Hart Family Christmas Newsletters
1 9 9 8

Hi & Merry Christmas to everyone from the folks here in the Bootheel of Missouri & other places around the Country.

Here we are approaching the end of 1998 faster than I care to think about, & no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get the years slowed down one bit. Dad & Mom & our Uncle’s & Aunt’s in times past have told us many, many time, “JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU GET OLDER & SEE HOW THE TIME FLY’S”, & that time has come for me & I am sure for a lot more of you. One more year “1999” & then the year 2000 will be here. A lot of you have sent me information this year on things & events that have happened with & in your families & I will attempt to include those events here in our newsletter. I just hope you will forgive me if I have left some one out & not on purpose!


Matthew Henry Foran arrived 16 Aug 1997 to Laura Ellen (Whitaker) & Patrick Foran of Portland, OR. Even though Matthew was born in 1997 I still want to congraulate the parents, Laura & Patrick Foran, the grandparents, Kay (Hart) & David Patterson & Donald Whitaker, the great grand- parents Ezra & Geneva (Hankins) Hart.

Nathan Jeffrey Harris arrived on 19 Dec 1997, (too late for 1997 N/Ltr) to Tracy Lyn (Eoff) & Jeffrey Harris,of Hope, AR. Congraulations to the parents, Tracy Lyn & Jeffrey & grandpa & grandma Michael & Sherry (Campbell) Eoff & the great grandparents. Nathan weighed 7 lbs & 13 oz.

Blake Gidson Whitaker arrived 12 Mar 1998 to Joe & Cindy (Arnold) Whitaker of Portland, OR. Blake weighed in at 8 lbs & 11 oz & 191/2 inches long. Congraulations to the parents Joe & Cindy Whitaker, the grandparents Kay (Hart) & David Patterson & Donald Whitaker, & the great grand- parents Ezra & Geneva (Hankins) Hart.

Adam Charles Nichols arrived 13 Feb 1998 to Stephanie Ann (Melton) & Everett Thomas Nichols II in Belleville, IL. Congraulations to the parents, Stephanie & Everett, the grandparents Charles Thomas & Cheryl Melton & great grandparents Charlie & Ann Melton of Farmers City, IL


Jeff Swallows goes to Korea
Jeff Swallows left for Korea in February 1998 & will be stationed there with the Air Force for one year. He is the son of Donna Mansfield & the grandson of Christine (Hart) & Neal Mansfield of Dudley, MO.

Gabe Hart goes into the U. S. Air Force
Gabe Hart, the son of Mitchell & Mary of Cape Girardeau & the grandson of Ora Hart of Advance, MO, enlisted in the U. S. Air Force the 5th of Oct 1997.

Hannah Hart goes to the University of Missouri
Hannah Hart, is going to the University of Missouri & she is the daughter of Mitchell & Mary Hart of Cape Girardeau & the granddaughter of Ora Hart of Advance MO. & the late Amos Hart. Aunt Ora Hart was operated on again the 10th of March. This was the second operation within three & one half months. Here it is the last of the year & she seems to be doing a lot better.

Misty Paige Hale Graduates from Murray State Univ., Murray, KY
Misty Paige Hale, graduated from Murray State University, on May ninth, 1998. Misty is the daughter of Louis and Janet (Hart) Hale of Smithland, Ky, and the granddaughter of Earlene Hart of Smithland and the late Charles Henry Hart. Congraulations Misty.

Ryan D. Dukes Graduates from High School in Livingston, Kentucky
Ryan D. Dukes, graduated from Livingston High School on Friday May fifteenth 1998. Ryan is the son of Donna (Hart) Dukes of Smithland, Ky, and the grandson of Earlene Hart of Smithland, Ky. and the late Charles Henry Hart. Congraulations Ryan.

Teea Marie McIntyre Graduates from High School in Dexter, MO
Teea Marie McIntyre graduated from Dexter High School on May seventeenth 1998. Teea is the daughter of Alan & Alma Hart & granddaughter of M. A. & Eloise Hart of Dexter. Teea is attending Beauty School in Poplar Bluff, MO. Congraulations Teea.

Jessica Hart Graduates from High School in Althus, Oklahoma
Jessica Hart graduated from the Althus High School in May 1998. Jessica is the daughter of Harold Jr. & Karen Sue Hart & the granddaughter of Harold & Dorothy Hart of Bell City & great- grand daughter of Ora Hart of Advance, MO & the late Amos Hart. Jessica is attending College in Althus, OK. Congraulations Jessica. Kerry Gilbow has Heart Surgery

Kerry Gilbow of Dexter, MO., the husband of Carol Gilbow & father of Cody Gilbow & son of Vera (HART) Ross had Heart Surgery on March 16th at the Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau, MO. Kerry is doing good at this time.

Ginger Hart and Robert Hornbrook Married in Henderson, Kentucky
Ginger Kaye Hart and Robert Hornbrook were married on Saturday May thirtieth 1998 in Henderson, Ky. Ginger is the daughter of Miles Ezra and Wanda (Morrow) Hart of Henderson, KY. Congraulations Ginger and Robert.

