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Remembrances of Edith Dunn Childress

I was born at the top of the hill on the road leading from Stewart's Creek to Pleasant Grove in what was called Talley's house. We lived across the road from Neely Webb. I remember he had a long white beard and drove a buggy. I think at least part of the still stands.

We never thought anything of walking long distances then. Garland and the older kids walked all the way to Cross Roads for school.

I remember once Katherine, Mary Gilliam, her kids and me were on our way to Mary Gilliam's and were crossing a field when a bull started to chase us. It was everybody for himself. I remember it very well because I was last over the fence.

The Talley place was bought by Daddy and Pa Dunn together. When Pa Dunn determined to swap his share for a store in Egam, Daddy had to sell out.

In late 1924, we moved to the little house beside Pleasant Grove Church. It was owned by some Land. Daddy worked cotton over where the landfill is now and worked corn over on Patrick Hill.

Like most farmers then, Daddy was usually a renter. He supplied the seed, livestock and equipment and gave a third of what he made for use of the land. We always had our own chickens, cows, hogs, etc. Daddy kept a team of good mules for plowing and would have a pair of horses to trade on.

Nell was born here April 18, 1925. It was about this time Daddy bought a two-horse surrey with fringe on top and rode the older children to Pa's store at Egam.

At that time, Annie Dunn was a teacher at Crossroads. She rode from her house on Lee's Creek to school on a poney. Katherine would meet her at the Corner of Papa's place and ride to school behind her.

In 1926 or 1927, we moved into the old Routt house at Lee's Creek. Gene was born here October 1, 1928. It was a two-story log house with a kitchen lean-to on one side. It had large rooms and a central breeze way on both levels. Dana Routt had lifetime ownership of it.

Nearby, lived two Cowley families: Blake and Agnes Cowley with their children William, Ora, Jewell, Anna Lee and Morgan; Newman and Myrtle Cowley with children Mary Lee, H.D., Nina Mae and Thelma. On top of the hill lived their grandmother, Sally Cowley, widow of Doak Cowley. Across the hill was Clayton and Essie Martin and their children Clyda, Marlon and Odell.

The Routts lived across the Lee's Creek Road from the Cashion land, which was all grown up in woods. When I was five or six, there was a big brush arbor meeting there. I went to Sunday School with Mama. She was the teacher of the Card Class. Papa didn't go to church, but he donated the tract for the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church (Fussy Hill) across the Winchester Road.

Daddy bought his first car while we lived at Lee's Creek. It was a 1923 T-Model sedan. You had to crank it. This is how Garland broke his arm.

When I was six and a half (1928-1929) we moved to Howell Hill and lived on the corner where the roads crossed. This house was owned by a Howell. It was fairly large, having five or six rooms and a large unfinished upstairs. It had full-length screened porches on the front and back. The house has been remodeled and still stands.

The next year (1929-1930), Daddy bought a farm a short distance down the road toward Prospect and we moved into the house on it. This is where Horace was born February 9, 1930.

From Howell Hill, we moved back into the Routt house at Lee's Creek, where Nina Ruth was born December 11, 1932.

There was a Church of Christ behind the school at Corder's Crossroads. I didn't go to Sunday School, but, I would go sometimes when they had big meetings. At Howell, we didn't go to church. When we lived at Frogville, we attended church at Kirkland.

While living in the Routt house, I attended school at Corder's Cross Roads. Gertrude Sullivan was teacher. Nina and Thelma Cowley, Annie Lee Cowley, William Corder, Virgil Taylor, Robert Snoddy, Gladys Hunter and Franklin Bryant are some of the students I remember there.

The School at Howell Hill was just down the road toward Lincoln. My teacher was Lynn Sullivan. Maudie Howell, Mildred Shelton, Ruby Dee Shelton and Laura Henderson were some of the students there.

From Lee's Creek, we moved into H.L. Broyles' house at Coldwater below Mary's Grove. There were Flynns on each side of us. Two Sims families lived near by. And, for a while, the Winsetts and Poss Gammons family lived on the same farm.

From there, we moved to the Towry house at Frogville where I lived when I married. I started at Mary's Grove about December 1934. While at Frogville, I got to ride the bus to school. Lowell Hopkins drove it.

The school at Mary's Grove was divided into two rooms, four grades in each.

The bell rang at 8 o'clock. We had chapel first. There was reading from the Bible, songs and prayer. Classes started at 8:15 and went until 10 o'clock. Then we had a fifteen minute recess. We had classes from 10:15 till Noon, when we had an hour for lunch and play. We had another recess at 2:00 pm. School was over at 3:00 pm.

