Chapter 2

Chapter 2

 

 

My Grandfathers name was Elbridge Benton Scrivner 1860–1940 and my Grandmothers name was Etta Reed Scrivner 1863–1944 my Grandfather was a farmer and lived about two miles from our house.

You could see their house from where we lived.

They lived on one side of the valley and we lived on the other side.

My Grandparents were old people when I was a little boy. My Grandfather had a full mustache and was about 5′ 10″ tall. He was quite a good looking man for his age. He had grey hair and parted it near the middle. Grandma was grey also and had long hair that she wore with a round knob on the back with two or three hairpins through it to hold it in place.

She was a pleasant Lady and loved her Grandchildren. She was quite a large Lady and almost always wore an aporn as was the custom when she was working around the house.

Uncle Marcus worked on the L&N Railroad as a conductor and he always rode in the caboose of the train. When the train went by the house and he was in the caboose the Engineer would have a special whistle signal he would blow to let them know he was on the train. He would always wave a flag at them from the end of the train and they would wave a white flag at him.

This was a common practice as he was on the road a lot. The L&N Railroad would pull a hundred empty coal cars into Eastern Kentucky  where they were disbursed to the coal mines, They were filled with coal and a train of full gondolas and hoppers would be put together and pulled to Ravenna, Ky.

From there a train would made be made up and sometimes a double headder (Two Engines) would take the train of of coal to Cincinnati or other points in the Midwest. In those days coal was king. The big steam engines rumbled about the countryside and you could hear their whistles for miles.

You could identify some of the Engineers by the way the blew their whistle. I recall one Engineer who had a unique way of blowing his whistle.

His name was Roscoe Reeves. He had been an engineer for the L&N for years.

Ole Roscoe as we called him, Would double blow for the signal at Pryse, Ky.  When an Engineer of a passenger train approached the passenger station he would sound four long blasts. He was calling for a signal from the Station Operator.

When an enginner sounds his whistle it means something. It signals others to perform a function and also sounds a warning at a railroad crossing.

At a  railroad passenger startion there is a signal arm that must be actuated by the station operator. The  signal arm was mounted on a steel pole up about thirty feet so it could be easily seen by the engineer and train crew. The signal arm would move in three positions controlled by the station operator. When the arm was in the horizontal position a red  light shown and that meant the engineer could not proceed past that signal without an order from the operator who had received the order from the dispatcher at Ravenna, Ky. from all train orders origionated for the Eastern Ky. Division. The signal arm in the 45 position degree was yellow and meant the engineer was to proceed with caution and the other position was vertical which showed green and he was given clear right of way.

The signal was always in the red position until the operator changed it by pulling a large lever inside the station to the appropriate position.

The reason for all of the signals and train order stations was that there was a lot of single track in the Eastern Ky. Division.

Roscoe would  blow four long double blasts calling for a signal from the operator the operator would usally give him the green signal at Texola, Ky. and Roscoe would reply with two short double blasts of his whistle signifing  he had seen the signal change. You could always tell when Roscoe was in the engine by the way he blew the whistle. People picked up on that and when they would hear that unique whistle they would say, There goes Ole Roscoe.

Thats the way a railroad was run in those days.

Today its all automated and the dispatcher can control a Division from one place by just pushing the appropriate button and changeing signal lights hundreds of miles away.

As my Grandparents grew older they had a live in Lady to help her With the housework and cooking. I remember one Lady whose name was Liza Waters. She was a local Lady and needed to earn money. She was also single and  we used to tease Uncle June about her. I was very small and Mother taught me to say June -Liza. When we were visiting Grandma,  Ma  would tell me to say June -Liza when he was around and they would have a good laugh.

Grandpa sat on his front porch a lot where he had a good view as his home was built up high on a rise at the base of a hill. He was semi-retired and had quit farming when I first rememberd him.

Everyone in the country knew uncle Eb. as they called him. he grew some cattle on the farm and always had the finest riding horse and saddle in the county.

I used to go over to their house and stay overnight a lot. They had ten children, Joe, Shelton, Hubert, Marcus, Vernon, Mattie, Harry , Harris, June and Everett.

Harry and Harris were twins and Harris died as an infant and that left eight boys and one girl. Mattie Scrivner was my mother. She was an only Daughter.

Uncle June lived with my Grand Parents and worked the farm. He had a Model A Ford coupe and he would take me for a ride with him when he went away to the store.  I liked to ride with him in the car and he would be rolling a cigarette and  would let me hold it in the road while he rolled his smoke. He would say CeeB goose her while I roll this smoke. We were on a country road and no traffic, So I had the whole road to work with.  Once in a while on Sunday morning after we had breakfast he would drive out to Tipton Ridge and buy a half pint of moonshine whiskey.  On the way back  after we got off the main road he would pull the cork out and hand it over to me and say have a sup, That meant not too much. I would take a little sup and swollow and my throat would burn and my eyes would water. Man that was strong stuff. That was the first time I had ever tasted alcohol and my first drink.

My Grandmother was a good cook and I always loved to eat at her house espically breakfast. my grandfather always liked a little extra soda in the biscuits and they would be a litte yellow and thats the way he liked them. Sometimes she would be a little light on the soda and Grandpa would say, Et, Not enough soda in the biscuits this morning and she would reply, Hush Eb. Grandpa always poured his coffee into the saucer and would sip it from there. He would sit on the front porch in his favorite chair and talk to the people who passed the road which ran below his house. They were on horseback or riding in a wagon with a team of mules.

Not many cars on the road in those days. not many people could afford one. If one came up the dirt road you could see it coming for miles as the dust would be flying.

During prohibition he used to make beer. He would have some containers over the mantle and I remember the beer corn working. The corn would go up the side of the jar and go to the bottom and up and down. When the beer was finished he would drink some and he would give me a little sup. He also liked to pull a cork once in a while.

Grandpa was a Jack Of All trades, He was a good Blacksmith. He made his own horse shoes and did all of the farm machinery repair. I used to turn the handle on the bellows and he would put a piece of iron in the fire and I would turn the bellows until it was white hot.  He would take the metal out of the fire and put it on the anvil and pound it with a big hammer until it was formed to his satisfaction.

He made his own horseshoes and shoed his own mules and his riding horse Jim.

When we didn’t have a horse to ride I used to go over and get Jim and my Mother would ride him over.to their house. We used to have a signal as we could see their house from ours. Grandma had a clothes line in the upper edge of the yard and when she wanted my Mother to come over for a visit she would hang a sheet on the upper corner of the clothes line. That meant come over tomorrow.  Uncle June used to call that  ragging Mattie. He had a knack of putting a twist on things.   After we ate breakfast she would send me  to bring Jim over so she could ride him back.

I would walk and run over to their house and Grandpa would have Jim saddled. He  would lift me up on Jim and open the gate and I would be on my way home. it took about twenty minutes for me to make the trip. Ma would get on Jim and ride him over to their house and visit until about 3:00 PM and she would ride him home. I would ride Jim back to Grandpas house and  then I would walk and run home. This happened many times.

My Grandfather always had a boat. He had built himself and it was made from wide poplar lumber that had grown on his property. He had chosen a large diameter tree cut it down and had it sawn into lumber.He let the boards dry in his shed and when they had dried properly he built a nice deep boat that had three seats. The oars were fixed so you could row from the center seat. He used the boat to get around when the backwater was up from floods.When the water was up to flood stage it covered the road to his house and he was water bound. Ma used to visit them during these floods. Either he or My Uncle June would row the boat for her.

I remember one time when the water was up very high my cousin Leon Scrivner who lived in Ravenna, Ky. came up to visit us on the farm.    Leon was the son of Shelton Scrivner. He and my Aunt Dexter had three children. Wilma, Wanda and Leon. When Leon came up to visit us he always wanted to go visit Grandpa and Grandma. We went around the hillside above the water and through the forest to get to their house. After we had visited for a while we asked Grandpa if we could take his boat and ride in the backwater. He said we could and we got the boat going with me rowing. Now we had a motive for wanting to row in the water. You see, When Leon came to visit he would always bring along three or four packs of cigarettes. So we wanted to get out where no one would see us and we would be quite a distance from the house. When we were out far enough we would light up a cigarette and smoke. We rowed over where the creek usually ran but was covered with water. You could tell where the creek ran by the trees. The trees grew along the bank and looking through the water they looked like they were a crooked row. We came upon an oil slick, I knew an oil line ran through there somewhere. Well, We had found a leak in the line. The oil line belonged to Ashland Oil Co. who had a pumping station at The Powder Mill Hill near Pryse. They pumped oil from Fitchburg about three miles away through the pump station  on to Pryse and stored it in the Texas Co. tanks for refining later.    We were smoking up a storm and careful not to let Grandpa see our smoke. I bet he was watching all the time since he had a good pair of binoculars.  We came upon this big oil slick and Leon said, I wonder if this will burn.? You could smell the oil and it smelled like natural gas also.

He said, Lets try it. I pulled a corn shuck from a standing stalk that was above the water and dry. I lit the shuck with a match and dropped it in the oil that was floating on top of the water and as the oil started to heat it started burning and spreading.          .

This oil slick probably covered about a half acre just floating on top of the water. Pretty soon we had a fire that could be seen over half of the county. Black smoke was going up high in the sky as it was a calm day. Man, We thought we had set the world on fire. I thought we were really in for it now. Flames were as high as forty or fifty feet I knew that if Grandpa didn’t skin me my Dad would.

Mr. E.P. Wills was the man that run the pump station came out and was looking at what was going on. The station was only about a quarter mile away.     We got out of there in a hurry. I could just see Leon and me sitting in jail and we were only about twelve years old. We were really scared. We rowed back to Grandpas and tied up the boat and went upon the porch where he was sitting expecting to catch it.

He said, Thats quite a fire you boys started.   Now Uncle E.P. knows he has a leak to fix when the water goes down. (Have you ever felt really good.?) Sure enough, When the water went down there was some men down by the creek repairing the leak.

Leon and I were very close when we were young boys. He would come to our house and we would shoot his .22 rifle. We would  walk along the creek and shoot at just about anything that moved. Grandpa would always say to us, Now don’t you fellers shoot any of my cows. They would be grazing in the fields. We knew better than to shoot one he would skin us alive. He liked Leon and me. We used to do him little favors like drive the cattle from one pasture to the other so they didn’t eat too long in one meadow.

We also used to go down to the lower barn and fetch his bottle.   He would say, I have a bottle in the saddle room behind that old saddle on the bench. You fellers bring it up to me, And don’t you drink any.   That was an invitation to us. We would go down to the saddle room and sure enough there would be a bottle right where he said it was.   We would unscrew the cap and each of us would take a little sup and hurry back to the house with it.   We wouldn’t get too close to Grandpa for fear he would smell it on our breath.   He always kept his liquor at the barn, Grandma would scold him if he kept any in the house.   He used to make the best grape wine from wild grapes that grew on his farm. He also knew how to make good hard cider.

He would let Leon and me ride his horse Jim. Leon would say, Go ask Grandpa if we can ride Jim. Leon lived in the city and didn’t get to ride a horse only when he came up to visit. He didn’t know much about riding horses and I lived on the farm and worked mules almost every day. I would always sit in the saddle and Leon would sit  behind me.