Ashley Louree Hart & Aaron Grace Exchange Marriage Vows
in Louisville, KY
Ashley Louree Hart the daughter of Ronnie & Cynthia Hart and Aaron Grace exchanged marriage vows on 6 June 1998 in Louisville, Ky. Ashley is the Granddaughter of Earline Hart & the late Charles Henry Hart of Smithland, KY. Congraulations to Ashley & Aaron.

Chris Tanner is a Candidate for Sr Class Prom King in Salem, IL
Chris Tanner Jr. is the son of Chris and Ann Tanner, & Grandson of John Tanner & the late Diana L. Tanner of Salem, IL. Chris is active in service to his church and his church youth group, he participates in National Honor Society, Math Team, Academic Challenge, Peer Helpers, Salemarion yearbook staff, and the Athletic Supporter of Salem. Tanner is also in the process of completing the final honors course of the SCHS Honors Program. His plans include attending Kentucky Christian College on an academic scholarship to study youth ministry. Grandpa John never did let me know how he Chris came out in the contest?

Eloise Hart has Surgery
My wife Eloise had a small growth removed from under her left arm on 28 May 1998 at Cape Girardeau, MO. It turned out to be benign & we were so thankful for that. John Tanner of Flora, IL has Heart Surgery

John Tanner of Flora, IL had five by-passes on 12 Jun 1998 at Springfield, IL. John had wrote me in May that he was planning to attend our Hart Reunion the 21st of June, then he called on Saturday & told me that he couldn’t make the Reunion.

Martin M. Hart was born 20 Apr 1845, Pope Co, IL & died 12 May 1919, (Grave marker says 13 May 1919.).

Martha (Emerson) Hart was born 21 May 1851, White Co, IL & died 28 Aug 1927, & both are buried at the Hickory Hills Cemetery, Broughton, Hamilton Co., IL.

Martin M. & Martha (Emerson) Hart had six children: Amy, b 1871, Magie Lou Dica, b 1874, Henry Ezra b 1877, Martin Allen, b 1879, Elsie A., b 1883 & Mollie Dawson, b 1886 in IL.


The Twenty First Annual Hart Family Reunion was held on the 21st of June 1998 at the American Legion Building in Dexter, Missouri with approx 55 relatives & friends in attendance. A short business meeting was held before the noon meal was served. The Treasures Report was approved as presented.

Those in attendance were: Christine (Hart) & Neal Mansfield, Donna Mansfield of Dudley, Doug & Dale Mansfield, Pacific, MO., Charles & Eva (Bryant) McNiel, Hedis & Phyllis Wells of Norris City, IL., S. E. & Patsy Williams of Enfield, IL, Richard Williams of New Haven, IL, & a first time visitor, Litha Mae (Williams) Porter of Norris City, IL, Richard & Sharon Hart of Essex, MO, Keith & Nancy (Hollis) Duffie & two children Heith & Logan of Gandler, NC., Ora Hart of Advance, MO, Harold & Dorothy Hart, Brad & Angie (Hart) Maddox & two children Clay & Colleen of Bell City, MO Mitchell & Mary (Rendleman) Hart of Cape Girardeau, MO, Gene & Sue (Hart) Fulks of Tubac, AZ, & two more first time visitors were Judy Boone, Florrisant, MO & Susan Trione, Maryville, IL, Jaclyn Imbeaux, O’Fallon MO, Shelly (Hart) & Brooke Bader, Bloomfield, MO, Lucy & Connie Bennett, Vera Ross, Alan & Alma Hart & Teea McIntyre, Kim & Connie Hart & Keven, Brittney & Amanda, Anna (Hart) Mann, Jack & Ruth (Hart) Jennings , M. A. & Eloise Hart & Bud & Peggy Kirkbride all of Dexter, MO. The youngest Child was Colleen Maddox, 13 months, Oldest person was Anna (Hart) Mann, 89, Traveled the longest distance, Sue (Hart) & Gene Fulks, Chandler, AZ, Married the longest, Neal & Christine (Hart) Mansfield, Married the least length of time, Richard & Sharon Hart.

A fun Auction was held in the after noon with several items being auctioned off & the proceeds going for paying for the rent on the building & other expenses for the reunion. The remainder of the day was spent, visiting, taking pictures & looking at family histories. Everyone had a great time.

Remember the 22nd Hart Family Reunion will be held on 20 June 1999, at the American Legion Building in Dexter. Mark your calender.

Descendants from the Gossage family attend Reunion
As mentioned in the Hart Reunion article above, two of our first time visitors were Judy Swann Boone of Florissant, MO & Susan Trione of Maryville, IL. If I have it correct their Great Grandfather Thomas D. Gossage & Great Grandmother Christian Melinda (Beam) Gossage moved to Stoddard County, MO in the 1890’s. Thomas died in 1897 while living in Buffington & Christian Melinda died 11 Nov 1927 while living in Essex. No record of their place of burial has been found here in Stoddard County. If anyone knows where their Great Grandparent was buried, please let me know & I will relay the it on to them.

