consequence Paul was always a favorite brother.
When the Winchester Normal was organized her father was chosen one of the teachers. The Normal was at the other end of town, and there were five of us going to school, so the little home with the big locust trees in front and the row of cedars next the sidewalk that were thinned as they grew by using one as a Xmas tree every year, was rented out, and the family moved to a big old two-story house on High Street with big grounds and lots of shrubbery. A summer house with vines and all kinds of flowers was a delight to the barefoot tree-climbing child. There she first knew columbines and loves them still. The mother's health continued bad, and Philo's birth had to be an abortion to save her life. After that her health was good.
The Winchester Normal was not the financial success they expected. They had to cut down their faculty and her father resigned because he had been the last man taken on. The family went back to the little home after two years on High Street, and her father taught in the old "Robert Donald" - originally a school for boys but at that time a mixed school.
After two years Murrie was born and her father having been made president of the William and Emma Austin College in Stevenson, Ala., the family moved to Stevenson and the thirteen-year-old girl was separated from friends of ten years and the only sweetheart she'd ever had. She and Albert Marks had swung hands all the way to their French lesson before they were old enough to go to school. He would wait for her at the railroad crossing, and they'd go together to Old Man Jordan's French class. He had a class of grown-ups, a class of teenage boys and girls, and a class of little children. A native-born Frenchman and besides driving the Express wagon he kept a little shop ¬ fruits and candies, nuts and canned goods.
She and Albert Marks continued sweethearts 'till they were both thirteen. At that time his father was governor of Tennessee, but his family remained in Winchester. When she carne back to Winchester the next summer on a visit Albert carne to see her - his first date. He came on horseback in the morning to the house where she was visiting and sent in a note asking for a date that night. She gave him the date and when he carne that night he had a voice like a bass drum, and she didn't know him at all!
During that summer she visited Cowan also, and went with Bert to Coosa Cave again and enjoyed it so much. Coosa Cave was upon the side of the mountain, and unless somebody was along who knew where it was, you might wander all day and never find the entrance, for bushes grew in front of the hole, and a man had to stoop way over to get in. Inside it was lovely, and she never tired of it. The college girls at Mary Sharp were allowed a holiday in Spring every year to visit Coosa Cave. The foot of the mountain was seven miles from Winchester, and the entrance to the cave only a little way up. At that time it had never been entirely explored. It may have been later, as so much attention has been given to caves in later years.
After that summer she never went back to Winchester
and lost touch with all the friends of her little girl days.
Her first date at the age of thirteen was the
occasion of a family conclave and much discussion. Of course she had been
to parties with boys of her age, and to church, but this was a man of twenty-five
who desired to call on this thirteen-year-old girl! Her mother cried and
wished she was as ugly as a mud fence so men would let her alone. The father
and brothers said "Dave's all right, let him come". So her mother
tearfully helped her to dress, and she spent a pleasant evening with Dave
Martin. Went for a walk in the course of the evening up to the reservoir
with Bert and his sweetheart, Cissa Cotnam. The reservoir was built by
the railroad for their water supply and was the water supply for the whole
town and quite a rendezvous for the young people. Dave told her that night
she would be safe anywhere with anybody, that her purity and innocence
were a stone wall around her.
When she was sixteen the family moved to Union Springs, Ala. Her father, mother, Bert, Will, and Cousin Lizzie, all teaching in the Union Springs Institute.
Her father was a Baptist minister and had combined teaching and preaching wherever he was located. At Stevenson there was only an undenominational church, and they were glad to have a preacher of any denomination – while teaching in Union Springs he had several churches out in the country which he served in turn, and they paid the preacher in produce of all kinds - vegetables, chickens, eggs, meat, milk, butter, wood, potatoes, syrup, and some money - all of which came in handy in caring for a large family and boarders.
While in Union Springs, Will decided to be a minister and studied with his father, was ordained at 19 years of age, preached a few times to country churches and was chosen as Pastor by the First Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. Cousin Lizzie went to Dawson, Ga., to teach music. She was 15 years older than Will, had two sons and one daughter, was very lovable and attractive with a wonderful voice in her small body. You wondered how could it be. Will told the story of his love for her to his associate ministers in Albany and told them they, he and Cousin Lizzie, would abide by their decision as to whether they ever married or not. The two ministers decided against the marriage, told Will he'd have to make the choice between his love and his ministry. So they were never married, but 'twas Cousin Lizzie who held his hand as he lay dying of heart trouble, her kiss was the last that he asked for ¬ he was only twenty-one, and his church in Albany asked that he be buried there.
About this time the Grandmother on the mother's side died leaving some money with instructions to buy land with it, and the land could not be sold until the youngest child was twenty-one. He was then six. The five little boys were growing up with rather frail bodies so there was a looking around for a small farm where they could develop to better advantage physically.
Bert went to Brewton to teach, and she, whose memories are flocking in and asking to be recorded, was eighteen and of a mind to strike out and earn her own living. A family in Dallas County wanted a teacher for three children in the home and she took the place. Hallie, Eleanor and Martin Cochran were her pupils. That was in the Fall. In the Spring Bert wrote from Brewton that there was a music teacher needed there, and she could have the place. So she went to Brewton and spent two happy years there teaching music.
The family moved out to the little farm in Bullock County, Pine Grove bought with Grandmother Beach's money, and on her next trip home she was met at the station, Midway, and taken five miles out in the country. As they neared their destination they passed a young man evidently in bad health. She asked who it was. 'That's Jim Hall", they told her, "He's dying with consumption.” His mother’s almost crazy about him." "Poor fellow," she said, "He'll probably be gone before I come again," and thought no more about it. Her vacation over, she went back to Brewton, happy in her work and happy in her social relations. She had no thought of marriage. When she was born the aunt, for whom she was named, claimed her eighteenth year. This aunt was wealthy and lived in Buffalo, New York, so all her childhood she looked forward to her eighteenth year in Buffalo. Before she was eighteen, the aunt died, and she never has visited Buffalo, tho she still has relatives there. Her father and mother both came from near there, her father from Lockport and her mother from Williamsville. They came to Alabama .just before the Civil War. Her father served three years in the Confederate Army, never carried a gun, was on General Bragg's staff and was a Sergeant Major when he was paroled in 1865.
In Brewton, as she had everywhere she went, she had boy friends, and she believes they are still her friends. In Brewton she had her first offers of marriage - lovemaking she had been accustomed to, but so far had managed to head the boys off short of definite proposals. One of these was a widower with little children who really needed a wife. His name was Will Lovelace, a cousin of the Lovelace boys, with whose sister she boarded. The other was a merchant named Hightower. Another, Johnny Davis, who boarded at the same place she did, fell in love with her, but sad to relate he was already engaged to be married and his house was in the process of building. He was very unhappy but went on and married Lula Moore and probably soon got over it. She never saw him after school closed that year.
The next year she had a chance to continue her study of music and take art lessons which she had always wanted to do, so she went to La Grange, Ga., to the Southern Female College, which later became Cox College of College Park, near Atlanta. She was very happy in that work, took her music lesson before school in the morning, kept study hall all day, having preparatory classes, had her art lesson after school in the afternoon, and stayed in the art room as long as she could see, went to supper, then practiced 'till bedtime, practicing in the morning before breakfast, making four hours of practice a day. It was too much for her strength. She was not conscious of overdoing, but began to have night sweats. She wrote her mother, and was advised to cut out something. The cut came out of the music, and her teacher never knew why she seemed to lose interest in her music and decided against trying for the prize. She was so in love with her art work she couldn't bear to cut any of the time she spent in the art room. She had no more night sweats and did try for the art prize. Her picture "Nydia" was second, and the girl who took the prize was a special and had to leave her picture in the auditorium.