We would ask him if we could ride Jim and he would say, Yes but don’t run him. Alright Grandpa we won’t run him.

We would go to the barn and get the bridle and walk to the pasture where Jim was grazing and put the bridle on him and lead him to the barn and put the saddle on him.

We would ride him nicely in front of the house where Grandpa could see us and when we were out of his sight we would get him going and he could really run. We would come in his sight again and Jim would be trotting along so nice.

We would turn up McIntosh hollow. We called it Tukinsmash hollow because that sounded funner than McIntosh hollow. We were always laughing and having fun. If nothing interesting was going on, we would try to create something.

There was a little valley that ran for two or three miles and people who lived up there had made a little wagon road to their houses. There was a small creek that ran along the wagon road and it would wind across the road several times as you went up. It was very shallow, In some places it would be about a foot deep across the road.

Well thats where Jim would get his workout for the day. After we got out of sight I would tell Leon to hang on and we would take off. Man could that horse run, We would go through that water across the road and never slow down Water would fly in all directions and we were laughing so hard we almost fell off the horse.

We would do that a couple of times and then we would let Jim have a drink of water from the stream and we start for home.

The horse would be all lathered and we would be afraid Grandpa would see it. We would slip around to see if he was still sitting on the porch or if he was down at the barn where he could see Jim all lathered.  We would unsaddle the horse and turn him back in the pasture.  I know Grandpa  was wise to us but he never said anything. We did that a lot when we were growing up.

Just to name some of the people that lived in that area when I was growing up.

Shelt Neal, Wied Barnes, Hargis Richardson, Bill Gilbert, Clearance Tipton, John McIntosh, Armester Tipton, Cutter Rison, Henry Powell, Jord Neal, Coly Lynch  D. Beckley, Bob Williams. Vernon Case, Willie and Jimmy Samples, Jim Estes, Clem Townsend,Fayette Howell,Bryan Samples, Vernon Thacker, Frank Phillips, E.P.Wills Donnely Smyth, Robert Kelly, Mitchell Cole, Bes and Ellis Lynch,Wence LeMaster, Red Stamper and others.

Grandpa had quite a large farm for that part of Estill Co. probably near 150 acres. A lot of it was bottom land and very good soil.  He had two tennant farmers that lived on the farm. They lived on each end of the farm.   Hargis Richardson lived on one side and Mr. Bill Gilbert lived on the other side.  Mr. Gilberts wife was a sister to my Aunt Mattie, Uncle Vollies wife. They were very nice people and were very hard working. They had one son and four daughters.   Hargis Richardson was of a poorer class and had a raft of children. Hargis was a short fat man and a lot of his children were fat and not well educated.

People told a story on Grandpa one time. I know it was true by the source. It was when he was running for Magistrate of the county.

He used to electioneer by riding Jim around the country and talking to people and asking them to vote for him. He was a strong Democrat. He would have a bottle of moonshine in his saddlebags and when he went to call on someone to vote for him he would always offer them a drink from his bottle. If Uncle EB gave you a drink of his moonshine you was somebody. And people knew that.   I do remember him running for Magistrate but I don’t remember the story. His apponent was Mr. John McIntosh who was a neighbor and who’s farm adjoined Grandpas. Mr. McIntosh was a strong Republican.

Mr McIntosh was an older man when I was young and I went to Tipton School with his son Walker and daughter Lorraine. He and Walker used to shoot oil wells with nitro glyceryn. They stored the nitro in a small building between two high hills for safety. Walker drove a red Dodge truck and hauled the nitro to the job. If an oil well wasn’t producing  they would lower a charge of nitro down in the well and explode it and the charge would make a large baloon shape at the bottom of the well and the oil would pool up there and produce better. It really took a lot of courage to haul all that nitro in a truck over the rough roads we had in those days.

Grandpa and Mr. McIntosh were very good friends, But when it came to Politics they were foes until the election was over.   So goes the story.   If you was running for public office you had to go to Church and show yourself as a God fearing man. Thats where all of the Ladies got a look at the Canditate and  talked to them.

The Church was called Mt. Tabor and was located at Millers Creek, Ky. about a mile from where Grandpa and Grandma lived. My mother went to that Church there as a little girl.

One Sunday morning as Grandpa was going to Church,  he passed by Hargis Richardson’s house he asked Hargis to go out to Tipton Ridge and get him a quart of Moonshine Whiskey.   About half way through the sermon that morning Hargis walked into the Church and down to where Grandpa was sitting near the front row and said, Uncle Eb. Heres the whiskey you wanted from Tipton Ridge. Needless to say, Grandpa lost the election. He said, I don’t give a Damn I didn’t want to be Magistrate anyway.

Grandpa was quite a man. Before the turn of the century and and shortly thereafter all   of his brothers move west to Kansas. The first two, My Great Uncles Grandon and Harry settled in the small town of Whitewater, Ks. near Wichita. They rode mules from Ky. to Whitewater, Ks. when they were young men. Grandon was 18 yrs. of age and Uncle Harry was 16.

 

This is some Scrivner family history that Dixie Scrivner Olinger wrote about the Scrivners that migrated to Kansas from Kentucky.

Dixie was the youngest child of Grandon Scrivner.

AS SHE WROTE IT

Scrivner-Olinger

Family History

 

When Mildred Zuercher asked that we present the Scrivner History to the Historical Society, I accepted without any back talk. She was surprised by my consent and said “You mean I don’t have to beg you?”.

After thinking it over, I began to get second thoughts-then Henry became ill. Could I really do it alone?

Dorothy and Merl encouraged me to go on and do it. They even volunteered to clap for me. The way I feel now I may need a few more volunteers–Mildred,–Betty and Bob.

We have been a very average family. We have done nothing to make National History. We have worked for an honest living and tried to be good citizens. Not one of us have served time. How could we be any more average?

George Olinger was born in Germany in 1790. He came to Virginia and was married to Mary Furgeson in 1803. To this union was born 9 children. John Calvin was the youngest born just one year before his father died.

John calvin Olinger born 1844 and Phoebe Ann Talbert born 1842 moved to Fairmont Township in 1870 from Logansport, Indiana.

They homesteaded 160 acres of land in Fairmount  township.

Several other relatives came about this time, and a few years it became apparent  there was a need for a cemetary. John then donated one acre of ground at the southwest corner of his land. It was known as the Olinger cemetary, more recently, The Lone Star of Fairmount cemetary.

Other people settled in the Township about that time.

Familiar names such as Worline, Ferguson, Mike Guinty and J. B. Spangler were among those early newcomers. Fairmount township did not have as many homestead settlers as other townships because the odd numbered sections were the property of the Santa Fe Railroad Co. Having been donated to it by the government to assist in constructing the railroad. There sections were not subject to Homestead Entry.

John and Phoebe Ann had 12 children, They were Charles, Kate, Mary Jane, Sarah, Etha, May, John, Phoebe Ann, Ethel and Joseph. Twins died in infancy. Only three stayed in the Butler County area. May Farni, Phoebe Ann Merryfield and Mary Jane (known better as Mollie) was married to Grant (Grandon) Scrivner.

Can you imagine the hardships of these pioneers in the 1870 to 1880’s? They endured the heat and the cold of the Kansas weather, lived in pioneer homes they had built themselves. Their hardships were not fo the weak.

John and Phoebe Ann lived on the homestead until 1885 when they moved to Potwin. That little town was new so they thought it would be an opportunity to better themselves. John started and operated a grocery store for several years. They later moved to Moore, Oklahoma where John had a Huxter Wagon. His grocery store was in an enclosed wagon. He travelled in the country from home to home and sometimes would be gone for many days.

Life still was not easy. As he grew older and became unable to work, John and Phoebe Ann lived with their children.

John Calvin had served in the Civil war. He was fortunate to have a Civil war pension that made their livelihood easier. Life had not been easy. John and Phoebe Ann were living with their daughter Ella in Chandler Oklahoma when both had strokes and died within six weeks of each other in 1925.

 

Scrivner History. The first record of the Scrivners was quite sketchy, But it was in London, England that a Benjamin Scrivner had been in the Queens Army in 1620. A James Scrivner came to Jersey Settlement in North Carolina in 1729. James moved on west to Estill County, Kentucky. Millers creek was where Joseph our Grandfather was born May 15,1816.

Joseph was married to Polly Anna Benton (Born in1822) in February of 1841.Again  records of the Benton family are sketchy. A cousin traced our ancestors back to the Revolutionary War to get her D.A.R. Records show that some of the men were Engineers and helped lay out the roads and marked the state lines in North and South Carolina. They moved on West as the Country opened up. I found they were Agriculturists, A fancy word for farmers.

Jesse Benton, Born 1782 in Madison County, Kentucky, Was married to Phoebe Covington. Polly Anna was born in 1822. She had one brother that was a Judge in Estill County and another one moved on to Missouri. He was Thomas Hart Benton a well known Senator. ( I also found a William Henry Scrivner born in 1862. Do you suppose Henry was reincarnated?)

To the union of Polly Anna Benton and Joseph Scrivner was born thirteen children, three girls and ten boys.

Julianna-1843-1915

Mary Jane-1844-1879

Sylvester-1846-1922

John-1848-

Martin-1849-1917

Merrill-1852-1927

William-Grandon 1854-1933 (Our Father)

Ben Rice-1856-1955

Francis Marion-1858-1910

Elbridge-1860-1940

James-1863-1951

Harry Cockrell-1865-1951

Tabitha-1867-1871

This would have been 25 years of child bearing, The first born in 1842 and the last born in 1867.

Estill County was a mountainous country with valleys of very fertile soil. It is hard to describe the mountain country.The farming area was of an oval shaped basin possibly 3 miles long and a mile or so wide. Millers Creek ran through the land. Mountains were on all sides with outlets to the outside world at each end of the basin.This land was very fertile and they grew mostly corn. Floods were frequent so a yearly crop could not be counted on

The people lived on the mountain side out of flood range in log cabins. They did raise cattle on the mountain side, So with chickens and gardens they were able to survive.

This bottom ground was devided among the mountain people many of them relatives. There were no public schools in Kentucky. The family that could pay tuition sent their children (boys mostly) to a Subscription School. Grant, Our Dad went to this school four terms but the terms were only three months in the fall of the year.

He remembered one time that 4 men rode up to talk to their male teacher. When the teacher returned he said that school would be dismissed. The teacher never returned. On the way to Kansas Grant and Ben stayed in an inn. They recognized their old teacher there, His name at that time was Jesse James.

These people were poor. Money was hard to come by. Can you imagine 10 boys in a log cabin on the side of a mountain with neighbors having probably as many.

It was when Grant was 18 and his brother Ben was 16 that they started out to seek their fortune with little money and two riding mules. They ended up in Atchinson, Kansas with $10.00 between them. They spent a short time there doing farm work. In 1872 Grant and Ben came on to Butler County. The Scrivner brothers had many experiences during their trip from Kentucky to Kansas.

After drifting the territory until 1874, The brothers bought a new building for $20.00 and pulled it to what is now the Langley farm. They pulled it with a team of oxen. It still stands there. They batched there for 8 years, Farming and doing farm work for others when work was available.

Henry remembers a story told by his Dad. When Grant was a kid in Kentucky it was always his job to clean the hogs head. He disliked the job and vowed when he was on his own he would never clean another head.