The following are news articles were taken from the Carmi Courier, Carmi, White County, Illinois, that I have found interesting & thought you may enjoy reading them.

17 April 1890 - Mr. & Mrs. Joel R. Aud, of Heralds Prairie, are the happy parents of two fine, black-eyed boys, born just two weeks ago today.

1 May 1890 - John Bruce and Joe Durham had a little knock-down last Saturday night, but Joe proved the better man and John agreed.

19 Jun 1890 -Herald will celebrate the Fourth of July. A grand basket picnic and a variety of amusing feats for the young athletes, such as wheel-barrow, sack and egg racing, climbing the pole, Jack and the __, and catching the pig. Music for everybody under the leadership of R. C. White. The best speakers will be present and deliver able addresses. The Herald Cornet Band will furnish music, assisted, probably, by the band from Union Ridge. Everybody is invited to help make a suitable celebration for the ever glorious Fourth.

Roe Buttry has treated himself to a brand new smoke house.

Mrs. Flora Chapman has returned home from a weeks’ visit to her mother, Mrs. M. Aud.

The remains of a small child of Robert Buttry were interred at the Moore graveyard on Tuesday of last week.

6 Aug 1891 - Thomas Hendricks, jr. of Tennessee Bend, is building a large barn. Steve Pyle is the contractor.

Lost, on the farm of Lory Austin one plow point - Finder will return to Ed Buttry and receive reward.

A few of our enterprizing farmers are breaking for wheat.

William E. Emerson, born 16 Mar 1822, in IL, died 21 Apr 1868, married Mary Ann Pyle, 20 Feb 1845 in White Co, IL. Mary Ann Pyle was born 1 Jan 1829 Jackson Co, Oh, & died 26 Sep 1862. Both are buried at the Kingdom Cemetery, White Co, IL. Their Children: Allen Emerson, born 12 Dec 1847, Martha Emerson, born 21 May 1851, Margaret M. Emerson, born 17 Jan 1854, Loudica Emerson, born 22 Mar 1856, Amos Emerson, born 3 Dec 1857 & John Ezra Emerson, born 1860, all in White Co, Illinois.

Charles Elmer Clifford of New Haven Charles Elmer Clifford, 74 of New Haven, IL, died Tuesday, Dec 16th, 1997 in Deaconess Hospital, Evansville, IN. He was born April 7, 1923 in New Haven, IL to the late Howard and Dorothy (Melton) Clifford. On Feb. 21, 1944 he married the former Ermine (Logan) Clifford & she survives. Other survivors are two daughters, Martha June Kaiser of Dale City, Ca. and Jennifer Stadler of New Haven; one son, Alen Keith Clifford of New Harmony, IN.; three brothers, Howard Clifford of Brookport, Roy Clifford of New Haven and Ernest Clifford of Eddyville, KY.; four sisters, Lilly Bridgeman of Carmi, Mary Gibbons of Galatia, Ruth Leeke of Eldordo and Faye Gasaway of Suwanne, GA.; eight grand children and 11 great-grandchildren. Charles was preceded in death by one son, Charles Clifford (1990) and one sister, Thelma Clifford. Graveside service was held at Union Ridge Cemetery, New Haven. Tuesday, April 7, 1998, Flora, Illinois

Diana L. Tanner Diana L. Tanner, 64, of Flora, died at 10 p.m., Monday, April 6, 1998, at the Flora Health Care Center, Flora. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, April 10, 1998, at the First United Methodist Church Flora. Burial will be in Westwood Cemetery, Shawneetown. The Rev. Rosco Rose will officiate at the services. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, at Frank and Bright Funeral Home, Flora. Memorials may be made to Flora First United Methodist Church scholarship fund or Clay County Heart Fund. Mrs. Tanner was born on March 16, 1934, in Highland Park, the daughter of Paul A. and Doris (Rowan) Hatfield. She married John W. Tanner in 1951. She worked 20 years as an insurance secretary for Flora Clinic and 15 years as ward clerk for Clay County Hospital. She was a member of First United Methodist Church, Flora, a member and teacher of Golden Links Sunday School Class, 35 year member of the church choir, served on the church council and other committees in the church, past regent Vinsans Trace Chapter DAR, Flora Garden Club Unit 13, and Clay County Hospital Ladies Auxiliary. Surviving are her widower, John Tanner of Flora; two sons and daughter- in- law, Chris and Ann Tanner of Salem, and Paul A. Tanner of Kirkwood, Mo.; one daughter and son-in-law, Lynn Ann and James Stonecipher of Springfield, Mo.; five grandchildren, Christopher and Jessica Tanner of Salem, Samantha Shane and Georgia Lynn Stonecipher of Springfield, Mo. She was preceded in death by her parents and one sister.