The next year she taught in Midway, five and a half miles from home, and spent many of her week-ends in Pine Grove.
During one of her vacations at home she became acquainted with the Mr. Jim Hall who seemed in such bad health when she saw him on her first visit to Pine Grove. He had changed his mind about dying with consumption, or anything else, and moreover he was one of the boys who wouldn't be headed off and wouldn't even take no for an answer. He saw her at home when she was at home for the week-ends. If she stayed in Midway he saw her there. Often he brought her home on Friday afternoon and took her back on Sunday afternoon. He was persistent and devoted, and in November of the second year she taught in Midway, she said yes, after having told him no at intervals for three years.
She decided not to teach the next year - she had
an offer of work in Birmingham - but stay at home and be married in the
The family came home from Winchester as soon as school was out, and Bert and Issie went to Post Oak where their second child, Ruth, was born.
Memories of how she felt on the subject of marriage come back very clearly to the old woman lying back in her chair with closed eyes. She never wanted to be married, but realized that was the only way to keep her sweetheart, and besides she had always wanted a large family. The height of her ambition had always been to be the dearly beloved mother in a happy home just as her own mother had been. She thought there was no higher calling for any woman than to spend her life making home happy for the children the Lord should see fit to give her. She still felt the same way about it.
She was a normal healthy woman, and the babies came right along, a new one every year and one time two, but one of the twins only lived seven months. When the eleventh child was born, her oldest was fourteen years old. The last three were not so close together. Her health was bad from thirty-five to forty-five. Her last child was born when she was forty.
Those years were hard and happy years. Her husband was a farmer and a good one; had been born right there in Pine Grove and grown up watching niggers make corn and cotton. After he was married he bought more land – continued to buy more land; as fast as he could pay for it, until he owned nearly two thousand acres and had a rating in Dunn and Bradstreet of fifty thousand dollars. He always had plenty of hands because he treated them fairly. He was naturally a money-maker, but he did not shoulder the responsibilities of raising a family until after his mother died. He had gin and sawmill, and grist mill, and store, all next door to his mother's, and a good deal of the time he ate three meals at his mother's table and let his mother see to it that there was something in his own house for his wife and children to eat.
She loved his mother dearly. She was a real mother
- but she learned a number of things a mother-in-law should not do.
Negro labor was cheap in those days. The girl who helped with the housework and the children cost fifty cents a week. Some stayed for years and were really good help and really loved the children they helped to wash and dress and feed and played with. Those that helped with the milking were paid with buttermilk every day, and then there were gallons of buttermilk poured out to the hogs daily. Memories of "Stell" - "Aunt Calline" - 'Randy" - "Aunt Melie" - 'Aunt Clarissy" - "Julie" - "Nip" - "Jinny" - all are pleasant and comfortable memories even tho it was said that Randy could steal the syrup out of a ginger cake without breaking the crust.
Aunt Ousley was never regular help. She came visiting and stayed sometimes a couple weeks at a time. As a slave, she belonged to Mr. Jim's mother, and was a very privileged character. Everybody teased her, and she expected it and enjoyed it. She always came with an empty basket and left with a full one. She suffered all her life with asthma, and I guess was more than eighty years old when she died. All the children loved her, and she always kissed everyone of them when she came, kissed them on the neck. She called the family her white folks.
Thinking back over the years, the old lady confessed to herself that Mr. Jim's sister, Gusta, was responsible for some of the "Noes" she gave him. He had three sisters, Gusta, Sophie, and Mary. Gusta was epileptic from infancy, and the dread of having an epileptic child was always with her.
So many things to be thankful for! Eleven children and everyone normal mentally and physically, and every one reasonably good looking.
She was thankful that everyone of her babies had enough curl in their hair to be pretty while they were babies - some of them still have curly hair, and some have had straight ever since the first time it was cut.
They were everyone wonderful babies! Never two days the same - it was a wonderful experience to watch the development of their minds and bodies day by day thru the years! To feed them sensibly, clothe them decently, teach them truthfulness, kindness, cleanness, honesty. To love them even more when they were bad than when they were good, to try to be worthy of the unlimited confidence they had in her. To nurse them when they were sick, to tie up cut fingers, burnt fingers, mashed fingers, stumped toes, ground itch toes, to feel their hurts with them, why every mother must. To punish them when it had to be done, to try and make them understand they'd be punished more for a lie than for what they had done that they thought a lie was necessary. Some of them were truthful naturally and still are. Some had to be made to tell the truth.
She remembered that she was never a spotless housekeeper. She tried to decide what things were really essential to the health and happiness of her family, and those things she tried to do.
The children came, a girl, a boy, two girls, a boy, a girl, a boy, then three girls in succession, and then a boy. Lillis, Chester, the twins Helen and Sarah, James, Jr., Winifred, Bill, Dorothy, Nina, Lucille, and Dick. Dick was named for Dr. Butts who was the family physician until he died the' year Bill was born. All dates are connected with the baby who came that year. Grandma Hall died just before Winifred was born. Mr. Jim had a long tedious illness the winter before Junior was born. Grandpa Hall's corn crib was burned just before Lillis was born. Aunt Dollie died just before Dorothy was born. Uncle Allie was killed when Winifred was a baby. The children had scarlet fever when Bill was a baby. That was the year Aunt Dollie was in California, too. The trip to St. Louis with Philo when Nina was a baby. Aunt Sophie died when Dorothy was a baby. They moved down to Aunt Mary's house after Grandpa Hall died, and that was when Nina was a baby. She was the baby for three years.
Mr. Jim said we'd live down there long enough
to tear the old log house down and build a new one. We were down there
five long, miserable years and until the beginning of the fifth year no
move had been made to build a new house. The big house had been moved to
Oxlevel and rebuilt for tenant houses, those logs were cut before the Civil
War, and those houses are still standing.
Helen said if Lillis built the front steps, that she'd paint the house, but she was married without any painting being done. Lillis and Helen graduated at the Troy Normal. Lillis was married two weeks after graduation to Burke Corcoran, a Troy boy who worked with his father in the Atlantic Coast Line freight depot. Helen taught a year in Equality and there met Dr. Sam Cousins and married him in the summer.
Chester and Junior both went to Auburn but neither graduated. Mumps and sore eyes at the beginning of the last term made it impossible for Chester to make up his lost time. During Junior's second year, his father's health made it necessary for him to come home and help Chester carry on. Boll weevils came. The Negroes went North. Dorothy and Nina were at Troy at this time. Winifred had grad¬uated from Montevallo and had given Dorothy a year of high school at Lincoln. From the time Mr. Jim gave up, the girls helped each other 'till all had graduated from Troy Normal. Dorothy would teach and keep Nina in school, then the next year Nina would teach, and keep Dorothy in school, then later they both helped Cile thru.
Those are dark pages from 1914 on - the peak of the family's prosperity had been reached and passed. They had worn out a Ford then a Buick then a Chevrolet before the war came. Chester and Junior both had to go to France, leaving Billie, the oldest boy, at home.
Chester had taken hold of the business when his father sat down and gave up, and paid him out of debt. He worked himself thin as a rail trying to leave things in good shape when he had to go into the Army. Junior was at work in Akron when he was called. They, neither of them, expected their father to live 'till they came back.
His sickness was mental, tho, and that doesn't kill. It was--worse than death. He - would go for so long without speaking that his voice would be husky when he did speak. Then if something happened to rouse him he would talk incessantly - maybe all night long until he'd be hoarse as a frog and couldn't talk, then silence again. He would put on a brand new shirt and wear it 'till it was in strings on his back. He ate barely enough to keep life in his body and did absolutely nothing but chew tobacco and whittle and pick fleas off the dogs and cats. Life went on around him and without him.