Sam Gaines a neighbor asked him to help with the butchering. Sam gave grant a hogs head for helping. On the way home Grant thought of his vow in Kentucky of never cleaning a hogs head again. His brother knew of this vow so Grant decided not to take the head home. He broke the ice in the creek and put it in. His brother asked what he got for helping. Grant hesitated and wasn’t going to tell but did so. Food was scarce so Ben insisted they take the lantern and go get the meat. Hunger had taken the place of pride.

Grant Scrivner was a noted rider of wild broncos and spent time breaking horses for money. In the early 1880s Grant received work at the Bob Camp Ranch (which was later the Paulson Farms).

Farming and sheep raising was his work. During this employment Fredrick Remington came to the Camp Ranch and had money invested as well as being a family friend. He was from a wealthy family so work was not particularly his forte. He was an artist and spent his time sketching and painting.

One day Remington was sketching by the side of the barn and Grant came around the corner with a new born lamb under each arm. Remingtons presence startled the horse who reared and Grant dropped both lambs and threw up his arms in an attempt to regain his balance.  At that moment Fredrick Remington got the inspiration for the statue of the Bronco Buster.

Because of the likeness to other statues it is believed that Grant Scrivner had appeared in many of Remingtons work such as “A Running Bucker” and “A Sunfisher” However, Grant knew only of the Bronco Buster.

Remington had given his close friend Theodore Roosevelt the “Bronco Buster” statue when Roosevelt returned from the war with Cuba. When Roosevelt was President he took it to the White House where it still sits.

It so happened the Camp Ranch was just across the road South of the Olinger Homestead. It was here that Grant watched a pretty girl grow up. He liked what he saw and on July 15,1889 he was married to Mary Jane. Mollie, as she was always called.

The Olingers having moved to Potwin sold the Olinger Homestead to to Grant and Mollie for $1600.00. They continued to farm and raise livestock as well as chickens. To this union was born 10 children. Two died in infancy.

Claude B.-August 17,1890

Guy Peder-September 4,1893

Myrtle-September 4,1896

Iva- November 22,1898

Harry Tildon-August 23,1904

William Henry-April 9,1907

Ben Rice-January 10,1912

Dixie Jane-Febraury 5,1912

Over the years word got back to Kentucky that Kansas was the land of opportunity compared with Kentucky. Since there  were 8 more Scrivner boys back in Kentucky, They started coming to Kansas one by one. All but one brother came to Kansas.

This was a difficult time especially for our Mother. If the brother was married and most of them were by this time they brought the family. They moved in with our expanding family. That made for a lot of people in a not too large 4 room home. The new family would soon get a place to rent, Then here would come another brother.

Our father, With his Southern Hospitality as well as knowing their livlihood in Kentucky never turned a brother down. Seven brothers came to find Kansas was really not a land of “Milk and Honey”. Some began to move on for one reason or another. Martin moved to Oklahoma because of his asthmatic condition. Merrill moved to North Dakota, Ben to Idaho and Frank to Oklahoma. Grant, Sylvester, John, James and Harry made their homes mostly in Butler County. There were several Scrivners around for years, but time had taken its toll by death and resettlement. Only a very few of the second generation of Kansans can be counted on now. Henry is the only one around now with the Scrivner name.

Those ensuing years must have been for the courageous. Both the parents had a limited education so they wanted their children to have it better. Lone Star, our country school went to the 8th grade.

In 1913, The family made a decision to move to Whitewater 11 miles away. Claude and Guy had gone to Newton for some schooling so they stayed on the farm. Myrtle and Iva were for high school, Harry and Henry for the grades.

There was lots of traveling from the town to the farm by horse and buggy. A most memorable time for me was one time when Mother and I were at the farm and they got the word in the middle of the night that Henry was very sick. Guy hitched up the horse and buggy. They made a bed for me in the bottom of the buggy,covered me with a robe and tucked their feet at my side. It was dark and cold. The moon was full and so bright, the hoof beats of the horse were so distinct. There were coyote howls in the distance, The sounds of night. This has been a lifetime memory.

This move did not seem as rosy as it looked. The parents felt responsible for helping with the farm and 6 children in Whitewater. They couldn’t be in both places. In 1917 we moved back to the farm. Myrtle stayed with Worth Kempers so that she could graduate from High School and Iva left school to go back to the farm.

Lone Star School here we come again. Harry, Henry Ben and Dixie became the schools new students. The demands on the teachers were great with so many boys and girls in all 8 grades.

I, Dixie had asthma and our mode of transportation was mostly walking so a few weeks was the duration of Lone Star for me. Henry was in the 5th grade He remembers his fellow students as Harry and Ben Scrivner Ray, Ralph, Mabel and Mildred Paulson, Mondo and Glenn Hintz, Edwards, Terlings, Thomas Girls, Otto Beard, Joe Ullum, Mildred Ashenfelter, Leonard Scott, two Suttons, Alva Barber, two Moons, two Snaveleys, Pauline, Grace and Bernice Paulson and Lucille and Nettie Puckett.

Education here was not the best when teachers had an 8th grade education. Many times the students were older and larger than the teacher.

Peabody, 15 miles to the North was our trading post for clothing. Smith and Keller was where we went for mens clothing. Our basic necessities for living we purchased in th small town of Elbing. Dave Lambert had a grocery store, It was later taken over by Bill Lambert. That store had items the home needed like wash boilers, wash boards, brooms,kerosene lamps and cooking utinsels as well as groceries. Crackers in a barrel, peanut in a big wooden bucket and lots of things like beans in the bulk.

The fondest memories were of the glass enclosed candy case. There was candy in long narrow pans. You could point to the kind you wanted and get a pennys worth of this or that according to your wealth.

There were other places of business in Elbing such as a blacksmith shop, lumber yard, post office and bank.Pepole bragged that there once was 300 peoplle who lived there.

Potwin was 8 miles to the southeast. We went to visit relatives there once in a while. The Christian Churches Minister Rev. Higon came to the Lone Star School for Church services on Sunday afternoons. I remember going down to Bill Paulsons creek for a Baptism one Sunday. Greg Claassen lives there now,I think.

Dr.Stalhman was the doctor that went to peoples houses day or night driving his horse and buggy. His name was on many of our birth certificates. All of our family and six of my Mothers family were born on the Homestead.

Our mailmen were so important in our daily lives. Some of us always met the mailman. John Dooley who was related to the Lamberts (and to Betty Dilley Baker) was one of our mailmen. Another I remember was Guy Stutzman.

Farming machinery was simple and could be repaired and improved in a blacksmith shop. Our Dad bought a shop and the equipment in Eastern Kansas.

It was really a great help and a playhouse for men interested in that kind of work. A fire was built in the forge for heating the irons. Uncle Harry knew some about the art of welding so men became skilled in that art. Henry still has some of this equipment.

Friends and relatives would gather on rainy days or times when they could not do field work and sometimes just gathered for the “heck of it” Mornings became long and extended to noon, those who were still there stayed for dinner. Our Mother always seemed to be able to feed the masses.

Butchering was also was an interesting time. A butchering time was set usally between Christmas and New Years so the kids could help.Friends and Relatives would bring in the hogs. Water was heated in a big rectangular vat, and a fire was started very early. Ashes were put in the vat  for better cleaning. Ropes were hung in the trees for hanging the hogs. Boards were fixed for tables to carve the meat and cut the fat for lard. The lard was rendered in a large black kittle. Oh! those were greasy days. They were hard to forget.

The wheat was cut with a binder and shocked in the summer. Threshing Crews were set in motion. The steam engine with the grain separator pulled in. The “crew” was grain haulers who scooped the grain from the wagon into the storage bin and the ones who run the bundle wagons. They loaded the bundles from the field and pitched them into the grain separator. The crew was mostly relatives and neighbors that traded work and occasionally there was a hired hand.

Often times the woman traded kitchen work and came to help. then the kids got to go along to help or play as the occasion demanded.

When the total help was added up it could be 25 to 30 mouths to feed. Some of the helpers would stay all night if they lived a few miles away. Beds were everywhere on straw stacks, bundle wagons and porches. When the helpers stayed it meant 2 more meals for the cook.

In this period times changed. The family was growing up and moving out to begin new homes. The younger set of kids were ready for a higer education so back we went to Whitewater in 1917. We moved one house north of where we previously lived, the big pink house of Sim Eilerts. It was large so for the first time we had plenty of room, Even electricity.

I don’t know that the street had a name but it should have been “Kid Street” as about 35 kids, as I recall of school age lived in a 2 block square area. There was never a dull moment. Milk was expensive so dad took a cow to town. Milking was not a chore as “milking time” was a side show with plenty of onlookers.

The Lofton place, 13/4 miles southeast of Whitewater had been purchased. Guy who had married Edna Kreuger was farming that place. Guy then purchased a farm near Furley. His moving opened a place for the Scrivners to get 4 kids out of town.

Farming and raising cattle was still a way of life. Our Dad had extended his operation to buying and selling mules. The Government bought some of them for the Army. At this time, there was a Mule barn in Wichita that auctioned mules. Buyers from the south would buy mules to work in the cotton fields.

The mules would sell better and bring a better price if they were “Broke”. The boys, Harry, Henry and Ben along with their friends, considered it a lark to harness these mules and hitch them to a very heavy lumber wagon that had brakes and take off. “Run Always” were the common thing. The mules would run with someone, or two, at the reins and another boy pulling on the brake until the mules as well as the boys would be tired. After several days of hitching the mules to the wagon they would be more gentle and not so afraid. The mules could be sold as “broke to the harness”. I suppose one could compare these adventurous days to racing cars today. Anyway, There was always a lot of boys out from town for the excitement.

This 160 acres where Henry now lives, plus the Homestead of 160 acres in fairmount Township made for a large farming operation. We farmed with horses and mules and fed cattle as well. This called for hired men. During the depression good hired men were plentyful for wages of board and room and 50 cents a day. There was always work to do,when all else was caught up there was manure to haul and machinery to fix.

During this time, Whitewater was a great little town. Many  business places existed to tak care of most of our needs. Bill Lambert had sold his store in Elbing and started a grocery store in Whitewater. (He still had the candy case.) Nix Penner had a grocery store and variety store where little girls could wish a lot. Henry Brooks worked there. Henry Bruhn had the blacksmith shop. James Stewart had a garage to fix cars. Harold and Hylas Smith had a furniture store and mortuary. Our postmaster was Bill Vancel. Our doctors were Dr. Nossman and Dr. Norris. “Butch” Breesing had the butcher sho. Gladfelters the bakery, and Joe Motter was the barber. There were two banks, The Whitewater Bank and Peoples State Bank. Three Churches, Reformed and Lutheran that consolidated to Federated and Methodist and two Country Churches, Swiss and Emmas Mennonite.

The Missouri Pacific railroad ran from El Dorado to Newton. The train went west about 9:30 A.M. and back East about 3:30 P.M. Going to Newton was a great outing. We lived neighbors to Arnold Zuerchers, when the weather was nice the Scrivners saw that we got to school.When it was snowy, Mr. Zuercher had a sled pulled by two horses so he saw to it we got to school. We were the envy of the town kids. If it was muddy he had a surry with a fringe top. Weren’t we lucky?