Tuesday, Sept 8, 1998 , Dexter, Missouri Naomi Love
Naomi Ferrell Love was born on Oct. 25, 1916, in Bertrand, MO to the late Paul P. and Ora Lee Miles Ferrell and died Saturday, Sept 5, 1998, at the Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston at the age of 81. Mrs. Love had lived in Morehouse most of her life. She worked at Payne’s Store for 21 years, served as a Democratic committee woman and was the first woman on the Morehouse City council. She was a member of the Morehouse First General Baptist Church and the Morehouse Order of the Eastern Star #450. On June 7, 1941, in Rockford, Ill., she was married to Leland E. Love. He preceded her in death on Aug. 22, 1995. (Note: Leland’s was the son of the late William Earnest & Rhoda Myrtle (Hart) Love.) Her survivors include one brothers, Dr. Guy V. Ferrell of Wilkes Barre, Penn.; several nieces and nephews; others relatives and many friends. She was also preceded in death by three brothers and three sisters. Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. tonight, Sept. 8, 1998, at Watkins and Sons Funeral Home in Morehouse, with Eastern Star services at 7 p.m., conducted by the Morehouse Lodge #450. Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept 9, 1998, in the First General Baptist Church in Morehouse. The Rev. Randy Thomas of Sikeston will officiate and burial will follow in the Essex Cemetery, with Watkins and Sons Funeral Home of Morehouse in charge of all arrangements.

73rd Catlin Reunion in Norris City, IL

A joyous Catlin reunion was enjoyed Sunday June 28th 1998 at the Norris City Park. Good food, conversation, picture taking & praise to GOD. Steve Catlin, Danny Williams & Leon Hale were appointed a committee to guide the salvaging of headstones from the Catlin Cemetery & everyone was invited to participate in this effort. From Florida, Laura White, Rosilyn Powell, Ken & Pat Stuckey. M. A. Hart from Dexter, MO. Lora K. Simpson, Marlene Mobley, Kathy Campbell & Jeanne Simpson from MI. Lois Mick, Ron Mick & Mr. & Mrs. Otto Brown of Eldorado. Fred Buttery & Mable Fouts of Terre Haute, IN. Mr. & Mrs. James Catlin, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Catlin & David, Mr. & Mrs. Guthire Catlin & Steve Catlin. Don & Jenny Catlin, Jennifer & Clarence Catlin of KY. Mr. & Mrs. Herschel Catlin of AZ. Veda Stewart, David & Cheryl Stewart, Jerry & Bonnie Holman of Cobden. Kathie Jensen of Marion. Logan & Charlotte Roark of Pana. Marlin & Sandy Geesaman of OH. James E. Catlin & Granddaughter of MO. Lee Frymire of Evansville. Phyllies Stockton of Woodriver. Don & Dorthy Williams of Kansas. Fleeta, Henry & Crystal Guffey of St. Elmo, IL. From Carmi, Abbrey, Sue & Brian Catlin, Mike, Bethany & Mirish Catlin, Troy, Janice & Ashton Catlin. Leon & Margaret Hale, Bob Phipps & Junior Williams of New Haven. Mary Baker of Maunie. From Norris City, Junior & Jean Bryant, Mr. & Mrs. Charles McNiel, Shirley & Pat Williams, Letha Porter, Alma York, Mr. & Mrs. Herdis Wills, Beulah Pool, Dwight & Ruth Catlin, Bob Williams & Danny Williams. Possibly others that did not sign the register.

Letter from Ms. Clara Williams, Sylacauga, AL
Mrs. Clara Williams wrote in January that she was sending me a copy of the original deed between James Hart and her John Smedley. She stated that in 1774, John Smedley bought the land from James Hart, then in 1790 John Smedley dies, and Thomas Smedley, being the eldest son and heir at law, sells the land to Lewis Clark. Then, in 1791, Lewis Clark sells the land to William Burditt.

The Deed is shown as follows:
Edgefield County South Carolina, Deed Book 16 James Hart to John Smedley South Carolina. This indenture made the twenty-third day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy four and in the fifteenth year of his Majesties reign between James Hart of Colleton County on the waters of the Little Saluda on a branch thereof called Red Bank in the Providence of South Carolina of the one part and John Smedley of county and providence aforesaid on the other part. Witnesseth that the said James Hart for and in consideration of the sum of, ten, shillings, lawful money of the providence aforesaid to him in hand willingly and freely paid by the said John Smedley at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt is hereby acknowledge have granted. He the said James Hart hath bargained and sold and by these presents doth bargain and sell unto the said John Smedley all that plantation or tract of land containing one hundred acres (Bounty) situated in Colleton County on the Waters of the Little Saluda on a branch thereof called Red Bank bounded all sides on vacant lands granted by his Em. The M. Honorable Charles Greeenville Montague with the said James Hart the sixth of February anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and seventy three and in the thirteenth year of his Majesties reign. Together with all and singular the houses, out houses, edifices, buildings, barns, stables, yards, gardens, orchards, woods, underwoods, timber and timber trees, meadows, pastures, ponds, lakes, fishing ways, water and water courses, paths, pastures, abilities, privileges, profits, herditance cuts, rights, and opportunities whatsoever, these unto belonging or in any wise appertaining to the revisions and the reversions remainder and the profits thereof and of every part and parcel thereof. To have and to hold the said plantation or tract of land containing one hundred acres with opportunism thereunto belonging to the said John Smedley, his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns form the day next before the day of the date before these presents for and during and unto the full ends and terms of one whole year from thence next ensuing and fully to be completed and ending yielding and paying therefore unto the said James Hart the amount of one pepper corn at the end of said term if the same shall be lawfully demanded to the intent and purposes that by witness of these presents and by force of the Statute of laws for transferring of uses into possession so the John Smedley may be in actual possession of all and singular, the premises above mentioned with every affordance thereunto belonging and enabled to have and receive the reversions and inheritance thereof which is intended to be him and his heirs granted and released by the said James Hart by another indenture the day after the date hereof. In witness where of the said James Hart have hereunto set my hands and seal the day of the year first above. Written signed sealed and delivered.