Dr. Harrison advised that he be constantly watched, that 99 % of cases of melancholia ended in suicide. I told him Mr. Jim had always made it a point never to do what he was expected to do, so I never was afraid that he would take his own life. He stayed home very closely avoiding anyone outside the family who might come in.
There was a pretty good stock of goods in the
store and nobody to keep the store open, so I undertook to tend the store,
buying nothing but groceries and paying cash for them, by that means getting
the family groceries at whole¬sale prices and clearing enough to pay
a wages hand and buy a few clothes. While I was keeping store I carded
wool and made comforts, five of them.
The next spring he started out to do big things with a bunch of wages hands, and a rainy spell put a stop to work of any kind, so he sat down and quit again and Chester had to take hold and do the best he could. Chester had married Manda Emerson after he came home, and they lived in Aunt Ann's house.
The next time he came to himself, he sold timber, seventy-five hundred dollars worth, and went to Tallassee and bought a grocery business - took Dick with him. He went to school and worked in the store. Cile and I went as soon as the house was ready. We were there two and a half years, and he left there five hundred dollars in debt beside a twenty-five hundred dollar mortgage on the Johnson place. We came to Montgomery, to No.7 Walnut street, and the children who are earning are paying for the place, each contributing eighteen dollars a month, and Winifred paying board in addition to that.
Dick graduated from Sidney-Lanier the first year we were in Montgomery. Cile had graduated from Tallassee High and went to Troy Normal until she graduated there. Nina went to Montevallo, teaching part time, and took a degree there. She has been teaching in Columbia, S. C., since that time and is working for a master's degree. Dorothy taught in Montgomery two years after we moved here, and of course boarded at home. The first summer she and Winifred went 'to Camp Daniel Boone and worked at the Y. M. C. A. camp, came back so brown and strong. Next Summer they went to Lake Geneva, fifty miles from Chicago. The Next summer all four of the girls were there; Cile and Winifred for only two weeks, but Dorothy and Nina were there all summer, and Dorothy went to Chicago to take physical ed. She finished her course and married as soon as she got her diploma two years later. . . Earl Cruthis. They live in Madison, Wisconsin. He is a Y. M. C. A. man.
Junior and Bill have been in the tire business together in Toledo for several years. They bought the Johnson place for the amount of the mortgage.
We did not know of Junior's marriage until little Dorothy was born. We have never seen his wife, nor child. We have several pictures of Dorothy, but none of Kathleen.
Lucile tried teaching two terms after she graduated in Troy, decided she was never meant to teach, and went in training at St. Margaret's Hospital, where she graduated and has been at work for herself now nearly a year and is at present working in Wisconsin General Hospital, on night duty in the eye, ear, nose and throat floor.
Chester and family have lived in the old home ever since we moved to Tallassee. Dick is with him.
The two and a half years spent in Tallassee stored up many pleasant memories. Two and a half years listening to the roar of the river day and night. It was a sound that became dearer as time went on and was sadly missed when we left there. The neighbors were real friends. Mrs. Smith next door, Mrs. Cottle across the street, Mrs. McKenzie, the woman of few words. The Johnsons next door on the other side. The Cokers out at Tuckabatchee. The music club - the literary club - the missionary society - the lovely streams beside the river - Buckner Creek where the water tumbled over rocks and was clear as crystal – the creek back of the ball park where we went in swimming. Mrs. Cottle calling up to tell me she had a tank full of hot water, and all the children had had their baths! We had no bathroom. There was water at the back door, but no sanitary sewage. My lovely dahlias, and chrysanthemums, and my pit that I paid a Negro man twelve dollars to build. My flowers were a joy that winter.
Tallassee is a cotton mill town. I never knew any of the mill workers. . . the boys and girls who ran the looms . . . but most everybody in town was connected with the mill in some way, machinists, electrical engineers, superintendents, the company store. The river ran thru the town dividing it into East Tallassee and Tallassee… all belonged to the company so where we lived was Jordanville, outside the company land. The company didn't sell land for homes. They built homes for their employees and the rent was part of their wages. There were several hundred cottages built while we were there. Riverside Drive in East Tallassee is something to remember always. Tallassee will be very different in another generation. The illiterate element will be passed on, the boys and girls who are filling those fine school buildings now will be the men and women of Tallassee. The mill workers make good money. Their homes are nice and in many cases handsomely furnished.
Obadiah Bridgeman and his sister, Addie, and her husband, Jim Baker, and their boy Wilson - there's a little girl now I wonder what her name is. Obe as we called .him was acquired with the grocery business, and he boarded with us so that his board could count on his wages - a widower with one child who was being raised by an older sister of the dead mother. The child was four or five years old.
The worst fault I ever found with Obe was that
he didn't seem to care as much for his little boy as he should. I guess
it was natural tho. Minnie took him the day he was born, and Obe only saw
him occasionally as it was a long trip to where she lived.
His falling in love with Cile was the natural consequence of daily association in the home. He told me he never had had the good fortune before to be associated with a girl like Cile. She was just perfect - I believe he still thinks so. Mr. Jim was very much upset about it and made him move so he went to live with Addie, but continued to work at the store. That fall Cile went to Troy to school.
Mrs. Smith's father, Uncle Ab, rode in his buggy to town twice every day, worked his garden, played his fiddle; lots of fiddlers and guitar and banjo players on our street in Jordanville; music most every night somewhere. Uncle Ab is dead, and I don't know where the Smiths are.
Mr. Coker is dead and the family scattered. I see Birdie most every Sunday at church when she's in town. She was such a good friend to me in Tallassee. Had a car and took me everywhere as we belonged to the same church and the same clubs. She has a large family of brothers and sisters, but feels very much alone since Mr. Coker's death. Mrs. C. was her step-mother and now lives with her only son in Columbus, Ga., is old, and not in good health, never has been.
The six years we have been in Montgomery have passed on the whole pleasantly. The first summer we were here Bill and Junior invited us to visit them in Toledo. Bill came down, and we went back with him, Mr. Jim and I. Mr. Jim was "in the cellar" at the time. He was always at one extreme or the other, on the housetop, or in the cellar. He would not say one way or another whether he would go or not. Bill got him to go to town with him and get a shave and a shoe shine and took him with him to buy the tickets. So next morning we left at 5 o'clock on the Pan.
The rest from housekeeping was the first I'd had in years. We were gone in, all, six weeks. Mr. Jim had his teeth all taken out while we were there and has never been as bad. His despondent spells have not been so bad since. The boys took us everywhere in driving distance. One time we spent the week-end in Akron. Junior's sweetheart at that time was Grace Petit, a nurse in a hospital there. We went down to Findlay, too, to see Mrs. Lowe,. who had seen the boys through when they went broke and had to write home for money. Liked her very much. A woman about my own age who kept a rooming house and served meals to a few of her roomers.
We had a room at the same place Bill did and were free to come and go when and where we pleased. Spent a part of every day at the shop with the boys. Walked a lot. Saw lots of interesting things. Went to shows. Went out on Lake Erie in the Grey Hound. Bill's sweetheart then was named Annalee. I don't know her other name. She was with us on the Grey Hound. Left Mr. Jim there in Toledo and made some visits on my way home, with Philo in Louisville, with Paul and Murrie in Decatur, and while in Decatur Paul and I spent one Sunday in Stevenson, the first time I'd been back since I left there a school-girl of fifteen or sixteen. The Stevenson people were all lovely to us, and we saw most everybody who would have remembered us-wouldn't take anything for that trip. Murrie took me to Muscle Shoals - to see Wilson Dam - and to see Mrs. Hine, "Cousin Kate!'