Claude was the oldest born in 1890. Claude did not marry until he was 46 years of age. Sometimes we younger siblings resented his bossing us. Dad was getting older so Claude took his place (He thought). Claude married Iva Dey Long who had grown up in that area. He always farmed and after he was married, lived 1/2 mile north of Lone Star School. He did not have children.

Guy, too was born and grew up on the old Homestead. After he was married he lived in the Furley community. He was married to Edna Krueger, a Whitewater girl. To this union four children were born. William Ralph, called Billie, Margaret, Hazel and Betty.

They moved from Furley back to the family homestead in 1934. He too followed his fathers footsteps continuing to farm and feed cattle. Guy was the humerous one.

On June 8,1941, There were devistating clouds that gathered in the Southwest. It was Ednas birthday. It was the 23rd Anniversary of her marriage Guy and it was the day she was doomed to die. A tornado that had dropped down West of Wichita, again at Maize, Valley Center, North of Wichita and again South of Whitewater,then stayed on the ground across the country hitting home after home until it reached the Guy Scrivners. Here too, it demolished the farmstead and took the lives of Edna, Margaret, Betty, Mrs. Krueger (Ednas Mother) and the little Paulson girl, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Paulson. Eight lives had been taken in the Whitewater area and many injured in the path between Whitewater and Guys home. Guy eventually moved to Newton.He later married Mattie Posey and lived in Newton until his death. His son Billie died of a massive heart attack in 1954. Hazel Maring, who was spared from the tornado was in the hospital at the time. She now lives in Halstead, Kansas.

Myrtle, the oldest girl lived in Butler Co. all her life. She was married to Ernest Stanley in 1919.S did not have children. They farmed near Benton. Earnest was a World war Vet. and was never well after his return from the service. After Earnests death, she lived with and cared for our Mother until her death in May 1944. Myrtle lived in Whitewater and passed away in July 1988.

Iva was married to George Newberry. To this union 3 children were born. Marcelene Madris of Texas, Della Kerchner of LaCrosse,Ks. and David who was killed in World War II. After a divorce Iva married Albert Brack and lived in Western Kansas. She passed away in 1986.

Harry too was a good stockman and farmer. He lived and farmed 5 miles south of Peabody on the Marion Butler county line. Harry was married to  Orlene Stout of Blackwell, Oklahoma. They had 3 daughters. Loretta Whipple, A teacher in Shjenorock, N.Y. Harriet Wood a real estate agent  in Clay Center, Kansas and Mary Beth Gaines who lives on the family farm. Harry graduated from Whitewater high school in 1923. He passed away in 1982.. His widow , Orlene lives in Peabody..

Henry, the next in line has always been a Whitewater kid, graduating from Whitewater High School in 1926. Butler county has always been his home. We had moved our Mother to Whitewater and Henry was to take over the farm. On June 3,1941, Henry married Dorothy Burnet. the night Henry and Dorothy returned from their Honeymoon the tornado that killed Guys family dipped down at their place. Some of the buildings were damaged but they were not hurt. That was not a “Welcome Home” experience.

Henry and Dorothy have 2 daughters, Betty Cerny of Narka who teaches high school business and Mildred (Millie) Barton of lakewood, Colorado a teacher turned school librarian.

Henry learned his lesson well from his father. He too has been a good farmer and stockman. He also dealt in mules until there was no longer a market.

Henry retired from the farm work but continued to deal in cattle attending cattle sales and order buying cattle for others as well as himself to put in feed lots. He is part owner of Cedar Bluff Cattle Feeders Lot at Ellis, Kansas. he has been active in the community, has served on the township board and is presently serving on the Whitewater River Watershed Board and has for more than 24 years. Henry and Dorothy are members of the Fderated Church. Henry and Dorothy have travelled extensively in the United states as well as Foreign Countries.

Henry has been a progressive  business man, dealing in agriculture related businesses.

Ben, Number 9 in the family, Was born on the old homestead. He attended the Lone Star School then attended  Whitewater High School but dropped out when he was a junior. Unlike the other boys, he did not care for farming. He went to Boise, Idaho and there got in the grocery business.

Ben was married to Wauneta Shook from ElDorado, Kansas. They had one daughter Fern. of Pueblo, Colorado. He returned from Idaho and went to work in the Airplane Plant but still had the calling to work with food particulally fruit and vegetables. Ben ran a store in Newton until his health failed, Even then he raised good gardens and beautiful flowers. He was generous to a fault with his material possessions. He died in August 1987 after a long illiness.

Wauneta, His widow now lives in Peabody in the Indian Guides. Dixie, (Thats Me)  is the last on of the Grant and Mollie Scrivner family and the 17th baby to be born on the farm homesteaded by our Grandparents in 1870. I had to be an independent child having 3 brothers just older than I. I received  my education without interuption from moving in Whitewater, graduating  in the class of 1931. I remained at home to help care for our father until his death in 1933.

After graduating from ElDarado Junior College in 1935 I was ready to teach. The Elbing school Board, Clayton Sooby, Frank Cosand and Mr. Epp believed in me enough to employ me. This was one of my most fulfilling experiences with a room full of boys and girls in the 5,6,7,and 8th grades who did not know how to be naughty. They made teaching a real pleasure. Staying with Myrtle Sooby, A great Christian Lady, Completed an enjoyable first job experience.

Elbing gave me confidence to go on to better things. That summer, Mildered Zuercher and I got brave enough to go clear out to Boulder, Colorado to summer school.

I signed a contract at Maize School. It stated that there would be no married women teachers and we had to stay in town two weedends a month. This is where the Scrivner Kids hit the jackpot. I would bring those unmarried teacher friends home for the weekend. Both Harry and Hnry were single, so they took their pick of the unmarried teachers for their wives. Since the teachers had to be in Maize 2 weekends, I met one of the local single farmers, Merl Eberly. It took two years for me to catch him or him to catch me during which time I taught at Peabody. My teaching career extended over 11 years with many years of substituting.

In 1945 we moved to the Eberly farm that was purchased in 1883  by his Grandfather. We farmed exclusively until 1962 when we expanded our operation to a farm related recreation business. The recreation business soon outweighed farming. We retired from the Eberly Farm recreation and farming when our son Sam and his family took over 8 years ago.

We have been involved in the community and school activities. I served on the Maize School Board for 12 years. We are active members at Hyde Park United Methodist in Wichita. We are the proud parents of 2 sons. Sam, the oldest is a Friends graduate as was his Father. He was President of the Federal Land Bank for 15 years. He later served on the Farm  Credit District Board and President of the National Farm Cedit Board for 2 years. He and his family continue to manage the fast expanding Eberly Farm Recreation.

Ray, our other son has been employed with AT & T for 20 years and is now located in Grand Junction, Colorado. He helps operate the computers that monitor the tele-communications systems over the mountains.

Speaking for Henry and myself, We are glad that our parents taught us honesty and integrity. We are glad they taught us to respect others as well as have self respect. We are glad they taught us to accept responsibility and not try to pass the buck. They taught us to be responsible for our own actions. We are glad they taught us to work and save our money and not to spend more money than we took in.

We are glad  that we had fore-fathers that pioneered here in Butler County to enjoy the fruits of the land. I’m always proud to say, “I’m from Whitewater”.

This family history compiled by Dixie Scrivner Eberly and Henry Scrivner and presented by Dixie to the Whitewater, Ks. Historical Society Meeting February 4, 1991.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life went on as I began to get older. My Dad and I were the principal laborers on our farm. He was interested in growing tobacco as it was a very good cash crop and added to our income for the year.   Tobacco takes a lot of work and care to harvest a good crop. The tobacco is graded and sold by grade. The lower leaves are called trash and sold for a lower price and as you go up the tobacco stalk the finer leaves bring a better price etc. The upper leaves were made into cigarettes and fine cigars. So you have to know what you are doing when you strip the leaves off the stalk and grade it into different catergories. In the spring we would select a good fertile place and burn the top of the soil with leaves and brush to kill all the weed seeds and disease.   Next we would put poles around the selected area and till the new soil that had been burned over.   Dad had purchased the fine Burley seed that had been innoculated from disease and was sown on the soil. We would brush the soil lightly over the seed and finally cover the bed with a light canvas to keep out anything the wind would blow into it.   The sun could shine through the thin canvas and also hold a bit of heat during the cool nights.In a couple of weeks you could see the tiny plants poki  I would take one row and Dad in the other row with each of the girls pouring water for us. The County agent would measure your tobbaco base and if you had planted too much they would chop enough tobacco down until you had the right amount for your base. So you can see if you overplanted you was just wasting your money, And we didn’t have any to waste. I think Dad had about 6/10 of an acre as it was allocated to the size of your farm.  After the ground was prepared, Dad would pull the tobacco plants and we would plant them in the late afternoon before sunset. Dad would layoff the rows nice and straight with a mule and a single shovel plow.

My sisters Etta Clay and Margie would pour a cup of water into the small area where the plant was placed and we would cover it gently with the fertile soil and hope it would grow up to be a big stalk of tobacco.   We did this every afternoon until we had finished planting the alotted field.   The reason we planted late in the afternoon was the plant was a little more stabilized being in the ground overnight and the hot sun didn’t burn it during the day.   Can you imagine being on your hands and knees planting 6/10 of an acre of tobacco.?   Thats the way it was done in those days.

After the plants had grown for a few weeks it was time to plow the rows to keep the weeds down and loosen the soil.   We would plow the rows with one mule and a double shovel. This is a plow that has two blades side by side with one blade set  behind the other. A small blade on the front next to the plant and a larger blade in the middle of the row to plow up the weeds.

We would have to plow the tobacco four or five times to keep the weeds from growing.ng through the soil.   In the meantime Dad and I was doing our spring plowing and getting ready to plant the  crops.   As soon as the tobacco plants were four to six inches high they would be ready for replanting. The Government only allowed you to raise only so much tobacco without penalty. The penalty was so great that it was not profitable to grow more.  The county agent would come out and measure your crop.  I can remember Dad plowing the tobacco when it was up to the mules back. We would have to worm the tobacco also as large worms called (Tobacco worms) would get on the leaves and destroy the crop.  We used to smash them between two stones Boy that was a grizzly job. Dad and I would do that as the girls would get sick doing that job. We had to sucker the crop also, That is where you pull the center of the shute out to keep  any seed from forming and by doing this the plant would spread out and more growth would go to the leaves.

After the plants started to turn yellow at the end of the growing season Dad would take a tobacco knife and start cutting the stalks.There always seemed that I had something to do. He would have me get the tobacco sticks and distribute them in the row so he could put the stalks on them.   He would put one of the sticks on an angle in the ground and cut a stalk split the stalk and slide on the stick. He would put about tweve stalks on the stick and move on to another area where he repeated this.   This was called a stick of tobacco. After the crop was cut and it stayed on the sticks overnight we would haul  it into the barn and hang it on poles that were strung in the barn.   The sticks were about five feet long and the poles were spread about that space in the barn so just the ends of the sticks rested on the poles.

The tobacco cured in the barn until it was a rich golden brown. By this time it was into December and we couldn’t do very much work outside and it was time to strip the leaves off the stalks.   We would wait until a rain came and the weather was very humid and the leaves were not dry and you could crunch a leaf in your hand without it crumbling and Dad and I would take the sticks down and pack it in a big pile and cover it with  a cover so it would not dry out.  We would cover the tobacco with old rugs, corn sacks and anything that would hold that moisture.   Dad would work all the month of December stripping tobacco and sometimes starting as soon as after Thanksgiving.