Signed James Hart
In presence of Thomas Deloach Richard Williams James Scott Edgefield County, South Carolina Deed Book 16, p. 263-271

OCTOBER 14, 1998 I had to spend about 30 hours in the Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau having Artery Surgery. The Doctor placed three Stents in the main Artery of my Heart. Some little spells had been taking place in my upper shoulders, neck & head for about two & one half months, & I knew something was wrong & the Doctors just couldn’t find it. Never did have any chest pain. So far I am doing fine.

Grandpa Martin Allen (Sharpie) (AL)

In the era, before and after 1915, sorghum was a staple in many - perhaps most - people’s diet. Sufficient sorghum was stored to last through the winter, and until the succeeding sorghum season. Grandpa Hart, enjoyed an enviable reputation of being an excellent sorghum maker. Apparently this reputation developed during the time he lived in White and Gallatin Counties, IL (1879-1918) before he and his family moved to Southeast MO in the fall of 1918. While in Illinois he owned and operated a portable sorghum mill and would move the mill from farm to farm and make sorghum for the farmers who had grown a small patch of sorghum cane.

While living in New Madrid Co, MO he bought a sorghum mill from Warren Sanders who lived in or near LaValle, MO This mill grinder was vertical and not much is known about the operation of this mill. In 1927, Grandpa Hart & his family moved 1 1/2 miles west of Dexter and approximately 2 1/2 miles north, on Sec #15 in Castor TWP. Uncle Amos told me that in the fall of 1930 that they made 1500 gallons of sorghum and the way he remembered it was that Uncle Star & Aunt Lizzie Hart had moved back from Michigan and that their son Edgar was just a baby as he was born 20 Mar 1930. Grandpa sold sorghum that fall for .40 per gallon, & the gallon bucket cost him .10, to some of the Grocery Stores in Dexter. He would get 2/5’s & the store owner would get 3/5’s when it sold. If I have it figured correct, after paying for the gallon bucket, he would make 06 per gallon.

Sorghum appears to have been one of the necessities. I do know sugar was not as widely available as in later years, as today, and sorghum at times was the only sweetner, outside of honey - and honey was somewhat limited in supply. Today the word sorghum refers primarily to a grain crop, now know as Milo with short stalk and heavy head. Milo is a hybrid. There are other sorghum varities, most that grow taller are used for producing ensilage and pasture, and for producing hybrid seed for Milo. But the type used for producing molasses was a tall heavy stalk, 6’ to 10’ tall, in which the stalk contained abundance of sweet juice. One of the preferred varities was Blue Ribbon.

Even Grandpa Hart, who had a reputation for making excellent sorghum, knew little about the why/wherefore one cane was better than another, or why one batch of cane made dark, strong molasses, and another cooked down into light, mild molasses. He did observe that cane grown in rich ground made dark molasses, and that grown in thin hill soil, poor in nutrients, produced the best sorghum, the stalks of this latter sometimes ranging between three & six feet. Molasses cane was planted in rows some 3’ apart, and perhaps 6” apart or closer, in the row. It was tended and plowed all summer. Toward autumn when it attained full growth, and the seed head matured - but before it gets sufficiently mature to begain losing its juices, and certainly before frost, while still standing it was stripped - by hand, and the blades are beat off, or pulled off by hand. Next the heads are cut off, these being used for both feed - as grain - and as seed for the next year’s crop.

Keep in mind this cane seed is open pollinated - as was corn in that era - consequently the seed will produce true to type. Not true of today’s sorghum and corn - it’s all hybrid - for greater production and control. After the cane head is removed, the stalks are cut close to the ground - by hand with a corn knife. This might be done and layed in the wagon bed immediately for hauling to the mill; or it might be cut and layed in bunches in the field, for later loading and hauling. Grandpa Hart did not raise all the cane that he processed. Other people in the community, who wanted sorghum would grow their own cane and haul it to his mill. There the cane layed in separate piles and tagged with the customers name. The sorghum would be made, either for a share of the sorghum or for payment per gallon. The customer must furnish his own cantainers for the molasses - jugs, kegs, barrels, sealed buckets or cans.

