Tales and Traditions of Daviess Co., Missouri

Daviess County Oral History

Grandma and Grandpa came to Daviess County and settled on a farm in the area of Jamesport in 1882 when their first-born child was four years old.  They had come from the far southeastern corner of Indiana where they were born in Switzerland County on the Ohio River.  They lived, raised a family of four children and died in Daviess County.  Their son, who was that same first-born child, was a great story-teller and so was his son who was my father.  They not only told their own stories, they also re-told the stories they had heard from earlier generations and they were highly talented in the art of teasing,  pulling tricks and practical jokes, and generally poking fun at family and friends.

I can remember begging, "Daddy, will you please tell me the 'Oh Sally' story?"  I never tired of hearing it so now I will tell it for you, one small bit of oral history from Daviess County, Missouri.....

It seems that Grandpa, the first one of our family in Daviess County, would come home roaring drunk on occasion.  He would sit in his wagon out on the road and yell at his wife, "Oh Sally!  Come open the gate!  I'm full as a goose!"  Whereupon Grandma had to walk all the way out to the road and open the gate just so he could drive his team and wagon through and on up to the house while she walked it again.  If she tried to ignore him, he would sit there, reeling on his wagon seat, while he continued to fuss and shout, making the same, loud "Oh Sally!" demand over and over again until she finally gave it up and come out.

Well, Grandma was reputed to be sweet-tempered and long on patience but she eventually got tired of the drill.  Plus, her name was not Sally, she absolutely abhorred anyone calling her Sally and, for some unknown reason, she likened the name Sally to a "bar room floozy" which certainly did not get Grandpa any points at this stage of the game.

So, the last time he sat out in the road shouting for her to come open the gate, she went, all right, but she carried her broom in hand and when she got to the road she proceeded to swing that broom in a deadly fashion and with pure vengeance on her mind.  She knocked him around some, first, then swept him clean off that wagon until he was rolling around in the dirt on the road, moaning and groaning and begging.  She then took the team, the wagon, and her broom back to the house and left him lying there.  She also shut the gate. Never again did he attempt to provoke her in that particular fashion.

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