Dad would never let me strip and grade the tobacco as he didn’t think I was qualified to do the grading, Thank goodness as it was a lot of hard tedious work.

But my reward for not grading the tobacco was, I had to clean out the cow and horse stalls so you can see I didn’t get off scott free. The tobacco was stripped off the stalk and tied with a nice leaf to hold it together. A hand of tobacco is all you can hold in your thumb and forefinger. We didn’t have scales to weigh with so a hand was what you could hold in your hand between your thumb and forefinger. It was then placed on the same stick that was used in the field to hang the stalks on. The stick served many purposes. It was made from hickory wood and about one inch square. I have never seen a square stick as we didn’t have anything to make a square stick with so they were split with an ax or some type of knife to make them small.  As I said they had many purposes, I have felt one on my backside when I didn’t do what my Dad told me to.  Now all of the work has been done and off to market we go. The tobacco market opened just after Christmas in Lexington and Dad would watch the daily paper to see how much the big Tobacco Companies were paying for tobacco.

Dad always subscribed to the Lexington Herald and it came by mail. We would receive it the same day as published but in the afternoon.

The passenger train started its schedule in Lexington and got to Millers Creek about 2:30 in the afternoon. Then the mail carrier delivered it by horseback to our rural mailbox and we would pick it up from there. So you can see any news was several hours old by the time we got our paper.   When Dad thought the market was right, He would hire a man with a truck and he would take the tobacco to market. You are at the mercy of market prices and grade. Some seasons produced better quality than others due to the amount of rain and disease that would attack the plants. In about two or three weeks he would get a tobacco check in the mail from the Tobacco Warehouse who were the brokers.They would receive it and take care of it through the sale. The check would be $350.00 or $400.00 and that would big money for us to have at one time. I think Dad had a sense of security with a little cash on hand. He would get on the bus and go to Irvine and put it in the Union Bank And Trust Co. Bank as soon as possible. That was a lot of work for such a small return on your labor by todays standard.   It meant he could buy clothes for us kids and stock for the farm. He liked to raise calves  fatten them and send them off th market for a few dollars profit.   We would hatch our own chickens. As we had a lot chickens on the farm the hens laid lots of eggs.

In the early spring my Mother would select some of the best looking eggs and would mark them with a pencil so the eggs wouldn’t get mixed with fresh eggs that were laid.

She would put about a dozen eggs under an old setting hen and hatch them. You could always tell a setting hen,She would walk around clucking,  mean and would flogg you if you got too close.

We would end up with a couple hundred baby chicks in the late spring. Some would be white, yellow and red. We used to play with the chicks until the old hen would come along and run us away.

We had fried chicken just about every Sunday when they grew up to be fryers.

My Mother could make the best fried chicken you ever ate. I still use her recipe and get lots of compliaments on my fried chicken. Thanks to her.

We didn’t had a radio in my early childhood. Finally Dad bought a Philco radio from a good friend of his who said it was a good radio and he would enjoy it.

I remember when the man delivered it and he put an antenna up on the house and ran a wire to the radio. We were all standing around (We Kids) to see if it would work. It was a big event in our lives. He hooked the radio to a wet cell 12 volt battery and sure enough it worked. Boy, We had some entertainment in the house. Now the trouble began. We all had a favorite program we wanted to listen to, So Ma and Dad had to allocate time for each of us.   I liked Jack Armstrong The All American Boy. You could send your Wheaties Box Tops box tops to Battle Creek, Mi.and get a Dick Tracy Secret Coded watch.   The only problem was, I didn’t have any Wheaties box tops. In fact I had never eaten any wheaties.   I knew what they were because the man on the radio told you what they were but we were not fortunate to get store bought ceral. We ate Quaker oats if anything and that wasn’t often.

Anyway we had to settle on Mr. Keen tracer of lost persons. Also Amos and Andy, Lum and Abner and Dads favorite Lowell Thomas from WLW Cincinnati. We also would listen to the Grand Ole Opry from WSM Nashville.

We had to use the radio spareing as the wet cell battery would run down in about a month and we would have it recharged. That cost $.50 and Dad made it last as long as possible. So we would listen to our favorite programs and then turn it off.

That radio was a big event in our lives.

Dad always bought his farming tools and fence wire from Jim Brown in Cleveland,Oh.

He thought Jim Brown was the greatest man around. If you weren’t satisfied with what you bought you could send it back and he would return your money. Dad thought he was the greatest.

He would send Dad a catalog through the mail and Dad would look through it and buy fence wire from him.

I can remember, Jim Brown had his picture on the front of the catalog. He was a man who looked to be in his 50’s and he advertised as, Jim Brown Fence And Wire Co. The Top Wire Painted Red. Cleveland,Oh

Boy, That got Dad every time.

Dad would order some wire from Jim Brown and he would ship it postpaid on the train. It would come to Pryse, KY. where we would pick it up with a team and wagon.

We used to have what we called Reunions. That was where all relation and friends got together for a day of fellowship and food. Everyone was busy working on the farm and the only time there was time to visit was on Sunday.

I remember Earl Howell who was a neighbor and Lelah his wife and my Mother was good friends.   Lelah was a sister of Mont and Norman Williams that you read about earlier in this confession.   Earl bought a new 1936 Ford dump truck. He had printed on the door of the truck, “U Call We Haul” and a three digit phone number. He would put a cattle rack on the bed and he would haul a big load of people to Cave Hollow for a Reunion.   Now a reunion meant lots of good food and the Men and Ladies caught up on conversation as they hadn’t seen each other for some time. Finally dinner was served after what seemed like an eternity, As I was a young boy. My appetite was straining. The Ladies would spread table cloths on the on the ground and everyone would walk around the spread. When you saw something they liked you just helped yourself. Lots of fried chicken, cake and lemonade. We ate until we would burst. Earl liked chicken gizzards and he would go around all the places and pick up all the gizzards he could find. He would laugh and say, Give me all of the gizzards. After we ate and visited, Later in the afternoon we would head for home as we had to feed the animals and milk the cows. Boy we had good times then. Cave Hollow was a place where you could walk up a little hill and there was a cave entrance.  During the summer time it was a nice cool place to have a picnic and that was the reason we went there. You could  enter the cave and go several feet back into it, And  it was always cool there and that was what made it so attractive during the summer.

As life went on other people moved into the area. I remember the Case family moved into the area. They moved into a house that was owned by Willie Samples.

Willies farm and our farm adjoined  so we were very close to the Case family geograpially. We soon become friends and played together often.

Osa and Ova were the names of the boys my age and over the years  we became very good friends. We were almost like brothers.   The younger girls my Sisters age was named Mattie and Lodena. They used to play together also.

Another good friend was Elbert (Tom) Howell, He and I have done things I will talk about later.   He was an extrovert and I was an introvert so he would take the lead when we went exploring. ( If you know what I mean) I was very shy when I was growing up.   We all played together and had some great times.

We used to go up in the hills that was behind our home and play and look for wild grapes and Gensing.   Ova and Osa knew the Gensing plants and I could never identify the plant.   They would dig up the root, Dry it out and sell to the local General Store for a little spending money.   There was a lot of gensing that grew wild in our area.  I could never identify that plant. Osa could see a plant and I would be standing on it.   We used to climb trees and ride them into other trees just like Tarzan. I know we didn’t learn that from him as we had never seen a Tarzan movie.   We had a lot of simple fun. We were never distructive in any way and even if we had been our Dads would have skinned us. And we knew that.

We all went to Tipton School together and kind of looked after each other.

Tom and I was in the same grade and we used to have a crush on the same girl in school. He was about a year older than me so I kinda looked up to him.

We would sit together in school. The seats were double seats with a desk and a seat on the front  of the desk for the other students who sat in front of you.

My aunt Betty was the teacher and when she would give a class an assignment she would ask a lower class to vote on the best essay. Tom Howell and I would vote on the same one every time. And that that that would be the girl who we had a crush on.

The girl was Lorraine McIntosh. Her dad was Mr. John McIntosh and her brother Walker graduated a few years earlier. I know Lorraine was embarassed when Tom and I voted on her essay every time. After all she was the prettiest girl in school. l was two grades behind  Lorraine and when we used to play games that required running she could out run me any day. We used to play a game called dare base, and we had to catch the runner. She would move up on me and touch me on the shoulder and that touch meant the chase was over. She was tall, lean and had long fast legs. She could outrun anyone in school at that time. But as I got older I grew taller and my legs got longer and I was able to catch her. If you could catch Lorraine you were fast.  There was another girl who was fast and that was Eudell Tipton. She was the daughter of Armster Tipton. She was also older than me and was thin and had long fast legs. We had a lot of fun in those days. Just simple games that required a lot of running. I loved to run when I was young. It was a great feeling.

 

Sometimes I wonder if there were Olympic opportunities then as there are today what we kids might have achieved.  As time went by Lorraine and my Cousin J.T. were married and lived in Lima, OH. They have a son named Todd and we keep in touch at this time.  I remember J.T. had a little 1936 Ford coupe, A nice little car with not a scratch on it. It was black and he kept it spotless. He and Lorraine did some courting in this little Ford. One morning he was coming around by Bryan Samples store and for some crazy reason he lost control and turned that Ford upside down and it was laying on its top in the middle of the road. Some of the fellows loafing at the store went over and turned it upright and he went on his way with only a small dent in the top. He was just shook up a bit. (He was probably thinking about that Pretty Lady he was going to see.)

We used to play with the Case children when we had any free time, Also Lelah Howells children. They lived nearby and when they wanted to play they would come upon a small hill and we could see them.   We would say, There’s Mary K. in the pasture and the girls would go out to meet them. Mary K. was the oldest and she had younger sisters, But the boys were much younger than me so if I wanted to play it had to be with the girls.

Usally I played with the Case boys and Tom Howell who were nearer my age. I didn’t want to play with girls anyway. When the oil wells were pumping in 1936 the well drillers would bring old cars and strip them down for the engines to run the pumping gear and I would gather up all of the wheels and make a wagon.

I would ask them if I could have the wheels and the steering wheels and I would make a wagon to play with.  I would rig  steering cables so that I could sit in the seat and steer it just like a car. On one side I had fixed a large spring that pull it to the right and a cable that would steer to the left.   So you  see, I had power steering on one half of the wagon. I pushed that wagon and rode it hundreds of miles.

The road in front of our house had an incline and I used to ride down that road for about 2000 yards before the road would flatten out and the wagon would stop.

I would push it back up the hill and start over again.   I remember I would meet a car and the guy would slow down as we met and he would be laughing.   I had a lot of fun on old Highway 52 with that wagon.

There wasn’t much traffic, Maybe a couple or three cars an hour. The one thing you could depend on was, The Black Brothers bus that had a schedule on the highway and I always tried to be off when it came through. I was afraid someone might be on the bus and would go to Irvine and tell the State Patrol I was running a wagon on the highway.   You could tell the State Patrol Car, It was painted blue and white with a big sweeping arrow along each side. You could identify it easily. And I had no money to pay a fine.   In those days, If I had gotten caught the Patrolman would probably have taken me home and told my Dad to keep me and that wagon off the road. I would have been grounded for sure.