I believe that the first sorghum mill that Grandpa had after they moved to Stoddard County had a grinder with horizontal rollers? I do not have a discription of this first mill.

The second mill consisted, of 2 steel rolls approximately 10-12”in diameter by 2’ long, mounted vertivcally in a heavy cast frame, and raised perhaps 3’ off the ground - convenient height to feed stalks into. On top of the cast iron frame would be a set of gears on the shafts of the 2 (or) 3 rolls. There was a 3rd gear meshed with these two, which had a heavy shaft extending vertically and attached to the “Sweep.” This “Sweep” was merely a pole - from the woods - of the proper proportions, that extended from the mill to within a couple feet of the ground, to which horses’ traces were hitched, and they pulled around and around, turning the steel rolls, into which Uncles, Amos, Milas or Ezra (probably all three taking turns at different tasks around the mill) was feeding the cane stalks into the grinder. The squeezed out juice ran down the rolls into the bottom casting, shaped in pan fashion to catch the juice and let it run into a barrel. From this barrel it was carried by bucket to the cooker. I believe in later years there was a pipe that ran from the pan or barrel down the hill (underground) to the cooker and this saved time in carrying it by bucket to the cooker.

Uncles Amos, Milas or Ezra, which ever was feeding the cane stalks into the grinder must get these heavy stalks from the yard to the mill, feed them between the steel rolls, and occasionally fork away the pumice (pummys) that came out on the other side. These pummys are now squeezed into ribbons of steel, that tend to become entwined with each other. They’re never in a bunch, nor can be separated easily into a fork full, as one can handle hay. And they must be carried 50 or 100 feet merely to get them out of the way. Some of the time they might need to be stacked 8-10’ high merely to save space. Later they were hauled down in the field and placed in the gullies and this would help with the erosion problem on the hill sides. Therefore running the mill is a back breaking operation. It is my opinion that all who worked at the mill performed more than their share of work or the sorghum molasses would not have been made.

The cooker, or cooking pan, was the other main component of the operation. Usually 4’ wide and 8” deep and was approximately 8’ feet long. The sides of the pan were 2” X 8” wood; and ends or sides of the galvanazed steel bottom were fit into wood sides - leak proof. The wood sides being on top of the fire wall were not subjected directly to the fire - consequently never burned. The pan consisted of a completely baffled bottom baffles being approximately 3” high. The baffles were spaced approximately every 7”, crosswise, entire length, except each baffle and alternately, lacked some 7” extending the entire pan width. So the juice can be poured in at the fire box end, flowed many times across the pan to reach the opposite end - cooking all the way. This pan was set on 2 walls, made of mud & brick, approximately 30” high, made exacatly to fit the pan. At tail end of the pan - where molasses were drawn off through a bottom 2” hole with a tall wood stopper. The chimney was the same width as the pan. The pan fit tight against the chimney.

At the head end of the pan was where raw juice was poured in, and the fire box is located between the two fire walls, open, and with a grate, on to which the right amount of cord wood is burned. This fire must be rather accurately judged, controlled and fed. Insufficient heat makes for too slow and laborious cooking; too much heat produces molasses to fast, faster than a person can ascertain, and draw off, then replace with more raw juice. Grandpa Hart did all of the cooking, and it was a process, once began in the morning, must be continuously and consistently continued and tended, until the fire is drawn - usually at dusk in the evening.

Available, are wood rakes or handles of proper width to move the juice along between baffles, even though it glows slowly by itself. Also availabe are several skimming pans, 6” wide, 8” long, one side open, on handles - bottoms perforated. The juice has a lively boil from one end of the pan to the other. Although this juice is strained 2 or 3 times through burlap, it still contains some sediment, such as small fragments of pith from the stalk, which must be picked up with the skimming pans, as it boils to the top, along with other (green) skimmings. Everyone skims at one time or another. The skimming pans are dumped into a 5 gallon pail setting beside the pan. When a pail is nearly full, it is carried to the pig pen and poured into a trough. Soon as it cools sufficiently the pigs “hog it up.” As the juice boils and moves towards the tail end of the pan, it starts to thicken, and the skimmins change from green to yellow; soon there’s little or no skimmins left and molasses start to form. In the meantime, finished molasses have been drawn off, and poured in a large wooden trough or box to cool, leaving space for more juice at the head end.

After the molasses is poured into the wooden trough or box to cool and after they are cooled there is a stopper in one end of the trough and the stopper is only partially loosened - never taken out completely - to meter the molasses into containers, be they be buckets, jugs, kegs or barrels. If the stopper were pulled all the way out of this hole, it could have been a catastrophic, with the trough full of molasses on the ground. Usually the mill stops at 4-5 o’clock, juice is cooked another couple hours, fire drawn at dusk, they all have supper, then return to draw molasses into containers. At this time Grandpa separates his share, if making the molasses on the shares; or if for cash then he containerizes the whole batch. When one small batch of cane follows that of a separate owner, the end of one must be kept separate from the beginning of the next. Thus cooling and drawing sometimes took place at mid day The sorghum shed which was over the cooker had a corregated metal roof and the Chimney ran through the roof on the south end of the shed. There were no sides to the shed.