They were lovely to me at Philo's. Jean and Ellen were so glad to know Daddy's own sister. Mrs. Hayes has mothered them wonderfully.
Mr. Jim said he was going to stay in Toledo till
the snow fell. He was home a few days after I left. The boys wanted him
to stay and have his plates made there, but he had Dr. Orr to make them
- two full sets, and he has never worn any but the upper teeth of the first
set. Dr. Orr had done all our dental work since we'd been married. That
wasn't much, for he was too far away.
Dorothy married in 1928 and Junior in 1929. We don't know the date. May have been in '28 too.
Lillis moved to Eufaula the first year we were in Montgomery, and is still there. We now have fourteen grandchildren and the promise of another in the spring. Lillis has three, Marguerite fifteen, Virginia, thirteen, and Mary six. Chester has five, James Emerson, eleven, E. W. Jr (Dub), Lerah Lillis, six, Albert Franklin, four, and Richard Dix, nearly two.
Helen has four living and little Sam who died age two and a half. James Hall, twelve, Charles, ten, Mary Helen, five, and Bruce Holding, three. Junior's little Dorothy is two days younger than Chester's Richard Dix.
And now Bill is married! Came in with his bride of three days just a week ago tonight, and the date is December 19, 1930. He was married to Birdene McDonald in Toledo, December 10th. They are visiting down home. Pine Grove and Eufaula and Inverness. They have planned a trip to Pensacola before they go back to Toledo.
Not quite a week til Xmas! Xmas is a very different
thing now from the time when we lived in Pine Grove and the house was full
of children. From the time there was one child up to the time the married
children found that Xmas was a bad time to come home with their babies
¬they were always sick afterward - Xmas was a very busy time. Either
a tree or stockings to fill, usually a tree one year and stockings the
next - often our tree was the neighborhood tree. After the older children
outgrew Santa Claus they were a great help in making Xmas a happy time
for the little ones. Sometimes instead of a tree or stockings there would
be a row of chairs round the parlor. Whether it was a tree or stockings
or chairs, the floor would be knee deep before breakfast Xmas morning,
with wrapping papers.
Nearly a year since this little notebook was put away and forgotten.
I have always been a great lover of flowers. Did not try for babies and flowers at the same time, but the flower garden in Pine Grove was a great help with the growing children.
When Dick was no longer a baby, the first year Chester was at Auburn, I think, Junior and Allen Posey fenced me off a flower garden between the yard and barn, fully half as large as a city lot. It was heavy bermuda sod, lots of it, and getting the grass out was work for all the idle hands and all worked at it faithfully till we had it fairly clear of Bermuda. We'd dig up a spot with hoe or scoop, and then pick out the grass with our hands. When it would do to plant, it was divided among the children, each one to have whatever he or she wanted and to be responsible for it, to keep it clean of weeds and grass. As the children went off to school, I took over their beds until finally it was all mine. Then instead of beds, I planted in rows and used a small garden plow. It was easier for me than a hoe. There were bulbs next to the front fence, narcissus mostly; the daffodils were in the yard. There were five different yellow blossoms, and I don't know now which are jonquils and which daffodils. The butter and eggs were and are my favorites.
There were three or four rows of chrysanthemums next, and tho I never debudded, I had lovely chrysanthemums. Had to fertilize and cultivate them just as you would a vegetable garden. They repaid me well for all my work. I don't mean in money. I never sold any flowers but in beauty. I had as many as 35 different roses in that garden and all sorts of shrubs, deutzia, spirea, bridal wreath, lilac, weeping lilac, oleander, yellow jasmine, always had zinnias, gorgeous colors, and phlox. . . did not have to be planted, it just had to be chopped out where you didn't want it. Same way with johnny jump-ups, and they'd be in bloom before it was warm enough in the spring to begin to dig in the garden. It always hurt my feelings to chop out the johnnies. I always made a bed and would take them up by the scoop full and put them all together, then next year they'd come up all over the garden again. Some of the children's beds were bordered with violets, and when I did away with the beds, the violets were put next to the fence at the barn. There were beautiful dahlias, too, and cannas and spider lilies. Beside the flowers in the flower garden, there were pot plants. geraniums, ferns - at one time there were tubs of ferns five feet or more across - they were beautiful, but I had no place to keep them thru the winter - would bring them into the house, and sometimes they'd keep nicely and then again everything would get killed and I'd start all over again.
We had banana plants in the yard. They'd make big clumps and one time we had one to make fruit. It was very interesting. The bananas were small and when they did finally ripen had very little taste. There were caladiums in tubs and butterfly lilies. They were especial favorites of mine because of their fragrance.
Mr. Jim would talk occasionally of building a greenhouse, but it wasn't until last year, 1930, that he actually got busy and did it. I am very proud of it, tho I've only had it one winter, it has been a great pleasure to me. I did not have pot plants enough to fill it last winter, so took in all my neighbors plants and there was a blaze of bloom in there all winter long. This winter it will probably be full without any of my neighbors' flowers. Mr. Jim has four tomato plants in kegs that he says will furnish us with tomatoes all winter. We've already had two ripe tomatoes. I have two pepper plants that are almost trees that I'm hoping will be hardy enough to stay out doors in another year.
There are a great many roses on this place. I do not know how many; more than 100 I'm sure, and all lovely. There is quite a variety of shrubs of all sorts, five pecan trees, peach trees, a plum tree, a cherry tree, a persimmon tree, and next to the street, an elm, a sugarberry and two small trees that are not big enough for shade yet.
Mr. Jim has a little vegetable garden in the back yard and gets a lot of pleasure out of watching things grow and gathering vegetables to give the neighbors. I tell him he'd rather give away his vegetables than eat’em himself. His garden is a great help in keeping him well and interested.
My geranium cuttings that I rooted in the green house last winter I meant to advertise and sell in the spring but had a letter from Junior asking me to come up and take care of No.1 when No.2 arrived in May. I wrote him I'd come and so did not make any effort to sell anything. Couldn't advertise knowing I'd be away from home so now in the fall of 1931 I have quite a stock of pot plants to put in my little greenhouse. Right now it is pretty well occupied by four tomato plants in nail kegs that Mr. Jim says will give us all the tomatoes we want this winter.
Jim wrote me and sent fifty dollars for expenses, and said hurry. That was the first week in May. I went right on, and had three weeks in which to get acquainted with my daughter-in-law before Nancy Lillis carne. I am glad it was so, for Junior had asked me to come without consult¬ing her and she resented it, naturally. She was confined at home and had a normal recovery. They were nice to me, and I think Kathleen really liked me.
I saw but little of Bill's wife while in Toledo. Bill came in for a few minutes most every day and sometimes sev¬eral times during the day. Their apartment was a mile up Cherry Street from the shop. Birdene was not well; street cars made her sick. Bill brought her round several times after supper, and she came once with her mother. The card announcing Philip's arrival had September 10th for the date. I have heard nothing further from them. Have written them twice.
My last night in Toledo I spent at Bill's, and he and Birdene took me over to Madison, Wisconsin, to see Dorothy and Earl and Cile. I spent three pleasant weeks there, even tho the last week was almost unbearably hot. Perhaps I noticed it more being away from home and nothing to occupy my mind, but how awfully hot it was.
Earl's and Dorothy's love-making was really refreshing after the atmosphere I had lived in for five weeks in Toledo. They had been married two years but are still very much in love with each other. Earl is a 200-lb. kid and very lovable.