I remember the first time I met the Case boys. I had just ridden the ole wagon down the road and there was two boys standing by the road where you go up the hollow to Willie Samples house. They  watched me go by and when it stopped I pushed the wagon back where they were and we got acquainted.   They said their Dad had rented a tennant house on Willies farm and that they had moved there from Cob Hill. They were going to help Willie And Jimmie farm.   Jimmie was a bachelor brother of Willie. In fact at that time they were both bachelors living in their parents old farm house.   They had lived with their parents until Mr. and Mrs. Samples died and they continued to live there and batch.   The Samples Hollow as we called it had quite a few families living there.

It was between two mountains and had very little flat land in between them. There was a few acres that you could plant a garden and raise some hay and corn, But you had to come out of that Hollow to get to the large flat area and the Samples Brothers owned quite a few acres of land that they worked.

They had another brother Bryan Samples who ran a small General store nearby.

The names of the people that lived up that Hollow was, The Case family. Then Willie and Jimmie. Next was Mr. Fayette Howell who was my friend Toms Dad.

Then Mr. Jim Estes. When you got to his house you was about to run out of level walking and the mountains were getting close together.

Clem Townsend lived a little farther up the Hollow but he was on higher elevation and from there it was up.

Tom Flenchum lived out on top of the mountain and it quite a pull to get up that mountain to his home.

I think you could ride a horse up there but it was quite a chore. They didn’t come down unless it was for food or medicine.

Up on top of the mountain to the right, And almost above Willies house  lived Uncle Ol Crawford. His real name was Oliver, But everyone called him Uncle OL.

He was a real old man when I was just a boy.

He had a son Jack and a daughter Lelah. I don’t remember his wife. I think she had passed away before I was born.

Anyway, Jack and Lelah would come to Bryan Samples store and buy groceries.

They would whine when they talked almost if in pain.

Oh, The weather this, Oh, The world that and we loafers would get quite amused to hear them talk.

Jack had a funny little quirk, He would lift his nose up and wrinkle it when he got flustered.

Bryans store was the only one nearby and people would buy from him unless they went to Irvine on the bus and bought food. We didn’t shop in those days, You knew what you needed and you bought it. Sometimes not at the best price but it was convienient. And Bryan would run a tab for the poorer people and they would pay them when they got the money. A lot of people were on relief and Bryan knew he would get his money once a month when the people got their Government Check, So he probably had his prices spiked up a bit. During the winter time when you couldn’t work outside we used to loaf at Bryans store. That was one of Dads favorite words, if people weren’t working they were loafing.   Mont and Norman Williams and a lot of the locals would stop by and talk and it was a real treat when a new comer dropped in with some new things to talk about as we just had petty local things to discuss.

Mont Williams had some financial problems and had declared bankruptcy. That was the topic for discussion. I didn’t know about such things as I was a young lad, But I picked up on what the Adults were saying.   Mont and Jack Crawford had worked together on the Highway.  Everyone he worked with would aggrivate Jack just to hear him soundoff.   When one of the fellows would have a pint of moonshine and Jack was in the crowd, They would pass it around and make Jack drink what was left in the bottle. He would get riled and say, If I have to drink the settlings I don’t want any. That would bring a lot of HA HA’s from the fellows. They sure loved to tease Jack.   One time we were a Bryans store loafing and Mont Williams was there that day. Someone came in the store and said they had seen Jack Crawford coming down the Hollow.   Bryan and Mont thought they would have a little fun with Jack. Bryan told Mont to get behind the counter and and he would get Jack to talk about him.   Sure enough, Pretty soon here comes Jack walking in and he went over and sat down on a feed sack.   Conversation went on and pretty soon Bryan said to Jack. Jack, What does it take to TAKE the Bankrupt Law.  Jack with his nose wrinkled up looked over at Bryan  and said. $5.00 and a Black Son OF A BITCH.

Man, Laughter broke out all over the crowd. When Jacks back was turned Mont sneaked out the door.  I don’t know if he had a suspicion Mont was hiding behind the counter or not but he sure let him have it.   By now I was getting better acquainted with the Case boys. We would go swimming at the Reed Shoal and we would also do some fishing. We never caught very much but we had a lot of fun.  Dad had some tobacco in the hay loft of his barn and I used to go pull a few leaves off and Ova and I would roll a cigarett using brown paper from a paper bag and home made tobacco.

Dad always chewed tobacco, He most always chewed what he grew. It wasn’t until he moved off the farm that he would chew store bought tobacco.  He would buy a couple hands to suppliament his store bought. Ova and I used to chew tobacco also, But we usally smoked and his brother Osa chewed all of the time.    He hardly ever smoked. We used to bum a chew off of him as he always had good chewing tobacco.  I remember some of the chewing tobacco brands that was sold in the Country stores.  Brown Mule and Honey Cut were some of the popular plug brands.Mail Pouch, King B. Red Ox and Days-O-work,

Bee’s wax was a twist. There was more but I can’t remember any others. Red Man and Beech Nut was a pack that came in a small bag and was real sweet.

Some of the cigaretts were, Avalon, Twenty Grand.  Phillip Morris, Camel, and  Lucky Strike. Camel and Lucky strike were the more expensive brands so we smoked the cheaper ones. And that was only on week ends when we didn’t want to roll one. There was a  cheaper tobacco that was packed in a small sack. Buffalo was a popular roll your own. There was Old North state , Bull Durahm and if you wanted a tin can of tobacco, You could get Prince Albert and Half & Half.

Half & half had a nice little tin that would telescope  into a half tin after you had used part of the contents. Sam Peck Estes used to smoke Old North State. Uncle Rose Lynch smoked Buffalo, And I can still see that little round tag that was attached to the string of a sack of Buffalo sticking out of his watch pocket. Clem Towsend smoked Buffalo too, But he also chewed when he worked in the fields.

Sam Peck used to work for Dad in the fields and earn some money. I remember at noon every day Etta Clay and Margie would bring us a good dinner that Ma had cooked for us and eating under the big Elm trees below Brown Pendergrasses Garage.  They would have to walk about a mile each way in the hot sun.  We would feed the animals and we would have our dinner and lay down and rest for a while. After we had eaten our dinner, Sam Peck would pull out a bag of Old North State and roll a cigarette.  I used to watch him select a cigarette paper from a pack of OCB papers. He would blow on the papers until one would separate then he would pull one out and wrap it around his fingers.

He would pull out the small sack of tobacco and pour some into the paper. Then he would roll the tobacco in the paper and lick the edge to make it stick together.

He would put it in his lips and strike a big match and light it. He would take a big drag and inhale and blow the smoke out.  Boy that smoke sure did smell good. You could also smell for a few seconds the sulphur from the match.

I never knew much about Sam Peck but he was a good friend of my Dad and when he needed a little money Dad would hire him to work in the fields plowing corn.

I wasn’t very old then, About all I was good for was carry them cool drinking water from Mayme Moberlys well.   I can still hear Mayme when I would ask her if I could get some water from her well for Dad and Sam Peck.   She would say, Yes,” But don’t you fall in”.

Mayme Moberly and her sister Emma lived in Uncle Jim Moberlys house. Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary had five children.I don’t remember in what order their age was, But there was three girls and two boys.   Emma was a handicapped Lady in a wheel chair as long as I can remember. Then Mayme, Florence, John Willie and Everett. They were dads cousins and my second cousins.

Emma and Mayme were never married and lived together with Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary. I remember uncle Jim and Aunt Mary but they were old people when I was a youngster.    Florence married Bryan Samples, John Willie married Hallie Witt and Everett married Edna Muncie.   I can remember on a Saturday afternoon, Dad would say I am going around this evening and see Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary Do you want to go with me.?  Man, I would say yes because Mayme ran a small store and I knew she would give me a piece of stick candy. I can remember Dad and Uncle Jim sitting under the big walnut tree talking and I would be playing the yard. We would get a cold drink of water from the well in the back yard.   And before we left Mayme would say to me, CB do you want a stick of candy.? Man I thought she would never ask. We would go up to the store and she would put a big key that was tied to her waist in the lock and push the door open and it would smell so good.   She would say, What kind of candy do you want.? I would select the prettiest one not knowing the flavor.   Mayme was a very kind person, She never had a lot of money but she took care of her sister Emma until she died. After that she lived alone until she died.

I remember one time I went to Maymes store to get some things that my Mother wanted. Dad always traded with Mayme to help her out with her sales in the store. He felt sorry for her because she had to take care of Emma and needed the money.

In the showcase was a small knife with George Washingtons picture on the handle. I would look at that knife every time I went to Maymes store. I would ask her how much it was every time. Finally one trip I asked her how much it was and she said its still a Quarter. I said again, After many times before I sure would like to have that knife. She looked at me and said, I’m going to give you that knife. And she did.

I guess I finally wore her down. She used to sell my Cousins Bob and Junior and me tobacco. I guess she needed the money. She was a real nice lady.

My cousin Junior used to call her the Little Jew. It was all in fun as we didn’t have much else to do in those days.

John Wille was a target of a lot of our jokes and fun. He was slightly crippled and always walked with a cane. He always had a big chew of tobacco in his jaw.

He would stutter a bit when he got excited and that was the basis of our jokes. If you was going to the store he would ask you where you were going. We would say we were going to get some flour and he would say, Mayme’s got it.

He and his brother Everett were very strong Democrats and they would electionaire for any Democrat that was running. I remember when A.B. (Happy ) Chandler was running for Governor of KY. they would be out walking up and down the road talking up  their Candidate. They took their politics seriously.

They didn’t farm much but they would go off through the County and buy a cow or two and come down the road driving those cattle.   They would make a little profit on the cattle and thats the way they made their living. They were known as shrewd traders.   Most of the people that I have talked about here are buried in the Moberly Cemetary near Maymes house.  Uncle Jim Moberly deeded a piece of property from his farm for the cemetary. My sister Madge is buried there.

My Dad didn’t want to be buried in the Moberly Cemetary.He wanted to be buried in the Richmond Cemetary at Richmond, Ky. (Madison County)  He said to me many times, Now don’t you let them put me around there. I want to be buried in Richmond.

And he was.

After a few years, The Moberly Cemetary would grow up with weeds and it was hard to get anyone to keep it mown. He Said, I don’t want to lay up there in all of those weeds. (Fortunately, Kaye Moberly Brandenburgs husband Brandy, has done a very good job of having the Moberly cemetary mown, trimmed and taken care of.)   He knew the Cemetary at Richmond was very well taken care of by the City.  He, My Mother, My Sister Margie and her Husband Clinton Parke are resting side by side in the Richmond Cemetary.  When I was about eight years old Dad and I would go out to Aunt Sara Snowden’s house for a visit. Sara M. Snowden June 1855–February 1947 was married to Green R. Snowden June 9,1854–February 7,1925

Aunt Sara was a sister of my Dads mother and his Aunt. Someone had to take of our stock  when we went to visit Aunt Sara.    Usally, He would get Elmer Towsnsend who still worked on the farm to do the milking and the chores.

We would get ready to leave and ride old Prince on the trip.    I would get up behind Dad on old Prince and we would ride to the Lee Co. line. Cross the Bridge and turn left on a small dirt road and ride up the Valley between two mountains.