Grandpa Hart made sorghum molasses at the mill every year until the late 1940’s or early 1950’s as he sold the mill to a man in or around Poplar Bluff, MO.

NOTE: When the mill was not in operation we would get on the big end of the “Sweep” and two or three of the other cousins would push or pull on the other end and we could really get a good ride going round and round. There was a spring near by where they got their water for cleaning the cooking pan and utensils after the fire was drawn and the sorghum molasses was drawn. I have wished hundreds of times during the last 20 years that someone would have had the forethought to have made a picture of Grandpa & our Uncles while at work at the old Sorghum Mill. What a memory.

Bobby Roussel calls from Arizonia
Bobby Roussel of Arizonia called the last of October & brought me up to date on his family. Their oldest son Robert Arthur is still in Macezo, Brazil on a two year Mission Trip & will be home in April 1999. Their daughter Aubrey Brooke is still in College & she became engaged to Chad Allen Pena & the wedding is to be 5 Feb 1999 in Mesa at the L.D.S. Temple. The other children are all doing fine. Was glad to hear from you all again.

Warren Alexander Melton & Laura Juiliana Hendrix married 18 July 1878, in White Co, IL by T. J Aud, MG. Laura Juiliana (Hendrix) Melton married 2nd Chester A. Catlin 30 Jun 1892, in White Co, IL.

Mom fell and broke her left wrist
Mom, Anna (Hart) Mann fell on the 10th of February & broke her left wrist. In September 1995 she fell & broke her right arm, just above the wrist & then in December the same year she had a stroke. She is still in Central Gardens & she turned 90 Oct 21, 1998. Jerry & Doris came home from Russell- ville, AR & we had a little Birthday party for her. She seemed to enjoy it, but was give out afterwards.

Eloise’s Mother still in Nursing Home
Eloise’s Mother Lillian (Lewis) Myrick, has been in the Dexter Nursing Home for five years & nine months. She turned 91 years of age, 4 August , 1998. We got together with her at the Nursing Home & had a Birthday party for her.

The Dexter Statesman -21 August 1998
Harts To Celebrate 50 Years

M. A. and Eloise (Myrick) Hart of Dexter will mark their 50th wedding anniversary on Aug. 27. relatives and friends may call 624-3674 or send a card and wish them a happy anniversary. No celebration is planned. Hart was born in Stoddard County to Anna (Bruce) (Hart) Mann and the late Joe G. Hart and raised in Stoddard and New Madrid Counties. The former Eloise Myrick was born to Lillian (Lewis) Myrick and the late Lawrence Myrick and was raised in Parma. They are the parents of two sons, Alan Hart who married Alma (Sims) Hays, and Kim Hart who is married to Connie Sims, both families of Dexter. They also have two grandchildren, Shelly (Hart) Bader and Corey Hart, and two great grandchildren, Dylan and Brooke Bader, all of Bloomfield and three foster grandchildren, Kevin, Brittney and Amanda of Dexter, as well as two step granddaughters, Angela (Hays) Johnson of Ava, MO. and Teea McIntyre of Dexter and one step grandson, Jacob Johnson of Ava, MO. The Harts are members of the First Baptist Church in Dexter. Hart retired from American General Life and Accident Insurance Co. on March 1, 1990, after 27 years of service. He has served on the Dexter City Council for the past 19 years. Mrs. Hart has sold Avon Products for 33 years.

The Dexter Statesman - July 29, 1998
Published and aspiring authors from across the United States gathered in Sikeston for the eighth Heartland Writers’ Conference held June 4-6. The biennial event was a great success, particularly for local authors. Connie Bennett of Dexter (daughter of Lucille (Hart) Bennett & our second cousin) won first place in screenplays with “Highlander: First Time. Ms. Bennett will be autographing her latest romance “His Brothers’ Baby” on Saturday, Sept. 12, at Patricia’s in downtown Dexter. The autographing will be held from 10:30 a.m to 2 p.m. and at 2 at tea is planned , at which time Ms. Bennett will do a short story on the history of Dexter. Congraulations Connie & we wish you a lot of success in the future.

Delta News, Malden, MO 2 Dec 1998 Kenneth Allen Goldsmith
Kenneth Allen “Pat” Goldsmith, 65 of Malden, died November 27, 1998, at Dexter Memorial Hospital. The son of the late John Ollie and Elsie Hampton Goldsmith, he was born October 28, 1933. On June 4, 1955, he married Clarice Hart. She preceded him in death July 13, 1989. He was a member of the Southern Baptist Church in Malden. He was an Army veteran who served in the Korean War. He was also a member of the American Legion Post of Malden. Survivors include a son, Ken Goldsmith of Malden; two daughters Charisse Bryant of Malden and Carol Ann Jolly of Canon City, Colo.; a brother, Leslie Goldsmith of Malden; a sister, Bobbie Jean White of Malden; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother, Jennings Goldsmith, and a sister Pansy Telker. Visitation was held November 29 at Bradshaw Funeral Home in Malden. Funeral services were held November 30 at Bradshaw Chapel in Malden. Burial was in Memorial Park Cemetery. Bradshaw Funeral Home of Malden was in charge of arrangements. Carol Ann (Goldsmith) Jolly & Family comes home to attend her Dad’s Funeral at Malden Carol Ann (Goldsmith) Jolly, her husband Adam & their two sons Jason Wade & Jeremiah Kyle came home from Colorado, the end of November to attend her Dad’s funeral in Maden, Missouri.