Cile's boy-friend, Dallas Lindsay, was very nice to me. Had a car and took us around quite a lot. Up to the Dell's, out to see the "folks," up to see his sister, Edith, who was nursing an old lady who had had a stroke of paralysis a year before, out to the fish hatchery, and when I started home he and Cile took me to Chicago.
While I was in Madison, Aunt Lucy Outwater, her daughter, Fannie Paterson, and her sister-in-law, Sarah Qutwater, drove over from Clinton, Iowa, to see me. Aunt Lucy says she saw me when I was four years old, when my parents made a trip north to see my mother's father who was dying with cancer. That was sixty years ago. Aunt Lucy is eighty-four and Aunt Sarah is eighty-two. I liked all of them very much. We rode just about all the day they were there. They stayed two nights to give the old ladies time to rest. Aunt Sarah took us all to dinner. We tried to find an . eating place where they could eat out on the lake, but failed and came back to the Y.W.C.A. cafeteria. Dorothy and Earl thought it was nothing short of tragic that they were to have a car the next week after I went home instead of before I came. Earl's mother bought a car and gave them her old one. They have just made ends meet since they were married, but were very happy to be out of debt. I understand Earl is shopping for an electric train. He said he's always wanted one, and one thing sure his kid was gonna have one. He was gonna buy it soon as there was a prospect so he'd have time to play with it before the kid took it away from him.
Dorothy and Earl have a boy, David Earl, came 5:40 Thursday morning, May 19th.
That and the fact that it's raining hard, and I have a cold and don't dare get out in it made me think "it" would be a good time to bring the little book up to date.
I've a lot of plants to set out and ordinarily I'd put on my raincoat and galoshes and go to it, but this cold is a nuisance. My head stops up and keeps me awake at night, so I'll wait till it quits.
The depression is due to have at least one paragraph.
It may demand more before this little book is finished. Nobody knows what
ails the world. Too much food produced and more hungry people than ever
were known before. Just as much money in the world as there ever was but
everybody's broke. So much work that needs to be done and everybody is
out of a job. So far it has not touched me personally. Winifred has two
conditional warrants for her last two months work. When Alabama is herself
again they will be worth money, but not now. Winifred has more money in
the bank than ever before in her life. We have met our payments and taxes,
paid $300.00 extra on our place in April; Cile's money, and Nina intends
paying the same amount in October.
I have eighteen grandchildren now. The new one at Chester's is Virginia Anne. The general health of the entire family is good. Lillis' heart trouble is still a fact but not distressing. Burke's high blood pressure is distressing to everybody. He changes Doctors and diets and drugs ever so often, and Marguerite said he was tickled pink because the last doctor told him he'd live only two or three years.
Helen is having trouble with her leg. Had milk
leg when James Hall was born, and now he is fifteen, and the prospect is
that she will have to wear a bandage the rest of her life.
It has come over the radio that Anne's degenerate brother had confessed that he did it for revenge. The papers do not mention him at all. They're concentrating on finding who got the $50,000 ransom money after the baby was dead. We think it likely the radio report was right.
Cile had her vacation beginning April 13th. Spent it with us all but the four days it took to come and go. She saw all the family in Alabama. Mr. Mills took us down to Pine Grove and Eufaula and in Wetumpka. She brought home a picture she had made of Bruce that is real good, also a picture she made of herself in the mirror. It looks a lot more like her than the one Mr. Colt made last year.
Our pool is beautiful now. We bought a truck load
of rock and have made a rock garden round it, and everything has taken
hold so nicely. I have so many things in the rock garden without buying
anything at all.
The pool is still beautiful but the garden has outgrown the rocks so that you don't see them at all. The water lilies have bloomed beautifully.
Dorothy and Earl and David made us a visit of about six weeks, all told, dividing the time between Montgomery and Eufaula and Pine Grove and Pollard where Inez Hoffman Vinson lives. She didn't get to spend any time with Helen, first because James Hall had German measles, then Bruce had .a cough and they were afraid it was whooping cough, and finally Helen had to come to the hospital and was seriously sick. Is not well, but able to sit on the porch in the afternoon. We enjoyed having Dorothy at home and getting to know Earl and David is a precious baby. Wonder when we will see them again! They took Marguerite back with them to Chicago to the fair. Cile met them there and took her to Madison. The trip was a graduation present from Dorothy and Cile. After Dorothy and Earl had been there a couple of weeks, Earl was notified that after Septem¬ber first he would be out of a job. So when they went back, he left Dorothy at Springfield and went on to his two months work, hoping to find something before September. They are thankful that he was not laid off two years ago, so many were. Business seems on the upward trend now. If it really is, he will probably find something soon, or likely be retained at Madison after September. Lillis' Mary, Ches¬ter's Lerah Lillis, and Helen's Mary Helen, have their an¬nual house party here and are to go home tomorrow.
Winifred's friend, Mr. Will Castleberry, is very
persistent in his attentions. She enjoys his devotion. Nina is home. I
think no teachers have been offered contracts for fall. If there are no
schools, which is unthinkable, the depression will really hit us this late
in the day. Winifred has two warrants that can't be cashed till January
10, 1934. The two she had left from last year, she put into a Ford about
Xmas time, on Mr. Jim's account more than anything else. He really hit
bottom in the winter and she said we just had to have some way to take
him places to keep him going. We have made a number of trips down home,
sometimes just for a day, sometimes for a week. I enjoyed fishing in the
pond; those little perch bite fine.
My summer was a real vacation. Nina took over the kitchen entirely so that the only meals I cooked all summer were a few times when she was away. She went back to Columbia in September. I suppose she has had her check regularly, at least her monthly $20 has come regularly.
Our oldest grandchild, Marguerite, is staying with us this winter and going to Woman's College, a freshman. Helen recovered from her illness. She and her family went to the coast for an outing at the same time Mr. Jim and I were down home and Winifred, Nina and Dick were in Panama City. James Hall has a broken leg, is at home with a cast on. Hopes to be on crutches sometime after Xmas.
Cile has been worried about being laid off, but so far is still on the job. She is planning to come home Xmas. She and Johnny Pickle are very much in love, but marriage is so far off in the dim and distant future that they've decided to quit thinking about it (???).
Marguerite had a surprise birthday party last night over at Mildred Deans. Considering that she doesn't like surprises, it was a success. She is eighteen years old.
Dick is still with us and has no job. Earl still
has no job. He and Dorothy have worked hard doing over the house in Springfield.
I am using my library card this winter and keep something on hand to read all the time, good, bad, or indifferent. I never know 'till I read them.
My little greenhouse is really a joy. We have had no cold weather yet, but I have all my flowers inside. They're easier to tend to there than scattered all over the place. I have had lovely roses this fall, but no quantity of them. Was glad to be able to take James Hall fresh flowers every day he was in the hospital.
I joined the Cherokee Garden Club this year and am getting a lot of pleasure out of it. We had charge of the fall flower show November 2 and 3. I enjoyed the work very much. I have begun a Cherokee notebook.
July 30, 1934
Beginning that notebook was all.
'Cile came home for Xmas, and we enjoyed her visit very much. After she went back she was put on four-hour duty and has been ever since. She is taking an art course in the University and is self-supporting but will not be able to send anything home as long as she's on four-hour duty. That was a lot better than being laid off entirely and coming home to sit around and listen for a telephone call. She is proud of being a Junior in the University of Wisconsin, and I am proud of it too.