The first place we would come to was Crit Cox’s home. Mr. Cox was an old man then and he and dad would chat for a bit as we sat on the horse. Aunt Sara lived at Patsey, Ky.  Patsey was out on top of a mountain East of where we lived and there was only a General Store and A Postoffice. She was married to Greene Snowden and and he had died before I could remember.    People had to go to the Postoffice at Patsey to get their mail as there was no delivery there.       Soon we would go on up the dirt road and cross the creek to see Luke and Ellery Smythe. They were a couple of old Bachleors who lived on the trail. They were distant relation of Dads family of Smythes that had migrated from Virginia. We would visit for a while and maybe get a drink of water from their well and go on our way. Next place we would arrive at was Grandville Johnsons home. Mr. Johnson lived at the bottom of the hill that we had to go up to get to Aunt Saras home. After a visit there we would ride Prince up as far as we could and would walk to the top of the mountain from there.

We used to pass by the sink hole as we called it. The sink hole was a large hole in the ground about forty feet wide and forty feet deep. You could see the water running down the bottom of the sink hole that came from the Mountain.

We used to be afraid we would fall in it and didn’t get too close to the edge.

From there we would proceed to the top and pretty soon we could see Aunt Saras house in the distance. We would get back on Prince and ride the rest of the way.

Pretty soon Aunt Sara would see us coming and run out in the yard to greet us.

Her home was on the very top of a mountain and you could see over the trees and it was a great view. It was very lonely there. You could only hear the Birds and the wind. The trees were very high and the wind would rustle through trees and thats about all you could hear. Luther Snowden was Aunt Saras Son. He had spent several years In Detroit, Mi. as a Policeman, Had gotten a Divorce from his wife there and moved back to Ky. to live with his Mother. Aunt Sara had a Daughter Minnie Breese. She also lived  there with her Brother Luther and Minnies Son Thomas Turner. Minnies first husband was  Dr. J.F.Breese MA-MD-PHD-DD. 1823–1916.

Before we went to bed at night, Luther would say, We will get up early in the morning and go bust us a squirrel for breakfast.

Very early in the morning , Luther would wake me up and we would walk out in the woods which wasn’t too far from the house. The big Hickory trees were very tall and it took a  good shotgun to knock a squirrel from the top of the trees where they were feeding on the nuts. We would walk very softly and look up in the trees to see if we could get a shot. Pretty soon a squirrel would run out on a branch and Luther would raise the gun and fire. It seemed like forever before the squirrel would hit the ground. We would pick it up and sit quitely waiting for another one to meet its fate.

We would get a couple and head for the house. After dressing them, We would give them to Aunt Sara and we would have fried squirrel and hot biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Boy that was good eating.

Everything smelled so good. As there was no other odors about except the flowers and the fresh morning air.  We would visit on Sunday morning and after Aunt Sara had fixed a good dinner, Dad and I would start for home. It wasn’t that far from our house to hers, But in those days it seemed like a very, very long way. Back home in time to do the chores and milking and soon off to bed with the fond memories of the weekend.

Aunt Sara was a small Lady, I bet she didn’t weigh a hundred pounds. But she was a kind Lady and wanted to do for you anything she could.  She used to grow the largest cucumbers I have ever seen. She would go out in the pastures and pick up Cow flops and put them in a big container of water. Every day, She would pour a bit of the water on her cukes and they would grow very large. She lived to age 92 years before she passed away. She is buried at the Patsey Cemetary, Patsey Ky. As time  went by, Cousin Minnie moved to Dayton,Oh. to live with her daughter Inez Breese. Tom Turner married a daughter of Seay Abner and lives in Dayton, Oh. Luther Snowden moved to Sparta, Mi. and lived out his life with his son John E. Snowden.

He is buried in the Sparta Cemetary, Sparta, Mi. on the Northeast corner of the Cemetary beside his Son John and Johns wife Ruby.    Luther had two brothers and a sister. Troy Snowden, Irvine Ky. Dr. Raymond R. Snowden, Revenna, Ky and Minnie Snowden Breese of Dayton, Oh. They are all deceased. I was quite young when Luther Snowden moved from Detroit, Mi. back to Ky. He used to stay overnight at our house when he was down our way.  In those days people would be invited to stay overnight espically our relation.    Luther would spend several days with us and was looking for a job in Irvine. He got a job working prisoners who was in the City jail. Prisoners were taken out on jobs and required to work. To do any work that was connected with the county, But not for private individuals. I remember the big pistol Luther had strapped on his side and I thought he was a big man.

The prisoners wore large leg irons strapped to their leg with a prong sticking in front and behind the leg iron. It was impossible for them to run, As the prong would hit the ground if they ran. They would have to walk stiff legged to keep the prong level.  I remember one night after Luther had taken the prisoners back to jail for the night and he and dad were sitting around talking. I asked Luther, What if one of the prisoners got loose and ran away? He said, I would bust him one. Meaning he would shoot him. He used to tell stories about when he was on the Police Force in Detroit and all of the criminals they had caught. It was very interesting to me to hear all of those stories. They would sit up late at night talking and I would fall asleep just listening to him.

Most medicines were sold by the Rawleigh or Watkins Salesman who came through the country about once a month. It was called Patent Medicine. I remember they sold a salve like Vicks. It came in a little yellow round tin about the size of a quarter.It was called 666 salve and we would put some in our nose before we went to bed at night when we had a cold. If we needed a laxitive there was another concoction called Black Draught. It was  dried leaves and made into a tea. This was sold by the Watkins man or you could buy it in the general store. When we were kids on the farm and got sick, dad always seemed to have a remedy to cure us. When we got a sore throat at night he would rub our chest with turpentine, coal oil and lard. Coal oil was kerosene. He would mix all three ingredients together and let it get warm and rub that on our chest. I remember how that stank and burned. Another concoction was called skull cap tea. That was made from some wild herb. The leaves were boiled in water and we had to drink it hot before we went to bed. That is about the worst tasting stuff I have ever drank.

Thats the way it was back in the Depression. Drink some of this and get ready to head for the barn. This was sold by the Patent Medicine Salesman. Another laxative was castor oil. These were very harsh laxtives, But we lived a very harsh life and could endure this kind of medicinal exposure.

Time went by on the farm. We were going to school and trying to get an education. I was a very good speller in school and we used to have a spelling bee some Friday afternoons in school. We would be in competition with Millers creek School. Earl Brandenberg was the teacher at Millers Creek School. He and Aunt Betty were very good friends and she liked Earl, because he was a very good teacher and no nonsense.

We used to compete in spelling by grade and the best spellers were competeing against each other.    I remember I was spelling against a girl from Millers Creek school and she got me on the word Aisle. For the life of me I couldn’t think how to spell the word.I spelled Isle and finally I had exausted all thoughts and finally she spelled it correctly and that is all I have to say about that. Needless to say, We lost the spelling Bee.  Aunt Betty was very kind, She said you did the best you could. I felt like crawling in a hole.Spelling was my best subject in school and I got straight A’s on my report card.   After I finished elementary school at Tipton school, I started to school at Beattyville the next year to repeat the eighth grade at that school. I rode the Black Bros. Bus there and return everyday.    I remember some of the students that rode the bus. They  were picked up at different points along the route. Anna Fern Thacker, My cousins Bob and Vollie Moberly, Bobbie Lee Kelley, At Sandfield there was Adam and Flossie Mays. Betty and Winfred Phillips at the top of Hatton Hollow hill and Wallace Day at  Olive Hill and others I can’t recall at this time.

We had a lot of fun riding the bus, But I had a hard time adapting to a new school. I did graduate at the end of the term and got a high school diploma from that school also. Now I had two high school diplomas and that made my Dad very proud.

The next year I would go to high school at Estill County High in Irvine, Ky. The County kids went to the ECHS and the City kids went to the Irvine High. There was always a lot of rivilary between the two schools.My cousins Bob and Jr. was a year ahead of me since I had repeated the eithth grade. We rode to high school with Lawrence Hall. Lawrence lived on Cob hill and his Dad had a Model A Ford sedan that he let Lawrence drive to school. He would pick us up in front of our homes and we would ride to school and he would  let us off in front of the house in the afternoon after school. We had fun in those days. Bobbie Kelley bought an old Harley Davidson motorcycle from Burnell Noland who was taking auto-mechanics at ECHS. Burnell,Tom Boian and Bill Art Winkler was always working on cars under the gym where the classes were held. The motorcycle was a Harley Davidson 45 and had a side car. I t was a red color and the side car looked like a Dutch wooden shoe. It had a pointed front and would seat two if you squeezed tight. We used to ride that motorcycle all over the country. Bobbie Kelley was a very good mechanic and could keep it running most of the time.

As the war in Europe and Japan begin to escalate everyone was gathering scrap iron and selling it for a few dollars. I would gather scrap, Junk iron as we called it and sell to anyone that would buy it. There was people that would buy chickens,eggs and scrap iron and drove through the countryside and pick it up. I remember one man, Ken Gamble and his son Shiloh who would buy the scrap and I would gather as much as I could and sell it to him. Usally I would get $.75 to $1.00 for my effort and I thought I was rich. They drove an old pickup truck with chicken coops tied to the back of the truck and looked like the Beverly Hillbillies.Sometimes Bob, Jr,  Bobbie Kelley and I would pile a lot of scrap iron in the side car and take it to Kelleys Junk yard in Irvine and sell it. we would get a dollar or two and we would fill up the gas tank on the motorcycle first and we would spend the rest. The motorcycle tank came first. If we didn’t have gas we couldn’t travel. We would get a hamburger and go to a show (movie) and then we would start for home. One time we ran out of gas up on Cow Creek.We were pushing the motorcycle to Tip Alexanders store to buy some gas. A man came along in a Model A Ford coupe and stopped. He said, Can I help you fellers? We said, We are out of gas. He said, I have a full tank of casin head gas will she run on that? Bobbie said, I don’t know why not. He gave us a rubber hose and we siphoned out a full tank in the cycle as it held only two and a half gallons. We thanked the man and he drove away. Casin head gas is distilled from gas vapor that escapes from an oil well. This man worked in the oil fields and they would run the gas vapor through a coiled tube and the vapor would turn into liquid. Similar to making whiskey (Distilled)  They used that type of gas to suppliament their ration cards. (It was Illegal to use that type of gas) We started home savoring our good luck to have a full tank of gas and it didn’t cost us any money. We had to go over a mountain to get to our homes. About half way up the mountain the cycle begin to heat up as the gas didn’t have any additives or lead in it. That engine got white hot and Bobbie was pumping oil into the engine as it had a manual oil pump. Finally the engine got so hot it stopped running. We thought we had ruined it. The insulation burned off of the wires that run to the headlight and it was smoking. We thought we had burned her up for sure. We let it cool off for a time and it started and we was able to go on home. Bobbie said, If I hadn’t pumped all of that oil in the engine it would surely have set up. We ran it many miles after that. Bobbie said, We just burned the carbon out of it. That had to be the hottest engine I have ever seen.  We had a lot of fun on that old motorcycle  We always had a good basketball team at ECHS and were in copetition with other schools in Eastern Ky. I finished my freshman year and started the sophomore year and got bored with some of the teachers.In some of the classes they would talk about everything but the lesson at hand and when test time came I didn’t do very well. I supposed I was used to the strong teachers who made you stay after class if you didn’t know your lesson and assignments.So about mid year I started skipping school and hanging around in pool rooms. I would loaf in Ump Barnes pool room and play pool when I had money.I was thourghly disgusted with High school. I did this for a few weeks and was getting bored with this.