For courses we had Reading, Arithmetic, Geography, Spelling, and sometimes Health. Lessons were assigned one day and you were supposed to know them the next.

I made better grades than most. My favorite subject was Math, because I always liked solving problems.

Students dressed in whatever they happened to have. For lunch they ate whatever they had at home to put on a biscuit and bring with them: potatoes, eggs, meat, etc.

In the Summer, there was no way to cool except by raising the windows. In the Winter, the school was heated by a pot-bellied stove. The bigger boys toted in the coal and kept the fire going. When it was realy cold, only a few came to school and they ringed their seats around the stove to keep warm.

At recess we played ball, hopskotch, marbles, stink base, red rover and dodge ball.

Stink Base was sometimes called Dare Base. You chose sides and had a home line. You would go as close to the other side as you dared and the others would chase you back home. If they caught you, they stood you in a circle called a stink base. You had to stand there until someone on your side managed to touch your hand. The side that caught all on the other side won.

At the end of the school year, we had plays. Sometimes, there were pie or box suppers and fiddler contests. Wes Childress and Romie Jean played once at Mary's Grove.

The Health Department would come out and sort of examine us, give us shots and so forth. Of course, there were always the usual colds, chicken pox, measles and mumps.

Discipline was administered with the paddle!

My class was in the Big Room where Elgie McAlister taught. Later, Clyde Moore taught it.

There, in my class, were Elmer Childress, Knox McAlister, Mamie Ruth Swinford, Mildred Winsett, Marvin Winsett, Ullyses (P.U.T.) Towry, and Clifford Flynn.

Elgie McAlister later married Nola White, daughter of Bob & Allie White. Clyde Moore was from Taft. He later held office in the court house. Knox McAlister was a farmer close around who was in my class just to finish high school. He married a Milam. Mamie Ruth Swinford married Earl Colbert.

In other classes of the big room were Juanita Simmons, Alda Towry, Leonard Childress, Osaline Towry, Elizabeth White, Andrew Pylant, Madeline Sisco, Troy Sisco, Willard Sisco, Hayden White, Doris Spray, Clay Flynn, Irene Harrison, Ruby Mullins, Catheryn Dunn, Garner Hopkins, Jack Towry, Mercedes Towry.

Juanita Simmons was my best friend. She married Horace Gray who lives in Bellview. Alda Towry moved to Huntsville. Leonard Childress married Lorene Towry. Osaline Towry married James Robertson. Elizabeth White married Fred Boaz. Ruby Mullins married Everett Moore. Ruby lived most of her life in Fayetteville, but is now back in Camargo.

Doris Spray died in Fayetteville. Catheryn Dunn maaried Romeo Jean. Garner Hopkins married Bertha McAlister. Jack Towry moved to Huntsville. Mercedes Towry married a Smith and lives in Lincoln County.

The "Little Room" was taught by Virginia Towry. In it were Nellie Dunn, Eugene Dunn, Smith Towry, Anna McAlister, Jewell McAlister, Gracie McAlister, Peggy Hopkins, J.R. Moyers, Elbert Moyers, Nadine Honey, Joyce Spray, Maggie Flynn, Joan Hopkins, Margaret Harrison, Elizabeth Childress, Margaret Sisco, Jewell McAlister, Flemmon Childress. Wilma Swinford and Edward Swinford.

I graduated from the eighth grade in March 1936 and started to high school. Mayme Ruth Swinford went for only two weeks. Some names I remember from high school are Knox McAlister, Mary Taylor, Junila Simmons, Evelyn Mitchell, Oscar Wright, J.W. Monks, Ruth Rodgers, Johnny Mac Jean, Zana Berryhill, Martha Maddox, Thelma Henderson, Gaynell Delap and Earlene Smith.

I studied Algebra, English, Ancient History, Home Economics, Civics and Biology. Algebra was my favorite subject.

Mr. Doster was principal. I think it was on his account that I got to go to high school. He came to my house one day and talked to Mammy and Daddy about me. I remember Mr. Doster had coal black hair. Later on, he became head of the TBI.

Gladys Davidson taught first year algebra and Clarence Towry, second year. Mr. Hall was the English teacher and Gladys Edwards taught Home Economics.

I married May 28, 1938 and set up housekeeping in the Tipps house on your daddy's home farm where we spent the rest of that year & the next.

In 1940, we moved into the Little red house on Lincoln Road. That's where where we were living when Jeanie, Marion, David and John were born.

Next was the Rock house on Huntsville Highway.

then Farm at Verona.

then Jackass Road at Belfast.

then TOP of Belfast Road.

then Guess where? 

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