More New Babies

Stephanie Lynn Allen was born 3 Nov 1996 at the Lucy Lee Hospital, Poplar Bluff, MO to Stephen & Tracy Allen of Malden, MO. Congratulations to the parents, the grandparents, Ken & Daphne Goldsmith of Malden. The great grandparents were the late Clarice (Hart) & Kenneth (Pat) Goldsmith. This was received a little late for my 1996 & 1997 Newsletter, but wanted to included it here.

Austin Tyler Young was born 4 July 1998 at the Lucy Lee Hospital, Poplar Bluff, MO to Anthony & Shauna Young of Malden. Congratulations to the parents, the grandparents, Charisse (Goldsmith) & Tom Bryant of Malden & Dennis Young of New Madrid. The great grandparents were the late Clarice (Hart) & Kenneth “Pat”Goldsmith.

Brett Anthony Allen was born 24 Nov 1998 at the Lucy Lee Hospital, Poplar Bluff, MO to Stephen & Tracy Allen of Malden, MO. Congratulations to the parents, the grandparents, Ken & Daphne Goldsmith of Malden. The great grandparents were the late Clarice (Hart) & Kenneth “Pat” Goldsmith.

Vera R. (Hart) Ross visits her son Kirk & his wife Judy during the Thanksgiving Holidays.
Vera R. (Hart) Ross spent several days in Colorado during the Thanksgiving Holidays visiting her son Kirk & his wife Judy. Sandra (Jennings) Imbeaux still doing good after Surgery in 1997.

In my letter last December I told you that Sandra had Coronary Ablation Surgery in July & that she had returned to work & was doing fine. Just talked to her Dad Jack, & he says she is still doing fine.

Alan Leigh Hart Writes Poems
Our son Alan like myself has never wrote a poem in his life, until the spring of 1998 when he called us one morning & told us that he had wrote a poem & wanted to share it with us. Here is the poem.


Early in my life I knew Jesus as my Light.
I went to Vietnam at the age of nineteen and my day became night.
During that year anxiety, depression and fear became my stronghold.
And before I realized it, my heart became cold.
Through the years after I searched day and night.
And nothing I found in this world would fill the void in my life.
Twenty eight years went by and I felt like it was my last.
But little did I know very soon the Light would shine from the past.
And then that day Jesus said I am still your best friend.
Just open your heart to me and I will forgive you of your sin.
Now I know Jesus as my Savior and Lord.
And through the night it was only satan who roared.
If you want love, peace, understanding and the answer,
He can do the same in your life.
Just open your heart to Him today
and accept Him as your everlasting Light.

Since then Alan has written six more poems.

More Hendrix Family found in Illinois
I have been doing research on Great Grandma Laura Juiliana Hendrix family for several years. Laura J. married first Warren Alexander Melton in 1878 & then married Chester A. Catlin in 1892. Laura J. had two half brothers; John Hendrix & George Hendrix & two half sisters: Mary Emily Hendrix & Martha Hendrix & I had very little information on them. But in September a family in Illinois who is a descendant of Martha Hendrix who married George Wilson in 1868, & I started corresponding with each other & that family has sent me a lot of information on Martha’s family along with more on some of the other Hendrix families. Some of the information that I had was wrong & they have helped me correct that. Any of you that are interested in the information on Martha (Hendrix) Wilson family, please let me know & I will try to get the information to you.

Descendents of Great Grandpa Martin M. Hart’s half brother Samuel Jones Hart Located in Murphysboro, Illinois

For years I have tried to find out what happened to the two half brothers Samuel Jones Hart & Henry Jones Hart of Great Grandpa Martin M. Hart. One story was that Great Grandpa Hart went into the Union Army during the Civil War & returned home after the War & Samuel & Henry went into the Confederate Army & they were never heard from again. Early this year, records were located in White Co, IL, (Thanks to Janet (Melton) Knotter) that indicated that Samuel was living in Union Co, IL in 1883. I received information today Dec 8th that a family by the name of Montgomery living at Murphysboro, IL was descendents of Samuel Hart. Talked to this family tonight & we both believe that these are the right families & we will exchange some of our family information & let you know later as to what we come up with?

Well folks, I will close for another year & want to take this opportunity to thank each of you who has sent me information this year for the Newsletter. Keep me posted as marriages, new babies, deaths & other events take place in your families.


Love & Best Wishes, M. A. & Eloise Hart


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