My sister Etta Clay  was going to ECHS by now and finally dad found out I was skipping and that really hurt him. He admitted later that he had pushed me too hard.  So finally when the Principal sent Etta Clay to the pool room to get me one day, I finally dropped out of school. I said to Hell with this, I’m going to get a job.

The Government was building an ordinance facility in 1942 at Richmond, Ky.So Uncle June, Mr. Bill Gilbert, Lemon Gross and Jess Estes and I went over to Richmond and got a job in construction work helping to build emplacements for storing defense munitions and poision gasses. They were called Igloos. They were  constructed of re-inforced concrete and were landscaped over the top so they couldn’t be seen from the air Our hourly rate was $.60 an hour and with very small withholdings. Social Security was only six years old and income tax was just being born. So we got to take home a large portion of our paycheck. Uncle June had a car, A 1934 Plymouth four door sedan that he had bought from Hood Barnes and we all rode with him to and from work. He was able to get extra gasoline and new tires for his car because it was defense work and he was providing transportation for five workers.

Gasoline was cheap but you couldn’t buy it without a ration stamp so people was using anything that would burn in their cars. You was issued a sticker for your wind shield and that signified how much gas you could buy with each stampThe gas station attendant would look at your ration book and your sticker and verify your portion.    Of course there was some bootlegging going on just as in any program. But for the most part you had to tow the line as people were very patriotic in those days.  An automobile owner was issued an A-B-C-D sticker for automobiles and an R stamp book for stationery engines. And a matching stamp book to match. When you used up your stamps you didn’t get anymore until the next given time period.

A lot of people had to park their cars because they had no gas to run them. If I remember correctly, You got 4 gallons for an A stamp and a little more for each of the other stamps based on need. (Try and tell that to the kids of today)     I worked at that job until that portion of the job was phased out, We had built Igloos all over the place and they had enough. So my job was gone and they had enough men to fill other work based on seniority. Now I didn’t have a job.

Clearance and Galena Hamilton lived in Louisville Ky. Clearance drove a Greyhound bus from Louisville to South Bend, In. and back. So Dad asked Galena if I could go to Louisville with them and get a job there. So I did. I got a job in a Standard Oil gas station at a place called Hurry Up Broadway at Broadway and Jackson St. I was a station attendant and pumped gas and received ration stamps. They re-capped tires there also which was quite a large operation. People would take a sound casing and have it re-capped and get a lot of extra miles from it. There was no restrictions on recapped tires. There was a White Castle Hamburger place across the street and I would get a couple of hamburgs and a double cola for .15  cents and they were the best little hamburgers I have ever ate. Also Blue Bird Pies had a plant next door to White Castle on the West side of Jackson St. at Broadway. When the delivery trucks came in from their run I could buy off of the truck and for a nickel you could get a nice little fruit pie. You was at the convenience of what was available. The Brown Hotel was the place to go in Louisville in the early 40’s. All of the VIPs stayed there.  Bob and I used to go to the movies at the Brown Theatre. We also went swimming at Fountain Ferry Park. One Sunday we went there swimming and my back got so burned I had large blisters all over my back. At that time I think Bob was working at Curtis Wright and later went to work for the Courier Journal.

When I would come home with my paycheck Galena would say, When you get your check cashed we are going down town and get you some new clothes.

” We are going to dress you up” And she did. We would get on the street car and ride down to Walnut and Fourth St. and we would buy me some new clothes. I remember one thing we bought was a pair of very expensive Florsheim shoes, Wing tips no doubt and  we also bought mother a nice set of dishes. My daughter has that set of dishes now, And they are good as new.

When  Clearance was on a run to South bend on the weekend, Galena would take cousin Bob and me out to eat at Cunninghams which was famous for their spaghetti and meatballs. Sometimes Galenas friend Arlene Scott would go along with us to eat. I remember the big 1937 Packard automobile that Clearance drove. It was black with a lot of chrome and a big emblem on the radiator like a flying venus.

I also worked at Armour and Co. filling orders for the Army at Ft. Knox, Ky. They would come in with their big trucks and leave with a full load of meats, cheeses, and other goods. Finally one day, The refrigiation unit blew up  and I went back home. In the meantime I had moved from Galenas apartment and moved into a room downstairs shared with my cousin Bob and another man. My cousin Bob had gotten a job at the local Courier Journal a daily paper from where he retired becoup years later.

I went back home to loafing again, As there was nothing to do but farm and I had enough of that. I would run around with Cecil (Mutt) Smythe who was the son of Donelly Smythe and distant relation. Mutt was killed on Siapan during the war. I also hung around with Shine Samples from Sandfield. They were a bit older than me, but the draft was really taking its toll on the fellows I grew up with. It seemed like there wasn’t any young men left in the country. one by one they disappeared into the service and I began to get lonley for someone to hang around with. I also ran around with Bug Smythe, Tom Howell, Otis Rogers, Kenneth Rogers, Bren Smythe,Cannes Thacker, Bill Barnes, John Powell and Ed Powell and several other young fellows I grew up with. I also ran around with the Reffit boys. They lived out on top of one of the mountains and were poor people. Bill Reffet had a large family and as soon as his sons John Tom, Bill and Bob were old enough to get a job they went to Clark County where there was work and got a job. Clark Co. adjoines Estill County and was a much richer county than Estill. There was large farms there and they were able to get jobs on these farms and make good daily wages.

John Tom had saved his money and bought a 1934 Plymouth coupe. He couldn’t drive the the car and neither did he have a drivers license. I had learned to drive but with no drivers license. I used to drive his car for him and he would sit in the passenger seat and Bob and Bill would ride in the trunk.  It had a lift up trunk lid and those boys would ride there with the trunk lid up. They were so glad to be riding in a car that it didn’t make any difference to them. I drove the car until John Tom decided he wanted to learn how to drive and get a license. After he got his drivers license I was out of a job of driving him around. I was driving ilegically but I was getting some experience. but all good things come to an end. There wasn’t much law in those days you could just about anything you wanted as long as you didn’t have an accident or someone didn’t turn you in to the authorites.  Ed Powell would let me drive his car without a license and also Tom Howell as we used to hang around together. We would go out on a Saturday night and maybe end up with some girls and they would let me drive.

I remember one Saturday evening we happend to be around at Pryse, Ky. near our home. Dewey Bailey was there waiting to catch a train for Winchester. We knew Dewey very well and knew he dealt a little in moonshine whiskey. He said he had a half gallon of moonshine and we bought it from him. It was in a half gallon fruit canning jar. We started drinking that whiskey and soon I was getting pretty tipsy.

You could get your nose in the jar as you drank and it tasted real good. Ed Powell dropped me off at home, But I don’t remember walking up the stairs and getting into bed. The next thing I remember was I woke up the next morning wondering how I got there. That was mean stuff.

In the fall of 1943 I went to work for Mr. Sam Hatton in Winchester, Ky. Mr. Hatton had married into the Moberly family and was quite an old man when I worked for him I remember him when I was just a small child visiting Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary Moberly who lived near us. Mr. Hatton  used a cane to walk with and he had one glass eye. He wore an old wide brim hat and when he told you to do something he meant it. When I started working for him he would pay so much an hour and board. I would live at his home and eat my meals there and work during the day. He had a very large home with many bedrooms and you could get lost in the place.

Later I would live with the Rose family and get room and board. Mr. Hatton would pay Jess Rose for my room and board as they had an extra bedroom that they didn’t need and they could use the extra money. I was living with them when I broke my wrist. Jess worked for Mr. Hatton and had a family and could use the money. They were a very nice family and Jess was later killed working on a electric pole when he touched a high voltage line and was killed instantly. That was after I had left the company and I felt really bad about that. I always wondered how his wife and little kids made out after his death. Jess had a brother Ellis that worked for Mr. Hatton and we used to hang around together when we were working out on the road. he was a nice fellow and taught me a lot about the job. Actually Ellis and Jess taught me how to climb the high poles that we were setting and stringing wire on.

Mr Hatton had two sons, Hensley and Sammy. Hensley ran the operation for his Dad and Sammy was a Minister and wasn’t around much and was out of the operation except to help out in a pinch. He would maybe drive a truck once in a while when there was no one to drive it and I didn’t have an operators license even though I had driven a lot without a license I could drive very well. I didn’t have a car so why would I need a license?

Mr. Hatton was a contractor. He would do contract work for Southern Bell Telephone. We would dig holes, set poles and string wire on the cross arms.

He taught me to climb those big tall poles. I would strap on a pair of hooks and wear a safety belt and climb those poles and work 50 feet off the ground tieing wire to insulators and etc. We also built R.E.A. lines. The Rural Electric Association was building electric lines into areas that  never had any electricity and it was a big thing to get electricity in those days. First time users and they were built in some pretty rugged terrain. I liked the job and I liked Mr. Hatton and he liked me because I was a hard worker. He said to me one day, Son, I’m going to give you a raise you are a good worker, But I’m not going to give the other fellow one so don’t you tell him. The other fellow was a guy who had gone with me to work there.

We worked in and around Lexington, Clays Ferry, Owensville, Morehead and Winchester. A fellow and I dug a hole 12 feet deep for a pole on the South side of the river at Clays Ferry. There was so much limestone rock there we had to use an air hammer and dynamite to get the hole down twelve feet. I used to see the pole setting there for many years after as I would pass by.

We were working in Winchester one cold frosty morning trimming some trees from under a electric line. I climbed out on a maple branch to do some trimming and the branch split off and I fell on the sidewalk breaking my left wrist. Ironically it was in front of the Winchester Monument Company (Boy, I thought a lot about that)

Mr. Hatton (Squire) as we called him came down and said, Get this boy to the Hospital. Hensley drove me to the Hospital and they set my wrist. Geneva Hubbard, Who was a distant relation was the attending nurse. She treated me like I was made of gold. I stayed at Hensleys home for a couple of days until Squire knew I was OK and then I went home for six weeks until my wrist was healed.

After my wrist was healed I went back on light duty for a couple weeks and drove Squire around in his big Oldsmobile. He couldn’t drive and I didn’t have a license but he said you are a good driver and we won’t have any trouble. He really trusted me and I was really careful.

We worked to the end of the year and started 1944. My birthday was January 17th and I had to register for the draft. I knew it was just a matter of time until they would call me for the draft. All of the fellows I grew up with had been called and some of the older ones had already finished their basic training and was home on leave before they were shipped overseas.  Finally, in early April I received my Greetings from the United States Government signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States of America.

I was scheduled to go with a bus load of men to Cincinnati, Oh. for examination. Soon I received a card through the mail that I had been classified 1A. Time was getting short, I told Mr. Hatton that I had to leave as the Army had called me to report to Fort Thomas, Ky for induction into the service. He said, Son, I sure hate to see you go you take good care of yourself. That was be the last time I would ever see Mr. Hatton. He had treated me like a Father,Friend and Co-worker

I was inducted into the United States Army April 24,1944. Serial Number 35083116 at age 18 years. We were issued our gear and waited for further orders.

 

 

 

 

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