January passed pleasantly, nothing happened worthy
of note. In February Mr. Jim had a spell similar to the one he had in February
a year ago. In '33 his spell only lasted a few days and he was himself
again and kept himself in fine shape with his garden and yard work and
his interest in everything. This year the condition has persisted. He let
his garden grow up in weeds, took no interest in anything, seemed to resist
all our efforts to interest him, didn't want to go anywhere or see anybody
or do anything at all. After considerable medical attention Dr. Cousins
and Dr. McGeehee both said there was nothing physically wrong with him;
he needed to interest himself in something, a change would do him good.
We took him down home several times, but he moped as bad or worse there
than here. He sees nothing ahead but disaster, prophesies all kinds of
awful things, just as he did twenty years ago, 1914, when he had his first
spell. He seems to get better sometimes - eats and sleeps all right and
begins to go about a little, but so far he has not held what he gained
- would drop back and be as morose as ever. Right now, he seems to be hunting
companionship outside the home, has nothing to say to me or Dick, but makes
conversation with the neighbors.
Mr. Jim's recovery was rapid and he has been normal now since August of last year. Thanks to him and Dick, 7 Walnut Street is a beauty spot. The important event of 1934 was the birth of Dorothy's twin boys in September, John Thomas and James Hall, seven months old now. I wish I could hear from them oftener.
Marguerite came back to the college in the fall but did not come back for the second semester. . . very much in love. Got a diamond ring for Xmas, and isn't married because Emmett Jones hasn't a job.
The remodeling of the house was begun in the fall. largely to give Mr. Jim something to interest himself in. It is very much more convenient. We could not have undertaken it at all except that Dick did nearly all of the actual work. Mr. Ingram came after school in the afternoon and sometimes worked all day Saturday. There is still a lot to be done, painting and papering. There were four new windows, so Dick has just made and painted and hung screens on them for its getting warm enough to keep windows open.
Chester has had a hard time since before Xmas. Ear trouble first then his tonsils had to come out and a growth in his nose. Now there's a growth in his chest that interferes with the use of his right arm. Had a severe spell some weeks ago that McLaurine told them he didn't know what it was.
We have made several trips down there since Winifred
got her new car. . . a Terraplane . . . Chester has furnished all our meat
and lard the past two years. It makes a big difference in our grocery bills.
We get meal from him too, whenever we go down.
My greenhouse is still a joy. It was not in as
good repair last winter as before, but my flowers kept all right and are
lovely now. I've painted the glass of the roof inside with calsomine since
it got hot and will keep a good many plants in there thru the summer. Have
sold $7.50 worth and will probably sell more.
Junior and Bill drove down in a brand new Ford V-8 expecting to sell and clear expenses. Finally sold in Birmingham for less than it cost them, but they had the trip.
Have a grandson and a granddaughter to graduate from High School this month. Helen's oldest, James Hall, and Lillis's second, Virginia.
'Cile's art class in the U. of Wisconsin was allowed to submit four pictures, and the judges were to select what were fit to hang in the students' art exhibit. Three of her four were selected, and we're proud as Punch over it. She writes that she and Johnnie are done - all finished - I'm glad she is going with other boys.
I have begun a garden calendar. Winifred gave me her nice five-year Diary to make it in. Think I'm going to get a lot of pleasure out of knowing just what flowers are in bloom every' day of the year.
Next Tuesday is the Garden Club Tea Party - all the clubs of the city. Wednesday our club goes up to the lake with Mrs. Britton, the president.
The strawberry crop is meaning a lot to Mandy
and the children. The boys get half of all they sell and Mandy the other
half. The boys came up and bought clothes with their strawberry money while
Junior and Bill were here.
May 28, 1935
Doc is back in the hospital. Had another severe attack of angina. James Hall graduated from High School last Tuesday, and Jinny graduates tonight.
We - Cherokee - went up to "Lock a teen" with Mrs. Britton and spent the day. Everybody took something for the lunch, and we had an unforgettable day. As many as cared to went to ride on the lake in the "Lady B." I enjoyed it very much.
School is out, and Winifred is doing coaching
to help us thru the summer months. Has made a nice start. May have more
Doc suffered for three weeks and died June 21st.
On July 1st Helen went to work as supervisor of the white women's sewing
room at the Wetumpka prison. The state built a nice little cottage across
the street from the prison, and she moved into it August 27th. James Hall
is taking pharmacy at Auburn, a job at Tiger Cafe to pay for his meals
and maybe another government job.
Winifred taught all summer. Mornings. Had a few days off. Drove to New Orleans with Nina, leaving me in Mobile. Enjoyed my visit very much. I also spent a week with Lillis in Eufaula, and two weeks at one time in Pine Grove.
Mr. Jim has been in the country nearly all summer.
Winifred and Dick have painted all the inside
woodwork, and Dick has cabineted the kitchen. Our bathrooms are lovely.
Schools have been open two weeks now. Mary Helen
is with us, going to Cloverdale school. Dick is to have a class in manual
training in Mildred Dean's school, is to use their garage as work shop.
Is ceiling it and putting in windows.
Dick's manual training class lasted till Xmas. Thanks to Mildred and Little Lee Meriweather, he went to work at Genuine Auto Parts, 218 Molton Street, when he worked three months, he was promoted and given ten dollars raise.
Mary Helen made good grades and did not miss a day from school. She has been sick since she went home.
Winifred works in the Children's Library in the Montgomery Fair Book Department.
Mr. Jim has been in Pine Grove since Spring, making a crop. Chester's three youngest have had their tonsils out so now there's not a tonsil in their family.
Bill has not had regular work in several months. Junior is in DeVilbiss Tire Shop. Guess he got his bonus, haven't heard. Chester was not in favor of the bonus.
James Hall is at Summer School in Auburn. Dorothy is to move to Peoria. She and family and 'Cile are to come south the first week in August. 'Cile graduated June 22nd. Catherine Cornell received an honorary at the same time, same stage.
Nina is taking an 8,000 mile tour in eight weeks, instead of going to summer school. Gets six college credits. Montgomery, Jackson, Mississippi, Dallas, Texas, Carlsbad, New Mexico, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, up into Canada, back to Kansas City and home. Will have to go right on to Columbia, they were so late starting (didn't tho, came home two weeks b4.)
Middle of August, 1936
Dorothy and family and Cicle have come and gone. Their visit seemed so short. It's the first time we have seen the twins. They were no trouble to tell apart after the first two days. They have such different dispositions. David has been badly spoiled, but they hope to get him straightened out this winter. Dorothy is thin, but seemed well. Earl is the same devoted husband and father. I'm very fond of Earl.
Cile is to teach nursing in a hospital in Wheeling,
West Virginia. Not quite so far away as in Madison, but still twenty-four
Mr. Jim was here a couple weeks and went back
to Pine Grove when Dorothy and the others did. He'll be back - don't say
much about the house he's gonna build for him and me now. Says he thinks
he'll build a brick bungalow. Dorothy moved to Lansing, Michigan.
Chester passed a kidney stone, and. said he was
feeling better than he had in a year.
Marguerite is to be married to Emmet Jones next Sunday morning at seven o'clock. They will live in Ft. Gaines. Burke has a cataract; is still at work.
Burke came near dying from internal bleeding after
a slight operation, in November. Jinny came home the first week in December.
Papa continues to live in Pine Grove. Unpleasantness between him and Mandy very unfortunate. He brings us produce, and calls it "alimony." Comes up often as he can.
Bill slender enough to wear a suit of Doc's clothes, working for Overland. Jr. Took Civil Service again. Dick's health has been good ever since he's been at work.
The worst flood in U. S. history on the Ohio. The number of dead and homeless will never be known, millions of damage, and millions of relief.
Cile had grippe during the flood. No damage in city, island covered. James Hall working in Auburn on his own. Winifred and Nelle Wilton all up in the air about going to Alaska to teach. Nothing definite - getting information -. I'll be glad for her to have a vacation from the family and Montgomery city schools.
We only owe $950 on the place now, and Cile's
is a good job, $125 per month clear; and Dick has fed us and bought all
the coal for a year, so we're in better shape financially than in a long
time. Our income is $120 per month. Winifred $40, Nina $20, Cile $30, Dick
$20, and M. H. $10. Papa's health and mine are good. The children are carrying
burial insurance for both of us. I am glad.
Winifred gave me such a lovely trip for my 70th birthday. We went to Decatur Friday night. Saturday we took
Paul and Vernon and went up thru Huntsville and picked up Annie Goulding and went on to Winchester, Tenn., where we lived from my fourth year to my thirteenth. I visited there the summer I was fourteen and never went back. We found many places I remembered. The house where we used to live, the college "Mary Sharpe," is now the grammar school, and the "Winchester Normal" is the high school. We found the granddaughter of Dr. Murrel, our family physician all the years we were there. We saw Carrie Vaughan Hale and she told me about all the others of our schoolmates - all of us 70 now. It was very interesting. We went out to Coosa Cave and Winifred, Annie Goulding, and Paul went in, but didn't go far, just far enough for Winifred to know that I'd been telling the truth about it all her life.
We went to Suwannee - the scenery in the mountains is always lovely and it seemed especially so on this trip. We went back to Decatur that night and next day reached Birmingham in time to make visits to Mrs. Friarson and Miss Annie. Am always so glad to see them and they to see me. I taught with Miss Friarson (Mrs. Gage) when I was twenty years old and with Miss Anne (Mrs. Herren) the last year before we were both married.
I had a happy birthday and many nice gifts and cards. I have always thought it was worth while to raise a big family and the older I get the sorrier I am for the woman who lives to be old and has no children and grandchildren.
Bill's and Birdene's boy, Philip, has had a serious
illness, in the hospital a month; is at home now but not well yet. Bill
works for Overland. Junior a sub-clerk in the P. O.
Mayo's has pronounced Burke's high blood pressure
incurable.. He is supposed to be able to work a few hours per day.
Burke only lived a few weeks after he came back from Mayo's. Worked every day. Was at the supper table when the end came. Marguerite had come home to be confined so they were all together. We - Dick, Papa, Helen and I, were all ready to drive up to Toledo to get Birdene and Philip when the message came, so instead we went to Eufaula. The others came back, but I stayed three weeks. Until Cile came home to be with Marguerite. The boy came in a few days and naturally was named Burke Corcoran Jones. He had a hard time at first, but is fat and fine now. Winifred gave Jinny her job at the Montgomery Fair in the book department. Lillis moved to Montgomery, 200 Mulberry, August 10th, and two days later we started north. Went to Lansing Saturday afternoon and Papa and Bill went on to Edmore, Michigan; back to Toledo Sunday afternoon, and started home Monday morning. Arrived Tuesday night. Birdene and Philip coming back with us. Nina stayed with Dorothy in Lansing. Cile worked a month in Cook County Hospital in Chicago, going back to Wheeling September first. Philip goes to Forest A venue school, seems to enjoy it very much. Birdene is trying for a job. If she gets it she will stay thru October to go home with Red Elliott in November.
Lillis conducts a cafeteria in Mildred Dean's school. Lunch for 75 every day and each Wednesday they serve a 25c lunch. If she doesn't get sick, she can make a good living there. Mary is 13, and goes to Cloverdale. Winifred gave her a birthday party and Philip a birthday party, and I entertained my missionary circle all in one week.
November 22, 1937
We took Birdene and Philip as far as Birmingham
the last of October. Have had two letters from her. They're giving Philip
cold shots. Dorothy writes they have given them to David too. He has had
colds persistently. We have had three days cold, unusual, three nights
freezing. Greenhouse all right. Lillis is having a trip to Nashville with
Mildred and three of her teachers. Winifred had her first wreck November
14, in Troy, $120.00 damage, to the car, but nobody hurt.
Almost a year since that happened. Virginia married Joe Urquhart in August, and they have an apartment with his parents.
Marguerite and husband and son come up occasionally. The boy is fine.
Lillis is back in Mildred's lunch room, not making as much as last year. They have six grades but not so many pupils. I help her on Wednesdays.
Winifred spent the summer at the University.
Cile took a course out at Huntington and was home
about two months. Nina went to Junaluska the first six weeks and was home
Dorothy has moved into a more desirable neighborhood. Her boys are sick a lot, colds mostly.
Nina has an apartment this winter and is enjoying
it. Mr. Jim still bent on making a million dollars. Hope he makes enough
to pay what he owes. He's nearly seventy-three and says he has the next
twenty-five years all planned out. I'm feeling older every day.
The Cherokee Garden Club made me their Historian and we really have a blue ribbon history, thanks to Winifred who did the typing and Cile who did the decorations. Margaret, too.
The Stokely Bible Class chose me for their president this year but I did not feel that I could do it well so would not undertake it. Am corresponding secretary and a group captain.
Seven of us went to the coast for a week-end at a cost of $2.00 apiece. We're planning another trip Thanksgiving. Papa says he wants to go. Winifred says she'll have to take Rachel or bury her.
I had a very pleasant visit in Pine Grove from Wednesday till Monday. The first visit I've made in a long time. We did go to the coast Thanksgiving. Cold.
Helen still works in the sewing room. James Hall in Auburn, works in a drug store and delivers special delivery letters to pay expenses. Charles is about as tall as he is.
James Emerson is at the Martha Berry school near
We made the trip Thanksgiving and enjoyed it even if it was cold. Four Fishburnes and six of us, including Rachel. Dick came down Saturday and Margaret came back in our car. Mr. Jim has had another birthday. Was hoping he'd quit trying to farm, but he says he's gonna try it again if it kills him. Was up two days last week.
Mr. Jim broke down in the Spring and Mary wrote us that we had better come and get him. He hated to give up but was not able even to have the work done. Mr. Peake gave him a course of medicine that has done him a lot of good. He is able to cut grass and work in his garden most of the time.
James Emerson had his appendix out this week.
Will just about be all right in time to go back to school. Horace quit.
Cile has a new job, New Kensington, Pa., $120.00 clear, two weeks vacation with pay, same kind of work she had in Wheeling. Her boy friend is Draper Smith.
Dick and Margaret are still devoted, but no nearer
marriage than they were months ago.
Lillis is taking a business course, hoping for that kind of a job when she's ready. Marguerite and family have made several visits since Lillis has been in the apartment next door. I have certainly enjoyed having her next door.
Helen still has her job tho we have Dixon for
governor. Dick has built new shelves in my greenhouse.
Lillis went to work in Prattville, in October, goes back and forth every day. W.P.A. interviewer, has the office, no help. Eunice Boyd married the 9th. Nina came home "Franksgiving." My greenhouse is lovely.
Mr. Jim has been under treatment for pernicious anemia since the first of the year, has made a million red corpuscles, has good color but not much strength. Mr. Peake has furnished a lot of expensive medicines - liver, nine pounds to the shot, and Vitamin B-l. Mr. Jim bought seventy baby chix for an interest. Has them in the greenhouse.
We have had frost since the flowers were taken out and a lot of them were hurt. Junior made us a ten-day visit in March. He has been promoted to $2,000.00 a year, regular clerk in the P. O. in Toledo, Ohio.
Lillis is back in Montgomery, same work, fears she is to be moved next month.
Cile is to be married to Draper Smith of Wheeling, West Virginia.
Kathleen had to go to hospital. Dick has had a raise, now makes $100.00 a month with his bonus. Winifred is supposed to get her Master's degree this summer. Mr. Jim goes to Pine Grove sometimes twice a week. Dr. Penton says he's a well man, has more red blood than he has.
Three years! A lot has happened, but a few lines will cover the important points.
Winifred got her Master's degree all right, but it did not bring any raise in her salary as it should have done.
Junior has made us a visit each March since he's been a regular in Toledo Post Office. Bill has three sons now, Philip, Lee, and Allen.
I have three great-grandchildren, Marguerite's
son and daughter and Jinny's son. Chester's oldest son is married.
I get busy happy letters from Cile, Hampton, Virginia. She and Draper have bought a home, and Elizabeth lives with them and works in the Veterans' Hospital.
James Hall was killed at Randolph Field a short
time before he would have gotten his wings. They sent his wings to Helen.
Mr. Jim still takes his liver shots and goes to Pine Grove to see about his fish pond, that's his main interest. I was sick just about all of last year. My heart trouble and esophagus trouble still exist, but I am much stronger and in fairly good shape for a seventy-five year old.
Lillis has a pretty good job, and Mary has finished High School. What next?
Nina was home the first of the summer, but is
in Auburn in charge of the Ag. Library during Miss Williford's vacation.
We have rented out two rooms. They help with expenses but not as much as that fifteen dollars Dick put in the purse every week. Dick went to McPherson, then to Kansas City. We don't know where next. He will be in Kansas City till nearly Xmas. Charles went to McClellan, McPherson, St. Petersburg, Fla., and is now in Gulfport, Miss. I forgot to say Dick had his basic training at Miami Beach, Fla.
Mary Fussell had her left breast removed and is
still coming to see Dr. George Blue… is doing her own work now. Her left
hand and arm are still crippled but not helpless. I can't close my hands
but can use them fairly well. Have been cooking breakfast since June. We
have Rachel all the time now since school began. Cile is to make us a visit
about the middle of October.
Dick was at Patterson Field, Ohio, when we heard from him last. Was expecting to be moved. We have three rooms to rent now. Sometimes they are all full and sometimes all empty. It will be that way as long as we rent to Army people. Lillis has Governor Sparks' personal secretary and her eighteen year old daughter sharing her apartment. Mary is at the University of Tuscaloosa. Joe and Jinny have ordered a little girl for July. Joe is going to Mobile to do electrical work in the shipyard. (The girl came, a boy named Jimmy.)
Nina has resigned in Columbia and will be in the Ag. Library in Auburn beginning February. We're glad to have her nearer home. Lucile made us a visit in October. We enjoyed it very much.
I have improved steadily for months and seems like I might do anything I wanted to, but if I try I soon find out I can't. Am thankful, tho, to be well enough again so that they are not afraid to leave me alone. Rachel has quit. We really didn't have enough work to do to justify paying her $5 a week since I don't need a nurse. I still lie down two hours every day. Don't feel the need to, but might if I didn't.
Up to January, we had almost no winter weather; frost and ice a few times. The 20th and 21st have been cold.
Joe found a house and Jinny and Jodie moved down to Chickasaw. She says the apartment is cute, duplex. Our rooms are full. One girl is to be married Saturday night, the 20th. That will be our third bride.
Nina has a little apartment in Auburn, and I've been over there and spent two days with Helen on the way back. Enjoyed it all, and it didn't hurt me a bit.
Dick is still at Patterson Field. Margaret is in Memphis, Tennessee, taking a special course in engines.
Dub is in San Diego, California, Marines.
Charles still in Gulfport, instructor, engines.
April the 2nd last year I had a stroke. My tongue was paralyzed, and all my right side was affected. A good doctor, Dr. Penton, and good care (my girls) - today I'm stronger and seem better than I was before. I still talk funny, but I don't limp and have the use of both hands. I spent a week with Nina in her little garage apartment, then spent a week with Helen on the way back. That was in February, and we had some pretty cold weather while I was gone.
Dick went to Africa in July and is still there,
was in Algiers first, now in Morocco - where will it end!
Jinny has another boy, Jimmie. Marguerite lost a girl.
Pop divides his time between here and Pine Grove.
Mary died in June of '43. Uncle Robert has been up to see us two or three times. Pop's chief interest is his fish pond. I haven't seen it.
Dub is in the Marines, in the South Pacific. Jimmie
is in Homestead, Florida, married. Charles is in aviation mechanics.
We have no servant and she tries to do everything.
I am able to do more than she will let me do.
Mary Helen has been rooming here and working at
Maxwell Field all summer. Will go to Tuscaloosa in the Spring and use her
scholarship. Charles is at Panama City and very much disgusted. Wants to
go across and he's too tall and thin.
We have Rachel again. Hope it lasts. Looks like we have to have somebody. She seems happy to be back.
We have one cadet wife, Ranette Akes -lame – a
sweet girl - husband named Charlie Akes.
I didn't realize it had been so long since I had posted up the family history.
Pop still spends about as much time in Pine Grove as he does here.
Dick is still in Italy. Sent me ear rings for Xmas. Sent Margaret half a dozen little cameos. She was lucky enough to find a bracelet that they fitted in nicely. It's lovely.
Mary and Mary Helen are both at the University; come home occasionally for week-ends.
Lillis and Helen are going to Clio to have glasses fitted, hope they are satisfactory.
Dick doesn't have much expectation of getting home this year. You see, he is not in a combat zone and his repair work will still go on till the Japs are finished. They rarely surrender. Germans surrender by the thousands.
Dorothy came near moving again, this time to Alton, Ill. They did not tho.
I made a three weeks visit to Nina in her cute little snug little house right on the highway that goes straight to the Atlantic coast. Heavy traffic day and night. The first night we slept there when the train passed in the night Nina said to me, "We had a narrow escape that time, didn't we? I just know it went right thru the other side of the house."
Three nights later we didn't even know when the trains went by.
Nina has living room with studio couch, bedroom, kitchen, and bath. Very satisfactory living quarters. Still nearly a mile from the Library. I enjoyed my visit and am invited to spend the Summer with her.
We may have Cile and Dorothy and Junior all at the same time next week or the week after, don't know definitely about any of them.
Rachel still seems happy in her work. She says she has to work hard to keep well- if she quits working she gets sick. She does everything, washing, ironing, cooking, cutting grass, chopping weeds, working garden - she loves outdoor work. My greenhouse is still a joy, is in need of repairs, but the winter is about over and most of them can come out.
Winifred still works at Maxwell. Right now she
only works on week-ends. Is hoping for a regular job this summer.
Dub is still somewhere in the Pacific islands.
We hear from a lot of our cadet wives, two of them have lost their husbands. Kitty and Maudie. A number of them have babies and sent us announcements of the happy events.
Have a nice lot of baby fish in the pool this year.
Dr. Penton said I was in better shape now than I was the first time he ever saw me.
Dick went from Italy to France. Nancy. Now the war is over in Europe, but not in Japan. Russia has entered the war, and the atomic bomb will help them to make up their minds to give up.
Dick is probably on his way home - we have been
notified not to send him more mail.
Helen will teach 4th and 5th grades in Wetumpka.
Bruce hopes to get some college training before
he goes in the Army. Drafting is to continue even after the war is over.
We still rent rooms, sometimes one, sometimes two, sometimes three. Very interesting young people.
Winifred has tried to get the house leveled up,
but hasn't been able to get anybody at it. She has sanded and varnished
and waxed one floor with Nick's help. She's a fine girl, is spending her
vacation in South Bend, Indiana, with her sister. Her work in manual arts
is fine. Nick, I mean.